As loaded as Stanford is at receiver right now, they won't be for long. Sure, there is a lot of young talent, including a budding track star, but playing behind guys like Ty Montgomery, Devon Cajuste, and Michael Rector has left many of them with little to no game experience. That's where four-star recruit Simi Fehoko comes in: starting in 2018
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Blessed to be apart of the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CardClass16?src=hash">#CardClass16</a> edits by <a href="https://twitter.com/Hayesfawcett3">@Hayesfawcett3</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/GridironGraphix">@GridironGraphix</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/SammyBoi_39">@SammyBoi_39</a> <a href="http://t.co/DByNmrdEC7">pic.twitter.com/DByNmrdEC7</a></p>— Simi Fehoko (@Simi_Fehoko) <a href="https://twitter.com/Simi_Fehoko/status/622876750314278912">July 19, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Fehoko announced his decision to commit to the Cardinal Monday on Twitter, spurning offers from the likes of Clemson, his hometown Utah, Nebraska, Washington, and Vanderbilt. However, he is not expected to actually see the field for the Cardinal until 2018 because the Utah native has committed to a Mormon Mission.
For perspective, the incoming class he will be a part of just finished their freshman year in high school right now, and probably aren't even thinking about playing college football yet. So Fehoko, one of Utah's top recruits, is great future insurance for the Cardinal. Who knows what the team will even be like then?
But when he does arrive in Palo Alto, Fehoko will bring a lot to the table. His 6'5" frame and blazing 4.53 40-yard dash time give him an elite size/speed combination and make him a matchup nightmare for defensive backs. Think of him as a taller version of Michael Rector.
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He'll be a huge deep threat for Keller Chryst, K.J. Costello, or Ryan Burns and the Cardinal a few years from now. His speed looks effortless and smooth, and he gets a great separation with an first step that allows him to torch those flimsy looking high school defensive backs on his highlight reel. None of them look like they want to come within a 20-yard radius of him- he's that big and intimidating. Unless you're playing Cal, most Division I defensive backs won't shy away from receivers, no matter how big they are.
But the scary thing is that he has three or four more years to bulk up and grow before he ever sets foot on the field for Stanford. He's tall and lanky right now, checking in at just 180 pounds, and needs to get stronger. Granted, he still has a year of high school left to go, but if he commits to a good strength and conditioning program, he could be at least 20-30 pounds heavier by the start of his time on The Farm.
His ball skills are top-notch, with soft hands, especially on back shoulder fades, and is strong with defenders in his face. Stanford has implemented a lot of deep passes into their offense recently, especially off play-action. Hence, he seems to be a good fit in that regard. With all of his speed, Fehoko could be a dynamic threat on special teams, especially kick returns, like Montgomery.
He does have a couple things to work on, though. His speed looks to be of the straight line variety, and lacks a little bit of lateral quickness and deception on running routes. For right now, he's better suited for streak and post routes, but could very well develop this part of his game. He's young and has a lot of time to hone his skills.
Fehoko also plays safety, but projects much better as a receiver because of the way he moves. Safeties need to be able to make quick reads and run quickly in all directions. Straight line speed certainly doesn't hurt, but his skills play up more at receiver than they do at safety.
In spite of these quibbles, with all of his speed and football talent, Fehoko looks to be a great addition to the locker room and the team on the field.
In the grand scheme of things, Stanford fans should be thrilled that a player of the caliber of Fehoko coming to the Farm has become commonplace, and has been for many years. It's astounding to think that just eight years ago, a team that made T-shirts bragging about "The Biggest Upset Ever" over 41-point favorite USC is now recruiting so consistently at this elite level. Fehoko is just one of dozens of stellar athletes that now have the opportunities to make names for themselves on the gridiron and in the classroom at Stanford.