On July 2nd the 23rd ranked defensive tackle and the number 36th ranked player in Texas silently committed to play football on the Farm. Michael Williams announced his decision by typing "#FearTheTree Stanford Football Commit" in his Twitter bio. Williams had other offers from Oklahoma, reigning national champion Ohio State, and TCU. Throughout the recruiting process Williams has been in contact with two other Stanford commits. Bo Peek (3-star) and Clark Yarbrough (4-star), according to Williams, were trying to recruit him to be a Cardinal. Even before they started recruiting him, Williams had "made up his mind [that he was going to play for Stanford]" and had thought about "breaking records".
Michael Williams is a 4-star talent who stands at 6'1" and weighs 305. Michael is a big boy, to say the least, and he can really plug up the middle. As a junior he recorded 64 tackles and the year before that he made 60 tackles. He has had more and more tackles every year he has been in high school so this year I expect him to reach even higher than 64 tackles. Even though he has had two 60-tackle seasons, he does not get to the QB. Stanford is recruiting him as a DE and it worries me that he has only six total sacks throughout his high school career. Being 305 lbs, he is not the most mobile guy on the field, but he has to improve and get to the QB more often. Learning to be quick off the line is something Williams needs to do in his senior season or in his freshman campaign. Right now he is a man amongst boys, but he will not be the only big guy once he comes to Palo Alto. Check out William's highlights courtesy of Hudl:
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On July 19th the number 1 recruit in Utah has committed to Stanford while having offers from USC, BYU, and Washington. In an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune Simi said, "Overall, Stanford is a hard-to-miss package, It has everything that you could want in a college." Simi was not the most sought after WR because he only had seven offers, but maybe he can use that as motivation. Simi is the number 44 ranked WR and was an all-american selection.
Simi is a great addition, just by a roster standpoint, because the Cardinal has five seniors on this year's team. That just leaves two juniors and one senior on the roster of returning players (not counting the incoming freshmen of the 2015 recruiting class. They are only bringing in two in the class of 2015.) after the 2015-2016 season. Of those three returning players one of them played in the 2014-2015 season. On a pure roster standpoint, signing Simi was the right move, but his intangibles are another reason why this was a great pickup. Simi is 6'3", with great speed. He is outrunning every safety and corner in the state of Utah, while running tight routes. You can teach route running, but you can't teach size and speed. There is really nothing bad to say about this kid, he can run routes, catch, and pin point the ball in the air. He can do it all. He needs to bulk up, but most skill position players need to do that when they go to college. Simi Fehoko is a great pickup because of his intangibles. Check out Simi's highlights courtesy of Hudl:
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Beau Bisharat made a surprising Stanford commitment on May 30th because his father played for Oregon back in the late 70s and early 80s. All the experts said that he was going to be a Duck, but the only voice that mattered committed to be a Cardinal less than a week after he received his offer. In an interview with Rival's Andy Drukarev, Bisharat stated, "...I don't really fit offensively as a running back [at Oregon]". As a 6'2" 210lbs running back, I'd agree with Bisharat in the fact that he does not fit into the Oregon scheme. There have also been reports of saying Oregon was going to put him at linebacker and Bisharat "...wanted to play offense." Among the Oregon offer, Bisharat had other offers from USC, Cal, and Arizona, but these are just three of many more. He is also the number 14 ranked RB and the 41st player in the state of California.
Let me write this disclaimer before we get into dissecting Bisharat's talent. I am a huge fan of RB's who are 6'1" and above. Some examples of my favorite running backs are Derrick Henry (Alabama) and Todd Gurley (Georgia, St. Louis Rams). Ok let us get back to business. From what I've seen, this kid is the full package. He has size, speed, and strength. He himself is a three-headed dragon. The way he can get to the hole and then shed off tackles is astounding. At the 1:07 mark in his Hudl footage, he sheds three tackles and ends up scoring a touchdown. This is just one of numerous times where he has shown his speed and strength. He is a dominant downhill runner with some speed and it shows in his highlight tape. This will be a match made in heaven and I wouldn't be surprised if shared time with Christian McCaffrey his freshman year. Check out Bisharat's highlights courtesy of Hudl:
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Linebacker turned fullback Bailey McElwain announced his commitment to Stanford on June 20th through twitter stating, "I'm Committed! Excited for what's ahead! #CardClass16". McElwain is an interesting commit because he was without a college offer coming into the Stanford camp and after he came out with one from Stanford. He talked to coach Shaw during the camp and as soon as Coach Shaw said he had an offer, McElwain immediately responded by committing right then and there. McElwain commented on the school saying, "...it's so great academically and athletically with football. So it means a lot to me."
As I mentioned before, McElwain is a linebacker in high school and will make the move to fullback when he arrives in Palo Alto. He shows great instincts for the football and finds great holes to penetrate into the backfield. That will surely transfer over to the offensive side of the ball. Finding holes for the running back will be his strength, but sealing them off will be something a bit new. He will need to learn how to lead block especially in a pro style offense, but I am sure he will get reps in his senior year of high school. McElwain will help replace Chris Harrell's spot on the roster and in doing so; he will be a more productive FB. Here are Bailey McElwain's highlights courtesy of Hudl:
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June 25th is the date in which Nate Herbig decided he was going to attend Stanford in the pursuit of a higher education and the pursuit of a higher-level football career. He is an OT recruit from the great state of Hawaii. Reigning from the same high school Marcus Mariota (St. Louis), Herbig is an underrated recruit in his own right. Herbig received scholarship offers from other schools such as Hawaii, UNLV, and Washington State. These schools aren't the programs kids of Herbi's caliber want to play for. Herbig wanted to go to a school "where nothing is handed to me", he goes on to say that he, "wants to work in the classroom and on the field". Stanford is a great school for him to do both.
Herbig is a huge kid weighing in at 320 lbs and standing at 6'4". He might be a rare case of a freshman coming into college and having to lose weight. Losing weight would make him faster so he can pull and get out front of the running back. Also speed can help him make quick movements to pick up linebackers who are in a 3-4 scheme. One great aspect about Herbig's game is his strength. As soon as he locks onto a defender he does not let go. He has great hands and knows where to place them on the defender. Also when linebackers come down from the middle of the field, once they hit Herbig they immediately stop. He hits them with so much force that they cannot run him over or even spin out of the block. Nate Herbig is an underrated talent and will be ready when he is called upon. Here are Nate Herbig's highlights courtesy of Hudl:
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