As National Signing Day approaches Stanford's class becomes more and more cemented. As of right now the class consists of 19 recruits and Stanford should look to expand to 21 or 22 recruits. In this article, we will dive down on the 19 recruits Stanford has and who they need to round out this class.
Who Does Stanford Have?
Stanford has done a great job filling their 2016 class. They have recruited well in their home state of California and also in Texas. This is the positional breakdown of who is committed to Stanford.
• Quarterback (K.J. Costello, Brent Peus III [walk-on], Jack Richardson [walk-on])
• Running Back/Full Back (Trevor Speights, Bailey McElwain)
• Wide Receiver (Simi Fehoko, Paxton Segina, Harry Schwartz [walk-on])
• Tight End (Loa Kaufusi, Kaden Smith, Scooter Harrington)
• Offensive Line (Henry Hattis, Clark Yarbrough)
• Defensive Back (Malik Antoine, Treyjohn Butler)
• Line Backer (Curtis Robinson)
• Defensive Line (Bo Peek, Mike Williams, Jovan Swann, Thomas Schaffer)
• Specialists (Jet Toner, Richard McNitzkey)
As you can see Stanford has recruits that cover all of the positions on the field. They even have specialists, which is mind boggling. The running backs section looks a little week because of losing two recruits due to unforeseen circumstances, but Speights is a great back and will benefit from the others departure. Having two tight-ends commit to this class is also a huge win for Stanford. After Austin Hooper's decision to leave and Kaden Smith's torn ACL, being able to stop the bleeding with Kaufusi Harrington is big. But not everything about this class is a cause for celebration. In the next section, Stanford's recruiting class will be dissected even further.
What does Stanford Need?
The list above is pretty complete. Adding three quarterbacks is nice, two tight ends replacing one, and adding four new defensive linemen to replace five that have moved on. Even though Coach Shaw has done a good job, there is still more work to be done.
Wide Receiver: As of right now Paxton Segina is the only wide receiver on a scholarship that will be coming to Stanford immediately after high school. Simi Fehoko will be taking a two-year mission right after high school so he won't actually be available to play until the 2018-2019 campaign. This is a huge downer, but it is good Schwartz is walking on to help out the wide receiving corp. Stanford will need to add another wide receiver before it finalizes the 2016 class.
Offensive Line: This offseason four key offensive linemen, Joshua Garnett, Johnny Caspers, Graham Schuler, and Kyle Murphy, will be either graduating or pursuing other career options. All four of these linemen were starters in the 2015-2016 season and they were on either 1st team Pac-12 or on the honorable mention team. Also there will be one other offensive lineman leaving the team due to graduation. This is a major hit to the Cardinal for the next season. Not only are the four starting linemen leaving, but also some depth behind them. As of right now Stanford only has two incoming freshmen committed. Stanford is netting negative three in the offensive line category. Needless to say, this is not very good.
Linebacker: Blake Martinez and Kevin Anderson have done great jobs the past four years at Stanford and it will be a changing of the guard. Curtis Robinson and the rest of the Stanford linebackers will have huge steps to fill. But let's first address the obvious, there is only one linebacker commit in the class of 2016. One. Robinson is a great linebacker who can play outside line, or inside, but they will still need more than him. One idea is moving Bailey McElwain to linebacker. The coaching staff and him have not talked about it yet, but Bailey played linebacker in high school, so that could still be an option. Adding one more linebacker is key if McElwain stays at fullback.
Who can fill these spots?
WR Donald Stewart: Stewart is probably the most likely candidate to sign with Stanford on National Signing Day. He is a 3-star product from Paramous Catholic High School (NJ) who visited over the weekend of the 15th. Stewart is pretty much 50-50 on either Stanford and Michigan.
OG Nate Herbig: Remember him? Herbig committed over the summer and then a few weeks ago decommited. Well if you don't remember him, we can refresh a bit. Herbig is from the state of Hawaii and attended the same school as Marcus Mariota, St. Louis High School. Herbig is absolutely massive standing at 6-4 and weighing in at 320 lbs. This could be a prodigal son story between Herbig and Stanford.
OG Dylan Powell: Powell is another good guard on Stanford's radar. He is a 3-star product out of Hannibal, MO who has been one of the trendier guards the last few weeks. Powell was just extended a scholarship last week because he had been previously committed to Purdue. Powell is looking into Virginia Tech, Iowa State, and Stanford as his top three schools. Powell will be visiting VT and Stanford the same weekend, but he still wants to commit a couple of days earlier than National Signing Day.
OLB Jeffrey McCulloch: The Shark, as he calls himself, might be a long shot. McCulloch is the 4th best outside linebacker in the class of 2016 and the 11th ranked recruit in Texas. McCulloch would be a welcomed addition to bolster up the linebacker crew in this class and the linebacker position in general. McCulloch will be deciding on February 3rd, National Signing Day.
Don't be surprised if....
• Mike Williams flips to Texas. Williams is a soft commit; it is what David Long Jr. was when he committed to the Card. He took an official visit to Austin just this past weekend and seemed to have a great time.
• Obi Eboh flips from Texas to Stanford. Obi is a cornerback from Texas and was recently offered from Stanford. He took his official visit during Big Visit weekend and made impressions on the current Stanford commits. Just this past weekend, Eboh decommited from Texas and it seems all signs point to Cardinal red. Eboh is a four-star recruit and he would be a huge gain to the class since the departures of three defensive backs.
• Andrew Pryts flips from Penn State. Pryts is an under the radar recruit. He visited the same time as Eboh, the 15th. Pryts is a safety out of Pennsylvania and has been committed to PSU since late August. Since the departure of defensive coordinator, Bob Shoop, Pryts has been shopping his talents around. Pryts would also be a welcome defensive back to a class that only has two committed.