With the recent verbal commitment of Alabama rising junior Jack West, Stanford secured its fourth elite quarterback commit since the 2014 recruiting cycle.
The jewel of that class was Keller Chryst, a 6'4" howitzer whom it now seems appropriate to call the prototypical Stanford quarterback. He was followed by fellow 4-star KJ Costello in the 2016 class, newly anointed 5-star Davis Mills in 2017, and now West in 2018. All four are over 6'2" and only Mills weighed under 200 pounds at the time of his commitment. All have strong arms and at least moderate mobility, which makes sense given the emphasis Stanford places on the deep ball and rollouts.
In the following vine, Costello demonstrates the kind of touch and manipulation that makes a great deep passer.
And here he demonstrates the vocal pitch required for an effective hard count.
(Most people don't realize that endzone celebrations are also effective instruments of evaluation.)
Mills, meanwhile, has the rare strength and coordination to realign his shoulders and make this deep throw on the move.
These are traits that translate to higher levels of play, and they show why Costello and Mills are such good fits for the Cardinal offense.
In maintaining an elite program, it is critical to know exactly what kind of athlete you want on your team. Quarterback recruiting goes beyond that. Your quarterback is the face of your program and most important figure in your locker room by default.
The importance of "culture fits" isn't just coach speak. It is tough to judge personality from afar (although Costello certainly strikes one as the "passionate leader" type) but we know that Stanford's recruiting process is largely shaped by its academic standards, which in the past led them to pursue Robert Griffin III and Jameis Winston. Stanford missed on those two, but it has still secured commitments from three top ten QBs (according to scout.com rankings) in the last four years, putting it in the company of fellow elite QB recruiters Texas, Texas A&M, USC, UCLA, Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State.
The long tenure of Kevin Hogan on campus has kept a lid on the accruing talent at the quarterback position, so we don't yet know what the results of this process will be. But right now, Stanford is recruiting the game's most important position at a truly elite level.