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Stanford football 2016: Previewing the Cardinal Secondary

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Stanford’s secondary is loaded with talent

NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Stanford vs Iowa Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Stanford’s secondary will be the best defensive group for Stanford in 2016. They only lose Ronnie Harris and Kodi Whitfield, but Stanford has plenty of players to replace last year’s veterans. Alijah Holder, Quenton Meeks, Dallas Lloyd, and Zach Hoffpauir are all possible options but the list goes on. Stanford’s secondary will have incredible depth in 2016 and will have the potential to be one of the best secondaries in the league.

Last year, Holder and Meeks both had breakout seasons, and both should flourish on the field this year. Holder played consistently all year as a redshirt freshman that was highlighted by a pick six against UCLA. Heading into the 2016 season, Alijah was named to to the Athlon All Pac-12 preseason third team. Meanwhile, Quenton Meeks led the team with three interceptions as a true freshman. Meeks made big plays when it mattered, and he should be able to do that again in 2016. Holder and Meeks will be young cornerbacks in 2016, but they should be a reliable pair.

At the safety positions, Dallas Lloyd returns as a fifth year senior, and Zach Hoffpauir is coming back to the farm after a year playing pro baseball. Both Lloyd and Hoffpauir will be the most experienced in the entire secondary, and they’ll need to step up as team leaders. In 2015, Lloyd was the primary strong safety, but in 2014, Hoffpauir started at strong safety. There’s no way either one will be left off the field, so one will have to switch to free safety, which shouldn’t be too much of a challenge. In 2016, Lloyd and Hoffpauir will bring needed experience to the secondary; however more importantly, Lloyd and Hoffpauir both enter their final season which should be their best ones yet.

Stanford’s secondary is great because of their depth. Holder, Meeks, Lloyd and Hoffpauir are not the only names for Stanford. There are so many more. Alameen Murphy played well last year. Unfortunately, he got injured during the spring, but he’s back and ready to go. Terrence Alexander has improved tremendously since the end of last season. Justin Reid has played the most out of the young safeties, but Ben Edwards has got his fair share of playing time as well. Frank Buncom IV should also be in the mix for playing time after redshirting last year. Competing for playing time, everyone is a good option, and this competition will only help as it will push players to get better.

Last year, Stanford’s secondary was very young and inexperienced. This year, players will have learned from last year’s mistakes and be ready for unexpected challenges. All signs point to a improved secondary with only one question mark heading into 2016. Who will receive playing time? With so much depth, be ready for Stanford’s secondary to rebound this year and turn into one of the best in the Pac-12.

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