Football season is just around the corner, and Stanford Athletics has released the 2016 roster and staff. Of course, the roster includes freshman that we have yet to see, and seniors that have been at Stanford for the past four years, but included in that list are some familiar faces that will be taking on a different role in 2016.
5th year senior Luke Kaumatule has jumped around from position to position during his time at Stanford. As a freshman, he was a tight end, and as a sophomore, he transitioned to defensive end mid-way through the season, a position he stayed in until the end of his junior year. Last season, Kaumatule practiced as an outside linebacker, but redshirted so that he could further develop his game. To wrap up his college career, Kaumatule will be playing defensive end.
Another player we'll be seeing in a new role is redshirt senior Eric Cotton. He was recruited as a four star tight end, but converted to defensive end for his senior year. He had seven catches for 128 yards and a touchdown as a redshirt freshman, but the coaching staff decided his services were more necessary on the defensive line.
Redshirt senior Taijuan Thomas will also be switching positions to one he has played before. In high school, Thomas was a wide receiver, and when he arrived at Stanford, he switched over to being a cornerback. Next season he will be a wide receiver once again. Thomas will be sporting a new jersey as well, going from #6 to #13.
Thomas is not the only player changing numbers. Redshirt senior Frank Buncom, who is on the secondary, will be going from #22 to #5. Cameron Scarlett, who is also a redshirt sophomore, will be going from #25 to #22. (Interestingly, Scarlett is taking Remound Wright's old number, and possibly his role on the team as the short yardage back).
One player even graduated from the playing field to the coaching staff. For the past four years, Miller has been the starting long snapper. Although he has used up all of eligibility as a player, Miller is now on the team as a graduate assistant. Just like their names describe, graduate assistants are graduate students that help out the team in multiple ways. Miller is a Special Teams Assistant, and his help will only strengthen the already great special teams crew. He can relate to the players, has a lot of recent playing experience, and received Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mentions for three consecutive years.
Knowing about changes in the roster is useful, as it prepares us for the season ahead. There are less than four weeks until the season kicks off at Stanford Stadium, and excitement and anticipation will surely be in the air as the 2016 team takes on the field.