Despite only currently having nine commits so far, Stanford’s 2017 recruiting class does not lack quality. The group is headlined by the nation’s number one quarterback, Davis Mills, and by the offensive line duo of Foster Sarell and Walker Little. All three young men are five stars, but the Cardinal class does not stop there; Stanford has a few four stars committed, including the nation’s top tight end, Colby Parkinson. Still, Stanford has plenty of spots that need to be filled. Which other players might land with Stanford, and where could Stanford football be in two to three years?
So far, Stanford has solidified their future offense. Aside from the players mentioned above, Stanford also have four star running back Sione Lund and four star receiver Osiris St. Brown. Stanford has a player at every key position on offense, and now just look to add depth. For example, four star athlete Connor Wedington would be a great addition to the offense. In high school, Wedington played like an all-purpose running back in high school and would be a great complement alongside Lund’s power style running. However, Stanford’s biggest needs left in the 2017 class lie on the defensive side of the ball.
At the moment, Stanford has one defensive commit in the 2017 class, Stuard Head, a three star safety from Georgia. Stanford’s 2017 class undoubtedly requires more players on defense. (**Update: 3-star DT Dalyn Wade-Perry committed to Stanford**) Specifically, Stanford has to find players for the front seven after many secondary players have arrived on the Farm in recent years. Last year, Stanford convinced plenty of defensive tackles and five star outside linebacker, Curtis Robinson, to sign with the Cardinal, but this year, Stanford might be in trouble on defense. Looking at 247 Sports, there aren’t many top defensive players interested in Stanford. David Shaw and Lance Anderson will need to work quickly to change players minds on the front seven. If Stanford can convince, a few top defensive ends, inside linebackers, and an outside linebacker, there defense could be as deadly as their offense in a few years. However, as of now, it doesn’t seem like Stanford will get any top players from those positions.
Looking forward, Stanford could be competing in the playoff within a few years. Offensively, Stanford will most likely find a star quarterback between either Keller Chryst, K.J. Costello, or Davis Mills. Plus, whoever is behind center will have a fantastic line protecting them. Foster Sarell and Walker Little will be outstanding at the tackle position, and Nate Herbig proved himself as Stanford’s guard moving forward. Furthermore, Stanford’s line will not only protect the quarterback, but they will open up running lanes for years to come. Bryce Love still has time left on the Farm, and he will benefit tremendously from the incoming freshman. Besides Love, Stanford’s quarterback will have plenty of options in the passing game. Currently, Trent Irwin and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside are only sophomores, and in recent years, a handful of top high school tight ends have become a part of the Cardinal family. Stanford’s offense should be extremely productive in years to come.
Defensively, there is more of a time constrain. Currently, the defense is compromised of mostly underclassmen, and with no incoming defensive studs, Stanford only has about two years before their core starts leaving. The secondary in two years will be unbelievable as most starters this year were sophomores. Meanwhile, the front seven has a cloudy future. Solomon Thomas was the rock of the defensive front, and with him leaving, someone needs to take leadership. Former five star Curtis Robinson should be that guy; he’s a very talented player and has up to three years left at Stanford. Secondly, current starters Joey Alfieri and Bobby Okereke will most likely remain at Stanford for another two years and only get better. Still, Stanford will need to find solutions at defensive end. The defense has two years before there’s a major drop off.
Two years from now, Stanford could be competing for the national title. At that time, Bryce Love will be a senior and the star of Stanford’s offense. Secondly, Stanford will undoubtedly find a star quarterback between three top high school recruits, and that quarterback will have multiple options to throw too. Then, there’s the offensive line, which will be a scary threat for opponents. Stanford’s offense has a bright future, but defensively, Stanford has some concern. The secondary has proven themselves, but the front seven has not. Two years from now, Stanford’s defense won’t be outstanding but will still be dependable.
Stanford may have had a down year in 2016, but the future looks bright. Get excited Stanford fans.
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