The nation’s 14th-best dual-threat quarterback for the class of 2021 is officially committed to Stanford. Ari Patu made it official when the 6’4, 185-pound QB from Folsom High School committed to the Cardinal on April 14. His family lineage is as impressive as his high school tapes are (so far):
So, now that Patu is in, it seems that Stanford has their QB of the future (after Tanner McKee of course). With the face of the program seemingly set for the next handful of years, it begs the question of who else is joining Patu and McKee for the future, more specifically the class of 2021.
Patu is the only committed player for the class of 2021 so far, and for our purposes here, we’ll rely on those who study high school football recruiting extremely in-depth to nail out who we can expect to see join Patu.
Potentially joining on offense:
Will Shipley — All-Purpose Back, 5-star, 5’11, 198, No. 1 APB (No. 20 overall)
LJ Johnson — Running Back, 4-star, 5’10, 204, No. 4 RB
J.Michael Sturdivant — Wide Receiver, 4-star, 6’2, 183, No. 25 WR
Shield Taylor — Tight End, 3-star, 6’4, 235, No. 14 TE
Owen Prentice — Offensive Guard, 4-star, 6’3, 295, No. 11 G
Shipley is the nation’s top all-purpose back in the 2021 class and needless to say, would be an incredible get for Shaw and Co. on offense. It’s a cross-country trip and a plucking straight out of the Clemson pipeline but you can expect the pressure to stay on the decorated two-sport Shipley from the entire Cardinal coaching staff. He would represent one of the nation’s top players and one of the higher-rated recruits in the David Shaw era.
Check out my junior year highlights https://t.co/USjsFDEQuY— Will Shipley (@willshipley2021) December 24, 2019
Johnson and Sturdivant are top players at their respective positions and both hail from Texas. These would also be incredible gets on their own but plucking a pair of Texas high school standouts from the slew of Texas colleges, would be a feat. Johnson is a bruiser at running back and would add an incredible complimentary piece to a pass-catching back while Sturdivant is a big-framed receiver with a ton of room to grow that would act as a contested-catch and red-zone go-to receiver.
Then there’s Taylor, who has arguably the best first name on the list here. Shield is a three-star tight end with Stanford seemingly as his favored school of choice right now, so get to know the name. He’s another big-framed receiving threat with a ton of athleticism. He plays four sports at Alexandria High School in Louisiana.
Noticeably missing from the offensive ‘warm’ targets is a bevy of offensive linemen so I’d expect to see more offers and more pressure on the targets that we’ll see below as well as some others before the season begins. That being said, Prentice is the nation’s 11th-best guard according to 247Sports and he’s from Seattle, not nearly as far as the other big-name targets so far on offense. Expect Prentice to hear from Offensive Line Coach Kevin Carberry much, much more as we progress into summer.
Potentially joining on defense:
J.T. Tuimoloau — Strong-Side Defensive End, 5-star, 6’4, 277, No. 2 SDE (No. 2 overall)
Aaron Armitage — Strong-Side Defensive End, 4-star, 6’4, 222, No. 16 SDE
Keanu Williams — Strong-Side Defensive End, 4-star, 6’5, 290, No. 20 SDE
Derek Wilkins — Strong-Side Defensive End, 4-star, 6’4, 250, No. 22 SDE
Ethan Calvert — Inside Linebacker, 4-star, 6’3, 230, No. 3 ILB
Mitch Leigber — Safety, 3-star, 6’1, 205, No. 51 S
Julien Simon — Athlete, 4-star, 6’2, 221, No. 5 ATH
Whichever school secures Tuimoloau’s services for the 2021 season and beyond is getting an incredible player. He’d be ranked as the best player at his position if the nation’s top-ranked player wasn’t at his same position. But, looking at it this way, Tuimoloau is actually 247Sports top-ranked player, ahead of Korey Foreman, who represents the consensus No. 1 from all the recruiting sites. Tuimoloau is considered to be a first-round, top-10 type player and is largely expected to play three years and then make the NFL leap after he’s finished his past two high school seasons with 18 sacks and a bevy of tackles for loss. He’s a two-sport star athlete who averages a double-double in basketball and is a top-notch tight end as well as versatile pass-rusher on the defensive line.
The ‘Crystal Ball’ predicts Stanford in the top five but has Tuimoloau leaning towards either Ohio State or Washington when it’s all said and done but Stanford is still largely in the race.
Aside from Tuimoloau, the Cardinal are hot on the trails of Armitage, Williams and Wilkins to join the interior of the defense on the line. Armitage is the only out-of-state prospect of that trio, hailing from Blairstown, New Jersey, as he’s the second-best player overall in the Garden State. Williams and Wilkins are from Clovis and Santa Margarita, respectively, and are considered heavy leans to stay in state, and potentially commit to Stanford. Wilkins has certainly seen pressure applied from both Diron Reynolds and Tavita Pritchard while Williams has apparently narrowed down his list with Stanford one of the finalists.
Narrowing down this decision is coming quick!!!!— Keanu “Kdub” Williams (@1k_kdub7) April 12, 2020
Wilkins also recently retweeted and reacted to the Patu commitment with his own take on the matter. I think it’s just being supportive of in-state players, but hey, anyone can read into anything, right?
So then there’s Calvert and Leigber on the defensive side of the ball left as players considered ‘warm’ to Stanford. Calvert is from Oaks Christian and is ranked nationally as the third-best inside linebacker by 247Sports. He’s a missle to the football and can also drop back extremely well in coverage as he used to play safety while his style of play draws comparisons of Brian Cushing. Probably important to note here that his brothers play at UCLA (Bo Calvert) and Washington (Josh Calvert).
Leigber would fill an instant need at the safety position as the depth is growing thin and you’d expect to see more safeties feeling pressure from the coaching staff.
Rounding out the list is Simon, considered the nation’s No. 5 overall athlete and 100th-best prospect across the states. He’s been recruited heavily by Stanford, perhaps because of his versatility and potential to fill multiple roles if called upon. He projects as a Myles Jack type player who can play running back or receiver on offense and linebacker or safety on defense. That kind of versatility should be heavily sought after.
Other offers, but considered ‘cold’ to Stanford:
Prophet Brown — Running Back, 4-star, 5’11, 180, No. 23 RB
Emeka Egbuka — Wide Receiver, 5-star, 6’1, 190, No. 1 WR (No. 9 overall)
Moliki Matavao — Tight End, 4-star, 6’6, 240, No. 4 TE
Tommy Brockermeyer — Offensive Tackle, 5-star, 6’6, 283, No. 1 OT (No. 4 overall)
Nolan Rucci — Offensive Tackle, 5-star, 6’8, 289, No. 2 OT (No. 13 overall)
Kingsley Suamataia — Offensive Tackle, 4-star, 6’5, 280, No. 9 OT (No. 64 overall)
Bram Walden — Offensive Tackle, 4-star, 6’4, 270, No. 14 OT
Matthew Wykoff — Offensive Tackle, 3-star, 6’5, 304, No. 33 OT
Bryce Foster — Offensive Guard, 4-star, 6’4, 330, No. 4 OG (No. 68 overall)
Drew Kendall — Offensive Guard, 4-star, 6’4, 255, No. 6 OG
Dallas Turner — Weak-Side Defensive End, 4-star, 6’4, 235, No. 6 WDE
Quintin Somerville — Strong-Side Defensive End, 4-star, 6’2, 230, No. 7 SDE
Jahvaree Ritzie — Strong-Side Defensive End, 4-star, 6’4, 274, No. 14 SDE
Colin Mobley — Strong-Side Defensive End, 3-star, 6’4, 245, No. 31 SDE
Smael Mondon — Outside Linebacker, 5-star, 6’3, 220, No. 2 OLB (No. 24 overall)
Barrett Carter — Outside Linebacker, 4-star, 6’1, 220, No. 4 OLB (No. 54 overall)
Terrence Cooks — Outside Linebacker, 3-star, 6’2, 210, No. 31 OLB
Kahanu Kia — Outside Linebacker, 3-star, 6’2, 205, No. 65 OLB
Tony Grimes — Cornerback, 5-star, 6’0, 180, No. 1 CB (No. 7 overall)
Ceyair Wright — Cornerback, 4-star, 6’1, 175, No. 6 CB
Jimmy Wrick — Cornerback, 3-star, 5’9, 152, No. 36 CB
Tysheem Johnson — Safety, 4-star, 5’10, 190, No. 15 S
Donovan McMillon — Safety, 3-star, 6’2, 193, No. 25 S
Jaden Slocum — Safety, 3-star, 6’2, 193, No. 29 S
There we have it. These are just the potentials as of mid-April and you can be sure we’ll be following up on these players listed as well as any new developments to the class of 2021 for your Cardinal!