Projected 2013 Depth Chart

Jeff Trojan adds depth to a crucial group for SU

Let's indulge in a pleasant fantasy and pretend that the 2013 season kicked off this Saturday. After speaking with the coaching staff, The Bootleg has a comprehensive, way-too-early Stanford depth chart (including incoming recruits) that should help visualize the Cardinal's position battles.


Note: An asterisk indicates an incoming freshman recruit not yet on campus.

Quarterback
1 - Kevin Hogan
2 - Josh Nunes (inj.)
3 - Evan Crower
4 - Dallas Lloyd
Other Depth: David Olson, Ryan Burns*
Notes: A "freak" workout injury will sideline Josh Nunes for the entire spring. Shaw has seemed to indicate that Crower is next in line, while Lloyd is also positioning himself after a fine season leading the scout team.

Running Back
1 - Anthony Wilkerson
2 - Tyler Gaffney
3 - Remound Wright
4 - Ricky Seale
5 - Barry Sanders
6 - Jackson Cummings
Notes: Shaw emphasized that the competition in Stanford's backfield is different than the norm. Each back -- from Wilkerson to Seale, Wright and even Barry Sanders -- presents unique strengths that suggest the Cardinal will platoon the position. Gaffney's rugged nature and versatility thrusts him right back into the top of the bunch, but up to five of these players could see considerable playing time.

Wide Receiver
1 - Ty Montgomery
2 - Devon Cajuste
3 - Kodi Whitfield
4 - Francis Owusu*
5 - Michael Rector
6 - Conner Crane
7 - Jordan Pratt
8 - Dontonio Jordan
Other Depth: John Flacco, Gautam Krishnamurthi, Rollins Stallworth, Jeff Trojan
Notes: Assistant coach Mike Sanford told me that the staff is particularly excited about its receiving corps in 2013. There is a genuine sense of optimism regarding the abilities of several emerging young talents. Owusu is a stud who has the potential to make an early impact. Whitfield is considered to be the most complete talent of the youngsters, while Rector's sheer speed can potentially complement Crane's 6-4 height and work ethic. Sanford says Cajuste is a "mismatch waiting to happen."

Tight End
1 - Luke Kaumatule
2 - Davis Dudchock
3 - Alex Frkovic
4 - Charlie Hopkins
Other Depth: Eddie Plantaric, Chris Harrell, Eric Cotton*, Austin Hooper*, Greg Taboada*
Notes: Hopkins and Plantaric were recently moved from the defensive line to provide beef and depth, at least for the spring. The staff is bullish on Kaumatule's prospects, but the rest of this group is filled with larger question marks. For this reason, all three true freshmen listed as "Other Depth" have a shot to make noise here. Dudchock must improve his blocking, while Frkovic must establish himself returning from injury.

Speedsters
1 - Kelsey Young
2 - Barry Sanders
3 - Taijuan Thomas*
4 - Keanu Nelson
Notes: As his 2012 fly sweep activity will attest, Young is too versatile to be simply categorized as a wide receiver. He fills a versatile position of his own, one that Stanford must utilize more thoroughly in 2013. Young's game-changing speed adds a new dimension to the Stanford offense. Theoretically, Sanders and Nelson can also fit into Young's role as reserves, but assuming he isn't moved to cornerback, freshman Taijuan Thomas features potential perimeter versatility.

H-Back
1 - Dillon Bonnell
2 - Kyle Murphy
Notes: Ever since 307-pound James McGillicuddy lined up in the backfield, Stanford has gone large at the H-Back position. Bonnell manned the role in 2012, but Murphy is versatile enough to drop down from tackle for a down or two as well.

Fullback
1 - Ryan Hewitt
2 - Geoff Meinken
3 - Lee Ward
4 - Pat Skov
Notes: The staff wants to keep Hewitt at fullback, but expect his role in the passing game to increase anyway given Stanford's departures at tight end. This is one of the Cardinal's deepest position groups, with Meinken's return expected to add even more bruising physicality.

Left Tackle
1 - Andrus Peat
2 - Kyle Murphy
3 - Brendon Austin
4 - Nick Davidson
Notes: Along with the center battle, this will be Stanford's most intriguing position war. Peat's size and 2012 experience make him the frontrunner, but Murphy is also developing into an elite player. Austin and Davidson have both made great strides in Shannon Turley's workout program.

Left Guard
1 - David Yankey
2 - Kevin Danser/Joshua Garnett (whoever loses starting RG battle)
3 - Johnny Caspers
4 - Cole Underwood
Other Depth: Dave Bright*, Brian Moran
Notes: Shaw says that he "needs" Yankey at guard, where he is a masterful pull blocker. Cole Underwood will be returning from a season-ending knee injury, while Caspers will be one of Stanford's immensely strengthened and improved sophomores.

Center
1 - Khalil Wilkes
2 - Conor McFadden
3 - Kevin Reihner
4 - Graham Shuler
Other Depth: Thomas Oser*
Notes: Experience and command of the playbook are vital for the Stanford offense, so Wilkes -- who has competed for the center job twice already -- is The Bootleg's early favorite in another intriguing position battle.

Right Guard
T-1 - Kevin Danser
T-1 - Joshua Garnett
3 - Johnny Caspers
4 - Cole Underwood
Other Depth: Dave Bright*, Brian Moran
Notes: Danser developed beautifully in 2012, but so did Garnett. Will one of 2013's super sophomores force his way into the starting role at right guard? It's too soon to tell, but one thing is certain: Stanford will certainly be using extra offensive linemen again so that its abundance of beef at the position does not rot on the sideline.

Right Tackle
1 - Cameron Fleming
2 - Kyle Murphy
3 - Cole Underwood
4 - Nick Davidson
Notes: Murphy's polish and versatility make him the perfect first man off the bench while older players remain in front of him. Never discount the possibility of such a strong lineman starting his sophomore year, though. Fleming will almost certainly get the nod as a senior, but Murphy can give him a good push.

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Defensive Tackle
1 - David Parry
2 - Ikenna Nwafor
3 - Lance Callihan
4 - Anthony Hayes
5 - Nate Lohn
Notes: Part One of The Bootleg's Defensive Development Report highlighted the excellent progress that Stanford's young interior defensive linemen made in 2012, particularly Ikenna Nwafor. Parry is the established force here, but once Nwafor is through one more offseason of rugged conditioning, don't be surprised if he sees considerable 2013 action.

Defensive End (two starters)
1 - Ben Gardner
2 - Henry Anderson
3 - Josh Mauro
4 - Aziz Shittu
5 - Jordan Watkins
Other Depth: J.B. Salem, Sam Shober, Alex Yazdi, Mike Tyler*
Notes: Stanford is packed with talent at this position. Watkins should be physically ready to complement Shittu in Randy Hart's rotation. The key here (especially against Oregon) will be maintained freshness, and the Cardinal certainly look to have the talent and depth to achieve that.

Outside Linebacker (two starters)
1 - Trent Murphy
2 - James Vaughters
3 - Blake Lueders
4 - Kevin Anderson
5 - Noor Davis
Other Depth: Torsten Rotto, Mike Tyler*
Notes: Vaughters is moving back to his natural outside linebacker position to create perhaps the most intriguing Stanford defensive battle. Along with Lueders, who's returning from shoulder injury, Vaughters is the favorite to line up opposite Murphy. Never discount Anderson, though. If Davis successfully overcomes his freshman conditioning rough patch, he's also an immediate candidate to vault up the depth chart.

Inside Linebacker (two starters)
1 - Shayne Skov
2 – A.J. Tarpley
3 - Jarek Lancaster
4 - Blake Martinez
5 - Joe Hemschoot
Other Depth: Kevin Palma*, Peter Kalambayi*, Craig Jones, Sam Yules
Notes: The Stanford medical staff envisions Skov becoming even better than he was before his injury, and such strides would bode well for Stanford. Lancaster is a stalwart who should see extensive time, while defensive coordinator Derek Mason has promised that Martinez will provide serious competition inside.

Free Safety
1 - Ed Reynolds
2 - Devon Carrington
3 - Drew Madhu
4 - Chris Gaertner
Notes: Reynolds' excellence is undisputed, while Carrington's speed makes him a must-use asset in immediate depth. Mason has been thrilled about Madhu's development, even insinuating that the incoming sophomore has the best hands of the secondary. Stanford is deep here. That's a trend with this defense.

Strong Safety
1 - Jordan Richards
2 - Zach Hoffpauir
3 - Kyle Olugbode
Notes: The quantum leap Richards made between 2011 and 2012 makes one salivate in anticipation of his 2013 season. The ultra-competitive Hoffpauir has the instincts and desire to make an impact right behind him as Stanford's secondary tries to keep its foot on the gas. The unit racked up 15 interceptions on the 2012 season, more than double 2011's paltry total of six. It defensed 84 passes, up from 55 in 2011, and broke up 69 - an improvement of 21.

Cornerback (two starters)
1 - Alex Carter
2 - Wayne Lyons
3 - Barry Browning (inj.)
4 - Ra'Chard Pippens
Other Depth - Taijuan Thomas*
Notes: Carter, a rising true sophomore, has the potential to be one of the best in the conference. Meanwhile, the battle for Stanford's second cornerback spot will be fun to track. Lyons would seem to be the favorite, particularly with Browning undergoing a "minor procedure" that may make him miss the entirety of spring ball. That may allow Pippens an opportunity to climb up the depth chart and possibly even prompt Ronnie Harris to move from nickel back (speculation at this point). Thomas' spot has yet to be determined.

Nickel Back
1 - Usua Amanam
2 - Ronnie Harris
Notes: Amanam is the man here, but Harris' play in reserve duty last year may earn him expanded looks at other defensive back positions. His role will be one of the interesting wrinkles to watch this spring.

Long Snapper
1- Reed Miller
2- Austin Tubbs

Kicker
1 - Jordan Williamson
2 - Conrad Ukropina
3 - Spencer Summers

Punter
1 - Ben Rhyne
2 - Jordan Williamson

Stanford begins spring practice February 25. Let the games begin.

Offensive Development Report: Part 1 (Winning the Chess Match)
Offensive Development Report: Part 2 (All Positions)
Defensive Development Report: Part 1 (Interior Line)
Defensive Development Report: Part 2 (DE, LB)
Defensive Development Report: Part 3 (Secondary)




David Lombardi is the Stanford Insider for The Bootleg and FOX Sports Next. Check him out at www.davidlombardisports.com.


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