Stanford opens preseason camp today. Here's a quick look.
Who's back: Eight starters on offense, seven on defense and both specialists
What's new: A lot. Vic Fangio is the Cardinal's new defensive coordinator after spending the previous 24 years coaching in the NFL, including the last four with the Baltimore Ravens. Pep Hamilton is the new receivers coach after spending the last three seasons as quarterbacks coach of the Chicago Bears. The highly respected Randy Hart takes over the defensive line after a year at Notre Dame (his tenure at Washington started with Gil Dobie and lasted through Tyrone Willingham). Derek Mason takes over the secondary after three seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. Brian Polian will coach special teams after spending the previous five campaigns at Notre Dame. Lance Anderson has switched from coaching defensive tackles to LBs.
Key competition: Other than CB Richard Sherman and SS Delano Howell, things are fluid in the secondary. The competition over the lone void on the offensive line -- right tackle -- includes fifth-year senior, Derek Hall, and a sixth-year senior, James McGillicuddy. Coby Fleener and Konrad Reuland will compete at tight end. As for backup QB, redshirt freshmen Robbie Picazo and Josh Nunes are battling, but the athletic Alex Loukas, who's been doubling as a safety, might get the call, if needed.
Breaking out: Owusu seems primed to transform from a fast guy to a deep threat. LB Shayne Skov should take a step forward after an impressive debut as a true freshman. The TE position is stacked, with four guys 6-foot-6 or taller who could do damage. LT Jonathan Martin and RG David DeCastro, both sophomores, are two of the conference's most promising linemen.
Quote: Coach Jim Harbaugh on Luck: “You look at Andrew and you wonder what makes a youngster that good. You know it has some to do with mom, dad, God; he has such talent. He has tremendous arm strength. He is as accurate as any quarterback I’ve seen. He is athletic and can run with the football. He rushed for 400 yards last year. He is a brilliant kid, not just book smart, but also with football."
Notes: The Cardinal has switched to a 3-4 defense, with Thomas Keiser and Chase Thomas switching from defensive end to outside linebackers. ... Marecic will go both ways. He will start at inside linebacker and also see significant action at fullback, his position last year. ... Harbaugh said that senior Jeremy Stewart, though listed second on the depth chart behind Stepfan Taylor, is the top candidate to replace Toby Gerhart at running back. ... Four-time Pro Bowl selection Chester McGlockton will serve as a defensive assistant.