Pac-12: Blake Lueders

Unlike last year, there is no quarterback competition at Stanford. But the recently released post-spring depth chart does reveal some potentially interesting developments to eye-ball heading into fall.

Starting on offense -- there are only two running backs listed -- Anthony Wilkerson "or" Tyler Gaffney as the starter. Both are trying to replace three-time 1,000-yard rusher Stepfan Taylor, though it's widely believed the Cardinal will take more of a committee approach than they did last year, when Taylor led the Pac-12 with 322 carries. There is plenty of depth, albeit mostly inexperienced, behind Gaffney and Wilkerson.

Also of note offensively is the addition of Kevin Danser on the depth chart at center. He's slated to start at right guard, though there is also an "or" separating Khalil Wilkes, Conor McFadden and Danser at center. It will be interesting to watch in the fall if Danser continues to get work at center. And if he wins the job, it would allow the Cardinal to insert Josh Garnett into the starting rotation at guard. That would give the Cardinal a starting front of Andrus Peat (LT), David Yankey (LG), Danser (C), Garnett (RG) and Cam Fleming (RT).

With the news of Josh Nunes' retirement yesterday, Evan Crower is locked in as the backup to Kevin Hogan and, for now, Devon Cajuste looks like he'll start opposite Ty Montgomery at receiver.

Fullback Geoff Meinken also announced he'll retire after struggling to return from a knee injury that kept him out of 2012.

At tight end -- Stanford's go-to receiving position the last couple of years -- Luke Kaumatule and Davis Dudchock are separated by an "or." However both will probably get a ton of work in Stanford's two-tight-end sets.

Defensively, there are only two "ors" on the depth chart. Henry Anderson and Josh Mauro have a good competition going at defensive and Blake Lueders and James Vaughters are undecided at the outside linebacker spot to release Chase Thomas. Though the Cardinal rotate backers and defensive linemen so frequently that "starter" is more of an honorary title.

Worth noting also that Devon Carrington, who has spent his career at safety, is also listed as a backup with Usua Amanam at right cornerback behind Wayne Lyons. Amanam is Stanford's go-to nickelback and Carrington is also backing up Ed Reynolds.

Looking at the specialists, up for grabs is the punter, which could go to either Ben Rhyne or Conrad Ukropina. Montgomery looks set at kick return while it's a four-way race between him, Kodi Whitfield, Keanu Nelson and Barry Sanders to return punts.

You can see the complete depth chart here and interpret it as you see fit.
"I'd rather be myself," he said. "Myself and nasty. Not somebody else, however jolly.”

Pac-10 recruiting wrap: Stanford

February, 4, 2010
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Stanford signed a class of 22 that ranked 18th in the nation and featured three players ranked among the ESPNU 150.

Coach Jim Harbaugh was pleased, to say the least.

"The afterburners have ignited, and we are excited for the talented and ambitious newcomers who have made the decision to come to Stanford," he said. "Across all positions, this signing class is full of playmakers that possess athleticism and explosiveness that will help us reach multiple Pac-10 championships and a national championship."

Golly.

Top prospects: Defensive end Blake Lueders, a former Notre Dame commit, leads a class that should bolster the Cardinal defense. Harbaugh compared him to Brian Urlacher. Safety Devon Carrington should immediately compete for playing time. Harbaugh was able to lure quarterback Brett Nottingham away from a UCLA commitment.

Under the radar: Offensive lineman Dillon Bonnell is expected to be ready this fall after missing the 2009 season due to a knee injury.

Issues? The class took a hit when committed linebacker Jordan Zumwalt opted to sign with UCLA. Linebacker was a need area and the class didn't include one who was highly rated. Two other committed players signed elsewhere: cornerback Louis Young (Maryland) and running back Brandon Bourbon (Kansas). It will be interesting to see who ends up at cornerback, a position in which the Cardinal need an athletic upgrade.

Notes: Quarterback Dallas Lloyd is expected to go on a Mormon mission and won't enroll until 2012 ... Harbaugh said his father, Jack, won't stay on staff as running backs coach, a position the elder Harbaugh served in during the Sun Bowl ... The class features athletes from 12 states.

Hart turns double agent for Stanford

January, 25, 2010
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Stanford has not officially announced that Randy Hart is its new defensive line coach, but Hart already appears to be contributing in a big way.

Start with recruiting.

Hart, Washington's longtime defensive line coach, worked for Charlie Weis at Notre Dame in 2009. He helped recruit Blake Lueders, a 6-foot-5, 250-pound defensive end prospect from Zionsville, Ind.

Guess where Lueders wants to go now?

This from the South Bend Tribune story:
Tom Lemming, CBS recruiting analyst, called the loss a "major blow" for the Irish.

"He just had (Stanford coaches) Brian Polian and Randy Hart in his house (Sunday)," Lemming said. "Along with Jim Harbaugh they were coming (Sunday)."

Polian and Hart were on Notre Dame's staff under Charlie Weis this past season. Polian, the special team's coordinator, had just completed his fifth season with the Irish when Weis was fired. Hart had been the defensive line coach for the Irish this past season only.

"Obviously, they weren't doing Notre Dame any favors," Lemming said.
More on Lueders' decision here.

Hart has plenty of Pac-10 experience, just read his Washington bio here.

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