Thoughts on the depth chart

August, 27, 2012
8/27/12
11:00
AM ET
Stanford coach David Shaw released his first depth chart of the season in anticipation of Friday's matchup with San Jose State. We all know that depth charts -- especially with a team that can play up to nine offensive linemen in a game -- can be pretty flimsy. But there are still a few things of note.

Some thoughts:

Offense
  • It looks like we're probably going to see Andrus Peat and/or Kyle Murphy at some point at left tackle. David Yankey is listed as the starter, but he's also listed as the starter at left guard. Best guess is the frosh get some quality time the first two weeks.
  • Kevin Danser appears to have secured the spot for now at right guard. He was one of those extra linemen last year that saw a lot of time.
  • Levine Toilolo or Zach Ertz are listed as starters at tight end. That's not a commentary on one or the other. Both will start and both are fantastic.
  • Brett Nottingham, as expected, is listed as the backup quarterback. Though Shaw has said he'll need to fight to keep that spot behind starter Josh Nunes.
  • Fullback Ryan Hewitt isn't listed on the two-deep, but talking with someone in the know, this is just a reflection of his ankle injury. He'll likely be a game-time decision, though resting it for another week wouldn't be a terrible thing. UPDATED at 12:07 PT: Shaw said Hewitt will be out for the San Jose State game... so that settles that. Better to have him well rested, get some looks against Duke and be 100 percent for the USC game.
Defense
  • Henry Anderson looks to be the new starter on the defensive line. You may recall his fleet-footed fumble return against San Jose State last year.
  • Interesting to see James Vaughters as the starter ahead of Jarek Lancaster -- last year's team leader in tackles -- starting alongside A.J. Tarpley. Curious to see what happens when Shayne Skov comes back, whether it will be Skov and Vaughters, or Skov and Tarpley. Lots of good rotation at the position, though.
  • Terrence Brown and Barry Browning are listed ahead of Alex Carter and Wayne Lyons, respectively. Wonder how long it will be before we see those flip-flopped -- or if we even will this season.
Special Teams
  • Ty Montgomery will handle kick returns and Drew Terrell -- quietly one of the best in the conference last year -- will handle punt returns.
  • The Cardinal finally have a new long snapper. It felt like Andrew Fowler had been playing college football since the Clinton Administration, so keep an eye on Reed Miller.
  • Jordan Williamson returns as kicker, though, like last year, I wouldn't be shocked to see some competition when it comes to kickoffs.

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