- Kyle Bonagura, ESPN Staff Writer
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The countdown of Stanford's top 5 position battles begins today.
One position battle will be highlighted each day this week with spring practice set to begin on Feb. 24.
No. 5: Fullback
Outlook: File this in the "Only at Stanford" category. OK, maybe Stanford isn't the only school still using a fullback, but there are times, especially in the Pac-12, when it seems that way. Ryan Hewitt didn't make Stanford fans forget Owen Marecic when he took over the starting job in 2011, but that's only because Marecic has a special place in Stanford lore. Hewitt was without question among the nation's best fullbacks the last three years, evident by his selection as one of only two fullbacks in the Senior Bowl this season. The competition to replace him starts with Lee Ward and Patrick Skov, with true freshman Daniel Marx more likely destined for a redshirt season. Ward figures to have the leg up after starting in place of Hewitt when he was injured at the start of the season. Ward, who will be a fifth-year senior, was honored as the team's co-offensive player of the game against Arizona State on Sept. 21 and also contributed on special teams. If Skov doesn't win the job, he still figures to get some playing time going into his redshirt junior year. He played in 28 games over the past two seasons, mostly on special teams.
9hKevin Gemmell and Erik McKinney