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Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Stanford's recruiting classes impact -- No. 4

By Kyle Bonagura

We continue our look at Stanford's top-5 impactful recruiting classes of the past decade.

No. 4: 2010

On signing day in 2010, coach Jim Harbaugh made it clear he had high expectations for the group.

David Yankey
David Yankey is leaving early for the NFL, but the Class of 2010 has helped the Cardinal go to four straight BCS bowls.
"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," he said.

With Pac-12 championships the last two seasons, he was proved partially correct. It's easy to argue the class of 2010 deserves to be ranked even higher -- through four years, the group has appeared in four BCS bowls.

If the remaining fifth-year seniors provide a major impact on a team that has comparable success, it could move up the list.

For now, though, the group hasn't made the same impact in Stanford's success as a few others.

Three players -- OG David Yankey, OT Cameron Fleming and S Ed Reynolds -- were good enough to early for the NFL, but lightly-recruited LB A.J. Tarpley is back for his fourth year as a starter. They headline the group along with DE Henry Anderson and K Jordan Williamson.

The four players who played as true freshmen -- DE Blake Lueders, RB Anthony Wilkerson, S Devon Carrington and Barry Browning -- all had their moments, but none were full-time starters last season. Of that group, only Lueders will be on the roster in 2014 (he missed the 2012 season with an injury). He is expected to start.

Three players -- RB Ricky Seale, Joe Hemschoot and TE Eddie Plantaric -- have yet to make a significant impact but are competing for roles in their fifth years.

OL Cole Underwood, WR Keanu Nelson, OL Dillon Bonnell and TE Davis Dudchock all had eligibility remaining, but chose not to return for the fifth seasons. None of them figured to have a significant role on the team.

Four others -- QB Brett Nottingham, QB/WR Darren Daniels, DL Alex Turner and LB Cleophus Robinson -- transferred to other schools.

Countdown

No. 5: 2006