Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Stanford news and notes
By Kevin Gemmell
James Vaughters will not be rushed, according to head coach David Shaw. While the true freshman linebacker has been stellar in his first three games on The Farm, Shaw cautioned that they would not rush his growth.
There was some speculation that with junior linebacker Shayne Skov going down with a season-ending knee injury, Vaughters would step into a more prominent role at middle linebacker.
Shaw squashed that notion.
"Nothing is going to make us speed up his educational process," Shaw said.
Vaughters has been used primarily as an extra pass-rusher in nickel situations. And he's been very good at it, notching eight total tackles, a sack and 3.5 tackles for a loss.
"He's filled in some at defensive end and he's still training at linebacker," Shaw said. "Right now he's very good with his hand in the dirt. We'll continue on the same course ... We want to make sure we give him what he's ready for and right now that's what he's best at."
Tight end Coby Fleener was cleared to practice on Sunday after taking a big hit in the first quarter of Saturday's win over Arizona. He was kept out of the game as a precaution after displaying concussion-like symptoms. Head coach David Shaw said he couldn't confirm if it was a helmet-to-helmet hit from the Arizona defender, but he said he submitted the play to Pac-12 office for review.
Shaw did not give a possible return date for freshman cornerback Wayne Lyons, who missed last week's game with a foot injury.
Shaw said he's very pleased with the progress of kicker Jordan Williamson. "I've been very impressed," Shaw said. "The first game, the kickoffs were not up to par. Second game was better. Third game, typical young guy, the more reps he gets the more used to doing it in a game he becomes. This last game was absolutely perfect. Every kick was the hang time we needed and the direction and distance that we needed."