Stanford Football: Daniel Marx

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.

[+] EnlargeLee Ward
AP Photo/Rick ScuteriLee Ward got some starting experience at fullback this season and will be in competition with Patrick Skov in 2014.
No. 5: Fullback

Who to watch: Lee Ward, Patrick Skov, Daniel Marx

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.

Recruit and return: Stanford Cardinal 

January, 1, 2014
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Though the season ended on a sour note, with a 24-20 loss to Michigan State in the Rose Bowl presented by VIZIO, 2013 was another tremendously successful season for the Cardinal. Stanford posted an 11-win season and defended its Pac-12 crown. Heading toward signing day, it's doubtful this loss will damage any of the momentum the Cardinal have built on the recruiting trail. On the heels of a small recruiting class in 2013 -- Stanford signed just a dozen prospects -- Shaw and his assistants will be able to go after more recruits in the 2014 class, though this group still likely won't approach the maximum allowable limit of 25. At this point, Stanford's 2014 class ranks No. 28 in the nation and No. 4 in the Pac-12.

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