Score another for David Shaw and Stanford football. The class of 2013 is shaping up rather nicely for the Cardinal who just yesterday received a verbal commitment from athlete Sean Barton of Woods Cross, Utah. Barton is a four star rated prospect by major recruiting services. The news brings Stanford’s verbal commitment number for 2013 up to seven.
If there is such a thing as a bad problem to have, it is the quandary of where Barton belongs on the field. The highlight reel is nothing short of jaw dropping. Pick a position and the soon-to-be senior is dominant. As a defensive back Barton has a knack for the football. As a linebacker his tenacity is displayed in one clip where he travels from one end of the field to the other in what seems like an instant quickly dispatching the ball carrier from the field of play. As a receiver or running back Barton makes defenders miss in space then proceeds to run into the end zone unscathed.
At 6’3″ and 220 lbs., the scariest asset of Barton’s ability is his speed. Rivals posts the recruit’s 40 time at 4.5 seconds. Fast for anyone on the high school level, and certainly blazing for a linebacker at any level. Considering the Cardinal are amassing a bevy of talent at the linebacking position, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility to see Barton in another position on defense. Then again, his ability to make plays anywhere on the field could make it difficult for Shaw to play the Utah native elsewhere.
ESPN lists Barton as a linebacker, and if that holds, Stanford’s class of 2013 would now have four verbal commitments at the position. In 2011 the Cardinal ranked first in the Pac-12 in rush defense and third in the FBS.
Big hits are another aspect of Barton’s game that cannot be ignored. If one could imagine a football player created in a lab the result would be Sean Barton. His presence is intimidating. And painful if one were to ask a high school opponent.
Of the now seven Cardinal verbal commitments, six are given four stars. Coach Shaw is making it very clear that talent will not be an issue for a school often referred to as the Harvard of the West.
In my humble opinion Harvard is the wrong comparison. With the players that coach Shaw is corralling to the Bay Area, perhaps an SEC school would be a more appropriate allegory.