The Stanford Cardinal finally broke through in the Pac 12 race in 2012 when they took home the Pac 12 title and brought the Rose Bowl Game trophy back to Pasadena. Head coach David Shaw is looking to continue the program’s upward trajectory in 2013 by expanding the role of quarterback Kevin Hogan. For that to work, however, they need to find some contributions from their receiving corps. Can sophomore Michael Rector be the answer?
There’s plenty of opportunity for him to make a name for himself. Stanford will lost its top five pass receivers from their Pac 12 Championship team. Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo were a dynamic tight end duo, combining for 93 receptions and 1,291 yards with 10 touchdowns. Both of them are throwing their hat into the NFL draft along with running back Stepfan Taylor (41 catches, 287 yards, two touchdowns) and wide receivers Drew Terrell and Jamal-Rashad Patterson.
The Cardinal will be counting on junior wide receiver Ty Montgomery to improve on his 2012 performance when he caught 26 passes for 213 yards. But a passing game can’t rest on one receiver along and Rector has shown a great playmaking ability this spring that will make him a favorite to step into a featured role on the offense next season. He made a spectacular catch in the team’s spring game and showed off tremendous speed and route-running ability to create separation along with nice physicality.
That combination will make him a great option for Hogan in the passing game as Stanford works to maintain their level of success in 2013. Can Rector step up and prove he’s the real deal?