The Stanford Cardinal will be losing plenty of defensive star power this offseason, leaving some to question whether they will be able to hold onto their spot at the top of the Pac-12 standings in 2014. David Shaw has been working hard on the recruiting trail to make sure the Cardinal don’t suffer a step back next fall and secured a huge win on the National Signing Day with the commitment of five-star defensive end Solomon Thomas. With a talent like Thomas in the fold, Stanford won’t be rebuilding in 2014, just re-loading.
Thomas is a tenacious force off the edge and is rated as the No. 25 overall prospect in this recruiting cycle as well as the No. 2 defensive end and No. 3 overall prospect out of the state of Texas. The 6-foot-2, 258-pound defensive end chose Stanford over offers from the UCLA Bruins and Arkansas Razorbacks and will step into a position to become the next great Stanford defensive star. He will have the chance to step into the void left by the departure of standouts like Trent Murphy, Ben Gardner, and Josh Mauro.
For Stanford, it’s yet another bit of confirmation that the program is one of the college football elite, able to go out and recruit top talent from all over the country. Adding major talent like Thomas will only help sustain the success of the Cardinal for years to come and keep their elite defense playing at a high level year in and year out. They don’t always sign the biggest classes, but Stanford’s ability to pinpoint the right prospects and then close the deal has been a huge key to their recent run of Pac-12 dominance. If Thomas had signed elsewhere, Stanford had no backup plan for his offer.
Shaw has added another defensive stud to the Stanford front with Thomas today and set the Cardinal up to have great success in 2014 and beyond. Will Thomas deliver on his enormous potential and become a star for the Cardinal?