5 Stanford Football Players With the Biggest Shoes to Fill in 2014

5 Stanford Football Players With the Biggest Shoes to Fill in 2014

Stanford Football Players Shoes To Fill 2014
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The Stanford Cardinal enter the 2014 season with the task of replacing four starting offensive linemen, two star linebackers and a workhorse running back from last year's Pac-12 championship team. While most programs would be facing a rebuilding season with these kinds of personnel losses, head coach David Shaw's squad has reloaded thanks to several consecutive top recruiting classes. Here are five players tasked with filling some big shoes.

5. Remound Wright, Kelsey Young, Ricky Seale and Barry Sanders Jr. (For Tyler Gaffney)

Barry Sanders Jr Stanford Football Players Shoes To Fill 2014
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

5. Remound Wright, Kelsey Young, Ricky Seale and Barry Sanders Jr. (For Tyler Gaffney)

Barry Sanders Jr Stanford Football Players Shoes To Fill 2014
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

The past two seasons, Shaw has featured a 300-plus carry back, but this season the Cardinal will feature a committee approach. While four running backs with varying skill sets sounds like an upgrade, the group will still be forced with replacing a lot of production now that Tyler Gaffney, who finished eighth nationally in rushing yards, is in the NFL. This will be an even bigger challenge behind a less-experienced line.

4. Kyle Murphy (For Cameron Fleming)

Kyle Murphy Stanford Football Players Shoes To Fill 2014
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

4. Kyle Murphy (For Cameron Fleming)

Kyle Murphy Stanford Football Players Shoes To Fill 2014
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Murphy was one of the headliners of Stanford's vaunted 2012 recruiting class, which boasted the signatures of all five of Stanford's projected starters on the offensive line in 2014. The sophomore looks like a reliable player at right tackle, but there's no quick fix for replacing the experience of his predecessor Cameron Fleming, who was drafted in the fourth round by the New England Patriots after starting 39 games the past three years.

3. Joshua Garnett (For David Yankey)

Joshua Garnett Stanford Football Players Shoes To Fill 2014
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3. Joshua Garnett (For David Yankey)

Joshua Garnett Stanford Football Players Shoes To Fill 2014
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Like Murphy, Garnett will be next in line for the Cardinal up front, though taking over for the 2013 team captain and unanimous All-American Yankey will be even more difficult. Then again, this seems to be nothing new for the Cardinal, who plugged in Yankey at left tackle after his predecessor, Jonathan Martin, moved on to make his mark in the NFL. Garnett will look to build on his experience last season at guard and in jumbo packages.

2. Kevin Anderson (For Trent Murphy)

Kevin Anderson Stanford Football Players Shoes To Fill 2014
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

2. Kevin Anderson (For Trent Murphy)

Kevin Anderson Stanford Football Players Shoes To Fill 2014
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

Trent Murphy's rise from an underrecruited high school player to a leader of a Pac-12 champion defense is one of the reasons why college football is so exciting. The nation's leader in sacks last season, Murphy certainly leaves a major hole behind. While Anderson is a hustler and performed well behind Murphy in 2013, it would be pretty surprising to see him immediately replace that level of pass rush production.

1. Blake Martinez (For Shayne Skov)

Blake Martinez Stanford Football Players Shoes To Fill 2014
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1. Blake Martinez (For Shayne Skov)

Blake Martinez Stanford Football Players Shoes To Fill 2014
Getty Images

Martinez has been waiting in the wings to take over for Shayne Skov for the past two seasons, but stepping into his spot on the field will not be the same as filling his shoes. Skov was a constant force of disruption for the Cardinal over his 48-start career, accumulating 355 tackles, 40.5 TFLs and 17.0 sacks along the way. However, he was also the undisputed emotional leader for Stanford, making him a player you can't necessarily replace.

Michael Briggs is a College Football Writer for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.





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