The Stanford Cardinal face a new challenge in 2014 as they lose a ton of talent off their two-time defending Pac-12 Championship defense. For the team to make a run at a third straight title, they will need some big-time performances this fall from their few returning starters, particularly in the defensive front. Can senior defensive tackle David Parry provide a strong presence in the interior this season?
Parry is one of the team’s key returning starters for 2014 after recording 23 tackles, including five tackles for loss and four quarterback pressures from his defensive tackle position. But more important than stats is his big, block-consuming frame taking up space in the middle of the defense. At 6-foot-2 303 pounds, Parry is a big presence that can occupy opposing offensive linemen, allowing Stanford’s linebackers to roam free and make plays.
Last season, that helped middle linebackers Shayne Skov and A.J. Tarpley combine for 202 tackles, including 18 tackles for loss. With Skov’s departure due to graduation, having Parry in the middle to make life easier for the next starting linebacker will be even more important as they work on getting their new faces up to speed.
So much of the Stanford identity is tied up with being physical at the line of scrimmage. This season, David Parry will be the catalyst to that identity with his play in the interior of the defense. If he can step up and be a wrecking ball in the middle, it will allow the Cardinal linebackers free reign to make plays sideline to sideline and Stanford will be in the mix for yet another conference title in 2014.