The Stanford Cardinal face a challenging transition in 2014 as they lose a ton of talent from their defensive front seven. As David Shaw works to find new starters to step up and give productive downs, he can rest assure that the back end of his defense is still in good hands. The secondary should be a major strength of the Cardinal defense in 2014 thanks in part to the shut-down ability of cornerback Alex Carter.
Carter is a solid blend of size, speed, and instincts that put him in prime position to make a play on every ball. He showed himself to be a willing run supporter in 2013, recording 58 tackles, while applying a suffocating blanket in coverage. His nine passes defended, including an interception, led the team in 2013 as he answered the call whenever he was challenged through the air.
This season, Carter will be asked to do even more as the No. 1 corner on the team. With the team going through a transition up front replacing six of their top seven pass-rushers from 2013, the pressure will be on the secondary to pick up the slack when defending the pass. Along with safety Jordan Richards and corner Wayne Lyons, Carter constitutes the most experienced position group on this defense heading into 2014 and that means the mantle of leadership will fall to them.
In a pass-happy Pac-12 conference, having the ability to shut down the pass is pivotal to a conference title run. Alex Carter has the skills to be an elite shut-down corner on the outside, blanketing and taking away an opposing offense’s No. 1 receiver. Will his ability to lock down in coverage be enough to get Stanford a third straight Pac-12 Championship?