By Matt Heinz @MattHeinz_Rant on August 3, 2014
The Stanford Cardinal have made it to four straight BCS bowls, but lost a lot of talent from last year’s team. Jim Harbaugh’s tough-nosed, punch-you-square-in-the-mouth football philosophy is still in Palo Alto. David Shaw and his assistants will continue to develop talent. Here are five players ready for breakout seasons.
Barry Sanders Jr. Yes, that Barry Sanders will burst onto the scene in 2014. Sanders was a huge recruit that returned punts last year and only got five carries as a freshman. He still has to earn his spot, but figures to be the next great running back following Tyler Gaffney, Stephan Taylor, and Toby Gerhart.
The 6-foot-5, 316-pound guard is set to have a monster year. Stanford lost four offensive lineman but the media is quick to forget that Stanford constantly utilized up to nine lineman on certain personnel packages. They are the first school I have ever seen change jerseys during a game in order to get lineman to line up as fullbacks and tight ends. Garnett was sort of like a basketball team’s sixth man to the offensive line last year.
Ty Montgomery is on a lot of preseason All-American lists as a returner, but he is also a premier wide receiver. He flat out makes plays when the ball is in his hands. Stanford used Tyler Gaffney in a wildcat last year. Why not do the same with Montgomery?
The 6-foot-7, 312-pound monster left tackle has been compared to Jonathon Odgen by his head coach, David Shaw. Peat is the only returning starter on one of college football’s best offensive lines in recent memory. NFL teams will be watching his every play in 2014.
Hogan returns to Stanford with an impressive resume; a resume that includes a 10-1 record against ranked teams with the only loss coming at last year’s Rose Bowl. With Tyler Gaffney gone, look for Hogan to get more opportunities to stretch the defense this year with his arm and his legs.
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