Whereas the Cardinal completed 2023 with a 3-9 document for the third 12 months in a row, this system confirmed some flashes that it could possibly be on the trail again to relevancy.
These vibrant spots included the comeback win over Colorado, a powerful defensive efficiency in a win over Washington State in Pullman and an in depth loss to school soccer playoff participant Washington at dwelling. Among the many lowlights had been getting boat raced within the Coliseum by USC, the loss to Sacramento State and failing to win a recreation at Stanford Stadium.
Nonetheless, the low season is right here and causes for optimism stay. Coach Taylor and his employees confirmed final 12 months that they may make the most of the switch portal throughout the confines of Stanford’s admissions insurance policies. The employees has additionally amassed a terrific inaugural recruiting class — good for No. 27 within the nation, per 247sports.com.
The opposite large piece of stories, in fact, is that the Cardinal might be competing within the Atlantic Coast Convention subsequent fall, ending Stanford’s 105-year affiliation with the west coast’s solely Energy 5 convention. The ACC schedule figures to be a bit extra favorable for coach Taylor’s workforce than its Pac-12 schedule has been the previous few years.
The switch portal formally opened on Dec. 4, and Stanford’s roster can, and can, change each day. Because it presently stands, Stanford has 100 scholarship gamers slated for its 2024 roster — this whole consists of the incoming recruiting class. The NCAA permits a most of 85 scholarship gamers, so 15 athletes should both switch out of this system or drop out of the recruiting class. Extra should depart if Coach Taylor and his employees elect to herald transfers, which is very possible. In brief, count on to see some departures over the subsequent few weeks and know that the sky is just not falling; roster fluctuations are a necessity.
Although there’s a sturdy likelihood this text will turn out to be outdated very quickly, right here we’ll check out the state of the offensive place teams.
After weeks of unpredictability on the quarterback place, sophomore Ashton Daniels emerged because the Cardinal’s high choice within the quarterback room. Sophomore Justin Lamson served because the working quarterback, and basically represented the whole thing of the offense’s working recreation. Junior Ari Patu, who was the favourite to win the place a calendar 12 months in the past, was caught because the third string and by no means received an opportunity, even when these above him struggled. Unsurprisingly, he introduced his resolution to switch after receiving his diploma within the coming months.
In fact, the eyes of the Cardinal trustworthy might be on incoming four-star freshman Elijah Brown out of top-ranked Mater Dei. We predict Stanford will as soon as once more have a large open quarterback competitors this offseason, so don’t rule out freshman Myles Jackson to take a soar and compete. However for now, we see the almost definitely end result to be a continuation of the top of this 12 months: Daniels as the first quarterback with Lamson coming in for sure conditions, particularly in brief yardage.
Stanford’s working recreation by no means actually received going within the 2023 season, although the shaky offensive line undoubtedly performed a job in that. Regardless, not one of the Cardinal working backs developed into the go-to ball provider: the workforce didn’t have a again who rushed for greater than 230 yards on the season.
Senior E.J. Smith, who acquired 53 carries for 216 yards, has already entered the switch portal as a graduate switch. The son of hall-of-famer Emmitt Smith got here into Stanford as a extremely regarded recruit however was sadly not in a position to attain his projected heights. Senior Casey Filkins completed the season with one much less speeding yard than Smith and will return for a fifth 12 months on the Farm or comply with Smith to the portal. Freshman Sedrick Irvin confirmed flashes in his first season, ending with 113 yards and a landing, and will turn into the bell cow if Filkins elects to maneuver on. Sophomore Ryan Butler — a switch from Princeton — was largely utilized in quick yardage conditions, solely receiving 18 carries.
Stanford has three working backs in its incoming recruiting class: Cole Tabb, Chris Davis and Micah Ford. All three are equally rated, and at the least one among them figures to obtain taking part in time of their first 12 months of motion. If Filkins leaves the Farm, it might not harm to look to the switch portal for a extra confirmed choice within the backfield.
Stanford’s passing recreation was imagined to revolve round senior Benjamin Yurosek, however the tight finish from Bakersfield, Calif. solely performed in six video games resulting from harm, recording 16 catches for 239 yards and a landing in these appearances. After the season opener towards Hawai’i, Yurosek was for no matter purpose not a focus of Troy Taylor’s offense.
Consideration now turns to what Yurosek decides to do within the coming weeks. He got here into the season as one of many high tight finish prospects in faculty soccer, however a lackluster 2023 marketing campaign harm his draft inventory. He may nonetheless enter the draft, return for a fifth 12 months or enter the switch portal the place he can be probably the most coveted transfers within the nation.
Sophomore Sam Roush was the Cardinal’s best tight finish this season, fielding 28 passes for 288 yards. If Yurosek departs, Roush might be Stanford’s primary man on the place. Typically-injured senior Lukas Ungar will almost definitely transfer on to assist with scholarship numbers. Behind Roush are junior Defend Taylor, sophomore C.J. Hawkins and freshman Chico Holt — who transferred in from Northwestern after Pat Fitzgerald was fired simply earlier than the season. The Cardinal will even welcome two incoming freshmen to the room: Aiden Black and Benjamin Blackburn.
Elic Ayomanor is a star. The redshirt freshman recorded over 1,000 yards this season, had the very best PFF grade on the roster and broke the single-game receiving document for this system. True freshman Tiger Bachmeier emerged as effectively, placing up over 400 receiving yards. That may be a one-two punch that ought to play very effectively within the ACC subsequent 12 months.
A return from senior John Humphreys appears fairly unlikely, however senior Bryce Farrell is anticipated to be again to play a 12 months along with his youthful brother, incoming recruit and large receiver Chase Farrell. Enchancment from sophomore Mudia Reuben can be welcomed, and freshman Jackson Harris, who entered the rotation late within the 12 months may additionally make a leap to affix junior Jayson Raines as a depth piece. Incoming freshmen Emmett Mosley and Emanuel Ross are intriguing prospects, and given Bachmeier’s emergence this season, one other true freshman may definitely make their approach into the rotation.
This unit received decimated by the switch portal final offseason, and, as anticipated, was the weakest group on the workforce. They should become older, particularly since different groups have way more fifth and sixth years utilizing their additional COVID 12 months than Stanford does (that may finish after 2024 nonetheless!). Thus, the fifth 12 months selections of seniors Levi Rogers and Connor McLaughlin are very important to the 2024 offensive line.
At deal with, the Cardinal might be on the lookout for development from sophomores Fisher Anderson and Luke Baklenko or junior Jack Leyrer. Freshman Simione Pale ought to enhance over the offseason, and grad switch Trevor Mayberry might be again to fill within the different guard spot.
To be a serviceable unit subsequent season, Stanford is presently relying on large jumps from a number of guys and a powerful teaching job to have them gel collectively. We don’t count on any of the incoming freshmen to contribute like Pale did this season, so selecting up a pair transfers right here can be a lot appreciated. Regulate Princeton grad switch Jalen Travis, youthful brother of former Stanford basketball participant Reid Travis.