Stanford football announced on Monday that sophomore quarterback Dallas Lloyd and sophomore wide receiver Kodi Whitfield will be switching to safety for the start of spring football and heading into next season.
— Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) February 18, 2014
This announcement comes after Stanford’s depth at defensive back was compromised at the end of the 2013 season by the departure of three seniors: Ed Reynolds to the NFL Draft and Barry Browning and Devon Carrington to graduation.
Although it had been known since late last season that Lloyd had been practicing at free safety, the announcement of Whitfield joining him in the defensive backfield came as a surprise to many.
Lloyd will make the switch after having started the season taking limited snaps at quarterback, predominantly in a change-of-pace, read-option-oriented role with running back Ricky Seale. Lloyd’s time spent under center decreased throughout the season as he experienced problems with turnovers and starting quarterback Kevin Hogan took over running the read option. With freshman Ryan Burns having redshirted this season and top quarterback recruit Keller Chryst joining the team next year, the Cardinal’s depth at quarterback would likely have pushed Lloyd into even more of a supporting role if he had stayed at quarterback.
Whitfield, as a converted wide receiver, will bring a pair of good hands to the safety position. His phenomenal one-handed catch against UCLA was one of the Cardinal’s premier highlights last season.
However, as the season went on, he was targeted far less — he only recorded 14 out of his 170 receiving yards in the final five games of the season.
The move of Whitfield to safety slightly alleviates the Cardinal’s influx of talented wide receivers looking to make big impacts as well. Stanford will return all three of its top wide receivers from 2013 next season — junior Ty Montgomery, junior Devon Cajuste and sophomore Michael Rector — as well as senior Jeff Trojan, freshman Francis Owusu and junior Jordan Pratt, all of whom recorded over 50 receiving yards last season and look to play significant roles moving forward.
Spring practices for the Cardinal will start next week, with the annual Cardinal and White Spring Game scheduled for April 12.
Contact Do-Hyoung Park at dpark027 ‘at’ stanford.edu.