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Football: Sign on the line


Head coach David Shaw and the Stanford football coaching staff currently have the 16th-ranked recruiting class in the nation, a number that could jump into the top 10 later today. (MICHAEL KHEIR/The Stanford Daily)

On Wednesday, the nation’s best high school football recruits will sign on the dotted line and commit themselves to the top programs in the country–and four of the nation’s best recruits could take their talents to the Farm, including the nation’s top quarterback prospect.


Head coach David Shaw and the Stanford coaching staff have already inked 10 four-star recruits in the 2012 recruiting class, and are in the running to sign four five-star recruits on Wednesday.


Jameis Winston, a five-star quarterback from Hueytown, Ala., who is rated as the best quarterback in the nation, could be the biggest recruit to join the Cardinal in years. Although Winston is currently committed to Florida State, he recently hinted that he could change his mind since learning of his acceptance to Stanford. Winston is the nation’s 10th-best overall prospect according to, and would provide a major boost to a team that will be looking for a replacement for Andrew Luck.


In addition to the Cardinal possibly finding a successor to Luck, it could also score several big commitments that could help replace NFL-bound linemen Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro. Kyle Murphy, a five-star offensive tackle from San Clemente, Calif., has narrowed his choices down to USC and Stanford, and has said that the opportunity to step into either Jonathan Martin or Matt Kalil’s spot right away will be the major determining factor in where he ends up. Murphy, who is 6-foot-7, 275 pounds, is the nation’s third-best offensive lineman and the 19th-best prospect in the country.


Andrus Peat, the nation’s sixth-best offensive line prospect, could also be headed to Palo Alto. Peat, a 6-foot-7, 305-pound behemoth from Tempe, Ariz., will choose between Stanford, Nebraska, Florida State and USC on Wednesday. Peat’s older brother, Todd Peat Jr., is a defensive tackle for the Cornhuskers, and consequently, the Huskers are likely the frontrunner for the younger Peat’s talents.


Nabbing Peat would be a huge coup for the Cardinal, but should Murphy and Peat both come to Stanford, the Cardinal would potentially have the nation’s best group of offensive linemen in the country. Stanford already has four four-star offensive line prospects committed for next season, including Joshua Garnett, the nation’s 33rd-best prospect and second-best guard.


The Cardinal could also add depth along the defensive line should Aziz Shittu, a defensive end from Atwater, Calif., pick the Cardinal over California, USC and UCLA. Shittu verbally committed to Stanford in April 2011, then backed off his commitment in June, but has still consistently listed the Cardinal as one of his top choices. Shittu’s top two choices are most likely Stanford and USC, as Cal has been steadily losing commitments over the past few weeks after the Bears underwent major changes to their coaching staff. Shittu is the nation’s third-best defensive end prospect.


Currently, Stanford has the nation’s 16th-best class, just behind Pac-12 foes USC and UCLA, whose classes are ranked 11th and 13th, respectively, and just ahead of Oregon, who has the country’s 17th-best class.


Should any or all of these four five-star prospects decide to bring their talents to Palo Alto, the Cardinal could end up with one of the nation’s top 10 recruiting classes, and the best recruiting class in the school’s history.

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