By Joseph Beyda
Stanford football released its depth chart on Monday morning for the Aug. 30 season opener against UC-Davis, with senior Kelsey Young and junior Blake Martinez slotted to start at running back and inside linebacker, respectively.
Young missed part of training camp with an ankle injury but returned late last week, and beat out junior Barry J. Sanders for the starting job. Sanders, fifth-year senior Ricky Seale “OR” senior Remound Wright are slotted as Young’s backups at tailback.
Martinez will take over Shayne Skov’s old inside linebacker spot, where he will play across from fifth-year senior A.J. Tarpley. The two primary backups at the position, sophomore Kevin Palma and junior Noor Davis, are expected to rotate heavily with Martinez.
The depth chart also confirmed that fifth-year senior Kyle Olugbode will take over at free safety.
Olugbode will be joined by senior strong safety Jordan Richards and senior corner Wayne Lyons in the starting secondary. Surprisingly, senior corner Ronnie Harris “OR” junior Alex Carter is listed as the starting left corner, meaning that Harris may unseat the returning starter. But as the depth chart did not list any nickelbacks, it’s hard to tell what the coaching staff has in mind as far as the secondary’s rotation goes.
All five members of Stanford’s starting offensive line are juniors: left tackle Andrus Peat, left guard Josh Garnett, center Graham Shuler, right guard Johnny Caspers and right tackle Kyle Murphy. Caspers was the only member of that group who was fighting for a starting job in camp, but head coach David Shaw announced on Friday that he had won the spot over senior Brendon Austin, who is now expected to play in an Ogre role.
To no surprise, senior Kevin Hogan will start at quarterback for Stanford for the third straight season, and classmate Evan Crower will back him up for the second consecutive year. No other passers were listed; sophomore Ryan Burns is believed to be the third quarterback and highly touted freshman Keller Chryst, who will almost certainly redshirt, does not appear on the depth chart.
Fifth-year senior fullback Lee Ward will be the Cardinal’s lead blocker, with senior Patrick Skov backing him up, as expected.
Though there is no word yet on whether he’s cleared to play against UC-Davis, senior Ty Montgomery is Stanford’s top receiver, with classmate Devon Cajuste lining up across the field. Michael Rector, Jordan Pratt (who recently returned from a minor injury) and Francis Owusu are listed as the backups.
Sophomore Eric Cotton is listed at the starting tight end spot, with classmate Austin Hooper backing him up. Shaw has already named Hooper the top “Y” tight end, so Cotton has presumably won the battle for the “F” position. Senior Charlie Hopkins is listed as the third tight end.
Fifth-year seniors Henry Anderson, David Parry and Blake Lueders will most likely start up front for the Cardinal defense, but junior Aziz Shittu, who broke through in the spring, is listed alongside Lueders at one defensive end starting spot and as Parry’s backup at nose tackle. The other backup defensive end is junior Luke Kaumatule, who returned to the position this offseason after spending some time at tight end.
Seniors James Vaughters and Kevin Anderson will start at outside linebacker, as expected. Former inside linebacker Joe Hemschoot is listed as one backup, while sophomore Peter Kalambayi, who had an impressive spring game, is the other.
Jordan Williamson will kick for Stanford for a fourth consecutive year, with fellow fifth-year senior Ben Rhyne starting at punter. Montgomery is the starting kick returner, and is listed along with Sanders at punt returner.
The only true freshman to appear on the two-deep was left tackle Casey Tucker, who is Peat’s primary backup.
Contact Joseph Beyda at jbeyda ‘at’ stanford.edu.