By Ells Boone
Wednesday marked the beginning of the regular national signing period, and the Stanford football program announced that it was adding two new members to its 2021 recruiting class, offensive tackle Austin Uke (Cedar Hill, TX/Parish Episcopal School) and offensive guard/center Will Gibson (Dallas, TX/Highland Park). With the two new additions, head coach David Shaw ’95 will now be bringing in 23 new players for the next season. The first 21 recruits signed during the early national signing period in December, including Stanford’s first ever pair of early enrollees.
A 6’4, 265-pound offensive tackle, Uke’s signing came with plenty of intrigue. The Texas native committed to Holy Cross in the Fall, before releasing his mid-season highlights that led to him picking up 14 offers from Power 5 schools. Once his recruitment blew up, he decommitted from Holy Cross and did not make his final decision until Wednesday morning, choosing between Northwestern, Stanford, Texas and USC. Uke is a 4-star prospect according to 247sports and is also a former high school teammate of current Cardinal running back E.J. Smith ’23.
“Just an outstanding offensive lineman,” Shaw said. “He’s a tackle with length and athleticism and a physical nature that gets [me] excited as a football coach. But much like when I saw Andrus [Peat], much like when I saw Walker Little, this is a guy that probably could play anywhere along the offensive line that he wants to.”
Gibson, a preferred walk-on, will come to the Farm from the same high school program as fellow signee Jack Leyrer. He was a two-time all-district first team performer, in addition to competing in track and field for the Scots.
Gibson and Uke, both from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, will join an offensive line position group that is looking to replace two starters from a season ago: senior offensive tackle Foster Sarell and senior center Drew Dalman. Both Sarell and Dalman declared for the 2021 NFL Draft in December.
With the 2021 recruiting cycle now officially closed, the Cardinal finished with the nation’s No. 51 ranked recruiting class, good for No. 8 in the Pac-12 according to 247sports. This is Stanford’s lowest-rated class since 2013.
The football team is expected to return to campus Feb. 21 to get ready for spring practice.