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Football preview: Powerful offensive line anchored by freshman talent and veteran leadership

Not many college football teams in the nation can lose an offensive guard and tackle to the first two rounds of the NFL Draft and still boast a robust offensive line. Stanford is one of the few teams that can. The Cardinal can thank some newly arrived and much-hyped freshmen for that. Heralded as the focal point of the best recruiting class in school history, the Stanford freshman offensive linemen have more than lived up to expectations thus far in preseason camp.

Football preview: For outside linebacker Kevin Anderson, reward for hard work is finally in sight

It’s 8 a.m. on a sunny, brisk Monday morning in mid-July. Most of the Stanford campus is fast asleep at this time of the morning during the school year. In the summer, it’s eerily silent. But on the practice football field, redshirt freshman outside linebacker Kevin Anderson is already an hour into the team run, with half an hour still remaining.

Undrafted & Underrated: Stanford WR Griff Whalen works to join his best friend, Andrew Luck, on the Colts’ roster

A shortened version of this story appeared in The New York Times’ college sports blog The Quad and in The Daily print edition today.

“With the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select Andrew Luck, quarterback, Stanford…”

Luck strides across the Radio City Music Hall stage in a dark-blue suit and a tie with lilac and lavender stripes, his normally shaggy hair groomed for the occasion. He bear-hugs the league commissioner and flashes a goofy smile for the rows of cameras.
Back at Stanford, in the Rains apartment he shares with Luck, Griff Whalen is also beaming. Staring at the 36-inch TV in the corner of their living room, he watches as the kid from Houston that he’s known since freshman year, talks to Deion Sanders on ESPN.

Beyda: Tight end Levine Toilolo may be the next breakout player

As the spring sport season winds down, it’s time for the sports sides of our brains to start drifting back to their cherished equilibrium: college football. So with midterms and no Sharks hockey to distract me (five more months and counting…) I found myself sifting through YouTube for the last few years of Cardinal football highlights. Let me rephrase that—I found myself sifting through YouTube for the last few years of Toby Gerhart and Andrew Luck highlights.

Beyda: Reminiscing the top five Luck and company moments

We had heard that quarterback Andrew Luck was special. But back then we really had no idea just how special he was, and we also didn’t realize what an incredible supporting cast he had alongside him. Four of the members of Cardinal football’s Class of 2012 have walked or will walk across the stage at Radio City Music Hall this week in the early rounds of the NFL Draft. As we watch them go—Luck at No. 1, David DeCastro at No. 24, and Coby Fleener in the early second round, with Jonathan Martin closely after—something will really begin to sink in: We’re going to miss these guys.