Aug. 29, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. -- - With fifth-year senior Coby Fleener and sophomore Zach Ertz returning to the fold this season, along with the talented Levine Toilolo, the tight end position figures prominently in Stanford's offensive scheme heading into the 2011 campaign.
With Stanford needing to offset the loss of its two top receivers from a year ago, the tight end trio of Fleener, Ertz and Toilolo figure to give quarterback Andrew Luck a wide variety of big targets beyond the wide receiver position.
Fleener ranks as Stanford's leading returning receiver after catching a career high 28 passes for 434 yards and seven touchdowns a year ago. He hauled in a career-best six receptions for 173 yards, including three touchdowns, in the Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.
Ertz caught 16 passes for 190 yards and five touchdowns as a redshirt freshman. His five TD receptions ranked third on the team behind Doug Baldwin (9) and Fleener (7). His confidence grew with every game and by season's end, was a viable option in Stanford's passing game.
Toilolo was listed atop the depth chart at the start of last season, but was lost for the year after suffering an injury in the second play from scrimmage in the season opener against Sacramento State. At 6-8, 255 lbs. Toilolo brings intriguing size and athleticism to a very deep and talented unit.
The Cardinal Channel's Matt Morrison recently caught up with Stanford's talented tight end triumvirate to get their thoughts on the upcoming season.