July 25, 2007
Los Angeles, Calif. - Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh and quarterback T.C. Ostrander were in attendance at the 2007 Pac-10 Football Media Day that took place at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel at the Los Angeles Airport on Thursday, July 26. Head coaches and selected players from every Pac-10 football team were also in attendance.
2007 Stanford Football Preseason Notes
First-year head coach Jim Harbaugh opens camp for his 2007 Cardinal on Monday, August 6 ... Harbaugh, who was named the Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football at Stanford on December 19, 2006, brings with him 15 years of NFL experience and consecutive Division I-AA Mid-Major national titles as the head coach at the University of San Diego in 2005 and '06 ... Harbaugh has 53 letterwinners and 15 starters back from last year's Stanford team.
Stanford opens the season September 1 against Pac-10 rival UCLA at Stanford Stadium ... The Cardinal, which annually has one of the toughest schedules in the nation, once again will face a schedule already ranked among the toughest in college football in 2007 ... Stanford's schedule includes nine teams that advanced to bowl games a year ago, including its first six opponents (UCLA, San Jose State, Oregon, Arizona State, Oregon State, TCU) ... Other bowl teams from a year ago include USC, California and Notre Dame ... The only non-bowl teams Stanford faces this season are Washington, Washington State and Arizona ... Stanford plays eight of its 12 games at home, including the first four.
Head Coach Jim Harbaugh
A 15-year NFL veteran and owner of an impressive 29-6 record in three seasons as the head coach at the University of San Diego, Jim Harbaugh was named Stanford's head coach shortly after the conclusion of the 2006 season ... Harbaugh spent the last three campaigns (2004-06) as the head coach at USD, leading the Toreros to Division I-AA Mid-Major national titles each of the past two campaigns ... He posted an impressive three-year overall record of 29-6 (.829) at San Diego, including 11-1 campaigns each of the past two years that also included a school record 18-game win streak and two Pioneer Football League championships ... Harbaugh starred at Palo Alto High School as one of the top prep quarterbacks in the nation, then enjoyed a storied collegiate career at Michigan (1983-86), leading the Wolverines to three bowl games while being named Big Ten Player of the Year ... As a professional, Harbaugh finished his career among the Top 50 all-time in several passing categories and was named AFC Offensive Player of the Year in 1995 ... He played for five teams over 15 seasons (1987-2001) as a quarterback in the National Football League after entering the NFL as a first round draft pick of the Chicago Bears in 1987 ... After seven seasons in Chicago (1987-93), Harbaugh played for the Indianapolis Colts for four years (1994-97), before spending one year with the Baltimore Ravens (1998), two seasons with the San Diego Chargers (1999-2000) and his final campaign with the Carolina Panthers (2001) ... In his brief coaching career, Harbaugh has been a part of one Super Bowl team (Oakland Raiders, 2002) and guided his USD squads to two national titles.
Stanford returns 15 starters off last year's team, seven on offense and eight on defense, plus both kickers ... On offense, the Cardinal returns linemen Allen Smith and Alex Fletcher, running backs Anthony Kimble and Emeka Nnoli, tight end Jim Dray and receivers Evan Moore on one side, and Richard Sherman and Kelton Lynn on the other side ... Defensive starters back from last year's team include linemen Chris Horn, Ekom Udofia and Pannel Egboh, linebackers Udeme Udofia, Clinton Snyder and Pat Maynor and cornerbacks Tim Sims and Wopamo Osaisai ... In addition, both PK Aaron Zagory and punter Jay Ottovegio return in 2007.
Who Else Is Back
When the 2006 season concluded, there was no certainty that three key players for Stanford would return for the 2007 season ... Good news for the Cardinal is that all three are back ... Receivers Evan Moore and Mark Bradford, who began the 2006 campaign in the starting lineup, and center Tim Mattran, are all back for the 2007 season ... Mattran received a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA after missing all of the 2006 season due to injury, while Bradford received another year of eligibility after missing most of the 2006 campaign due to injury and Moore, who had another year of eligibility, decided to return to The Farm for the 2007 season.
Among the nine assistant coaches on Harbaugh's staff are a mix of former NFL players and coaches, former Stanford players, three coaches who were on Harbaugh's staff at USD and a defensive coordinator who guided one of the top defensive units in college football in 2006 ... Harbaugh's staff is young - average age 34.2 years old - and come to Stanford from all parts of the country ... Two members of the Cardinal staff are former Stanford players, offensive line coach Chris Dalman (1988-92) and offensive coordinator David Shaw (1991-94) ... Dalman played seven years in the NFL while Shaw's resume includes nine seasons coaching in the NFL ... Defensive backs coach Clayton White played in the NFL; Lance Anderson, Tim Drevno and Shaw were on Harbaugh's staff at USD last season, while Scott Shafer was running a defense at Western Michigan that ranked 11th in the country.
2007 Season Outlook
Stanford returns 53 letterwinners, including 17 starters, from a 2006 club that finished 1-11 overall and 1-8 in the Pac-10 for a 10th place conference finish ... Stanford has seven starters back on offense, eight on defense and a pair of kickers ... On offense, the Cardinal returns experienced players throughout the lineup, including a fifth-year senior at quarterback, its top three rushers, four offensive linemen with starting experience and an experienced receiving corps arguably among the best in the Pac-10 ... Defensively, Stanford must replace three talented players off last year's team, but eight returning starters is a good place for the Cardinal to begin.
Stanford will turn to a new starting quarterback in 2007 to replace Trent Edwards, who has been the team's starter for most of the past four seasons (2003-06). Fifth-year senior T.C. Ostrander has the inside track at the job. Ostrander has gained a great deal of experience as Edwards' backup over the past three seasons, playing in 22 games and starting seven. Ostrander started Stanford's last five games of 2006 after Edwards suffered a broken foot in the seventh game of the season that ended his collegiate career started seven games and played in 22 over the past three seasons as Edwards' backup. Ostrander finished the season by hitting on 72-of-158 passes for 918 yards -- all career-highs -- and three touchdowns. More importantly, Ostrander gained the experience of becoming Stanford's top quarterback during the period and established himself as the clear front runner for the job in 2007. Ostrander will enter the 2007 campaign with 2361 yards and eight passing touchdowns. He has seen action against some of the best teams in college football, including USC, Notre Dame, California, Oregon and UCLA. Behind Ostrander is sophomore Tavita Pritchard and redshirt freshmen Alex Loukas.
Stanford returns its entire backfield and all of its key players from 2006, but improvement in the running game is a must if the Cardinal is to increase its offensive production. The running back tandem of Anthony Kimble and Toby Gerhart is back in 2007 as is starting fullback Emeka Nnoli. Kimble started 11 of 12 games a year ago and led the team with career-highs of 470 yards rushing. Kimble is Stanford's active career rushing leader with 714 yards and four touchdowns. Gerhart, a two-sport athlete who also plays baseball at Stanford, was one of the team's top offensive weapons in his freshman season in 2006. He played in all 12 games and wound up as the team's second-leading rusher with 375 yards on 106 carries. Jason Evans is a fifth-year senior who played a reserve role last year at running back. Evans was the team's leading rusher in 2005 with 248 yards on the ground. Nnoli returns as Stanford's starting fullback after a 2006 season that saw him in the starting lineup the last 10 games. Nnoli finished his 2006 campaign with 49 yards on 19 carries. Redshirt freshman Tyrone McGraw, who has break-away ability, will also be in the hunt for playing time.
Stanford arguably has one of the best receiving corps in the Pac-10 with the trio of Mark Bradford, Evan Moore and Richard Sherman leading the group with Bradford and Moore both deciding to return to Stanford as fifth-year seniors in 2007. Bradford has caught 118 passes for 1789 yards and 11 touchdowns in his Stanford career and has a legitimate chance to finish his career among the school's all-time Top 10 in every receiving category. He caught nine passes in the 2006 season opener and was primed for an outstanding senior campaign before suffering a season-ending injury in the second game of the campaign at San Jose State. Likewise, Moore has suffered from injuries throughout his Stanford career, including a hip injury that ended his 2005 campaign in the season-opener at Navy and allowed him to redshirt that season. When healthy, however, Moore has proven to be a difficult matchup for defenses with his 6-7 frame. In 26 games, he has caught 64 passes for 1074 yards, 11 TDs and a 16.8 yard per catch average. Then there's the second-year sophomore Sherman, who led the team in receptions last year as a true freshman with 34 catches for 581 yards (17.1 ypc) and three touchdowns to earn First Team Pac-10 All-Freshman honors and Honorable Mention Freshman recognition from The Sporting News. Kelton Lynn, who started five games in 2006, caught 19 passes for 254 yards.
Stanford should be solid at the tight end position as 2006 starter Jim Dray returns along with two-year letterwinner Austin Gunder, junior Patrick Bowe and converted fullback Ben Ladner. One name missing from this list of returnees is sophomore Erik Lorig, who was switched to defensive end during the spring. Dray started 11 of 12 games last season and finished the year with 19 catches for 178 yards and one touchdown to rank tied for second on the club in catches in 2006.
Five members of Stanford's 2007 offensive line have significant starting experience, including four who were in the starting lineup at times during the 2006 campaign. The two most experienced linemen on the team are juniors Allen Smith and Alex Fletcher. Smith will begin the 2007 season with a string of 20 consecutive starts, including 19 in a row at left tackle. Fletcher has also started 20 games the past two seasons, 12 at guard and eight at center. Fletcher is expected to man the right guard position in 2007. Smith heads a list of five returning tackles who will compete for playing time. Sophomore Chris Marinelli started five games a year ago and showed great potential. At the guard positions, fifth-year seniors Mikal Brewer and Preston Clover will battle for playing time along with converted defensive lineman Gustav Rydstedt and redshirt freshman Andrew Phillips. Brewer has the most experience of the remaining guards with six starts in his career, including three a year ago. Tim Mattran was granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA after suffering through an injury-plagued 2006 campaign in which he did not make it onto the field. Mattran was the team's starting center in 2005 and has an inside track to return in that role.
Stanford will change to an "attack" 4-3 defense in 2007, utilizing two ends, a tackle and a nose tackle. At the end positions, junior Pannel Egboh and sophomore Erik Lorig will man one spot while the other position will be handled by three-year letterwinners Udeme Udofia and Emmanuel Awofadeju. Egboh started all 12 games a year ago and led the team with 5.5 tackles for loss while leading all linemen with 45 total tackles. Lorig was moved to defensive end after playing tight end the past two years. Udofia contributed 39 tackles while starting nine games a year ago at outside linebacker and has started 20 contests the last two years. At nose tackle, the Cardinal threesome looks to be sophomore Ekom Udofia, senior Chris Horn and sophomore Matt Kopa. Udofia and Horn both started all 12 games last season while Kopa played in all 12 games in a reserve role. Levirt Griffin and Derek Hall will do battle at the tackle spot. Griffin played in all 12 games as a true freshman a year ago while Hall redshirted his true freshman season in 2006 and should be ready to contribute in 2007.
While the Cardinal must replace All-Pac-10 linebacker Michael Okwo, the cupboard is certainly not bare at the three linebacker positions. Sophomore Clinton Snyder started 11 of 12 games in 2006 and finished the campaign third on the team and 11th in the Pac-10 with 83 stops. Junior middle linebacker Pat Maynor was a starter nine times in 2006 and contributed 44 tackles, while sophomore middle linebacker Will Powers started four times a year ago. Redshirt freshman Nick Macaluso also had a solid spring and could be ready to play a significant role in 2007 at outside linebacker. Senior Peter Griffin and sophomore Fred Campbell will also compete for an outside linebacker spot. Griffin is a former walk-on who just keeps improving and has put himself in position to become a full-time starter while Campbell played in nine games a year ago and showed tremendous promise. The middle linebacker spot will be a battle between Maynor, Powers and talented sophomores Tom McAndrew and Brian Bulcke. McAndrew played in all 12 games a year ago as a defensive end while Bulcke started one game as a true freshman last year before injuries slowed him throughout the remainder of the season.
Stanford has three experienced cornerbacks returning in 2007 in veteran Pac-10 players junior Wopamo Osaisai and seniors Tim Sims and Nick Sanchez. Osaisai burst onto the scene at mid-season last year and earned a reputation as a playmaker with athletic ability and great speed. He started five of Stanford's final six games, tallied 52 tackles and a team-high six pass breakups, and showed his speed with a 72-yard interception return for a touchdown against Arizona. Osaisai also emerged as a First Team All-Pac-10 specialist in 2006 with the outside coverage role on punt coverage his speciality. Sanchez has started 16 games and played in 32 in his Stanford career and his 100 total tackles is tops among active players. Sims moved into the starting lineup for the first time last year, starting seven games, and led all Stanford cornerbacks with 54 tackles. At the safety positions, there is youth and inexperience. Sophomore Bo McNally is arguably the leading candidate to start at strong safety. McNally played in all 12 games last year with one start and is the only returner on the 2007 squad with significant game experience. At free safety, junior Carlos McFall saw limited action last year in a backup role but emerges in 2007 with the most experience at that position. Austin Yancy, who started six games at wide receiver last year as a true freshman, was converted to free safety during the spring and showed tremendous potential.
Stanford returns all four of its specialists from last year in senior punter Jay Ottovegio, junior PK Aaron Zagory, senior long snapper Brent Newhouse and senior placekicker Derek Belch. Ottovegio, who begins his fourth season as Stanford's punter, has a career average of 40.6 yards per punt and by the time the 2007 season concludes could become Stanford's all-time leader in punting yardage and punts. Zagory hit 8-of-13 field goals last season in his first season as the starter, while Belch missed his only field attempt but was effective on kickoffs. Newhouse begins his fourth season as Stanford's starting long snapper.
2007 Cardinal at a Glance
2006 Overall Record: 1-11
2006 Pac-10 Record: 1-8 (10th place)
Returning Starters: 15 (7 offense, 8 defense plus 2 kickers)
Starters Lost: 7 (4 offense, 3 defense)
Returning Letterwinners: 53 (25-24-4)
Letterwinners Lost: 18 (11-7)
Offensive Starters Returning (7)
WR Richard Sherman, So. and Kelton Lynn, Jr.
LT Allen Smith, Jr.
C/RG Alex Fletcher, Jr.
RB Anthony Kimble, Jr.
FB Emeka Nnoli, Sr.
TE Jim Dray, So.
WR Evan Moore, Sr.
Stanford Football 2007 Preseason All-Pac-10 Honors
Mark Bradford (WR)
Third Team (Athlon)
Alex Fletcher (OG)
Third Team (Phil Steele)
Evan Moore (WR)
Fourth Team (Phil Steele)
Wopamo Osaisai (CB)
Fourth Team (Phil Steele)
Clinton Snyder (LB)
Third Team (Athlon)
Ekom Udofia (DL/DT)
Second Team (Sporting News); Third Team (Athlon)
Aaron Zagory (K)
Third Team (Athlon)
Quoting Jim Harbaugh
"Winning starts with attitude. Each season is new, especially this one, and it is our job as coaches to create a culture of working hard as a team and learning to trust each other."
Style of Play
"We will be a team that plays all-out, all the time. We will out hustle our opponents and play with great technique and continuous effort."
"One of the strengths of our offense will be the skill players, and that starts with our receivers. We have some experienced receivers who have already proven to be quality Pac-10 players. With Evan Moore, Mark Bradford and Richard Sherman, I think we have the potential to be the best receiving corps in the Pac-10. I like our strength at the running back spot and our fifth-year quarterback."
"We'll have a West Coast philosophy on offense. We will be balanced running and throwing the ball."
"We'll be an attack 4-3 defense. I think our run-stopping ability will be much improved and our strength up the middle will be solid. I also like the depth and quality we have in the secondary. We will be a defense that flies around and hits people."
"We will create the identity of our team through our special teams."
"We will also be diverse enough on offense, defense and special teams to handle the talents of any motivated player who wants to play football at Stanford. I've never been a big fan of `this guy doesn't fit the system' - unless it has to do with toughness or character."