Aug. 5, 2006
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With the start of the 2006 season less than a month away, Stanford will begin preparation for its September 2 opener at Oregon when it opens summer training camp on Monday, August 7. The Cardinal will welcome its 104 players back on campus on Sunday, August 6, and will begin in earnest the following day with its first practice from 5:00-7:20 pm on the Elliot Practice Fields.
After the Cardinal checks into their dorm on August 6, players will go through a series of administrative and team meetings. On Monday, Cardinal players begin the day at 8:00 am with team and positional meetings. Practice in helmets only will begin at 5:00 pm.
The Cardinal will practice every day until it begins game week preparation on August 27. Stanford plays its first two games on the road (Sept. 2 at Oregon, Sept. 9 at San Jose State) before opening the New Stanford Stadium on September 16 vs. Navy.
2006 STANFORD FOOTBALL
The Cardinal: Stanford is coming off a 5-6 season in 2005 in which it finished fourth in the Pac-10 Conference with a 4-4 record ... The Cardinal suffered losses in the waning moments of three games and came within one win of qualifying for a post-season bowl game ... Entering the 2006 campaign, Stanford returns 16 starters - plus one kicker - including 10 returning starters on offense ... Second year head coach Walt Harris took his first Cardinal team from an eighth place conference finish in 2004 to a fourth place finish in his first campaign on The Farm in '05 ... Stanford will open fall camp on August 7.
Head Coach Walt Harris: Now in his second season at Stanford, Walt Harris took over a Cardinal team that finished eighth in the Pac-10 with a 2-6 record in 2004 and, a year later, had his team 4-4 in the conference and in fourth place ... Harris led the Cardinal of a 5-6 overall record and was one win shy of having his team in position for a post-season bowl game ... In eight seasons at Pitt (1997-2004) prior to coming to Stanford, Harris turned the Panthers into a perennial bowl contender and among the top programs in the country ... He led Pitt to six bowl games in eight seasons, including the last five, and a first-ever BCS bowl (Fiesta) following the 2004 campaign ... He was named Stanford's head coach on December 13, 2004 ... Harris, a Bay Area native, has coached for over 30 years, including 12 as a head coach ... He was 52-44 at Pitt and is 68-74 in his career as a head coach, which includes three years at UOP (1989-91), where the Tigers improved each season under Harris ... Harris has coached at Ohio State, Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan State and Cal along with a three-year stint with the New York Jets ... In the last five seasons at Pitt, Harris' teams went 39-23, won at least seven games each year and advanced to a bowl game each season.
Pre-Season Honors: Quarterback Trent Edwards received pre-season recognition as a First-Team All-Pac-10 selection and as one of the top quarterbacks in the nation ... Edwards was named First-Team All-Pac-10 by The Sporting News and Second-Team All-Pac-10 by Athlon's and Phil Steele's College Football Magazine ... Edwards was also ranked as the No. 11 QB in the nation and a candidate for the Davey O'Brien Award (Most Outstanding Senior Quarterback in the country) by Street & Smith's ... Others who earned first or second all-conference pre-season honors include P Jay Ottovegio (Phil Steele's First-Team All-Pac-10), OG Alex Fletcher (Phil Steele's First-Team All-Pac-10), WR Mark Bradford (Phil Steele's Second-Team All-Pac-10) and MLB Michael Okwo (The Sporting News Second-Team All-Pac-10).
The New Stanford Stadium: Moments after Stanford's season finale last season against Notre Dame on November 26, work began on the New Stanford Stadium ... Built in 1921, Stanford Stadium, with a seating capacity of 85,500, was the largest privately owned stadium in the country ... After nearly 10 months of a rigorous construction schedule, the New Stanford Stadium will be unveiled at the Cardinal's 2006 home opener vs. Navy on September 16 ... The Stadium will have a seating capacity of approximately 50,000 and the improved sight lines will bring fans 70-100 feet closer to the field of action ... The $90 million project will include new amenities throughout the Stadium, a new natural turf field, improved sound and video systems, removal of the track and fencing around the playing field and more comfortable seating.
Edwards to Lead Cardinal Offense: In his fifth-year at Stanford, senior quarterback Trent Edwards is the unquestioned leader of the Cardinal offense and one of the top players in the Pac-10 Conference ... He has placed him name in the Cardinal record book among the great quarterbacks in Stanford history ... Trent has completed 393-of-709 passes for 4,402 yards and 30 touchdowns heading into the 2006 campaign ... He begins his final season on The Farm No. 8 all-time in passing yards, pass attempts, pass completions and total offense (4,564 yards) ... He is ninth in career touchdown passes ... He has played in 28 games and started 24 for the Cardinal the past three years ... Trent came to Stanford as one of the nation's most highly sought-after prep quarterbacks from nearby Los Gatos High School .... He was named The Sporting News' Pre-Season First-Team All-Pac-10 quarterback entering the season ... "He has the ability to a dominant player," says Cardinal head coach Walt Harris ... A year ago, Trent turned in his best season as Stanford's starting quarterback as he started all 11 games and threw for 1,934 yards and 17 touchdowns and was named the Team MVP ... He missed parts of three games due to injury, but still managed to put together an impressive 2005 season ... He completed 168-of-268 and his .627 completion percentage ranks as the 10th best single season in school history ... After throwing 20 interceptions in his first two seasons, Trent threw only seven in '05 ... He also led the team in total offense with 2,087 yards and his rushing total of 153 yards ranks among the best in school history for a quarterback ... In addition to being voted by his teammates as the MVP, he was also chosen the team's Offensive Team Captain and Most Outstanding Junior ... He was fifth in the Pac-10 and 28th nationally with a pass efficiency rating of 139.01 ... Had a streak of 113 passes without an interception during the year, which spanned five games ... During a four-game stretch midway through the season, Edwards completed 72-of-106 (.679) for 866 yards, 10 touchdowns and no interceptions in leading the Cardinal to three victories ... He recorded his first 300-yard passing game of his career in Stanford's 45-35 win over Arizona State ... He completed 19-of-27 for 303 yards, three TDs and no interceptions against the Sun Devils ... In Stanford's 24-21 win at Washington State, Trent threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns (no interceptions) on 19-of-28 passing ... He also had 92 yards rushing on 12 carries against the Cougars ... He opened the season by completing 21-of-33 for 235 yards and a TD in Stanford's 41-38 win at Navy.
Wide Receiver Tandem: In senior Mark Bradford and junior Evan Moore, Stanford enters the 2006 season with two of the finest wide receivers in the Pac-10 ... Bradford has started 28 of 33 games for Stanford the past three seasons while Moore had his 2005 season cut short due to injury, but his 2004 campaign gave notice that at 6-7, he is one of the most dangerous receivers in the conference ... Bradford has caught 108 passes in his career for 1,678 yards and (15.5 ypc) and 10 TDs and is the team's most experienced receiver ... He has a chance to finish his career among the school's all-time top-10 receivers ... Moore, who played basketball at Stanford for parts of two seasons, entered the 2005 campaign as one of the league's top young receivers, but in the season opener at Navy on September 10, he suffered a season-ending hip injury ... He has caught 50 balls in his career for 832 yards (16.6 ypc) and eight touchdowns
Offensive Line: One of the keys to the 2006 Cardinal is the play of its offensive line ... And there's every reason to believe Stanford will show marked improvement from a year ago ... Not only does the Cardinal return its entire starting offensive line from a year ago, but Stanford has experience well beyond the starting five ... The Cardinal has eight players on its roster who have spent time in the starting lineup and 11 returning letterman, which includes three, three-year letter-winners and three, two-year letter-winners ... Stanford's offensive linemen have started a total of 122 games the past three years and four of the returnees have started more than 20 games ... Last year's starters, with career games started, include junior Allen Smith at left tackle (7), senior Josiah Vinson at left guard (23), senior Tim Mattran at center (6), junior Alex Fletcher at right guard (11) and fifth-year seniors Jeff Edwards (26) and Jon Cochran (20) at left tackle.
Running Back Returns: A year ago at this time, Stanford's starting backfield consisted of a running back and fullback who were both making their starting debuts after having been converted from another position during the spring ... The backup running back had played a reserve role for two years and two career carries prior to the 2005 season ... Now, entering the 2006 campaign, those same three backs have a full season under their belts, a full season with Walt Harris and his offense and a year's worth of experience which should bode well for the upcoming season ... Anthony Kimble, Jason Evans and Nick Frank have grown up over the last year and will be looked upon in 2006 to show marked improvement and spearhead the Cardinal's rushing attack ... Evans wound up leading the team in rushing last year with 248 yards and one TD while Kimble was next with 244 yards and two TDs ... Frank started all 11 games at fullback in 2005, but should play a more prominent role in 2006 ... "We are way ahead of where we were last year at this time," says Harris."We've got experienced players and coaches in our system, which should make us more effective."
Defensive Data: While the Cardinal returns six starters on defense, Stanford will rely on a group of young players to play prominent roles in 2006 ... Three returnees were in the starting lineup all 11 games last year, including DE/OLB Udeme Udofia, CB Nick Sanchez and SS Brandon Harrison ... FS Trevor Hooper started six games, NT Gustav Rydstedt was in the starting lineup for eight games and OLB Mike Silva earned eight starts in 2006 ... Others who spent time in the starting lineup include SS David Lofton, MLB Michael Okwo, DE Chris Horn and DE Pannel Egboh ... A quick look at the Cardinal depth chart shows three redshirt freshman vying for starting spots: DT Ekom Udofia, DT Matt Kopa and OLB Clinton Snyder ... At one corner back spot, Tim Sims and Carlos McFall are battling for the top spot ... Both have played reserve roles in the past but will be looked upon to take on a major role in the Cardinal secondary this season.
Down Lineman: Stanford's defensive line must find a way to replace two, four-year letter-winners in NT Babatunde Oshinowo and DE Julian Jenkins, both currently playing in the NFL ... Stanford enters the season with young group of defensive lineman, including two redshirt freshman who are battling for starting assignments ... Only one returning lineman, junior Gustav Rydstedt, has started more than two games in his collegiate career ... Rydstedt played in all 11 games last season and started eight ... Only Pannel Egboh (four games, one start in '05) and Chris Horn (10 games, two starts in '05) have starting experience for the Cardinal ... Currently listed on top of the depth chart at the three down lineman positions are Egboh, a junior who has played in four games in his Cardinal career, and redshirt freshman Ekom Udofia and Matt Kopa.
Summer Break: Several members of the Stanford Football team gained valuable work experience in a variety of professional fields this off season ... Quarterback Trent Edwards worked as a summer intern at Tibco, a local software firm ... "As a football player, you are only one play away from the `real world'. One of the main reasons we all chose Stanford is to prepare ourselves for life after football. The summer internships give us a head start and help many of us decide what we what type of career we may want to pursue when our football careers are over," Edwards said ... Mike Silva, Kelton Lynn, Anthony Kimble and Tim Mattran worked as summer interns in the financial industry at Golden Gate Capital, Morgan Stanley, Pollock Financial and Acuity Ventures, respectively ... Several players with engineering or technical backgrounds, like Chris Horn, Jay Ottovegio and Pannel Egboh, worked for Maxim Integrated Products, an engineering firm located in nearby Sunnyvale ... Gustav Rysdtedt, junior majoring in computer science, spent the summer working at Palm... Several players spent time learning the ropes at local law firms like Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati; Fenwick and West and Silicon Valley Law Group ... Junior Austin Gunder, majoring in Science, Technology and Society, hoped to put his background to good use this summer ... Where did he work? As an intern for Vance Brown Builders. His job? He worked closely with contractors overseeing the construction of the new Stanford Stadium ... "That was a dream come true. To be able to see, firsthand, the day to day changes taking place on the new stadium, not to mention the chance to play in the finished product this fall....I couldn't ask for a better opportunity to earn money and gain valuable work experience," he said.
Staff Changes: The Cardinal has five new coaches on this year's coaching staff ... Four of Stanford's coaches from last year's team moved on to the NFL ... New coaches for the Cardinal include defensive coordinator A.J. Christoff, outside linebackers/special teams coach Jeff Hammerschimdt, recruiting coordinator /specialists coach Nate Nelson, running backs coach Buzz Preston and offensive line coach Doug Sams ... Christoff, Preston and Nelson had all previously coached at Stanford.
New Kicker: Replacing four-year starter Michael Sgroi will be one of the keys for Stanford in 2006 ... Sgroi finished his career as the school's No. 4 all-time scorer ... His replacement will be either junior Aaron Zagory or senior Derek Belch, neither of whom has played for the Cardinal thus far ... Both Zagory and Belch are walk-ons ... Zagory finished the spring listed No. 1 on the depth chart.
Stanford will once again play one of the toughest schedules in the nation in 2006 ... The Cardinal, which played the second toughest in the schedule last year according to the NCAA, will play seven bowl teams this season ... Five of Stanford's opponents in '06 have appeared in a pre-season national top-25 poll, including three (USC, Cal, Notre Dame) who received top-10 recognition.
Phil Steele's College Football Magazine had three Cardinal offensive guards among the best in the nation ... Alex Fletcher was ranked No. 17, Josiah Vinson No. 57 and Ismail Simpson No. 58.
Phil Steele's also ranked Stanford's quarterback unit No. 14 in the country.
Defensive coordinator A.J. Christoff is back on The Farm for his third tour of duty at Stanford ... Christoff was the Cardinal's defensive coordinator in 1983 under Paul Wiggin and in 2003-04 under Buddy Teevens ... Christoff was the secondary coach of the San Francisco 49ers inn 2005.
Under Christoff, Stanford will move from a 3-4 defensive alignment to a 4-3.
Trent Edwards was chosen to be a counselor at the prestigious Elite 11 Quarterback Camp in Southern California this summer.
Udeme and Ekom Udofia are attempting to become the first set of brothers to start for the Cardinal since Mike and Dave Wyman in 1983 ... Mike was Stanford's starting defensive end and Dave was the Cardinal's middle linebacker ... Both started all 11 games in '83 (A.J. Christoff was the defensive coordinator) ... Udeme started all 11 games last season at OLB while Ekom redshirted his true freshman season last year and is a candidate to earn a starting assignment at defensvie tackle this season.
P Jay Ottovegio, who has received preseason All-Pac-10 recognition, can become the first Cardinal punter to earn First-Team All-Conference honors since Ken Naber in 1979.