Establishing Depth at Wide Receiver Key for Cardinal
Aug. 11, 2008
STANFORD, Calif. - Establishing depth at wide receiver will be a main point of emphasis for Stanford during training camp and beyond, as the Cardinal looks to offset the losses of three of its top four receivers from a year ago.
Stanford will count on junior Richard Sherman, junior Marcus Rance and promising sophomores Doug Baldwin and Ryan Whalen to counter the losses of Mark Bradford and Evan Moore, who combined to catch 90 passes for 1,123 yards a year ago.
Sherman ranks as the team's top returning receiver after catching 39 passes for a team-high 651 yards and four touchdowns a year ago. A gifted and speedy receiver with big play ability, he topped the team in receiving yardage six times last season and enjoyed three, 100-yard games. With 73 receptions for 1,232 yards and seven touchdowns over his first two seasons, he is well on his way to making an impact on Stanford's all-time career receiving charts.
'Richard is acting as a mentor to some of our younger guys,' said head coach Jim Harbaugh. 'His attitude has been phenomenal. He's been all about business and he is doing his job to the best of his ability.'
Baldwin also eyes a starting role after catching 11 balls for 93 yards in 12 games last season. He was also a valuable contributor on special teams, leading the Cardinal in kickoff returns (23) and kickoff return yardage (555).
Whalen, a product of Monte Vista High School in Danville, saw action in all 12 games last season and caught one pass against Washington State.
Rance has been impressive during the first week and a half of camp and is making a strong push for a starting role, as well. A native of Yakima, Wash., Rance saw action at safety last season but has since been moved back to his natural position of wide receiver.
'Our quarterbacks have been finding him a lot,' said Harbaugh. 'The key with Marcus is he's finally healthy and he's back at the position where he is most comfortable. He's embracing his role and making plays.'
Freshmen Chris Owuso and Warren Reuland also look ready to make an immediate impact.
'Chris has a lot of natural ability and has a good grasp of our offense,' said Harbaugh. 'It's not a reach to say he'll play as a freshman.'
Reuland, who joins his older brother, Konrad, on this year's roster, has also been impressive early in camp.
'He is a big body guy who has been very smooth in his routes,' said Harbaugh. He's been a pleasant and welcomed surprise. After 12 practices, it seems likely that he'll be in there at some point.'
Fifth-year senior Nate Wilcox-Fogel, who prepped at Menlo School in nearby Atherton, was elevated to scholarship status early in camp. Junior Stephen Carr, who saw spot duty in nine games last season, is also hoping for a bigger role this season.
Cardinal Clips: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area's College Football Preview Show featuring the Stanford Cardinal will air tonight, Monday, August 11 at 8:00 p.m. The preview show, hosted by Comcast's Kate Longworth, features interviews with head coach Jim Harbaugh and Stanford players, including Clinton Snyder...Jack Harbaugh, the longtime head coach at Western Kentucky and father of head coach Jim Harbaugh, was in camp today.