Fasani Ready To Lead Cardinal

Oct. 4, 2001

By Brian Risso

Stanford's top three rushers from last season's squad- Brian Allen, Kerry Carter and Casey Moore- are all returning for another year, giving the Cardinal an experienced and talented backfield. Two-sport sophomore standout Teyo Johnson, whose size ( 6'7', 245) will undoubtedly force opposing teams to alter their defensive strategy, is just one of many intriguing options at the wide receiver position. The offensive line is in fine shape, with all five starters and two key reserves back for another season of life in the trenches. Close games shouldn't be a cause for concern, with fifth year senior Mike Biselli looking to regain the form that made him a First Team All-Pac-10 selection in 1999.

So with a familiar offense that remains essentially in tact, why is senior quarterback Randy Fasani hoping this year is anything different?

Perhaps it's because after starting only eight of Stanford's 11 contests last season due to injuries and seeing limited time as a backup in his first two seasons on The Farm, Fasani is eager to step in and contribute.

'I've taken it upon myself this year to become the leader of the offense during the offseason,' said Fasani. 'The quarterback has to be the leader out there, and this offseason I've worked really hard and hopefully that will pay off during the year.' The early returns from fall practice sessions certainly seem to back up Fasani's comments. The 6-4 signal-caller from Granite Bay, Calif., has impressed the coaching staff with his decision-making and work ethic.

'I think the key for him is to be able to execute like he did at the tail end of last year,' explained offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bill Diedrick. 'If he can manage to stay healthy, he's going to be fine. As always, quarterbacking, decision-marking, efficiency and accuracy are all important things but I think he's having a really good camp and playing like a fifth-year senior.'

Fasani, who is the second-oldest player on the Cardinal roster next to linebacker Scott Giles and one of 13 fifth year seniors, has indeed been around the block. After redshirting the 1997 season as a backup quarterback, Fasani appeared in 10 games for the Cardinal the following year, completing 8-of-16 passes for 81 yards and one touchdown. He began the 1999 campaign as the team's No.3 quarterback, but was moved to linebacker in the seventh game of the year and even played tight end and special teams. Fasani would eventually settle in at the quarterback position last season, despite missing three full games to injury (all were Stanford losses). The season was a step in the right direction for Fasani, who went on to post impressive offensive numbers (93-180, 1400 yds., 11 TD). Nevertheless, the two-time First-Team All-State selection and two-time league MVP from Del Oro High School remains poised for a breakthrough year and is ready to show Cardinal fans what he can do in a full season.

'I have to go out and prove to myself that I'm the best quarterback in the country,' Fasani said. 'I need to go out there and play to the best of my ability.'

The skills are clearly there for Fasani. He has lined up at tight end, seen action on special teams and has now developed into the team's leader at the quarterback position. And what makes Fasani even more dangerous to opposing defenses is his athleticism and ability to make plays outside the pocket.

'Should a play break down, I like to think that I can make something happen,' said Fasani. 'Not all the time of course, but every once in a while I'll be able to scramble and throw the ball down the field and hopefully a wide receiver will catch it.'

Fasani will have just as much to look forward to off the field this year. Not only is Fasani, a communication major, planning to graduate, he recently got married in August.

'It's a great feeling and a new experience and I can't wait to spend the rest of my life with her (wife Monica Stahr),' Fasani said.

And Cardinal fans can't wait to watch an entire final season with Fasani at the helm.

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