Stanford Signs 17 To National Letters-of-Intent in Football

Feb. 1, 2006

Stanford, Calif. -

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Stanford University announced today the signing of 17 student-athletes to National Letters-of-Intent to play football and attend Stanford University in the Fall of 2006. Second-year head coach Walt Harris said he was pleased with overall quality and the 'passion the group possessed for football.'

'What I particularly like about this class is that we recruited outstanding student-athletes who have a passion for playing the game of football and a bright look about them,' he said. 'They appear to be eager and enthusiastic about playing football as well as attending Stanford University - and that's one of the most critical attributes we wanted to bring into our football program.'

Included in the group are some of the top prep prospects in the nation and some who were ranked among the best at their position in country. The class includes 11 offensive players (five wide receivers, four lineman, one running back and one quarterback) and six defensive players (three lineman, two linebackers and a defensive back).

'We have brought in several lineman candidates who we think will help us in the future on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. We've also added several wide receivers, which we hope will give us more depth at that position. Some of them could possibly help us in the secondary as well,' said Harris.

'I think we also filled one of our needs at linebacker. We will lose two seniors after this season, and we think the two young guys we brought in will have a chance to be solid contributors to our program,' he said.

As usual, Stanford's recruiting was national. Ten states are represented among the 17 players in addition to one player from Canada. Six of the recruits are from California, two from Colorado and one each from Missouri, Illinois, New Jersey, Florida, Maryland, Arizona, Washington and Texas.

Five players earned All-America recognition and 10 received honors as one of the top recruits in their region. The All-America selections include RB Toby Gerhart (Norco, CA/Norco HS), DE Levirt Griffin (Modesto, CA/Modesto HS), OL John Kyed (Boulder, CO/Boulder HS), QB Alex Loukas (Bannockburn, IL /Deerfield HS) and LB Nick Macaluso (Middletown NJ/Middletown HS).

Gerhart was named the California State Player of the Year after concluding his prep career with a state-record 9,622 yards rushing, including 3,233 as a senior. He is also ranked among the top-50 high school baseball players in the nation and will play for Stanford's nationally-ranked baseball program.

Griffin was ranked as high as the No. 12 defensive end in the nation, Kyed is one of the top recruits from the state of Colorado and Loukas was rated as the nation's No. 12 QB by one recruiting source. Macaluso is a two-time First-Team All-State linebacker from New Jersey.

In addition to Kyed on the offensive line, Stanford recruited three other prospects who are all considered among the best in their region. Joe Dembesky (6-5, 285, Simi Valley, CA/Oaks Christian) was rated among the best offensive lineman in the west, Bert McBride (6-3, 290, Thonotosassa, FL /Armwood HS) is a First-Team All-State selection from Florida and Andrew Phillips (6-5, 290, Darnestown, MD/Georgetown Prep) is a three-time First-Team All-State player from Maryland.

Stanford added five wide receivers to its roster, but some may be moved to the secondary. Stephen Carr (Chula Vista, CA/Eastlake HS) was ranked among the best players in the west, Mark Mueller (Aurora, CO/Overland HS) is one of the best football/track athletes in Colorado, Marcus Rance (Yakima, WA/A.C. Davis HS) was injured most of his senior season but was still rated among the best prospects in Washington, Richard Sherman (Compton, CA/Dominguez HS) had 14 receiving TDs and 1,030 yards in all-purpose running as a senior while being ranked as high as the No. 6 'athlete' in California, and Austin Yancy (League City, TX/Clear Creek HS) is a talented three-sport athlete with good size.

On the defensive side of the ball, Griffin heads a list of three talented defensive line prospects. Derek Hall (Overland Park, MO/Rockhurst HS) is a 6-5, 252-pound end who was rated among the best recruits in the state of Missouri and Brian Bulcke (Windsor, Ontario, Canada/St. Anne HS) is one of the top three players in Canada and the No. 1 player in his region.

At linebacker, Stanford's two incoming recruits are Macaluso and Sam Weinberger (Sherman Oaks, CA/Campbell Hall HS). Weinberger, named his high school Division Player of the Year in both football and baseball, had 110 tackles during his senior season.

In the secondary, Tyler Porras (Scottsdale, AZ/Sguaro HS) comes in as one of the top recruits in the state of Arizona and one of the top at his position in the nation.

'Overall, I think this class is similar to last year's class,' said Harris. 'We've got an outstanding group of football players who are passionate about playing hard and working hard, both on the football field and in the classroom.

'I think our entire football staff, led by our recruiting coordinator Nathanial Hackett, did a great job in identifying and recruiting the top student-athletes in the country. I feel very good about what we've accomplished this year and that we're in good position to do a much better job next year,' said Harris.

Player Profiles

Stephen Carr
WR, 6-3, 215
Chula Vista, CA (Eastlake HS)

PrepStar named Stephen to their All-West team while Superprep Magazine selected him to the All-Farwest Team ... Caught 47 passes for over 700 yards and 10 touchdowns as senior ... Earned First-Team All-CIF honors as a defensive back by the San Diego Union-Tribune and First-Team All-CIF as a wide receiver by the San Diego Hall of Champions as a senior ... Also named First-Team All-League as a utility player and Third-Team All-State as a defensive back ... First-Team Academic All-CIF as well ... As a junior, he had 38 catches for 795 yards and six touchdowns to go along with two rushing TDs ... Defensively, he had 98 tackles, nine tackles for loss and four interceptions and was named First-Team All-League as a defensive back ... He was named the league Player of the Year in basketball as a junior after averaging over 19 points and 11 rebounds per game ... First-Team Academic All-CIF and Second-Team All-CIF in basketball as junior ... Four-year member of track team where he competed in the 100m, 200m, 110 high hurdles, long jump and triple jump.

Brian Bulcke
DE, 6-4, 260
Windsor, Ontario, Canada (St. Anne HS)

Regarded as one of the top three players in Canada and No. 1 in his region... Played defensive end and offensive guard for St. Anne High School in Ontario ... Five-year starter on both sides of the ball in high school and team captain as a senior ... Named an All-Ontario offensive guard by Weir's Magazine ... Defensively, he was named the Conference Defensive MVP as a senior ... Tallied 54 tackles and seven sacks during his senior season ... The youngest defensive starter on Team Ontario's 2004 National Championship team ... Played for four years for the Essex Ravens of the Ontario Varsity Football League (summer club) ... Started all four years and was team captain the final three ... During his final season, he accounted for 57 tackles and a league-leading 9.5 sacks while being named the league's Defensive Lineman of the Year as well as being selected to the All-Star team ... In 78 career games in high school and summer league, he tallied 564 tackles, 66 sacks, 15 pass deflections, seven blocked kicks, 11 forced fumbles and six fumble recoveries ... Two-time recipient of the Ontario Tackle Football Academic Excellence Award ... Named his summer league's top academic player.

Joe Dembesky
OT, 6-5, 285
Westlake Village, CA (Oaks Christian HS)

Rated by PrepStar as one of the top offensive lineman in the west and in the nation ... Joe was named All-West by PrepStar after leading Oaks Christian High School to 31 consecutive wins and its third straight CIF Section Championship ... He was named First-Team All-Tri Valley, First-Team All-CIF and Second-Team All-State as a senior ... Second-Team All-League as a junior ... Played three years varsity baseball as a right handed pitcher ... Named Second-Team All-League as a sophomore and junior ... National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete.

Toby Gerhart
RB, 6-1, 228
Norco, CA (Norco HS)

Broke the California High School career rushing record by more than 1,000 yards while earning the reputation as one of the premier running backs in the nation ... While starring in both football and baseball at Norco HS in Southern California, Toby rushed for an amazing 9,622 yards in his career, best all-time in California and the third best in the nation ... As a senior, he rushed for 3,233 yards and scored 39 touchdowns while leading his team to the Division V Southern Section title ... He was named a prep All-American by PrepStar, Superprep, EA Sports and Parade Magazine while also being chosen the Gatorade California Player of the Year ... Cal Hi Sports named him their Mr. Football for 2005 and the state's Player of the Year ... ranked him the No. 26 running back in the country and the No. 27 recruit from California while rated him the No. 7 fullback in the country ... Other honors as a senior include First-Team All-State and All-CIF, CIF Southern Section Player of the Year, CIF Division V Player of the Year, L.A. Times Player of the Year and the conference Player and Athlete of the Year ... Toby is also a highly-touted baseball prospect who will play for Stanford's nationally-ranked baseball program ... He hit .549 as a junior while being named All-State, All-CIF, All-League and All-County ... Baseball America named him among the top-50 high school prospects in the nation for the 2006 season ... He is considered a top prospect in the amateur baseball draft in June ... Also played three years of basketball ... Member of the California Scholastic Federation.

Levirt Griffin
DE, 6-4, 255
Modesto, CA (Modesto HS)

Considered among the top recruits in the nation by several recruiting sources ... Superprep Magazine named him to their All-America team and ranked him the No. 41 defensive lineman in the country and the No. 22 recruit in California ... Among defensive ends, he was ranked No. 12 in the nation and No. 2 in the state of California ... had Levirt rated No. 27 among defensive ends nationally and No. 46 overall prospect in the state ... Named to PrepStar's All-West team ... Recorded 60 tackles and eight sacks his senior season ... Also had one receiving touchdown as a tight end ... Selected First-Team All-League and All-District ... As a junior, he was named First-Team All-League and Second-Team All-District ... Three-year varsity basketball player and four-year letter-winner in track and field ... Second-Team All-League in basketball as a junior ... In track, he won the league title in the discus as a sophomore ... Member of the California Scholastic Federation ... National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete award winner.

Derek Hall
DE, 6-5, 252
Overland Park, KS (Rockhurst HS)

One of the top recruits in the state of Missouri and in the nation ... Derek played both defensive end and tight end for Rockhurst HS in Kansas City, MO and was ranked among the best DE in the nation by several recruiting sources ... ranked him the No. 17 recruit in the state and the No. 44 defensive end prospects in the country while tabbed him as the No. 74 DE in the nation ... Named to the All-Midlands Team by both PrepStar and Superprep ... A First-Team All-State selection as a defensive lineman, he accounted for 50 tackles and three sacks, along with four receptions for 60 yards, as a senior ... Also named First-Team All-Metro and First-Team All-District for the second consecutive year ... Played basketball for four years ... Sports Editor of his high school newspaper ... Plans to study pre-med and enter the field of pediatrics.

John Kyed
OL, 6-6, 285
Boulder, CO (Boulder HS)

An All-American offensive lineman from Boulder, Colorado ... John was named to PrepStar's All-America team as well as being ranked among the top-10 recruits in the state of Colorado by several recruiting sources ... ranked him the No. 6 prospect in the state while tabbed him No. 11 ... Named to the All-Midlands team by Superprep Magazine ... Three-year letter-winner and three-year starter at Boulder High School ... As a senior, he was named First-Team All-State, First-Team All-Region and First-Team All-Conference as well as team captain ... Also competed on the wrestling team as a heavyweight where he earned First-Team All-League honors and qualified for the state tournament as a junior ... Winner of the Colorado Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete Award ... Member of the National Honor Society.

Alex Loukas
QB, 6-4, 205
Bannockburn, IL (Deerfield HS)

Stanford's lone quarterback recruit, Alex has earned the reputation as one of the nation's top prep prospects at his position after starring at Deerfield HS in Illinois ... He was ranked as the No. 12 quarterback prospect in the country by and No. 13 by Tom Lemming's Magazine ... PrepStar named him to their All-America team and Superprep Magazine selected him to the All-Midwest team ... ranked him as the No. 10 recruit in the state while ranked him No. 12 in the nation as a dual-threat quarterback and the No. 10 recruit in Colorado ... As a senior, he threw for over 1,800 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushed for over 800 yards and scored 15 TDs on the ground ... Named First-Team All-State, All-Area and All-Conference and Academic All-Conference ... Also selected the Lake Shore Football Player of the Year and Lake Shore Athlete of the Year for 2006 ... As a junior, he threw for 1,516 yards and 16 TDs and rushed for 520 yards and six touchdowns while earning All-Conference and All-Area honors ... Alex also starred in tennis in high school ... As a junior led his team to the state championship and was the state's doubles champion as well while being named All-State, All-Conference and All-Area ... Comes from a football family ... His dad, Angelo, played offensive guard for Northwestern and with the Bills and Patriots in the NFL; his uncle, George, played football at Southern Illinois and another uncle, Antony, played football at Wisconsin.

Nick Macaluso
LB, 6-3, 225
Middletown, NJ (Middletown South HS)

A four-year letter-winner for Middletown South High School in New Jersey, Nick was the top defensive player for the No. 1 team in the state the past two seasons ... ranked him among the top 100 players at his position in the nation and the No. 14 overall prospect in the state ... Named to the All-East Region team by PrepStar ... Named to Superprep Magazine's All-Northeast Team ... Chosen a Reebok All-American and a member of the All-Tri-State (NY/NJ/CT) Heisman Team ... He is a two-time First-Team All-State linebacker and the first two-time Monmouth County Defensive Player of the Year and Shore Conference Defensive Player of the Year ... Three-time All-County and All-Conference selection, twice on the First-Team ... He accounted for 90 tackles, 18 for loss, and five sacks his senior season ... Helped his high school to three straight unbeaten seasons as they posted a New Jersey Shore Conference record of 36-0 with three consecutive New Jersey State Sectional championships ... Also lettered in basketball and track ... President of the Student Council for three years and a member of the Italian Honor Society ... His brother, Nick, is a junior running back and two-time letterman at Cornell University.

Bert McBride
OL, 6-3, 290
Thonotosassa, FL (Armwood HS)

A First-Team All-State offensive lineman from Florida who was ranked among the top recruits at his position in the country ... Also earned First-Team All- Suncoast and First-Team All-County following his senior season ... Ranked as the No. 75 offensive line prospect in the nation by ... Other rankings include No. 17 top recruit in the greater Tampa Bay area and among the top-125 recruits in the state of Florida by ... Helped his HS team win the state 4A championship in 2003 and 2004 and earn runner-up honors in 2005 ... Named the Junior Orange Bowl Committee Scholar-Athlete Award winner in 2005 as the player on the team with the highest GPA in the state championship game ... President/Founder of his high school's debate team ... Mu Alpha Theta President ... National Merit Finalist and member of the Latin Honors Society and the National Honor Society ... Full name is William Albert McBride.

Mark Mueller
WR, 6-3, 195
Aurora, CO (Overland HS)

Three-sport letter-winner from Colorado who starred in football, track and lacrosse at Overland High School ... Missed most of his junior season in football due to injury, but put together an impressive senior campaign ... He was his school's Wendy's High School Heisman award winner and team captain as a senior ... First-Team All-State in track as a junior ... He broke three school records his junior season in the 200m (21.42), 4x100m and 4x200m ... He won the regional championship in the 100m and 200m and placed third in the state in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m ... Best time in the 100m is 10.70 ... A First-Team All-Conference selection in lacrosse as a junior ... Brother, Luke, played football at Colorado State.

Andrew Phillips
OL, 6-5, 290
Darnestown, MD (Georgetown Prep)

One of the premiere offensive line prospects in the nation ... He was ranked by Superprep as the No. 16 recruit in the Washington D.C./Virginia/Maryland area and among the top-100 offensive line prospects in the nation ... Superprep Magazine named him to their All-Mid-Atlantic Team and ranked him No. 12 in the region ... ranked him No. 17 in the state of Maryland and No. 41 among offensive guards nationally ... All-Atlantic selection by PrepStar ... A three-time consensus First-Team All-State selection ... Started at right tackle in every game since he was a freshman. ... Selected to the Maryland Varsity Pre-season Dream Team prior to his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons ... Sophomore All-American ... Washington Post All-Met honors as a junior and a senior ... Other honors include being named to George Michael's Golden 11, Reebok/Sports Illustrated Mid-Atlantic All-America team, Pigskin Club of Washington's Metro Team and repeat All-Conference honors ... Nominated to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl ... Street & Smith's Top 50 Juniors to Watch list and the Sporting News' Underclassmen to Watch list prior to his junior season ... Also earned three letters in Track and Field at Georgetown Prep in the shot put ... Received the Fr. Galvin Award at Georgetown Prep for leadership on and off the football field as a senior ... Also named the Rodney P. Savoy Outstanding Scholar Athlete award from the Pigskin Club of Washington D.C. ... Will serve as an intern for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Dennis Hastert in the Spring, 2006 ... He has taken part in many community service projects, including work with the Southcentral Foundation in Anchorage, Alaska, a non-profit organization serving Alaska Natives. ... Also volunteers at the Tenley Achievement Program, an inner-city program for children in Washington D.C. ... An avid SCUBA diver, he holds an advanced certification in open-water diving ... He is a descendant of famed Lewis and Clark explorer John Colter ... Father Bill played football for the University of Evansville (72-76), and both his grandfathers lettered in college basketball and football ... Mother Janet is a competitive equestrian.

Tyler Porras
CB, 6-2, 175
Scottsdale, AZ (Saguaro HS)

Ranked as one of the best recruits in the state of Arizona and among the top free safety prospects in the nation ... Superprep Magazine ranked Tyler the No. 11 recruit in the state and among the top-100 at his position nationally ... Superprep All-Farwest and PrepStar All-West selection ... As a senior, he had 58 tackles (27 solo) and one interception on defense, while on offense he rushed for 783 yards and scored four touchdowns in addition to 279 receiving yards and three more TDs ... Averaged 25.4 yards on kickoff returns ... Rushed for 1,343 yards and scored 12 TDs as a junior to go along with 45 tackles and three interceptions as a defensive back ... First-Team All Region as a defensive back and Second-Team as a running back following his senior season ... Honorable mention All-State as a running back and defensive back in 2005 ... Selected to play on the Arizona High School Football All-Star team in '05 ... Sporting News High School Top 100 Players in the West in 2005 ... First-Team All-Region as a running back as a junior ... Three-year letter-winner in track ... Placed eighth in the 4A Arizona State Meet in the long jump as a freshman, third as a sophomore and second as junior with a career best of 21'10 1/2' ... Inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, Valley of the Sun Chapter in 2006 ... National Society of High School Scholars ... Father, Tom, enjoyed a 17-year career in professional football as a quarterback.

Marcus Rance
WR, 6-2, 195
Yakima, WA (A.C. Davis HS)

Despite suffering a season-ending knee injury in the first game of his senior season, Marcus still proved to be one of the top recruits out of the state of Washington in 2005 ... PrepStar named him to their All-West squad, ranked him the No. 13 prospect from Washington and rated him the No. 14 recruit in the state and the No. 40 'athlete' in the nation ... He was a preseason top-10 player in the state by ... The Seattle Times had him on their First-Team All-State squad prior to the 2005 campaign ... Honorable mention all-conference selection as a sophomore while rushing for over 1,000 yards and passing for over 700 yards as a quarterback ... As a junior, he was a second-team all-conference pick at defensive back and running back despite playing quarterback (800 yards rushing, 700 yards passing in seven games) ... Led his high school team to the league championship and a 19-1 record as a sophomore ... In track, he posted the top marks in the valley in the 200m and 4x100 ... Earned the Bill Gates Achievers Scholarship ... Member of the National Honor Society ... His dad's cousin is Jackie Brown, a 1972 Stanford graduate and member of the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame ... Jackie was also a member of Stanford's Rose Bowl teams in 1971 and '72 as a running back ... Sister, Jennifer, was a two-time Washington state champion in track and field.

Richard Sherman
WR, 6-3, 185
Compton, CA (Dominguez HS)

Ranked among the best prospects in the state of California and among the best wide receiver prospects in the nation ... He led Dominguez HS in Compton, Calif., to the CIF Division Championship last year with a 13-1 record and a 41-14 victory over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in the championship game ... Richard accounted for 1,030 all-purpose yards as a senior, including 870 yards and 14 touchdowns on 28 catches and three punt returns for TDs ... As a defensive back, he recorded 45 tackles, eight pass deflections and one interception ... PrepStar Magazine All-West selection and Superprep All-Farwest team ... Named to the Long Beach Press Telegram's Dream Team as one of the premiere recruits in the west ... Also named All-State, CIF First-Team and All-San Gabriel Valley First-Team following his senior season ... Superprep ranked him the No. 50 recruit in the west ... Also ranked as the No. 6 'athlete' in California, the No. 8 wide receiver in the state and the No. 57 'athlete' in the country ... As a junior, he had 23 receptions for 415 yards and six touchdowns along with four interceptions on defense ... He earned First-Team All-League honors as a receiver ... In track, he is an All-American in the triple jump and the No. 7 ranked triple jumper in the state in 2005 with a best of 49'5 3/4' ... First-Team All-CIF and Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team in track in 2005 ... Other top marks include 10.81 in the 100m, 21.83 in the 200m, 14.67 in the 110HH and 22'8' in the long jump.

Sam Weinberger
LB, 6-2, 230
Sherman Oaks, CA (Campbell Hall HS)

Talented two-sport athlete who was named the Division Player of the Year in both baseball and football in 2005 ... PrepStar named him to their All-West region team as a linebacker following his senior season ... Recorded 110 tackles, five sacks, two safeties and one interception for Campbell Hall High School as a senior, earning him CIF Defensive Player of the Year in his division ... Also named First-Team All-League and First-Team All-Division ... Los Angeles Daily News Second-Team All-Southern Section ... Rushed for over 300 yards and scored five touchdowns as a fullback his senior season ... Holds his high school record with 304 career tackles ... In baseball, he went 11-0 as a right-handed pitcher and led his team to the division championship as a junior in 2005 while being named division Player of the Year.

Austin Yancy
WR, 6-4, 195
League City, TX (Clear Creek HS)

Talented three-sport athlete from League City, Texas, where he starred in football, basketball and track and field at Clear Creek High School ... Caught 35 passes for over 400 yards and three touchdowns while earning First-Team All-District honors as a senior ... Good size for a receiver at 6-4, 195 ... All-District selection in basketball as a junior ...Competed in the high jump, long jump and 400m in track ... Named his high school's Track Athlete of the Year as a junior ... Off the field, Austin is involved in the Peer Assistance for Leadership (PAL) program, was the American Legion Boys State representative for his high school, is a member of the Spanish Honor Society, the National Honor Society, Who's Who Among American High School Students and was selected to represent his high school at 'Boys State' in Austin, Texas, as a senior.

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