Great get for Stanford as the Cardinal is landing a very productive defender and overall football player in Sean Barton (Woods Cross, Utah). The Utah native will have a bit of a learning curve making the full-time move to linebacker but feel his ability to play inside or outside and overall scheme versatility in coordinator Derek Mason’s 3-4 defense is invaluable. Whether at safety or linebacker, this young man has shown the ability to cover a lot of ground, find the football and make the big tackle. He can turn and run sideline-to-sideline showcasing his great speed, pursue lateral through traffic highlighting his impressive quickness and lateral agility, or cross over in coverage and make the right break on the pass displaying his versatility.
This top-25 class is already stacked with linebacker talent with four-star prospects such as Isaac Savaiinaea (Honolulu/Punahou), Doug Randolph (Woodberry Forest, Va.) and Peter Kalambayi (Matthews, N.C./Butler), already committed, but it’s a position that holds a lot of value in Mason’s defense. The Cardinal may not need Barton to contribute right away as he settles in to his linebacker position, but his great blend of size and athleticism should lead to early playing time on special teams and eventually a very solid career as a Stanford linebacker.