We continue our look at breakout players from spring practice. Today, the Stanford Cardinal.
Breakout player: DL Aziz Shittu
2013 statistics: Recorded five tackles in 10 games, including one in the Pac-12 championship game.
The case for Shittu: Over the past two years, Shittu has been an interesting player to watch progress. He arrived on The Farm after a high-profile recruitment that included just about the entire Pac-12 and several national powers. He had the type of profile that made it seem plausible for the Atwater, Calif., native to contribute early in his college career.
It didn't exactly play out that way. Stanford pulled his redshirt midway through his freshman season in 2012, but Shittu held minimal roles the past two seasons. After a strong spring, it appears that will change this season.
Shittu is listed at defensive end, but he can contribute at all three spots on the defensive line, which will be without Ben Gardner and Josh Mauro, both of whom are beginning their NFL careers. Among the players Shittu will compete with for snaps are Blake Lueders and tight-end convert Luke Kaumatule. DE Henry Anderson, a potential All-American, and DT David Parry, a one-time walk-on, both return.
Stanford coach David Shaw was complimentary of Shittu throughout the spring, especially after the spring game when he called him, "probably the player of spring for us."
Other spring breakout players: