Stanford eases into fall camp

STANFORD, Calif. -- Technically, Stanford opened fall camp Monday, its first time back on the field since spring ball, but it’s a stretch to call what the two-time defending Pac-12 champions actual football.

"This is physical basketball right now," coach David Shaw said.

As a result, there's not much to takeaway. Competition for starting roles -- notably safety, inside linebacker and running back -- won't begin in earnest until Wednesday when the shoulder pads go on for the first time. The team will be in full pads Thursday and will hold an open practice, one of two in the fall, on Saturday. Here are a few notes from Day 1:

  • Redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Ikenna Nwafor, who appeared in three games last season, but has been limited with a foot injury, will likely medically retire, Shaw said. “As of right now there’s a good chance he’s not going to be back,” Shaw said. “We’ve seen a couple of experts, going back and forth. It’s sad with the ability we believe he has. He’s also pre-med and he had a bright future outside of football.” Nwafor, an Irving, Texas native, was a three-star defensive tackle as part of the Class of 2012.

  • Receiver Ty Montgomery was the first player Shaw mentioned when asked who stood out, which will likely quell any lingering concern about Montgomery’s status for the USC game in Week 2. At Pac-12 media days, Shaw said an arm injury could potentially keep him out of the opener against UC Davis and it would be “close” for USC. “No reservations at all about him practicing,” Shaw said. “When we put the pads on, we’ll take care of him.”

  • While all signs point to a running-back-by-committee system, offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren did say that Kelsey Young is the de facto starter based on his production in the spring. Young said he’s much more comfortable now in pass protection and will see heavy competition from Barry J. Sanders, Remound Wright and Ricky Seale.

  • Three-star outside linebacker prospect Casey Toohill of Cathedral Catholic High in San Diego was on campus for a visit and gave his commitment to Shaw. He then took to Twitter to share the news with the world: