<
>

Stanford needs reinforcements at DE

The countdown of Stanford's top-5 position groups with room to improve continues.

One position group will be highlighted each day this week.

No. 4: Defensive line

Must replace: Ben Gardner, Josh Mauro

Returning starters: Henry Anderson, David Parry

Players to watch: Luke Kaumatule, Anthony Hayes, Nate Lohn, Blake Lueders, Aziz Shittu

Outlook: The only vacant starting job on the line is at defensive end where Lohn, Lueders and Kaumatule all figure to be be in the running to replace the combination of Gardner and Mauro opposite Anderson. Lueders (linebacker) and Kaumatule (tight end) both switched positions midseason as the Cardinal tried find some reliable depth. For Lueders, the move was relatively easy because he was already versed in Stanford's defensive terminology, but it was much more difficult for Kaumatule. The Cardinal recruited him to play defensive end, but was moved to tight end out of need. That experiment didn't go as well as the coaching staff had hoped, and once he was brought back to defense it was clear it was a better fit. Lohn was listed as Mauro's primary backup for the Rose Bowl, but appeared in just three games during the season. Shittu remains a bit of a question mark. He arrived at Stanford ranked among the nation's best defensive ends, but he's yet to make an impact in two seasons. Does that change this fall?

The countdown

No. 5: Wide receiver