Woodstock Etowah (Geo.) safety Stuart Head wasted little time between his visit to The Farm all the way back on Thanksgiving, 2015 and committing on Christmas Eve of that year.
The three-star safety is imposing in the secondary, standing at 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds. It’s a scary thought for some receivers having to take a hit from him, but it wasn’t too long ago that opponents were tasked with having to find a way to stop him.
“Stuart’s dream was to play QB,” Etowah head football coach Dave Svehla said. “He is tall, fast, and left-handed, so I used to call him Tebow. As a sophomore, he was too athletic to keep off the field, and we had a senior QB already, so we switched him to DB a week before the first game. His knack for the game was immediately apparent, and he went on to become an all-state player as a sophomore. He had NEVER played defense prior to that season.”
That season, he racked up 140 tackles. Add a 4.0 GPA, and the safety sounds like he will fit right in with the Cardinal.
“Stuart is a quick learner and fundamentally sound,” Svehla said. “He covers a lot of ground in a short period of time, so when you see his film, you see him enter the picture and get to the ball carrier quickly.”
The only defensive back in the Cardinal’s 2017 class will look to pick up the playbook quickly and try to show off his versatility.
“Stuart is disciplined and athletic,” Svehla said. “To that end, he will be able to recognize his reads and keys and react quickly to what he sees. Because of his length, he will have some advantages both in coverage and in run support.”
Off the field, many Stanford targets (who predominantly turned into Stanford commits) stated Head, along with Stanford tight end commit Colby Parkinson, was very vocal on visits trying to convince the fellow recruits to commit to the Cardinal.
“He has always valued a quality education, and even though he was offered by Alabama, Clemson, and many others, the idea of being at a place where the education is top-notch as well as the quality of football really appealed to him,” Svehla said. “He loved his unofficial visit. And because he is a winner, it doesn’t surprise me to know that he wants other great student-athletes to join him at Stanford.”
Whatever he did must have worked, as the Cardinal earned commitments from five of the six recruits who were undecided at the time of big visit weekend. Now, it’s all about Head adding muscle and bulking up to his already imposing frame.
“Stuart is long and fast,” Svehla said. “He has an excellent nose for the ball and his great instincts. He really excels at running downhill and making plays on the perimeter. He was recruited as both a safety and a linebacker, and despite his lean build he is strong. “