The Stanford name provides a lot of weight when the Cardinal makes an offer. David Shaw and his assistants can come into areas they haven't previously recruited and walk away with commitments. It's just one of those places.
But where have the Cardinal had the most success recruiting? Have they gone back to the well time and again in certain areas of the country? The Bootleg took a deeper look at the 2012-17 classes to see where the future Cardinal members could come from.
How it works:
We broke down the locations of each scholarship commitment in each class since 2012. Now, this is the location of the school the commit was recruited from. So in the case of 2016's Thomas Schaffer, who is from Austria originally, his mark on the map comes from Lake Forest, Illinois, where he played his last few years of high school football.
Five-star commits: Green
Four-star commits: Pink
Three-star commits: Blue
Two-star commits: Tan
2012: 22 commits
The 2012 class featured Kyle Murphy and Aziz Shittu from California, Josh Garnett from Washington and Andrus Peat and Blake Martinez from the state of Arizona. This class had 11 three-star recruits, nine four-star recruits and two five-star recruits. While there were many multi-year contributors from this class, the 2012 cycle's headliners came along the west coast.(Maps made with Mapcustomizer.com)
2013: 12 commits
2013 was a smaller class, with a two-star commit, eight three-star commits and two four-star commits. Again, most of the most productive members from this class came from California, including tight end Austin Hooper, linebacker Kevin Palma, wide receiver Francis Owusu and guard Dave Bright. This was the second straight year Stanford went to Atlanta and Salt Lake City to add commits from Greg Taboada and Sean Barton.
2014: 20 commits
A big chunk of this class came from southern California again, with multiple commits coming from the Phoenix area in Arizona and the Dallas-Fort Worth area in Texas. The Cardinal grabbed one elite tackle from Arizona in 2012 in Andrus Peat and did the same in 2014, earning a commitment from five-star offensive tackle Casey Tucker. Austin Hall and Lane Veach were also Stanford commits from the Grand Canyon State. As for Texas, Stanford came to the DFW area and came back with five-star defensive end Solomon Thomas and four-star defensive back Brandon Simmons. This is also the first time we've seen a commit come from Colorado since 2011, and it's the last time a commit from that state has committed to the Cardinal. That player? Christian McCaffrey.
2015: 22 commits
The 2015 class saw a shift in their commit location with many commits coming from the state of North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana and a continued thread of commits coming from the Atlanta area. This group included Bryce Love, Justin Reid and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside. The group had one two-star commit, 16 three-star commits and five four-star commits. California remained to be fruitful with wide receiver Trent Irwin coming in and defensive backs Quenton Meeks and Frank Buncom coming from San Diego.
2016: 25 commits
This class brought us the "Fat Five" including Nate "The Big Island" Herbig coming from Hawaii, who cracked the starting lineup as a true freshman. There was an explosion in Texas and the Northeast in this class as well. The Cardinal earned commitments from Texas blue-chips Obi Eboh, Kaden Smith, Mike Williams and Trevor Speights. The Cardinal came into areas in the Northeast that were lightly-treaded in previous years, bringing in a group headlined by safety Andrew Pryts, offensive tackles Clark Yarbrough and Devery Hamilton. This class was compile of three two-star commits, 11 three-star commits and 11 four-star commits.
2017: 14 commits
This was a historically good class for the Cardinal, bringing in three five-star commits and seven Scout Top-300 commits. The state of Washington was especially fruitful for the Cardinal with offensive tackle Foster Sarell and athlete Connor Wedington, the top two players in the state, going the Cardinal's way. They earned commitment from two elite pass-catchers in Southern California in Osiris St. Brown and Colby Parkinson. While the Cardinal recruited Texas very well, specifically in 2016, they had not really made a hit in the Houston area. That changed with a commitment from five-star offensive tackle Walker Little. They also continued a strong pipeline in the Atlanta area with commitments from quarterback Davis Mills and Stuart Head, as well as Salt Lake City, where Sione Lund and Levani Damuni pledged to the Cardinal as well. This was also the first time since 2010 Stanford has received a commitment from a player in Alabama in four-star defensive end Ryan Johnson.
2017 class - Green
2016 class - Pink
2015 class- Blue
2014 class - tan
2013 class - gray
2012 class - yellow
By state: California - 27, Texas - 13, Utah - 9, Arizona - 6, Florida - 6, Georgia - 6, Washington - 6, Louisiana - 5, Hawaii - 3, Illinois - 3, Maryland - 3, North Carolina - 3, New Jersey - 3, Virginia - 3, Missouri - 2, Ohio - 2, Oregon - 2, Tennessee - 2, Alabama - 1, Colorado - 1, Connecticut - 1, Idaho - 1, Indiana - 1, Minnesota - 1, Nebraska - 1, New Mexico - 1, Pennsylvania - 1, Oklahoma - 1, South Carolina -1
The Cardinal are trying to create more of a pipeline to Alabama with 2018 quarterback Jack West already committed. They have also targeted North Carolina early, providing three offers to players from that state.
We'll see if they continue their trend of picking up players from Southern California, the Salt Lake City and Atlanta areas, as well as Texas in the 2018 class and beyond.