Stanford looks to tight ends to bolster offense
The Stanford Cardinal are most effective offensively when their running backs and running downhill and their tight ends are producing. With Austin Hooper, Dalton Schultz, Greg Taboada and Eric Cotton all in line to play this season, the Cardinal should expect a big season from their tight end group.
As ESPN's David Lombardi notes, former USC defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin sums up Stanford's tight ends best:
"[Stanford's tight ends] look like offensive tackles. And then all of a sudden, you see [one of them] streaking down the field and he runs a 4.5 40."
It's not just that Stanford's tight ends look like offensive lineman, it's that their so versatile and the offensive sets the Cardinal utilize are so unique. Stanford's tight end sets are so confusing that even a Stanford safety, Dallas Lloyd, gets twisted up.
"Run and pass look exactly the same," he said, according to Lombardi. "You can't tell which is coming. You have to be obsessed with details just to be in position to defend [them]."
Stanford head coach David Shaw is a big fan of his current group of tight ends.
"I love our tight end group," Shaw said, according to Lombardi. "[Schultz] and Hooper are a phenomenal 1-2 punch ... I like the versatility, size, and athleticism. It's going to be fun to watch these guys grow together."