Stanford continues to build a smaller but strong 2013 class and this weekend added a very good in-state prospect with Austin Hooper (Concord, Calif./De La Salle). The ESPN 300 prospect is a very good football player and could help the Cardinal in a few ways.
Projected as a defensive end, he could put his hand down or fill that hybrid role and, while he may lack some of the same athleticism, Hooper does remind us some of current Stanford defender Chase Thomas. The four-star could also play tight end and it seems that is where he will land, at least initially for Stanford.
Regardless of how he's utilized, Hooper should develop into a productive player for the Cardinal as they are getting a guy who combines good ability with a good motor and is a fairly good technician at this stage. As a tight end, he will likely make his greatest contributions as a blocker as he possesses good size with a frame to build on. He also demonstrates the ability to play with good pad level and use his hands and could be a good and consistent blocker in their run game.
This is a nice pick-up for Stanford on either side of the ball as they are quite simply getting a good football player. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Hooper begin to contribute as a true freshman.