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Insider

Could Stanford land a historical OL class?

12/30/2011

The commitment Thursday night from Brandon Fanaika (Pleasant Grove, Utah) gives the Cardinal four offensive line commitments. For most schools, that would just about wrap it up but Stanford is still heavily involved with three of the nation’s best line prospects and if it lands even two of the three, it would be one of the best OL classes in recent memory.

Fanaika is a three-star guard prospect and rated the No. 4 player in the state. He’ll go on his LDS Mormon mission immediately after high school so technically, the Cardinal have three linemen who will enroll in the fall.

In addition to Fanaika, the Cardinal have two other three-star prospects in Johnny Caspers (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West) and Graham Shuler (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy) and four star prospect Nick Davidson (Eden Prairie, Minn.) in the fold.

Those four players alone would make a very good offensive line class but the Cardinal have a legitimate chance and are probably in the top two right now for three of the nation’s truly elite line prospects.

Andrus Peat (Tempe, Ariz./Corona Del Sol), Kyle Murphy (San Clemente, Calif.) and Joshua Garnett (Puyallup, Wash.) are all rated among the nation’s top 50 players with Peat and Garnett rated the No. 1 players in their respective states.

Peat is the No. 16 player in the nation and the feeling has always been his recruitment would come down to the Cardinal and Nebraska. His older brother Todd plays for the Huskers but his first choice was Stanford but he was denied admission. He has already visited both schools and will likely check out USC and Florida State in January. The Trojans are a dark horse and have a wide open spot at left tackle to offer so this one should be fun to watch.

Murphy, rated No. 26 in the nation, has already visited Florida and Oregon and will check out Stanford, USC and Cal in January. Murphy’s parents favor the Cardinal but USC has done a great job recruiting the talented tackle as well and he has visited the campus numerous times. More than likely, this one will come down to the Cardinal and Trojans.

Garnett, the nation’s No. 42 ranked player, recently cut his list to a final three of Michigan, Notre Dame and Stanford. Some were shocked that the hometown Washington Huskies missed the cut but Garnett said he wanted to leave the state and felt more of a connection with the other three schools.

At one point, Garnett looked like a slam dunk for the Cardinal but after visiting Michigan and Notre Dame, the two Midwest schools made up a lot of ground and are definitely in this one. Garnett will visit the Farm Jan. 13 for Stanford’s big recruiting weekend and there’s a good chance Murphy will join him.

With the four lineman already committed, if the Cardinal are able to land any of their three remaining targets, they hit a home run this year. If they can land two or dare we say all of the above, it will be a class for the ages.