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Pac-12 Media Day: Luck-less Stanford still strong

July 24, 2012|By Andrew L. John
  • Stanford Coach David Shaw says he has the most underrated running back in the nation in Stepfan Taylor.
Stanford Coach David Shaw says he has the most underrated running back in… (Mark Boster / Los Angeles…)

Stanford head coach David Shawn made it clear Tuesday that nobody can replace Andrew Luck, his All-American quarterback who was selected No. 1 overall in April’s NFL Draft.

But if thePac-12 preseason media poll is any indication, Shaw should have enough talented players returning  to remain competitive.

Stanford was picked in the poll to finish second in the North Division, just behind defending conference champion Oregon. The Cardinal also received five first-place votes and garnered the third most points in the conference.

“We have the most underrated running back in the nation,” Shaw said. “I think we have a great front seven, as good as college football has had.”

Among those returning are linebacker Chase Thomas, who was recently named to the Walter Camp Player of the Year watch list; running back Stepfan Taylor, named to the Doak Walker watch list; and Ben Gardner, who was named to the Lombardi Award watch list.

There is still a question mark at quarterback, though, with Brett Nottingham being the only player with any real game experience. He completed 5-of-8 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown a year ago.

Shaw believes that whoever wins the job won’t have to replace Andrew Luck. He’ll simply have to manage the offense and get the ball to his various playmakers.

“That’s what that position is going to boil down [to] for us,” Shaw said. “Let out playmakers make plays.”

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