Wednesday marked the start of the Early National Signing Period for college football, and 19 high school seniors signed their national letters of intent to spend their next few years on the Farm with new Stanford head coach Troy Taylor. Of the 19, 15 are scholarship recruits while the other four are preferred walk-ons. 11 come on the offensive side of the ball, with seven defenders and a specialist.
Coach Taylor was tasked with the tough assignment of keeping the Cardinal’s 2023 recruiting class together when he was named head coach on Dec. 10, just 11 days away from signing day. In the interim, Stanford only saw three decommits — edge Hunter Clegg and tight ends Walker Lyons and Jaden Platt. Clegg committed to Utah, Platt to Texas A&M, while Lyons remains on the board and visited Stanford’s campus this past weekend.
Of the Cardinal’s 17 scholarship commits, 15 signed with the program on Dec. 21 — running back LJ Martin and defensive lineman Cameron Brandt will sign in the spring but remain verbally committed to Stanford for now.
Starting on the offensive side, the signal-caller of the class is 6-foot-2 Myles Jackson of Long Beach, Calif. Jackson was originally in the class of 2024, but decided to reclassify and graduate high school a year early. He was regarded as a four star recruit in his original 2024 class. When he enrolls in June, he will be immediately thrust into a battle for the starting quarterback position with freshman Ashton Daniels and sophomore Ari Patu, thanks to the NFL Draft departure of junior Tanner McKee.
In the backfield, Miami’s own Sedrick Irvin will come to Palo Alto after rushing for almost 3,000 yards and 39 touchdowns in his prep career at Christopher Columbus High School and Gulliver Prep. The one-time Notre Dame commit has serious football pedigree, as his father had three 1,000 yard rushing seasons at Michigan State, and is related to NFL Hall of Famer Michael Irvin.
“Sedrick Irvin, a state champion from Christopher Columbus High School. He’s an outstanding, outstanding student-athlete, highly productive, almost 2,800 yards, 39 touchdowns and he’s very versatile. He’s a guy that can catch the ball, obviously a great runner,” said coach Taylor. “I think he has a chance to be really good in protection.”
Stanford is bringing in numbers at wide receiver, thanks to the additions of Tiger Bachmeier, Ahmari Borden, Jackson Harris and Ismael Cisse. Bachmeier, the sole early enrollee of the class, led the entire state of California in receiving yards per game. Borden was highly productive this past year as well, finishing his senior season with 1,409 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. Harris will make the short trek over across the Bay from Berkeley, where he broke Berkeley High School’s single-season receiving yards and receiving touchdowns records. Last but not least of the four, Cisse won a Colorado state championship each of his four years of high school at Cherry Creek.
A position that the Cardinal have recently been well-stocked at, a few of these incoming wide receivers will be called on to make an impact as the key trio of Michael Wilson, Elijah Higgins and Brycen Tremayne have now moved on to the professional level. Junior John Humphreys remains, but behind him is an inexperienced bunch.
“Jackson Harris is a player from Berkeley that only started playing football during the covid year. He was a soccer player, and then he ends up catching 73 balls, 1500 yards and 24 [touchdowns],” said coach Taylor.
“So you put all those guys in, that’s a really good group. They’re all a little bit different, which I like. We’ll play eight wide receivers, so it’s important that those guys can rotate and we have enough really good ones that can be productive,” said Taylor on the incoming crop of receivers.
Rounding out the offensive side is the O-line group. Luke Baklenko and Charlie Symonds will slot in at offensive tackle while Simione Pale and Zak Yamauchi project as guards. Symonds — from South Kent, Conn. — was a late addition to the class, having been previously committed to North Carolina State, his father’s alma mater. Once the Wolfpack’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach took jobs elsewhere, he de-committed and pledged to the Cardinal. Yamauchi will serve a two-year mission before enrolling at Stanford.
Over on defense, the headliner of the entire class is Jshawn Frausto-Ramos, a cornerback and the Cardinal’s sole four star recruit according to 247sports.com. He competed in football and track & field at Southern California powerhouse St. John Bosco, and chose Stanford over other offers from the likes of Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon and USC. Frausto-Ramos will be joined in the secondary by fellow defensive back Aaron Morris, who will arrive from Phillips Exeter Academy.
The cornerback competition will be wide open for next season, as key contributors Kyu Blu Kelly, Ethan Bonner, Salim Turner-Muhammad and Nicolas Toomer have all departed Stanford.
Adding to the Cardinal’s young and talented edge room will be Gavin Geweniger and Omar Staples. Geweniger played his prep career at Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he finished his time on varsity with 14 sacks, 116 tackles and 29 tackles-for-loss. Staples is another Bay Area Native — from Oakland — and late addition to the class. He committed to Stanford on signing day and has been productive for Oakland Tech in both football and basketball.
Tre Williams is the lone inside linebacker signee for the Cardinal. A Stanford legacy, as his dad played the same position on the Farm, he helped lead Parish Episcopal School to four Texas state championships. He was also a high school teammate of current Cardinal defensive lineman Austin Uke.
Aidan Flintoft will come to Stanford as the nation’s top punter/kicker recruit according to PrepStar. With Ryan Sanborn grad transferring to Texas, there will be an open competition for the starting punting job between Flintoft and sophomore Connor Weselman. Flintoft will have to wait his turn for at least another year behind junior kicker Joshua Karty for kicking duties, however.
While on paper this is Troy Taylor’s first Stanford recruiting class, the reality is that each of these players was offered by David Shaw ‘95 and his staff. Currently slotting in at No. 47 in the country according to 247sports.com, it is a solid class that addresses a few roster needs, but is below the standard that the Cardinal have recruited at in the past.
It will be interesting to see how coach Taylor fares on the recruiting trail in the next year as he starts to build his first real class. His coaching staff is coming together, with Bobby April and Nate Byham arriving to serve as Defensive Coordinator/outside linebackers coach and tight ends coach, respectively. There are still four assistant coaching spots yet to be filled on Stanford’s staff.
The trend of more early enrollees on the Farm has taken a step back this year, with Bachmeier being the only one, but it is unknown how much the coaching change played a role in that. More additions to this class can still be made in the coming months, and Taylor is trying to be active in the transfer portal — evidenced by Harvard graduate transfer left tackle Alec Bank receiving an offer this week.