Any discussion of 2012 recruits comes with the understanding that even those players who have committed to the Cardinal could change their minds. Nothing is official until national signing day on February 1, 2012, so recruiting news should be read through that filter. It's an inexact science, but it's simply too much fun to ignore.
Bob Whitfield was a year or two behind me when I was a student at Stanford, and I ran into him on campus once as we were both buying a newspaper. At the time I weighed about 175 pounds, stretched rather thin along the length of my 6'3" frame, and I was in complete awe as I stood next to Big Bob. He was about 6'7" and weighed something north of 300 pounds; he was the largest human being I had ever seen and possibly the best lineman ever to play for the Cardinal.
I bring up all of this now because Bob's son, Kodi Whitfield, has just decided to follow in his father's footsteps, making a verbal commitment to attend Stanford in the fall of 2012. One glance at the photo above will tell you that Kodi is not an offensive lineman, but an average sized (6'1", 178, 4.6) wide receiver. Rivals.com rates him as a four-star prospect. He had also received offers from Arizona State, Boise State, Colorado, UCLA, and Washington among others.
Beyond the fact that it will be nice to have a legacy suiting up for the Card, Whitfield's commitment demonstrates a continuation of Stanford's improvement in recruiting at the skill positions. We first saw evidence of this in 2010 and '11 with the hoarding of running back talent, and now Coach Shaw and his staff are addressing the area of biggest need on the offensive side of the ball. (Two other three-star wide receivers, Conner Crane and Deante' Gray, also committed on Thursday, making a total of four wideouts already in the 2012 class.)