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.
With current linebacker Shayne Skov already earning mention on various pre-season all-conference and All-America watch lists and the arrival this fall of James Vaughters, the heart of the Cardinal defense would appear to be set for the next year or two. With the commitment of Florida linebacker Noor Davis (6'4", 225), rated by Rivals.com as the top outside linebacker in the Class of 2012, Stanford Football seems poised to drag Penn State's "Linebacker U" nickname to Palo Alto.
Davis's commitment to the Cardinal came last month, and it took many observers by surprise. He grew up in the shadow of the University of Florida, so most expected him to stay home and play for the Gators, but Davis made it clear that no university in the country could compete with Stanford. "Most of the country had me going to Florida or Notre Dame, I knew what they thought but I also knew what I believed," said Davis. "It was good to be able to give them a shocker. I respect Stanford's program so much and all the schools that recruited me so much, but I just feel that my best fit is at Stanford University."
As for his potential impact on the field, Jon Haskins from CardinalReport.com thinks he'll be more than just a good fit: "Overall, and obviously, Noor Davis is a huge commitment for Stanford. Both individually and collectively. Davis is a perfect fit for Stanford in every way as a student, athlete, and a student-athlete." The rest of Haskins's evaluation is behind the pay curtain; if you don't already subscribe, I recommend it highly, as his recruit analysis is second to none.