It's official -- David Shaw and company have assembled the best offensive line recruiting class in school history. Kyle Murphy, long believed to be a lock for Stanford, finally made it official this afternoon when he signed on the dotted line and became a Cardinal. At 6'7" and 275 pounds, the San Clemente High School offensive tackle is one of the highest rated players in the nation. Rivals.com gives him five stars and rates him the third best offensive tackle and the nineteenth best overall prospect. Beyond that, he's a straight A student.
Most offensive linemen take advantage of their redshirt year to bulk up and learn the more complicated blocking schemes necessary to play at the collegiate level, but Murphy has made it clear that he intends to compete for playing time as a freshman. With a gaping hole at left tackle following the departure of Jonathan Martin to the NFL, Coach Shaw will certainly be tempted to give the job to Murphy and rest easy for the next three years.
The ripple effect of this signing, combined with the earlier commitments of four-star linemen Josh Garnett, Nick Davidson, and Graham Shuler, will likely be felt for years to come. First, this haul might finally put to rest the annual concerns regarding the rebuilding of the Cardinal offensive line. Second, the nation's elite quarterbacks and running backs will certainly take notice of what's happening in Palo Alto. Many people smarter than I have noted that Stanford has fielded the best offensive line in the country in each of the past three years, and that unit only looks to be getting better.
For a sneak peek, check out this video. Highlight packages of offensive linemen tend to be boring and repetitive, but this one should be called the International House of Pancakes. And who could ever get bored of pancakes?