Since the Stanford defense switched to a 3-4 scheme a few years ago, the team's defensive identity has been forged through the strength of some of the best linebackers in the conference. Shayne Skov, Jarek Lancaster, Trent Murphy, James Vaughters, and A.J. Tarpley will form the best linebacking unit in the country this fall, and we can probably expect to see sophomores Noor Davis and Blake Martínez in the rotation as well.
Building on this strength, the Cardinal have now signed one of the top linebackers in the nation, Peter Kalambayi.
Checking in at 6'3" and 229 pounds, Kalambayi has the size to play inside linebacker, but is also fast enough on the edges (4.6 in the 40) to chase down running backs or rush the quarterback as an outside linebacker. As usual, there is some disagreement amongst the various recruiting services as to where he ranks compared to other linebackers (Rivals #7, Scout #6, ESPN #17, 247 Sports #8), but the offer list tells you all you need to know. In committing to the Cardinal, Kalambayi turned down twenty-three scholarship offers from places like Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Penn State, and Virginia Tech. That's a serious group.
As dominant as he's become on the gridiron, football was not Kalambayi's first love. His family hails from Trinidad, and he has grown up playing soccer. That overall athleticism will likely help him find the field relatively early in his Stanford career. For proof, check the video...