No matter what kind of player they bring in at quarterback, even a guy who can sling it as well as K.J. Costello, Stanford’s identity on offense is always going to be defined by what their offensive line play. Playing nasty as an offensive lineman seems to be just as important of a pre-requisite for playing for the Cardinal as having a high ACT score.
Woodberry Forrest (Virginia) offensive tackle Clark Yarbrough should fit right in with rest of the offensive linemen at Stanford. He has the same kind of edge to his game that David Shaw loves and Yarbrough’s commitment is just another nice piece to what is looking like a potentially great class.
Yarbrough moves really well for his size. He is light on his feet and is the kind of athlete that could fit at multiple positions on the line. He has the frame and arm length programs are looking for in an offensive tackle, but is light in the pants right now. He’ll need time to add weight and strength to fully be ready to compete in the Pac-12.
His athleticism is his greatest asset. He can pull and lead the way on screen better than most other offensive line prospects and does a really good job of getting out to the second level. The one thing he needs to do better when he gets out on linebackers or is pulling is to get his pad level down. It’s not a flexibility issue in terms of him bending, which is a good thing. He just runs straight up and doesn’t always do a good job of adjusting his pad level back down. He’ll get blown up by some ends on the trap if he is consistently too high. Pad level also can be an issue at the point of attack as well.
Plays with an edge to his game. He wants to finish and punish defenders when he blocks them. It’s not enough to put them on the ground. He wants to keep them there. A lot of other players who can move like he does at offensive line are more technical players that rely on body position and aren’t quite as nasty. Yarbrough has both of those in his game.
He played guard and tackle and looks to have the versatility to play both if needed, but is most likely going to be a tackle. He shows the athletic tools to be a great as a pass blocker, but needs some technique work. Once again, his pad level is a bit too high and I could see good rushers get under his pads and putting him on roller skates if he doesn’t bend more. He shows a decent punch, but his feet are really even in his pass set. That will need to be adjusted in order for him to better handle speed rushers on the edge. I don’t think it will be an issue though as it should be something that is correctable.
I think he is a future left tackle on The Farm with the option to play some guard as well.
Yarbrough is going to need some time to develop both physically and technically when he gets to Stanford, but he has the tools to be an outstanding player later in his career. If he improves like I think he can, then he has an NFL future after playing in the Pac-12.
|Recruiting Site||Position||Position Rank||Stars|
Jamie Uyeyama was a way too small defensive tackle at Idaho State University and a more appropriately sized rush end at Simon Fraser University. He was a coach at the college and high school level and is the son of Ron Uyeyama, a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame and high school football coach for over 30 years (hence the site name, Son of a Coach).