Stanford’s defensive line was already stretched thin because of various issues this spring. After today, that unit is positively waif-like.
Defensive end Solomon Thomas did not participate in the spring practice session Saturday because of what was later described as a jammed toe sustained this past week. While Thomas was seen wearing a boot on his injured foot, he’s expected back at some point before the end of spring.
Additionally, defensive tackle Alex Yazdi (pictured, No. 79) has decided to “move on” from the football program, head coach David Shaw confirmed following practice. Whether the fifth-year senior, who played in five games last season, will transfer to another program for his final season of eligibility or has simply decided to give up playing the sport has not been determined.
The combination of attrition and injury — starting lineman Aziz Shittu is out for the spring as he continues to recover from a serious knee injury sustained last October — has left the line on the defensive side very depleted. How depleted?
In fact, Stanford has only 3 D-linemen warming up: Nate Lohn, Jordan Watkins, and Harrison Phillips. Luke Kaumatule is warming up with OLBs
— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) February 28, 2015
That trio’s performance was enough to impress even their head coach.
“It is very, very difficult,” Shaw said in quotes distributed by the school. “I had the guys give an applause to the entire defensive line. For three guys to make it through a full practice with scrimmaging and all that stuff and 9-on-7 … They didn’t bat an eyelash, they didn’t back off, they hustled throughout the whole practice, and that’s what it takes.
“As tough as it is, nobody is going to feel bad for us. We’ve got to fight through it.”
Fortunately for the Cardinal, there are still six months before they travel to open the 2015 season against Northwestern.