Palo Alto senior Kevin Anderson tops the list, literally, of 19 recruits who signed national letters Wednesday to play for the Stanford football team beginning in the fall.
Listed alphabetically, the 6-4, 245-pound defensive end, a member of the Vikings' state championship team, is the first one named, just ahead of offensive lineman Brendon Austin out of Colorado who is considered the 14th best prep lineman.
Of Stanford's 19 recruits, seven were named PrepStar All-Americans or were listed as four-star recruits by either Scout or Rivals.com. Anderson is the lone Bay Area representative.
Stanford signed one of the top linebacker prospects in the nation in James Vaughters of Georgia. He's listed as the fourth-best linebacker in the nation by Rivals.com and 44th on ESPNU's Top 150 recruits. A three-year varsity player, he recorded 95 tackles and four sacks among his 18 tackles-for-loss as a senior at Tucker High.
Vaughters is also one of three Stanford recruits, along with Wayne Lyons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Remound Wright Fort Wayne, IN), who are finalists for the Franklin D. Watkins Award, which honors the top African-American scholar-athlete in the nation.
This is the first time in the history of the award that one school has had three Watkins Award finalists in the same recruiting class. Stanford has more Watkins Award winners (4) and finalists (16) than any other school in the country.
"This signing class is one that will play a big role in the success of Stanford football," Cardinal coach David Shaw said. "Our coaches and staff have worked a lot of long hours over the last year or more with most of these young men, and they fill a lot of voids for our football team. We wanted to get faster and more athletic. At the same time, we wanted to bring in players who demonstrate a certain level of toughness that has been established throughout our program. I feel we have successfully met all of our goals with this recruiting class."
Lyons, a defensive back, is a PrepStar All-American who is listed as the sixth-best safety prospect in the nation by Rivals.com. He is also listed as the 16th top recruit in the nation according to MaxPreps and CBS College Sports recruiting analyst Tom Lemming.
Wright is listed as the 16th-best running back prospect in the nation and top recruit in the state of Indiana by Rivals.com after he rushed for 2,100 yards and 34 touchdowns for Bishop Dwenger in the fall.
Atlanta's Ronnie Harris, Georgia's Ra'Chard Pippins and Folsom's Jordan Richards complete the list of signed defensive backs. Kelsey Young (Norco), who attended the same high school that produced 2009 Heisman Trophy runner up Toby Gerhart, is listed as the 12th-best running back in the nation and 21st top recruit in California by Rivals.com. He rushed for 2,008 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior.
Prep All-American Charlie Hopkins (Spokane, WA), ranked the 15th-best strong side defensive end in the country by Rivals.com and 31st overall defensive line prospect in the nation by SuperPrep, is another of the five defensive linemen signed by Stanford.
Baton Rouge's Lance Callihan, Brooklyn's Anthony Hayes and Newport Beach's J.B. Salem were also signed as defensive linemen.
Prep All-Americans Evan Crower of San Diego and Virginia's Kevin Hogan were signed as quarterbacks. Crower, the 23rd-best quarterback in the nation by Scout.com, threw for 2,232 yards and 32 touchdowns as a senior at St. Augustine. Hogan, rated the 13th-best overall quarterback prospect in the nation by Scout.com, passed for 1,820 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior at Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C.
Devon Cajuste of Seaford, NY and Dallas' Ty Montgomery signed as wide receivers for Stanford. Cajuste, the fourth-best overall recruit in New York by SuperPrep, caught 47 passes for 864 yards and nine touchdowns as a senior. Montgomery, a four-star recruit by both Rivals and Scout.com, is listed as the 27th-best wide receiver prospect in the nation by Scout.com.
Stanford also signed Patrick Skov, a fullback-linebacker from The Lawrenceville (N.J.) School, the younger brother of current Cardinal linebacker Shayne Skov. Patrick is rated the fifth-best fullback prospect in the nation by Scout.com.
In related news, Shaw announced the promotions of Derek Mason to associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator and Pep Hamilton to offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
In addition, Shaw named Jason Tarver, who has served on the coaching staff of the San Francisco 49ers for the past 10 seasons, as co-defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach.
Mason will continue to work with the defensive backs, in addition to his new duties as associate head coach/co-defensive coordinator.
Tarver joined the 49ers in 2001 and served as the team's offensive quality control coach for three seasons (2001-03). He was promoted to assistant running backs/offensive assistant coach in 2004 and for the last six seasons, has served as San Francisco's outside linebacker coach.
Under Tarve''s guidance in 2009, the 49ers outside linebackers recorded 15 takeaways, 17.5 sacks and nine forced fumbles, setting the edge for a run defense that ranked sixth-best in the NFL.
A Northern California native, Tarver played football at West Valley Junior College in Saratoga in 1994-95 before injuries cut short his career.