Costello to return against Central Florida; Little out for year

Outland Trophy candidate Walker Little (72) will miss the rest of the year and undergo surgery. Photo by David Bernal/

Stanford senior quarterback K.J. Costello returns to action when the Cardinal travels to Orlando for Saturday’s 12:30 p.m. game at No. 17 Central Florida.

Costello’s line will undergo a shift as junior left tackle Walker Little, an Outland Trophy candidate, will miss the remainder of the season and will have surgery on his knee, according to Stanford coach David Shaw.

K.J. Costello/KAH
Shaw also said sophomore inside linebacker Ricky Miezen will be out for an extended period of time and potentially for the year.

Costello, named to preseason watch lists for the Davey O’Brien Award, Maxwell Award, Manning Award and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, threw for 152 yards on 16 of 20 passing in the first half of Stanford’s victory over Northwestern before he was knocked out of the game by a late hit just before halftime.

“Costello will get you fired up,” Parkinson said. “He’s an established leader and player. It’s nice to get a captain back to play.”

Costello has thrown for 5,265 yards and 44 touchdown passes in 25 career games with the Cardinal. He’s led Stanford to the Sun Bowl and Alamo Bowl the previous two seasons.

Costello and Little were both injured against Northwestern and missed Saturday’s 45-20 at Southern California.

Little, who became the first true freshman to start at left tackle for Stanford in 18 years, was the Pac-12’s Freshman Offensive Co-Player of the Year in 2017 and was a first team selection last season.

Walker Rouse, a 6-foot-6 freshman out of the Washington D.C. area, will take over for Little. The depth chart lists five freshmen as starters or back-ups along the offensive line: Rouse, Branson Bragg, Jake Hornibrook, Barrett Miller and Drake Nugent.

“Whether we use multiple guys up front or settle on the starters we’ll see by the end of the week,” Shaw said. “It’s a young team and as the season progresses, we’ll continue to sprinkle those guys in there and help them develop a role for us.”

Seniors Devry Hamilton and Henry Hattis and junior Drew Dalman will anchor the line this week. Junior tight end Colby Parkinson said the tight ends will also help out.

“We have a great tight end room and help the offensive line,” Parkinson said. “I told Walker (Rouse) that he wasn’t perfect but I was proud of the way he stepped up. Going forward I think he’ll be all right.”

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