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February 5, 2014

Live Blog: 2014 Signing Day

2014 National Signing Day has arrived, and Stanford is awaiting decisions from several prospects. Follow all of the drama with Cardinal Sports Report's live blog.

1:28 P.M. - Vecchio to Penn: Southern California jumbo athlete Louis Vecchio commits to Penn over a preferred walk-on offer from Stanford.

Stanford originally recruited Vecchio as a tight end, but more recently, after Dalton Schultz's commitment, targeted him as an outside linebacker.

12:18 p.m. - Leiataua flips: Southern California defensive end Uriah Leiataua switched his commitment from Stanford to BYU. Leiataua took an official visit to BYU last weekend.

Leiataua will serve an LDS mission before beginning his college career in 2016.

10:00 A.M. - Lealao make his decision: Onetime Stanford verbal commit Nifae Lealao announces his commitment to Vanderbilt. There were discussions among Lealao's camp in the last few weeks about the four-star prospect spending a year in a postgraduate program or junior college and then re-applying to Stanford, but a successful official visit to Nashville last weekend ended those discussions. Lealao is one of the most heralded recruits Vanderbilt has ever signed, and is one of the crown jewels of Derek Mason's first class.

9:45 A.M. - Louisiana corner makes it official

Terrence Alexander CB, 5-10/178, River Ridge, Louisiana

Comment: Alexander, who announced for Stanford on ESPNU a little past 7:30 West Coast time, is a huge addition for Stanford. He's an explosive athlete who plays a position of need; the Cardinal's depth behind Alex Carter and Wayne Lyons at cornerback is unproven. Alexander has the athletic gifts to play early in his career on The Farm. Alexander committed to Stanford over offers from Notre Dame, Ole Miss, and many others. The Cardinal were a longtime favorite in Alexander's recruitment, and were able to survive a late push from Notre Dame to ink the talented Louisiana native.

Pertinent Reading: First Look: Terrence Alexander; Alexander reflects on Stanford official visit

9:34 A.M. - A.T. Hall makes the call

Austin Hall OL, 6-5/295, Phoenix, AZ

Comment: Like several of Stanford's other 2014 signees, Hall made a strong case for a Stanford offer at the Cardinal's June camp. He out-performed the more highly ranked Andrew Mike in a variety of drills, and earned an offer a few weeks after camp. It didn't take long for Hall to accept. Hall, who had long aspired to attend Stanford, made a verbal commitment to Stanford in late-July.

Pertinent Reading: Hall makes a statement; Hall fulfills Stanford dream

9:23 A.M. - Stanford lands Chryst

Keller Chryst QB, 6-4/230, Palo Alto, CA

Comment: Stanford honed in on Chryst as its primary 2014 quarterback target extremely early in the recruiting cycle. Two months after Chryst impressed the Cardinal at their June, 2012 prospect camp, Stanford extended him a scholarship offer. Chryst would be the only 2014 quarterback to receive a Cardinal scholarship. Nearly a year later, in June of 2013, Chryst committed to the Cardinal. In Chryst, Stanford is getting a prototypical pro-style signal caller with a rocket arm and a strong football pedigree. Along with Ryan Burns and Kevin Hogan, Chryst will be a part of one of the most talented quarterback groups in the nation in 2014.

Pertinent Reading: Scouting Keller Chryst; Chryst honored by Under Armour selection

9:12 A.M. - High-upside linebacker makes it official

Bobby Okereke, ILB, 6-3/215, Santa Ana, CA

Comment: Bobby Okereke was late to emerge on the recruiting scene - the offers didn't start flowing until the spring of his junior year - but he quickly became one of the most coveted linebacker prospects on the West Coast. Okereke added Stanford to his ever-growing offer list in late June after a strong performance at the Cardinal's summer camp; he committed to Stanford in mid-August. Okereke cemented his status as one of the top players in the nation (and received a major bump in the Rivals.co rankings) with his performance in the Semprer Fidelis All American game. Okereke was arguably the top player for either team, and showed great range in making numerous tackles, including several for loss.

Pertinent Reading: Okereke talks Stanford commitment; Okereke recaps official visit

8:59 A.M. - Southern California DB officially on board

Alijah Holder CB, 6-1/155, Oceanside, CA <

Comment: Like several of the other defensive backs in the 2014 Stanford class, Holder is a bigger corner with excellent length. He picked up a Stanford offer in early June and committed to the Cardinal a few weeks later. In an interest twist, Stanford also recruited Holder's twin brother, Mikah, but ultimately declined to offer. So, for the first time, Mikah and Alijah will go their separate ways, Alijah to The Farm and Mikah to San Diego State. Alijah Holder committed to Stanford over offers from

Pertinent Reading: Holder talks Stanford commitment; Three-star ready for Stanford

8:42 A.M. - Bruising Oregon ILB joins the Cardinal

Joey Alfieri ILB, 6-4/225, Portland, Oregon

Comment: A two-way star for Jesuit High School, Alfieri emerged on the national scene with a standout performance at Nike's "The Opening" camp this summer. Alfieri finished in the top-10 of the camp's SPARQ testing; his 4.55 40-yard dash time was an incredibly impressive figure for a prospect of his size. While Alfieri was arguably the best running back in the state as a senior, his future at Stanford will be at inside linebacker, where, following the departure of Shayne Skov and Jarek Lancaster, there could be opportunity for a true freshman to make an immediate impact. Alfieri suffered a broken femur in late October but should be completely healthy to begin his Stanford career this summer.

Pertinent Reading: Coach's Corner - Joey Alfieri

8:30 A.M. - Speedster Brandt-Sims signs

Isaiah Brandt-Sims ATH, 5-11/185, Wenatchee, Washington

Comment: One of the top high school track athletes on the West Coast, Brandt-Sims will join the Stanford program as an athlete on offense. His latest comments indicate that Stanford might wish to try him as a receiver first, but the likely scenario is that he's utilized in some of the same ways the Cardinal currently uses Kelsey Young. Brandt-Sims committed to Stanford this summer over offers from Washington, Arizona State, Yale, and several others.

Pertinent Reading: Stanford lands Washington speedster;

Welcome #cardclass14 signee No. 13 (7:06am) ILB/OLB @jperez4444 from Carlsbad (Calif.)!
VIDEO: http://t.co/fi8RAdGz07 #gostanford

- Stanford Football (@StanfordFball) February 5, 2014

Jordan Perez LB, 6-2/220, Carlsbad, CA

Comment: He's not the biggest linebacker in Stanford's class, but Southern California's Jordan Perez sure packs a punch. He showed that at Stanford's Friday Night Lights camp this past summer when he went against Rivals 250 guard/Alabama commit Ross Pierschbacher in OL/LB one-on-ones. Despite a substantial size differential, Perez got underneath Pierschbacher and pushed him backwards. Stanford offered Perez immediately after camp and the three-star prospect accepted on the spot.

Pertinent Reading: Coach's Corner: Jordan Perez

8:11 A.M. - Stanford signs first fullback in three years

Daniel Marx FB, 6-3/238, Mission Viejo, CA

Comment: Marx is the first scholarship fullback Stanford has signed since Patrick Skov in 2011. Marx brings plenty of versatility to the fullback position. In fact, he made a strong early impression on Stanford at its Monday Night Ball camp in 2012 after his sophomore season. At that camp, Marx made a diving catch during one of the passing drills. Marx has also shown to be an effective power runner and blocker on his high school tape.

Pertinent Reading: Coach's
Corner - Daniel Marx
; < HREF="https://stanford.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1602846">Marx recaps official visit

8:00 A.M. Arizona OLB makes it official

Lane Veach OLB, 6-6/216, Gilbert, Arizona

Comment: Veach, the son of a former Arizona State tight end, earned a Stanford offer after impressing at the Cardinal's summer camp. The 6-foot-6 jumbo athlete excelled at camp and for his high school team despite playing on a torn ACL for over a year; Veach recently had surgery to repair the ligament. One of three Arizona prospects who will join Stanford's 2014 class, Veach is projected to play outside linebacker on The Farm, the same position that fellow Arizona native Trent Murphy once occupied.

Pertinent Reading: Veach talks Stanford commitment; Veach on the mend

7:54 A.M. - Rivals 100 tackle makes it official

Casey Tucker OL, 6-6/280, Chandler, Arizona

Comment: Stanford and offensive coordinator Mike Bloogmren did an excellent job of recruiting Tucker. Not only did the Cardinal have to overcome Tucker's initial commitment to USC, they had to convince him not to enroll early as he had planned - Stanford doesn't accept early enrollees. The Cardinal was able to do both of those things, and as a result, lands one of the top players in the nation who might be in line to succeed Andrus Peat at left tackle. Tucker, an Under Armour All American,

Pertinent Reading: Tucker an Under Armour top performer; Tucker picks Stanford

7:45 A.M. - Stanford legacy signs

Christian McCaffrey RB, 6-0/193, Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Comment: McCaffrey might not face the best competition in his home state of Colorado, but he erased any doubts about the legitimacy of his athletic ability with a dominant performance in the U.S. Army Bowl last month. The son of former Cardinal standout receiver Ed McCaffrey, Christian is a running back in the mold of De'Anthony Thomas - he's not a prototypical between the tackles power runner, but he's one of the most elusive prospects in the entire class. He's also a superb receiver and should be able to contribute immediately on special teams as a returner.

Pertinent Reading: Army Bowl Top Performers; Big Visit Report: Christian McCaffrey

7:39 A.M. - Alexander announces on ESPNU: Star Louisiana cornerback Terrence Alexander announced his commitment to Stanford on ESPNU. A dynamic athlete who could contribute in the return game, Alexander was excellent at corner at Stanford's Friday Night Lights camp.

7:37 A.M. - Tight End U adds another

Dalton Schultz TE, 6-6/233, South Jordan, Utah

Comment: Stanford offered only one tight end in the 2014 recruiting class, and a few weeks before Signing Day, the Cardinal landed a commitment from that player, Utah's Dalton Schultz. Arguably the top tight end in the nation, Schultz is one of the more well-rounded tight end prospects Stanford has recruited in recent years. His performance at Stanford's 2012 summer camp . He's also a dominant and physical blocking at the point of attack. Along with the three current freshmen tight ends currently in the Cardinal program, Schultz will go a long way towards restocking the tight end position on The Farm.

Pertinent Reading: Schultz's first impressions of Stanford; Schultz on Stanford commitment

7:29 A.M. - Top-ranked Texan signs

Solomon Thomas DE, 6-3/263, Coppell, Texas

Comment: The highest-ranked recruit in Stanford's 2014 recruiting class and the highest-ranked recruit from the state of Texas the Cardinal have inked in the history of Rivals.com, Thomas is one of the crown jewels of Stanford's class. The four-star defensive end was one of the first players in the 2014 class to receive an offer from Stanford, and had long held the Cardinal among his favorites. Arkansas made a strong late push, but Stanford held off the Razorbacks. Thomas is one of the most college ready defensive linemen in the entire class, and he could make an early impact on The Farm.

Pertinent Reading: Thomas an Army Bowl top performer

7:17 A.M. - Phillips to The Farm

Harrison Phillips DE, 6-4, 259, Omaha, Nebraska

Comment: One of the leaders of Stanford's 2014 recruiting class, Phillips turned down offers from Nebraska and UCLA to sign with the Cardinal. Phillips earned a Stanford offer after a strong performance at the Cardinal's June summer camp. He won the board drill competition and was nearly unblockable in the padded 9-on-7 drills. Phillips, one of the top high school wrestlers in the country, is representing the USA in the International Bowl this week.

Pertinent Reading: Phillips details decision; Official visit report: Harrison Phillips

7:09 A.M. - Four-star safety makes it official

Brandon Simmons S, 5-11/171, Mansfield, Texas

Comment: Simmons was Stanford's first 2014 verbal commit, and he could be one of the first recruits in the class to make an impact on the field. With the departure of Ed Reynolds to the NFL, and only marginal depth at the safety position, playing time is available in the secondary. Simmons, a U.S. Army All American, will have every opportunity to play as a freshman and help shore up the back end of Stanford's defense

Pertinent Reading: Simmons the recruiter; Simmons talks commitment

7:00 A.M. - Georgia DB Franklin is No. 4

Denzel Franklin DB, 5-11/180, Atlanta, GA

Comment: Franklin earned an offer from Stanford shortly after an impressive performance at the Cardinal's June summer camp. He committed to the Cardinal shortly after receiving the offer. A versatile defensive back who can play safety or corner, Franklin was a productive two-way player for his Pace Academy high school team. He's currently representing the USA at the International Bowl.

Pertinent Reading: Big Visit Report: Denzel Franklin; Commitment Q and A: Denzel Franklin

6:55 A.M. - Alameen Murphy is signee No. 3

Alameen Murphy DB, 5-10/181, Fort Washington, MD

Comment: Murphy picked up a Stanford offer last spring. A few months later he participated in Stanford's summer camp and showed why he was deserving of the offer in the first place. A smooth athlete with good length, Murphy showed excellent coverage skills at the camp. The cornerback was so impressed with Stanford's coaches and the entire Cardinal program that he made a verbal commitment to the Cardinal before even leaving campus.

Pertinent Reading: Murphy talks Stanford commitment; Murphy recaps Stanford official visit

6:51 A.M. - Stanford officially announces Rivals 250 OL Reilly Gibbons

Reilly Gibbons OL, 6-6/300, St. Petersburg, FL

Comment: The Reilly Gibbons of today bears little resemblance to the 240-pound prospect Stanford saw in its summer camp in 2012. Now, Gibbons is around 300 pounds and on the heels of a strong senior year, a four-star prospect on Rivals.com. A longtime commit to the University of Miami, Gibbons resurfaced on Stanford's radar in January. And after getting admitted to the school on a last-minute official visit, Gibbons switched his commitment from Miami to Stanford last weekend. He gives Stanford a second true tackle in its 2014 recruiting class.

Pertinent Reading: A different football future for Gibbons

6:17 A.M. - Florida offensive lineman Jesse Burkett is the first signee

Jesse Burkett OL, 6-4.5/290, Fruit Cove, FL

Comment: A versatile offensive lineman with a 6-foot-7 wingspan, Burkett is capable of playing either guard or tackle at the college level; Stanford told Burkett it would likely try him first at tackle. The Cardinal offered Burkett in July just days after the three-star prospect committed to Vanderbilt. Stanford's recruiting efforts eventually paid off when Burkett switched from the Commodores to the Cardinal last month. In addition to Stanford and Vanderbilt, Burkett, one of the more athletic linemen on Stanford's recruiting radar, held offers from South Carolina, Penn State and Florida State, among others.

Pertinent Reading: Burkett talks Stanford commitment; Burkett recaps Stanford trip

5:55 A.M. - Simmons, Phillips, Thomas send in LOI's

Stanford's three commits from the Central Time Zone have faxed in their Letters of Intent. Now the Cardinal are waiting on Terrence Alexander.

5:45 A.M. - Story: Nation's No. 37 prospect selects Stanford

Team Rankings Shift: Stanford vaults from No. 16 to No. 12 in the Rivals Team Recruiting Rankings. The Cardinal currently have the top-ranked class in the Pac-12.

5:12 A.M. - Solomon Thomas commits to Stanford.

The nation's No. 37 prospect, Solomon Thomas, just announced his commitment to Stanford on ESPNU by pulling out a tree and putting on the table. That might be a first.

Stanford's official football twitter account reacted with the excitement one might expect with the addition of a top-50 prospect.

4:57 A.M. - All four East Coast prospects have submitted their LOI's

4:03 A.M. - Stanford receives its first Letter of Intent

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