It seems like each and every passing day clouds the potential of having college football in 2020. There are encouraging updates that we read across social media and the news, like the University of Kentucky’s football team. On July 13th, it was announced that the entire football team was COVID free. Across the entire athletics department at Kentucky, there are only three active cases of COVID-19. If only every other college and university had similar results. Yesterday, news out of Morgantown, West Virginia was not so encouraging. Within the West Virginia athletics department, out of 518 administered tests, there were 41 total positive cases.
Stanford Football 2020 Update
On July 9th, one large domino fell. The Big Ten announced that for the upcoming football season, they would only play conference games. So instead of a full twelve-game schedule, all Big Ten teams will only play nine conference games. The very next day, the Pac 12 announced that all teams would also only play conference games. Pac 12 teams also play nine game schedules. But this means teams like New Mexico State, Portland State, Sacramento State and others will not get their program-saving big money games against Pac 12 schools.
As we collectively refresh Twitter and wait for announcements from other Power 5 conferences and other Division I colleges and universities, it gives us time to spend some Summer time focusing on the potential upcoming season and potential game changing players for the Stanford Cardinal. Walker Little and Paulson Adebo. Individually, both of these student-athletes could have been 1st Rounders in the 2020 NFL Draft. Both players, though, before the pandemic started, decided to return to Stanford for their senior year. Little and Adebo suffered serious injuries during the 2019 season, which led several NFL scouts to question their durability.
Players To Watch
Paulson Adebo, out of Farmington, Michigan, and Walker Little, out of Houston, Texas, have a lot to prove. Adebo has been compared to Richard Sherman, who has proven himself to be one of the top cover-corners in the NFL for over 10 years. Adebo is a physical corner, at 6-1 and 190 pounds. He doesn’t always play the receiver, which has gotten him into trouble over the last couple of years. If he wants to improve his draft status for 2021, having a season at all will help. Second, scouts need to see him cover the opposing team’s #1 receiver, tackle on run-support, validate his ball-hawking skills, and help his team win games.
For Little, it’s hard to not see him on a football field. At 6-7 and 315 pounds, he is probably bigger than most starting NFL offensive tackles. He was a five-star recruit coming out of high school. He ultimately chose Stanford and became the first true freshman to start at left tackle in 17 years. At the start of the 2019 season, Little was a pre-season 1st-team All American. Unfortunately for Walker, he blew out his knee early in the season, so when he plays his next game, it will have been almost an entire year since he last saw the field. The projections for Little are already coming in from the likes of Mel Kiper Jr., Matt Miller, Todd McShay, and others.
Provided there is a season, regardless of what format it takes, the Stanford fortunes and the player of Adebo and Little are going to be intrinsically tied together. After that, you might hear their names on Sundays for years to come.