A few days after being upset by Utah, Stanford has decided to shore up its depth on the defensive line by moving tight end Luke Kaumatule to defensive end.
The Cardinal are loaded at the spot, but some of the current starters have worn down a bit due to the mid-September injury to all-star Henry Anderson, who isn’t expected back for another month.
“If he had been seriously against it, we wouldn’t have done it,” said Shaw, whose team faces ninth-ranked UCLA on Saturday.
“With Anderson down, guys are playing a lot. We needed a spark, and Luke is a human spark.”
Kaumatule, who had three catches for 16 yards, played defensive end in high school. At 6-foot-7, 267 pounds, he fits the physical mold that Stanford wants on the line. For now, he’ll back up Ben Gardner, who has an arm contusion.
Of course, the move leaves Stanford extra thin at tight end. Junior Charlie Hopkins is the starter, with senior Davis Dudchock backing him up, but they have one catch this season between the two of them. Indeed, the transformation of the Cardinal from a tight end-based offense to one that goes vertical with its receivers on the perimeter may finally be complete.