STANFORD -- Stanford has yet to have a full-contact practice -- that comes Friday -- but the heralded class of offensive linemen already has made an impression.
"Freakish," coach David Shaw said when asked about Andrus Peat, the 6-foot-7, 308-pound tackle. "You should not be that big, that tall and that young and move the way he does."
It's rare for rookie linemen to be physically and mentally ready to play. But both Peat and touted classmate Kyle Murphy are competing for spots in the rotation, Peat at left tackle and Murphy on both sides.
"They're probably close to being ready," Shaw said Thursday.
More ready, he added, than former guard David DeCastro and tackle Jonathan Martin were when they arrived on campus in August 2008.
Shaw then qualified his comment, noting that DeCastro and Martin made enormous progress between their first and second seasons. They eventually became two of the best linemen in school history.
How Peat and Murphy handle the increasing demands of training camp -- everything changes when full-contact practices begin -- will determined whether they play this season.
"They're still learning," right tackle Cameron Fleming said. "They're hard workers, and they're soaking up the offense. But we'll see as we get deeper (into camp)."
The current starter at left tackle, which protects the quarterback's blind side, is also a freshman, albeit a redshirt freshman: Brendon Austin.
"I don't believe in rotating quarterbacks," Shaw said. "It completely gets a guy out of rhythm."
More than 100 iPads have been specially programmed for the Cardinal by PlayerLync, a Denver-based sports technology company that has several NFL clients.
Stanford is the first college team to make use of the digital playbook, according to the school.
The switch is an attempt to increase efficiency while being environmentally friendly. The playbooks can be erased remotely in the event one of them is lost.