FOOTBALL LANDS ELITE RECRUITS
The 22 high school seniors who signed letters of intent in February comprise what football coach Jim Harbaugh rated as his best class of recruits since coming to Stanford. The headliner in a group heavy on defensive talent is Blake Lueders of Indiana. Expected to play linebacker, Lueders was rated the 79th best overall prospect in the country in one recruiting analysis.
Other standouts include defensive back Devon Carrington, picked as Arizona's top prospect by ESPNU.com; quarterback Brett Nottingham of Alamo, the only Bay Area recruit; running back Anthony Wilkerson from Southern California, and linebacker Joe Hemschoot from Colorado.
OGWUMIKE GAINS NATIONAL NOTICE
Women's basketball standout Nnemkadi Ogwumike, a sophomore who was first in scoring and second in rebounding in the Pac-10 after Stanford's first 18 games of the season, was added in January to the "watch list" of candidates for the State Farm Wade Trophy. The award is given to the best female player in the country for both athletic performance and being a role model on and off the court.
Three other Cardinal players already were on the list: senior Jayne Appel and juniors Kayla Pedersen and Jeanette Pohlen. Past Stanford winners have been Jennifer Azzi, '90, in 1990 and Candice Wiggins, '08, in 2008.
HABER, HANSEN AMONG SOFTBALL STANDOUTS
Senior outfielder Alissa Haber and sophomore infielder Ashley Hansen are among the 50 players nationally highlighted as contenders for the USA softball collegiate player of the year award. Haber is a three-time All-American who hit .443 last season; Hansen, one of just a half-dozen sophomores on the award's watch list, hit .400 last season and equaled the third-best RBI total in Stanford history with 55.
The Amateur Softball Association of America issues an award list of 25 finalists in early April, cuts that to 10 names on May 12 and selects a final three on May 26. The winner is announced prior to the start of the women's College World Series in June.
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Data is from the past two weeks.