April 26, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. - Tight end Zach Ertz was the first Stanford football player selected in the 2013 NFL Draft in New York chosen by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round with the 35th overall pick.
Ertz is a familiar player to first-year Eagles' head coach Chip Kelly. Last year at Oregon, Kelly had his hopes of a national championship end thanks, in part, to Ertz, who caught a 10-yard touchdown pass to force overtime in an eventual 17-14 Cardinal victory. Ertz had a career night at Autzen Stadium, catching 11 passes for 106 yards against the Ducks.
"I couldn't be happier to be going to play for Coach Kelly and the Eagles," said Ertz from his mother's home in Danville, Calif. "My mom and dad were both born in Pennsylvania, so it feels like this very cool circle of life. I can't stop thinking about how the Pac-12 gave me my start, and now I will be able to keep playing for a coach that I respected since I started at Stanford. Thank you all for your support."
Ertz, the second tight end chosen in this draft, becomes the second Stanford tight end in as many years to be selected in the second round. Last year, Coby Fleener was selected by Indianapolis one slot earlier with the 34th overall pick. Stanford is the first school in the last 20 years to have two tight ends selected in the top-35 picks in back-to-back drafts.
Ertz is the fourth Stanford tight end to be drafted in the past nine years, joining Fleener, Jim Dray (Arizona/2010/7th) and Alex Smith (Tampa Bay/ 2005/3rd). The last Stanford player drafted by Philadelphia was inside linebacker David Bergeron, who went to the Eagles in the sixth round of the 2005 draft.
This season Ertz became the first unanimous tight end All-America selection since Heath Miller in 2004 with his recognition by all four All-America first teams officially recognized by the NCAA and including a tight end: Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Sporting News and Walter Camp Football Foundation.
Ertz led all FBS tight ends during the 2012 season with 69 receptions and 898 receiving yards, both school records at the position. The 6-foot-6 senior led Stanford in receiving in eight of 14 games this season. He caught a career-high 11 passes, including the game-tying touchdown at top-ranked Oregon to send the contest to overtime, while he hauled in the Cardinal's game-winning touchdowns against both No. 2 USC and No. 13 Oregon State.
Ertz was productive from the first game, catching 41 passes for first downs with 20 receptions going for at least 15 yards and six of them for 25 or more. He recorded a reception in each of the last 16 games, culminating with three catches for 61 yards against Wisconsin in a Rose Bowl Game victory.
Ertz and the 2013 Draft class finished their Cardinal careers with three straight BCS bowl games and a 25-2 record at Stanford Stadium.