Aug. 24, 2012
STANFORD, Calif. - Fifth-year senior Chase Thomas and seniors Shayne Skov and Stepfan Taylor each were named to the Senior Bowl's first ever Watch List, as announced by the Senior Bowl Thursday evening. Considered the nation's premier collegiate football all-star game, the Senior Bowl invites the top 100 seniors in the country to participate in the postseason showdown set for Jan. 26 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala.
"The Senior Bowl is very pleased to announce our first-ever `official' Watch List," senior bowl executive director Phil Savage said. "We want both college and pro football fans to enjoy tracking the players on our list as they begin their journey towards the Senior Bowl and the 2013 NFL Draft. We have included prospects from almost every level of the college game and look forward to monitoring their progress throughout the upcoming season."
Skov, Thomas and Taylor represent three of 31 Pac-12 Conference players named to the list.
Skov, an inside linebacker, was limited to just three games last season due to injury. Skov led Stanford in tackles as a sophomore in 2010 with 84, including 50 solo stops. He also registered 7.5 sacks among his 10.5 tackles-for-loss.
Neighboring Skov at the outside linebacker position, Thomas earned Sporting News All-America honors and first team All-Pac-12 Conference marks after a sensational senior campaign. He led the Pac-12 in tackles for loss per game at 1.35 (17.5 total) and ranked tied for second in sacks per game at 0.65 (8.5 total). He was also credited with five forced fumbles (0.38 per game), which ranked second in the conference and tied for 10th nationally.
Thomas and Skov have also been included on preseason watch lists for the Bednarik and Nagurski Awards, honoring the nation's top defensive player. The pair also appeared on the preseason watch list for the Butkus Award.
Earlier this summer, Thomas was one of 50 college football student-athletes named to the Walter Camp Player of the Year Watch List, an award which former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck took home in 2011.
Taylor has rushed for over 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons (2010-11), putting him in select company with Darrin Nelson (1977-78) and Toby Gerhart (2008-09) as the only backs in Stanford history to achieve the feat.
Last season, Taylor amassed 1,330 yards on the ground in 242 attempts, good for 5.5 yards a carry. Taylor's 102.3 rushing yards per game ranked fourth in the Pac-12 and 21st nationally, powering a Cardinal running game that ranked second in the conference with 210.62 rushing yards per game. With Taylor at the forefront of the powerful ground attack, Stanford went 11-2 in 2011, earning a trip to the Fiesta Bowl, the program's second straight BCS bowl appearance.
Taylor's 2,770 career rushing yards leave him just 1,264 away from breaking Darrin Nelson's all-time school record.
Taylor has been included on the Doak Walker Award Preseason Candidate List which honors the nation's top running back.
Stanford is ranked 18th in the USA Today Coaches' Preseason Poll and 21st in the AP Top 25 Poll. The Cardinal will open its season next Friday Aug. 31 at Stanford Stadium against San Jose State, with a national broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.
Tickets for the 2012 season are available for purchase online at GoStanford.com, at the Stanford Stadium Ticket Office and by calling 1-800-STANFORD. Click here for a KIDS FREE voucher for the Aug. 31 San Jose State game.