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Previewing the Cardinal: Outside Linebackers
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 08/22/2012

Aug. 22, 2012

STANFORD, Calif. - One of the deepest units in college football, Stanford's linebacker corps returns five players with starting experience including first team All-Pac-12 selection and Sporting News All-American Chase Thomas at the outside linebacker position.

As one of the top outside linebackers in the nation, Thomas carded a 52-tackle campaign in 2011 that included 8.5 sacks among his 17.5 tackles-for-loss. The fifth-year senior already has 36.0 tackles-for-loss in his outstanding Cardinal career, including 20.0 sacks in 39 career games. Heading into the start of the 2012 season, Thomas ranks ninth all-time at Stanford in tackles-for-loss and is tied for eighth in career sacks. The durable team tri-captain has made 34 consecutive starts dating back to the sixth game of the 2009 season.

Senior Trent Murphy returns to his outside linebacker position, where he had 6.5 sacks among his 10.0 tackles-for-loss in his first season as a starter opposite Thomas. Murphy started all 13 games opposite Thomas, finishing with 40 tackles, yet remains one of the more underrated defensive talents in the Pac-12 heading into the 2012 season.

Fifth-year senior Alex Debniak will also push for playing time, following an impressive and athletic spring. Palo Alto native and sophomore Kevin Anderson is a new pass rusher to watch after winning the team's Greg Piers Award in 2011 as the leading defensive service player during his redshirt season.

The Cardinal outside linebacker unit also welcomes the arrival of Noor Davis, who was rated as the No. 2 outside linebacker prospect and 25th-best overall recruit in the nation by ESPNU.com during his final prep season in Florida.


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