Dec. 15, 2011
STANFORD, Calif. -- - Three Stanford players - right guard David DeCastro, outside linebacker Chase Thomas and tight end Coby Fleener - have been named to the Sporting News All-America team, which was released on Thursday.
Stanford's three selections were tied with LSU and ranked second only to Alabama's four on the Sporting News All-America squad. By conference, the SEC had nine representatives, followed by the Pac-12 and Big Ten with five and the Big 12 with four.
With the selection of Thomas and Fleener, Stanford has had five players earn spots on NCAA-recognized All-America teams, which include the Walter Camp Football Foundation, American Football Coaches Association, Football Writers Association of America, Associated Press, along with Sporting News.
It's the most All-America selections ever turned out by the Stanford program in one season, topping the 1973 squad, which produced four All-Americans in Mike Boryla, Pat Donavan, Rod Garcia and Roger Stillwell.
By being named to the Sporting News squad, DeCastro has earned the distinction of being a unanimous All-America selection, having already landed spots on the Walter Camp, AFCA, FWAA and AP squads. He is Stanford's second unanimous All-American in the last three years, following Toby Gerhart in 2009.
Fleener is the second tight end in Stanford history to earn All-America recognition, along with Chris Burford in 1959. The fifth-year senior grabbed 32 passes for 648 yards and a team-high 10 touchdowns, which topped all FBS tight ends. He averaged 20.2 yards per catch, which currently ranks second on Stanford's all-time single season list. His 18 career touchdowns rank fifth all-time.
Thomas finished fourth on the team in total tackles with 51 and led the Pac-12 in tackles-for-loss per game (1.46; 73 total) and finished second in sacks-per-game (0.71; 8.5 total). He was also credited with five forced fumbles, which ranked second in the conference and tied for eighth nationally.
Thomas keyed a defensive unit that led the Pac-12 in five categories while ranking second in three others.
He is the first Stanford linebacker to earn All-America honors since Ron George in 1992.
Robert Griffin III of Baylor was named Sporting News Player of the Year.
Sporting News All-American Team
QB -- Robert Griffin III, Jr., Baylor
RB -- Trent Richardson, Jr., Alabama
RB -- Montee Ball, Jr., Wisconsin
OL -- David DeCastro, Jr., Stanford
OL -- Barrett Jones, Jr., Alabama
OL -- Nate Potter, Sr., Boise State
OL -- Will Blackwell, Sr., LSU
OL -- David Molk, Sr., Michigan
WR -- Robert Woods, Soph., USC
WR -- Justin Blackmon, Jr., Oklahoma State
TE -- Coby Fleener, Sr., Stanford
K -- Randy Bullock, Sr., Texas A&M
KR -- Tyler Lockett, Fr., Kansas State
DL -- Whitney Mercilus, Jr., Illinois
DL -- Jerel Worthy, Jr., Michigan State
DL -- Devon Still, Sr., Penn State
DL -- Melvin Ingram, Sr., South Carolina
LB -- Courtney Upshaw, Sr., Alabama
LB -- Luke Kuechly, Jr., Boston College
LB -- Chase Thomas, Jr., Stanford
CB -- Tyrann Mathieu, Soph., LSU
CB -- Morris Claiborne, Jr., LSU
S -- T.J. McDonald, Jr., USC
S -- Mark Barron, Sr., Alabama
P -- Ryan Allen, Jr., Louisiana Tech
PR -- Joe Adams, Sr., Arkansas