CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Four Stanford football players – Ben Gardner, Trent Murphy, Shayne Skov and Ed Reynolds – were named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list by the Football Writers Association of America.
With four players named to the list, Stanford was matched by only Alabama with that many players mentioned. The complete list features 28 linemen, 27 linebackers and 26 defensive backs.
Created in 1993 by the Football Writers Association of America, the Bronko Nagurski Trophy is awarded to the best defensive player in college football and is presented by the Charlotte Touchdown Club. The award was established to compliment the Heisman Trophy Award.
Gardner, Murphy and Skov are also on the Bednarik Watch List, presented annually to the College Defensive Player of the Year.
Gardner, a two-time All-Pac-12 selection, started all 14 games at defensive end in 2012 and helped lead one of the nation's top defenses. He tied for second on the team in both tackles for a loss (14.5) and sacks (7.5).
Murphy, an AP third team All-America and Butkus Award semifinalist, was a frequent visitor in the backfield last season, when he led the Cardinal with 10.0 sacks and 18.0 TFL.
Skov returned to the lineup in 2012 after major knee surgery and returned to dominant form by season’s end. From family roots in Guadalajara, Mexico, Skov is firmly rooted as the program’s emotional leader. His numbers stack up as well as he totaled a team-leading 82 tackles (43 solo) with 7.5 for loss and 2.5 sacks from the inside linebacker spot in 2012 despite not being 100 percent.
Reynolds, a preseason nominee for the Lott IMPACT Award, established himself with a noteworthy junior campaign. The 2012 third team AP All-American led the Cardinal with six interceptions, three of which he returned for a touchdown to set a school record. Reynolds ranked first nationally with 301 interception return yards, one yard short of the NCAA single-season record set in 1974 by USC’s Charles Phillips.
The FWAA chooses a Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week each Tuesday during the season. If not already on the watch list, the honored player will then be added. Five finalists for the 2013 trophy will be announced on Nov. 21.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are also part of the 2013 FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, with voting input from the association’s entire membership, selects the 25-man All-America Team and eventually the Nagurski finalists. Committee members select the winner, the best defensive player in America.
The annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet will be held on Dec. 9 at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte.
A tackle, and a fullback, a defensive end and an offensive end, linebacker and a passer, Bronislau "Bronko" Nagurski's talents were legendary. He was a consensus all-American defensive tackle in 1929,and also made all-America teams that year as a fullback, the only man ever picked at two positions. Ballots were found with the 11 (one-platoon) positions listed and only 10 names, Nagurski in two of the spots.
Stanford’s season opens Sept. 7 with an 8 p.m. (PT) home game against a San Jose State team that won 11 games a year ago. The game will be televised nationally on Pac-12 Networks.
Season ticket holders are now able to purchase individual game tickets for all 2013 home games. A limited number of Mini-Plans go on sale July 15 with inventory expected to sell out quickly. Single-game tickets go on sale Aug. 1 with availability based on remaining interest after season ticket sales, which are at an all-time high with nearly 32,000 already sold. Fans are encouraged to visit GoStanford.com to buy season tickets.
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