STANFORD, Calif. – With the postseason honors season well under way, Athlon Sports has released its 2013 All-America and All-Pac-12 teams. David Yankey, Ty Montgomery and Ed Reynolds earned All-American first-team honors while Trent Murphy earned second-team honors and Tyler Gaffney and Shayne Skov earned third-team recognition.
Montgomery, Murphy and Yankey had previously been named the Sporting News, USA Today and Walter Camp Football Foundation All-America first teams. Gaffney had previously been named to the USA Today second team. This is the first All-America recognition of the season for Reynolds and Skov.
Athlon also released its All-Pac-12 Conference honors with Stanford garnering nine selections among eight players. Gaffney was named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and Skov earned Defensive Player of the Year honors. Both players were joined on Athlon’s first team by Yankey, Andrus Peat, Murphy, Reynolds and Montgomery at kick returner.
Named to Athlon’s second team were Montgomery at wide receiver and Cameron Fleming.
Yankey, a senior offensive guard and consensus All-American in 2012, has led one of the best position groups in the country this season as the Stanford offensive line ranked fourth nationally for fewest tackles for loss allowed/game (3.69) and 16th nationally for fewest sacks allowed/game (1.15). Yankey also helped pave the way for Gaffney to rush for over 100 yards in nine games this season.
Montgomery, a junior wide receiver and kick returner, led the nation in kickoff return average, recording a 31.2 average through 13 games. He returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, including a 99-yard return on the opening kickoff against Washington and a 100-yard return at Utah. He also had a breakout season as a receiver with 937 yards and 10 touchdowns. He currently ranks ninth nationally in all-purpose yards/game (161.0).
Reynolds, a senior safety, helped Stanford’s staunch defense by limiting offenses’ aerial attacks. After leading the nation last year in interception return yards, opposing teams largely stayed away from Reynolds’ side of the field. He finished with five passes defended including one interception while ranking second on the team in solo tackles (49) and third in total tackles (77).
Murphy, a fifth-year senior outside linebacker, leads the nation in sacks with 14.0, 1.5 more than any other player. He also ranks sixth nationally with 1.7 tackles for loss/game, while his 21.5 tackles for loss are third most.
Murphy’s 14.0 sacks currently rank tied for fourth on Stanford’s single season list with Kailee Wong (1996) and Riall Johnson (1999). Murphy’s total is the most by a Stanford player since 2000 when Johnson tallied 15 sacks. Murphy had two or more sacks in five different games this season and recorded at least one sack in nine of 13 contests.
All said and done, the team co-captain has totaled 58 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, one interception returned 30 yards for a touchdown, six pass breakups, two forced fumbles and one blocked kick while helping lead the Cardinal to the 100th Rose Bowl Game against Michigan State on Jan. 1.
Gaffney’s return from a professional baseball career has been well-documented and he earned Athlon All-America and Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year accolades based on his consistency and big-play ability in the spotlight. No one in the Pac-12 scored more rushing touchdowns than the Cardinal ball-carrier (20, fifth nationally), as Gaffney scored at least once in 12 of 13 games. He scored five times in two wins against Arizona State and set the single-game attempts record with 45 carries against Oregon in the biggest game of the year. All told, his 307 carries were third nationally; his 1,626 yards are sixth nationally.
Skov earned Athlon’s Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honor as the catalyst behind Stanford’s defense, which many consider to be the most physical in the nation. Skov led the Pac-12 in tackles with exactly 100 including 56 solo efforts. He logged 10.0 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, 10 quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and two recoveries. Like all big playmakers, Skov shined under the spotlight with 15 tackles and 1.5 sacks in a three-point win over Washington. He forced two fumbles and posted nine tackles against Oregon and epitomized the Stanford defense with his efforts during a goal-line stand against Arizona State in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game.
Stanford’s All-America Scorecard*
David Yankey, Walter Camp, Sporting News, USA Today, Athlon
Ty Montgomery, Walter Camp, Sporting News, USA Today, Athlon
Trent Murphy, Walter Camp, Sporting News, USA Today
Ed Reynolds, Athlon
Tyler Gaffney, USA Today
Trent Murphy, Athlon