May 29, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. - Phil Steele's 2013 College Football Preview hits newsstands June 18 and its preseason All-Pac-12 Team will have a distinct Stanford feel as 14 Cardinal players garnered mention, including five members on the first team defense.
Defense will once again be Stanford's calling card with impressive variety across the board being recognized. Ben Gardner on the defensive line, Trent Murphy and Shayne Skov at linebacker and Jordan Richards and Ed Reynolds in the defensive backfield were all named first team. Henry Anderson and Alex Carter were named second team and A.J. Tarpley was named third team.
College football pundits are predicting multiple preseason All-America honors for Stanford defenders with selections on that front starting in early June.
Stanford's skill on the offensive line was noted with guard David Yankey and tackle Cameron Fleming garnering first-team accolades. Guard/center Kevin Danser earned second-team honors while Kevin Hogan (third) and Anthony Wilkerson (fourth) also received mention. Wide receiver Ty Montgomery established himself with an impressive spring season and received fourth-team mention at kick return.
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. Gardner tied for second on the team in both tackles for a loss (14.5) and sacks (7.5).
Murphy, an Associated Press third team All-American and Butkus Award semifinalist was also a frequent visitor in the backfield, as he led the Cardinal with 10.0 sacks (most since 2004) and 18.0 TFL (most since 2000).
Skov returned to the lineup in 2012 after major knee surgery and returned to dominant form by year's end. Stanford's vocal leader, Skov totaled a team-leading 82 tackles (43 solo) with 7.5 for loss and 2.5 sacks.
Richards and Reynolds provide Stanford with arguably the nation's top secondary after combining for nine interceptions a year ago. Richards ranked third on the team in total tackles (68) while leading Stanford with 15 passes defended.
Reynolds, one of 42 preseason nominees for the Lott IMPACT Award, had a monster 2012 season. A third-team Associated Press All-American, Reynolds led the Cardinal with six interceptions, three of which he returned for a touchdown to set a school record. Reynolds also returned a pick in the Pac-12 Championship game to the one-yard line as he ranked first nationally with 301 interception return yards, one yard short of the NCAA single-season record (Charles Phillips - USC, 1974).
Yankey is one of the most dominant and versatile offensive linemen in the nation and is a preseason candidate for the Outland Trophy. He moves to left guard in 2013 after starting 14 games at left tackle in 2012, where he was named All-America first team by the American Football Coaches Association and Sporting News, and copped All-America second-team honors by the Associated Press. The 2012 Morris Trophy winner as the Outstanding Offensive Lineman in the Pac-12, Yankey has started 27 career games and been an impact performer since his freshman season.
Fleming, a former freshman All-America selection (Yahoo! Sports), started all 14 games at right tackle last year and showed the ability to dominate in the run game at times. He was a key component of an offensive line that paved the way for the second-most single-season rushing yards in school history by Stepfan Taylor (1,530).
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 will be able to purchase individual game tickets for all 2013 home games starting at 9 a.m. on June 24.
Single-game tickets go on sale Aug. 1 with availability based on remaining interest from season ticket sales, which are at an all-time high with over 30,000 already sold. Fans are encouraged to visit GoStanford.com to buy season tickets.