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James Vaughters
Tarpley, Vaughters on Butkus Watch
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 07/14/2014

STANFORD, Calif. –  Stanford’ linebacker duo of A.J. Tarpley and James Vaughters are among the early candidates for the Butkus Award, given to the most outstanding college linebacker.

The watch lists mentions are the latest in a slew of preseason recognitions for a talent-laden Stanford team, including Tarpley who earned his fourth preseason watch list honor.

Instituted in 1985, the Butkus Award recognizes the nation’s most outstanding linebacker. An independent Butkus Award Selection Committee, headed by Pro Football Weekly’s Hub Arkush and comprised of 51 experts including professional, college and high school scouts, and prominent sports journalists, will conduct the selection process.

The Rotary Lombardi Award goes annually to the college football lineman — offense or defense — who, in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the discipline of Vince Lombardi.

The Butkus watch list includes 51 linebackers and semifinalists will be named in October, followed by the announcement of the finalists in late November. The award will be announced in early December.

Tarpley has earned mention on four preseason watch lists so far including Monday’s Rotary Lombardi Award watch list, released earlier in the day. The fifth-year senior started 32 career games at inside linebacker and is regarded as one of Stanford’s most underrated players. Award organizations have taken notice with the Plymouth, Minn. native also earning a spot on the Bednarik list. Tarpley finished second on the Cardinal defense with 93 tackles in 2013 (52 solo) while playing opposite of All-Americans Shayne Skov and Trent Murphy.

This year marks the second on the Maxwell preseason list for Hogan, a multi-faceted quarterback who ran for the third-highest single season yardage by a Stanford quarterback last season (355 yards). Through the air Hogan attempted just 295 passes but completed 180 of them (61 percent) en route to 2,630 yards and 20 touchdowns. 

Vaughters makes his first career watch list. Hailing from Stone Mountain, Ga., the 6 foot 2, 254 pound outside linebacker is among the most physically talented players on the list. Playing alongside Tarpley and 2013 All-Americans Skov and Murphy, Vaughters played solidly with 36 tackles (19 solo), 6.0 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. He appeared in all 14 games with a career-high seven tackles in a win at Army. Vaughters has started 18 career games.

The Jim Thorpe Award Banquet will be held on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Stanford’s season opens Aug. 30 with a 1 p.m. (PT) home game against UC Davis on Pac-12 Networks. The Cardinal plays its first three games at home with USC visiting the Stadium Sept. 6 (12:30 p.m., ABC) and Army visiting Sept. 13 (2 p.m., Pac-12 Net).

Season tickets are on sale with five sections and price levels already sold out. Three-game Mini plans are also on sale now.

Season ticket holders are eligible to purchase individual game tickets for all 2014 home games starting July 8-9. Single-game tickets go on sale July 21 with a special online-only promotion code through Stanford’s Facebook and @GoStanford Twitter account. All tickets are on sale starting July 22.

Fans are encouraged to visit GoStanford.com to buy season tickets.

2014 Preseason Watch List (through today’s announcements)
Maxwell Award (Player of the year)
Kevin Hogan
Ty Montgomery

Bednarik Award (Defensive player of the year)
Henry Anderson
Alex Carter
Jordan Richards
A.J. Tarpley

Rimington Award (Most outstanding center)
Graham Shuler

Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award (Most outstanding place kicker)
Jordan Williamson

Bronko Nagurski Award (Outstanding defensive player)
Henry Anderson
Alex Carter
Jordan Richards
A.J. Tarpley

John Outland Trophy (Outstanding interior lineman)
Henry Anderson
Andrus Peat

Jim Thorpe Award (Best defensive back)
Jordan Richards

Rotary Lombardi Award (Lineman of the year)
Henry Anderson
Andrus Peat
A.J. Tarpley

Butkus Award (Outstanding linebacker)
A.J. Tarpley
James Vaughters


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