Stanford senior tight end Zach Ertz was named to the AP All-America first team and was one of four Cardinal players to earn All-America honors from the organization, as announced this week by the Associated Press.
Ertz shared the distinction with junior offensive tackle/guard David Yankey (second team), senior outside linebacker Trent Murphy (third team) and junior free safety Ed Reynolds (third team).
Stanford was one of five schools to have four or more players selected to the AP All-America teams, joined by Alabama, Florida, Notre Dame and Texas A&M.
The AP has a panel of sportswriters who vote to determine the AP All-America teams. It has selected an All-America team since 1925.
Stanford had four players earn AP All-America honors in 2011 in David DeCastro (first team), Andrew Luck (second team), Jonathan Martin (second team) and Coby Fleener (third team).
This week concluded the declarations of the five All-America first teams officially recognized by the NCAA: American Football Coaches Association, Associated Press, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News and Walter Camp Football Foundation. Ertz was named to the All-America first team by all four organizations which included a tight end this year (AP, AFCA, SN, WCFF). Yankey was named to the All-America first team twice (AFCA, SN) in addition to a second team (AP).
Ertz' tally earned him the NCAA-confirmed title of 2012 unanimous All-American. He is Stanford's seventh all-time unanimous All-American, joining David DeCastro (2011), Toby Gerhart (2009), John Elway (1982), Ken Margerum (1980), Bill McColl (1951) and Bobby Grayson (1935).
Ertz is the first unanimous tight end All-American since Heath Miller in 2004.
Yankey earned the title of 2012 consensus All-American, making Ertz and him Stanford's 30th and 31st all-time consensus All-Americans. To be selected consensus, a player had to be named first team on at least two of the five selected All-America teams. Second and third teams were used to break ties. Yankey's second-team AP honors broke a tie with Taylor Lewan of Michigan for 2012's fifth consensus All-America offensive line distinction.
Ertz led all FBS tight ends during the 2012 season with 66 receptions and 837 receiving yards, both school records at the position. The 6-foot-6 senior is one reception and 97 yards away from breaking into Stanford's all-time top 10 in each category among all pass catchers.
Ertz has led Stanford in receiving in seven of 13 games this season. He caught a career-high 11 passes including the game-tying touchdown at top-ranked Oregon to send the contest to overtime, while he hauled in the Cardinal's game-winning touchdowns against both No. 2 USC and No. 13 Oregon State.
Yankey has been the nation's most versatile lineman this season, playing well at four out of the five offensive line positions plus tight end and wing. The 6-foot-5 junior started all 13 games at left tackle for a Stanford offensive line that paved the way for six 200-plus yard rushing performances and protected two first-year starting quarterbacks with the fewest sacks allowed during the Pac-12 regular season (17). Yankey graded at 86 percent this season and allowed one sack.
Tied for 21st nationally with 1.38 TFL/game, Murphy also ranks 26th nationally with 0.77 sacks/game. Murphy has paced a Cardinal defense this season which leads the nation in sacks (56) and tackles for loss (120). The 6-foot-6 senior's 10.0 sacks are the most by a Stanford player since 2004, while his 18.0 TFL are Stanford's best since 2000. The hard-nosed outside linebacker posted a season-high 10 tackles at Notre Dame and returned an interception 40 yards for a score at Washington.
The Cardinal's leader with six interceptions this season, Reynolds ranks ninth nationally with 0.46 interceptions/game. The nation's leader with 301 interception return yards, Reynolds is one yard short of the NCAA record for interception return yards in a season. He has returned three picks for touchdowns, a school record, while his six overall interceptions are the most by a Stanford player since 1973.
Reynolds collected his sixth interception of the 2012 campaign in the second quarter vs. UCLA in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game, returning it 80 yards to the one-yard line. The interception marked the 23rd straight game Stanford's defense has recorded a takeaway, tied for the third-longest streak in FBS.
Reynolds picked off a first-quarter pass at Colorado and returned it 52 yards untouched into the end zone, while he helped secure victory with an interception in the fourth quarter vs. Washington State by returning the pick 25 yards for a touchdown.
The free safety recorded two interceptions vs. Duke, one of which was returned 71 yards for a third-quarter touchdown. Reynolds was the first Cardinal player to intercept two passes in the same game since Delano Howell did so against Washington in 2009.
Stanford continues to prepare for the 99th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO on Jan. 1, 2013, in Pasadena, Calif. Ticket requests for the New Year's Day bout against Wisconsin can be made through the Stanford Ticket office at GoStanford.com.