Palo Alto Weekly

Sports - December 13, 2013

Stanford places four on USA Today All-America team

Four Stanford student-athletes were named to the USA Today Sports' All-America college football team on Wednesday.

Senior offensive guard David Yankey and junior kick returner Ty Montgomery were selected to the first team while senior running back Tyler Gaffney and fifth-year outside linebacker Trent Murphy were chosen to the second team.

This marks the second straight year that Yankey has been named to an All-America team. He was a consensus All-American in 2012 and becomes the 10th Stanford player to be named a first team All-American in two seasons.

In 2013, Yankey has led one of the best position groups in the country 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 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).

Gaffney has rushed 306 times for 1,618 yards and 20 touchdowns this season. He is averaging 124.5 yards/game and only has 26 yards lost on his 306 attempts. His 20 rushing touchdowns are the fifth most in the FBS. Gaffney was named the Pac-12 Championship game MVP after rushing for 133 yards and three touchdowns on 22 attempts. He rushed for over 100 yards in nine of 13 games on the season and had two or more touchdowns in six games.

Murphy 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.

Stanford's four selections to the All-America team helped the Pac-12 have the second-most selections of any conference with 10 picks. Only the Atlantic Coast Conference had more, with 13 honorees.

* * *

Stanford head coach David Shaw is one of five American Football Coaches Association's 2013 Regional Coach of the Year winners.

The AFCA recognizes five regional Coach of the Year winners in each of the Association's five divisions: Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III and NAIA. The winners are selected by Active members of the Association who vote for coaches in their respective regions and divisions.

The 2013 Regional Coach of the Year winners will be recognized at the AFCA Coach of the Year Dinner (Jan. 14) during the 2014 AFCA Convention in Indianapolis, Ind.

Shaw guided Stanford to an 11-2 overall record and a 7-2 mark in the Pac-12. The Cardinal won its second consecutive conference championship with a 38-14 rout of Arizona State last weekend in the Pac-12 Football Championship Game. Stanford now heads to a second consecutive Rose Bowl Game -- its fourth straight BCS bowl — where the Cardinal takes on Michigan State.

On Monday, Shaw was named among the finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award.

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