Six Stanford football players are named to watch lists


Six Stanford football players were named to preseason watch lists it was announced Monday.

Defensive players Ben Gardner, Trent Murphy and Shayne Skov were named to the watch list for the Bednarik Award while quarterback Kevin Hogan and offensive lineman David Yankey were named to the Maxwell Award Watch List.

Sophomore tight end Luke Kaumatule was named to the John Mackey Award Watch List on Tuesday.

The Maxwell Award, named in honor of Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell, has been given to America's College Player of the Year since 1937.

Maxwell's contributions to the game of football were extensive, including as a player, a sportswriter and an official.

The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995.

Chuck Bednarik, former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of '69 and the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of '67.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced Oct. 29, while the three finalists for each award will be unveiled Nov. 25th.

The winners of the 2013 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 12th.

The formal presentations of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City on March 7, 2014.

The watch list candidates have been chosen by the Maxwell Football Club's selection committee, which analyzes both past performance and future potential.

The Club reserves the right to make additions and deletions to these lists as the 2013 season unfolds.

All members of the Maxwell Football Club, NCAA sports information directors, FBS head coaches and selected national media are eligible to vote for the awards.

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 1/2) and sacks (7 1/2).

Murphy, an AP third team All-American and Butkus Award semifinalist was a frequent visitor in the backfield last season, when the senior outside linebacker led the Cardinal with 10 sacks and 18 tackles for a loss.

Skov returned to action last fall after major knee surgery and returned to dominant form by season's end. He led the team with 82 tackles (43 solo), 7 1/2 for a loss, including 2 1/2 sacks.

Yankey, one of the most dominant and versatile offensive linemen in the nation, goes into his senior campaign as a preseason candidate for many awards, including the Outland Trophy.

Yankey will move to left guard this year 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 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.

Hogan, the Pac-12 Championship Game MVP, started and won the last five games of 2012-13 for Stanford. He won four straight games against as many ranked opponents to end regular season as well as defeating Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl Game.

The John Mackey Award has been awarded since 2000 to the most outstanding tight end in FBS college football.

In addition to demonstrating outstanding athletic prowess on the field, the award also stands for positive sportsmanship-like behavior, good academic standing & exceptional leadership abilities.

The award recipient is determined by confidential balloting of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee, which is composed of respected members of the media and former NFL players.

The award is named after Roosevelt native and NFL Hall of Fame member John Mackey.

The midseason Watch List will be released Oct. 14 with eight semifinalists named Nov. 18.

One week later, the field will be narrowed to three finalists and the recipient will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 12th.

Kaumatule is an intriguing addition to the list, which includes 37 names. At 6 foot 7, 260 pounds, he played behind a pair of NFL draftees last season in Zach Ertz (Philadelphia) and Levine Toilolo (Atlanta).

Stanford has garnered the nickname of "Tight End-U" in social media circles and Kaumatule received praise throughout the spring practice season. In last season's victory over USC, it was Kaumatule who delivered a pivotal downfield block on Ertz's game-winning touchdown reception. All told in 2012, Kaumatule played in nine games.

Ertz led all FBS tight ends during the 2012 season with 69 receptions and 898 receiving yards, both school records at the position, while adding six touchdowns. He teamed with Toilolo (24-393-4) for 93 receptions for 1,291 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2012 as Stanford led all schools nationally in tight end productivity.

Kaumatule's upside can be massive and the Stanford pedigree is in place with the program boasting seven tight ends in the NFL - Ertz, Toilolo, Coby Fleener (Indianapolis), Jim Dray (Arizona), Konrad Reuland (N.Y. Jets), Alex Smith (Cincinnati) and Evan Moore (most recently with Philadelphia).

Mackey is often regarded as one of the all-time greats to ever have played the tight end position.

He played in the National Football League for 10 years, was elected to the Pro Bowl five times, was a three-time All-NFL Player, was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team and to the league's 50th Anniversary squad.

Mackey also played in two NFL Championship games and two Super Bowls, including the victorious Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl V where he caught a pivotal 75 yard touchdown pass from Johnny Unitas.

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.

Despite his limited play, Hogan was Stanford's second-leading rusher (263 yards) and established himself as an accurate passer. He completed nearly 72 percent of his attempts with nine touchdown passes and three interceptions.

— Stanford Athletics


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