Sports

Stanford's Richards a national scholar-athlete winner

 

Stanford senior strong safety Jordan Richards has been selected as a National Football Foundation (NFF) National Scholar-Athlete Award winner and one of 17 finalists who will vie for the William V. Campbell Trophy.

As a 2014 NFF National Scholar-Athlete, Richards will receive an $18,000 post-graduate scholarship and will be honored at the 57th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City on Dec. 9. The event will also include the induction of the 2014 College Football Hall of Fame and the presentation of several major awards. Former Stanford Cardinal great Darrin Nelson is among those who will be inducted.


Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade-point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship.

The 169 semifinalists for the award were announced on Sept. 25, and the class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Famers and athletics administrators.

Richards, a public policy major, is one of the nation's premier student-athletes. Richards has shown unparalleled dedication to both athletics and academics, becoming the Cardinal's 12th NFF National Scholar-Athlete and first since Owen Marecic in 2010.

A 2013 Academic All-America selection, Richards is already a two-time first team Pac-12 All-Academic selection. Also a two-time all-conference selection on the field, Richards led Stanford to consecutive Pac-12 championships and appearances in three straight BCS bowl games (2012 Fiesta, 2013 Rose Bowl and 2014 Rose Bowl).

The Folsom native and team captain spent time this summer as a student teacher for the Tri-District Summer Math Institute as well as a class tutor for the East Palo Alto Academy.

On the field, he ranks among Stanford's leaders in tackles this season and is among the nation's leaders in forced fumbles, with three from his safety position. He currently sits on watch lists for the Bednarik and Nagurski awards, the Lott IMPACT Trophy and the Senior CLASS Award.

Women's basketball

Stanford senior Amber Orrange was named to the five-person preseason All-Pac-12 Team as voted ­on by the media who regularly cover the conference's women's basketball squads.

One of the most dynamic guards in the country, Orrange started all 37 games a season ago, averaging 10.3 points and 4.49 assists per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the field. An All-Pac-12 selection by both the league's coaches and its media, she was named to the Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List and earned both Pac-12 All-Defensive Honorable Mention and Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention accolades.

The science, technology and society major improved her played in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 13.0 points and 4.60 assists while shooting 51.0 percent over the Cardinal's final five games.

Stanford will open the 2014-15 season ranked sixth in the The Associated Press women's basketball poll, the organization announced Thursday.

It's the ninth consecutive season the Cardinal has been among the top seven teams in the nation in the preseason. Stanford has been ranked in the AP Preseason Top 25 every year since 2000-01.

Connecticut topped the preseason prognostication, receiving all 35 first-place votes, followed by South Carolina and Notre Dame. Tennessee was fourth and Texas A&M followed to round out the top five.

Classroom honors

The Stanford department of athletics registered an overall graduation rate of 98 percent in the latest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) report released by the NCAA on Tuesday. Included in that number were 20 Cardinal teams which earned a 100 percent graduation rate.

Both the GSR and Federal Graduation Rates (FGR) are based upon classes from 2004-07 and show the percentage of student-athletes earning a degree within six years. The NCAA developed the GSR to account for transfer student-athletes, mid-year enrollees and others not tracked by the FGR. Stanford student-athletes have a FGR four-class average of 95 percent.

Last year's GSR numbers showed a 97 percent rate and 19 Stanford programs with perfect graduation rates. The corresponding FGR was 93 percent.

Back to 2014's numbers, the 11 women's programs to achieve perfect GSR scores, included rowing, fencing, gymnastics, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, synchronized swimming, tennis, volleyball and water polo.

Perfect ratings were also achieved the nine men's programs including baseball, cross country/track and field, fencing, golf, gymnastics, soccer, tennis, water polo and wrestling.

Stanford's football program received a GSR of 99 percent, which was the highest mark in the Pac-12 and one that ranked second nationally among Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions (University of Texas at San Antonio). The mark also topped every Ivy League school.

Other programs to receive GSR scores of 90 or higher were men's swimming & diving (94), men's volleyball (93), women's basketball (93) and field hockey (96). No programs received graduation rates lower than 83 percent.

Men's soccer

Senior Zach Batteer and redshirt junior Eric Verso were both selected to the 2014 Capital One Academic All-District Men's Soccer Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) it was announced Thursday. The duo now advances to the Capital One Academic All-America Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected early next month.

The Academic All-District Men's Soccer Teams recognize the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. The teams are divided into eight geographic districts across the United States and Canada with District 8 encompassing Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawai'i, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Canada.

— Stanford Athletics/Palo Alto Online Sports

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