Cardinal trio earns spots on national preseason watch lists


Stanford's Blake Martinez, Joshua Garnett and Kyle Murphy are the latest Cardinal players to be named to national preseason watch lists for college football.

Martinez was named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy watch list while Garnett and Murphy earned spots on the Outland Trophy watch list, the Football Writers Association of America announced.

The Nagurski Trophy goes to the NCAA's best defensive player, while the Outland Trophy is award to the nation's top interior lineman.

Martinez, a senior from Tucson, Ariz., was Stanford's leading tackler with 102 (53 solo) in 2014, as the Cardinal posted the No. 2 scoring defense in the nation. The inside linebacker's efforts helped Stanford rank No. 1 in the Pac-12 in scoring defense, total defense, rushing defense and passing defense. Martinez, an All-Pac-12 honorable mention honoree, tied for the team lead with three interceptions and was tied for fifth with 4.5 sacks.

It is the second watch list honor for Martinez, who also appeared on the Bednarik Award list.

The Bronko Nagurski Trophy winner will be chosen from those five finalists who are part of the 2014 FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the association's entire membership, selects the 26-man All-America team and eventually the Nagurski finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner, the best defensive player in college football during the FWAA's 75th anniversary year.

Garnett, a senior guard, started all 13 games last season as Stanford posted the 18th-best tackles for loss allowed mark in the country (4.62/game). The Puyallup, Wash., native has been named to the Phil Steele preseason All-America third team and the Athlon preseason All-America fourth team.

Murphy, a senior tackle, started every game last season on his way to All-Pac-12 second team honors last season. Murphy was named to the Athlon preseason All-America fourth team and Athlon All-Pac-12 first team earlier this summer.

The pair will play a big part in anchoring the line ahead of Maxwell Award watch list players Kevin Hogan and Christian McCaffrey.

The Outland Trophy winner is chosen from three finalists who are a part of the FWAA All-America Team. The FWAA All-America Committee, after voting input from the entire membership, selects the 26-man first team and eventually the three Outland finalists. Committee members, then by individual ballot, select the winner. Only interior linemen on offense or defense are eligible for the award.

— Stanford Athletics

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