Cardinal players earn spots on football watch lists

July 11, 2015, 8:32 p.m.

So far nine Stanford football players — Kevin Hogan, Christian McCaffrey, Blake Martinez, Kevin Anderson, Joshua Garnett, Kyle Murphy, Austin Hooper, Graham Shuler and Peter Kalambayi — have been placed on watch lists for the upcoming football season.

Hogan and McCaffrey are on the 80-player Maxwell Award watch list, an award given to the country’s College Player of the Year since 1937. Hogan, a fifth-year senior, has been the primary starting quarterback for the Cardinal since replacing Josh Nunes after the first nine games of the 2012 season.

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Fifth-year senior quarterback Kevin Hogan (above) earned a spot on the Maxwell Award watch list after setting career highs in completions and passing yards last season. (STEPHEN BRASHEAR/

Coming into last year, Hogan was put on four preseason watch lists, and there were high expectations after he led his team to two straight Rose Bowls. Despite his career-high numbers last season in completions and passing yards, he underperformed in late-game situations, leading his team to an 8-5 record.

Hogan was also placed on the All-Pac 12 preseason third team and the watch lists for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award and the Manning Award, the only quarterback award in which bowl performances are included in the balloting. He and Martinez were also placed on the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s Player of the Year Award watch list.

In addition to being placed on the Maxwell Award watch list, McCaffrey, a rising sophomore, earned spots on the watch lists for the Hornung Award, given to the most versatile player, and the Doak Walker Award, given to the top running back.

Sophomore Christian McCaffrey (left) had a stellar start to his Stanford career last year with 796 all-purpose yards. He made the watchlists for the Maxwell and Hornung Awards. (JIM SHORLIN/

He made his presence felt in the team’s game against UC Davis, when he scored a 52-yard receiving touchdown on his first career touch. He is an all-purpose back, with the ability to run north and south as well as come out of the backfield to catch passes. Last season, McCaffrey compiled 796 all-purpose yards, including 300 rushing and 251 receiving. He was also a deadly punt returner, averaging over 17 yards a return.

This season McCaffrey looks to even further develop his arsenal. In practices this year, he has taken snaps not just at running back, but at receiver and wildcat quarterback as well.

Senior linebacker Blake Martinez (left) notched 102 tackles last season, a team high. (ROBIN ALAM/
Senior linebacker Blake Martinez (left) notched 102 tackles last season, a team high. (ROBIN ALAM/

Martinez and Anderson have been placed on the Bednarik Award watch list, given to the College Defensive Player of the Year. These two linebackers played important roles in the treacherous Stanford defense that ranked second in the nation last season in points allowed per game.

In 2014 Anderson — now a fifth-year senior and a former Palo Alto Viking — had 52 tackles, double the amount he had the previous season, as well as 5.5 sacks.

Before last season, Martinez only had 14 tackles in his two years on the team. But after being awarded a starting position last year, he erupted by leading the team in tackles with 102. Martinez, a senior, was also put on the watch list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given to the best defensive player in the game.

Martinez was also placed on the Lott IMPACT Award watch list, given to the player who demonstrates the best character and performance as a player as well as a human being. Being one of the leaders of the team, Martinez has shown his leadership at the linebacker position and his prowess on the field.

One more player, Peter Kalambayi, has been added to preseason watch lists. Kalambayi, a junior, joins Martinez as one of two Stanford players on the Butkus Award watch list, which is an award granted to the best linebacker in the country. Kalambayi had 9.5 tackles and 6.5 sacks in his first year of action as a sophomore. Now with experience under his belt, he is expected to play a much bigger role in the Stanford defense this year.

Garnett has been selected, along with Martinez again, to be on the Rotary Lombardi Award watch list. This is an award given to the best player inside the tackle box, including down linemen and linebackers. Garnett ranked 18th and 42nd in the nation in tackles for loss allowed and sacks allowed, respectively.

Cardinal players earn spots on football watch lists
Kevin Anderson (above) vastly improved from two years ago, earning 52 tackles in 2014. (JIM SHORIN/

Garnett and Murphy, senior linemen, were placed on the Outland Trophy watch list, an award given to the best interior lineman. With their previous displays of excellence on the field, they have also been placed on All-American preseason teams.

Joshua Garnett (far left) was placed on the watch list for the Outland Trophy, given to the best interior lineman. (BOB DREBIN/

Shuler, also a senior, made the Rimington Trophy watch list, which is given to the nation’s top center. Last season he started and played in all 13 games and tackled for loss of an average of 4.62 yards per game.

Hooper was placed on the Mackey Award watch list, which is given to the best tight end in the country. Playing in every game last season, Hooper amassed 40 receptions and 499 receiving yards. The 250-pound junior tight end looks to be one of Hogan’s biggest targets next year, and with the pro-style offense of Stanford, he will be a key to its offense.

This post has been updated.

Contact Pranav Iyer at brettfavre2000 ‘at’

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