Stanford Football 2012: 3 Cardinal Players Named to Major Award Watch Lists

Joey HollandCorrespondent IIJuly 9, 2012

BERKELEY, CA - NOVEMBER 20: Shayne Skov #11 of the Stanford Cardinal celebrates after beating the California Golden Bears at California Memorial Stadium on November 20, 2010 in Berkeley, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Maxwell Football Club announced its watch lists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards this morning. The Maxwell Award is given to the nation's most outstanding collegiate player, while the Bednarik Award is given to college football's best defensive player. 

Senior running back Stepfan Taylor is the lone Stanford player to make it onto the Maxwell Award watch list. This is no surprise, as the Cardinal lost most of their offensive star power to the 2012 NFL draft.

However, Taylor certainly deserves to be on this list. He achieved more than 1,000 rushing yards in both 2010 and 2011. He should become the leader of the Stanford offense in 2012 as he continues to carry the load on the ground.

Look for Taylor to emerge as one of the nation's truly elite backs by the end of the season. 

Out of the eight Pac-12 players that were named to the Bednarik Award watch list, two of them were Stanford players: senior linebackers Shayne Skov and Chase Thomas. Both deserve to be on that list considering the fact that they are potential All-Americans who comprise one of the best linebacker duos around. 

Thomas, who recorded 17.5 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks last season as a junior, passed up an opportunity to go to the NFL to play for Stanford for another year. Skov, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, is arguably one of the best inside linebackers in the country. After he returns from his one-game suspension due to a DUI arrest this offseason, look for Skov to pick up where he left off in 2010.