Both senior defensive end Henry Anderson and senior inside linebacker A.J. Tarpley have announced that they will not declare for the NFL draft and will instead return for their final year of eligibility at Stanford.
Tarpley, who will likely start for his fourth consecutive season in 2014, finished his 2013 campaign second on the team with 93 tackles. He leads all Cardinal defenders — past and present — with 216 total tackles since the start of the 2011 season. In addition to providing a firm presence in the middle of the front seven in defending the run, Tarpley has made a name for himself with his pass coverage in a conference with some of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the nation.
The return of Tarpley and his experience will be huge for a linebacking corps that will lose three stalwarts in fifth-year seniors Shanye Skov, Trent Murphy and Jarek Lancaster during this off-season. He will provide a veteran presence in the unit that will likely help senior Joe Hemschoot and sophomore Blake Martinez adjust to increased playing time alongside him. Anderson’s experience will also be critical for a relatively unproven defensive line that will lose primary contributors in fifth-year seniors Ben Gardner and Josh Mauro. After Anderson was named to the All-Pac-12 Second Team in 2012, a knee injury sidelined him early this season. He returned just in time to bolster a battered defensive line late in the year.
— AJ Tarpley (@AJTarpley) January 9, 2014
Coming back for 1 more year. pic.twitter.com/Q0xMReAvVj
— Henry Anderson (@HenryAnderson91) January 9, 2014
When he last played a full season in 2012, Anderson led the defensive line with 51 tackles and only got stronger as the season progressed, becoming one of the cornerstones of the Cardinal’s front seven with most of his tackles for loss and sacks coming after the midpoint of the season.
Senior free safety Ed Reynolds, senior offensive guard David Yankey and senior offensive tackle Cameron Fleming have not yet announced their intentions for the 2014 season.
Contact Do-Hyoung Park at email@example.com.