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Michael Rector announces he will return to Stanford for final year of eligibility

Senior wide receiver Michael Rector (right) catches his first touchdown pass of the 102nd Rose Bowl on a fake fumble play called "Hawkeye" to stretch the lead to 35-0. He would later add a fourth-quarter touchdown for the first multi-score game of his career. Rector announced on Saturday that he will return to Stanford for the 2016 season, using his fifth and final year of eligibility. (RAHIM ULLAH/The Stanford Daily)

Senior wide receiver Michael Rector announced on social media Saturday morning that he will return to Stanford next season for his fifth and final year of eligibility.

Rector had been contemplating forgoing his final year of eligibility to pursue a career in the NFL, but finally announced his decision to stay on The Farm just over two weeks after helping lead Stanford to its second Rose Bowl Game victory in four years.

After redshirting his freshman season, Rector played in all 41 games of his sophomore through senior seasons, accumulating 72 catches for 1,314 yards and 12 touchdowns. After recording 38 catches in his first two seasons, he nearly doubled his career total with 34 as Stanford’s full-time No. 2 receiver this season.

Rector has been one of the premier deep threats in the Pac-12 throughout his first three seasons of action for Stanford, averaging a stunning 30.4 yards per catch in his sophomore season in 2013 before expanding his role in the offense on some shorter routes to average 18.25 yards per catch throughout his career so far. He has played a significant role in helping Kevin Hogan become one of the most accurate deep passers in the nation.

After being recruited out of Gig Harbor, Washington as part of Stanford’s 2012 recruiting class, the former soccer, football and track star made a big statement with his first career catch, a 26-yard touchdown reception against Army in 2013.

Three seasons later, in what could have been his final game as a Cardinal, Rector had his first multi-touchdown game when he caught two passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns in the 102nd Rose Bowl Game against Iowa.

Rector enjoyed the best game of his time on The Farm to date in the Cardinal’s 38-36 loss to Oregon this season when he caught a career-high eight passes for 103 yards against the Ducks to help Stanford keep up with the Ducks’ high-powered offense.

Rector, a human biology major at Stanford, was named All-Pac-12 Academic Honorable Mention in his sophomore season. He spent his summer doing stem cell research with teammate Joshua Garnett at the Stanford Medical School.

 

Contact Do-Hyoung Park at dhpark ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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