Christopher Smith

Stanford Loses Two Starters To NFL

Created on Jan. 14, 2014 7:19 PM EST

Guard David Yankey and safety Ed Reynolds are leaving Stanford for early entry to the NFL draft, the players announced on consecutive days this week.

Both are expected to graduate this spring and played major roles in the Cardinal's Pac-12 title in 2013.

Yankey, an all-everything offensive lineman, was a consensus All-American on the line that bulldozed Oregon for consecutive seasons, clearing a path for running back Tyler Gaffney (1,709 yards, 21 touchdowns). At 6-foot-5, 311 pounds, Yankey has the size to combat NFL interior defensive lineman and middle linebackers, but also excelled as a left tackle in 2012.

The lineman could've left for the NFL after the 2012 season and no one expected him back for 2014.

“I reached my decision following conversations with family and coaches, and am greatly looking forward to the next chapter in life,” Yankey said in a statement. “The decision was not easy. I have loved my time at Stanford and am a proud member of Nerd Nation. I am humbled at the prospect of joining a long list of Stanford alumni currently playing in the NFL.”

Reynolds missed 2011 due to injury, then started every game the last two seasons, earning first-team All-Pac-12 accolades each year. He intercepted six passes in 2012, returning three for touchdowns, and added an interception and three games of double-digit tackles last season.

“After much thought and discussion with my family and mentors, I have decided to enter the NFL draft,” Reynolds said in a statement. “I would to thank the Stanford football family for putting me in this position and preparing me for the next level. A very special thanks to our coaching staff, support staff and my teammates for making the memories of these past four years last a lifetime."

The team appears better equipped to replace Yankey than the 6-foot-2, 205-pound free safety, but strong safety Jordan Richards returns along with both starting cornerbacks.

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