The school did not release any further details about its decision Friday. The senior nose guard missed victories in the regular-season finale and the Pac-12 championship against UCLA for what Cardinal coach David Shaw had called a “personal problem.”
The 6-foot-2, 305-pound Stephens anchors the Stanford defensive line’s run package, often clogging the middle to free up teammates to fill the gaps. Stephens has 10 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble this season. He also forced the win-clinching fumble by Curtis McNeal in Stanford’s 56-48 victory in triple overtime at Southern California last year.
“I love my team and the work we’ve all put in to get to this point,” Stephens wrote on Twitter. “My situation is irrelevant. Go to the Rose Bowl and cheer on a great team.”
David Parry will make his third consecutive start in place of Stephens when the Cardinal (11-2) face the Big Ten champion Badgers (8-5) in Pasadena on Jan. 1. Parry had five tackles, a sack and a pass breakup in the 35-17 win at UCLA in the season finale. He had one tackle in Stanford’s 27-24 victory in the title game rematch against the Bruins at Stanford Stadium on Nov. 30.
BAYLOR: Running back Lache Seastrunk is so confident in his abilities, he already has laid claim to the 2013 Heisman Trophy.
“I’m going to win the Heisman. I’m going to win it in 2013,” Seastrunk told The Sporting News this week. “If I don’t, I’m going to get very close. I’m shooting for that goal. I will gladly say it.”
In Baylor’s first seven games this season, Seastrunk averaged fewer than 26 yards a game, but he emerged as a star in November.
In Baylor’s final five games, he averaged 138.6 yards and ran for five touchdowns, including three against Oklahoma.
Baylor coach Art Briles told The Sporting News that Seastrunk’s claim on college football’s top individual award is “certainly a goal that’s realistic.”