STANFORD -- Linebacker Shayne Skov and two other major contributors to Stanford's unbending defense announced Saturday they plan to return for their senior seasons instead of entering the NFL draft.

Defensive end Ben Gardner, outside linebacker Trent Murphy and Skov said via Twitter that they planned to use their fifth years to play for the Cardinal, which won the Rose Bowl on Tuesday for the first time in 41 years.

Gardner wrote: "For those who are wondering, I'll be back at #StanU for my 5th year and another big #partyinthebackfield ...got that crystal ball on my mind."

The crystal ball reference is about the player's goal to win a BCS championship.

Skov followed Gardner's announcement by making reference to the players' distinctive hair styles: "The Mohawk would never leave The Mullet behind #1moreyear"

Skov, who grew up in Piedmont, did not immediately return a call asking for further comment.

Finally Murphy tweeted, "Alright, alright, Wouldn't be right to leave the crew behind. Your boy's got #1moreyear at #StanU"

Stanford's defense played a big role in the Cardinal's 12-2 season and No. 8 national ranking. Stanford allowed opponents an average of 17.2 points per game last season.

Skov led the team with 81 tackles a year after a season-ending knee injury. Murphy had 56 tackles and a team-leading 10 sacks whereas Gardner had 49 tackles and 7 ½ sacks.



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