Stanford head coach David Shaw gave a positive recap of the team’s first practice with shoulder pads, highlighting the Card’s physicality and maturity.
“Good first day,” Shaw said. “Very physical, as we like. Guys are working hard but we’re not going overboard. We’re competing but we’re not being combative. I think this is a very mature group, and I’ve been very, very pleased with them.”
As the fall training camp progresses, Shaw expects his team to be in full pads by Friday afternoon.
At Monday’s practice, Shaw commented on junior defensive tackle Ikenna Nwafor’s likely medical retirement from college football.
On Wednesday, he mentioned some likely candidates to take Nwafor’s place in the rotation of defensive linemen.
Junior Aziz Shittu and fifth-year seniors David Parry and Henry Anderson are all “known commodities,” according to Shaw. However, Shaw added that junior Luke Kaumatule “[came] on really strong, and he’s started better than he finished spring. He’s in our conversation.”
Shaw also provided favorable commentary on junior defensive end Nate Lohn.
“[He] has been doing very well,” Shaw said. “Both those guys are going to be difference makers. Can they learn it enough to do it this year? We’ll have to see.”
Senior All-American wide receiver Ty Montgomery wore a yellow jersey in practice on Wednesday, signifying that he was off-limits on potential hits from defensive backs as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery. Nevertheless, Shaw has been impressed with Montgomery’s fitness and work on the field.
“[He] was phenomenal today,” Shaw said. “He’s up to 220 pounds [with] four percent body fat. That makes no sense to me. He’s fast, explosive and feels great.”
The Daily had the opportunity to catch up with Montgomery after Wednesday’s practice to talk about his upcoming senior season, his relationship with Shaw and his aspirations beyond the football field.
The Stanford Daily (TSD): How has it been to work with Coach Shaw?
Ty Montgomery (TM): He’s a phenomenal coach, gosh, it’s hard to put it into words. He’s a football guru, in my opinion, and I look up to him a lot. He’s somebody you can just come and talk to, at least with us, I love Coach Shaw. It’s hard to put it into words, I’m not even kidding, I’m really gonna miss playing for him a lot.
TSD: As a rising senior, majoring in political science, how is school going for you?
TM: It’s going pretty well, like every other senior, I’m just ready to graduate.
TSD: Outside of your NFL aspirations, what can you see yourself doing professionally after you graduate from Stanford?
TM: I hope to be in the FBI, that’s my plan. You know, wherever the Lord takes me is great, but right now I have a pull towards some type of law enforcement.
TSD: How is your recovery moving along?
TM: My recovery is moving along fine, not sure if I’ll be back for the opener but we’ll see. Whenever the doctors say I can play, I’m ready.
TSD: How are you prepping for the upcoming games?
TM: It’s mostly been mental. Mentally staying strong, staying confident and working on the little things every single day. Not trying to get too high, not trying to get too low.
TSD: What have you identified as some of your strengths and weaknesses?
TM: I don’t like giving away my weaknesses too much (laughing), but it’s more I know my weaknesses and what I need to work on. As for my strengths, I don’t like speaking about myself too much, but hopefully they speak for themselves on film.
TSD: Who are some other dynamic playmakers on offense, outside of yourself, that you think will have an impact on this season?
TM: I don’t like to point out names specifically, but one of the things we preach here is that everybody’s job is just as important as the next man, so that’s from all the linemen to the quarterback to running backs and fullbacks. If everybody does their job, then whoever the ball goes to, they’re going to look like a playmaker.
TSD: Describe your role on the team, specifically for this upcoming year as a rising senior?
TM: I don’t like to talk about myself too much, but I guess being a fourth-year senior and being a starter, the younger guys look up to me as a leader. But just the kind of guy I am, I am not a huge “rah-rah” kind of guy, but I do like to lead by example when I can, and I’m just doing my best to give words of encouragement whenever I can. I also love seeing other guys make plays too.
TSD: What do you think of the Pac-12 this year; do you think it has gotten stronger? Who are you looking out for?
TM: I honestly don’t have any opinions on that. I don’t focus too much on what the other teams are doing and I just worry about us and how we play.
TSD: What are you most looking forward to this season?
TM: Honestly, it’s a little emotional because I can’t believe I’m going into my last collegiate season at this level because the next level it’s different, it’s business. Playing with these guys and being a part of this locker room is really something special, and I’m really going to miss being apart of this team a lot. I am looking to really enjoy every practice, training and camp. Even if nobody really likes me at training camp [laughing], I still like being on the grind and being out here with these guys.
As the season starts, I hope the fans fill up the stadium and we get a huge support system.