In the spirit of Thanksgiving break, at the end of Wednesday’s post-practice media availability, we asked Stanford football head coach David Shaw what he’s thankful for this year.
“My list of things that I’m thankful for… football’s down at the bottom, regardless.”
Wife and kids
“I’ve got a phenomenal wife and great kids. The family’s been very supportive.”
The coaching staff
“We spend so many hours together. They’re good guys, they’re good people to be around.”
His team’s attitude
“Before we even talk about football, this group of young men, in particular the leadership that we have, the young guys that come in and play their roles, and practice every day is energetic and fun. The meetings are great — the guys are attentive, they contribute. The atmosphere that we have right now is a lot of fun to be a part of. Yes, more often than not, it manifests itself as winning games, but besides just the winning and losing, it’s just a really good group of people to be around.”
Who are some of the more underappreciated guys on the team?
(Sophomore fullback) Daniel Marx
“I would start with Daniel Marx. For all he’s done this year, he’s gotten no notoriety. I’d be surprised if there’s a better fullback in America for what he does. He’s only a sophomore, he’s going to keep getting better.”
(Senior right guard) Johnny Caspers
“I think Johnny Caspers is an underappreciated player to a certain degree. Josh Garnett gets a lot of credit, which he really deserves, he might be the best guard in the nation. He’s phenomenal. Kyle Murphy is playing really well. Graham [Shuler] is playing his best football. Johnny Caspers, I think, is playing really, really well. It’s been exciting to watch him take that next step.”
“We don’t have a bunch of sacks; we don’t have a bunch of TFLs. But they help those linebackers do what they do. I think that whole group — they work really hard. They’re undersized; they’re undermanned. But they’ve played really hard.”
(Senior kicker) Conrad Ukropina
“He’s been really good on field goals. He’s come in and he’s been a steady kickoff guy for us as well. For a guy that not too long ago was a backup kicker and a walk-on, he’s operated like we need a guy to operate.”
(Junior punter) Alex Robinson
“Alex has been great. He’s had games where he’s determined field position for us. Field position leads to points, and he’s had a couple of great bombs, he’s been punting to some really, really great punt returners that we’ve kept in the corner, we’ve punted the ball out of bounds inside the 20-yard line, we’ve had great hang time so our guys can get down there and make them fair catch it.”
Contact Do-Hyoung Park at dhpark ‘at’ stanford.edu.