Sporting a short Mohawk and his customary No. 11 jersey, senior linebacker Shayne Skov met with the media on Sunday following Stanford's first practice of fall camp. Skov discussed his rehab from last season's devastating knee injury, his one-game suspension for a DUI, and playing against his younger brother, Patrick, with the press.
Below is the complete transcript of Skov's media session.
First of all, on a scale of 0 - 100 where are you physically?
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Shayne Skov: I don't know yet. I'm not where I want to be come my first game, but I've got a long ways to go. We have 18 days worth of camp, even more than that before the first game, so it's a progression and I'll be ready come game time.
How did it feel to be back out there today?
SS: Tremendous. It's been, shoot, 10, 11 months, so it's a game that I love and have an extreme passion for. I wouldn't want to do it with anybody other than these guys on the team, so I'm ecstatic to be out here with my teammates again.
When you were away from the team, what was the toughest part about that?
SS: I mean just these guys are literally like family. I think we've got the most cohesive locker room in the country, and we just have some amazing guys on this team. To not be around them and kind of go through the experiences you have as a football player was really tough. I felt like I let those guys down. But I'm just glad to be back.
As far as rehab, what was the toughest part with that?
SS: Just trying to find a balance between pushing it and letting yourself recover, because you want to get back really quickly, you want to be aggressive, but you also have to be smart about it and it's not an exact science, there's not an exact routine you have to go through so you have to kind of listen to your body so that's probably the toughest part, being patient.
How good can this defense be?
SS: Incredible. I think the past few years we've had good defenses but we have to take that next step. We were weak in one area one year, weak in the next another, and so I think if we can come together in our third year with a better understanding of this 3-4 defense, I think we can be the top defense in the Pac-12, and from there we'll see where we go nationally, but we have to stop the run, have to stop the pass, and I think we can do it this year."
How exciting is it to see all these linebackers and how it's all going to work out?
SS: It'll be interesting. We're all fighting for spots, and if there's anything the coaches love, it's competition. And we're going to have a whole lot of it. We just have a lot of depth. Jarek (Lancaster) and (A.J.) Tarpley did an awesome job last year, obviously Chase (Thomas)and (Trent) Murphy as well. James (Vaughters) is a young guy who's going to come along and surprise a lot of people this year with his growth, Joe (Hemschoot), there's plenty of guys. Alex Debniak. We have a really deep unit and we're going to push each other to play.
Is your brother back out here…is he a total fullback now?
SS: He changed numbers. He's No. 24 now. He's a fullback all the way. We'll be hitting each other pretty often pretty soon.
Who will win those battles?
SS: I'll tell you I will, but I'm sure he's itching to kind of get revenge on me for the past 22 years of his life, so we'll see how that goes.
What do you take away from the DUI case?
I made a mistake and with any mistake I just think that as you move forward you realize the errors in what you did, why it's wrong. You just kind of learn to move forward and grow up and there's clearly a lesson learned. It's not something anybody should do and I'm just ready to move on from it, and it's not going to happen again.
Do you think the punishment fit the crime?
SS: It's not my place to judge, but I mean I'm truly sorry for what happened. But I've moved forward, I've bettered myself from it, I've done everything possible since then, so I'm ready to move on and improve.
Where will you be during the first game?
SS: I don't know yet. I haven't talked to coach. It's a long way away. Right now I'm just trying to get back on the field and play football again. It's been a while. When the time comes I'll figure that out. It's not my decision, it's something that coach will decide. But I'll be ready for the season and I'm excited.
What it's like without No. 12 out there?
SS: I mean it's different. Clearly, because he's quite a talented player, and this is no disrespect to Andrew, but we've lost guys every single year since we've been here. And we've had to change and adapt and grow as a team and I think we'll do it again. We've done it every year and been successful every year since I've been here. And we'll do it once again.
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