One-on-one with Kevin Danser

With all attention focused on the battle to replace Andrew Luck, it can be easy to forget that Stanford has to replace a lot of key starters in other areas. Nowhere is that need bigger, literally and figuratively, than on the offensive line, which has to replace two first-round draft picks in Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro.

Though the competition to replace Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro is officially wide open, Kevin Danser likely has the inside track to a starting role. Though he wasn't a starter, Danser saw significant playing time and is easily the most experienced among the players vying to start on the line. The Bootleg caught up with Danser after practice on Monday and got his thoughts on spring camp.

The Bootleg: How was the first practice of the second session? How did it go for you guys getting back in the swing of things?

Kevin Danser: It's always fun; you take the three weeks off, you kind of recuperate, especially try get those finals done and do as well as you can in school. Then you get the week off and then you come back at it, and you're excited—it's kind of like spring ball is starting over again in a sense. So you're excited to just get back out there, put the pads on and we're hitting people out there, so it was fun.

You guys are losing a couple of big names on the line, so how is stepping up into some of those roles?

KD: It's still a very tight competition. I don't know if anyone's kind of "strangleheld" that position. People are kind of competing for it; everyone's competing and no one's giving in. Everyone wants it. It's definitely a privilege to be a starter on the Stanford offensive line and everyone wants to hold that privilege, everyone wants to be the guy that's starting. It's a fierce battle.

Do you think in the opening game of the season you'll be one of those guys?

KD: Yeah, that's the goal. That's why I'm in here, lifting all the weights and going to all the workouts. That's the goal, that's what you train for the entire year.

I saw David [DeCastro] around earlier. Have those guys been around? What's their role been?

KD: Yeah, a couple of guys are finishing up their last quarter here. David's been really helpful; he comes, it seems, to like the majority of practices. He's always offering tips and hints with technique, footwork, handswork. It's really helpful, especially with a guy like David—he was a stud here, he's going to get drafted in the first round—anything you can get from him, you take that, you soak it up, you really implement it in your game. With a player like that, he's very good and you listen to what he says.

There's been a lot of publicity around the offensive line class that you guys are bringing in. How do you think those guys will fit in and do you think they'll be able to compete for playing time in training camp?

KD: I'm under the impression that anybody can compete for playing time during training camp. I don't think they're going to tell anyone, "Sorry, you're not going to compete." I don't think the coaches are afraid to tell anyone, you're allowed to compete, go for it. We want you playing, we want you getting that spot. The competition's open for anybody.

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