Players on the Rose Bowl environment:
Junior OL Cameron Fleming
"I've had an awesome experience and it's been the best bowl game I've been a part of. I like the way the week has been structured. It lets us have fun and enjoy the surroundings while having plenty of time to prepare for the football game. It most definitely feels like a game week. Instead of going to school, we get to relax at the hotel."
Senior TE Levine Toilolo
On the highlight of the team's time off the football field this week …
"Everyone associated with this bowl week has been extremely hospitable and all the events that have been planned for us have been very much enjoyed by the team. The entire team would agree that the comedy show was one of the best bowl events we've been to over the last few years."
On what playing in the Rose Bowl means to him …
"Being back in SoCal after growing up here as a kid, it will be great to play in front of my family and friends. For me to be here in SoCal and to have the opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl is one of those things that you think about while growing up and will remember for the rest of your life. I'm very fortunate to be able to be a part of this."
Senior P Daniel Zychlinski
On playing his final collegiate game in the Rose Bowl …
"This is a dream come true. When our class came in as true freshmen, this was our goal from the beginning. To sit back and to reflect on the ride that we've taken to get to this point is truly extraordinary. I can't wait to get on the field. I've been visualizing the moment in my mind since we found out we were going to play in the Rose Bowl. Running down the ramp and onto the field just as so many great football players have done before us and being a part of the tradition that is the Rose Bowl is a great way to end my career at Stanford."
TE Zach Ertz
Q. Can you talk about your improved blocking and how you went about working on improving it this season?
ZACH ERTZ: Yeah, Pep Hamilton does a great job every off-season saying that if you can't block, you're not going to be able to play in this offense, and that goes for tight ends, receivers and obviously the offensive line. I kind of wanted to improve on that the most, because people were saying that was my biggest weakness, because they kind of knew I could do the receiving side of the tight end part. But I wanted to prove to everybody that I was a complete tight end.
Q. Awesome. Talk about the program. What does Coach Turley do as a general?
ZACH ERTZ: He's great at what he does. He was national strength coach for a reason this year. He's a big guy on the flexibility part first, then the strength is second. I think that showed for a lot of guys, especially myself.
Q. What is it about Coach Shaw where he's been able to pick up and go one step further winning the conference title where Coach Harbaugh wasn't able to?
ZACH ERTZ: I think Coach Harbaugh did a great job laying the foundation for the program. But Coach Shaw is a heck of a coach. He's very good at what he does. I think he's lost four games in the past two years, and I think it kind of shows that he's got the whole team buying into what we're doing around here, and that goes a long way.
Q. In regards to exceeding expectations:
ZACH ERTZ: Yeah, it started after Toby left, then after Harbaugh left and then after Andrew left. Every year people say we're not going to be good, but we're trying to show people that we're not a flash-in-the-pan-type program, and Stanford's going to be here for years to come.
Q. Was it cool having people at practice?
ZACH ERTZ: It was fun seeing all those people out there. We haven't had that environment since training camp with all those people at practice. We didn't do too much. We didn't show a lot just in case they sent somebody out there. It was fun to see everybody out there, and I think we still got our work in.
Q. Who wins a one-on-one basketball game, Luck or Hogan?
ZACH ERTZ: Probably Kevin on that one. I've got to support the guy that's here now.
Q. How good was Andrew?
ZACH ERTZ: He was very athletic. I don't know if you saw his combine numbers, but he had a 36- or 37-inch vertical. He's a good player. I mean, he can jump a lot. He can jump very high. So he goes after a lot of rebounds. He's just a hustle player, I would say.
Q. How many people are you losing for sure?
ZACH ERTZ: Six or seven, so not too many. We've got a lot of guys that kind of have to see what they're going to do after the year. We'll see how many guys we end up losing.
Q. Is it cool having an identity that you have? What makes that interesting?
ZACH ERTZ: I think we kind of pride ourselves in being a physical football team. If we were to run a spread offense, I don't think we'd be able to call ourselves a physical football team. I think on the West Coast, there are not a lot of teams running the schemes that we do. But we view it as an opportunity to be great. All of those teams are kind of similar, but we're different from everybody else.
Q. Think it's going to be a close game?
ZACH ERTZ: Yeah, I think it's going to be a good, entertaining game. I think both teams will have their opportunities. I think just the play makers on the outside have to kind of make a play.
Q. What gift did you get?
ZACH ERTZ: I got the 37 inch TV.
Q. Is that the most popular thing?
ZACH ERTZ: Yeah, I think so. I think a lot of the guys had the iPad, because we got the iPad minis for the Pac-12 Championship.
Q. What else did they have?
ZACH ERTZ: They had another tablet, an Android tablet, some headphones.
Q. Talk about Kulabafi. What is the story behind it?
STEPFAN TAYLOR: It all started on the practice field. Anthony Wilkerson, we're just freestyling. You know, he was rhyming with me. And I came up with the Kulabafi line, and looked at Anthony and started smiling. He's like, no, that's not going to work. I said you start calling me Kulabafi, and I wrote it on the tape. I think the first person to actually call me Kula was Andrew Luck. And it stuck from there. Right now, it's just blowing up, I guess you could say, like everything else. Just having fun with it.
Q. Do you remember the actual lyric that rhymed with it?
STEPFAN TAYLOR: It was something like you can't mess with me, because I'm Kulabafi or something like that.
Q. I talked to some of your teammates and they're like it's the total opposite of who you are because you're pretty reserved. Is that true? It's like an alter ego?
STEPFAN TAYLOR: Yeah, Kulabafi is definitely more outgoing, having a lot of fun. Stepfan is more calm and collected.
Q. Talk about the videos?
STEPFAN TAYLOR: Honestly, I really don't know. Probably only like three. They're just messing around. It's not like a structured video or anything. They're all improvs. Whatever comes to mind at the time comes out of my mouth.
Q. Are you good?
STEPFAN TAYLOR: I'm all right. I'm not the best. It's starting to catch on a lot. It was all fun at first. Then everybody started calling me the Kulabafi now. So it stuck with me now.
Q. Was that at the start of the season in practice?
STEPFAN TAYLOR: No, it was last season. Probably during spring ball or maybe like in the fall towards the end of the season.
Q. When you look at Montee Ball and you've had a chance to watch him, what stands out?
STEPFAN TAYLOR: I haven't really had a chance to watch him that much. But from what I've seen, he's a tough back, physical runner, and he can make a big play. He's a good running back. He won the Doak Walker. So he's a good back. He's tough, like I said. He can make good plays and make you miss in open field as well, especially. We run similar offenses. So it's going to be a good game on January 1st.
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