Todd Husak Interview - Part III

The Bootleg had a chance to sit down with Stanford's 2000 Rose Bowl quarterback Todd Husak.

The Bootleg: People always want to know, do players read The Bootleg or other Internet sites?

Todd Husak: I check ESPN and all of that type, but I try to stay away from The Bootleg. My parents are always telling me, "You should hear what this guy said about you" or "What that guy said about you." I always tell them that if they're going to give me the good, they have to tell me the bad stuff. Reading articles about yourself, that's not something you probably want to do in general. But yeah, I know several guys do. It's like a car accident (laughs), you can't help but look sometimes. For all the good things people say about you, there's going to be some guy who doesn't like you. You have to take the good with the bad.

The Bootleg: Do the coaches put out any official policy, telling players that they can not read The Bootleg, or do they just leave that alone?

Todd Husak: I haven't heard any of the coaches say that, so not that I know.

The Bootleg: Who do you think will be the player next year, who people may not know much about or expect much of, but who will really step up and impact this next season?

Todd Husak: I think Tafiti Uso will be huge this next year. He's ready to step it up. He has been hampered by injuries, and it's tough to play behind Dave, DeRonnie and Troy. Now Troy is gone, so he'll have the chance to make some plays. I think Naatjes and Pierce will be forces, either at pass positions or in double-tights. Both of those guys are talented, talented young kids. I know Diedrick likes to use the tight end and the H-back. We'll see - the opportunity will definitely be there for them.

The Bootleg: The perception has been that Stanford has not used the tight end in its passing game recently. What is your comment on that perception, and what do you foresee with this many young talented tight ends coming to Stanford?

Todd Husak: If your tight end is your best player, like at Arizona State, then give him the ball ten times a game. But we haven't really had to. We've had guys outside and in the backfield who could do the job. It's tough to get the ball to everyone, and the tight ends have maybe gotten the short end of the stick. This next year, the tight ends will have to step up. I expect them to get the ball a little bit more.

The Bootleg: How important was Stanford's summer to you in your decision to come to Stanford, and how important do you think it is to other kids looking at Stanford?

Todd Husak: I think I'm one of the few kids who went to that camp and knew that my scholarship was directly tied to my performance there. You ask Coach Willingham, and there's no way I get that scholarship if I don't come to that camp. It was a situation where 1) he hadn't recruit me enough yet and 2) they hadn't had the chance to really see enough of me yet, either. You put those together, and those days at the camp meant everything for me. It was the difference between my getting a scholarship or not.

The Bootleg: Is there anything Stanford fans can do to better their support for the team or to better the Stanford football experience?

Todd Husak: That's a tough one. Unfortunately, I don't think our stadium is really conducive towards fan interaction. You go to other places like Oregon or Washington State, where the fans are close. The capacity may not be eighty or ninety thousand, but the fans are screaming their heads off. I think there is good support, and there is a great support system for the players and program. I don't know; that's tough…

The Bootleg: How would you contrast your experiences in Stanford Stadium to Husky Stadium?

Todd Husak: Oregon is actually the worst… But if you look at all the things that are conducive to a noisy stadium, and Stanford doesn't have any of them. It goes up and out; there's the track; it's not fully enclosed. Even if you have fifty-yardline seats, you're still forty yards away from the action. It's tough. It would really be nice to have a better home field advantage. We can sell out the place for Cal and Notre Dame, but we realize that we're just not going to sell out the place often. Unless we do, it's tough to get enough noise to actually affect the game. I'll tell you, though, playing at Oregon or at Washington - the crowd affects the game tremendously. I'd love to have that, but now it's not going to happen.

The Bootleg: From a player's perspective, what do you think Stanford needs to do to upgrade the facilities for this football program?

Todd Husak: The Stadium is definitely historic, so I doubt they'll touch that. Arrillaga is unbelievable. I think our practice fields are second to none. And our weight room is pretty good. We have the resources to have the best stuff, other than a state-of-the-art stadium.

The Bootleg: How much success this past year had to do with the high number of players sticking around and working the previous summer? And do you see it persisting, year after year?

Todd Husak: Actually, the year Willingham came in, maybe three guys stayed - maybe Butterfield and two others. But those three guys had great years. That started what we're seeing now, with more and more guys staying. I think last summer, all but maybe one or two guys made all the workouts. Not only does it get guys in the best possible shape, but working out with guys everyday builds friendships and pushes everybody. I think passing game-wise, working out five days a week - throwing thirty or forty balls each day to anybody - it helped us to hit two-a-days on the run. That's something I had never seen in my time here. That started us off great, though it's tough to say that given the Texas game. But as we went on, we were much more prepared early than in past years.

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