"We Walk!" #6: RB Michael Spanos, Part II

The first thought is: not very big. The second thought is: not very easy to catch. Rabbit-quick freshman walk-on RB Michael Spanos isn't going to be anybody's tackling dummy. You can't tackle what you can't grab. Not saying this is the second coming of Darrin Nelson, but at times Spanos makes defenders look like Rocky Balboa chasing chickens in a barnyard. Yet another walk-on to root for in 2009.

"We Walk!" #6: RB Michael Spanos,  Part II

Note: This second "On the Spot"-style interview expands on our earlier piece, which told the story of the Spanos family and #4's path to Palo Alto. Immediately following Friday's practice, "Emeritus"  had a chance to focus a bit more on "Michael Spanos: the running back".

The Bootleg: OK, we are on Friday following fall ball practice #5 with #4, walk-on freshman running back Michael Spanos.
What are you bringing to the table as a Cardinal running back? Why should we be excited about your being on this football team?

Michael Spanos: I trained really hard in the off-season, I am not the biggest guy, but I think I bring a lot of speed and quickness, things I have been working on, so hopefully it pays off and they find a spot for me. I'm just going to work hard and hopefully, something happens.

TB: We have been watching you out there, but can you provide a single adjective that describes your game?

MS: Ooh... I guess I try to be "elusive". Not sure how to best describe it. "Versatile" maybe as well - I have been working on my hands and have done some speed training.
I think I've always been pretty quick, but I want to develop that breakaway speed, that "second throttle" was what I needed to work on.

You want your opponents see the back of your jersey, right? You are wearing jersey #4 which was worn by running back Anthony Bookman (1994-1997), one of the fastest guys every to put on the Cardinal & White! You mentioned Toby and Blaise Johnson in Part I of our interview, whose running style are you trying to emulate?

MS: Everyone has their own style, I mean, Toby is ridiculous.

TB: Think you can get that big in the chest?

MS: (Shaking his head in utter disbelief) No, no. I have never seen someone like that before. It's just ridiculous!

I am trying to focus more on being elusive and quick. If I have got to lower my shoulder, put some power into it, I will.

TB:  What kind of offense did you run in high school?

MS: My junior year, we were in kind of a "wing T". The next year it was a totally different type of offensive system -  more of a spread. We went shotgun, a little bit of wing. We did a lot I got a chance to get out into patterns quite a bit.

TB: Did you go both ways?

MS: I did my junior year. Senior year I didn't. Focused on running last year.

TB: Then they probably wanted to protect you...What about your pass-blocking? If you do get in there - as you said you are not a "big" guy...

MS: Oh yeah, I am definitely working on that! Ready to chop and take some legs off! Make the sacrifice.

TB: What will it take for you to view your first year here as successful, realistically?

MS: If I can just find my way onto the field, any way. I want to get through camp and see what happens. After playing (as opposed to watching) every single year in high school - that was my goal coming in, to work my way, do really well in camp. and find some way way to get on the football field.

TB: (Looking over his equipment) Any signature gear for you? Any trademark towel? 

MS: Nope. Nope. Starting new!

TB:  The other guys are accepting you, not treating you as a "walk-on"?

MS: Not at all, they are really cool, neat guys.

TB: Good luck, fella. Who knows, maybe we will see some of the "Spanos Express" in the future?

MS: That would be awesome, thank you very much!

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