Up Close & Personal: Corey Gatewood

Much of the attention upon the Stanford secondary has focused upon the transition of Delano Howell and Richard Sherman from offense to defense. Corey Gatewood made a similar transition as a freshman. After being recruited as a wide receiver, Gatewood was moved to cornerback his freshman year. But due to injuries, he saw more time on the field as a running back.

Last year, it was back to corner for Gatewood, but injuries kept him out all but one game.

I had a quick conversation with Gatewood after practice on Saturday morning:

Q: How is camp going for you?
Camp has been challenging but pretty good. Me and the rest of the defense is getting better. It has been a steady grind. Secondary is really catching on, the linebackers and defensive line as well. We have a complicated scheme but we are all understanding it and it is helping everybody play better.

Q: How difficult is it learning that scheme?
It is one thing to know it in the film room but getting out here and executing it where once you get it down then you want to disguise it so the quarterback does not know what's going on, that is really the part that separates the good defenses from the great defenses. I think we are definitely making strides in that direction.

Q: How are you doing in your game and your continued transition to corner?
I am just trying to stay focused and try to do anything I can do to get better. Focus on my eyes and my technique and try to become a better corner all around. I have good pressure from the good receivers that we have. [Ryan] Whalen and [Chris] Owusu and Jamal Patterson are coming along. And just the precision between Andrew Luck and the receivers is definitely helping the cornerbacks get better.

Q: There is a lot of talk about Delano and Richard going to defense. That is a change you made last year, how difficult is it?
I think it is really difficult. Defense is not something you can just walk on the field and play. Delano is doing a great job. Safety is a very complicated position. I think he is really coming along. Richard is looking good. He is getting his technique down. I think they are really going to help us come the season by making big plays.

Q: One of the things that will help the secondary is a great pass rush. Talk about the big boys up front.
We have an excellent defensive line. They hustle and give 100 percent effort all the time. They are going to help us by getting the quarterback stuck in the pocket and make off balanced throws and that is just gifts for the cornerbacks and the secondary.

Q: What about your personal game and making that next progression into becoming a great cornerback?
I just need to focus on the basics. Once you get into the complicated scheme, people tend to lose their mindset of what the basic technique is. You got to keep your eyes right, whether you are playing man or zone, keep your eyes on the QB or on the man. If you have your eyes in the right place, you will make plays.

Q: Do you miss offense at all?
I love defense. I would not mind playing offense, but I love the defense.

Q: Talk about the team chemistry. One of the things that really impresses me is whether you talk to a senior or a freshman, it seems to be a real bond between you guys.
I think we really communicate well off the field and on the field. I think we know that once we step on the football field it is time to work and go hard, and we always bring 100 percent effort to compete. Off the field, we are like brothers. I think it really helps. We have defined roles when we are on and off the field to help us become a strong team.

Dave Fowkes is a longtime Stanford Cardinal fan. Born at Stanford hospital and raised on the Peninsula, he has been a football season ticket holder since 1981. In that span he has only missed three home games, but of course never a Big Game. Dave currently works in media both on the air and behind the scenes in advertising sales. He has covered sports on and off since 1992. Currently he works as a traffic, news and sports man on several Bay Area radio stations under a few different on-air aliases. Dave blends the passion of being a fan with the perspective of being a reporter in his stories. For more Stanford football coverage by Dave you can read the Stanford Football Examiner at www.stanfordfootballreport.com


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