"On The Spot" w/ Taylor Skaufel (#40)

In a Bootleg exclusive, Dave Fowkes checks in with senior safety Taylor Skaufel after Thursday's scrimmage.

"On The Spot" w/ Taylor Skaufel (#40)


Taylor Skaufel, from The Woodlands High in The Woodlands, Texas, is entering his final season at Stanford. The senior safety has played in 32 games and started five during his Cardinal career, recording 71 tackles. This year it appears he enters the 2010 campaign as one of the two second-string safeties along with fellow senior Austin Yancy. The 6-1, 196-pound veteran is expected to provide both leadership and depth off the bench for a restructured Stanford defense.


The Bootleg's "Special Partner" Dave Fowkes  had the opportunity to chat briefly with young Skaufel after the scrimmage in Stanford Stadium on Thursday.


The Bootleg: Taylor, how did the scrimmage go today?


Taylor Skaufel: It went all right. It was definitely something that could have gone better. But I had an interception, which was nice. The secondary, we just need to play together and we will be good.


TB: How is that coming together? You have had a lot of people cycling through, how is the chemistry?


TS: I think it is coming along well. We are coached well, which is nice. There are a lot of guys that are doing a really good job out there. You have Delano (Delano Howell) and Mike T (Michael Thomas) who are really good out there at safety. At corner, Quinn (Quinn Evans) is coming along, Sherman (Richard Sherman)  is doing well out there, Bademosi (Johnson Bademosi), all those guys. I think by the time the season rolls around in about ten days we are going to be great.


TB: Is Sherman back today or is he still out?


TS: He will be back soon. It really looks like it. He is going to be doing well. He is out there. He is running around, he is looking good.


TB: You had a true freshman playing corner for a week or so. Has Barry Browning impressed you?


TS: Yeah, anytime a true freshman comes in and starts playing, especially with the "1s", you know there is something special there. He has made some plays, which is great. He is doing a really good job out there. As a freshman, he still needs to learn a lot, but he has definitely impressed me.


TB: What about your game? You have been around awhile, I assume you will see some action in the nickel defense - how is your game coming?


TS: I feel like it is coming along well, especially during this camp. I am really focused on taking a lot of coaching. I just feel like my game is a lot sharper, which is nice. It has been a good camp, I think, for all of the defensive backs. I think we have all made tremendous strides.


TB: How are the additions of the new coaches? Coach Polian and Coach Mason, what have they brought to the table?


TS: They are great. Coach Polian is a stickler for the details. Coach Mason just brings a lot of knowledge just from secondary play. He comes from the NFL, he knows how guys play and play well. So we are just trying to take as much advice from him as possible.


TB: Is there one part of your game that you feel has really improved from last year to this year?


TS: I don't know. I guess "Football IQ" has been really big. Coach Mason talks about "situational ball" and stuff like that, how to play certain downs to give yourself a little advantage. I feel like that has been big.


TB: Enough of training camp, are you ready for the season to start?


TS: I am definitely ready for the season. We all want to get out there and play Sac. State and just get out there and dominate. That is what we are looking for!

Bootleg "Special Partner" Dave Fowkes is a longtime Stanford Cardinal fan. Born at Stanford Hospital (like "Emeritus"!) 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 local 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 Fowkes, you can read the "Stanford Football Examiner" at www.stanfordfootballreport.com  

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