Stanford seniors Walker Little and Foster Sarell took some time after the Cardinal’s second spring practice to chat about how last season is fueling this season’s motivation, the expectations and impact of Little’s return, and to give us a glimpse at some of the personalities inside the Cardinal’s O Line room.
So we’re here with offensive tackles Foster Sarelll and Walker Little. First question for Walker. How are you feeling right now? Where are you from maybe being back on the field?
WL: Yeah, I mean, I feel good. Knee’s coming along well, rehab’s going well, we’re on track. Hopefully, I’ll start running pretty soon here and build up for some drills in Spring Two. I feel like I’m a lot stronger in my upper body and trying to work on some other weaknesses. But it’s been productive and I feel like I’m in a good spot right now.
Foster what’s been the impact of having a guy like Walker come back for that extra year and what can he bring to the offensive line?
FS: I personally like we have a good relationship and we like to talk about technique and stuff. So it’s been really great just to have him around have another year so we can just kind of talk about stuff. I really enjoyed that and I think it’s gonna only benefit us as players and stuff from here out.
Walker how tough was it just to sit that entire year, essentially not be able to play but maybe gaining from watching from another perspective?
WL: Obviously you want to play, especially getting hurt the first game. You come into the season with so much hype and expectations of what you want to do that year and dreams and aspirations and when it gets cut short like that it’s tough to sit there. But I try to use it on both, physically getting better and mentally to be able to learn the playbook, watch Foster and some other guys and critique them and learn from them. They did a lot of great things and I tried to watch as much film as I could and get better mentally.
Foster throughout the year, we heard a lot of focus on finding the best kind of fit for the players and finding the right schemes, the right plays. How do you feel you guys did that especially in the run game and how far do you think you are from finding that scheme that’s going to get Stanford back to the running games that people saw with Christian McCaffrey and Toby Gerhart?
FS: Yeah, I mean last year we were dealt a tough hand, the injuries and we had a lot of young kids playing. I think the personnel we have is going to be the reason why we’re so successful. I think these freshmen are really going to establish themselves and become really good players. And then from that, and we’re going to take that to wherever we want to. I think we have a lot of potential. We’ve just got to put in the work and see where that goes from there but I see nothing but great things coming from us.
Foster can you talk about what you saw from Walter Rouse last year, you know where he started from that first start in the Coliseum to where he is?
FS: Yeah, he developed a lot. He gained like 20 pounds in the season. I think from where he started to where he finished, he improved a whole lot. He focused on what he needs to focus on. He’s very coachable. I enjoyed being around him. I think the sky’s the limit for the kid.
Walker there’s a little bit of a competition for the guard spots this year. Give us that tackle’s perspective on the guy next to you and what that relationship is like?
WL:The line as a whole, you all want to have relationships with everyone and there’s a lot of communication that goes on. But definitely being a tackle, you only have one guy next to you a lot of times and it is that guard. It’s nice to have a good relationship, being able to communicate to get the job done effectively. Oftentimes your blocking schemes require a lot of communication and a lot of working together. So it’s nice to have a good relationship with a guard, and I’m sure whoever that is, that we’ll be able to build chemistry and play good games.
For both you guys 4-8 isn’t the standard that Stanford Football’s held itself to over the past decade. How much of a chip on your shoulders is showing that last year is an aberration and that this year’s Stanford Football team is not a 4-8 team?
WL: Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely driving us. Last year was a little bit embarrassing. For us, we didn’t come here to go 4-8. None of us want to go 4-8, and we feel like we have a better team than that. So we’re trying to use it this offseason to drive and people aren’t having high expectations for us so we want to try to prove them wrong and come out here every day with a workman’s attitude and mentality and we’ll show them all wrong in the fall.
You guys have a pretty good relationship so let’s do a little lightning round. Between the two of you, who’s the best dresser?
WL: Oh, man…
FS: We dress very differently.
WL: Yeah. I don’t know. We’re both pretty casual.
FS: You have definitely more of a like…I don’t know.
WL: I just say we’re tied. We don’t dress up much.
What about pet peeves? Foster, what’s Walker’s pet peeve?
FS: These are not lob questions. What the heck? I don’t know pet peeve. Do you have one for me?
FS: You got some lobbers, some nice dunks? These are hard.
So last year, Simi did a good impression of Coach Kennedy. Who on the offensive line would be the best impersonator of Coach Carberry?
WL: Yeah, Drew Dolman. He could absolutely destroy it.
FS: He’d kill it.
WL: If you need one of those just get Drew.
FS: He probably won’t do it but just know he’s elite. If you put pressure on him..
WL: He’s really good at it.
And then who’s the one person on the line where what you see or what you may think from their outward appearance does not match what you get when you get to know them personally. For example, we heard that Bryce Love was the trickster on the team and I think he never gave off that impression.
FS: I’d say Branson’s quite the intellectual. He’s very smart, he’s super-talented, jazz pianist and stuff like that is very impressive. Drew’s ME.
WL: He’s a smart kid mechanical engineering, so I’d probably go Branson too. He’s really talented musically and he’s a genius.
FS: He is a genius. He’s really smart.
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R.J. Abeytia has been contributing to The Bootleg since 2014. You can follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Abeytia and follow The Bootleg @TheBootleg for up to the moment Cardinal news and analysis. Also, you can follow The Bootleg on our Facebook page. Drop by and give us a like!!
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