2001 Football Daily Updates

Aug. 28, 2001

Stanford University secondary coach talks about the expectations of his experienced group, what makes Tank Williams a force to be reckoned with, and provides a glimpse into the future.

On the secondary's performance during double days:
'I've been real impressed with the level of play this fall. Everyone has seemed to step it up anotch from the spring. Ryan Fernandez is playing very well. Tank has been slowed a littlebit, which has allowed Jason White and O.J. Atogwe to get some reps and I feel very goodabout those two. Simba Hodari has played very well at strong safety along with ColinBranch. I feel both those guys can play and we wouldn't fall off at all. Ruben Carter hasplayed very consistently this fall. We've had a couple of young guys that have come forwardas well. Leigh Torrence is particularly noteworthy and his play has been great, and I likeStanley Wilson and Garry Cobb. All and all there is a lot more depth than we have had and Ithink the quality is the best that it has been in the three years that I have been here atStanford.'

On the high pre-season expectations for the secondary:
'In a sense yes, but I think we set certain standards that we try to play to regardless of whatthe hype is or is not. There are certain standards that we feel we have to play to besuccessful. I think our kids are aware of that, so I don't think the pressure is overbearing byany means. My big concern is to try to improve every year. I think last year was animprovement over 1999 and I fully expect 2001 to be an improvement over 2000.'

On Tank Williams:
'I think you start with body type and you look at a guy that is 6-3, 238 pounds and runs a4.45 40. There are very few people that qualify in those three categories. I think the otherthing that Tank does so well is that he is a ferocious hitter. He really tackles well and playswith a great deal of intensity. I think when you combine a great athlete with the attitude thatTank has, the results are going to be a great football player and that is what Tank is.'

On some of the younger plays who will make an impact in 2001:
'Colin Branch is going to be involved more than he has before and I think everyone is goingto like him. He is a big safety that runs well and he will back up Simba Hodari. He'll get inthrough some of our substitution groups when you can get some defensive backs on thefield. You have to like O.J. Atogwe, a young kid from Canada who has really made greatstrides from the spring to the fall. He picked off two passes in our first scrimmage and isplaying very well. Leigh Torrence is starting to make his move and Leigh does a lot of reallygood things. He is going to be in the mix of things as well.'

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