Getting to Know...Thaddeus Chase

Oct. 29, 2008

Outside of the more visible kicking and return positions, most special teams players operate in relative obscurity. Often times, the core of the unit is made up of players who were recruited to play a particular position on offense or defense, but over time, have found it difficult to crack the depth chart. Kickers aside, a player doesn't usually enter a program with the thought in mind he is going to be a special teams standout--it just kind of happens that way.

Which brings us to Thaddeus Chase. A fifth-year senior from El Paso, Texas, Chase made the team as a walk-on in 2004 and did not see his first game action until the 2006 season. He arrived at Stanford after an outstanding prep career at Burges High School, where he played both wide receiver and safety.

He began his collegiate career at Stanford as a wide receiver, but was moved over to the defensive side of the ball in 2006, where he worked in the secondary before and at linebacker. Although he is not listed on the Cardinal depth chart at either position, Chase participates in his fair share of snaps as one of Stanford's top contributors on all four special teams.

He embodies a perfect special teams player, according to coach D.J. Durkin, who heads up the unit.

'Thaddeus is the only players to start on all four of our special teams units,' said Durkin. 'If you look at the number of snaps, he's playing as much as some guys on offense and defense.'

Durkin also acknowledges it takes a certain mind set to flourish as a special teams player.

'Everyone on the team has a role. Thaddeus understands his role and takes great pride in everything he does. He doesn't worry about stats or cracking the depth chart. He just wants to win and get his job done.

'He understands his assignments very well, whether is blocking or coverage. He is a very intelligent guy and is a great example for others who are trying to find their niche.'

Chase's dedication and contributions to the program were recognized early in fall camp, when he was awarded a full scholarship for his final season.

Meet special teams standout Thaddeus Chase.

Use five words to describe yourself.
Honest, spontaneous, relaxed, driven, friendly.

What do you miss most about home?
My friends and my own room.

Who is the most impressive person you've ever met?
My parents.

What's your favorite Coach Harbaugh saying?
'I'm right. You know I'm right.'

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Japan, Greece or China.

What's your favorite away stadium?
Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.

What's your favorite pre-game ritual?
Watching the team movie.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Do everything to the best of your ability and always give 100 percent.

Who is your favorite musical artist?
Too many to name.

What is your favorite class at Stanford?
Anything with Jody Maxim or P. Hunt.

Name one player on offense and defense that you think will surprise people this year.
Delano Howell (offense) and Taylor Skaufel (defense).

Besides football, what is your favorite sport?
Track and field.

My favorite all-time movie is?
Gladiator.

What do you do to relax after games?
Enjoy time with my family.

Who is the toughest player on the team?
Clinton Snyder

Who was your favorite sports idol as a kid?
Michael Johnson.

One thing people might not know about me?
I have two fake teeth.

What is your perfect meal?
Any seafood and pies made by my grandma or Dad.

What team would you like to see added to the schedule?
Texas-El Paso.

Which one of your teammates is the next American Idol?
Austin Yancy,

What makes student-athlete experience at Stanford so special?
It's a tight-knit community that exposes you to a vast amount of opportunities, cultures and experiences and allows you to develop into a better person. It also gives us the opportunity to receive the best education in the country and play in the Pac-10 Conference. It doesn't get any better than this.

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