Player Report With ... Senior Cornerback Stanley Wilson

Oct. 27, 2004

Senior cornerback Stanley Wilson is featured in the tenth installment of a weekly column of player reports that lets Cardinal Commitment readers in on the thoughts of Stanford football players.

Wilson and his Stanford teammates are battling for a bowl berth in 2004. The Cardinal begins a tough stretch of three of four road games to end its regular season by traveling to UCLA to face the Bruins at the Rose Bowl this Saturday, October 30 (12:30 pm, PDT). The key conference contest matches a pair of teams with identical records (4-3, 2-2 Pac-10) that are currently tied for fifth-place in the conference standings. Perhaps more importantly, both squads need two more wins (with four games to play) to become bowl eligible. UCLA leads the all-time series between the schools, 40-31-3, but Stanford picked up a 21-14 victory at Stanford Stadium last season to snap UCLA's five-game win streak and start the Bruins on a five-game skid to end the 2003 season. The home team has won the last six games in the series with UCLA taking a 28-18 win the last time the teams played in the Rose Bowl in 2002.

Fox Sports Net will televise this Saturday's game live while live audio broadcasts of the contest can also be heard on Stanford flagship station KNEW 910-AM, KZSU 90.1 FM and, as well as on the Stanford Football Radio Network (KFIA ... 710 AM, Sacramento ... KPSI 920 AM, Palm Springs ... KUIK 1360 AM, Portland).

CC: After a tough loss at home to Oregon last week, what's the attitude of the team as it heads to UCLA on Saturday?

SW: I think we're coming into this game knowing that we've played some close games against good teams. We have a resolve this week that we are not going to be on the losing end of this game. We realize that we'll have to make more plays and be more consistent. I don't think it's a matter of changing anything, it's just about going in there with a determination to win.

CC: How important is it to the success of the season to register a win over UCLA on the road this Saturday?

SW: It's very important, but we feel like every game is important. Being that it's a conference game and knowing that it may have bowl implications, we will go into the game with the utmost confidence and certainty about winning on the road. We have what it takes to win, we just have to go out there and prove it.

CC: You list the Rose Bowl as your favorite place to play, and you will be playing there on Saturday. Why do you enjoy playing at the Rose Bowl?

SW: I used to go there and watch UCLA play when I was a young kid and when I was in high school. Being from Los Angeles, it just takes me back home. I've seen the Rose Bowl and BCS games played there, and it's just a great atmosphere. I enjoy playing there.

CC: As a senior with a lot of experience at this level, do you see yourself as a team leader on the defensive side of the ball?

SW: I definitely feel that I am a leader. I know that all of the defensive players feed off of the seniors. The senior class has done a great job of going out there and setting an example of what we think our program should stand for. I try to go out there and set an example by playing with determination and focus.

CC: What is your relationship like with the team's other two starting cornerbacks, Leigh Torrence and T.J. Rushing?

SW: We have a great relationship. I think we probably have more fun as a group than anyone else on the team. There's an unspoken chemistry between the three of us, and we know that each person is going to give it his all when they get on the field.

CC: Can you speak about the progress of some of the younger defensive backs on the squad?

SW: I think Nick Sanchez is going to be a great cornerback. Even though he has an injured shoulder, Carlos McFall is going to be a great player to watch as well. I'm excited to see them play. Fortunately for them, they've had seniors and older players around to teach them techniques and certain other things. I feel like they're going to do well, and I'm excited to see them play in the future.

CC: What kind of influence has (Defensive Coordinator/Secondary Coach) A.J. Christoff had on your play?

SW: I think he's helped me focus on my footwork and my fundamentals. His analysis and critiques have helped me discover things that I can improve on. He's very focused on details and making sure that I do all the small things right, so that I can become a more complete player.

CC: You list Brian Bentrott as the teammate that you admire most. What is it about him that you admire?

SW: Brian came in here as a walk-on, and he's a hellacious hitter. He loves to play and be competitive. He probably doesn't see as much playing time as he would like, but you wouldn't know it by the way he plays the game. He gives one hundred percent every day and knows the defense better than anyone. He's a personal friend of mine and is someone that I really respect.

CC: How has your experience as a member of the Stanford track and field team helped you on the football field?

SW: I think it helps when you get into a position where a deep ball is thrown and you have to run to a spot. The overall speed work that I've done in track helps me to run and make breaks on the football field.