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Ask Riall Johnson
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 09/28/2000

Sept. 28, 2000

Randy Myers (Ft. Worth, TX)
Great win over Texas! I see that your brother, who was very highly touted, has joined you on The Farm. What did you tell him about Stanford that may have helped sway him (I'm sure he could have gone anywhere) and what sport do you feel he is best at (football or basketball)? Thanks and good luck against the Wildcats!

Riall: My brother loves to be challenged, and I think the one thing that I told him that had the most affect is when I told him that being at Stanford is going to be the hardest thing that he is going to do, but it is also going to be the most fun. At other schools, you get pampered and because you're an athlete but at Stanford you're not different than the rest of the students here. I think that is a good thing because being here makes you grow up a little faster. In the long run, it's gonna help because those same people that helped you in college sure aren't going to help when you leave.

George McGourt (Oakland, CA)
What are your impressions of the success the Pac-10 has had this year and which conference team do you feel may present the most difficult matchup? Great job so far.

Riall: I am not surprised at the success of the Pac-10 this year at all. I think if you look at the rosters of all the Pac-10 teams, you would notice that most of them have almost all of their returning starters back from a year ago. There were a lot of teams in the Pac-10 last year with young teams and now those young teams are experienced, which is why there is such a big improvement. I also think that teams in the Pac-10 this year are playing with a little pride and intensity because we are tired of being talked bad about and downright disrespected by the media.

Sandy Hannifan (Albuquerque, NM)
Obviously Stanford has another talented team. Why do you think we can't get past SJSU and do hope to see them go off the schedule soon? I know the Spartans have a decent program (they did in the '80's when I was in the Bay Area). Also, what other schools did you consider before choosing Stanford?

Riall: I just think we don't play with the right intensity when we play San Jose State. They really, really, really, really, really hate us and we need to start feeling the same way about them. Until we do, they're always going to have the upper hand. As for other schools that I was considering, I was very close to going to USC. Other schools that I considered going to were Northwestern, Arizona, and UCLA.

Mark Schwitters (San Francisco, CA)
What similarities do you see between this year's team and last year's as far as ability and attitude? Do you feel that Stanford may be reaching the point where it should contend for a Rose Bowl each and every year? Best of luck to you and thank you for all you have done for Stanford football.

Riall: I think the biggest similarity between this year's team and last year's team is the attitude and confidence that we have. Last year, the reason why we won the Pac-10 is because we believed we could win it. When you believe in something, you work a little harder for it. Last year, we worked too hard for anything to sway us away from our goal. Also, our attitude changed last year. We played with a little more confidence and toughness. The year before that we were playing timid out there because we were inexperienced but last year we were a lot meaner, and this year I think we are even meaner than ever. The number one reason why we beat Texas is because we out hit them. If we continue to play with that type of attitude, no one can beat us. If we keep this type of attitude in the years to come, then Stanford will be contending for the Pac-10 and even the national title every year.

Kenny Borders (San Mateo, CA)
Which players do you look up to in the NFL? Do you think you will play in the NFL when you leave college?

Riall: When I was younger, I modeled myself after players like Lawrence Taylor and the late Derrick Thomas. But then there was one player in the NFL that I looked up to and that was my older brother Ahmani Johnson. I learned everything from him. But when I do watch the NFL, I think the player that I resemble the most is Chad Brown on the Seattle Seahawks. He is a great player, and I think he moves around a lot like me. I do plan to go to the NFL next year, and if I can get up to Chad Brown's level of play, then I'll be doing very well.



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