Note: The following feature ran in the Washington game day program on October 5.
Cameron Fleming is your typical student-athlete. That is true if you can excuse his 6 foot 6, 318-pound frame, his 29 starts dating back to his sophomore year, his standing as a former Freshman All-American and, yes, his major in Aeronautics and Astronautics. We sat down with Cameron to get a glimpse into this unique Stanford experience.
Q: What is your major and why did you select it?
A: Aeronautics and Astronautics. Being from Houston and living near NASA, as well as both my parents being in the military helped influence my decision.
Q: Few students are in this major at Stanford. Talk about the unique nature of this concentration.
A: It’s a cool major that is very specific. Not a lot of people are in it. There are only about eight or 10 students in the entire school in it. It’s a pretty big grad major, though, but at the undergraduate level, I am exposed some unique situations in a close environment.
Q: Let’s be honest here; you just design different kinds of paper airplanes and throw them around a room, right?
A: Unfortunately, I have not gotten a chance to play with paper airplanes. Please speak with my professors to get this on the syllabus.
Q: Have your studies helped you at all on the football field?
A: It doesn’t directly translate, but football has helped me with my studies. It’s helped me by being able to focus and understand things quickly. When something new is installed in football you practice it that day, same as you would learn something in class and do the homework that night.
Q: What has been your favorite class at Stanford?
A: Class A279, Space Dynamics. It was a class that focused on the movement of things throughout space (i.e. satellites).
Q: Why did you choose Stanford?
A: It’s a great school with a great football program that was on the rise. It has the total package of studying with the best students and playing with the best athletes.
Q: Can you explain the nuances of your position and provide something for the casual fan to observe to better understand effectiveness at your position?
A: The most important part of the offensive line is that everything circulates around the center’s “mike-point.” The center points out a guy before each play who serves as the starting point. Based off that and the certain rules within each play, you know what player you are responsible for blocking.
Q: What is your dream scenario on the football field?
A: Being a part of a hook and ladder play that involves me getting the pitch for a touchdown. Are you listening, coach?
Q: What are the best parts of being a student-athlete at Stanford?
A: Getting to go to Stanford is the best part and constantly being around great people, whether it is in the classroom or on the football field.
Q: Who do you most enjoy lining up against in practices?
A: Defensive end Alex Yazdi. We refer to him as the “Iranian Meatball.” He is somebody who is going to go hard on every play, and you’re going to get your work in with him.
Q: You have combined with David Yankey to start 56 games and you were both Yahoo! Freshman All-American selections. How have each of you developed over the past three season?
A: We have become better leaders and understand the offense so better than three years ago. Because of that we are able to pass it on to the younger players.
Q: Choose one of each: The song you are most proud of, and least proud of, on your iPod.
A: The song that I am most proud of is “Hey Jude” by the Beatles, and least proud of is “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus. Offensive linemen don’t like parties in the backfield and this was as close I could get.
Q: Do you have a nickname and why?
A: Some of the guys call me “Camy-fresh.” Cole Underwood propagated that one around the locker room.
Q: How has playing football at Stanford better prepared you for life?
A: It’s definitely prepared me schedule-wise and managing my calendar. Just understanding that I have much to accomplish in the day and having to wake up early helps. Most college kids sleep in to 8 or 9, when I’ve been getting up at 6 for the last four years. It will definitely prepare me for when I enter the working world.
Q: What is your best moment on the football field?
A: Winning the Rose Bowl.
Q: Where are your favorite places to eat on or near campus?
A: Near campus at The Counter. It’s sort of become the O-line dinner spot. The pound burger with sharp provolone is my go-to.
Q: If you could be anyone on the team for a day, who would it be and why?
A: If I could be anyone it'd be Kevin Hogan, because he wears my favorite number (8) and is the starting quarterback.
Q: Best and worst football movies of all-time? Why?
A: All football movies are good football movies, but the best football movie of all-time is Remember the Titans.
Q: Of your teammates, who is most likely to 1) become President of the United States, 2) join the front office of a major sports franchise 3) join the circus, 4) fall off the face of the earth?