Sept. 3, 2004
This is the third installment of a weekly column that will take you inside the minds of Stanford's assistant football coaches. Each week we will converse with an assistant coach to provide an inside look at his area of the team. This week we sit down with assistant head coach Dave Tipton, who is responsible for the defensive tackles and also the associate recruiting coordinator.
by Janelle Kwietkauski
JK: Can you talk about the players on the defensive line? What do each of them bring?
DT: Coaching all three spots, I almost feel like I have six starters because all of them will rotate. Will Svitek added thirty pounds for this season. He is very strong and he has good movement. I'm very excited about the things he is doing. He's a beast in there. Babatunde Oshinowo is very strong, but he is also light on his feet and very quick for his size. Julian Jenkins is very athletic and quick. He brings real quickness and speed as well as a great intensity to the field. Scott Scharff saw a lot of playing time last year, and he has gotten bigger. He is also quick and was great on kickoffs a year ago. Nick Frank is a great compliment to Oshinowo. He's really athletic and quick. He and Oshinowo are a great one-two punch. Casey Carroll has seen a lot of playing time. He has a great combination of strength, quickness and ability. I have six guys that are going to roll on the line.
JK: Can you explain the nature of playing on the line? How will each of the players you talked about see action?
DT: Playing the defensive line is different from playing the offensive line, where you see guys staying in there because it is more stagnant. Playing the defensive line is more like ice hockey. You're going at such an intense rate. The physical, banging nature of every play is the thing that is so tiring. That coupled with running to the ball every time draws the need to keep the players fresh. I have the good fortune to have good groups. I want to rotate each guy in and out of the game. I will be mixing and matching a great deal.
JK: Who is the leader on the line?
DT: It's tough to say. It's a great group. Oshinowo is a good leader. Svitek is certainly a leader as well. Jenkins also has great leadership qualities. There really isn't one guy that I could say is the leader.
JK: What are the strengths of the defensive line?
DT: They're really solid. They're big and strong. They work very hard. They're also not stagnant and really athletic. It's a great combination of size and strength, as well as being athletic for their size. They are a very tenacious group. People say that the defensive line sets the tempo for the game. I think it's critical that all the guys believe that. We will set the tempo of the game.
JK: How does the defensive line look in fall practice so far?
DT: They look good. We've stayed pretty healthy. There are a lot of little nuances that come up. It's a work in progress but I'm really excited about what they've done so far. I'm very pleased with how quickly they have picked things up.
JK: Have there been any surprises in fall practice?
DT: I think Julian Jenkins has taken his game to a different level. Will Svitek has added the weight. I think all the guys have done a very nice job. Gustav Rydstedt has been a pleasant surprise. He may see some playing time this year. I have high expectations of everyone, and they are rising to the expectations.
JK: You also serve as the Associate Recruiting Coordinator. Can you talk a little about your recruiting duties?
DT: I have Bay Area recruiting. I also watch virtually every tape that comes in. I weed through guys that might not be real good. I compare guys that may be under the radar screen to make sure we take a good look at a kid that may fit into our program.
JK: You played your college ball at Stanford. You also enjoyed a pro career. How has your playing experience helped you as a coach?
DT: It's been so long that it's hard to remember being a player, except when something hurts. I think it allows me to have that special feel, especially having played the same position I coach. I think it adds to my respectability since I've been there and done that. I think I bring a passion to coaching.
JK: You coached at many different schools before returning to Stanford in 1989. How does it feel to coach at your alma matter?
DT: I love this place. I love the people I deal with on a day-to-day basis. The recruits and their parents are very special. I think the quality of the young man that we deal with here is incredible. It's so much fun to see the guys grow as players and as people, and go on to be successful in their lives. It's a great feeling.