Perhaps the one unfortunate result of Patrick Skov’s transfer to Georgia Tech from Stanford – at least for Skov – is that he is now almost 800 miles from the nearest In-N-Out, the celebrated Western burger chain.
Skov, I was told by former Stanford teammate and close friend Charlie Hopkins, has a prodigious appetite for In-N-Out. Hopkins and Skov, who were roommates for three years, bonded over their shared love of food, In-N-Out in particular. They occasionally engaged in contests to see who could eat more.
“I saw him eat, I believe it was, four 4x4’s,” Hopkins said last week.
A 4x4 is four hamburger patties with four slices of cheese. It can presumably be ordered in the famed “animal style” – with pickles, spread, grilled onions and mustard. A 4x4 contains an estimated 1,050 calories. For the sake of context, Hopkins is 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds. Skov is 6-1, 235. And the most that Hopkins could do was three 3x3's.
It was, by far, the most memorable piece of information I learned about Skov in reporting a story I wrote for myajc and last Sunday's paper. (free with registration)
I asked Skov about In-N-Out Tuesday. He got this faraway look on his face, not unlike when transplanted Southerners wax poetically about Chick-fil-A.
He said of 4x4's, “I can inhale those things.”
He also wanted to make sure that it was mentioned that he normally eats a more healthy diet and that In-N-Out was his “cheat” food.
The nearest In-N-Out, by the way, is in Rockwall, Texas, on the eastern outskirts of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, 771 miles from Tech.
Skov was also known for, among other things, his tenacity in the weight room, a reputation he has since developed at Tech.
“Have you seen him?” Hopkins asked. “The guy, he looks like an action figure.”
Hopkins said that, as a freshman, Skov carried extra weight but then lost it as a sophomore and began doing extra running.
“He was able to make, like wide receiver/defensive back conditioning times and everybody was just like, Where the (heck) did this come from?” Hopkins said. “It was just very impressive. That’s when people really noticed his commitment in the weight room.”
Single minded about the game
Skov attended the Lawrenceville School, a boarding school in Lawrenceville, N.J., about 2,500 miles from his home in the Bay Area. Skov’s coach, Ken Mills, called him “one of the hardest-nosed kids I coached” in his 30 years of coaching. Skov played as a freshman – unusual for Lawrenceville – and Mills came to understand that he had a different approach to the game than most of his teammates.
“Most of those kids were saying, at best, I’m a student-athlete,” Mills said. “Or, I’m a student who plays football. Patrick woke up, he was a football player 24/7. Good student, obviously, as well, but he was a football player. He really lived his life around football and getting prepared mentally and physically. Excellent weight-room guy.”
Mills said Skov, who played fullback and linebacker in high school, was “just so quick and explosive. He was unique. You can only coach ’em up so much. He had some God-given talent that he took advantage of by working so hard.”