Tom FitzGerald and John Platz have seen incoming Georgia Tech transfer Patrick Skov play a lot of football. FitzGerald is the longtime Stanford beat writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, while Platz is the sideline reporter for Stanford’s radio broadcasts.
At the request of the blog, they provided insights into Skov’s play with the Cardinal and described him as “very much a team guy” and someone who should fit in well into the B-back spot for the Yellow Jackets. Skov's transfer to Tech as a graduate student with immediate eligibility to play one season was made official Thursday.
“He’s a member of the Skov family, which means he’s a football player,” Platz said. (Skov’s older brother Patrick starred for Stanford at linebacker and was on the 49ers practice squad last season.) “I put the football in italics. He’s a really good football player.”
Last season, Skov split time at fullback, a position the pro-style Stanford offense uses far more than other Pac-12 teams, according to Fitzgerald. He was largely used in a short-yardage capacity. Of his 12 carries (for 18 yards), eight were either on goal-to-go situations from inside the 4-yard line and a ninth was a third-and-1. He scored four touchdowns on the nine carries, converted the third down, was stopped short of the goal line three times and fumbled once.
“If we needed the one yard, he was the guy,” Platz said. “He obviously did that well. We didn’t have a lot of those situations last year in terms of numerosity, but when it was time to get the tough yards, he was the guy who was going to get it.”
(An aside stemming from Platz's use of "numerosity": Stanford may have the most professionally accomplished broadcast team in college football. Play-by-play man Scott Reiss previously worked at ESPN. Analyst Todd Husak, a former quarterback at Stanford and in the NFL, is a managing director for a Fortune 500 real estate services and investment company. Platz, who played basketball for Stanford, is senior counsel for Cisco Systems. Brandon Gaudin, Roddy Jones and Sean Bedford have their work cut out for them.)
FitzGerald mentioned his popularity with teammates and both noted his intelligence. Platz said he saw Skov’s decision to enroll in Tech’s MBA program as more than a device to play football. He said a few other Stanford teammates have done the same elsewhere.
“I think Patrick was intentional about his choice,” Platz said. “I think the academics part of it, which sounds sort of like an add-on to make it sound nice, that’s not the case with him. An MBA is an important part of his decision.”
Platz also said that Skov stood out on special teams and was cut from the same cloth as his brother Shayne, who was an All-American as a senior in 2013.
“On a team of tough guys, he’s among the toughest,” Platz said of Patrick Skov.
As for his fit at B-back – I described it as getting the ball a lot on dive plays and being counted on to pound yards –FitzGerald said he saw Skov fitting in very well. Platz wondered about the adjustment to the numerosity of carries, but figured he wouldn't have any issues.
"The dive in that offense - I can see it," he said.