SAN ANTONIO – Though he is widely considered one of the top linebacker prospects in the country, Pawling (N.Y.) Trinity Pawling outside linebacker Shayne Skov is not taking his selection as a U.S. Army All-American lightly. Skov was one of the most enthusiastic arrivals in San Antonio and spoke about what it meant to be named to the prestigious team.
"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity," Skov said. "This is an opportunity not only to represent myself and my family but my school as well as the army and the men and women that give their lives for this country.
"This is something that every football player and every little kid looks forward to their whole entire lives and for me to be even presented with the opportunity is a dream come true and I'm going to give it my all."
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Already with plenty to motivate him for a good week of practice and a good performance in the game, an injury this season has given Skov even more motivation to prove that he is back to full speed.
"Unfortunately, I had a stress fracture the first game of the season," he said. "I played the whole season with it but the doctors cleared me to play. I feel healthy and I'm ready to prove to everybody that the stats from this year were really just a matter of me not being 100 percent."
Despite the injury, Skov has already proven that he is close to 100 percent in the weight room at the very least.
"I recently repped out (in squats) 425 pounds nine times so I'm getting back to where I was. Unfortunately I'm not 240 [pounds] like I was at the beginning of my senior year but I'm putting myself back on the map."
Though 240 pounds is a massive weight, particularly for a high school linebacker, Skov and his future coaches at Stanford feel like he has the athleticism to play even heavier than that.
"Coaches at Stanford have said that they probably see me playing around 250 or 255," he said. "They said that I've got the frame to carry that kind of weight. Obviously it's important to maintain the explosiveness and whatnot but I feel like I can do that."
Skov's excitement to be in San Antonio and play in the All-American Bowl is matched only by his excitement to play in Pal Alto for Coach Harbaugh at Stanford.
"I'm 100 percent committed," he said. "There's nowhere else I can imagine myself playing for. It's a school with the academic and athletic opportunities – the blend of the two is unmatched anywhere else. You get the opportunity to study with Nobel laureates on Friday and then step on the field with NFL football players on Saturday so it's amazing."
Skov also is very excited at the opportunity to play under Coach Harbaugh.
"He's a one of a kind individual," he said. "I like his famous quote, he's got enthusiasm unknown to mankind. He just exudes a personal and a swagger that I think everyone else follows suit with."
Skov exudes a similar swagger and confidence but he doesn't lack humility either. There was one final point that the big linebacker insisted on making.
"Hey mom," he said. "I love you and I hope to see you soon."