Stanford football Roster

Former Stanford linebacker Shayne Skov to battle for 49ers’ roster spot

Shayne Skov pictured back in 2013, before the Stanford-Oregon football game. (Photo courtesy of Roger Chen/The Stanford Daily)Walk up to Shayne Skov’s house at the manicured edges of downtown Berkeley — up the tree-lined path, through the wooden gate and past the white plastic patio table with the legs that won’t stay on — and you’ll enter the world of a 24-year-old on a lazy Saturday afternoon in February.

Though the kitchen table’s cluttered, the lights are dimmed and the TV shows a paused video game, lazy is the last thing you’d call Skov himself. Reading, video games and anime soak up his spare time — “I’m being pretty nerdy lately, ” Skov joked — but he logs four to five hours a day running, lifting and getting soft tissue work as he counts the days until the next NFL season.

Minicamps start soon, and the former Stanford linebacker is getting ready to move down to Santa Clara, where he will go up against 89 other players for 53 roster spots with the San Francisco 49ers. After a year that saw him slide out of the draft and play for practice squads in San Francisco, Tampa Bay and San Francisco again, the one-time face of Nerd Nation is preparing for his second go around in the unforgiving NFL.

“It’s just a combination of patience but also an inner drive, a burning desire to play, ” Skov said. “You’ve got to juggle those two sides of what’s going on internally.”

In many ways, however, Skov’s first year of pro football was defined by factors beyond his control.

The challenges date back to his junior year at Stanford, when he tore his ACL and MCL and broke his tibia while making a tackle at Arizona. After undergoing three surgeries and missing the remainder of that season, Skov rehabbed, made it back to the field and progressed for two more years as a starter; as a fifth-year senior, he finished as the Cardinal’s leading tackler (with 109) and was named a second-team All-American.

But NFL scouts remained concerned that Skov’s knee would limit his speed. Those doubts were reinforced when he ran an underwhelming 5.11 seconds in the 40-yard dash in a workout, after he had missed the NFL Combine with a calf injury and Stanford’s pro day with a hamstring injury.

When Skov wasn’t drafted, he and his Stanford coaches were caught off guard.

“I was actually kind of shocked, ” said Stanford defensive coordinator Lance Anderson, a coach throughout Skov’s career. “He was such a good player for us, and performed at such a high level through his career here … I think the only thing that might not have been as strong was just his ability to flat-out run.”

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Who is the Stanford football coach?

Jim Harbaugh was a quarterback for the University of Michigan (1983-1986) and for several NFL teams, including the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts. He has been head coach of the Stanford Cardinal since 2007 and has posted a 28-21 record at the Pac-10 college.
In 2010, Stanford was 11-1, earning a berth against Virginia Tech in the Discover Orange Bowl in Miami on Monday, January 3, 2011. Harbaugh also was named winner of the Woody Hayes Coach of the Year award.
Harbaugh is considered a primary candidate for an NFL coaching position after the 2010 season. His older brother John Ha…

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