Q&A: Khalil Wilkes

After losing the starting center job to Sam Schwartzstein last season, Khalil Wilkes dropped off the radar of many Stanford football watchers. However, it appears that Wilkes has gotten another shot at filling one of the two vacated starting spots on the offensive line.

In Saturday's open practice, Khalil Wilkes started at left guard, though he's likely to face some stiff competition once Stanford's heralded crop of offensive line recruits arrives in practice. The Bootleg interviewed Wilkes on Saturday to get his take on moving from center to guard and to preview the battles for playing time in training camp.

The Bootleg: I noticed you were playing at left guard. When did you make the switch from center?

Khalil Wilkes: To tell you the truth, since I've been recruited here I've always played left guard, right guard and center. I'm pretty comfortable at left guard, at all three inside positions. They just needed some more help with the left guard, some more depth. We have David Yankey over there, but in case something happens and we need to put him at left tackle they just wanted to see how I look at left guard. I actually made the switch this week. I went out to left guard on Monday.

What were you doing during the first session of spring practice?

KW: Left guard. I went left guard, then I went right guard, and for the rest of the day I was right guard.

How are you making that adjustment? How has it been for you?

KW: It's pretty much the same, it's the same calls and everything like that. It's really just footwork stuff—having the right stance and being comfortable in the position. Like I said before, since I've been here I've been playing all three, so I'm pretty comfortable at it. It's really not much of a difference.

There's one week of spring practice left, so what do you hope to achieve through the rest of the session?

KW: Probably just get some cohesiveness with the starting O-line. We know Cameron Flemming is going to be the starting right tackle right now, we've got Sam Schwartzstein at guard [sic?] and we have Yankey playing at left guard or left tackle. I just want to be one of those guys who fit in with them on the offensive line and be able to help this team, and have a great year like we've been having.

Do you think there's going to be a competition in camp once the new recruits come in?

KW: Yeah, I heard that they're pretty good. The kid Joshua Garnett is pretty good, and then we have Caspers, a couple of other interior guys. Then we have the tackle guys too, Kyle Murphy and the other guy, Andrus Peat, also. It's going to be a lot of competition and it's going to be real fun.

Do you think you'll be a starter by the end of it?

KW: I mean, I hope so. It's pretty hard to just come out right off the bat and play, but I heard they have great skill sets, all the guys coming in. I'm just trying to work hard and get better as a player.

What's your perspective on the quarterback competition?

KW: I actually think they're both doing really well. Brett Nottingham is picking up the offense a lot quicker, Josh Nunes is throwing some real good balls out there. I think either way, we're still going to have a very good quarterback out there who can lead this team.


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