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Q & A With Danny Welstad, Peninsula Running Back

Running Back Danny Welstad from Peninsula HS is having one of the best individual seasons of any football player in the state. Here's an interview with him covering his success as a player and his future on the gridiron.

Danny Welstad
Danny Welstad

Senior Peninsula running back Danny Welstad has led his team to a 7-1 record and a No. 7 ranking in the 3A classification. Welstad has run for 25 touchdowns and 1761 yards through eight games, and is averaging 7.56 yards per carry.

What's your mindset like entering the playoffs?
Well, as a team we know we have to go into them getting better and on a good note. So our focus these last few games has been to just keep getting better at what we're doing and to fix the things we're still having issues with.

No. 7 in the state, only one loss so far, what has been the key to the team's success this season?
The biggest key, especially early in the season, was being well prepared and being able to really physically wear down other teams. Our conditioning has been great and we're really good at getting physical in other people's faces for a full four quarters.

So the off-season played a big role?
Absolutely. We're in the weight room year-round and we're constantly working towards getting faster, stronger, and more explosive for the upcoming season.

Do you play on defense too?
Yeah, I play a lot of outside linebacker, but get limited time because of the amount of reps I get on offense.

You've been getting a lot of reps on offense, and obviously that can take its toll on your body through the season, how are you holding up?
Yeah it gets hard at times, but I had a strong off-season and have been able to stay healthy the entire season, only receiving some minor bumps and bruises here and there. With our next game being on a Thursday, I'm looking forward to having an extra day of recovery and getting ready for the playoffs.

Your individual season has been ridiculous so far. Did you see this coming going into the first game?
Well I knew I was going to be given the opportunity for a lot of success because we had a great line and we were a run oriented team. However, I couldn't say for sure what I thought was going to happen. I put as much effort as I could into the off-season to get more and more prepared for what was coming, but in reality I'm just going with what's happening and taking it one game at a time.

At 6'4" you are taller than the average running back, what are some advantages and disadvantages of being so tall?
Well for advantages I would have to say I'm able to run a lot stronger downhill and break more tackles that are aimed up high. For disadvantages though, people seem to try and go a lot lower on me when they tackle. I usually take a lot more leg shots than I would like to. Also, it's probably a lot easier to see me behind the line of scrimmage, where as a smaller running back may get lost in traffic and go by unseen.

Are there any former or current running backs you try to model your running style after?
No, not really, although a lot of my coaches call me Joe Steel because I seem to remind them of him.

Do you plan on playing football at the next level?
Definitely, although I'm still unsure where or how that's gonna happen.

Talk about your recruitment so far.
Nothing much happened before the season started, and now that we're coming down to the last part of this season some colleges have contacted the school and seen some film, but I don't have any offers yet.

You'd be willing to play at a D3 or a D2 school?
Yeah. One of my top priorities, along with playing football, is a good education and I know a lot of smaller schools can offer me that. I'll just have to wait and see what happens.

Favorite post game snacks/meal?
Junk food.

Teammates would be shocked to know I...
love the show Survivor.

If everyone on your football team on a deserted island, who would be the last man standing?
Randy Cappa, he's a freak and would eat anything.

UW or WSU?
Haha, they're both good schools. I'm not really biased one way or another, but if my coach is going to read it, WSU all the way!

Read our past Q & A's with the state's top football players: RB Cody Taylor (Hazen HS), DL Zaheer Webb (Lakes HS), OL Nathan Dean (Juanita HS), WR Michael Rector (Bellarmine Prep), DB Tere Calloway (Seattle Prep), QB Austin Lee (Sammamish HS), QB Brian Marty (Meadowdale HS), RB Tatum Taylor (O'Dea)