Dennis Schmidt – Let’s start with being a Californian and graduating from El Cerrito High School, how did you learn about and get interested in Kansas State?
David Rose – At the time coach Ron Hudson was (K-State’s) recruiter for the California area and I happened to make with my uncle several highlight tapes and I had them laying around my coach’s office and coach Hudson had come and visited my school and saw one of my highlight tapes and the rest was pretty much history. I had gotten recruited by many schools in the Pac 10, Cal, Stanford, UCLA. I had a chance to speak with many of the coaches and coach Snyder. I loved what (K-State) brought to the table, I loved the tradition, I loved the fans and that was pretty much my deciding point right there my determining factor was the coaching staff and the fans.
DS - Were there other Californians on the roster when you considered attending K- State?
DR – Yes there was Deron Tyler from the Los Angeles area, he was a cornerback and Taco Wallace who was a wide receiver. Taco and I to this day stay in touch and we are still good friends, we were actually roommates for a couple of years.
DS - How easy or difficult was your assimilation into living in a small college town after growing up in the Bay Area?
DR – When I first got out to Manhattan I thought I would really, really be homesick coming from the big city going to such a small college town like Manhattan. What I found was it took no time getting use to it. The people there are so much more friendly than they are in California. You walk by people and they actually say hi to you, make eye contact and smile. Everybody was very welcoming and greets you with open arms. When I started to get homesick was actually two or three years down the road when I say hey I kind of miss the big city. But when I first got out there it was actually a very easy transition because of how friendly everybody was and how great the fan support was.
DS - What were especially memorable moments at K-State, both as a student, as a football player?
DR – As a student the most memorable moment, no doubt, hands down was walking across the stage and getting that degree. As a player at Kansas State most people think the most memorable time was the Big XII Championship game, but actually for me, the most memorable time was the first time I walked out of that locker room walked out of the locker room and just to come out and see 50,000 fans, all in purple screaming ready to go for the game. Playing in high school the biggest crowd I played in front of was 1,000 people, but going out there and seeing the crazy fans and screaming at top of their lungs sent chills up and down my spine. That was the most important moment in my athletic career.
DS - How did it feel to beat Nebraska in Lincoln for the first time in many, many years!
DR – That was awesome! Nebraska stadium is one of the toughest places to play. The fans are extremely loud. I think the stadium holds 75,000 fans and they are LOUD. We just kicked their butts, the stadium cleared out and you could here a pin drop and at that time we new that we accomplished something big. We had quieted down their fans. So it was a pretty memorable moment. I have never seen that stadium so quiet.
DS – In the 2003 Big XII Championship game when did you know you could beat Oklahoma – an Oklahoma team touted as one of the best in several decades.
DR – We knew all along that we could beat this team. All the preparation and game plans that all of our coaches put together put us into a great, great position to win, so the whole time we knew we could beat this team. The first drive of the game they took the ball and just marched down the field and scored. We all looked at each another and said wow this is going to be a long day. Then when our offense got back on the field and went right back down and put seven on the board, we knew at that point, for sure, that we could hang with them and that we could actually beat them.
DS - In a recent CatChat, current 49er Athletic Trainer and Director of Football Operations and Sports Medicine, Jeff Peterson spoke about his days as a trainer at K-State. Did Jeff help you with your bumps and bruises?
DR – Big Daddy that’s what we all called him. He was the littlest guy, nothing but 5’-4”, 100 pounds soaking wet. Big Daddy, I remember Big Daddy always had a great attitude, and he always got us ready to play on the field. His training staff was a really good staff; always kept a positive attitude, always got you the right treatment and you were always ready and confident when you went back onto the field after an injury. You were confident you were able to play, that you were able to play.
DS - Do you go to local high school football games today?
DR – Yes. As often as I can I try to make it back to El Cerrito, to watch them and support the team. One of my best friends is the head coach of the football team now and a couple other of my buddies from high school are assistant coaches. I try to give them pointers. I go out during the summer time and help out with their training and try to give players some tips and pointers as often as I can, as my schedule allows. I try and make as many games as I can.
DS - Do you provide player "scouting reports" to Coach Snyder for El Cerrito or other schools you have seen?
DR – It would be kind of tough to provide a scouting report to Coach Snyder. He’s a real student of the game and has a great staff, great coaches and they do an outstanding job of finding the right players to fit into the system so I don’t know how much help I can be to Coach Snyder because he is already on point.
DS - You were a two time All Big XII Academic student, I'll use scholar/athlete, what was your major?
DR – Actually I did a double major. I majored in management and marketing.
DS - How did your education at K-State impact your post college football life?
DR – It impacted tremendously. With how tough the economy is right now, with how tough it is to find a job, having a college education, having a college degree opens so many doors. It at least gets you in the door, which is extremely difficult now. Just look at the unemployment rate. With all the job applicants out there without that college degree you are behind the game. Having that degree from Kansas State, especially with the athletics background has helped out tremendously. It’s opened the doors. You always get a foot in the door before anyone else.
DS - What lessons did you learn in football that you have applied in your professional life?
DR – The biggest that I learned was hard work, determination and a proper plan and executing that plan, if you do all those you can overcome any obstacles. I advanced rather quickly in my career and a lot of that is due to the lessons of hard work and preparation that Coach Snyder instilled in all of us.
DS – Speaking of your career what are you doing today?
DR – I currently manage the Firestone Autocare on Travis Air Force Base. It is one of the highest volume stores in the western zone. Being in charge of a store like that in our company is kind of a big deal.
DS – Your son is going to be born in a couple of weeks. Is it safe to assume his room will have plenty of purple in it?
DR – If it was all up to me it would all be purple, with footballs and everything everywhere, but the wife kind of shut that down rather quickly. She was the main decorator of our nursery but I still managed to order quite a few things from Varney’s – they will be plenty of purple in the room.
DS – Lastly, regarding this year’s team do you think the Cat’s will be better defensively? and go to another Bowl game?
DR – One thing that I can assure is that I don’t know how the defense will be and better than last year. I can assure with Coach Snyder there they are going to get better week in and week out. They have come a long way since Coach Snyder has taken over and I can guarantee that with Coach Snyder they will be better than last season.
DS – Thank you David and we look forward to seeing you again at our watch parties at Ricky’s.