Sports

Huge response to field goal makes impression on Ukropina

 

Stanford placekicker Conrad Ukropina was pleasantly surprised at how popular he became over the weekend after kicking the game-winning field goal in Saturday's win over Notre Dame.

"It's been a much bigger response on social media than I thought," Ukropina said. "It was great to see so how much the fans care about how we're doing."

He was impressed by one particular post.

"The coolest thing was Richard Sherman followed me on Twitter," Ukropina said. "I had to screen-shot that one."

Most of Ukropina's extended family are USC fans, though his father attended Washington State.

"They always tell me that they root for USC 98 percent of the time," he said. "They only root for me once the ball has left my foot."

Ukropina could have gone elsewhere but instead choose to walk-on at Stanford.

"As soon as I visited here, my mind was set," Ukropina said. "I love the team, I love the coaches. I love the whole Stanford community. Everyone was so welcoming."

Ukropina, who earned a scholarship earlier in the season, will return to Stanford next year and plans to work on a master's degree while completing his final year of eligibility.

Lloyd not leaving

Stanford senior safety Dallas Lloyd, Ukropina's holder on PAT and field goal tries, also announced he was returning to play again next year.

The former quarterback thought he made a smooth transition to defense.

"I felt it went well this year," he said. "There are always a few plays you wish you had back. It's all about doing the small things, doing your job."

Lloyd has had to step up in the absence of injured safety Ronnie Harris and cornerback Alijah Holder, though Harris remains an active member of the team.

"He's still making a difference," Lloyd said. "There were five or six things he told me that helped during the game."

Injury Report

Harris and Holder are closer to returning to action this week. Both players tried to make it back last week. Holder was a little closer.

"I feel good about him making the turn," Cardinal coach David Shaw said. "He was close last week."

Harris, who has been running straight, has to make it through a progression of cutting maneuvers before he can play again.

Tickets available

Tickets to the Pac-12 Championship Game are still available, priced from $79 to $229. Tickets can be purchased at gostanford.com.

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