Interview with Dickinson Red Devil Anthony Survilla

As most of you know, here at Dickinson College I am a member of the Red Devil football team.  Dickinson College athletics are Division 3, which differs quite drastically from Division 1 athletics in the Big Ten Conference.  Today I sit down with one of my teammates Anthony Survilla, a rising senior tight end, to discuss some of these differences and give you an idea of what Division 3 football is like.

Anthony Survilla #43

Anthony Survilla #43

Jack: So let’s start from the beginning, when do you typically report to football camp to begin the season, and how is that different than Division 1 programs?

Anthony:  We typically report to camp around the middle of August.  This year we happened to report on August 15th, with our first official practice starting on the 16th.  As for Division 1 programs, most teams report about two weeks earlier, at the end of July or beginning of August.

JackWhat is your daily schedule like during camp?

Anthony:  We’ll wake up around 6:30 am, then report to the Kline Center pool for our morning swim.  It’s not really a swim though, more like a morning run in the pool.  From there we go to the cafeteria for breakfast.  Then at about 8:30 AM we have meetings with our individual position coaches to install plays or watch film from the day before.  At around 9:30 AM we take the field for practice which usually lasts about two hours.  After practice we’ll eat lunch at the caf, then we have about 2 hours of free time.  Around 3:00 PM we either have a walk-through or our second practice of the day.  If we have a walk-through, it’s typically followed by a light lift to maintain strength.  Then we have dinner, followed by team meetings that typically run until 9:00 PM.  After our meetings we are done for the day, typically going to bed around 10:00 PM.

Jack: Do you think it’s much different for a D1 program?

Anthony: I don’t think it would differ much because if you look at our daily schedule, we don’t have much down time at all.  Maybe only two hours a day.  So I don’t think that D1 programs would be able to fit anything more into a day during their camp.

Jack: Now getting into the regular season, what would you say is the biggest difference between a typical day for a D3 player versus a D1 player?

Anthony:  I would imagine the biggest difference  between the two players would be the amount of time they spend on academics versus the amount of time they spend on football.  For me I spend about 3-4 hours on football, including practice, film sessions, and meetings.  Then the rest of my day is focused on academics, whether it’s going to class, doing homework, or studying.  As for a D1 football player, I’m not exactly sure how much of their day is spent focusing on football but I would guess it’s anywhere from 6-8 hours, with the rest of their day spent on academics.

Jack:  So are you suggesting that these D1 players have an easer academic course load than D3 players?

Anthony:  Not necessarily.  I know there are D1 football programs at top academic schools like Northwestern and Stanford where the players take tough academic courses at a prestigious university.  I’m sure they too spend a great amount of their day focusing on academics as well as football.  But I do know that many D1 programs aid their athletes with tutors to help them with their academics.  Unfortunately, some programs are taking advantage of these tutors and having them do the work for the athlete instead of assisting or guiding the athlete in completing the assignments.  Although this isn’t as common in football, it is prevalent with college basketball, specifically the  University of North Carolina scandal.

Jack:  Well, I don’t want to keep you much longer, but as you know this blog is focused on Big Ten football, so I have to ask you, what’s your favorite Big Ten team?

Anthony:  Penn State.  Since I can remember watching college football with my dad as a young kid, I have always been a Penn State fan.  Raised in northeastern Pennsylvania, I really didn’t have any other option.  Witnessing a whiteout game at Beaver Stadium is an unreal experience.  108,000 fans dressed in nothing but white going wild the entire game, it’s an atmosphere unlike any other.

Jack:  Alright Anthony, I appreciate you taking the time to sit down with me and answer a few questions.

Anthony:  It’s been a pleasure.

There are some big differences between Division 1 and Division 3 football, like size and athleticism.  There are even slight differences between our daily schedules.  But at the end of the day, we are both student-athletes who are focused on continuing our education while playing the game we love.

(I added the video below just to show you a little bit of Anthony’s ability on the field, turn down your volume though because it pretty loud.  Anthony’s hit is the first clip.)

Big Ten Game of the Week

Game Details:

This week’s Big Ten Game of the Week is Penn State vs. Michigan at the Big House in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  The game is on ESPN 2 on Saturday, October 11th at 7:00 PM.

Penn State:

The Nittany Lions come into this game with a 4-1 record, 1-1 in the Big Ten Conference.  The Lions are looking to bounce back from a devastating loss to Northwestern at Beaver Stadium two weeks ago.  Coming off a bye week, the offense is determined to find success in the run game as they are rushing for just over a 100 yards per game.  In the air, Christian Hackenberg is leading Penn State’s offense with 295 yards per game passing.  Penn State’s defense continues to be stellar, only allowing 60.2 yards per game on the ground, which is good for second in the nation.

Michigan:

The Wolverines come into this game riding a three game losing streak.  Michigan’s offense has been struggling to find a rhythm this season behind quarterbacks Devin Gardner and Shane Morris.  With Morris concussed, Gardner will get the start on Saturday.  Earlier this week it was also announced that leading rusher Derrick Green will miss the rest of the season with a broken clavicle.  With all the struggles on the offensive side of the ball, the silver lining for the program has been the defensive play.  The Wolverine’s defense is only allowing 315.5 total yards per game, which ranks 19th in the nation.

Prediction:

The Big House provides a tremendous home field advantage for the Wolverines, but will that be a deciding factor in the game?  With Michigan’s offense struggling and the tremendous loss of Derrick Green,  Penn State should have a field day on the defensive side of the ball.  Look for Penn State linebacker Mike Hull flying around making tackles all over the field.  Christian Hackenberg is putting up stellar numbers this season in the air, and if Penn State finally finds their running game after this bye week, it may prove to be too much for this Wolverine defense.  With all that being said, my prediction is as follows:

Penn State beats Michigan by a score of 20-17

If this game is anything like last year’s showdown between Penn State and Michigan, we’ll be in for a good show.  Below are some highlights of the 4 OT thriller from last year at Beaver Stadium.  This should help get you hyped up!