Coaches Talk

Friday February 12, 2010
Coaches Recap (Part 1)

Coaches Recap (Part 2)

Each head coach creates his own style.

The Signing Day press conference is the head coach's opportunity to....well quite frankly, to send whatever message he wants to send to the media, fans, recruits, high school coaches, and future prospects.

Some coaches share plenty of insight.  Some provide laughs and great optimism.  Some provide the usual "coach speak."

For some coaches, you can sense their sincere appreciation for all of those involved in the recruiting process.  Others, not so much.

Signing day is the end for some coaches, for others it is just the beginning.

We wanted to see the style of all 120 (D1) head coaches during the Signing Day pressers, so here are some of the most interesting quotes from Signing Day 2010.

Mack Brown (Texas)

We offered 30 scholarships, we had 25 official visits and signed all 25 guys, so we congratulated our (players) downstairs today at 2:00 because they did a great job recruiting. When we get the guys on campus, our players are the ones that really make a difference.

If a guy tells us we're one of five, we usually move on, because if he's in the state of Texas and he doesn't care about Texas enough to be one of five, we feel like he probably isn't that interested in us.

When you hear something that our staff supposedly said outside our staff about recruiting.  If I felt like our staff was talking to anyone outside of our building about recruiting, I would fire them.  Our recruiting is very private.  The conversations we have with the young men are very private.  That's why when rumors pop up, we know that if we've talked with the parents that day that the rumors aren't true, and they'll call us.  You usually have to have a high school coach that agrees with the commitment.  So we'll always call the high school coach before a young man commits.  We want to talk to mom and dad and make sure they're all comfortable with it.  We will not take a young man's commitment on our campus or on the phone without the approval of the parents and the high school coach.  When they all commit to you, you feel like it's solid.  A young man may get excited on your campus and commit, but it doesn't last.  As I've said, the worst thing you can do in recruiting is have one back out on you, because it absolutely kills you and hurts you for the future.

Chip Kelly (Oregon)

The thing that excites me about the running back prospects that we had....they could care a less who we already had.  When I talk to kids, if they first they want to talk with me about is our depth chart....then I don't want them on my team.  If you are afraid right now, what are you going to do when we go play Tennessee in front of 100,000 people.

We want to be known for speed.  If there is one thing...this is a speed class.  That speed is going to help here in Track Town USA.

I want the best football players and we will figure it out.  We have players in our program that can go both ways.  We have a lot of flexibility in our program.

We never had a recruiting weekend with more than 6 kids here.

Tommy Tuberville (Texas Tech)

This class is very good. You won't hear a lot of the experts say that ‘They didn't rank in the Top 20 or the Top 10?. I coached at Miami for nine years. We won three national championships and we went to national championship games six times and we never had a Top 10 recruiting class. Players are made when they get here.

I've told people for years, they look at all these recruiting ratings and the great players-the four and five star players. However, you can throw it all out and grade the defensive line that you recruited.

Lane Kiffin (USC)

I believe the final rankings that came out on our way down here we were ranked No. 2. All that means is that we've got some talented players, we've got a lot of work to do to coach them, to develop them. As you see 5 star players sign around the country, it's not about their stats, it's how you develop them. So our staff will go to work developing these players and we're very excited about the class.

Kyle Prater...maybe the best receiver in the country...maybe the best to come out in a few years.

Probably 3 of the top 5 receivers in America.

I don't know if I've ever seen a skilled class ever before coming out of high school.

To get 3 of the top 5 tight ends in America and 2 of the top 4 running backs, that's exciting.

Not one of these (DB's) ever asked about a depth chart.  That's what we want at SC.

The playmaking group, to have 2 different players in the same class that were named national player of the year, it's exciting.

I can't imagine there being as many star players in any class around the country as there will be here at the end of the day.

(On recruiting kids against UCLA) - I've been gone 3 years, but much hasn't changed.  It's really still the same.  I just think there is a sense, it doesn't take long to figure it out.  It's still the same.  I guess we waist time if we continue to recruit them.  We know within the first ten minutes if they are our type of guy. Without being specific, it's just the questions they (recruits) ask.  It's not just me, it's the other guys that sense the same thing.

Bronco Mendenhall (BYU)

I do have a very succinct and long-running policy. When I present a scholarship to a young man in my office and in writing in front of a young man and his parents, I make it very clear. Please do not commit or accept this offer unless you don't want to be recruited anymore. Even if the Pittsburgh Steelers come after you, you will tell them, 'I'm not interested. I'm committed to BYU.

That's line for line, verbatim. I tell the young man, 'If you are not willing to commit under those terms, please don't tell me you're coming.' Sometimes the recruiting world views a verbal commitment like it's a game. I focus on the commitment part, not the verbal part. Parents get caught up in the idea that a verbal is not a commitment, when I told them very specifically at BYU, a commitment is commitment, no matter how it comes to me.

Randy Edsall (UCONN)

We are better received outside the state of CT than inside the state of CT in certain pockets.  That's tough to say, but it's true.  It is amazing.
Edsall seems frustrated with many in-state high school coaches

David Cutcliffe (Duke)

There is a new language in recruiting...

"Soft verbal"... is that whispering that you are coming (laughs)? (Pause)... I'm going to start trying some "soft offers" (laughs).

"Decommit"...where you ever committed?

I don't want a commitment that wants to shop.  I tell them that.

Mark Richt (Georgia)

I would be for an early signing date if there was a stipulation that all of the early signees would not take official visits until after they signed with the school they knew they wanted to go to. If you had the early signing date somewhere in November as some people have suggested, then the whole recruiting calendar gets moved up. Before you know it every single weekend is a large recruiting weekend, official visit weekend. You are trying to coach a team and you are trying to recruit; it's just very, very difficult to do. I think people would be pushing for legislation to have official visits in the summer. I really think we need to keep as much sanity in this thing as we can for the college coaches, the high school coaches and the players themselves and the families.

Bo Pelini (Nebraska)

I've said this before and I'll say it again, everybody thinks that recruiting ends today but to me it just starts because now our job is to develop the young men that came to play in this football program and make them become the best players they can be. I believe that most people lose sight of that fact. Recruiting just started today because now it's our job to take these young men who have high goals and high expectations and help them, enable them, to make those dreams come true. I believe that is where this staff is at its best.

Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern)

Typically before we offer a scholarship to anybody we're going to take a look at their Facebook page and their pictures and see who they're hanging out with. It tells us a lot about their character and what they're willing to share with the public. Those mediums are positive, there's a lot of sites out there that do a great job of educating families and recruits on the process, don't get me wrong, but at the end of the day, the overhyping of decommitting and re-committing is bad for this process. What are we really trying to teach kids? Typically your word is your bond. Sometimes it will happen the other way where scholarships won't be followed up on by a school. That's not our approach. But the idea of ‘Well I can always change my mind and decommit' is not a good idea and not a good lesson to be teaching young people. I wish we could find a way to eliminate that.

Jim Harbaugh (Stanford)

The afterburners have ignited, and we are excited for the talented and ambitious newcomers who have made the decision to come to Stanford.  Across all positions, this signing class is full of playmakers that possess athleticism and explosiveness that will help us reach multiple Pac-10 Championships and a National Championship.

The other cardiac need was offensive line and that was addressed very nicely. They are going to fit right in with the Tunnel Workers Union.

Al Golden (Temple)

We're staying true to our commitment to the local area. We only flew four recruits to the campus, and I stayed in a hotel one night. If you recruit locally, you'll be more efficient, [there's] more economy, and you can eliminate defects in your evaluation.
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