Quick Hits: Muschamp, Sark, Strong, and Al Golden
Will Muschamp is officially not worried about star rankings: "Have you seen those guys that rank those five stars (in recruiting)? I don't count stars. I watch the tape, I recruit.”
"I don't want to disappoint anybody or offend anyone, but I don't read the Internet. I put the tape on and I decide from a critical standpoint if this guy can fit in our program and be a good football player — he's got a good-looking transcript, he's going to do the right things on and off the field. I'm going to be excited about him being a part of our program.”
"I haven't turned on ESPN today to check on what everybody is saying. I'm worried about what I think more than what they think."
Quoting Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian: “I think we signed a very athletic class, one that is long, rangy, possesses a lot of speed, and it's physical. And I think one of the things we have tried to address as a football program as we move forward is our physicality on the field and I think that this class does that.”
"We sell who we are as people and we don't change. Who we are is who we are --- we are very real, we are candid, we are up front, we are honest and that doesn't change from player to player or family to family or in state to out of state. That's who we are.”
(on shifting to a 3-4 defense) "We're going to tinker with it, there's no doubt, even more this spring. With so much of what's going on in college football with the spread offense it gives us a little more versatility to do that, it disguises somem of our pressures more and we did more of it toward the end of the year so we are trying to find guys that fit that body type and that style of defense.”
Quoting Louisville head coach Charlie Strong: "We wanted to recruit speed and mentally and physically tough kids. We are not going to take a step backwards. We laid the foundation, and now we are going to build on it."
Funny quote from Miami (FL) head coach Al Golden: "Gionni (a linebacker) went from not wanting to talk to us, to getting a Miami tattoo. There are lots of schools that can't flip eight kids in three or four years, and we did it in five weeks."
"This is a defense-heavy class. That's an indication of my evaluation of where we needed the most depth - defense and special teams."
Quick Hits: Saban, Kiffin, Tedford, Richt, Miles
Nick Saban talks grayshirting and oversigning: "We have never, ever grayshirted a guy here who when he decided to come here didn't know ... that he was going to be a grayshirt whenever he committed."
"Any player that has left this program prematurely has created his own exit route. He's created his own conditions for leaving, if that makes any sense, whether they're academic in terms of not doing what he needs to do academically, whether there's some violation in terms of team rule or policy, whatever it is. Some of these things we're not allowed to comment on.
Lane Kiffin: “We were able to add 30 players to our roster, with the possibility of more soon to come.”
“One of these years we’re going to be done at this time (7:30 pm) and we’ll be able to go home.”
Jeff Tedford: "This is the best class of defensive linemen, from top-to-bottom, that we've ever assembled."
Mark Richt: "We all know our season wasn't the best and there have been a lot of things that we've had to battle maybe a little bit more than other years when it comes to recruiting. I really believe that this class will end up being the largest and most talented and the best bunch in the 11 years now."
Les Miles: "I don't really care if it's ranked in the top 10 or not, it fits what we need. You'll not know for some time how good a class this really is, but coming in behind last year's class ... we think this will allow us to compete for conference honors — if we are fortunate to win our conference, the opportunity to compete for national honors."
Rich Rod: I'm hungry as ever. I don't want to lose my confidence
Former Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez opened up to the media for perhaps the first time in recent weeks.
Rodriguez told the Associated Press, "I'm hungry as I've ever been to coach. I don't want to lose my confidence. We have a formula that can take a team to BCS bowls and compete for national championships. If I'm at the right school that gives you total support and is pulling in the right direction, I think we'll do that."
Reflecting back, Rodriguez admitted, "We saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Heck, we had 24 starters coming back, and the player of the year in the league — he's a sophomore and still learning. Recruiting, we thought it was going really well even with all the drama.
"That's the frustrating part about it is we didn't get a chance to finish the job."
After going 60-26 as the head coach at West Virginia, Rodriguez finished 15-22 in his three years at Michigan. To win at the major D1 level, everyone within the program needs to be the same page. It didn’t work out that way for Rich Rod.
Quick Hits: Jon Gruden, Mark Richt, Urban Meyer
Jon Gruden is pushing for his former special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia for the Tennessee Titans head coaching job: “I coached a long time, he’s one of the best coaches I’ve worked with and I’m not just trying to be his agent or publicity manager. He’s a tremendous football coach, great with players, smart, works his butt off. I’d hire him as a head coach. If I was in position to interview people and look for quality candidates and he’s certainly one of the best I’ve been around.”
“Special teams guys -- he’s not an offensive coach or a defensive coach, he's kind of a wefence guy. He was my running backs coach, special teams coordinator, jack of all trades. He’s very good at personnel; he’s got a vast amount of experience. I hope he does get an opportunity to present himself. Sometimes that’s all people need is a chance to get in front of the people that are making these decisions.”
Mark Richt says the Bulldogs’ recruiting class will be the best in his 11 years at UGA: “Our season wasn’t the best, and we have had to battle. But I believe this class will end up being best bunch in 11 years.”
Urban Meyer had to cut financial ties with Florida when he accepted the job with ESPN: “The University of Florida has been a big part of my personal and professional life for the past six years and while I will no longer be able to continue a professional relationship with the University, I will continue to support the many friends I made during my time there.”
Ed Orgeron: I've got plenty of Slim Jims and Red Bull
According to the LA Times, Ed Orgeron and Lane Kiffin recently visited recruits in 11 states over five days.
The Trojans are trying to nail down another Top 5 recruiting class.
Sleep was not a priority and apparently only eating was important to Kiffin at one point. According to the story, Kiffin wanted to stop for a meal, but Oregron waved him off. (Who waves off the head coach?)
"We're good," said Orgeron. "I've got plenty of Slim Jims and Red Bull."
Orgeron, who enjoys the recruiting process as much as any coach in the country, said, "I don't like to use the word addicted. I can put down the football and play with my kids or go out to dinner with my wife."
You can watch Lane Kiffin’s signing day presser LIVE from Heritage Hall at 8 pm EST. We are setting the over/under on “Even with all….Top 5 class in the country” at 4.
Vandy defensive coordinator Bob Shoop ready for challenge
When Bob Shoop accepted the Vanderbilt defensive coordinator position, it marks the eleventh job in his career. Shoop, the 2009 FootballScoop D1-AA Coordinator of the Year, has coached at Yale, UVA, Northeastern, Yale, Villanova, Army, Boston College, Columbia, UMASS, and William & Mary.
Coming to the SEC doesn’t intimidate Shoop, who says, "There isn’t anything from an X’s and O’s standpoint that I watched with the SEC teams that I hadn’t seen in the CAA. I’ve gone up against Chip Kelly when he was at New Hampshire. Last year we beat Delaware when they were No. 1 in the country. We beat Villanova when they were No. 1 in the country. We beat New Hampshire, who was a playoff team. We beat Richmond, who was a playoff team. We stood toe-to-toe with North Carolina (in a 21-17 loss this season).”
Shoop will work with other Vanderbilt defensive assistants Brent Pry (co-defensive coordinator / linebackers), Sean Spencer (defensive line), and Wesley McGriff (defensive backs).
"I’m not blind to the fact I’m in the SEC now,” says Shoop. “ I’m not blind to that fact. I’ve been preparing my entire career for an opportunity like this, and I feel as if I’m prepared. The thing I’d emphasize, too, is the CAA is the SEC of Division I-AA football. Year in, year out, we play five teams in the top 10 in our level of football. I keep reminding myself, just do the things you did there. This is no different."
“I have the best job in the country. I have no doubt about that. I’m in one of the greatest cities in the country, at one of the top institutions in the country … and in the best college football conference that there is. There is the NFL, there’s the SEC and there’s all else. Is this a tough job? Yes. But it’s a great opportunity and I’m looking forward to it."
The 2011 non-conference schedule for Vanderbilt includes Elon, UCONN, Army, and at Wake Forest.
University of Florida president blasts grayshirting
Don’t expect Will Muschamp to “grayshirt” any recruits. Ever.
University of Florida president Bernie Machen released a letter to SI.com with his thoughts on over-signing and grayshirting.
Machen writes, “These schools play roulette with the lives of talented young people. If they run out of scholarships, too bad. The letter-of-intent signed by the university the previous February is voided. Technically, it's legal to do this. Morally, it is reprehensible.”
“What needs to happen in intercollegiate athletics is that universities must accept the moral responsibility to stop and prevent "grayshirting" and its associated actions. The football programs must be accountable and should honor institutional commitments to students. It is, after all, a moral contract.”
Click here to read the entire letter from Machen.
Machen, who earns $751,000 annually, has some pretty interesting thoughts. And let's be honest, the guy is pretty smart. Machen has a B.A. from Vanderbilt, a D.D.S. from St. Louis University, a M.S. from University of Iowa, and Ph.D. from Iowa.
Mack Brown explains the breakdown, the fix, and future
Texas head coach Mack Brown spoke on Monday about the breakdown, the fix, and the future.
Reflecting back on the most difficult season of his coaching career, Brown explained, “I started worrying more about the wins than I did the process... If you do, you're in trouble.”
Brown is moving forward without 6 assistant coaches from the 2010 staff. Gone are Greg Davis, Will Muschamp, Mike Tolleson, Bobby Kennedy, Duane Akina, and Mac McWhorter.
The new hires include Manny Diaz, Bryan Harsin, Darrell Wyatt, Jerry Gray, Bo Davis, and Stacy Searels.
Brown said, “The biggest concern is that all the coaching pieces fit. They've all got to work together... and you're not going to know until you've played [games], until you get some pressure. That's when you'll find out about that.”
Obviously, Brown wants to limit distractions during this critical transition. So what about the new Texas TV Network?
“Do you have an assistant coach's show for every assistant coach? Do you have a clinic?...There's obviously a fine line. You give [ESPN] nuggets you feel like will make the network work. But you're not going to have them in the huddle. We're not going to have [HBO's] Hard Knocks,” said Brown.
The Longhorns open the 2011 season with Rice, BYU, and at UCLA.