DevilsDigest: Coach, what are you impressions of the newcomers in these few practices?
Dirk Koetter: "I think this class is certainly talented. Today (Sunday) went much smoother than yesterday, because they knew what to expect and there was less anxiety. 85-90% of everything that happens here is positive. One negative is that you have a handful of guys that are so out of shape, they have no chance of showing what they got. You have guys injured like Bingham and Berg, which is no fault of their own, and they can show a lot either. For the out of shape guys, it's just a mater of time until they get on track. It happens every year. They are a number of guys that are in shape and are performing very well. Those guys will help our team.
DD: Any similarities or differences that jump at you when you compare the newcomers practice this year to last year?
DK: "Anytime you have newcomer practice, you have to make sure that you have enough players to practice. It just depends on position, and each year is different. Last year we had hardly any linemen in the class, and this year we have nine – five on offense and four on defense. If you just stand there and look at them, you say this is what Pac-10 linemen are suppose to look like. With the exception of Matt Mason, the other guys are freshmen and that's a nice building block there. When Nick Johnson reports at 6-3 245, and the END of practice runs a 4.5 – you say yeah, we can work with that (smile). A guy like Derek Hagan runs a 4.6 and makes play after play, you can tell the kid has really got it.
DD: What's the biggest objective of these practices?
DK: The orientation on how we practice, and how we play in certain situations is the most important. Talent evaluation that's done during recruiting, but it's always fun as a coach once you have a newcomer practice here to say that you were dead on about a certain player or this guy is even better than what we thought. We just want to get them ready to practice with varsity.
DD: Two days from now at this time, you'll be going through your first Tontozona practice. How fired up are you for the season?
DK: I'm very fired up (smile). Three weeks from yesterday we're playing the Cornhuskers. It's gonna be the quickest fall camp ever. We could make it a little longer, but with a 13 game season and two bye weeks this was the best way to go. We're gonna have to count on the guys that are in our system. We're also gonna do more stuff with walk throughs and not beating our team up, so we can be mentally ready for Nebraska.
Coach Koetter Impressed With Newcomers
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