Coach's Corner: Mackovic on recruiting

It was a big day for the Wildcats. Despite recent troubles and controversies, the Wildcats assembled a very good recruiting class. Coach John Mackovic discussed the class on Letter of Intent signing day, the first day he was able to discuss players.

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John Mackovic began his press conference with general comments on the 2003 recruiting class:
"We were competitively in some tough races for a lot of guys, but we filled our class. Our coaches hustled their butts off. They got out there and did a good job of presenting our program, they did a good job of answering questions, and they did a good job of following up. They did a good job of finding good fits for us."

"Many of the youngsters coming in can help us and will help us win this year. I'm not certain how many will play. The junior college players are a little older, and they should be in a position to play. We have two young quarterbacks, and both of them are going to get a speeded up course on getting ready to know and understand our offense. We will give them an opportunity to learn our system and everything that goes with it. The fact that we have a young quarterback corps just opens some of the opportunities for them."

"When we look at the whole class, you see that we had three mid-year enrollees - David Sharp, Tom Robinson and Zeonte Sherman. We signed a number of players from California, Texas and Arizona, as well. I am real pleased, and we have a nice spread across the board."

Mackovic on the program's recruiting challenges:
"Without recounting everything, we had some actions of our own players that were detrimental to us, and that cast a number of questions nationally and locally with fans, players, high school coaches and everybody. We had a lack of real enthusiasm on the part of some people close to us that was not known. We had negative recruiting; in part many of them were questioning what was going on. We had to live with those things, and we had to answer."

"How did we do that? We were honest and up front in everything that we did. We answered all questions, and we addressed the situation. We did not shy away from anything, and we did not wait for someone else to raise an issue. We addressed it ourselves, and we thought that was the right way to do it. We asked them (recruits) to give us an opportunity to come meet our players. Our players did an unbelievably terrific job because they are the ones who were able to tell the recruits what was really going on here. Those that did come to visit went away with an appreciation for who we are and what we're doing. A lot of people didn't know, and they had to find out for themselves."

Mackovic on the program's recruiting success:
"I think that our coaches did the best recruiting job of anybody in America this year. We had so many obstacles thrown in our way, and we had to overcome so many things to have the kind of class that we have. I doubt that any other staff could have done a better job."

"It is extremely successful, and I don't think anyone gave us very much of a chance. We beat the odds, and we will continue to beat the odds. We knew what we had to do, and we went out and did it. That just proves we have some pretty tough guys around who know how to get the job done."

"All of the things that were said and done cast the question of the stability of our football program. That's a lot to fight off, which is why I think our guys did as good a job as anybody in the country."

On the importance of signing wide receiver Marcus Thomas and quarterback Richard Kovalcheck:
"Marcus is an accomplished ball carrier. He is tough; he is a physical player, and if he can be that way as a receiver, it really will be a benefit. I think he can be a physical runner down the field."

"Richard comes from a passing offense. Anytime you come from an offense at a high school where you throw the ball a lot, you have a little bit of a leg up simply because you're used to having the ball in your hands and doing it. Richard will come in having thrown the ball quite a bit. He will at least have some things already built into it."

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