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Did the Mike McIntosh situation surprise you?
No it doesn't surprise at all. You get used to it. I have not talked to him. Dabo recruited him. You can never be sure in this profession. You can never be sure on anybody until they get in.
You took Cullen Harper even though he was injured most of his senior year. Why?
You hear of a guy named Charlie Whitehurst? It was a similar situation in that he got injured during his senior year. We saw something in Cullen that we really liked early. It was the same thing that we spotted in Charlie. Charlie and Cullen have similar running skills. Mechanically he's very sound and he's got good throwing skills. He's got a good demeanor. He's got some of the basic foundation you'd like to have in a quarterback.
Are you disappointed with how this class closed?
I've never been associated with a staff where you've gotten them all. I'm very happy and pleased with who we got. This is the first time that we haven't had some of the top guys at least visit. We've had the most wins, the highest graduation rate, and I would say after getting so much negative publicity. The guys in-state here were reading about the negative publicity
Do you feel like this class was one that fills a lot of team needs?
You go out and try to address specific needs. Ours was some big bodies on defense, big bodies on offense. There were some needs that we tried to address through the numbers we lost. It's been a long time since we've had two 6-7 tackles in here. You look at Barry Richardson and Cory Lambert. The big athletic bodies are hard to get. Going against Florida and getting him at two in the morning was good. We are very, very please with Akeem Robinson.
Are you going to more of a drop back passing game now that you are signing bigger linemen?
Not really. We've been able to attract guys right now that we haven't been able to attract in the past. This year in particular, there were some big guys in-state that were athletic.
Will you look elsewhere now to take another wide receiver?
We might have a scholarship or two, so we may look a little bit. If we find one we like, we could do that. If not, we're very happy with who we've got coming back.
Where will Akeem Robinson play?
Tight end intially. He could get moved to defense. He's a big athletic body that could play there or somewhere else. I think Clemson University has a lot to offer besides style of offense. He liked the way Ron West recruited him and he felt comfortable with the staff.
What about Barry Richardson? He's guy that's coming out of school a year early to play college football.
He's just a year behind mentally. With him being the youngest lineman we're taking, we'll take that into consideration. We've got to remember that he's a year behind, but obviously he's got the physical skills to get the job done. Some of those things that you can't really evaluate during recruiting will determine how quickly he develops.
What are your scholarship numbers right?
We don't have them all in yet. But we could have around 21.
Where does this class since your first year here?
In my mind, I really rate this class right up there with the one that Airese was in a few years ago.