Dan Hawkins: Big 12 Conference Call

Dan Hawkins took part in his inaugural Big 12 coaches conference call Monday. Inside, Hawkins' comments from the call, in which he talks about Mell Holliday, the quarterback situation and his mindset going into his first game as a Buffalo.

Opening Statement
Dan Hawkins
: (Laughs) Take it easy on the rookie; that's my opening comment. No, we're excited to get going. There's been a lot of talk, a lot of discussions, a lot of hype. Now it's time to play. And we're excited to get out there and get going and see what we've got with this deal.

Q: What have you seen from Mell Holliday this fall and how does he fit into your plans?
: The Welder? (laughs) He's been very impressive. He really has. He's a tough, hard-nosed guy. We'll feature him prominently in what we do.

We know he's going forward and has good vision. He can get the tough yards. He's been very blue collar for us. He can be very productive for us.

Q: Is he a guy who maybe fits into just a certain portion of your package, or will he play quite a bit?
: He can do pretty much everything. He can. He's certainly not limited in what he can do. But he does have the dimension where he can pound it in there a little bit.

Q: Do you have a soft spot in your heart for guys like him who come out of nowhere?
: Yeah, totally. It's kind of like me. I tease him about being The Welder, but we always talk about being a blue-collar outfit and I sort of like his style. He's kind of a tough guy. He's a no nonsense guy. Very humble and he shows up and puts on his hardhat and goes to work every day an is very productive.

Q: Obviously you've had success at Boise State before. But I'm just curious, what's going through your mind as you have this opening game coming up on Saturday at CU?
: (laughs) It's like Grand Central Station in my mind right now. We just want to get going, put the ship in the water and start rolling.

I always talk to our guys all the time – you can think about the big picture, and that's great. But I'm one of those guys that tries to keep his mind on today and focus on today and what we need to get done. That's really how I've sort of done it my whole career. Not worry about that big outcome, just take care of the little details today. And that's really what consumes me most of the time.

Q: Are you going into this game thinking that a couple of your quarterbacks will get playing time? Or will James Cox get most of the snaps out there.
: We'll see. We want James, obviously to get out there and get going. Hopefully, that is the case. You never know how the game will go one way or the other. But certainly we want it to be James' game.