Q & A with Coach Jody Allen: Part One
Wednesday was a rollercoaster day for many Florida State recruiting fans and coaches. In the morning, the Noles lost four consecutive head to head battles with their rivals. However, starting in the afternoon, the tide changed with the Garnet & Gold winning the final head to head battles and by landing some of the nation's finest prospects such as Fred Rouse, Eugene Hayes, Antone Smith, Matt Hardrick and Callahan Bright.
What was signing day like personally for you yesterday?
It was a very stressful day. It was exciting in the end but it was kind of depressing early. On the way to work, coach Lilly called me and told me Antonio Clay committed to Clemson late Tuesday night and that was a shock because Antonio told me that he was coming to us. When I got into the office around 7:00 AM, I started working on that. Went hard on that until 11:00 AM, that's when we finally lost him. It was quite a battle and I thought we were going to win that one for a while. After that we started getting worried about Geno (Hayes). I knew there was some concern in the family. There were several issues that they had to work through as a family. But, I thought we were going ok because Geno was pretty adamant that he wanted to come to Florida State. I got word that he was getting confused and kind of weakening a little bit on his resolve around 11:00 AM. As soon as the Antonio Clay thing was over, we started on Geno. That went I mean tooth and nail until 3:53 PM when he finally signed. It was very scary for a while. It was kind of like playing a football game for nine hours. That's what my stomach felt like and when I went home last night I had no problems sleeping.
Was Eugene Hayes one of the most difficult recruits to get a read on during the recruiting process?
Well, that's a hard question to answer. To be honest with you, I didn't try to read him. I hoped the relationships he had in Tallahassee with our players, former Madison County players with us and the closeness with the two programs would win out. I never tried to figure out what he was thinking. Coach Andrews, Steele, Haggins and I went over there several times and kept recruiting and kept thinking he was one of us. I never played much attention to what was being said on the internet. I felt like he wasn't going to look us in the eye and our players and say no.
He's an incredible athlete at linebacker with long arms and a nice frame. Where do you see him playing at Florida State?
I think he's a linebacker. When I first started to recruit him, he was only in the 10th grade. At that time, I was hoping he was a guy that could grow into a defensive end. I coach defensive ends and I would like to coach him because he's got a great knack for rushing the passer. As time went by and looking at his body, I think he's going to fill out and be a really solid linebacker kind of like a rangy linebacker that can fly and be a great blitzer. I really don't think he will be big enough to be a defensive end. I think he's going to be so valuable at linebacker that it will be a great fit for him.
Going into the recruiting process, tight end Charlie Graham wasn't heard of much. How did you get turned on to him?
About mid-way through the season, Madison County talked to us about him. They told me the kid was having a phenomenal year and asked me to look at his film. Charlie played some tight end as a 10th grader, offensive tackle as a junior and then to wing-back as a senior. He's great kid that will do whatever you ask of him. They put him at different spots and everywhere he played he did well. You couldn't recruit him as a tackle because he only played there one year plus he wasn't big enough. He only played tight end for one year so you could get a good feel for him there. He played wing-back this year and it was first year he played that position. He was kind of a guy that fell through the crack. But, when they put the film on of him, I was shocked. The guy can run and he's got some wiggle with the ability to get away from defenders. He's got some height with a lot range. I think he's going to end up being a good sized kid around 255 to 260 pounds. He's relentless the way he plays. He's got s great motor and he runs 4.6 and better. When I picked up his film, I took it back to Coach Lilly because we were in the market for some tight ends. Some of the ones we were recruiting fell through so it was good timing. Coach Lilly liked the film so we went down to the state championship game the next week to watch him play. The following week we offered him. We are real happy to have him.
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