Signing Day Press Conference Quotes

Transcript of what Coach Zook had to say this evening about the 2003 recruiting haul...

Opening remarks:
"First of all I would like to thank our coaches and our coaches wives, my wife and families. It has been a lot of fun, it has been a lot of work. And it is a big difference in a year, when you have a year to recruit, to do the things you have to do."

"I would like to thank all the people at the UAA. We could not get it done without all the grounds people, the people in Jamie McCloskey's office, the people over in the Office of Student Life, Dr. Carodine and all the advisors. All the help that they do, evaluating transcripts, really cuts into their weekends as well."

"I would like to really thank our players. Our players, and I said this last year and I really felt it last year, it was just unbelievable the job our players did this year. I really do believe that your players are your best ambassadors, and we have a great product like you do at the University of Florida. It is really up to your players to sell it and then they are the ones that do it. They are the ones that get asked the tough questions, sometimes the prospect may not ask us a particular question and they turn to the players for answers."

"Our players did a remarkable thing, and my hat's off to them for all that they did. I would like to thank the high school coaches and the counselors who went about getting us the transcripts and all the work they did. Obviously the state of Florida is an awesome state."

On the talent in the state of Florida:
"There is a lot of talent in this state. A lot of really exceptional high school coaching is going on. The guys we were fortunate enough to recruit and get to come to the University of Florida, for the most part are all very good students."

"My hat goes off to not only the students but also to the high school coaches in preparing them and help them to get where they need to get and go to an NCAA school. I have never been anywhere where the athletic department and the academic department cooperated so well together. It is part of the reason why we were fortunate enough to have to great product we have had so far and why we have the great recruiting class we have."

On Chris Leak:
"Our staff really did a great job in recruiting Chris. Obviously he already had the opportunity of going through it once with his older brother, so they knew what to expect and what was going on. They were very thorough, they did a great job. Chris came on an official visit to a game and when he actually realized that he was really serious about coming here he came down on his own. He wanted to make sure that academically this was the place he wanted to get in to. They did a great job of evaluating and seeing the things we had to offer."

"I think what you are going to see in Chris Leak and in all of our players is that they are very unselfish. They were more concerned with getting as many good players as they could to come. When you get a good group of football players like that, a very unselfish group like that it gives you an opportunity to have a great chemistry as we do, will lead to something special."

On how many players of the recruiting class will actually be used:
"We were very truthful during the recruiting process. I think a lot of these guys have an opportunity to come in and play. Obviously the have to come in and do it, but there were no promises that you were going to come in and start. They obviously know that since it would not be fair to those players who are already here. They do have an opportunity to come in and play. Some of these guys are very very talented and mature and how they handle themselves will be up to them. I would expect that quite a few of these guys will come in and play and if I had to do it all over again I would have played more freshman this year then I did."

On the Offensive and Defensive Line recruiting:
"Lineman at any level are the hardest to get and obviously that also is the position that relates to winning football games."

"We said last year that there has to be three junior offensive lineman somewhere that number one could get in school, number two can come in in January, number three are good football players and number four are good people. We combed the United States of America and our staff has done an unbelievable job."

"We found five junior college players that we felt would hit all those criteria and we were fortunate enough to get all five of them. Obviously the three offensive linemen we got knew there was a need there. The one defensive lineman we got knows that there is a need there and he is going to come in and have an opportunity to play."

"Obviously the high school players we got are all guys that are very very talented and are guys that are going to have to opportunity to come in and play as young people."

On his recruiting this season:
"Having the number one recruiting class is not important to me. What is important to me is that we have good students, good players and people that come in and are able to play the way that we need to have them come in and play and can help us win. I tell players all the time, it is not the best players that win it is the best team that wins."

"One of the things that I am the most excited about this class is how unselfish they are. I think recruiting classes are judged down the road and I have no idea where our recruiting class was ranked last year. I will say this about last year's class, that class will surprise a lot of people."

"I think the rankings are good because the fans and the teams get excited and they get you ready for the spring practice, but I think you judge a recruiting class by the number of games they win."

On his reputation as a good recruiter:
"When you have a great product like the University of Florida it makes it easier. Another reason we feel so good about the recruiting class coming in this year is the fact that they are good people. There is a reason why our players spent so much time recruiting. They gave up their time and their weekends for the benefit of the team. The more good players we have here the better our chances are of reaching our goals. People make the place, I don't care where you go."

"The thing that we have is number one, we have a great product here, we have players that are excited to be here and we have a great staff that has done a great job recruiting. You are selling yourself, you are selling the people and you are selling the program"

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