Williams: When looking at this class, one of the first guys that stood out to me was Devin McDowell strictly because of his speed. He's also 5'9, 160 pounds. Does that scare you throwing a guy at that size out on the field? Will he need a red-shirt year or do you want to play him right away?
McCarney: Who knows if he'll be ready or
not. Nobody really knows. There aren't many coaches that know if February,
Chris, if a kid can play in August and September. He's DeAndre's (Jackson)
brother, this is the same family and the same coaches that coached DeAndre. He
has so many of the same qualities as DeAndre. DeAndre is going to be one of the
best cornerbacks in the Big 12 and I think one of the better ones in college
football this year. When that family and those coaches and that same support
group that said DeAndre could play, and then you see this. They say that this
guy (McDowell) is definitely going to be as good or better, you better sit up
and listen and Tony Alford and I did. It was a two team race all the way. (ISU
Williams: What weight would be ideal for Devin to regulate at?
McCarney: I would hope he could come in at 175 pounds.
Williams: You want to him to arrive here at 175?
McCarney: Yeah, hopefully. He has a really good frame. A really good frame just like DeAndre did. DeAndre came in with some pretty special athletic ability and I think that Devin can do the same. We're really excited about him.
McCarney: He was a guy in this class that
was about as impressive on film that we evaluated. I think that if he would have
had a few more inches in height that he would have probably had a whole truck
load of offers and he didn't. He is an impressive young man and I love him. We
signed a number of defensive lineman but I think because of his motor,
athleticism and his speed that he plays with, he should have a good shot to make
a run at one of those two-deep spots. He won't come in and beat out Shawn Moorehead. I know who one of my starters is. We have some guys on this team
right now that need to know that it's time. They need to stat helping our team
Williams: What about Nick Frere moving to defensive end during bowl practices?
McCarney: It's still in the beginning stages for him. We took a look at him like you mentioned during bowl practices. I think it will be a permanent move, I think he's got a chance there. He's got to get bigger and stronger and learn the position. He needs every practice that he can get. This spring is so important for him, as it is for all guys. Nick's never played with his hand down in college football. This is really an important time for him. He's tough. He's a really high effort guy and he doesn't want to stand around and watch. He's tired of watching. That's what he's done in his career so far and he wants to play. We want him to play and we think that will be a good spot for him.
Williams: This year's class features four running backs. Are all four of those guys going to get a shot at running back or do you plan on moving them around?
McCarney: We told all of those guys that we were going to give them a chance at running back. First of all, they all have to academically qualify. They have to take care of their business between now and May to be here with us. It's a really good group of kids and we think there's a lot of talent there. We need to upgrade our speed. We're missing big playmakers and speed at the running back spot. We need more big plays. We shouldn't have to knock down nine or ten guys to get long runs like we did this past year. We need to protect Bret Meyer better. We give up to many sacks and we've got to get better at running the football. I could care a less if it's a first year freshman, or a fifth year senior, whoever takes that field needs to be better than what we were last year. There's no doubt in my mind that we can't do that.