Signing Day Press Conference - Part III
ON THE QUARTERBACK POSITION AND ROTATION
"It's one of those positions where if you don't have one, you are in trouble. You can see that in pro and in college. We're going to allow those people to compete for playing time. I don't have any preconceived ideas about who the quarterback is going to be. I haven't promised the position to anyone, so I'll be very interested, just like all of you, to see who comes out of the spring and wins the job. If it goes into the early part of training camp, so be it. I haven't watched any film of the previous seasons and don't intend to until after spring. I'm going to evaluate everybody with a clean slate. We're putting in a system that will be a little different, so I want to evaluate them from the beginning."
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS PRIOR TO SPRING BALL?
"The recruiting part of this never ends. Recruiting ends when the waffle house closes. We're moving on to the next phase of this, but we have to prepare our team and get our team ready. Coach (Rod) Cole has been doing that. He's a tremendous strength and conditioning coach. The kids will continue to develop in that area, and we'll sit down as a coaching staff and determine when and how much we'll install based some on the reports we get back on some of these young people. We have a pretty fundamental sketch of what the offense and defense will be like, so we'll go out there and find out in the spring."
ADVANTAGE FOR JOSH FREEMAN AS A MID-YEAR RECRUIT?
"In the ACC we saw this a couple years ago. There were a couple teams in our league who really had the advantage when it came to the mid-year process. We did not have that advantage at Virginia. We were unable to bring a kid in at that time. I think there are pros and cons. Obviously, it disrupts the natural flow of things for young people, their prom and all those sorts of things. There is a class that came in before him and a class that came in after, and he came in mid-year. Junior college players seem to deal with it a little bit easier. I was one, and I think you bond together with those folks. When you talk about being one of the best organizations in college football it's also about not letting people fall through the cracks, and that's what I'm talking about here."
"For him personally? As a player you cannot put enough of an emphasis on how much of an advantage being in spring ball gives a player, particularly at that positions. For him, when it comes to football it's an awesome opportunity. My concern is always for the kid and his development. He's obviously six months early as opposed to his peers when it comes to arriving on campus, so I kind of like to mother-hen those guys and make sure they are doing okay, because I know he is starting a little earlier than his peers."
ON THE KANSAS PROSPECTS
"Trevor Viers reminds me a player that I played with in Junior College. A kid named Jerry Teal. Jerry was from Kansas and went to Dodge City and eventually went on to play tight end at Tennessee. He was an eight-man player who was overlooked a little bit because he was a small school player. In (Trevor) we saw a player who played with tremendous intensity, and it was fun to watch him play. In coaching sometimes you get jaded a little bit by the players who don't play as hard as you'd hope, but here was a young man who played hard the entire time, and there was nothing not to like. He's got a tremendous frame. Any time you get a guy who is 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds that excites a coach because of what he could be. As a kid and a person and a player, we were tremendously excited and there was no discussion among our coaches at all about his level of competition or where he played. We felt like his tape and credentials spoke for themselves."
"John Houlik (RB) was the same thing, same story. Our coaches just could not stop talking about this young man. I was on the road when his tape surfaced, and they called me and told me I had to go see him play, that he played the game the way it was supposed to be played. He played with a high motor and on both sides of the ball, plays basketball and all of those things, so when I came back and took a look at it, they were exactly right. He's the kind of young person I want playing for me."
"The whole idea of the in-state player is very important. Being somebody who came from this state, I'm sensitive to it, so for us having a chance to recruit Scott Krehbiel was big. For him to come to Kansas State, particularly being an offensive lineman, which is near in dear to my heart, I want to have a good offensive line and the mothers of the quarterbacks we talk about will all appreciate that, was terrific for us and our staff. It gave us a lot of confidence. We were very excited about his confidence in us and our ability to coach him as a player, and I'm sure that we'll all be happy down the road. I think he's a terrific young person with a great family. "
"I really feel the same way about a lot of the other young people. (Tony) Purvis from Nebraska…he's like 13 miles from the border, and having a chance to get up there and be involved with Tony was great. He's my kind of guy. He's an athletic player. He's tough, means everything to his team, and I can't imagine anybody from high school, unless they went to De LaSalle, has a better record. To have that many championship games and experience at that level, that counts. I was really impressed with some of the players from the community colleges as well. But that was important to us, wanting to win in the state and do well with the Kansas kids."
"I think the experience here at Kansas State is profound. A lot of players have come here and done well. One of the things I'm very sensitive of is that we have to do a very good job of evaluating those players who can contribute to the roster and earn their way on so to speak. I really don't see any distinction in how they get on the roster. I think whether you are drafted or a free agent or recruited or not recruited really should have no bearing on how they are coached, treated or what their experience should be like. I think as long as you maintain that attitude I think players respond to it and are anxious to show you that they will compete."
ON BRINGING IN KIDS FOR VISITS WHO YOU WOULD PLACE IN JUNIOR COLLEGE?
"One of the functions in the community college in our state is the fact that people outside of our state get exposure to us. I think that having a good relationship with the community colleges here in the state is important. We want to make sure we have a good relationship and know exactly what kind of person we're meeting here and we may get back in a couple years. It might be somebody who is interested in us now but isn't quite ready academically or just from a skill standpoint, and we wanted to make sure that those people we thought had a chance to play here were around our staff so we could evaluate their character. That's one of the advantages of an official visit, in that for a lot of people it's an interview for them. I made that very clear to them when they came to our campus that as much as we were interested in impressing them, they were on a job interview, and we wanted to be impressed too. I'm very sensitive to how people sit in here and share our values."
ON THE SELL-OUT FOR THE SPECIAL AT THE ALUMNI CENTER
"I think the reception since we've been here has been terrific. I think people have been excited and interested. We're hoping that they are there not just out of curiosity but for the experience. I think these kinds of things are critical with the fan base. I think it's important for them. Recruiting has kind of become a game in itself now. I think to be able to share that with people and do it with four hundred (400) of your closest fans, I'm excited about it. I'm excited about getting the message of Kansas State out there. I think those folks who follow us and are very supportive - I'm very happy that they get to come out."
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