Phillips' opening comments on signing class

During today's signing day press conference Phillips reported that UK signed " in the defensive backfield and four linebacker-type bodies. We were able to add to what we think should be our strength on defense, the defensive line, still able to go out and find three quality defensive linemen."

"This past season has been a really good season and I say "season" past year, because this thing started a year ago. We didn't just all of the sudden begin to recruit. Recruiting is year-round these days, and this staff did an unbelievable job of recruiting. The (recruiting) staff is made up of the coaching staff, their families, their wives did an unbelievable job, our support staff, the people in this building, and across the campus."

"That includes Mitch Barnhart, Dr. (Eli) Capilouto, and Coach "Cal" (John Calipari), who did an outstanding job of -- very few big-time Division I coaches in men's basketball are willing to open up their locker room at the 30-minute mark and let some high school football recruits come in and address them, and I appreciate Coach Cal for doing that."

"And Dr. Capilouto and Mitch Barnhart, when we got those guys in front of our prospects, they did an outstanding job of selling our vision and where we are as a football program, and it was a good chance for us to -- for the recruits to hear from our administration, the support that we have here at Kentucky. This is a strong recruiting class, and the class got stronger in the last 48 hours when a couple of kids decided to join us."

"This is our second year in a row that we have had an opportunity to sign a full class. I say 'full class' I mean a full class of 25. Because of the numbers and because of the quality that we have had in these last two classes, I think the core, the core and the strength of this program is in our younger players, these 59 players that have three years or more (of eligibility) in this program right now."

"Last year we brought in 25, 11 of those got on the field, could have easily been 4 or 5 others that could have got on the field, the other guys probably needed a year of development but there were a couple of other guys that could have gotten on the field and we feel that this is that type of class and might even be better than the class we put together last year."

"I also talked to you last year about we have come up with a profile of what the student athlete in football looks like here at Kentucky. Has to be high character, a guy that really wants to get a degree and a guy that wants to be successful and loves the game of football, not only loves the game of football but loves playing the game of football here at Kentucky, and this staff did a good job of evaluating early and I say 'a year ago' because we started a year ago."

"We started two or three weeks ago starting on the 2013 class. So it's about the same time that we started on the '12 class, so we did a good job of evaluating early guys that fit this profile and guys that fit our needs, also playing at a high level in this league that you have to have."

"Because of that we were able to get kids to commit to us early and they might not have gotten all the attention from other scouts, other schools because of that. We were able to get 'em early enough because we identified them and because of the profile that we talk about, that our kids that we're looking for, okay, the commitment meant something to them and late in this process there was a lot of kids that were getting hammered by other teams, and Jordan Watson was one of the those guys getting killed by other teams, trying to get him to turn his back on the University of Kentucky, and Jordan stood strong. A couple of other kids, Dyshawn Mobley, another kid that stayed strong because of the profile that we were looking for, a guy that has high character, wants to get a degree and loves to play football and brings that love here to the University of Kentucky; we were able to hold on to what we called a great class that got even better in the last 48 hours."

"A lot of that had to do with the relationships that we have established and that's the thing that this staff has talked about. We talk about family atmosphere and it truly is. If you look at the staff from to the to bottom, those are guys that I have had relationships with in the past, not only as they have coached me or I've coached with or seen coach or some of them were friends that we have met in this business, and that has nothing to do with -- and I heard a statement that "Coach Brooks' guys are out of here," it's not about Coach Brooks' guys, it's about Joker's guys, and everybody understands the type of relationship that Coach Brooks and I had here at Kentucky."

"I would die on the sword for Coach Brooks, our relationship was strong, very strong. I want the guys that are willing to die on the sword for me in the back of the room, and we have 'em."

"We were able to sign some top players here from Kentucky, the top player (Patrick Towles), and along with that three other players from Kentucky. The state of Ohio, who we have been talking about has to be important to us, we got two kids from the state of Ohio, and I appreciate the effort of Coach (Rick) Minter and Coach (Mike) Cassity, who has joined our staff, we were able to get two quality players in the state of Ohio and has to be a huge emphasis of ours to be able to go into the state of Ohio, which is – (there are) a lot of people between here and Dayton that love the game of football that fit the profile that we're looking for, and we have got to be in there, and not just be in there but be in there strong."

"Eight kids from Georgia, we continue to go into that state and attract kids. I think because of the relationships that many of the guys on this staff, Coach (Greg) Nord has relationships with the coaches in Georgia, Coach (Tee) Martin, myself, Coach (David) Turner, offensively our staff has relationships with the high school coaches, with the addition of Coach (Steve) Pardue, he got us into south Georgia, which we hadn't been as strong in the in the last few years but bringing Coach Pardue on board strengthened those relationships."

"Four from the state of Florida, and Coach (Mike) Summers has done an unbelievable job in the north Florida area. Usually you don't see an offensive line coach responsible for a huge area, he has one for us in Florida, and a lot of that is in the northern part of Florida and done an outstanding job for us."

"Coach (Chuck) Smith did a great job in the state of Indiana in which we were able to sign three more kids along with the other kids that we have on our team from Indiana."

"State of Tennessee, which Coach (Randy) Sanders continues to go into Tennessee and get players that we know and that fit our profile that we know can compete here in the SEC, and one kid from Alabama that Coach Martin just hangs around, hangs around until one shows up that we feel like can help us. The needs offensively, what we were looking for, the key to the class was to find a top-ranked quarterback (Patrick Towles), and he came on early. He was coming back from his spring break, came over to the office, committed to us."

"He became the face of this class, so we were able to get that top quarterback; playmakers at the wide receiver position (A.J. Legree and DeMarcus Sweat), as you all know, is something that we had to go for. We feel good about that position, couple of SEC backs (DyShawn Mobley and Justin Taylor). We were kind of hanging around late, and when he (Taylor) became available we reached out and touched people that we had relationships with and we were able to attract him and those relationships were strong and there were a lot of people who hadn't seen this place, and the kid hadn't really seen this place, and that speaks volumes to me on the relationships that we have, because the kid hadn't seen the place and late in the game decided to join us and gain a top-ranked back."

"A Wildcat-type quarterback, that was important for us to find (Jalen Whitlow), especially the way we played in the last game. Sometimes things happen you have to get into different packages and I think when we can get an opportunity to add a package to our offense that's great."

"He is a Randall Cobb-type athlete. It's hard to compare to be with Randall Cobb, but that's what Randall was when we got him, we think he's the type of player."

"Big offensive linemen, I'm not talking about big this way, but big this way (tall)! And Coach Summers, his profile, he wants guys over 6-4 and the one thing he says is he and Coach Nord say, "If you want NFL offensive linemen, they have to look like them." There are some exceptions, especially at the center position, they could be more athletic, smaller, but we want to get the guys -- but we were able to get those guys over the 6-4 mark and especially on the edge and on the offensive line."

"Defensively we are all learning how to recruit to this new system. This new system requires us to have more athletes on the field, what you are seeing offensively, with the spread, people are running the spread and running a power game with it, power packages, you better have athletic guys that cannot only play out in space but they better be physical enough to play over tight ends and playing the power game. So, the back seven, it was really important that we go out and try to fulfill those needs because of the production that we lost in the back seven, the back seven being the linebackers and the secondary."

"We signed 11 guys in those positions, in the linebackers and the secondary; seven in the defensive backfield and four linebacker-type bodies. We were able to add to what we think should be our strength on defense, the defensive line, still able to go out and find three quality defensive linemen."

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