Todd Berry Talks Signing Day

Head Coach Todd Berry addressed the public yesterday to discuss this years class, decommitments, redshirts, signing 21, who gets the offers, recruiting rankings, spring ball and much much more. Get inside for the scoop!

ON THIS CLASS OVERALL: We filled our needs. We looked to balance our positions. We looked to balance our groups. That's important in building our program. It's not all just about this next year. It's about making sure you're good down the road too and you've got guys growing up in the program.

ON PLAYERS WHO DECOMMIT: We lost a few guys late. We lost a couple of guys in the last week. I think sometimes we get so caught up in who you lose, you don't focus on the untold stories of who we kept. The ones you end up losing get a lot of media hype. The ones you end up keeping, you don't find out that we had some kids who had a couple of SEC offers late, which is significant. We know the SEC well because we play ‘em all. The untold story is how many of these kids didn't waffle and stayed with us and had other opportunities. I'm really proud of that group because they've already shown that level of commitment that you're looking for.

ON REDSHIRTS FOR THE CLASS OF 2011: I don't know. I tell all the athletes when they come in, there's always competition and you let it play itself out. If they haven't played at the end of the year, they'll redshirt. You never know when your number is going to be called.

ON ULM'S DEPTH AT DEFENSIVE LINE: We signed some defensive linemen last year and only one played. We redshirted the rest of the group. It is a good group of guys. We're probably as deep in the defensive line as we are any at position. We've got some positions where we're really deep like running back and receiver. We're probably as deep there. You just haven't seen them yet.

ON WHO GETS OFFERS: When you starting getting into those three-star players on down, those guys are the ones where there's not a lot of difference. That's when it gets down to those intangible things. When we're offering guys, we want to know what we're getting. They're interviewing us but in the process we're interviewing them too.

ON SIGNING 21 PLAYERS AND THE ODDS OF ADDING MORE: If we hadn't lost two guys, we'd have been filled with 85 total scholarships. Last year we picked up Rob'Donovan Lewis and Mitch Bailey. It's good to have (a scholarship) sitting back there for a possible transfer. I'm not really as big into late qualifiers. I just have a problem if they made a 14 on their ACT and all of a sudden it jumps to a 20. They can't gain that much knowledge. They just learned how to take the test. There a couple of young men in our program, one in particular deserving of a scholarship. We always want to reward deserving people.

ON RETENTION: One of the things that's fundamental to building a team is to have players grow up in your system and grow up and be part of a team. We've had a tremendous amount of attrition. You go back and look at classes in the past. Guys who should be seniors aren't here anymore.

ON HEIGHT IN THIS CLASS : You look at this group and you're going to see a lot of tall bodies. These are actual heights. These are not reported heights, where a guy is reported 6-6 and I walk up and look him in the eye. You get a lot of that in the recruiting process. That's important to have long bodies, good-looking frames and good work ethics. Coach Grieco, we'll let him do the rest.

ON RECRUITS FROM WINNING PREP PROGRAMS: When you come from a winning program, you hate to lose. I still think part of being a great college football player is you have to hate to lose.

ON RECRUITING RANKINGS: As coaches, we all know it's pretty easy to manipulate the rankings. You can take some guys you know are not qualified academically but they've got a lot of stars. It's not the recruiting sites fault because they don't have grades in front of them. They don't have the details. … I got the question about where we're going to finish. I don't really care because we got the guys we wanted.

ON SPRING BALL (MARCH 10-APRIL 9): Everybody is invited to spring practice. Spring is always open. Get it in during the spring because fall is closed. But we'd love to have everyone out at spring practice.

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