Golden talks recruiting & more

Read on to see what head coach Al Golden was saying Friday about recruiting, Louisville, and much more.

On the excitement of the game:
They're excited. We've been excited since we started our first practice. Our freshmen, sophomores, and juniors haven't been able to experience this before. That includes the unity and bonding that occurs when you travel. They practiced with a purpose. They conducted themselves well. It's really time to get focused in and get ready to play this game. We're in the right frame of mind right now.

On slowing down Teddy Bridgewater:
You can't let him throw in rhythm. You have to get pressure. You have to change looks. He'll pick you apart if you stay in one look. His mechanics are tremendous. He doesn't get enough credit. He has poise. His completion percentage and interception ratio is phenomenal. We have to find ways to get pressure on him.

On recruiting:
There are so many ways to look at it. We're one of the largest cities in the country. We have one of the best bases. The last two years we didn't have a chance for those kids to come watch us prepare for a bowl like we did this year. Just in the two weeks I've been able to get out, it's never felt like it's felt right now. We feel like we're recruiting at a higher level right now. The questions we're getting from parents and prospects is in line with how it should be. I can't wait to get back on the road.

On Louisville's recruiting success in Miami:
Coach Strong and his staff do a great job identifying who they want to recruit. Now we can do it without hands tied behind our backs. I don't worry about the ones you don't get. The ones you get have to be able to execute your philosophy on a daily basis. They get to attend the number one university in the state of Florida. I mean this with a great deal of respect to Louisville, I don't negative recruit. We feel like we have one of the greatest products in all of college football. We're excited to go out and sell that again. We don't worry about other programs. We have more guys in the NFL than anyone. We've played and won more championships over the last 30 years. We're in the number one climate. We're excited moving forward.

On Louisville playing UM next season:
They're as fundamentally sound as anyone we've seen. They'll do what they do. When we meet again next year, depending on quarterbacks and personnel and what direction both programs go, it might change a little but we're pretty much who we are. We just have to get better at it. One thing we really missed was these bowl practices. You look at young guys and see how much better they've gotten these last three and a half weeks. Those young guys will benefit from it down the road and we've missed that.

On Ladarius Gunter's status:
We have a great medical staff. We're so much better prepared to handle significant injuries to the head and neck. He ran through all the tests and was cleared the next week when we started practice. He's gotten a lot better. He understands the challenge ahead of him. He's doing well. In terms of the impact, the team knows we'll always be smart with them with regards to head injuries. Our team trusts that. They were glad he was OK number one and that he was able to return to action.

On recruits starting school in January:
I don't know right now. To be safe, probably eight. It may grow depending on what transpires here. We need that. We need to offset some losses we'll have. It'll be exciting to challenge them and cultivate them into our philosophy.

On recruiting needs:
We still have positions we have earmarked. I don't want to get into the specifics of it. If you chart who we're still recruiting that will tell you what we're still looking for. We had a small class last year. That's not how you want to build your team. This will be a large class. It has a chance to be our best class. It may be that already.

On having to answer questions about leaving:
We're at one of the greatest places in college football and we just got through a very hard time. We are not where we want to be, but we're not where we were. There were some dark days. We were on the cover of Sports Illustrated two years ago. They wanted to end the program. My first training camp, people were asking me if we'd have a team next year. A lot of young men and coaches and staff stood with us and we're excited about moving the program forward.

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