Shannon's Message to Recruits

Read on to see what Randy Shannon is telling his recruits this year. He also talks about what needs to happen to get back on the winning track, the most important ingredient for success in college football, and how several of the true freshmen are doing this season...

On getting back on the winning track:
I think the only thing you gotta worry about right now is the players you got here. We gotta coach them and win games. When the season's over, we'll go into recruiting. That's gonna be a great class. We gotta coach these guys. I still think we can win. We have some tough games ahead of us but we need to stay to what we need to do -- keep playing hard. A break will come to us eventually. Are we gonna win the national championship this year? No, not with three losses. Hopefully we can go 9-3. That's just me.

On how to improve things:
Next year we're gonna get more skill guys in, more defensive linemen in, more linebackers in. This is not a big senior class. Most of the time in college football, if you keep fifth year seniors (you're doing well). Boston College did a good job of it, Wake, I think North Carolina's got a lot of seniors. Miami's always been a school where guys leave after three, four years. This year we're gonna try to sign as many receivers, offensive linemen as we can. We're not gonna say we need one one of this. No, sign 'em all. Whatever numbers you got, you got.

On dealing with the losing:
I've been through it with Butch during probation. We didn't (quit) last year. We got six wins. You gotta keep fighting. They'll play hard. Once you see them not playing hard you gotta make changes. Every day we do things to keep the spirits up. We gotta get ready for FSU. You can't sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. We have areas where we're weak -- we probably don't have (enough) players, personnel, numbers. We gotta find a way to get it done.

On kickers and punters coming in with high recruiting rankings:
I don't ever look at rankings. You gotta sign what's best for your program. You can rate anyone high. The NFL has the same problems with a lot of busts in the first round. The thing you gotta do is not worry about ratings. You gotta find guys with competitive edges. (On special teams), those are guys like Freddie Capshaw and Todd Sievers. Greg Cox was weird but he had an aggressive mentality. They're all gonna miss a field goal. Some kids blame it on something else, like a shoelace. I like guys who won't get down on themselves.

On the importance of having a lot of seniors on a team:
The year we won it, in 87, there were a bunch of seniors on that team. When Dennis (Erickson) got here, it was a lot of seniors on that team. Nobody left (early). Then in 91, a lot of seniors on that team. Then after that, guys started leaving (early) -- Kenard Lang left, Ray (Lewis) left, Warren Sapp left. Then when I got back here, Edward (Reed) was a senior, Phillip (Buchanan), (Mike Rumph), James Lewis, all those guys were seniors. The after that the whole defensive line were seniors, the linebackers were all seniors. Nobody left early. Then (after 2003), Sean left early, then it started snowballing. Most teams, if you stay with them the whole time, you're gonna be real good. The years we won it here, we were senior oriented. Look at Howard's (championship) year. I was still in high school. All those guys were seniors besides the quarterback. Talking of the kids from Miami Northwestern, I've been watching that class since 9th grade. They've all stayed together at the same school and they won. At Dr. Krop this year, a bunch of guys are seniors. They've stayed together and they've never won as many as they're winning now.

How to prevent guys from thinking about the NFL:
You gotta have guys like Edward Reed. He wasn't in it for the money. He was in it to win championships. (Jonathan) Vilma and DJ (Williams) could have left early. Those are the guys you gotta recruit. Recruit the ones who wanna win. A lot of guys on this team don't think about the NFL. The more we can recruit guys like that, the program will take off. When I go into the homes, I tell them right away -- come to Miami and next year I'm gonna try finding a guy to take your position. It doesn't steer (the competitive) guys away.

On juniors possibly leaving after this season:
When the season's over withm, they'll come talk to me. I'll say here are your forms, send them into the NFL. They'll give you a rating and then they can make a decision.

On the impact losses have on recruiting:
They come to the games, come into the locker room, sit next to players. They say they can't wait to get here and help you guys. One thing I like about them is they're competitive. They're not worried about who's on the depth chart -- they just wanna come in and play. All they want is an opportunity. The ones that stay with us (through signing day) will be Miami guys. The guys who don't won't be Miami guys. When we was winning at Miami for so many years guys would say I'm not coming to Miami because I want to play. It's been great. Those guys feel like they can play. Some places you go, they say you can play. At Miami, you see freshmen playing. Players we got committed are seeing they can come in and play right away. They see the games, see freshmen playing. I talked to some (last Saturday) night. I told them if you're ready to play, you'll play. If you don't wanna play or arent ready to play, don't come to Miami. The most important thing is evaluation.

On how some freshmen are doing:
Lee Chambers was coming around but he got nicked. DeMarcus Van Dyke is coming back, doing a great job for us. Damien Berry has been unbelievable on special teams. We're excited about that. Orlando Franklin is playing half and half with (Andrew) Bain and that's good. (Leonard) Hankerson is doing good things. He hit that lull but now doing good things. Allen Bailey has been doing well. Now if he goes up to 320 (pounds) he won't be at linebacker.

On Vegas Franklin:
He's done a good job. Vegas has great hands and plays with great pad level. He's quick off the ball and that gives him a chance every time when he's inside.

On Matt Bosher:
Bosher's gotta kick the ball better. He kicks 50 yards in practuce, then gets in a game and gets nervous. He's not a freshman anymore. He just needs to step up and accept the challenge. If we win field position alone (this week) we'll have a great chance to win this game. We have 12 guys rushing (Bosher on punts) every day (in practice). He just has to get the ball off. Someone will come free when you're rushing 12. He's just gotta execute because in a game only eight guys, sometimes seven are rushing. He's getting the looks in practice, just has to do it in the game.

On USF's success:
It's great for the state of Florida. If you wanna be successful, make sure you have a bunch of seniors on your team. If I'm not mistaken, he may have a lot of fifth year seniors on that team. When you keep them together you're gonna win a lot of games. At Boston College, Coach Jag has 17-21 fifth year seniors playing offense, defense, and special teams. Kids change mentally. The development of strength and conditioning change. You learn to fight, those things change (as you get older).

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