Shannon talks about the class

Coach Shannon sounded upbeat at his 4 pm press conference today. He talked about several of the players, things they looked for, his role as a head coach in recruiting, a brief look into the spring, and much more. was there and here is what he talked about...

- He started off by thanking the parents, President Shalala, and the Campus Advisors

- He talked about how they recruited kids who take pride in playing the game and who are passionate about the game.

- Regarding the depth in South Florida this year, he said you still had to go out and recruit them. They concentrated from Orlando down and did a good job.

- Regarding the switch of Buchanan, he said Coach Barrow recruited him hard and just kept selling the program. He gave them his word and stuck to it and they appreciate that.

- He said four of the early enrolled kids will count towards last year's number and that's how they will be able to bring in more than 25. Some "may have to go to Prep School".

- Regarding the 8 from Northwestern, it's been a long time since that many came from one school. That used to be his school to recruit when some of those kids were in 9th grade and starting. He said the coaches did a great job of getting out there -- they were to the school, went to practices, went to the state games, and that made a difference.

- He talked about the importance of having players from championship caliber teams. He mentioned Vaughn Telemaque, Zach Kane, all the Northwestern and Booker T kids, Taylor Cook, and Arthur Brown as guys who either played for or won a state title this year.

- He talked about how Arthur Brown and Marcus Forston didn't know each other at the US Army Game but still showed plenty of emotion and were flying around and playing with passion together.

- He pronounced Jake's last name as Wee-claw and not Wi-Claw.

- Regarding depth and balance, he said he likes it everywhere except on the O-Line and at tight end. He said those will be key focus areas going into next year. Everywhere else, they're where they want to be, numbers-wise.

- He said he's looking forward to the competition this spring with Marve and Jacory and Cannon Smith. He mentioned how it's all about reps in the spring and they'll all get plenty of them.

- Many people wonder what coaches do on a day like today. Well, one of the things Shannon did was call coaches of some of the top 09 kids.

- When asked for the MVP of the coaching staff, he said President Shalala.

- He talked about the limited role of a head coach in recruiting. He said the biggest thing is getting the parents to trust you. But the assistants lay the foundation and if they can't convince a kid after six home visits, the head coach probably won't either on the 7th try.

- He was asked about a few players specifically and said he thinks they got 2 "big time" defensive tackles from Palm Beach County and that Travis Benjamin is a very exciting player. He noted a play from last year's spring game against Northwestern when he took a one yard pass and went 80 yards for a score. He said CJ Holton is a big DB who played tailback and receiver. He said he has great speed and footwork and they're excited about him. He said the 2 early enrolled linebackers will have a great chance and because of some injuries, both will be on the 2nd team in the spring.

- Allen Bailey has been moved to defensive end. - Spring practices will be closed to avoid distractions. Three of the scrimmages, including the spring game, will be open to everyone.

- He said expect Romeo Davis, Colin McCarthy, and Orlando Franklin to sit out spring because of injuries. Courtney Harris is "50/50"

- When asked about the new coaches, he said Bill Young is putting the defensive stuff together and Aubrey Hill is back in Pittsburgh finalizing his move down here. He said Walton and Mosely were "great guys" but "we gotta get better".

- On taking so many receivers, he likes the mix -- Byrd, Streeter, and Johnson are big receivers; Johnson and Benjamin "can play in and out"; and Collier/Thompkins are slot guys who can go 1-on-1 with a linebacker.

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