Big Ten Media Day: Hoke Goes In-Depth

Michigan head coach Brady Hoke stepped away from the dais to speak more in depth with the local media about his 2011 squad. Among the topics covered were why he is waiting to make a decision on Darryl Stonum, the rivalry with Ohio State, Denard Robinson's progress, and more.

Question:   Why haven't you made the decision yet on (Darryl) Stonum?

Brady Hoke:  "Because I wanted to wait and go all the way through the summer and see how he is handling some of the things that he needs to do."

Question:   Do you have regular conversations with him?  Is this an ongoing dialogue?

Brady Hoke:  "Yeah."

Question:   Is the redshirting thing a possibility?

Brady Hoke:  "I think it could be.  I don't want to jump ahead until we find out how it all plays out."

Question:   Do you feel like you have to have a timeline for the decision to not screw with the chemistry of what you got at wide receiver?

Brady Hoke:  "Not really.  I don't think so."

Question:   What happened with Kellen Jones; was that an academic thing?

Brady Hoke:  "He is just not enrolled in school."

Question:   Are there other guys who are not going to be on the roster at this point that you know of, any of the freshman?

Brady Hoke:  "Not that I know of."

Question:   Coach, the priority to restore the winning tradition of Michigan football to getting them back where this program belongs?

Brady Hoke:  "We want to be physical on the line scrimmage on both sides of the ball and when you look at how Michigan through the years have played the game.  That is a big part of it and in our recruiting and how we teach and the fundamentals and playing with that toughness, doing those things that is a big part of it."

Question:   What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Brady Hoke:  "I don't know.  I don't know if there have been a whole lot of challenges.  I'm really happy with how the guys have come out and how they have worked and how they understand and maybe be a little more educated on what Michigan is all about."

Question:   This is the first time in about 80 years that Michigan and Ohio State have had new coaches at the same time; what does that mean to you?

Brady Hoke:  "I guess it is coincidence.  I don't know.  I don't think about that kind of stuff.  I have known Luke (Fickell) a long time and I respect him an awful lot.  Again, that game is not between the two coaches, it is between two great universities."

Question:   When did you guys meet?  Wew you recruiting him or something?

Brady Hoke:  "No, just through different things."

Question:   Have you see him today?

Brady Hoke:  "Yeah."

Question:   What did you say to him?

Brady Hoke:  "How are you doing."

Question:   Coach how do you feel, you're coming into the league at the same time as Nebraska is and now you'll have divisions and there will be an outright battle for a Big Ten Championship, exciting times for the league.

Brady Hoke:  "It is.  It is great for our league.  It is great when you look at the tradition of the schools and you look Nebraska and their mark that they've made in college football, so it is great.  I think the divisions are great and they make sense."

Question:   Ohio State obviously had been struggling in the series with you guys until Jim (Tressel) got there and he really made it a priority and focus all year long and the results were pretty obvious.  How do you approach that game?

Brady Hoke:  "We talk about it."

Question:   All year?

Brady Hoke:  "Yeah – no doubt."

Question:   You have spent a lot of time talking about how you want a primary tailback, how long does it take to get that?  Do you need to know that pretty early to be able to...?

Brady Hoke:  "I think in the two to three weeks into fall, I'm hoping."

Question:   You talked about Denard (Robinson) having a little bit of an edge because that is the offense he has played in, in school.  Has he been able to not only pick it up himself but help those around him to acclimate to it faster?

Brady Hoke:  "Yeah I think so.  Denard is a great kid first and foremost, he wants to be good.  He loves his teammates.  He loves Michigan.  He works hard at everything that we're trying to get done."

Question:   On his ideal running back scenario

Brady Hoke:  "I think you would like to have a guy get 19-20 carries a game.  You may have big back in short yardage.  It just depends on how it all that separates itself."

Question:   What gives you hope that there is something that you can build on with these guys on defense?

Brady Hoke:  "I didn't watch the tape.  I watched it after spring football.  You don't know how guys are being coached schematically.  It was a whole different style.  I can tell you that I've been very happy with how Mike (Martin), Ryan Van Bergen and Will Campbell have worked this summer and how they've really taken that defensive line group and Craig Roh and done a nice job of coaching those guys and doing the things that seniors should do."

Question:   Have you been able to get a gauge on how well they've gained physically like you wanted them to over the summer?

Brady Hoke:  "I think right now, guys are where they are supposed to be.  They come in on the (August) 8th and hopefully they are where they are supposed to be."

Question:   Do you expect J.T. Floyd to be able to practice?

Brady Hoke:  "Yeah."

Question:   And Troy Woolfolk?

Brady Hoke:  "Yeah, both of them."

Question:   As good as you guys have done recruiting, are there any concerns that you will fill up too quickly, maybe hold on to a some?

Brady Hoke:  "I think you always have to hold on.  I think signing day is February 1st, I think that is the first Wednesday in February.  So we're a long way from having a class.  We got to do a great job of embracing those guys and do a good job, we've got five or six left that we need to be a little picky with."

Question:  Sign 25?

Brady Hoke:  "We'll sign over probably."

Question:   With Ohio State being down and you guys recruiting Ohio so well this year, is this the time pounce and get those guys?

Brady Hoke:  "I don't know.  We've always had great connections from Ohio.  I'm from there, Ball State and then Michigan before.  I recruited part of it.  Greg Mattison recruited part of it.  You look at the guys that have come out of there at that state, (Elvis) Grbac and Desmond (Howard) and Charles (Woodson).  The list can go on and on.  There has always been a connection between those kids in Ohio and the University of Michigan."

Question:   Why do you think that is true?  Why do you think there has always been a connection between in Ohio and Michigan?

Brady Hoke:  "Well, I think probably Coach Schembechler and his roots and what he did.  Just population base.  Ohio high school football is good.  There are a lot of numbers.  I think it is just something that has worked well."

Question:   Did you get away at all? Did you get any break yet?

Brady Hoke:  "Yeah."

Question:   Were you able to turn off?

Brady Hoke:  "No."

Question:   Was it really hard?

Brady Hoke:  "You got 115 sons that you got to take care of.  Every day is different."

Question:   As far as Ohio State, are you going to do what Bo would do, practice something (specifically to do with the Buckeyes every day)?

Brady Hoke:  "Maybe.  It's important." 

Question:   Is Denard comfortable with what you guys are running?

Brady Hoke:  "Yeah."

Question:   What percentage will you be in the spread?

Brady Hoke:  "I think that all depends on how we do in this next six weeks."

Question:   If you do well you'll give them more plays?

Brady Hoke:  "Depends how we block up front.  Depends on who is carrying the football from the I position."

Question:   The league has changed with Nebraska and the divisions, is there still something about the Big Ten that is always going to be the same no matter what?

Brady Hoke:  "It is much different because of the two divisions but it is not different.  You have got a physical mentality in this league in how the game is played.  I think we all recruit a great deal of guys in the Midwest, so there are a lot of guys who played against guys who know guys.  I don't see it being different.  I think it has improved our league."

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