On the Ohio recruits other than Mannigham:
"Well ZOLTAN MESKO! this is one special guy! He's 225 pounds, they tell me now. Zoltan came to our camp last summer. We have a kicking camp that goes a couple of days after our regular camp. It's on a weekend and Mike (DeBord) called me up on a Saturday morning and told me, 'Lloyd you got to get over here and see this kid kick the ball.' He's a left footer. He kicked in the All-American Game in San Antonio and I think he's going to be a real weapon as a punter. I think as you get to know him and meet his family you'll find that it's truly a great American story. His family came to this country from communist Romania…I think eight or so years ago. It's just an incredible story."
"When I went down for my day there, it was on a Monday, it was a Martin Luther King Holiday and Mrs. Mesko had the most incredible lunch I've ever had. It was about 10 courses, two types of fish, trigger fish -- did you ever eat trigger fish? Wonderful. I recommend it highly. Catfish, chicken cordon bleu, stuffed peppers, potatoes, what else, oh, and sausage. Had a wonderful day, wonderful afternoon with them."
"Mister Simpson was in our camp. He was an outstanding football player on a state championship team. It's the same school that BJ Askew came out of (Cincinnati Colerain). Mister Simpson is quite a football player. What I liked about him in camp is that he catches the ball extremely well. We've gone to a new mold here. If you look at Kevin, and of course Michael Hart… none of these guys are particularly tall. But they all possess an ability that I think will enable them to be successful. I think Mister Simpson is a tough guy and very, very competitive guy, so I like him."
"Brandon Harrison came up for a visit. He committed on his visit. He's out of Chaminade High School in Dayton, Ohio. A guy with great speed and very, very smart kid. A guy that I think will be able to come in and compete this fall."
On Chris McLaurin:
"Chris McLaurin, I really like the kids that we are recruiting from the state of Michigan. And Chris McLaurin is a guy that is going to be -- it's going to be interesting to see where he ends up, but he has great acceleration, a great burst. I mean, he can really run. He plays basketball, is an excellent basketball player. Our coaching staff argues a lot about these guys. I always tell them, for the most part, you should start where you want to. But I think he could be an outstanding defensive end. I think he also has the athleticism to be an excellent tight end. So I think he has an interest in playing defense, but we'll just have to see how it goes; but he's a wonderful prospect."
On Carson Butler:
"Carson Butler, I went down to see him, Renaissance played Rogers. This is a great basketball game, and I think it went into overtime. He was disappointed in the way he played. I sat next to his mother and she says, 'Hey, coach, he's nervous.' That's okay, he played hard because he's a wonderful athlete and probably we'll start him out at tight end, but in his high school film, he never came off the field and was an excellent defensive end and outside linebacker. He is very athletic guy and has a great upside."
On if Eugene Germany will have all fours years of eligibility or have to sit out his freshman season as a transfer:
"His situation… I'm not exactly sure. As I understand it, he will be considered a transfer and will not be eligible this fall. I don't know exactly what the ruling is. I think the NCAA will be asked to consider a waiver and that's really all I can tell you at this time. But we're excited that he'll be coming to Michigan."
On Andre Criswell:
"When we evaluated film, as we got on into the recruiting process, as we looked at our roster, fullback was a position that we had not recruited anybody at. Our fullbacks and tight ends, particularly our moved tight ends, are very similar positions. Mike DeBord, who of course coached that position when he was at Michigan, and Fred Jackson, continued to look at people because it was apparent that because of an injury situation on our own team that we were going to have another scholarship available. So as I looked at the film of Andre Criswell, there's no question in my mind that he's going to be a very, very good football player here."
"The thing that was very impressive about him, his coach, Coach Hill, who passed away after the season, had told Erik Campbell who recruits the area, that Andre Criswell is as fine a person as he had ever coached. He felt like he was going to be an outstanding college football player. When I looked at that film about 10 days ago, because then it was very apparent to me that he had a wonderful upside. You want to know who may be the so-called sleeper, if there's such a thing? Andre did not get great publicity, but I do think he's a guy that's going to do very well."
On which freshman have a chance at early playing time:
"I think I always look at it from the standpoint of what our needs are. The first position I talk about is the defensive line. I think we'll have some great competition. I don't think it's out of the realm that some of these guys come in and end up with a lot of playing time. I think Antonio Bass and Mario Manningham have an opportunity to make a move because of their special abilities. And of course Grady. We'll have to see about Mister Simpson…but Grady is going to have the great benefit of having practiced with us in a Bowl and will be with us this spring.
Johnny Sears…Mike DeBord feels like he's one of the better players in this class. He is out of Edison High School. Ron English, our secondary coach, recruited him, and also Chris Richards. Ron is very good friends with Chris' father who also coached him. Chris at one point had thought about coming in in January ('06), but he's decided to come in the fall. So we'll just have to see how that works out. But both are wonderful kids, and of course that is a position where we can have a young guy come in and help us."
On which kids he saw in person in the last month:
"Well, I got to a few homes. The day after the Rose Bowl, I went down to see Jason Forcier and then I flew home the next morning and that was a Monday. Sunday I flew home. I got up at 4:00 in the morning on Monday and went to Dayton to see Brandon. Then I went on driving in a rain storm to Cincinnati to see Mister Simpson and then on down to Lexington to see Brandon Logan, and then back home that night. After we went to the National Coaches Convention, I came back and have been gone almost every day. There are long days. But I think I got into every home, with the exception of Mark Ortmann. I was headed there the day after I was going to leave San Diego and go to Houston to see him but there was a problem with his schedule, so I was not able to get back there."
On the injury status of the team:
We've got a number of guys that won't be practicing, and if they do it will be limited practice. Leo Henige had knee surgery. It has been 15 weeks. He'll be cleared for some drills, but he will not have contact. Tim Jamison is also a guy that we're excited about, but he will not be cleared for any contact this spring. So we'll see how that goes.
A year ago we were very fortunate that we had very few guys miss spring practice. Now it's caught up with us because we're probably going to have more than most years. Adam Kraus will miss spring practice and there will be no activity for him..a repaired shoulder, but we expect him back to be in ready condition in July.
"Jake Long…it's been four weeks. He had some shoulder problems. Of course with the year he had and the experience he had, I don't think it's going to be a problem for Jake. I think he's obviously going to be playing with a lot less discomfort than he had.
Pat Sharrow will compete for the long-snapping job. He had a freak injury…a foot injury and it has been 14 weeks, but he'll have no activity this spring.
Jeremy Van Alstyne, of course, hurt his foot in the last regular-season game, and he won't be cleared at all.
"Lawrence Reid, played the last half of the season with a lot of discomfort…a nerve problem. The doctors have advised him not to play. So Lawrence will not be competing any longer. He'll stay in school and finish up his degree next fall.
"Matt Gutierrez…well, I think I announced earlier that he will not be cleared to throw the football although he will be starting to throw some. But as far as throwing to receivers and participating in scrimmage-type situations, he will not be cleared to do that. He will be cleared for drills and some of that."
Jason [Avant] is back ready to go.
"Will Johnson of course did not play this fall. He did not compete in games and he was coming off of a major knee surgery from the previous year that he suffered in his senior year in high school. I think he's going to be in the mix in the defensive line for us. I thought as the season went on he showed a lot of promise. "I think he's going to play an important role next fall.
"Roger Allison was extremely impressive early in the first three quarters of the season. He began to have some problems with his shoulder. So we have to see how that responds right now but he's a very talented guy."
On if Jim Presley returning to the team:
"I have not talked with Jim. I anticipate having a conversation with him here in the next few weeks, but that's all I have. I can't tell you anymore."
On if Pierre Woods is returning for his 5th year:
"Yes. Pierre will be practicing this spring."
On if Clayton Richard will participate in spring practice:
"I can't tell you. I think it will depend on how baseball goes. But my guess is, if things go like he wants them to at baseball, because he's a pitcher, that would rule him out. I don't think it would be in his best interests as a pitcher to try to throw a football on Tuesday and a baseball on Wednesday. I think that's a decision that Clayton will have to make. We'll have to see there."
On the effect playing freshmen has on recruiting:
"Well, Jason Forcier, his father lived here in Michigan. I think he was born here if I'm not mistaken. But there's a Michigan tie there. Jason is a guy that Scot Loeffler really likes, a guy that is much different from the mold that some of our recent quarterbacks have come from. He's a tremendous athlete, a guy that has great mobility, and he's a guy that we feel like can develop into a fine quarterback. Kevin Grady and Mister Simpson did not seem to be impacted much by Michael Hart's performance. I think they look at it as if a freshman could come in and play, then maybe you know there's some space there. I think sometimes guys are very much impacted by who is there, and that's understandable. And yet, there are others who are not impacted at all because they want to do what they want to do. Normally the guys that have that mindset that don't worry about the competition are the guys that turn out to be special."
On Brandon Logan:
"Well, he's a guy that is in the mold of Dhani Jones and Ian Gold. A guy that can really run. Brandon was up here with his brother, John, when John was going into his junior year. I could remember Jim Herrmann saying that in watching film of John, Brandon was on that same team as a freshman, and he said, 'We're going to be recruiting him.' So, we think he's a wonderful prospect because he's smart and he can run and he's very aggressive."
On how this class stacks up with others:
"I think the truth is the standard answer is accurate. You can't measure a class for three years. But I think here if I had to make an assessment, I would say it's as good and has a chance to be the best class we've had. I think it's got a lot of guys that have all of the things necessary to be successful, but, we've had other classes that had great potential, maybe better potential, and for whatever reason, it didn't happen. So there's always, you know, a reservation there about rating a recruiting class at this date."
On if there is a position in which he like to have added another player:
"I think we'd have liked to have another defensive back."