On Wednesday afternoon, Coach Pinkel met briefly with the media, and talked about his 2011 signing class.
"We're very excited about our recruiting class," began Coach Pinkel. "It's very important, as these athletes become part of our family."
Coach Pinkel said that they hit their targeted numbers, as far as positions, offense and defense, and that they hit their goals as far as the kind of speed and athleticism that they've recruited. He also emphasized that they want to recruit people of character.
"We're also trying to recruit the right kind of people here," explained Coach Pinkel. "Not only are we recruiting athletes that can run, and that are very physical, and that can help us win. But certainly, we want the right kind of people that can fit in with our players. We've got a unique group of players, that are very family-oriented, and these kids, I think, will do a great job of fitting in."
It's obvious that the Missouri staff appreciates the team chemistry, and the family atmosphere that has developed within the team. Several members of the staff spoke to the desire to sign players who will fit in, and help sustain that team chemistry.
Coach Pinkel reiterated that they will allow a player to play the position of his choice. He said that they're not sure where Brandon Hannah will start out. He also confirmed that each player will start out at the bottom of the depth chart.
Coach Pinkel addressed the issue of over-signing.
"We understand that attrition is going to take place," said Coach Pinkel. "But, it has to be realistic, on anticipating the attrition. So you can stay as close to 85 as you can. That's what you want to do. If you're sitting there with 78 or 79 players, then you've got 5 or 6 players that are not being trained in your program. So, there's a fine line there. Every program has to decide how far over do you want to go? As a general rule, sometimes we go one, sometimes we go three, sometimes we go two........................ That's something that we've been fairly conservative with, because we want to do it the right way."
Coach Pinkel re-emphasized that every position is open to competition.
Coach Pinkel credited the camps that Missouri runs each year as being very helpful, in terms of finding and evaluating talent, and in terms of helping to build relationships with high school coaches around the state.
"For many, many reasons, the camps have been very, very good for us," said Coach Pinkel.