Coach Niumatalolo Talks Navy Recruiting

Navy is the toast of service academy football, winning six straight Commander-in-Chief's trophies, and coach Ken Niumatalolo wants to keep it that way. That's why he's on the recruiting trail, looking for more players who will keep the Midshipmen on top. Niumatalolo, recruiting in Houston on Tuesday, took some time out of his busy schedule to talk with GoMids.com.

GoMids.com: How is recruiting going?

Ken Niumatalolo: I think it's going well. We have gotten a great reception from our recruits. They have seen our games and we have gotten a lot of exposure. So, it's been going well, we just are going out and recruiting speed, which we always need.

GM: Is recruiting going better or worse than last year?

KN: I think it's pretty similar. I thought last year was good, but I think some recruits questioned if our program would go down hill after Paul Johnson left. Other schools (Army and Air Force) told them that. So it's good that they see out program is still flourishing. Last year, the other schools were telling them that they were closing on us, but the recruits saw what happened. It was a great year for us.

GM: Did it offend you that those rival schools told recruits that the program would go down when Johnson left?

KN: That's part of recruiting, I don't have a problem with it. We still beat them. We heard from several recruits that other schools said we would drop off when Coach Johnson left, but we didn't. We knew they used it, but I don't have a problem with it.

GM: With that in mind, how nice is it to be able to walk into a recruits' home and tell them 'Navy has won seven CIC's in a row'?

KN: They can say this or that is going to happen, that they closed the gap. Bottom line, we still have the trophy. All that other stuff is part of the deal, but we have the trophy, and we want to continue that here.

GM: Do you run into coaches from Army and Air Force on the recruiting trail?

KN: We do, because we are pretty much recruiting the same kids. We look for the same things. You will walk into a school and Air Force or Army will have been there before, or be coming after you. A recruit will tell you he is meeting with Army or Air Force the next week and so on.

GM: Do you have any spots you are looking to fill?

KN: No, we're just always trying to get speed. We want to get as fast as we can. We want to upgrade that every year. That's what we always look for.

GM: Find any good quarterbacks?

KN: We feel good about that position. Besides Georgia Tech, and the two service academies, there are not a lot of colleges running the true option. That's the same in high school, so there aren't a lot of true option quarterbacks available. But, the ones that are available, we feel good about.

GM: Best part about recruiting?

KN: The biggest thing is better players make me look like a smarter coach. We know recruiting successfully is our life blood. It's intense for us, just like winning a game. It's huge for us, so we go at it like a game.


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