Monday PC: Amato Meets the Media

<B>Raleigh, NC -- </b>NC State head coach Chuck Amato met with the media today, and here is a sampler of what they had to say.

Tramain Hall said you guys are just as fast as Miami. Is that true?
Some of our players are just as fast. We'll find out Saturday. We're getting faster. I don't know if you guys have noticed that or not.

I don't know if we're a category five yet... they are.

Can you describe how competitive the recruiting environment is in South Florida?
It is competitive because it's so easy to get there. There are two big airports.

I probably have this wrong now, but I think there's 31 or 32 6-A schools in Dade County. That's enrollment 2,500-5,800, and that's just 6-A schools. So there's a lot of youngsters down there who are category two's, three's and four's who may become category five's.

Is there a pecking order of coaches? Do you have to build a certain reputation?
Most definitely. It's a communication factor and a trust factor down there. I went four years, and some of the coaches were probably saying, 'who is this fast-talker from up north?' But you build relationships and you build trust. Coaches trust you, players trust you, and other players that you recruited trust you.

What is it about the players down there that makes them so good?
South Beach. You have to run fast to get there and you have to run fast to get back from there.

I think the fact that these kids are hungry. Because of the environments they grow up, they see that maybe athletics can get them ahead in life. They've got spring football practice down there, which is actually longer than college football spring practice.

When you get all these people coming in, they say there's a top ten list of kids in the city. You may take the top ten youngsters and say, 'I'm not going to recruit them because they are going to the big three.' Maybe if you work hard enough there will be a big four... with one being out of state.

But, you start looking at 11-50, and some of them are really, really good. It gives those other youngsters that opportunity to be found, and sometimes that doesn't happen when you have to drive 100 miles between schools.

Andre Wadsworth... every May 1st I was at his high school. The first day of recruiting I would go to the 1-A high schools. It was between two big high schools. The coach said, 'why do you keep coming here? You're the only coach that comes here.' I said, 'because I like you.'

He didn't have any players, but one year he said he had a player. I wrote his name down, Andre Wadsworth, and I just moved his name up the list each year. I watched him play, and he was dominant as a senior. I was the defensive line coach at the time, and I didn't offer him a scholarship. After his senior year I called the coach up and said, 'I'll be in there tomorrow, by the way, what's Andre doing?' He said, 'nothing, he'd like to walk on at Florida State.'

He was 217 pounds. Five years later he was 280, and signed a six-year 42 million dollar contract. Those things happen. We had at one time three or four walk-ons starting for us from that area. No one offered them a scholarship... including ourselves. You just never know.

How much more do you go head-to-head with the big three schools than you have in the past?
A lot more. We've got to be careful though.

The worst thing that kid can say to us is no, but if he doesn't have the opportunity to say no he can't say yes. You know how I am in recruiting. It's yes until the day of. That's a part of being persistent.

Can you talk about the Miami offense against your defense? It's kind of the weaker part of their game.
If you call their offense the weak part of their game, we haven't scored 41 points in two games added together... what are you calling our offense? Their offense sure did a lot of scoring in [the Louisville] game. I wouldn't call it a weak offense.

Brock Berlin... what do you see in him? He's received a lot of criticism.
What do I see in him? He's a winner.

I saw him last year against the University of Florida, brought his team back, and he won. I saw him in the first game this year against Florida State, brought his team back and he won. I saw him in the Orange Bowl last year and he won. I saw him against Louisville, and in the second half of the game he won.

He's a winner. He's an absolute winner. He did it in high school, and he's done it in college.

With Devin Hester, do you kick it to him or away from him?
Geez... I don't know. I hope we have an opportunity to kick off more than once. Then we'll decide which way we're going to kick. Hopefully [John] Deraney will be on and he'll be kicking them into the stands and we don't have to worry about that.

We recruited Devin, and we know how good [he is]. He's a tremendous athlete and a big play individual. He's a category six.

How happy are you that Bobby Washington is there and how has he been doing?
Very. We're very happy he's here. He gets up, eats breakfast, goes to class, comes to practice and does a very good job for us.

He's enjoying it up here. He's never seen trees turn color in the fall and leaves fall off of trees.

No, he's doing very well and we're pleased to have him.

Do you think playing Miami gives him any added incentive?
Bobby Washington playing anybody gives him an incentive.

Can you talk about the impact of College Gameday?
I think it's great. How many times do you have that opportunity to be front stage from 10:30 in the morning to midnight?

I think it's a tribute to the league, to Miami for being #2 in the country, and the fact that they think we have a chance. It's exposure for the city, campus, team, and everybody involved.


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