PC: O'Brien Pleased With 2010 Class

RALEIGH, NC -- NC State head coach Tom O'Brien met with the media to discuss his 2010 recruiting class. O'Brien also updated departures and additions from his team.

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Tom O'Brien Press Conference

Opening Statement:
Once again we're really happy with the effort of our staff. The assistant coaches did another fabulous job led by Jerry Petercuskie, the recruiting coordinator.

We addressed a lot of things we had to address in this class. We signed 11 on offense and 11 on defense so once again we signed a football team.

We signed a kicker to hopefully resolve some of the problems we had kicking off.

We made a concerted effort to recruit our home and did a real nice job here in the state of North Carolina and continued to work our way north and south.

Ruiz, Morgan, and Bowens will graduate and move on. They will not be with the program anymore.

Thoughts on Top 10 in-state recruits Rob Crisp, Tony Creecy, and David Amerson:
The good thing about, especially in the case of Crisp and Creecy, they were early commits from way back when decided they were going to come and be a part of this program... help us attain the goals we want.

David we had in camp... shortly after he made a visit to another school he came back and decided that he could really come here and make a difference in our program.

We expect all of them to come in and contribute and help us win football games.

Thoughts on Secondary:We signed four kids in the secondary and all of them are athletic. Both Johnson and Amerson could probably play corner if they had to.

With the four defensive backs and with the way we've played in the past, certainly some of them will have the opportunity to see if they can play for us this year.

Thoughts on adding Overgaard and Akinniyi mid-year:
Certainly both Akinniyi and [Overgaard] coming in at mid-year... We're still fighting the problem that we don't have enough upperclassmen, especially on the line. We were able to find guys on both the offensive line and defensive line with a little more size and maturity to come in and give us the opportunity, give them the opportunity to help us right away.

There's only going to be 12 seniors on this football team and six were inherited: two on offense, two on defense, and two in the kicking game... we still need help on both sides of the line and I think we addressed that in recruiting with young kids. We're still trying to buy time until some of these young kids grow up.

Thoughts on adding smaller, quicker receivers:
I think it will add a lot. It's a whole different dimension then the type of receiver we've had in the past. Looks a lot different than the Jarvis Williams and the Owen Spencer... I think Dana is excited to be able to coach those kids.

Thoughts on Tyler Brosius:
"Tyler is a big, strong-armed kid. A lot of the qualities of the quarterbacks we've had in the past I think he has.

One of the things a lot of the Shrine Bowl coaches came out of the Shrine Bowl saying was they were amazed at how quick a foot he was since he had to do the wing-T and it's something he's never done before... which is obviously good for us.

Importance of landing top talent in North Carolina:
We know we're never going to keep everybody in the state, that's impossible to do today, but we've got to get our fair share.

One of the things that we've done is the same guys are going back to the same areas again in recruiting and building those relationships is important.

What kind of opportunity does Mustafa Greene have?
You look at the running back situation and in his mind he probably think he has a great chance. That's why he's coming.

As you look at it, there's not a lot of carries or yards by the three guys that are there. As with all freshmen, who knows who will play or is going to be able to play. It's been explained to him, the faster he learns the offense, and basically for a running back he's going to have to learn some pass protection and he can't whiff on that.

It's still going to come down to him having to protect the quarterback too.

Thoughts on offensive line additions:
"There's five offensive linemen, I think we're getting closer with the last two recruiting classes. As we continue to move forward we lost three kids who started for us and a fourth, Andy Barbee, played a lot.

Certainly we're getting to a point where we'll have scholarship players in the two-deep from here on out, and we'll be backed up by scholarship players.

It gives us that opportunity, and we want to build an NFL offensive line here like at Boston College, there's no question about it. As we move on, we're recruiting kids that have those type of skills that might give us that type of line in the future.

Adding Billy Bennett:
Certainly we'll have to address the kicking in another year because Josh is a senior. Josh did as well as he could last year, but we need to get somebody to kick the ball to the endzone or certainly inside the five or ten-yard line with some hangtime... not just a line drive.

That was one of the things... when you look on the defensive side, if they keep coming in with the ball on the 35 or 40-yard line they are already two first downs from where they ought to be starting.

It was an area we addressed... obviously we knew about Billy. We recruited him to Boston College and we left. We think he's got the leg strength and the ability to get the ball in the air that we can cover and get them inside the 25-yard line.

Who will be the punter?
Chris Ward will be the punter.

What specifically did you see from Rob Crisp when you evaluated him?
He has really good feet. With all linemen, he's not on the ground a lot. In our evaluation, those are the... when you look at a guy like Teddy Larsen that was here. If you can move your feet, get good body position, and don't end up on the ground all the time because you're off balance... those are all, balance is key to being a good offensive linemen.

He's got great size and reach with his arms. If you draw up a prototype body, he's got one you want with an offensive lineman. Certainly he's got to come in and learn his right from his left and know which way to go and who to block, but if he can do those things he's got physical skills that look like he could be a really good lineman for us.

Could Crisp play multiple positions?
No, I think we're going to just start him at tackle. That's where his future is. Hopefully we can solve all those other problems before he gets here, but we'll find out.

Was there ever any concern... Pete Singer had some charges pending... about signing him? Did you talk to him about it?
Certainly. That's why we signed him. We're very comfortable in signing him and happy he's a part of the Wolfpack.

Can you comment on not signing Fre'Shad Hunter?
All I can say is that we're still recruiting him... he's still on our radar.

Thoughts on Tobais Palmer:
We're happy he's coming back. He's an explosive player and he's a little different from what we've had on the field. It will be interesting to see how he fits in this fall.

How does your signing class compare with the rest of the state?
I don't know how it compares. We're happy with our guys and don't worry about who they sign.

First lesson I learned in recruiting: worry about who you sign. They are going to win for you. You can't worry about another team's guys.

Thoughts on recruiting in 2011:
Not a lot of scholarships. With only 12 seniors, there won't be many left next year. If we have 15 available next year that might be a high tally, but I think that might be the last year that happens.

I think we'll finally be in a rotation where we're going to have above 15 seniors a year which you ought to have.

Importance of beating UNC in last game:
Anytime you win against your rival it's a good thing, not only for the football team and coaches but also for the school, alumni and fans. It makes an impact on some people, but I don't think it makes a huge impact on the scope of things. Generally by the last game a lot of kids have made up their minds on what they are going to do and where they are going.

The young kids, eighth, ninth, and 10th graders are starting to formulate their opinions on what the best schools are. Certainly we've got to get winning records, start going to bowl games, and doing those things for this program to continue to advance and get the type of recruits we need to be a championship football team.

How much stock do you put into the star ratings or do you self-evaluate?
We've never recruited a player depending upon what someone else thinks about him. It all comes down to what we think about him. Certainly we're not right all the time, and I don't think whatever the star system is right all the time.

It's a subjective judgement on talent. One man's treasure is another man's piece of junk. It's hard to say who is who.

I always get this question so I went back and looked up two star players we've signed. In 2006 we signed Nate Irving and Jarvis Williams. In 2007 we signed Russell Wilson and Owen Spencer. In 2008 we signed T.J. Graham. I didn't look if there were four and five-stars who hadn't played.

That's just an indication... we're not right all the time either.

How is Nate Irving?
He's been working out and everything and should be ready to go for spring practice.



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