Gundy Excited about 2015 Signing Class

STILLWATER – Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy met with the media Wednesday morning to discuss the 2014 signing class. Here are his comments, along with those from offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich’s and defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer.

Opening statement:
"We had a great class. We're really excited about what our staff has accomplished. We want to thank everybody in the community; the professors, academic support, administration and everybody that's helped with this class. The coaches have done a great job. Our players have been tremendous recruiters. This is a really good day for Oklahoma State University and Oklahoma State football. We've addressed needs more so in this class than any class since I've been the head coach here. You guys are familiar with all the names and their positions. Obviously, there's a lot more out there in recruiting than there ever has been before. We had a need for offensive linemen. We have seven players that are already on our team right now and are enrolled in school."

On the class:
"Overall with the class, as you can see we're trying to eventually be 315, 320, 325 up front on the offensive line. I'm very excited about that 300-pound defensive lineman. We've got a considerable number of defensive ends that are already in our program. We brought one in with Louis Brown. We've really made some strides up front. We've addressed the needs that we feel like could help us function and be a really good football team next year. We picked up some depth at the running back position and picked up a young quarterback that we'll get in the program and bring along just like the others. I'm really excited as you can tell. The way the season finished for us, we rolled right into recruiting and were able to get into some homes. We had a real impact on young people. I know I said it before, but I can't thank the people that have helped us: airline travel, administration, academics and mainly our players. Today is a day for them to celebrate. Coaches, now we're finished with recruiting. The coaches are off for a few days. Players are at it. They're working hard in the weight room. The most important time of the year is from now to August 1. That's when they really develop and set the tone for who they're going to be and who we're going to be as a football team.”

On if he feels like the recruiting season ended successfully like last football season:
"The attitude, the feel of the people in this community, and we're so strong to the south and the Texas area. They're so familiar with what we do, and it helps us. There are always a couple of player that you lose, and you wish those players the best, but we picked up a couple late and we're really excited about it. I'll be honest with you. The running back, Jeff Carr from Temple, Texas – I'm as excited as I've ever been about a running back. He could very well come in here and, if he stays healthy, from what we've heard about his temperament, in a couple of years, everybody is going to wonder where he was and why a lot of people didn't recruit him. Same thing with some linemen and some other positions. We rolled right into it."

On how he felt after Chris Carson's visit:
"With Carson, you don't really know. We felt good. I thought that Jemal Singleton did a great job at staying with him. He's mature. He's not quite 21 years old, and so he understands a little more than high school players do, and I think he saw the opportunity here to better pursue his degree. He has a goal someday of playing in the NFL and he felt like he could make that happen quicker at Oklahoma State than at any other school."

On John Kolar:
"Two things. The first thing is that he committed early and he has a great family. He stayed loyal all the way through, so he didn't get a lot of publicity. Sometimes in recruiting, that's what we see. Players commit and then you get six or eight weeks out and they open up their recruiting, in my opinion, because it's not that fun anymore and they're not talking about them. Kolar has been loyal from day one, and so he didn't get as much attention. You're talking about a young man that is 6'4", very intelligent and can run under 4.60. He needs to develop. He's going to grow 12 to 15 pounds over the next 18 months. He's doing great in school here. We have to bring those guys along. I don't think there is any question you would love for him to redshirt, develop, mature and grow to be 220 pounds, but we have to expedite the process with these young men and get them ready to play because things happen. Really, what you're saying is true. It's not just us. A lot of teams in this league are going through that. The quarterback position, it's up to them. Guys come in 45 minutes a day and study on their own. We don't have enough hours in the day to teach them to get ready to play at this level. If it's important to him, which he's shown that it is, he'll be there and get prepared. If they just want to be average, then they just kind of hang out and wait for us to coach them."

On Jeff Carr and the team’s history with small running backs:
“You know, it’s interesting. You look back at guys who have had success, and most of them were 5’8” or 5’9”. With Jeff Carr, they could’ve told me he was 5’5”, and I still would have been ok with it. He had 225 carries, give or take a few, two years in a row in a league where guys make big hits and know how to tackle.”

On if the offensive line recruits can make an immediate impact:
“What I meant before was that we needed some maturity on the offensive line and guys who can jump right into the two-deep in spring ball. That allows them, from a numbers standpoint, to get just as many reps as the guy in front of you. You have an opportunity to win your job. We addressed that issue. We needed some maturity at the running back spot, too, because we’ve some injury trouble there over the last couple of years. We had a drop-off from experience, and when you have that void, you could be force to play a young guy that may not be ready mentally or physically. … It’s just a matter of how they come along in spring ball. The good news is that they can jump right into that two-deep. Spring ball will be very physical for us. We will run the football, and we will protect. We’ll improve in those two areas.”

On this year’s group not being ranked as high as in the past:
“I’ve never been worried about that. I used to put a lot of stock in that, but we’ve had so many high-rated players with a good physical and mental makeup come in here, but just not be into it. Then, we get some guys who aren’t rated too high, but football is much more important to them. They have a burning desire for the sport, and they understand how to compete. For us, it’s just about getting them in the program, letting them run the cycle and letting Coach Glass take over. That usually produces much better players. We took a number of two-year players, so that affects our rankings a little bit, but either way, as I said from the start, this could be the most important class we’ve ever signed that will address current issues and things that will help us function in spring ball.”

On Darrion Daniels and his potential:
“He’s a great competitor. He’s physical, and he’s got great feet, but more than anything, he’s a great student and a great person. He’s got a great home life, and he’s just a pleasant individual to be around. He going to come in ready to play. He’s 300-plus pounds, so my guess is that once June, July and August roll around, he’ll be around 315. He’s already strong for a young man, and he’s only 17 years old.”

On the percentage of recruiting the team focuses on Texas:
“It’s 100 percent. We have nine coaches in Texas, and we have seven of them that go out to where Johnny Wilson is, circle down under the San Antonio-area, come up north under Houston, head up north through Victoria and then circle around through East Texas. We have seven coaches just in that area … For the most part it’s Oklahoma and Texas, but when you get out into the junior college area, you’re going to branch out a little from what you’re normally doing.”

Offensive Coordinator Mike Yurcich
On the class:
“This year's class is unique in the fact that we've mixed in some junior college prospects with high school prospects, guys that can fill a need immediately. Our high school prospects are more long-term guys, but it's a very well-rounded class. We did a good job at filling some voids on the offensive line, added depth at quarterback as well as tailback and receiver. We feel really good about these young men, who they are from a character standpoint, academic standpoint, which is the most important thing, and from an athletic standpoint. Each of these men look to brighten our future.”

Defensive Coordinator Glenn Spencer
On the class:
“This signing class we have in 2015; I can’t tell you how pleased I am. A couple of those kids are here already going to have a chance to work with me in the spring. I’m excited about June and getting the rest of them here. It’s easy to see we have the athleticism and the size in this class to possibly have some early contributors. We’ve got a good team coming back on our side of the ball with a lot of good players. The competition level will be very intense in fall camp. We always try in this class to recruit character, recruit young men who think football is important, recruit young men that are truly tough men and that’s the thing we looked at on film. Getting to know these coaches and meeting these young men that came into visit, I can’t be more thrilled with what we have. Our defensive staff did a tremendous job in working long hard hours to bring this class in and I can’t wait to get with them. The future is very exciting, one of the most impressive defensive classes we’ve ever had at this school. I can’t wait to work with these guys and get started in the fall.”

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