Coach O elated with 2006 class

Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron entered his post Signing Day press conference with a wide smile and satisfied look on his face. Coach O, a human bundle of energy, still had the adrenaline flowing from having signed 30 new Rebs ranked No. 14 in the nation by Read about it inside.

The following is a transcript of Coach Ed Orgeron's press conference after the Rebels had signed the number 14-rated 2006 signing class in the country.

Coach O's opening statement: First of all, I want to thank my coaching staff and their families for a total team effort in this recruiting year. We all had a hand in putting this great recruiting class together. Our support staff and everyone involved were instrumental in our excellent recruiting weekends and in the end results. The people in town when we took recruits to restaurants, the administration, the players on the team who hosted recruits were unbelievable. We got a lot of compliments at the end of each weekend about the attitude of our team and that really helped in our efforts. We started this thing a year ago and have made some tremendous relationships with the families of our recruits. These signees have tremendous support at home with great parents, most of whom got to come here with their sons on the visits. They love Ole Miss, the coaching staff and what we have to offer. In the end, that's what won for us with many of our signees - the relationships we built.

Next, I'd like to thank the signees. We feel we have signed great players, but we also feel we have signed kids with outstanding character. All of them wanted to be here. We wanted them and they want to be here to help us build a championship team. Also, the high school and JUCO coaches were tremendous for us.

We feel on the OL that Corey Actis will help us at center immediately. John Jerry, 6-5 340 5.0 40, is a tremendous, tremendous prospect. Don Mosley is a guard OL COach Art Kehoe loved. JUCO Aubrey McPhadden is a big kid who can push people around. We needed to get bigger and stronger and we think we did that. On the DL, I feel we signed one of the best DL groups I've been around in my career. Hayward Howard is already here and is a great prospect - big and strong. Kentrell Lockett is excellent. Greg Hardy is a pass rusher who can also play TE or WR. Jerrell Powe is as good as any DL prospect in the country. I am really proud of Marcus Tillman (chokes up) - he became a Rebel in a hard fight and I'm really proud of him. At LB, Jonathan Cornell is a guy from California who could have gone to USC or UCLA. He's excellent. Rory Johnson ran a 10.8 100 meters in high school and we think his upside is incredible.

At running back, what can I say? Reggie Hicks, Derrick Davis, Dexter McCluster, Marcus Green and top it off with Cordera Eason. When he committed on that Friday, which was a magic day, he crashed a message board. We hope that happens a lot in the future. (laughs) We are excited about our RBs because we have depth there now and we can move some guys around from there. At WR, Shay Hodge, Terry Levy, Kendrick Lewis, Markeith Summers, LaDerrick Vaughn and maybe Allen Walker. These are some of the best in the country in our opinion. At TE, I named Coach Hugh Freeze our TE coach and recruiting coordinator. Now I'll have 15 TEs on the board (laughs). Cecil Frison and Jason Hawkins are now on board and we have high hopes for both of them.

Everyone knows we needed QBs. We signed Bruce Hall and are excited about him. A young man who committed to us a long time ago and stayed committed to us is Michael Herrick. He's a tremendous young man and a tremendous quarterback. The key to our class, however, was Brent Schaeffer. He saw what we had to offer at Ole Miss and came here. He will be our QB - there will be no QB controversy. He's a great player and he gave us a boost we needed in our class. OC Dan Werner really helped seal that deal, as well as Art Kehoe.

And hot of the presses, through the midnight hour last night, we found the number two PK in the country in Joshua Shene. He just signed and we are excited about him.

I want to thank all the guys who have written postiive things about our program and believe we will see more positive things come out about our program in the future.

Q: You got a little emotional when you called off some names there.

Coach O: We like to recruit and it's emotional to me. Football is an emotional sport and I'm an emotional person. We have a system we beleive in, but you're still dealing with the future of young people and that's emotional.

Q: Last year, you said you wanted to do better in Mississippi. Did you?

Coach O: We got the guys we wanted. We made great strides in this state. We worked hard and got kids to commit early and developed relationships with them and their families.

Q: Talk about Bruce Hall.

Coach O: He will be a QB in spring. Beyond that, we don't know. We'll see how he does in spring.

Q: How did you feel when Schaeffer's papers came in today?

Coach O: We felt good about all our recruits signing today, but he's a big key to us.

Q: You seem to have some versatile players on this list. Care to comment?

Coach O: We recruited athletes. We recruited guys who can play different positions. And as you know, we aren't afraid to experiment here with different positions for different players. It will take time to get these guys into our system and see where they belong. You never know until you see them practice.

Q: Any chance of any late signees?

Coach O: There's always a possibility of anohter signee. . . (smiles)

Q: Anything you would have liked to have had more of in this class?

Coach O: We are very satisfied with the results.

Q: When will Brent get on campus?

Coach O: In June with the rest of the signing class. He will get a crash course in our offense when he gets here.

Q: How important is it to do well in Mississippi?

Coach O: Very. We think this state has great players and great coaching. We need to tap into that as much as possible.

Q: Talk about your wide receivers a little more.

Coach O: We needed them. We need playmakers. Markeith is one of the best. George DeLeone and Hugh Freeze did a great job of creating relationships with them. George deserves a lot of that credit. Kendrick Lewis committed to us first last year and stayed with us, despite a lot of schools taking runs at him. He did not take an official visit to another school. LaDerrick Vaughn is a great athlete, versatile. Terry Levy was our second commitment and has great potential. Shay Hodge came to our camp and turned our heads - super athlete who wants to play hoops here too. Allen Walker is one of the top safeties in America, but we like him at WR too. He can play either - we'll see on him. Those guys are TD makers and we love them. Greg Hardy also wants to try WR. I told him he could give it a try, but he can also be a great rush end.

Q: How big an impact did Werner and Kehoe make?

Coach O: Huge. They are two great men and outstnading coaches. They gave us instant credibility with a lot of our recruits, particularly Brent Schaeffer. They have a lot of Florida connections and everything came together when they came on board.

Q: Did Coach Pete Carroll call you when you snatched COrnell?

Coach O: We talk frequently. (smiles)

Q: How is the grade situation of your signees?

Coach O: We feel good about most of them. We feel most are going to make it.

Q: Is recruiting exciting to you?

Coach O: I love it. I have one shot for an in-home as a head coach. We have a system and are very organized when we go in a player's home. We know everyone's names and we have a good time. It's a challenge and we love it.

Q: Has recruiting changed through the years?

Coach O: There is more information, which is good. The internet and the different recruiting services have made all coaches more aware and it's made the country smaller. We all know about every player and we use the information available. But you still have to work hard, you still have to create relationships with the players and their families and you still have to believe in the university you are representing.

Q: How did the IPF help you?

Coach O: They love it. Parents love it. It helps us and we sold it.

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