More from Nutt press conference

So far, you have been inundated with the public portion of the Houston Nutt press conference in the Ford Center. . . What you haven't gotten is the "extra" behind the curtains. Here's a transcript of that portion of Nutt's first session with the Ole Miss media.

Q: What did you think of Ole Miss' 2006 team?

Nutt: I studied a lot of film on the Rebels the week Arkansas played Ole Miss, obviously. We were putting our players, at the time, into a situation to make them successful. In doing that, you see the talent of the opponent. Ole Miss looked quick, fast and aggressive. They had played Alabama and Florida to the wire. When we played, our records were similar and I knew it was a key game for UA. We had a high respect for Ole Miss.

Q: When you stepped down at UA, was this a done deal or a separate issue?

Nutt: Separate, totally. It was not done deal. Most talks were with Jimmy Sexton, my agent. When Pete Boone asked to talk to me, I shoved him off to Jimmy. I would not talk to Pete at that time (Sunday). There were a lot of emotions at that time and I wasn't think about another job, but my agent was.

Q: You talked about the match next year (Oct. 25th) with Arkansas. How do you really feel about it?

Nutt: It is not an opportunity to for me to prove anyone wrong or anything like that. I don't have to prove anything to the Arkansas fans. I hold my head up high over the job I did there. When I got there, fans were asking me if I could beat SMU. They never asked about going to Atlanta or a bowl game, so we accomplished a lot there. Our graduation rate was higher than the student body's and we went to bowls eight of 10 years under my watch. We had 10 All-Americans. I have no revenge in my heart. I was raised there and have the Razorbacks in my heart, but now I am an Ole Miss Rebel and I am excited about it.

Q: How do you feel about recruiting here right now and in the situation you are under?

Nutt: The exposure we are getting will help a lot. All the media that is here, ESPN, will help kick start us.

Q: Do you feel you can keep your talent pipeline from Dallas to Oxford versus a closer Fayetteville? You have been very successful recruiting there at Arkansas, can you do that from Ole Miss?

Nutt: Yes, we can. I am sure going to try. Texas, Atlanta, Florida, North Louisiana has been good to me and I want to keep that going.

Q: Is it important for you to win immediately here?

Nutt: Nobody puts more pressure to win on me than I put on myself. It's always important to win and it's always important to continually improve. We have a long way to go, but that's why they hire coaches and usually they don't hire new coaches to programs that are winning. We are going to do whatever we can to turn this thing and start winning now.

Q: Do you have any feel at all for your staff?

Nutt: Give me a few days on that. That's a difficult deal. I need to talk to the guys here and some across the country. My guys are in bowl preparations. I will get the best fit.

Q: What are some of the initial challenges to starting over?

Nutt: The newness. I always know every player's name. I know none now. You have to feel your way around and take it one day at a time, but it won't take long for me to get comfortable. Not long at all.

Q: How about your compensation here?

Nutt: I used to get embarrassed about a high salary because of how little my parents made, but I don't any more. This is a high pressure job and what I am getting here is what coaches in this league are making. Along with that comes scrutiny and it's every day.

Q: What attracted you here the most?

Nutt: Tradition, facilities, winning track record before and staying in the SEC. Great opportunity.

Q: What is your relationship with John Thompson?

Nutt: We have a great relationship. He is a very good football coach who coached with me for two years. I'm going to talk to him Sunday.

Q: Do you feel you have an advantage here recruiting due to location - near Memphis, Mississippi talent, near Atlanta, etc.?

Nutt: We have all the advantages in the world here, location being one of them. We recruited Memphis hard at Arkansas and now Memphis is in our back yard. That is a plus.

Q: How do you change the mindset around here?

Nutt: It starts today. I will challenge the players to change theirs today, and every day forward. I think you have to win every day, not show up on Saturday and win. That is what I will teach here.

Q: Is there enough talent here to win immediately, managed correctly?

Nutt: I can't say that now, but ask me in the spring and I will tell you.

Q: If someone told you four days ago you would have a new job in the same division in the same conference, would you have believed it?

Nutt: No. You never know about change or where the Good Lord puts you. There is no way to plan this or write this script. Things worked out and me and my family are elated.

Q: What message would you send the Rebel Nation?

Nutt: Get on board with us and support these Rebels. We are going to another level.

Q: You already knew Robert Khayat and Pete Boone?

Nutt: Yes. We always got along. We didn't have long sit downs or anything, but I knew they were great people who want nothing but success and that excites me.

Q: What advantages do you have having been in the SEC?

Nutt: You don't have to learn the conference or the quality of athletes or who you are playing. I know them as well as they know themselves. There will be nu mystery for us. Been there, done that. We already know the caliber of athlete we are going against.

Q: October 25th - again. Looking forward to it?

Nutt: Absolutely looking forward to playing Arkansas. I'm excited with competition, the strategy and tactics of the game, regardless of who we are playing, but I'm sure the Razorbacks will be more special this first year. It's my job to beat them and that's what is fun about it. It will be interesting to step on the other sideline for the first time at Fayetteville. I love the Arkansas fans and am very thankful for the dream they allowed me to have for 10 years. We left it better than it was and I am proud of that. We went to Atlanta twice and won the West three times. Now they want to know why we haven't won a national title. That's fine. We want to do that here.

Q: Arkansas has one major university. Mississippi has several. How do you make that transition in recruiting?

Nutt: Roll up your sleeves and go to work. Compete. We've got to be great recruiters - not good, great. I am here because I believe we can sell Ole Miss and so can our current players. We will get it done. Like i said, it feels good to be closer to the center of the SEC. Now Alabama and Georgia should be in play more for my staff. It will be fun.

Q: You have not raided Mississippi like some of the other schools in the SEC. What was going on with that?

Nutt: Arkansas is harder to get in JUCO players academically so I decided to go two a year maximum in JUCOs and they had to be difference makers. It was easier for us to recruit JUCOs out of Kansas. We spent our time there.

Q: Do you expect to go heavier than two a year now that you are in a heavy JUCO market?

Nutt: We'll see. Probably more than two a year because JUCO ball here is huge, but we want good fits and food chemistry. We will gauge character strong as well.

Q: Does Mississippi's talent pool excite you?

Nutt: Absolutely. There is a lot of high school and JUCO talent in this state and we will be the flagship university looking at them.

Q: Are you familiar with South Panola HS?

Nutt: For sure. 25 miles from here and loaded.

Q: What are the ethics of recruiting players who are committed to Arkansas, players on the fence there, players who you recruited previously?

Nutt: The ones who are committed, we will tell them to stay with their commitment. They chose Arkansas for a reason. But if Mom or Dad calls me and says 'we came for Houston Nutt,' we will look at that differently. We will welcome that visit to Ole Miss. We will not call current commitments to Arkansas, but if they call me, different story.

Q: How has your family handled the division at Arkansas with the fans?

Nutt: It's been tough. It's the first time in 26 years it has happened and it's hard. But they still love Arkansas and they are strong kids. Two of mine go to Arkansas, so it was really hard on them, but they still love the place.

Q: So you are ready for a honeymoon?

Nutt: Honeymoons don't last long. It's good to be undefeated now. I know coaching on this level is tough and you have to compete every day and work at it every day, so I'm not thinking about a honeymoon really. But it was fantastic to see a unified, excited fan base today and I hope we give them reason to stay that way.

Q: What did you learn from the last two years at Arkansas?

Nutt: You learn to be strong and just keep going. I developed alligator skin, but what was sad were the rumors that were not true and the falsehoods associated with it. You just do your best and keep trucking.

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