Nutt meets the press again

The following is a transcript of another media opportunity with Rebel Football Coach Houston Nutt, this one Tuesday morning. Read what he said about recruiting, his assistants and progress being made inside.

Q: Talk about your two new hires - Ron Dickerson, Jr, and Kim Dameron.

Nutt: I have a long relationship with both these guys. Let's start with Ron - he's a guy I coached. He's an excellent recruiter and super person who comes from a coaching family. His Daddy was a coach and Ron grew up a coaches' son. I am partial to coaches' sons because I am one too. He understands it. The good thing about him is that he has recruited Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama the past three or four years and we needed help right now. This allowed both these guys to get right on the road last night. Kim goes further back with me. He's been a defensive coordinator for me and a position coach for me. He played at Arkansas. Both are outstanding people with great character who are excellent recruiters. They just love coaching ball. I think our players will be really excited about these two hires.

Q: Do you know what positions they will coach yet?

Nutt: No. I am going to see what happens with my Arkansas crew and then piece things together. The good thing about Kim is that he has coordinated and he can coach on either side of the ball because he has before. Ron will probably zero in on RBs or WRs, but I just want to wait and see exactly who I have coming and then piece it all together.

Q: You mentioned their recruiting prowess. How important was it to fill out your staff with more recruiters?

Nutt: It's the name of the game. Especially right now since I had to send my Arkansas crew back. It was imperative we hire them very, very quickly and get them in here working. They made one in-home visit last night and are on the road already.

Q: How is recruiting going so far?

Nutt: Good. We have touched base with some Moms and some kids and we are still working on that process.

Q: Is there a possibility of bringing more of your Arkansas coaches than the ones you have mentioned already?

Nutt: Yes. It's a very delicate situation. Some have already gotten Ole Miss phones, so we are starting. It's a tough deal to prepare for a bowl there and recruit for us, but we will make the best of it. The other two spots could come from Arkansas, depending on the hire there. I have a good feeling about who's coming but I just want to be sure and make it clear and clean with one statment.

Q: Are you hearing anything on the hire for Arkansas?

Nutt: No, my nose has been on the grindstone for Ole Miss. I haven't had time to look up. I am just worried aobut our recruits now and touching base with the Moms and the players, especially the ones committed to Ole Miss. We are going through those guys first.

Q: What progress have you made on that front of contacting current commits?

Nutt: It's been good. We're making strides and progress. I can't wait to get in their homes. I start that tomorrow night.

Q: Is it a shock to your system selling something besides Arkansas now?

Nutt: No. Coaching is coaching. It didn't take long to adjust at all.

Q: You mentioned maybe going a little heavier in JUCO than you did at Arkansas. Still thinking that?

Nutt: Yes, but I don't think we are looking at 10 or 15 or anything like that. I love getting freshmen in here and building that way. But where there is a need, we can go that route, especially in Mississippi where there are so many outstanding JUCO players. Taking care of needs via JUCOs is fine. I'm excited about that. Also, we can get them in school here because of the system in place versus not being able to get some of them in at Arkansas. We have a JUCO tradition here that is excellent. It's a good fit.

Q: What kind of feedback have you gotten from the commitments so far?

Nutt: A lot of enthusiasm and passion for this program and school. I love hearing on the other end of the line the excitement they have for Ole Miss. A lot who are committed are still committed and that's exciting.

Q: What concerns do you have?

Nutt: The biggest concern are the numbers. We are just trying to piece it all together. We are trying to figure out our needs and go from there. We are going a hundred miles an hour trying to piece it all together right now. We are trying to determine what our needs are. We need a center, we need linebackers, we need a couple of more QBs on campus, we need tight ends, safeties and corners. We have some holes, but I don't know the skills of everyone on campus, I'm just going by the numbers at each position I see. The numbers tell me to go get some TEs, CBs, Safeties, a couple more QBs, a center and roll. We have to have a full recruiting class and it's important they are here in August.

Q: Are you signing anyone at mid-term?

Nutt: We have a kid who is hopefully committed we are going to go see Sunday night and hopefully he can be here next semester.

Q: How important are Mississippi ties in recruiting?

Nutt: Very. The two I just hired have good Mississippi connections, so that is important. Mike Markuson also has a lot of ties in Mississippi with high schools and JUCOs. We never signed that many from here, but we always made our runs through here and saw the talent. We have more relationships in this state than you would think.

Q: Has info availability about the current team and recruits been good?

Nutt: Excellent. Everyone still here has been very helpful. We have all the info we need.

Q: How much contact have you had with current players?

Nutt: Some, but not as much as I would like to. Finals are this week, but we will get to know them as quickly as possible. Nobody has expressed an interest to transfer to me. Jevan Snead dropped by for his second visit unannounced yesterday. What a fine young man. I can tell by his personality and presence he has leadership skills. I told them all, you don't need an appointment. Just knock on the door and come on in. We will stop what we are doing for our players. No matter what meeting we are in, we will stop. We are always available for our players - that's a rule. We will break a meeting for a player. Jevan was really excited and he's really into recruiting. I love when our QB is into it.

Q: Do you intend to honor all current commitments or is it a judgment on your part?

Nutt: It is a judgment on our part. That is tough. I had to re-evaluate everything. It's difficult but the world we are in dictates we have to do what is best for us. It's like the coaches who were here - they are excellent coaches, but we have to do it our way, and that is hard but the way it has to be. We will be very fair and up front and let those young men know our intentions. We have touched base with some but we are still in that process.

Q: Is there any chance for any of the coaches still here to hook on with you?

Nutt: It would be slim, but yes, and that's what I told them.

Q: How do you feel about grade risks in recruiting?

Nutt: We will do a thorough job of evaluating the transcripts. It is important that the ones we sign are here in August, but we will oversign. We usually sign 27-28 to give those guys who don't make it a sense of ownership in Ole Miss. When they get through in prep school or JUCO, they know they have a home. We will do that some for sure.

Q: How many will you sign mid-term, do you think?

Nutt: One for sure, possibly two.

Q: Do you know anything about Jerrell Powe?

Nutt: I have not talked to him but I am learning about his situation now. I don't think we recruited him for long at Arkansas because I don't remember him much, but I intend to learn all about him.

Q: Any chance to go out in Oxford yet?

Nutt: I have eaten at the Rib Cage and Obie's - two good places to eat that I have found so far.

Q: Did you ever have this many recruiting questions at Arkansas?

Nutt: Yes, they are about like you guys - into recruiting, which is good.

Q: Are the grade evaluations you are doing now with current commits part of the situation you are in?

Nutt: Yes. We don't want to base our decision on one film or a quick look at a transcript. We want to take our time and be sure. It's slow and why I can't give you more information than I am giving you right now.

Q: Are you contacting commits you have not made a final decision on yet?

Nutt: We are making calls to all of them and asking them to be patient. We are telling them we will be talking to them soon and to hang in there, but we are trying to have solid answers for them before talking to them much.

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