Banker - 'We feel very good about the class'

Defensive coordinator Mark Banker addressed the media on Wed., Feb. 7 Here's the full transcript which includes his thoughts on the Pankey twins, insight into the recruitment of Will Darkins and Devid Ross and much more.

Overall thoughts:  "Any day signing day comes around you just hope to that all the letters of intent that are out there come through the fax machine.  In fact, they have today.  We have filled quite a few of the slots that we set out to do at the beginning of the year and at the positions where we felt we needed help.  We feel very good about the class."


Standout recruits defensively:  "The two tackles that we brought in from junior college. Sioeli (Nau) is here now, which is huge for us because he is able to work out with us and get adapted to the environment as far as school and what not.  Later on we will have (Latu) Moala come in which fills the need for us there.  We have been playing catch up there the last couple seasons in that defensive line and we have made some great strides, in fact, we made another great stride a year ago when we hired Joe Seumalo.  That's huge for us."


Benefit from trip to Hawaii:  "The immediate benefit was we have so many young men that come from that state on our team it is an opportunity for them to play in front of their family and also share where they come from with the rest of the team.  Overall, we are recruiting a state and it is great to take our team over there and expose the people of that state and the young men that play football over there to our team and what the Beavers are all about."


Will Darkins and his recruitment:  "We didn't take it (his brother playing for OSU) for granted, but we felt we had a leg up on the competition with Will and any time you can get one of the better players in the state of Oregon, that's a plus and it is something that coach Riley has really put an emphasis on, as far as our in-state recruiting.  We want the state of Oregon represented and we want the people here in this state to be able to play here.  Will is a very intelligent player from the standpoint of football.  His football intellect is very good and we love his athletic ability and he fits into our scheme very well.  We look for him to play, not necessarily next year, but to play early.  And when I say early, I mean there are four years of eligibility, so we think he can get into the system and get going right away."


Una Smiley playing next year, an update on his situation: "As far as I know, a lot of what is going on with him is speculation because of the medical nature of it.  He still needs to heal from his wounds.  A complete recovery won't be known for sometime.  At some point in time we obviously hope this young man works through the situation he is in, not only for him as a person, but he is a heck of a football player as well."


David Ross story: "In this whole process in general, there is so much exposure that they have at a young age.  The Internet has provided the good side and the bad side of the recruiting process.  He only knows what the truth is.  He only knows what we set out there. I found that some of these kids at 17 or 18 years old have been brought up in an environment of respect and limited responsibility at times, and sometimes don't want to disappoint grown ups.  A lot of good people come in and out of their home and they grow fond of somebody and don't want to say know. But it is a lot easier to put a signature down on a piece of paper and put it in a fax machine.  That's why I think the NCAA probably in part instituted that policy some time ago instead of having five or six people at your home with a piece of paper for you ready for your signature.  Some day when he gets here you can ask him, deep down inside, did he really know all along where he was going on signing day.  He probably didn't know up until the last minute.  I don't know that."


Panky twins: "They were two players as the process went along that took awhile for their senior film to come to us and get a true evaluation on them.  A lot of times, you look down the list, these players are recruited by their junior tape.  One thing that we do that might be a little more unique than others is we wait, until the not only the beginning of their senior year, but mid part of their senior year, to continue to evaluate tape.  There is still so much development for these young men as they continue to grow throughout that season.  I think Keith may be a little farther ahead from a standpoint on what you see on film, but at the same time his brother for a big person has great feet, good agility and mobility along with Coach Cav's expertise on the offensive line I am sure he will be a good player for us."


Did you discover James Rodgers late: "I think we will find the best spot that utilizes his speed and his return ability in our game.  The slots, as of late, have been a little bit bigger person that has been added in to the blocking scheme as well.  Wheat-Brown, Brandon Powers – those type of bodies.  (Laughing) I am not really one to comment on that, so I will leave that one alone."


OSU recruiting in Hawaii: "In the mid 60's, late 60's there were quit a few Polynesians that played here.  I think we still see that here within the Willamette Valley.  We still see some of the people that went to school here from Hawaii.  In fact, on a side note, this will be largest class from the state of Hawaii attending Oregon State this fall.  The number is around 125, up from 85.  Mike has made a commitment to wanting to recruit that state, and we have done that as you well know.  Some of the players on our team have had success and we hope to continue that going."

Read Danny Langsdorf's thoughts on the 2007 recruiting class here.

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