All 25 players expected to sign in fact signed. Leach's press conference lasted about an hour, and he commented on all the players. "I'm proud of the efforts of our staff. It was a big cohesive effort. It's a great time for Tech athletics."
14 of the 25 signees were either defensive backs or offensive linemen. "Defensive backs and offensive linemen were a big emphasis in this class; we were committed to getting their (OL) numbers up . . . like 18 on roster on ship," said Leach. When asked if there were two cornerback starters in this class, he responded, "You know, it's hard to gauge."
7 of the 25 signees were from the junior college ranks. "I think we utilize the Jucos about right. It'd be foolish to not utilize it. We try to keep it around six a year." Two of the seven junior college players were named JUCO All-American – CB Jamaal Jackson and OL Dan Christian.
An interesting late addition to the class was punter Alex Reyes from
Some consider quarterback Phillip Daugherty, of
With Daugherty being the subject, Leach was asked if there is a transition from 3A ball to D1, and he replied, "In Wes Welker's case, almost none. A lot of it is frame of mind."
There are four players who are mid-term enrollees who are enrolled in the 2003 spring semester and will be eligible to participate in spring practices. Those four players are: CB Jackson, MLB Brock Stratton, SS Michael Brisco, and DB Darylan Carroll.
Leach had a few comments about this year's recruiting strategy, "We had the ability to recruit more walk-ons, and we got started a lot earlier too. The bowl game happened during a key contact week, but we responded well."
On coaching defections, Leach said, "I think we took a hit on that a little bit. There was a little lapse because we didn't have the ability to get people on the road, but we overcame it well. Anytime you lose three coaches, transition is there. We probably didn't get as many from the
Brock Stratton, a mid-term enrollee who spent two years on mission after high school, was a player Leach elaborated on, "Timing was such there that he needed to enroll this semester. We're real excited to have him. Kliff played against him in high school, and he has a reputation for being a hard-hitter. It's amazing that he still benched over 400 lbs after being on mission for two years."
Leach also mentioned DE Tyler Yenzer, from