Coach Beckman Q&A: Part Two

Toledo head football coach Tim Beckman took time out on the recruiting trail yesterday to speak with Rocket Digest. Part two of the Beckman Q&A deals with recruiting, aiming for the BCS, and exciting the fanbase. Read on for the second part of the Beckman Q&A.

Coach Beckman took time out of his busy day yesterday to sit down and discuss the Toledo Rockets football program with Rocket Digest. Below is the second part of the subsequent Q&A.

RD - What are the realistic chances of a MAC school, Toledo in particular, of going to a BCS bowl game?

TB - "I think there's a great chance for Toledo. We talk to a lot of recruits about that. If you look at the schools that have made it from the non-bcs teams, it's all about the media market and what better place than Toledo in the Mid-American Conference? You've got the media from Detroit, you've got the media from Toledo, and you've got the media from Cleveland and we're right in the middle of it. Utah is in a BCS bowl because they are a very good football team and very well coached, but also they're in Salt Lake City and the media exposure they get as a football program is outstanding. It's got to go hand and hand when you're a non-BCS team. You've got to be able to have exposure, you've got to be successful in your non-conference games, and you have to play in a conference like the Mid-American that has a great reputation."

RD - Looking at our non-conference schedules at Toledo. Next year we have Ohio State, Boise State, Purdue, and Florida International. Is a schedule like that important for your chances to make a BCS bowl game or does it hurt your chances because of the tough competition?

TB - "I can honestly say that I played in probably the toughest conference in the country last year at Oklahoma State as the defensive coordinator. It's a challenge, but it's also an opportunity. It's an opportunity here for all the players of the Toledo Rockets to fulfill dreams and to play against the best. They're gonna get the opportunity to play a Boise, who is a non-BCS team that a couple of years ago beat Oklahoma in a BCS bowl. There's not a better opportunity for us than to play Boise State, a team that has done what you want to do with this program. I think it's a great opportunity and a great challenge."

RD - What plans do you have to get the fanbase excited and more involved?

TB - "You're gonna have an offense that is very dynamic, along with a defense and special teams that are going to be dynamic. We're gonna be more active in the community. We're gonna be involved with not just the University of Toledo, but the city of Toledo. We're not just the University of Toledo Rockets, we're the city of Toledo Rockets.

Texas Tech doesn't have the biggest stadium, but when we walked into Texas Tech to play them when they were the # 2 team in the country and we were the # 7 team in the country, their whole student body was there 2 hours prior to the game. It was an unbelievable site. When you walked across the field to go to your locker room, you had to walk across already 20,000 students that were sitting in the stands. It was definitely a home field advantage, and I think I can build that. Everyone of our coaches is responsible for a sorority and a fraternity on campus, and they are going to actively be at those fraternities and sororities getting our student body to the football games, just as we will in January as a football team be at one of our basketball games supporting our basketball team. Those are a few things that I have seen and have been involved with that we will do."

RD - Do you believe in recruiting Junior College players as well as high school players?

TB - "I'm into recruiting the best players. Junior college, high school, prep. The guys that get what the University of Toledo wants to do with their student-athletes. We need to sign the best players to get what we need to get accomplished in the years to come, that also fit the academic situation that we're gonna require."

RD - In this recruiting class do you think there are a couple of key areas that we need to emphasize on?

TB - "I haven't been here long and I am just basing things off of film. That's all you can do as a coach. There's coaches on the staff that know a lot about the Rockets because of playing against the Rockets and I have taken from their opinions and we have made a decision as a staff that we're gonna try and take a player at every position first. I haven't determined the areas that we need the most improvement in because there might be a young guy that didn't get to be on that film. With looking at the film and word of mouth we feel that with 22 scholarships we can just take and fill every position."

RD - You've mentioned the 22 scholarships, but we didn't have a lot of seniors. Were there that many open scholarships before?

TB - "I'm not sure what it was to be honest with you. That is the number that was given to me as available and that is the number that we are utilizing for recruiting."

RD - Is playing time for every position on the team up for grabs?

TB - "Our players will be evaluated every day. Every player will have an opportunity every day. That's from classroom. That's from football. That's from how they work socially. All the things. That's how we will evaluate. I can't wait until spring ball and winter workouts and that stuff, but our players will be evaluated every day and decisions will be made off of consistency. You have to start somewhere so the guys that have played will have the first opportunity, but nothing is written. I keep telling these guys that everything's in pencil and can easily be erased and changed."

RD - The last few years we have struggled with special teams and especially kick coverage. How will you Address this issue?

TB - "I'm gonna be directly involved with special teams. That's what I believe in and I've been involved with it my whole life. We're gonna treat special teams the exact same way that we treat offense and defense. It's one third of the game, it's a third of offense and defense. It's gonna be critiqued and pretty even between the offensive side and the defensive side."

RD - Can you talk a little bit about the defensive philosophy that you're gonna use?

TB - "We're gonna be an aggressive and attacking, multi-look defense. That's what I've done, and I'm lucky enough to have both of the co-coordinators been where I've been at and we're gonna do the exact same thing. There's some consistency in that, because again it goes back to bringing guys in that are familiar with your systems and familiar with your values and believe in the same things. If you've watched Oklahoma State, Ohio State, and Bowling Green. It's just happened that both of our coordinators will have Bowling Green ties, Ohio State ties, or Oklahoma State ties."

RD - What are your thoughts on Toledo joining another conference if another round of conference realignment occurs?

TB - "First of all that probably is not my decision. I just need to make sure that the Rockets get better. If that's better in the MAC or better in whatever conference, we just need to get better. We just need to work on getting the Rockets better and worry about conferences and all that other stuff later."

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