Now to the report. I am going to be jumping all over the place since I didn't take notes. Lets talk about graduation rates…just kidding. Yet, remember that Pollard didn't initially qualify and is going to graduate. Pete mentioned that no one on the team is in academic trouble. On recruiting, he wants play makers. Not just guys for the bench. He is modeling the defense after Denver.
Offensive Line: Biggest surprise on the line. Norm Katnik. He injured his thumb in the spring, yet is going to be a great center. He will allow Vandermade to be a terror at Guard. Norm's brother Kurt is a clone of him; only Norm's bro had better, yes better, stats in high school as a DE and tight end. Well, he is now 260 pounds and will only get bigger. Last year he took off a year, kept his eligibility and has the technique of his brother. No one talks about the younger Katnik, yet he will be a force. Pete spoke of Winston Justice and how he is already the strongest lineman on the team. Then Pete spoke of Matua. At the camp of 500 high school linemen, Fred proceeded to start fights with 400 of the lineman. Pete told the entire lineman to sit down and meditate. He then took Fred to the side and offered him right there. Fred is all heart. On Joe McGuire…out for 9 months. Nothing was said of Torres, Steinbacher or Rogers. On the new OL coach from Wisconsin….he will oversee the entire line. Uperesa will also coach tackles and tight ends, yet he will not oversee the entire line.
Running Backs: One name…Justin Fargas. This guy has everything that Pete wants. He is fast, big and tenacious. Malaefou and Sultan will also be in the mix. Malaefou will line up at wideout also. Brandon Handcock is 3rd string. Sunny Byrd for all of his 2 yard per carry faults provided one thing that the offense needed last year….heart. Justin has this also. One interesting line….Bing will be a safety his first year and then be our running back. Where will Hershel play? Hershel is a different type of back than Bing and they will complement each other. Candela will be in the mix. He is two feet tall and runs like the wind. He now has baseball out of his head.
Tight ends… beyond Holmes, we really are one dimensional at the position. Holmes can do it all, yet Doyle and Guenther are adept at both blocking and receiving. Byrd will see time here.
Wideout. Colbert is the #1 receiver. Kareem needs 25 or more catches to be the all time leader. Last year, I don't think that Kareem liked his potential draft position projection. Mitchell is a Marcell Allmond like receiver. Williams will be playing on Sundays. This guy is a monster, is already in LA and is ready to go.
Kicker: No more pooch kickoffs. Pete mentioned that someone told him that we should always kick it to the 10-yard line so that we can have a chance to down the guy inside the 20. Pete wants the kickoffs to go deep into the end zone. They just signed a JC guy who can do this. Malone can also kick deep, yet he will most likely just be the punter. Davis is healed and will be able to handle kickoffs also.
Defensive line: Loves Brown and Urquhart. Patterson is a stud. Cody is a man amongst boys. Manual Wright will be playing with the other Poly guys on Sundays.
Linebacker: Champ Simmons is better than Frank Strong. Pete raved about Michael Pollard. Lua is special.
Safety: The recruit that Pete was most excited about IMHO was Mike Ross. He will replace Troy in 2003. Hill is the free safety. Troy is trying to take his game up a notch. He wants the Thorpe trophy.
CB. Most improved was Rideaux. Arbet will be the other. Allmond off the bench. Nunn is a playmaker and will surprise. Wyatt is fast and instinctive.
Someone asked how many wins would be enough. Pete doesn't care. The Rose Bowl is everything.
On recruiting, what Garry said is true. He and his staff decided that they want to have the absolute best class possible and they want to know every recruit taken by the pac ten. 100 guys are taken out of California every year; this staff wants to know them all.
Pete wants depth on the squad. I just look back at the presentation by Hackett two years ago. Hackett wasn't prepared. Wasn't enthusiastic. He hated these events. Pete loves them. He is so much more confident than a year ago. I am certain that the differences between Hackett and Carroll in these alumni meetings are the same differences that the recruits see. I bet Teyo Johnson and Amon Gordon would have come to SC if we had Carroll rather than Hackett two years ago. This guy lives and breaths SC football and I am so excited about it. He jokes around, yet you know he cares about the players. He loves his guys.
I am sure that I will think of more by tomorrow, yet this is it for now.
Fight On! Jackson