Signing Day Press Conference

Notes and Quotes from Kyle Whittingham's press conference...

I thought it was a good day overall. Things went about as we expected. There were not a lot of surprises. Recruiting in the Pac-12 is very competitive. Things are much different from years past. I thought our assistants did a great job identifying talent and targeting those guys, and our current players did a great job selling recruits. That really is a huge key, the players in your program doing a great job with official visits.

The class was typical as far as our numbers. We have 16 high school guys and three JC players. Add to those several guys who we got mid-year and several who were awarded scholarships, and we will utilize all 25 scholarships by August. Today we added 19 guys, and we will add returned missionaries as we go through the summer.

We did very well in the state of Utah. We were balanced across the state. Jay Hill did an exceptional job of covering Utah this year. The state has grown so much that one guy recruiting the state is not going to be possible anymore. We are going to have to expand that. We had six signees from California, three from Texas and one from Louisiana. Brian Johnson got a very good receiver in Charles Henderson in Louisiana.

By position, we have 11 offensive players and eight defensive players. The only real position that needed to be addressed is running back. We got three good ones in Harvey Langi, John White and Jarrell Oliver. That was the most pressing need going into this class. Harvey Langi is in school and is doing a great job in workouts. John White hopefully will be on campus in a week to 10 days. Other than that, we signed the best players that were available, and we will find homes for them. As our track record says, some of those guys will make moves and play different positions.

I am excited about our 25 guys. More than ever before are participating in spring ball. Going forward we are excited about what they will add to the team going into the Pac-12.

On any surprises:

In this new recruiting climate, more decisions are coming down to the wire, and some came down to today. We had 5-to-6 offers out there that were long shots, and we ended up getting Quinton Pedroza. He was a former commit to another Pac-12 team. Anthony Denham also committed at the 11th hour. Anthony is a big receiver, and Pedroza is an all-around athlete who has a lot of athletic ability. That was a pleasant surprise for today. On Harvey Langi: He has an opportunity to start for us. That position is wide open. We lost Eddie Wide, Matt Asiata, and Sausan Shakerin, so we have nobody with any experience. Harvey, John White and Jarrell Oliver are all on even footing. There is an absolute chance for him to earn the starting job.

On the opportunities for true freshmen to play:

You hate to single out guys before you look at them, but I can tell from what we see from Langi he is a guy who is moving like a fifth-year senior. He's a physical kid. Others remain to be seen. We lost both safeties with Brian Blechen moving up to linebacker and the graduation of Justin Taplin-Ross, so there is a chance to have an impact in the back. Typically perimeter guys have a better chance to play as freshmen than linemen.

On what is next:

We'll get a little break here in a few weeks. We are busy putting in some offensive stuff that Norm Chow has brought with him. We are excited to get our hands on them and evaluate the new talent. You can watch film forever, but it's nothing like having them there. Some coaches will take a week or two off after recruiting, but we'll take successive Friday's off so that we don't sacrifice a week of development with our players.

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