February 5, 2009

Coach speak: Signing Day conversations

It's nothing new for Rivals Radio to bring you interviews with the top college football coaches in the country.

But the Rivals Radio Signing Day Special once again took things to a new level with 10 interviews, including some of the biggest names in the business.

Here are some highlights from each of the Signing Day conversations, including links to the full archived interviews with Chris Childers of Rivals Radio and Rivals.com recruiting expert Barton Simmons.

Coaches on Rivals Radio
Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech
Rivals Team Recruiting Rank: 24th.
On the Hokies' biggest need: "Defensive ends were really a big deal with us. We signed four kids we feel have a chance to be defensive ends with great athletic ability. ... That was the most glaring place where we needed to get guys in here." On four-star TE Logan Thomas: He's quite an athlete. I think he could probably play just about any position, including the quarterback position that he played in high school."
Click here for the complete Rivals Radio interview with Frank Beamer
Lane Kiffin, Tennessee
Rivals Team Recruiting Rank: 23rd.
On his new staff at Tennessee: "I think this is just a little taste. We've actually been together as a staff for only a little over two weeks ... to finish the way we did, I thought we sent a pretty good message. We have extremely high standards, so for us this doesn't come near the standard we expect. But we could only do what we could do in such little time."
Click here for the complete Rivals Radio interview with Lane Kiffin
Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
Rivals Team Recruiting Rank: 22nd.
On four-star QB Tyler Russell: "I think people get caught up in the things that are wrong about quarterbacks, how he throws, how he runs ... those aren't the top things when looking at a quarterback. No. 1 is that mental and physical toughness and leadership. That is bigger than anything else, and we're really excited about Tyler being our quarterback in the future."
Click here for the complete Rivals Radio interview with Dan Mullen
Mark Richt, Georgia
Rivals Team Recruiting Rank: 9th.
On four-star QB Tyler Russell: "Branden is one of the fastest human beings in the country; I think he's got the fourth-fastest 100-meter time in the history of Georgia. He's a fantastic cover man, everybody knows that, but he's a great return man when it comes to punts, and I'm sure he can return [kickoffs] too. We're going to find a way to get his hands on the ball offensively, because he's got such great hands and the ability to make people miss."
Click here for the complete Rivals Radio interview with Mark Richt
Rich Rodriguez, Michigan
Rivals Team Recruiting Rank: 7th.
On turning four-star WR Je'Ron Stokes from Tennessee: "He's got great ball skills, and what we like is he can play both the inside receiver and outside receiver. He's got a great feel for the game. All the guys we have, we enjoyed getting to know them, but Je'Ron and his family were really special. I think they had a great time when they came to visit and we were able to develop that personal relationship you have to have in recruiting."
Click here for the complete Rivals Radio interview with Rich Rodriguez
Randy Shannon, Miami
Rivals Team Recruiting Rank: 11th.
On whether or not early enrollees will be able to play right away in the Fall: "I think they will. I think everybody saw that the guys we brought in last year were able to play this year. And this year we brought in some guys, especially on the offensive line, that we feel can come in and help right away. We're excited about those guys and to see how they develop."
Click here for the complete Rivals Radio interview with Randy Shannon
Mike Sherman, Texas A&M
Rivals Team Recruiting Rank: 21st.
On recruiting strategy from a geographic standpoint: "It's a good question, because we are pretty much dominated by our in-state players, which I think is a good thing. I think it's also a thing where there is less chance for error. I think the farther you go from home, the more chance for mistakes. Also, with these early committments, it's hard for kids from very far away to come visit you unofficially. "
Click here for the complete Rivals Radio interview with Mike Sherman
Bill Stewart, West Virginia
Rivals Team Recruiting Rank: 27th.
On a relatively quiet National Signing Day: "We were very blessed, we didn't have any guys pulling rabbits out of a hat on Wednesday at such-and-such an hour. All these guys committed early, they hung with it, and we're very pleased. that tells you a lot about their character and what kind of young men we have."
Click here for the complete Rivals Radio interview with Bill Stewart
Dabo Swinney, Clemson
Rivals Team Recruiting Rank: 37th.
On why Clemson signed such a small recruiting class: "We had 15 spots, and we ended up signing 12. We kind of held off on a couple other guys because we wanted to put those numbers to next year's class. Next year's class is only 17, so this will allow us to hopefully go sign 20. But this is 12 quality players, high quality people and players."
Click here for the complete Rivals Radio interview with Dabo Swinney
Kyle Whittingham, Utah
Rivals Team Recruiting Rank: 55th.
On how much top talent the state of Utah is producing: "The talent level in-state is getting better every year, and it is our top priority. Not missing anyone in our backyard is without question job one. When I got here in 1994, maybe 6,8 or 10 Division-I level kids would come out of the state. Now we are upwards of 18, 20, 22 ... there's going to come a time where we have 30 or 40 kids coming out of Utah."
Click here for the complete Rivals Radio interview with Kyle Whittingham


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