Feb. 1, 2012
"We tried to address a lot of needs. We've got some balance, some offense, defense and more junior college players than normal, but we're excited about those guys. We've got some length, some range and some great bodies to work with, but as always, it is what we can do with these guys once they get here. I think the talent we recruited physically is pretty good, but I like the talent of the kid. I'm not just talking about character. I think the work ethic, the intelligence, the family backgrounds and coming from a lot of great winning programs, there are a lot of things about these kids that I think collectively make it a pretty decent class for us."
On OL Jacob Bailey:
"Jake's on a state championship team (Cathedral) with a great program. We've had some success up there. We're going to keep recruiting our state. He's a very tough, competitive kid and he's been down here quite a lot. I'm very impressed with their team and their program. Jacob will probably be a center or a guard type of player for us and he's almost got enough range to be a tackle, but he's in that 6'5 range that I think even the guards we got this year, I don't think we got a lot of squatty, short, stubby bodies. He's not maybe overwhelming in size to be a true, true Big Ten tackle, but I think he's got a big backside reach and it's great to see a guy on the backside finishing a guy off like that. Great effort, great kid, great family and proud to have Jacob with us."
On OL Dimitric Camiel:
On OL Dan Feeney:
"I had a chance to watch him practice in person. I know his coach, Corby Meekins, real well down there at Westfield right by the George Bush Airport in North Houston. I was really impressed with his balance, his ability to dip and stay on his feet and finish the guy off. He's going to have some development to do with strength to be a great player, but he's got the frame and I loved his family. His dad played college ball at South Carolina State. His mom was a volleyball player. We really like him as a player and person and think he's going have a great future for us here."
"From Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park, Ill. I had a couple Northwestern players from there that were great for us at Northwestern. As a matter of fact, Pat Fitzgerald, is a Sandburg alum. Zak Kustok, one of my favorites, is from there. Dan's very comparable to Jake (Bailey) with that 6'5 range. We had him in camp and it was awesome. He was very impressive in person with effort and toughness. He's another guy who's probably going to be one of those inside center-guard kids at 6'5 300 pounds."
On OL Wes Rogers:
"Wes is a very tough kid. He was actually Tre Roberson's center up there, and of course they're doing a great job, at Lawrence Central. He'll be an inside, we think with Jacob Bailey, Dan Feeney, and Wes Rogers. We've got four young players to have a great group at center and guard. Wes has played center and he'll probably be at that spot. He'll be one of those inside guys at center or guard."
On TE Tanner Kerns:
"Tanner's a big receiver. He's got a mid-30s vertical and is a heck of a basketball player. He's another kid we had in camp. He catches it very well. He's coming in probably a 225-pound guy and will be a guy that we're going to need. You can see him here on the edge blocking, good effort and good finish right here and finishing that block off. I do think size-wise, with his frame, he's more of an athletic receiver, kind of like a young Ted Bolser, that will need to get to that 240 range to be the complete player as a blocker as well."
On TE Jason Spriggs:
"You can see him here playing defensive end, coming in kind and racking up the option. He actually played a little bit of offensive tackle this year. We've got a handful of guys in this 6'5-6'6 range 240-250-260 pound guys. He might grow into being an offensive tackle. He played tight end as a junior, a little bit of defensive end and offensive tackle this year. He's a got a quick little swat and swim, sacking the quarterback. He's a very athletic, big, developmental body. There are about five or six of those guys when you throw a couple of those d-ends in the mix. I think they're great takes for us. They're big, they're long, they're athletic, and I love their potential."
On WR Caleb Cornett:
"It was great to get a Ben Davis guy in the class. They've got a number of players in the years to come. Coach (Mike) Kirschner does a great job up there. We had Caleb in camp and we thought he caught it and ran well, very solid. We don't want to say he's a possessional receiver. We had him in person and believe he runs very, very well, good change of direction, very smooth, very fluid. Again, it's great to have another Indianapolis guy, a guy from Ben Davis, and we're proud to have him with us here."
On WR Kevin Davis:
"Great speed, great speed. He was recruited by a number of elite programs and committed to us early. He had some great offers. He was really great in special teams. He's a very mature kid mentally, got a great look in his eye, great demeanor in the way he goes about his business and he's got some speed and it's evident on tape. I think he'll not only be a nice player for us on the perimeter getting that downfield separation, I think he'll be a great special teams player for us. He blocked a number of kicks for Warren Central, another elite program. It's great to have some Warren Central folks with us and we've got two of them this year."
On QB Cameron Coffman:
"I knew of Cameron and the family because I used to recruit Kansas and Kansas City. He's out of Raymore-Peculiar High School and I recruited that area when I was at Oklahoma. Of course, this year at the end of the season we had a couple guys that decided not to come back, so we had a definite need. We're very lucky to get him in and he's here mid-year. We've got him with us right now and he's in house, getting accustomed to our workouts, our offense. He throws the ball well, he's intelligent, and he's a very, very bright kid. He comes from a football family and is a winner. We look forward, as we go through spring, to getting him in the mix for competition for Tre."
On QB Nathan Sudfeld:
"I'm very impressed with his athleticism. He's an easy 6'5 and 215 pounds and throws it very well. He committed very early to Arizona. Coach (Seth) Littrell had a relationship with him and knew him. With a coaching change, he wanted to get a little bit more of a pass style. We've got to make some strides to win now in the passing game. We've got to throw the ball significantly better than we did this past year. I think both Cameron and Nathan will give us some great competition and some great talent. Great family, unique family in their religious upbringing, some things they're doing in the community. He's a neat kid, so we're excited about Nathan."
On RB Tevin Coleman:
"We've had to battle for this kid with a number of schools. I think a very, very complete player. He reminds me very much of DeMarco Murray, a running back that we had at Oklahoma, very physical in what he does, nice size and strength. You can see him in special teams. He's a guy that catches the ball well. You can get him out in space and he can run seam routes and bubble routes. I think he has the size you need to be a great back, but compliments it with speed. He's not a big guy that can't run, he's not a fast guy that doesn't have substance. I think he's a quality, quality take and I'm very excited. Coach (Deland) McCullough did a phenomenal job recruiting him. I think he's a very unique player, very comparable to some kids we used at Oklahoma. Very, very excited about him coming in our direction."
On ATH Ricky Jones:
"I really like Ricky as a receiver, very fluid, very smooth, but you know we've got a need improving our defensive position at corner. I think he had six picks this year, so we've got him as an athlete. We'll get him in here and see with competition and depth where he really figures out. I think he's open to both, but he's very, very fluid and very smooth. He had a number of great offers and kind of waited around and some people filled up on him and we were very excited and fortunate to land him. He's coming out of Sarasota Booker High School. A guy that we got in here late that is one of the more skilled kids in our class."
On DB Tregg Waters:
"Tregg's already in school, a great student, 3.6 coming out of JC. He runs very well. We've seen the kids run as we've gotten them back here after recruiting was over. We've seen him run a few times and he really runs well. Nice speed and I think he'll be another guy that will be great in special teams, whether it be coverage or return units. I think he'll give us some great depth and competition that we need to go with Mark Murphy and the Hardin brothers (Drew and Flo) as we get that safety position shored up."
On DB Dawson Fletcher:
"Dawson's a guy we had in camp, and I know if you look at some of the services or ratings he doesn't maybe show up and is not considered as high as some guys. However, he was as impressive or the most impressive kid we had in camp last year - running, jumping, change of direction. His father played at Western Michigan and he's got a brother playing at Toledo. I know the coaches at Lakota West very, very well in Cincinnati and have recruited Coach (Larry) Cox's teams for years, so we are excited to have Dawson with us. We've got him as maybe a safety-type, but you watch him run and he might be a corner when he gets here because he's not so big that he can't run, but you can see physically he will come up and tackle very well."
On DB Ryan Thompson:
"Ryan's a 10.5 guy as well. He's got a great family. His father's a judge down in the Mississippi court system. Ryan is already in school. He was a heck of a high school student and kind of a soccer guy that didn't play football until his senior year. He went the junior college route and is a kid that has nice speed and I think he's learning how to play. He's already on campus and we're excited he's here. Much like Tregg Waters, he will give us some depth at the safety position and I think he's got the speed to be a great special teams player. We'll see how things move for him."
On DB Antonio Marshall:
"We're very excited about Antonio Marshall. He's a very physical guy as a corner. Tony's a guy that we had set to come in, but with his transcript he did not complete what we needed to get him in school, so he was set and we thought he was going to be a mid-year player and actually had him set to be here in January, but he's right now back in his hometown, which is Pitch, Ga. I think he's one of the best players in this class and he's got a little bit of academic work to do, but we've got a plan and it's already in place. He's on board, the family's on board. We just thought we had a mid-year guy and we came up a little bit short, but we're going to get him here and he'll hopefully be here for all of our summer sessions and we'll get him up to speed. I think you can tell that the corner spot and special teams is where I think all of these guys are going to help us. Even though we've got a lot of guys coming back and a lot of young players, I think you'll see a lot of these guys in the mix on the two-deep as we move forward."
On LB Jacarri Alexander:
"Jacarri's a guy that played in bulk this year coming off the edge, so he's kind of a hybrid stand up defensive end, outside linebacker. He's already been here and has already emerged in our workouts as one of the more enthusiastic, natural leaders of our team. We're going to see if he's in the inside or outside spot and Coach (Mike) Ekeler will figure that out. Jacarri's 235 pounds and can flat out run and we're excited to have him here."
On LB David Cooper:
"He's another junior college mid-year player. David is out of Coffeyville (Kan.), originally from the Atlanta area, and Jacarri's from Winter Haven, Fla. They are two solid junior college linebackers that we need to again be great on defense, special teams and return units."
On LB Jordan Wallace:
"Jordan Wallace out of Warren Central, another quality player from a quality program, another Indiana guy. Jordan's been our ace recruiter trying to text and facebook. He's the only high school linebacker that we got because we went after a couple of junior college players."
On DL Ralphael Green:
"Big Ralph called me last night and said he appreciated the opportunity. We needed some size. The first word in Big Ten is big and Ralph is a big man. He could be an offensive player, but we see him as a 320-pound d-tackle. He's actually lost weight to be at 320. He'll be a big force inside."
On DL Adam Kranda:
"He's out of New Castle, another in-state Indiana guy, could be a d-end, could be a tight end. He's playing high school tailback and he's easily pushing 6'6, plus he's 240 pounds and benching 335, and he can run. I think you're going to see some range and some speed and you're going to see a quality, quality player. He was one of our earliest commitments. He's in the group, and we're talking Jason Spriggs, kind of playing linebacker and we see him moving up to either being a defensive end or a tight end. We are taking the long, big bodies and moving them in to maybe be a little bit more athletic with our big people."
On DL Nick Mangieri:
"Very comparable to Adam (Kranda). He has a great family, both those guys are coming out of neat families. Nick's brother is a long snapper at the University of Nebraska. It's an athletic family, a great family. We project him as a defensive end, although he and I both know he could be a great tight end. He's going to be an impact defensive player. Another guy with his range, his length, his speed, that will be a valuable special teams player. I'm very excited about the speed of the small guys, but the length and athleticism of some of our big people. It's very, very intriguing. I think our coaches did a great job identifying some guys."
On DL Justin Rayside:
"Our last junior college guy, d-end that's already on campus. A little smaller, but very explosive off the edge. Good speed, high motor and was one of the all-league players out there in the Southern California Junior College League. He had a very impactful season and he's a guy we were on early. With our need at d-end, we were very excited. I think he'll be a great pass rusher for us."
On DL Alex Todd:
"Alex is a big, barrel-chested guy, much like Ralphael Green. They are two big, strong, 300-pound guys that have some natural girth and strength. Even though we got (Adam) Replogle and (Larry) Black, (Nicholas) Sliger and (Mick) Mentzer back, those guys are getting ready to graduate. You've got to get that next crowd ready now, so Ralphael Green and Alex Todd are two big gets for us right here."
On DL Shawn Heffern:
"I put Shawn in that same class with Jason Spriggs, Adam Kranda and Nick Mangieri. Here's a 6'6, 245-pound kid that's rangy. Maybe he's a d-end, maybe he's a d-tackle, maybe he's an o-tackle, but he's an outstanding player. His father was a great player at Notre Dame and again, another player out of Carmel. Somebody to give Coach (Mark) Hagen a little Carmel love in practice everyday. We're very, very excited about Shawn. Great football player from a great program."
On the recruiting process:
"We complimented the region, but to me it always starts with needs. You try to address them, and I don't know that we got them all answered, but we went after it in a good way. Selfishly, maybe another corner, maybe another defensive tackle, maybe another linebacker, but you are not going to get them all. I thought our coaches competed. It was a tough fight. I thought our coaches fought for kids.
"I really respected, and it was a little bit my lead, the angle we took in recruiting. We didn't get into negative things. We didn't talk about other programs. We talked about what we are trying to build. We were very honest that we didn't think our season was close to anything we need and want, and that we've got a lot of work to do. We didn't make any false promises about a player coming here to start.
"We did a great job of not just recruiting talent, but recruiting our core values. We sold the values of what we're trying to attract and how we want to build our program and work, doing things the right way in the classroom, building leaders, building a football team. I think we got a lot of guys that meet the physical needs we want, but I think they fit the needs of what we're looking for and the kind of kid we want to play ball for us at IU."
On what is next:
"I'm going to give the guys a couple of days to catch up with their families and then we'll get back next week. We'll have about a three-week window, starting with some agility work with the guys, some preparation work. We'll start spring ball on March 3, the Saturday before the Purdue (basketball) game. We'll get three practices in before spring break.
"The kids are working hard. They look very good in the weight room and there is a great buzz. Watching them the last couple of days in workouts is pretty exciting. We've got a lot of work to do, but I love what I'm seeing from our young men."