Feb. 4, 2009
The following is a partial transcript of Bill Lynch's Signing Day Press Conference. Click here for full audio from the press conference.
"This was a good day for us with the group that we signed. Quite a few of the commitments we got last spring and early summer, and we felt good that we were able to hold onto them. It is a very, very good group of football players, some outstanding students and we were able to cover all of the positions that we were looking for. I think that is a key in recruiting. There are a lot of really good football players out there, but you only have so many slots at so many positions. We felt like we were able to fill some of the needs we have, particularly in the last couple of weeks. We were able to fill some linebacker and fullback type slots that we felt we were missing.
"We're happy that we were able to get the kids from the state of Indiana. Really, it was an outstanding year in the state, and I think it shows up in where some of the other guys in the state committed. To be able to get eight of them, that is a good day for us because we certainly want to start here at home and do the best we can in the state. We also had a good year in Ohio. Ohio is an important state to us in the sense that our staff has great background in the state of Ohio. So many of them played high school football, coached high school football and coached college football there, so there are a lot of relationships that they've built. Obviously, it is a very good football state, and we had five from there. We got a couple of good kids out of the Chicagoland area, as well as couple out of the greater Detroit area. Then you add Colin Rodkey from over in western Pennsylvania. So, we signed 18 and feel really good about all of them."
On Lawrence Barnett:
"We're really excited to get Lawrence. He had a tremendous junior year, and he was recruited by a lot of really good programs. Fort Wayne has been a really good town traditionally for us. "
On Ted Bolser:
"Ted Bolser is the kind of tight end we're looking for. He is tall, he runs well and he has good ball skills. He is similar to Max Dedmond. He is really athletic and can do a lot of different things. I've seen him play basketball, he is very athletic there. He is an outstanding lacrosse player."
On Dimitrius Carr:
"He is another guy from a great high school football program. Mount Carmel out of Chicago is a traditional power program. Frank Lenti has done a tremendous job there for a lot of years, and a lot of guys have gone on and played major college football as well as in the NFL. He was a safety that we projected as a linebacker and he played linebacker this year and had an outstanding year. He is going to get bigger, but he runs very well."
On Charlie Chapman:
"He is in the mold of the kind of offensive lineman we're looking for. He is a big, tall guy that is very athletic. He is not playing basketball right now, but he has played in his career, and I can see where he could do it. He is all of 6-6 and all of 280. He is a big, physical guy and will probably play tackle for us."
On Jamonne Chester:
"Jamonne is an outstanding athlete. Redford Covenant is a very small private school, and his mother and grandmother are getting him across town every day to get him to school. He is a really good football player, and being from a small school, he does a little bit of everything. He is a receiver, but he played quarterback and defense. He also plays basketball. He is a big physical guy. If he is 193 now, he is going to be 215 to 220."
On Javon Cornley:
"This is a good looking athlete. His brother plays basketball at Penn State. I don't think Javon is going to be as broad as Jamelle, but he really runs well. He is going to get bigger and better. He is the pass rushing guy that we were looking for, and we feel fortunate to get him."
On Griffen Dahlstrom:
"Griffen is the latest addition that we had. We've known him since he was a freshman and sophomore in high school. North Putnam is a small 2A school. He has done everything there, he played quarterback, full back, running back, linebacker, defensive back. He absolutely does it all."
On Mitch Ewald:
"He is really good. He is not a very big guy, but he can kick it. Over the summer, he was at our camp, and he was kicking in Mellencamp Pavilion. Man, he can flat kick it with great hang time, so we knew we wanted him."
On Dusty Kiel:
"Dusty is everything you look for in a quarterback. He is a great competitor. He is a very good passer. He is a good runner, he is physical and he is a leader. He is a quarterback and football is important to him."
On Pat McShane:
"Pat McShane is another big physical offensive lineman. Bobby Johnson is from that area and has known about him for a long time. He did a great job recruiting him. He is going to be a good fit for us here as well."
On Aaron Price:
"He is going to be a very good football player. He played everywhere at South, and he is probably going to be an inside guy for us. He is a physical guy and a great student. He is a competitor, and we're excited to have him."
On Adam Replogle:
"His motor runs just like his brother's. I don't think there is anyone that works harder than Tyler Replogle, and Adam is the same. Adam is just a much bigger guy. He is really physical. He is big, thick defensive lineman. They played him some at fullback in short yardage situations, and he would be a load."
On Colin Rodkey:
"Colin Rodkey is from Gateway High School, and Gateway was number two or three in the national high school poll for most of the year, and then they got beat in their championship game. Colin was the offensive tackle. He is a guy that we competed with some really good schools over."
On Damon Sims:
"Damon had been on campus when we recruited his brother coming out. He played primarily tight end, and he played linebacker this fall. When we watched him play at linebacker, he jumped right out at you. We think he is going to be an impact guy. He can really run and hit you."
On Nick Turner:
"He is fast. He is fast on fast and his track times hold up. There was a point where he was concentrating on track, and he didn't play his junior year in high school. He got a little bit under the radar because of that, but he came back this year and showed real toughness. He carried the ball 40 times against Pike. Pike is a really good football team that is going to hit you. That takes a lot of toughness."
On Duwyce Wilson:
"Duwyce is the other half of the Columbus East show. He has great speed. He can go up and get a ball, he can run after the catch. He is going to get bigger. He is kind of a slight guy. He is going to fill out to be a big guy."
On Edward Wright-Baker:
"Edward and Dusty Kiel both come out of the same conference, so they've both competed against each other a lot. We like that competitiveness. We look forward to them competing against each other here. They both played in the spread. Edward is probably a little bit faster than Dusty, but they both are very good passers and they both are very good runners."
On Nick Zachery:
"This guy was a very good high school quarterback as well. I think he was something like 64-4 in his high school career. They got beat in the state championship game this year, or they would've won four straight. He is going to be a big guy. He is a physical presence. We're going to play him at safety, but he could play just about anywhere other than offensive line or defensive line."
On the recruiting of Lawrence Barnett after his injury:
"I don't know where we were but it was Kyle Connor that was recruiting him who got word that night that he was hurt. We assured Lawrence right away that he could go when he got here at Indiana, because he had surgery right away, but you could tell that he was into recovery from day one. What I think got him going goal-wise is that he was going to try and be back by the state championship game if they got there in football. Now I don't think he would have ended up making it, or been released to play but that was his goal to start out."
On which recruits might play as true freshmen:
"The one thing that I am always reluctant right now to say is, `I can see this guy playing next year or that guy.' That's why it was a little easier to say it for Ewald because there is no physical hold up. The best kicker is going to kick, whereas at any other position you are going to learn technique, assignment, that sort of thing.
"But I would say with Lawrence, his physicality will be there right away. He is a physical guy and we tell them in recruiting you come prepared to play - if you are the best you are going to play, and if you aren't that's when we're going to redshirt you. And our records show that we are going to play 2, 3, 4 guys and redshirt the rest of them. But I think that is always hard right now to figure out who that is going to be. Because the adjustment to college football, staying healthy through camp, all of those things are factors as well."
On how Edward Wright-Baker's commitment helped the process:
"You get somebody that the other kids know and all of a sudden guys start jumping on. And at any time you can start getting early commitments whether it be late spring, early summer, mid-summer - so many of them now it seems want to make a commitment before the start of their high school practices, which is the first of August. It seems like they are going to make their decision then or wait until the season is over. They don't really make their decision during the season, which is how it used to be.
"So we really thought all along that we were going after the right guys and we felt like they had given interest - when you get a kid on your campus several times I think that shows an interest on their part because it is all unofficial - so they have to make the commitment. We thought that we had real quality guys on campus and eventually they would start falling in, and they fell in quick over the summer, but I can't really remember who went first and who went last, because overall I really think it is a group."
On whether the emphasis was on finding athletes or filling positions:
"It was probably a little different in the sense that we knew we needed more offensive linemen and defensive linemen and then we go from there. I think we may have gone through this thing without taking a tailback if Nick Turner didn't come on the way he did, which we got. [Jamonne] Chester and Duwyce [Wilson] we wanted, and we wanted a tight end. For the most part we were trying to fill throughout the roster.
"You always want more, but we only have those 25 scholarships that we can give. Next year, we will probably have more that we will be able to give because we have more seniors next year than we had this year."
On whether the North End Zone's development is making it easier to sell:
"I think with each step it gets easier but it is really going to sell at the end of this summer. For instance, for us there is a real wow factor, but I think that for these 17-year-old kids it is still a lot of concrete - all of those bells and whistles aren't there yet, so that's coming.
"I think parents can really see it, but I think that our staff has done a tremendous job with recruitment: we've got a young, energetic staff of guys that know what about recruiting is important and they really, really work at it. And I think they have developed great relationships with kids, coaches, parents, and I think that is the whole key to recruiting.
"You have to have a great product to sell, and Indiana University sells itself. Particularly when we get families on this campus and they see what we do here in terms of an academic standpoint and they feel, especially those who haven't been to Bloomington before, they feel the support that is here, the facility is here, the bells and whistles are here. But I really think that our staff does a really good job of going out, working hard and getting them on campus. You don't have a chance if you can't get them on campus. That's the key to the whole thing."
On the importance of getting in-state players:
"We are Indiana University, and there is great football being played in the state, great high school football, great coaching, some outstanding players. That's where we want to start it off. They have got to be good enough to play Big Ten football for you - I mean that is important, you just can't take them all. So those decisions have to be made, and I think without a doubt that we want to build this thing with Indiana kids.
"You go back over the last few years and I think we have done a better job with all of the guys from the state, in all different positions. But again, when you go through and see where some of the kids from this state went this past year - we had Junior Day a year ago where we just had the top Juniors from the state come here and, it was a Saturday or Sunday and we had a basketball game, it was just this past week that we were on the road and I got out that list of the kids that were at that Junior Day and the number of guys that we got. And the ones that we didn't, looking now at where they are going, which I think shows the quality of the football here, and the schools are in here, recruiting kids out of Indiana, so we are competing against a lot of people coming in here recruiting, a lot more than it used to be. So we are certainly where we want to start, and certainly a good number for us."
On not signing as many players from outside the immediate area:
If you are going to ask me a philosophy - it never holds up exactly. But if you look at our roster it is fairly close, this year got a little bit out of whack, but I would like to have a third of the guys in our new class from Indiana, another third or a few more from what I call Big Ten Country, really the surrounding states, Chicago country, Michigan, Ohio. You can count St. Louis in there, or down along the river in Louisville or something. But for the most part they are surrounding states and western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh.
"And the other third can come from areas outside, and the two areas that we are in quite a bit from a recruiting stand point are the Atlanta area, Georgia and Florida a little bit, but we didn't take anybody from there - and the reason is that we didn't have that many scholarships. Now lets say in a year, we can get 25, that third would look a little bit different, and if we could still get seven or eight out of Indiana, then the recruiters down south would have a chance to get some more.
"You fill up so fast with Midwest kids because they are the ones that get here first, on unofficial visits and all of that. With that being said we were very fortunate to have 16 commitments early so that the guys down south can keep recruiting, keep recruiting, keep developing those relationships - because a year from now we are going to have scholarships available and that is where they are going to come from."