Signing Day Press Conference Transcript
Feb. 6, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Head Coach Bill Lynch
"I'm a little bit of an old-school guy. When I started playing football, on a football staff you had a line coach and backfield coach. That is kind of what we did. We recruited eight linemen, and they all are very, very versatile. Several of them play both ways, and I really think are capable of playing on either side of the ball here, even though we have them kind of penciled in on one side or the other. I think, in our program, we are looking for versatile guys that can fit the right spots. With what is commonly referred to as the skill guys, we signed 10 of those. It is a really athletic, fast group. Even though you break them down into running backs or DBs or wide receivers, you'll see as we go through this, most of them play various places. Of the 10, I believe eight of them are really good track athletes, that have verifiable times, whether it is in the sprints, 200 meters, 400 meters, hurdlers, long jumpers, triple jumpers. So, we really have an athletic group.
"Certainly in that group, are a couple local guys that we worked so hard to get, that we're excited about. Darius Willis, obviously of Franklin Central, that was a big catch for us. Tandon Doss is another one there from Ben Davis. Those, I think, are really, really outstanding athletes out of the Metro area. Darius obviously is a running back, and he is the kind of running back we're looking for, a big, strong, physical kid that you can hand it to, and a guy that can be a punishing type runner that we certainly need. But also, he has got verifiable track times. He is a guy that has an interest in doing that at this level if it would work out. He is a really quality guy.
"Tandon Doss is the same way from over there at Ben Davis. He is a wideout on our board, but he played running back quite a bit there and he has great speed and is a real playmaker. I think because they are from the Indianapolis metropolitan area and many of you have heard about and seen them.
"I really like the quarterback we got, Adam Follett. He is a big, rangy guy with a really good arm. He was at our camp, so we saw him throw in person. It seems like he just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I saw him play basketball last week. I know he is a great rebounder. He had 19 rebounds the night I was there. He has got to work on his free-throw shooting, but he is a good rebounder. He can throw it, and he is athletic. I think that is something we're looking for. It is kind of a unique group in that we have eight lineman, 10 backs and a quarterback, which is right down the line of when we got things started."
On the height of the receivers in the recruiting class:
"Then Tyler Adetona and Charles Love, we got tape on them and were watching them this time last year, and really, wow. Those guys are really good. We had coaches that were going to recruit that area, but we didn't really know them, so until you can develop a relationship with them, you don't know. Gerald Brown, who was recruiting Memphis, did that with Charles, and Bobby Johnson, who was recruiting the Gainesville area, did it with Tyler and got them to come visit. Once they came, we felt like it was a great match, and they enjoyed it. I can't just say we were going out and saying we need this size of wide receivers. We really didn't do that. It just so happened that that is what we found."
On Darius Willis's experience in the spread offense:
On which members of the class will contribute in the coming season:
"An example, one of the things you might look at and say is you had two senior corners and you didn't recruit a true corner. The answer to that is having those bowl practices really helps you because you get the chance to practice, and some of our young guys really kind of jumped out at us playing corner - Donnell Jones, Chris Adkins, Adrian Burks. Some of those young guys who haven't played much, and it was like, `these guys can play.' It wasn't such a pressing need as we've got to get a true corner. So what we did was, we went and got as many good athletes as we could find. Like (Peter) St. Fort, he could be a safety and could play a corner. We have some of those kind of guys. I wouldn't sit here and say this guy is going to play right away, but I think there are some that certainly could. I think opportunity will really present itself in different ways, and you don't know how that will play itself out between now and August. I do think there are kids physical enough and fast enough that they could come in and play."
On Mick Mentzer:
"I think if you would spend your time recruiting where you just chased guys with stars or whatever, you would just be chasing names and bodies. We have a pretty systematic approach to what we are looking for, how we are going to go looking for them and how we are going to recruit them, and we feel good about it. I think we've got to win on Saturdays. I can sit and talk on Feb. 6, and it doesn't mean anything.
"I think over the last couple of years, we've kept the same philosophy in our recruiting and how we've gone about it. I think we've become a better football team and we've got more depth and more speed. That is the approach we've taken. So, if those people don't get those rankings, which I guess is you accumulate the stars, that's what your rank is. I really don't concern myself with it. I'm sure it is a good read, and I think it is great that it creates interest in college football all year round, and I'm all for that.
"I don't think we can concern ourselves with [rankings]. We've got to get the guys that can play for us and help us win. I think you are always looking for the right fit, and each year is a little bit different probably. We never start out the process saying our goal is to finish in this area of the country in recruiting. Our goal is we need so many of this and so many of that, and we want good character kids that can come here and be successful at Indiana. I really doesn't concern me all that much."
On Cortez Smith
On possible additions to the class:
On how technology has affected the difficulty of recruiting:
On recruits attending the team's camp:
"I'm not sure if you are a national recruiting school, you can do as much as we can. And I think that's the beauty of what we're doing. Now from a philosophical standpoint, we like what we are doing in the sense that we are generally going to look to get about two thirds of our class from Big Ten country. If we can get a good number from Indiana, that's where it starts. And then when I say Big Ten country, I mean we want to be good in Chicago and Michigan and we've got great ties in Ohio. And finally, if you take that, where we are recruiting is straight south. We are a little bit in Tennessee and then hard in Atlanta and Florida. It a little bit harder to get the kids from (Georgia and Florida) to come to your camp, but you can certainly get the kids from the Midwest to come."
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