Feb. 6, 2008
Tulane University Head Coach
"Today culminates basically a year of hard work. When we got the job last year, we had three weeks to recruit. Basically what we did was honor the commitments of the previous staff and then we went out and got about another 10 kids on our own. But the thing we really tried to do at that time was we tried to look at juniors, guys that were going to be in the 2008 class. So, we tried to get a start on that and had a year to do it. I think after today, our coaches did a good job. We got a class, and I'm very excited about it. One of the things we did, as you well know, is last summer, we had these satellite camps. It gave us the chance to get around the state, see a lot of coaches, see a lot of football players - players that probably wouldn't have come to our school because of money and distance. And actually, seven of the players we signed in this class were in those camps. So they were really good for us."
On signing the players he wanted
"The NCAA allows you to visit 56 players. We brought in 26 and we signed 19. So I think we did a good job of getting the pool of players down, targeting the ones we wanted and we really went hard after those guys and ended up with a really good percentage. "
On having seven signees from the state of Louisiana
"Obviously, as I mentioned when I first got the job, I want to recruit as many Louisiana kids as I could. I wanted to recruit more kids than we got this year. We ended up only getting seven. No. 1, obviously some of them didn't qualify academically to get into Tulane. No. 2, some of them just weren't interested in Tulane. They were interested in other schools. No. 3, a couple of them changed their minds at the end."
On having several positions represented in the signing class
"Then other thing is you can only get so many players at a position. You can't bring in six, seven quarterbacks for example. There were a lot of good players, but once we got commitments, my thing was, `We're going to move on and get players at other positions.' Some guys just recruit all the best athletes they can. I want to make sure we get guys at all positions, and that's what we did.
On the emphasis of recruiting in 2008
"The one emphasis that we had was linemen. I just never think you can have enough good linemen. So we went after linemen really hard. We signed players at every position except receiver. The reason we didn't do that was we only went after a couple of guys that ended up going to some other schools, and we have a whole bunch of guys coming back. So we didn't go after a whole lot of receivers.
On the demographics of the 2008 signing class
We signed guys from seven different states. We had seven from Louisiana. We had four from Texas, three from California, two from Georgia, one from Alabama, one from Florida and one from Connecticut. Offensively, we signed two quarterbacks, one running back, one fullback, one tight end and three offensive linemen. So we had eight players on offense. We got 11 on defense - five defensive linemen, three linebackers and three defensive backs."
On what the coaching staff does now that signing day is over
"Now, what we're going to do is start preparing for Spring Practice, which will start March 26 and end April 19. I can go over this list if you want, but I think you can read as well as I can. What questions do you have about this recruiting class?"
On his disappointment about not signing some of the guys he recruited
"We went after a couple of receivers, big time receivers, and didn't get them. One went to LSU and one went to Miami. We'll try to get one next year."
On making inroads in the state, despite not getting some of the guys he wanted
"I believe we made a lot of inroads. I think we got to know the coaches better. We had some guys visit that ended up signing scholarships to some big time programs. In the past, from what I understood, they didn't have those guys visit the campus. So, at least they were considering us."
On how his first full schedule recruiting season helped this signing class
"As I mentioned, we actually started last year. We started looking at juniors during these last few weeks we had here to recruit. So we tried to build that relationship and tried to find as many players as we could in the state and talk to as many coaches as we could. I think it paid off. Like I said, I think that and the satellite camps I think were really beneficial."
On if he plans to continue the satellite camps
"I'd like to. If the NCAA allows us to, we definitely will. It doesn't cost the kids money to either fly here or drive here, stay overnight in hotels. It's a lot more economical for them. They get a chance to get to know us, and we get a chance to get to know them. Not only was it good because we saw players, but it was also good because it gave us an opportunity to eliminate guys that were on our list, which saved us time and money down the road."
On if this recruiting class is the first step towards replacing Matt Forté
"Well, I don't know if you replace a Matt Forté. Although he never got any stars after his name in recruiting - whether one star, two stars, three stars - whatever that garbage is. Here's a guy who didn't have any stars and he ended up being one of the great football players ever here. You don't replace a Matt Forté. You hope that some guys can step up to the plate and play well. But he was a great football player. I don't believe we have anybody in this program that has his type of ability, yet we have some players that are outstanding running backs."
On the quarterback situation for 2008
"Well, we wanted to get two. You know Anthony Scelfo is a baseball player. You don't know, he might end up signing pro baseball. Of course (Scott) Elliott is a senior. So we wanted to go after a couple of guys we thought could help us in the future. We also have a guy on campus - Joe Kemp - who I think has a lot of ability and will be given a great opportunity this spring to prove what he can do. But we need more productivity out of the quarterback position. We need to be more accurate. We need to be more efficient."
On how big it was for recruiting to sign seven guys from Louisiana
"Well, I'd like to think it's important, and I'd like to keep as many home as I can. I think it helps in a lot of ways - attendance for one. It will bring a lot more mommas and daddies, and aunts and uncles, and sisters and friends. We need more help from the coaches too. Everybody complained that we didn't recruit Louisiana enough. Well, I think we need some of those coaches to get involved with their players and tell them, `Hey, stay in Louisiana - whether it's LSU or whatever. But don't leave the state. Stay here and play football in this state.' Hopefully, we can get the coached to get those players to do that in the future."
On if his connections to the Pac-10 and California helped recruiting there
"Yes. It was that, plus having been there and having lived there. I lived in Westlake Village where one quarterback, Griffin is from. The kid, Allen, played for Rob Hertel. Rob Hertel played quarterback for us at USC when I was there, and he an assistant coach at Pasadena. Of course, the Blum kid was at Moorpark, and I could hit a wedge over my house into his backyard where he was. I knew about these kids, and we had ties. I didn't particularly want to go to California, but I thought these were three really good academic football players that we could get in, that could help our program. And they were very interested, and that's the reason I went after them. We're not going to actively pursue California unless those kids actively pursue us."