Wednesday February 2, 2011Will Muschamp Signing Day Quotes
Florida football head coach Will Muschamp announced the 2011 recruiting class at the press conference on Wednesday, Feb. 2.
COACH MUSCHAMP: Thank you very much. Great to be here. How are you all doing? Real pleased with the 18 signees for today. The Gators got better today. Excited about bringing these young men into our program in a short period of time.
Recruiting is all about developing relationships and trust, and it's tough to do that in a short period of time. Recruiting has changed so much over the years. You're starting to recruit guys when you see guys coming their sophomore, junior seasons. You start recruiting. You're building that relationship for a year, two and three years.
And to come in in the short term, we did a nice job of securing the class we had, which we had to re‑recruit all of those guys because of all of the changes, the mass changes with our staff. And the staff did a nice job of securing those guys. Just really pleased with what we had, and Urban [Meyer] and his staff did a great job with those guys that were already committed to the university. And then coming back and supplementing some other guys to our football team.
We'll know about this entire class in two or three years, and I'm going to say the same thing next year. In two or three years, we'll know about what kind of class this was. Not today. Today's not the day to judge anything we do, and you can put that in your tape recorder because I'm going to say the same thing next year.
Football's a developmental game. We have an outstanding strength staff and an outstanding coaching staff. It's our job, when we get these young men on campus, is to develop them on and off the field to be good football players and good citizens and good students of the University of Florida. That's what we plan on doing.
We have a smaller senior class for next season. So I didn't feel like at the end of the process, to make an emotional decision in offering guys that I didn't think could play at, on or off the field, a championship level at the University of Florida. And I'd rather have held those scholarships to the next season to give our staff a whole year to evaluate and recruit.
We could have signed 25 initials, and I held it at 18 there with some other possibilities. But excited about that, our signing class coming in. I'll open it up for any questions you may have.
Q. Will, would you talk about the importance of the kids you got in here early and how they've responded to the coaching staff and everything like that. Because most of those kids were recruited by Urban. So you've kind of had to start relationships with them as well.
COACH MUSCHAMP: I had a week, really four days ‑‑ actually, three days. When I first took that job that Monday, Tuesday we had the press conference. I was unable to see any recruits. Wednesday, Thursday, and a half day Friday to work on the midyear recruits because some of them had taken their visits to Florida and had never met me. So I had to get in those homes immediately and was seeing three and four young men during the day during that period and that time.
So we have seven midyears that are in here: Jeff Driskel, A.C. Leonard, Javares McRoy, Mike Blakely, Pop Saunders, Clay Burton, and Kyle Christy. All of those young men are doing really well. Coming midyear is great from the standpoint of you're getting way ahead academically, and also from a football standpoint, you're able to go through spring ball.
Academically, it's not as hectic. It's not like you're coming in in the fall when the season's on and there's a lot on your table. You're able to have a slowed process. Going through the off‑season program, learning how to work, learning how to work at a championship level. And then getting in at spring ball and understanding the schemes and the different things we ask you to do.
It's huge to get a guy midyear, but they have to be totally into it because they're not going to be able to go to the prom. They're not going to be able to do some of the things your senior year of high school, it's a great time in your life. You have to be all in to want to do this. It's an exciting time in their lives.
Q. Will, can you talk about the secondary guys that you brought in and give us your assessment.
COACH MUSCHAMP: Really excited about bringing the guys we brought in. Of course, Marcus Roberson sent in as a corner this morning. We've got more length at the corner position. Loucheiz Purifoy is a similar athlete, excited about him, great athleticism, ball skills down the field, man coverage skills. Great athlete.
Valdez Showers is a guy from Michigan, a guy, when you turn his tape on, he's got great highlights as a running back. We're going to play him at defensive back but as a bigger bodied defensive back. Shows all the critical aspects of being a successful player.
Pop Saunders played quarterback in high school. I really like recruiting defensive backs that have played quarterback because they have to make critical decisions. And the critical decisions you make on the back end sometimes can cost you a football game. I like the fact this guy has had to make decisions with the ball in his hands, and I really like his athleticism in the few days we've been able to watch the workouts.
Chris Johnson from Trinity is a very physical player, in the box safety. He's shown skills to play outside in the deep part of the field. And Jabari Gorman is a guy that's been able to do a lot of things. Played some receiver down at Pace. He's a very versatile player that can do a lot of different things. He can play nickel. He can play corner. He can play safety. But we recruited him as a safety to come in and contribute for us.
Q. I was wondering if you could talk about what Ja'Juan Story brings, what you like about him. And Hunter Joyer as well. And also with Ja'Juan, how concerned were you that he might be wavering a little bit?
COACH MUSCHAMP: You're always concerned about wavering until you get that form in. Until you actually get that in these days, it's always a concern. Ja'Juan is a bigger receiver. He's going to be a tough matchup with a smaller corner. He's a guy that can vertically stretch the field. He's got great ball skills down the field, very athletic. Again, played quarterback most of high school. He's electric with the ball in his hands, but he's a guy that's shown really nice ball skills down the field.
Hunter Joyer, we're going to get back to more traditional as far as running two‑back runs. And he's got a lower body punch and explosion. He's a very strong young man. He lives in the weight room, and we're excited to what he brings to our football team from a toughness standpoint.
Q. Will, how much did the early enrollees help you as far as getting the guys you signed today?
COACH MUSCHAMP: Well, I think all of our players helped as far as ‑‑ that's part of the huge recruiting process when a young man comes on a visit. They're going to ‑‑ the first person they're going to ask is the players. That's part of the transition process that is hard. What is Coach Muschamp like? I don't know. I've only known him for ten days.
So that is part of the process that's difficult in a transition standpoint of getting to know the players, the players getting to know us. And not just me, but the entire staff, position coaches, operations people. I mean, all of those things changed. So that was ‑‑ that's part of the process. That's what you work through. Again, pleased with what we've got.