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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

February 2, 2011 at 4:13 PM

Sark bites — Signing Day edition

Here are a few quotes from UW coach Steve Sarkisian from his signing day press conference, as well as a few after the official podium session:

On what kind of players UW was looking at for this class: “I think when you look at this class you see a lot of height, you see a real rangy athlete in this class whether it’s a linebacker or a safety or a defensive end or a wide receiver. We really tried to emphasize a more athletic body type that could run. And hopefully that body type develops into that bigger style that is still athletic and has the speed to go along with it.”

On getting players to fit the 3-4 defense and how that philosophy started to evolve: “I think it started to evolve when we played Hau’oli (Jamora) more, because his comfort level of standing up at times and playing on the edge for him because he wasn’t the biggest guy allowed him to be more effective as the second half of the year went on, especially the alst few ball games, so when we looked at it it felt comfortable with Victor Aiyewa on one side and Hau’oli on the other side, and those are two body types that we can recruit to that could play those two positions andbe really effective that made us a better defense ultimately.”

On Thomas Tutogi potentially filling in for Mason Foster: “He’s very similar (physically to Foster), and to me Mason was really more of an inside backer until we went to our nickel stuff where he played rushing off the edge. Mason and Cort (Dennison) were really our inside guys and Victor our outside guy, so I think Tutogi could fit in one of those two spots, definitely, and Cort could play either of those spots, as well.”

On if he missed not having someone announce on national TV this year: “I don’t, the drama, I don’t need any more drama in my life. I appreciate the fact that we’ve recruited really high character kids that believe in what we are doing and we have developed really strong relationships with and trust with, and if we have to sacrifice that for a little hoopla on signing day that’s okay.”

On doing the major work of recruiting early in getting guys like Kasen Williams and Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the summer: “We pride ourselves on being really good evaluators and putting the time in when we need to and I think it’s fun for people to win signing day. To me what is more important is winning Saturday afternoons in season.”’

On losing a few previous commits today: “However you want to view it, numbers are numbers, you know. … It’s the nature of the game. It is what it is and you win some, you lose some, you win some you really want to win and lose some you realy want to win and you lose some that you didn’t necessarily need to win.”

Overview of the class as a whole: “A very complete recruiting class, one that I think fit a lot of our needs not only for the immediate but for our future moving forward. I think we signed a very athletic class, one that is long, rangy, possesses a lot of speed, and it’s physical. And I think one of the things we have tried to address as a football program as we move forward is our physicality on the field and I think that this class does that. And ultimately these are great kids. They’ve all got high character, they are good students, come from good homes, as we continue to build this program the way we want it, we’ve got to try to bring kids in that possess all the qualities that we want, and most notably the competitive quality.”

On if there was any difference with the expansion to the Pac-12: “I don’t know because the two schools that were added, all of the Pac-10 was already recruiting in those areas, in Utah and Colorado, and those same two schools were already recruiting the same areas we were, as well. So I don’t view it as much that way. I think at the end of the day you try to assemble a team that can be competitive not only in your conference but in your division, and for us right now in our division you better be able to play against speed against Oregon and against power against Stanford. So that means you’d better find really good football players that are multi-versed.”

On winning the battles for the top players in the state: “Those are big wins for us in our opinion, and we are hopefully setting a precedent of what we are about when we are recruiting the state of Washington and hopefully that is a little discouraging to some of these other schools to want to try to come up here and try to recruit against us in our own state.”

On if many signees will play next season: “Hoping not, in a sense that they can really develop themselves, but I think there are a few of these guys I’m going to have a hard time keeping these guys off the field. We’cve always stressed the fact that we are going to play the palyers that give us the best chance to win and be successful and some of these guys might be that — I don’t know that yet. I don’t know if any of us in the room would have thought Hau’oli Jamora would have the impact on our season that he had this year at this point last year so we are going to prepare all of them to play in that first game against Eastern Washington and when we get to that point we will decide who is playing and who is not and who gives us that best chance, but I think there are a few guys here who I am going to have a hard time keeping on the sidelines next to me. There are obviously some obvious ones and it’s pretty clear that Kasen and Austin are going to have their chances to play, maybe a Danny Shelton. But I don’t know that Marvin Hall won’t have a huge impact on returing kicks for us or that a James Sample could step in and be a real nickel guy for us, so without naming them all they all have their chances, but with some of the limitations, like for Austin the tight end position has been one that’s been one and it’s a great opportunity for him to step in and do some things.”

More on potentially using a 3-4 defense more: “We’re going to tinker with it, there’s no doubt, even more this spring. With so much of what’s going on in college football with the spread offense it gives us a little more versatility to do that, it disguises somem of our pressures more and we did more of it toward the end of the year so we are trying to find guys that fit that body type and that style of defense. So we are going to look at it this spring schematically more and then hoefully these guys fan fit into that type of role and be that edge guy for us.”

On UW’s recruiting philosophy: “We sell who we are as people and we don’t change. Who we are is who we are — we are very real, we are candid, we are up front, we are honest and that doesn’t change from player to player or family to family or in state to out of state. That’s who we are. The advantage to players in state is that they get a chance to see that, how we are in practice and how we are in the office is the same way I am in their living room or the same way I am in our own kids and our own family and then they get around our players and our players can give them that as well.”

On players changing schools after giving commitments: “It’s the nature of the beast right now. This is the landscape of college football in recruiting and college football. Do I think it’s perfect? No. But if you are not playing the game you are getting beat, so you’ve got to continue to battle. The recruiting process never ends. Some of the guys you feel like are entrenched into your program and you feel great about are the same guys wavering the night before signing day. So it’s challenging, and I don’t think the process is perfect by any means right now and I think there might be some things we could fix or change to help that aspect of it, but at the end of the day in my opinion the verbal commitment, when they make it to us we are committed to them and hopefully they are committed back to us. But there is nothing binding about it and that is the hardest part in dealing with this. You’ve got to continue to recruit and recruit other players that are out there but at the end of the day you’ve got to continue to recruit your own players that are committed to you because if you don’t, somebody else is and you can lose them.”
On if it’s weird to recruit guys committed to other schools: “It’s not weird to me because the same guys are still recruiting our guys.”

On the QB situation with Antavius Sims and Derrick Brown in the mix: “Obviously for Keith (Price) and Nick (Montana), spring football is going to be big for them. They are going to get 15 practices where we can really focus on their skills and let them work through this process, and I think they will make each other better.. I think there will be opportunity for Derrick and Antavius to come in and show who they are at the quarterback position. Probably an easier question to answer after the 15 practices of spring ball where we are at the quaerterback spot. I do think Antavius has some special and unique qualities to the position that whether he is a fulltime regular quarterback or not I’m not sure but he could be a guy we could use in some special situations because he really does possess some unique qualities at that spot.”

On the impact of the Holiday Bowl win on recruiting: “I don’t know if the Holiday Bowl win was a make or break for us. I think it was better for our own culture within and our own community within than it was outside of here. It’s a building block for us of what we can hopefully expect when we get into bowl game situations. But I don’t know if it had a direct effect on any of these kids that ‘boy, they won that game so that’s where I need to go.’ I don’t think kids ultimately think that way.”

On John Timu enrolling: “Yeah, I’m excited to see him. He’s a kid we signed last year as an athlete-safety type and was a high school quaerterback and injured his knee his senior year and has come back and has really lit everyone on fire. He’s got the same feelling when Deontae Cooper stepped on campus. The infectious attitude,m the work ethic, his ability in workouts to do everything he is doing, John Timu has had that same feeling on campus. He is already up to 225 pounds, he’s a fantastic athlete, so he’s a guy we are excited to see. Exactly where he is going to fit remains to be seen, could be a guy who does multiple things for us, but just glad he’s here.

On Brown potentially punting: “Oh yeah, he’ll be punting with us this fall. We’ll still have (Will) Mahan, still have (Kiel) Rasp and have Derrick as well.”



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