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UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS MEDIA CONFERENCE
February 4, 2015
COACH BEATY:¬† Welcome here today.¬† I hope you enjoy the things we're going to talk about.
A couple of things I want to touch base on before we get started showing the guys we were able to add to our class.¬† Number one, our staff.¬† I want to say a big thank you to our staff, not just our nine full‑time assistants, but all of the support staff.¬† It truly takes a village to do what we have to do to be able to bring guys to this program.
There were people in the academic area, there were people in the support areas.¬† There were people on the front lines in planes, trains and automobiles that worked their tails off to make this day happen for a lot of these young men.¬† Our staff, I can't say enough about how hard they worked, their work ethic, the lack of sleep they had.¬† Their faces all look a little bit worn right now.¬† They need a little bit of time off.¬† They really did a great job.
I knew those men before we got started so I knew I could expect nothing less.¬† But I'll tell you, I'm just more pleased than ever with the effort that they gave in this class and the work they did over the last couple weeks.¬† As you know, we were behind a tad bit when we got here.
Any success that came with this class has everything to do with those people, those people.¬† I want us to all understand that.
Talking specifically about our class, generally about our class, we signed 24 kids today.¬† We obviously, just like a lot of teams in the country, addressed a lot of needs that we had with those signings.
A couple of things that stick out to us is we needed to provide some much‑needed depth and we were able to do that at a lot of positions for us in the signing class today.
I think overall we improved our overall team profile.¬† We said we needed to improve our profile from a length perspective as well as a speed perspective because in this league it's a long, fast league now.¬† We know that we have to be able to recruit to that to be able to compete.¬† We felt like we did a good job of staying in line with that philosophy.
The other thing that I was very proud of us that we found the right guys.¬† I talked to you a little bit earlier about finding men that kind of fit the Kansas way.¬† As we went through this process, I think the thing I'm most proud of is that our coaches did not let athletic ability get in the way of just taking a guy because he's that good.¬† He had to be good and he had to be a Kansas guy.¬† He had to be a guy that fit what we were looking for.¬† If he didn't, we had to be courageous enough to turn the page.
I'm really excited about the guys we've signed today.¬† I know they were excited and we are certainly excited about that.
I'll be able to answer a few questions after we're done.¬† I know you want to get a look at these guys.
We'll start our signing class off.¬† We'll start with Dorance Armstrong from Houston, Texas.¬† That school has produced quite a few great players in its time.¬† I am extremely excited about this guy.¬† Plays defensive end.¬† Guy has a terrific first step, grace, burst, does a terrific job in the run game.¬† You don't see that a lot of times out of defensive ends on the high school level.
This guy is a very long guy who already has a good amount of weight on him.¬† He's around 230 right now.¬† This guy is a guy that can probably get to 260 and still run, which is something we'd love to be able to see him do.¬† We were really fired up about this guy.¬† He was not an easy get.¬† There were a lot of people in America interested in him.
Terrific first step, great hands u good instincts, is able to get guys to the ground, does a great job of rolling his hips as he gets through the tackle.¬† He's one of the best players on their basketball team.¬† He's doing a heck of a job for a really good basketball team right now.¬† Dorance Armstrong is a guy we're excited about.
Shola Ayinde staying in the Houston area down there.¬† This kid is a tremendous talent.¬† We're excited about him obviously for a number of reasons.¬† Number one, he can run.¬† Number two, he's long.¬† Falls in line with the things we were talking about.¬† Guy has terrific instincts.¬† He's always around the ball.¬† That's something that we were looking for.
As you looked at his tape, you saw a lot of passes broke up, which is not something that is uncommon when you see teams play a lot of man coverage.¬† He has done that.¬† He's played a lot of bump‑n‑run in his time.¬† We're going to man up and put some pressure on the quarterback at times.
That guy has to be able to play on an island out there.¬† It helps if he's done that before.¬† He's played against some top‑notch prospects down in that area, some of which I recruited.¬† I know what type of talent this kid possesses.¬† We're excited about his ability to play defensive back, but he can help us in the return game as well.
Very good‑looking kid.¬† Long and fast.¬† Exactly how we like him.¬† Can cover.¬† Very competitive.¬† You'll get to see that on tape.¬† He's always around the ball and he seems to be always making plays which is something we were looking for when we were looking for corners, guys that could break up passes.
Next D'Andre Banks.¬† A big old lineman that we signed out of Trinity Valley.¬† He's already here.¬† A midyear kid.¬† This kid is a very interesting guy.¬† He's a very versatile guy.¬† We think he can definitely play guard, which he's played a lot of in junior college, but he also we know he can snap the ball and can play center.¬† If we needed him to, we felt he could step out there to the tackle spot.¬† He's played all five positions in his time.¬† He's an extremely smart kid.
His dad is a college football player, played at Purdue.¬† The thing I love about this guy is his work ethic.¬† He is a guy that came into junior college a little bit overweight.¬† He worked like crazy to get that weight under control.¬† He's continuing to do that here.¬† I think he's going to bring a lot to our team, more than what he can do football‑wise because I think he's a really good leader and he's going to help us move forward with the group and teach them how to work, which is something we certainly needed in this class as well.
Next, Bazie Bates.¬† He comes to us from a junior college, Trinity Valley.¬† This guy is a talented guy.¬† Watch this dude run on tape.¬† He can get downhill in that alley.¬† When he gets there, for some reason he's in a really bad mood.¬† He does a good job of putting his face on guys.¬† He gets to the ball in a hurry and makes things happen.
There's a lot of different clips, we weren't able to put all of them on here, but this guy causes a lot of turnovers because where he puts his hat and his hands at the contact point.¬† Emphasis on stealing possessions.¬† Having people that understand the value of creating turnovers and creating that type of environment.¬† This guy can do it because he can run and he knows where to put his hat and he knows how to tackle.¬† We're excited about him for a lot of good reasons.
Next guy, Jeremiah Booker, College Station, Texas.¬† I had him in camp a couple times when I was down there at A&M. ¬†This guy is a tremendously talented dude.¬† He can really run.¬† He's got great length, which in our league, if you start looking now at some of the more successful receivers, they have length.¬† Not only in our league, but throughout the country.¬† This guy has that.
He does a really good job of releasing off the ball.¬† He's been coached really well at that school.¬† That was important to us.¬† We knew how he'd been coached and we knew he was a little bit ahead of the curve there.¬† He was a guy sought after by a number of schools.¬† He was not an easy get.¬† I will say this, we are excited about having him.¬† He can make plays.¬† Should be able to help us down by the red zone with his length.¬† Really fast guy with his size.¬† Excited about him.
Next guy up is Jackie Dezir, from Chicago, Illinois.¬† We got him at the midyear.¬† You'll see him lined up in the middle a lot.¬† He's a very versatile guy, can line up outside, but can also line up in a three technique and on the nose at times.¬† Probably a little bit quicker than the guys his size in the interior which I think is going to certainly help us.
He does a really nice job of finding the ball.¬† He doesn't stay blocked, which is something you want in a defensive lineman.¬† But he also ties up blockers in the run game which helps his backers make plays a lot of times.¬† That's an art that's lost nowadays.¬† Sometimes we have to tie a couple guys up so the backer can make a play.¬† If you watch his whole tape, you'll see him do that throughout his time there.
This guy is a junior college guy that can come in and help us pretty much immediately.¬† We really need him to.¬† I've enjoyed getting to know him already.¬† He's got a great personality.¬† I think he's going to help our team in a lot more ways than just on the field.
Next guy, Denzel Feaster, who is a guy that impersonally very excited about.¬† I know you hear me say that a bunch about all these guys.¬† This kid's a guy we found late.¬† I got to take my hat off to Coach Klint Kubiak.¬† Went through every little school in central Texas you can imagine.¬† He found a guy that had been playing quarterback his entire career, except for his last five games.¬† How do you find a 6'2", 210 guy laying around there at this time of year?¬† He played quarterback his entire career until his last five games.¬† Nobody else went in there except for Klint.¬† He talked to the coach.¬† He called me, I got a guy that I feel strongly about.
Klint is a young guy.¬† That was his way of standing on the table.¬† He sent me the video.¬† I took a look at it.¬† This guy has instincts.¬† He will come downhill and he will knock the fire out of you which is something you can either get them to do or you can't.¬† Either got it or he doesn't.¬† He puts his head on the ball.¬† He doesn't even know what he's doing there yet.
I'm excited about what the future looks like for him.¬† He was here last weekend.¬† The thing I loved about him is when we offered him the scholarship, he shed a tear.¬† He wants to be here.
Aaron Garza, Sherman, Texas.¬† Aaron was a guy that was committed when we got here.¬† He is a guy that was committed to Texas for a long time, then the previous staff was able to get him away from those guys, get him up there.¬† I thought our staff, Reggie Mitchell, Clint Bowen, did a nice job of keeping him committed. ¬†He was not a guy that people left alone.
In this tape you're going to see him.¬† He was about 6'3", about 340, when he started a couple years ago.¬† This guy has trimmed down.¬† He's around 295 pounds, up to about 6'4".¬† I'm excited about Aaron.¬† Work ethic guy.¬† Has been coached by a really good football coach.¬† I know what we're getting in Aaron and I'm excited about him adding to our offensive line.¬† It was an area of need for us.
I think he's a versatile guy.¬† Played some tackle, also some interior positions.¬† That excites me because he can play more than one position for us.¬† Very big, very strong.¬† He gets his hands on you, hard to get off of him.¬† When we continue to improve his feet, I think he can help us as we go down the line here.
Next guy is already on campus.¬† His name is Chase Harrell.¬† Chase comes from the Houston area.¬† I've recruited Chase for a long, long time.¬† He's been to a camp with me for the last three years.¬† I've known him since he was a pup.¬† Had a guy at Texas A&M that Chase reminds me, reminds me of Mike Evans.¬† He has a lot of similar qualities in the way he's built, the way he moves at a young age.
He does a really good job of playing that ball at the highest point.¬† He has got really good speed for a guy this big.¬† He is a really big kid.¬† The thing that I think is going to be the challenge for us with Chase is just like it was with Mike, not letting him get too big.¬† He could get big in a hurry.¬† Man, he's a great kid.
I'm excited about him being here because he's going to bring a lot to our program.¬† He's enrolled, already working out.¬† We're going to be able to use him in the spring.¬† The guy can run for a dude that tall.¬† He's definitely going to help us.
Next guy is a runningback, Ke'aun Kinner.¬† A lot of you know about Ke'aun, some of you don't.¬† I want to say he was the national junior college Player of the Year.¬† The guy is a talented dude.¬† Won a lot of awards.¬† He can really run the football.¬† His vision is as good a thing as I've seen around in this position.
Great burst, his top‑end speed is something we really liked.¬† He was finishing runs, finishing in the end zone.¬† Scored a bunch of touchdowns from a long way away.¬† In college football in this day and age, you got to score when you can.¬† You don't need to snap the ball again.¬† The way you do that is by addressing your team speed, getting guys that can finish plays when they get a crease.
The thing I love about this guy is everybody talks about his work ethic, what a great kid he is.¬† He doesn't say a whole lot.¬† I'm excited about him being here.¬† Got him here in the spring, we can get him going.
Next guy, Reggie Mitchell did a great job.¬† Guy has been around for a while.¬† Knows what a great runningback looks like.
Taylor Martin out of Fort Worth, Texas. ¬†Taylor was another guy that was extremely hard to hold on to.¬† A lot of people sniffing around on him late down there.¬† I thought our coaches did a really nice job.¬† Had a terrific time meeting with him and his family.¬† A great, great family we met with down there.
This kid is a very talented, fast, explosive guy.¬† Another guy with terrific vision.¬† I think he's change of direction is extremely good.¬† He does a great job of stopping and starting and getting to a high level of speed really quickly which allows him to finish runs.¬† He's a track guy who posted some extremely fast track times.
If you look at him on tape, you might think he's not a very big guy.¬† Stand in his living room, this dude is a pretty big dude.¬† He's put together.¬† He's got good size on him.¬† I'm not sure 5'10" does him justice.¬† He has length and certainly has weight on him.¬† The dude can fly.¬† We keep talking about length and speed.¬† Those are things we were trying to address in the class, all right?
Next up, in the Dallas, Texas area, Arlington, Clyde McCauley, 6'5", 275, skinny as a rail.¬† A big, big boy.¬† This kid was committed to another place and he chose us this weekend.¬† We're excited about him being here.¬† Talking about a really big frame.¬† This guy has a chance to be a big, big dude.¬† He is really skinny.¬† I can't wait to get Coach Jackson with him and get him to our training table because I think this guy can be a giant.¬† I think we can build his body the way we want it to be built.
He has great feet.¬† Does a great job with his point of contact, rolling his hips.¬† Once that kid's technique improves, I think the sky is the limit.¬† High work ethic guy, some of the things we were looking for when we were out there on the road.
Next guy, going back to the secondary, got a DB that Coach Mitchell found late in the process for us.¬† We had some issues that we had to address in the secondary, one of them was at the corner spot.¬† He found a kid named Tyrone Miller out of Michigan.¬† Grabbed him late, got him down here last week on a visit.¬† He was committed to other place.
Reggie went out there and did what he had to do.¬† Tyrone is another guy that is a six‑foot‑plus kid that runs extremely well.¬† You can see on the tape he has some skills other than just playing DB.¬† He can help us in the return game.¬† If he gets the ball in his hands on turnovers, he has the opportunity to turn it into picks six.¬† We don't want to snap it again if we don't have to.
This guy can really run, great cover skills.¬† He's long.¬† Guys have a hard time getting off press coverage on this dude.¬† He's done it a lot which gives us a little bit of a head start when he gets here.¬† Played man coverage already.¬† I'm excited about Tyrone.¬† This guy brings a lot of athleticism to our football team.¬† Love his demeanor, work ethic.¬† Love the work that Reggie Mitchell did with him there.
Next up, Emmanuel Moore, from the Dallas‑Fort Worth area.¬† As you watch the tape, all he does is score touchdowns.¬† He has terrific balance.¬† As I watched the tape, one of the things I love about this guy is he catches the ball in his hands away from his body, he runs extremely well.¬† He's.
Built like a runningback at six foot plus, and runs like a runningback after he catches the ball, which is something we really need around here, guys that can do more than just catch it.¬† We need guys that can extend the play.¬† He can go deep.¬† He's got good ball skills.¬† He's relatively new to that position.¬† Looking forward to Coach Kubiak getting his hands on him.
Next guy, we have some really good names in this class.¬† This kid, what a great kid to be around, Osaze Ogbebor.¬† What a great kid, out of Heritage High School from Frisco.¬† Lots of great players up there.¬† This kid came on a visit, we offered him a scholarship, he committed to us.¬† Right after that there were a bunch of schools up there trying to get him away from us.
I have to take my hat off to the kid and coach because they hung in there strong with us.¬† Good‑sized kid, six‑foot, 215 pound guy, still thin to be honest with you.¬† He can run and he will strike you.
The thing I really like about Osaze is that a lot of linebackers at that level, they will run around blocks a lot of times.¬† He will put his hands an offensive lineman, shoot his hands and shed him.¬† You can't run around blocks in college because if you do you're creating a crease.¬† He's around the ball a lot, has a nose for it.¬† Fine addition to our defense.
Next guy, another junior college guy that we found, Marnez Ogletree.¬† He's from Lawrenceville, Georgia, been out at Fullerton College in California.¬† First guy to sign in our class today.¬† He was fired up when he called me about 5:05 this morning.¬† Long, range I guy, has done it in college.¬† That's one thing we can't give them is college experience, and he's got it.
All of these corners that are coming in here, they have arms that are extremely long.¬† We want them to be able to touch the walls as they stand in this room.¬† Those guys have long arms.¬† We want them to be hard to get around in man coverage.¬† He's played man coverage a lot.
He's also been a very valuable part of the return game.¬† The guy can really run.
Once again, he really helps us because he's played the game before at a collegiate level.¬† He has a high football IQ.¬† The guy can help us in special teams, which is an area we need and we need guys to be explosive in that area.¬† I'm really excited about him.
Next guy on the list, another junior college guy, qualifier guy.¬† Came to us by way of Blinn College.¬† Blinn has been very good to us.¬† This kid was a guy we found late when we were fishing down around there for O‑line men.¬† He's 6'4", 285.¬† Probably closer to 6'5" now.¬† We had him on his official visit a couple weeks ago.¬† Saw him this morning.¬† This is a big dude, a really big guy.¬† A guy that is that big, that can move that well, I'll be honest, I was shocked that he was still available when we got to him.
This guy is a guy that can play every one of those five positions.¬† You keep hearing me say that.¬† We want some flexibility up front.¬† We think he can be a tackle for us.¬† We think he can play the left tackle if we needed him to.¬† He's played in the interior at both guards.¬† He also can snap the ball.¬† Another good‑sized guy that's flexible and can play a lot of positions.¬† Love this dude.¬† Great personality.¬† He's going to help our team.
Next guy is a guy named Shaquille Richmond, Dallas‑Fort Worth area.¬† Kenny Perry knew about this guy for a long time, did a tremendous job recruiting this guy.¬† Terrific family.¬† Had him up here this weekend.¬† This guy is really going to help our team in a lot more ways than playing on the field because he's a good kid, a good man.
Here's the things I love about Shaq.¬† Shaq can run.¬† Shaq can tackle.¬† He will hit you.¬† Shaq has a nose for interceptions.¬† He is always around that football.¬† He's always around trying to get the balls in his hands.¬† Picked off a bunch of passes in high school.¬† If that thing gets close to him, he's probably going to catch it and go the other way with it.¬† That's one of the things I really loved about Shaq.
Turned his tape on, the plays were dynamic.¬† He plays a lot of man coverage.¬† Sometimes it's hard to break up passes in zone, easier in man.¬† It's hard to get picks in man.¬† He got a lot of picks in man coverage.¬† Those stood out for us.¬† Long guy, can run, change direction, help us in the return game.
Next guy, Steven Sims, wide receiver out of Houston, Texas.¬† Steven Sims is a guy I've known about for a long time.¬† Been recruiting him since I was back at A&M.¬† When you look at the tape, I think you'll see that this kid possesses a tremendous burst.
One of the things I love about him is the run after the catch factor for him.¬† When he gets the ball in his hands, he has a tremendous burst, over 28 to 25 yards that will help him running in an open field, on a Big 12 field.
This guy is not as little as you think he is.¬† He's a little bit taller, 5'10" type guy.¬† Plenty of length about him, long arms.¬† The guy runs extremely fast.¬† He's got really good hands away from his body.
We really wanted to address that, being able to catch the ball away from his body.¬† In this league, you have to make contested plays.¬† In order to do that you need long arms and you need guys that can catch the ball away from their body.¬† They've shown on tape they can do that.
This kid has terrific hands, great burst.¬† A great family, a great kid.¬† This kid doesn't lack for confidence.¬† He's going to come out with a little swagger to him.¬† He can run.¬† I'm excited about him.¬† It was a matter of how I was going to get him or where I was going to be when I got him because I liked him from the beginning.
Next kid, junior college kid, midyear kid, Will Smith.¬† Came to us from Butler.¬† Will is a guy that plays the interior positions for us.¬† He's a guy that we think can help us right away inside.¬† Either one of the guards.¬† We think he can help us in the snapping game.
All those guys that play on the interior, get those guys snapping, that way we always have our issues covered at this center spot.¬† I know Coach Yenser really likes this guy.¬† This guy has a lot of size to him.¬† He's a big dude, and a guy that has really long arms.
He obviously does a good job at run blocking, but he does a really good job in the pass set game.¬† Has really good feet for a guy that size without 6'6" length.¬† Really excited about him.¬† I think this kid will help us a lot.¬† I've already seen him down there.¬† He's a kid that's rehabbing a shoulder right now.¬† Man, what a great kid to get.¬† We're excited about having him, right from our own state of Kansas.
Next guy, Carter Stanley, quarterback out of Vero Beach, Florida.¬† Got to meet with his family down there.¬† I sound like a broken record, but what a great family they are.¬† Met with his mom and dad.¬† I'm definitely going to go down and do some fishing at that house.¬† They live right down there on that bay.¬† It is gorgeous down there.
Man, this guy right here is a guy we did not think we'd find.¬† I'll be honest with you.¬† We were looking in other areas.¬† We were kind of addressing this need through something else.¬† It wasn't until just a buddy kind of tipped us off to it.¬† We looked at his tape.¬† I gave it to Coach Likens.¬† He called me back right away and said that's a guy we need to go after.
This kid does a tremendous job of not only throwing the football but he does a great job with his feet.¬† He's a dual threat quarterback.¬† He has an understanding of what we do offensively.¬† What they did at their high school, they learned it from Coach Likens and those guys at Cal.¬† There's going to be a little bit of a head start for Carter there.
A very, very bright kid.¬† Excited about getting this kid to come up here and be a part of our program.¬† Think he can be a leader for years to come.¬† He's a tremendous player.¬† I'm really excited about him being here.
Next guy, Jace Sternberger out of King Fisher, Oklahoma.¬† The only thing I'm upset about Jace is I didn't get up there when that barbecue place was open when we were there.¬† His mom is a basketball coach there.¬† This kid is a terrific athlete.¬† Plays tight end.¬† We think this guy addresses a lot of issues for us.¬† He's one of the best players in the state on their basketball team.¬† Averages 20‑plus points a game for their basketball team.
He can do it all.¬† He can throw it, run it, catch it.¬† The guy can do just about anything.¬† He's very versatile.¬† He's about 6'5", 229 pounds coming out of high school and can run like that.¬† Guy has great hands, catches the ball away from his body like I talked about.¬† He can attach and play tight end, detach and play at H back position, detach and play him at the Y, wide receiver position.¬† A guy that plays a hybrid spot for us.
I'm fired up about this guy because he can do a lot for us.¬† The most important thing about him is his demeanor, who he is.¬† Hard working, blue‑collar guy.¬† He's going to help our guys.
Brandon Stewart, another kid out of Dallas, Texas, Trinity Valley.¬† Brandon went to junior college, did a great job for Brad.¬† When he first picked up the phone, he called us about Brandon, said, You got to get down here and see this guy.¬† What I didn't realize is how much he had grown since he left high school because I recruited him there before.¬† Long foot, six‑foot plus, 175‑pound guy that's going to be 190 pounds before it's all said and done, 195, not much more than that.¬† Kid that can really run and has a lot of experience at playing man coverage.
A lot of y'all are familiar with what they do there, they're going to play man coverage every snap, then play some more man after that.¬† So he's done a lot of it, all right?¬† Junior college, a lot of man coverage.¬† Some of these guys already have that skill when they come into us, just a matter of fitting them into our scheme.
Last but certainly not least, another great quarterback, Ryan Willis from right down the street in overland Park, Kansas.¬† His parents, another great family there.¬† They had a lot of opportunities to go elsewhere, particularly when we took another quarterback in the class.¬† He didn't waiver, not at all.¬† The guy, he was a stud through the whole thing.
This kid can sling the football.¬† You cannot argue with the production that this guy had there.¬† I want to say between our two quarterbacks, I believe there was one loss in the last season if I'm not mistaken.¬† That ain't bad.
We want guys that know how to win, particularly at that position.¬† That was important to us.¬† Very, very important.¬† Guys that know how to win and know how to win the big one, win championships.¬† Ryan Willis knows how to do that.¬† The guy can throw the ball all over the field.¬† 6'4" plus, 220 pounds.¬† Runs better than people give him credit for.
The thing I love about Ryan is he ain't afraid of competition.¬† That's what it's going to take to survive here because there's going to be competition every day here.¬† We're only as good as our next.
That's your class for 2015.¬† I am fired up about that class.¬† I think we addressed a lot of our needs.¬† Listen, only time will tell.¬† I know that.¬† But at this time I'd like to try to take some questions because I'm sure I'm going to keep talking.¬† Let me address what you want to talk about.
Q.¬† You signed 17 from Texas, that's the area you're familiar with.¬† Why the heavy Texas mix at this time?
COACH BEATY:¬† I think probably the biggest thing for us was familiarity of players.¬† Once again, not a single guy on our staff came from outside of football, which means that they were somewhere recruiting.¬† Most of these guys have a background in the state of Texas.¬† That's where a lot of that came from.
The other thing that helped a lot was the relationships in that state, guys just picking up and calling.¬† We had a bunch of folks wanting to help.¬† They're trying to help their kids, but they're also trying to help us.¬† They know we're going to take care of them when they come here.¬† That was big in that state.
The thing that I like, we've got a couple real good players out of this state.¬† I think for us to do what we really want to do, you heard me talk about it, we have to take care of the state of Kansas.¬† We've started that process.¬† It's not as much as we'd like in this class, but in the future we have to continue to make those relationships count.
I will say this.¬† I can't say enough great things about the coaches that welcomed us into their rooms, into their schools, as we went throughout this recruiting period here in the state of Kansas.¬† They were outstanding.¬† They were great to us.¬† I know that in the future we're going to get some help from those guys that we need.
That's why the numbers were like they were in the state of Texas at this time.¬† Good question, though.
Q.¬† You talked about the fundamentals, catching the ball away from the body.¬† With the limited time you had with this group, are you able to recruit to the offense you want to run?
COACH BEATY:¬† I think the thing that gets lost a lot of times, because recruiting is so publicized nowadays, it is what it is, it's entertainment.¬† Some of you work in that entertainment industry.¬† I get that.¬† We coexist together.¬† Listen, I welcome that.
But the truth of the matter is that all that is written is not all that's there.¬† Sometimes those kids benefit from a situation like we were in this year.¬† When I put a smile on my face today, it's because I'm truly excited about these guys.¬† I mean, we have got some really good football players here.
Hey, listen, they're all doing laundry for the first time.¬† They don't even know where they eat.¬† So there's a lot of things we got to get to before they get here.¬† I get that.¬† Based on what we've seen them do and what we know about those guys, they're really good football players.
To answer your question, it really wasn't any different.¬† We didn't sacrifice what we said we needed, the different technique things we were looking for.¬† You heard me say a lot about man coverage, understanding techniques, long arms, footwork.¬† You heard me talk about length.¬† We were able to address that.
You also heard me talk a lot about catching the ball away from your body.¬† In this league, if you don't, throughout the league, it's going to get knocked down because these guys are good.¬† It's hard to create space and it's even harder to keep it.¬† If you can't catch that ball away from your body, it's going to be hard for you to be productive on the collegiate level.¬† Some can do it, but not many.¬† Instead of developing that, we like to have it already.
Q.¬† (Question regarding scholarships.)
COACH BEATY:¬† I appreciate you asking that because that is where these high school coaches in the state have been so beneficial to us.¬† It's coming along great.¬† That's a real advantage for guys that might be just a hair off of what they want to be to be a Division I player.
Like I said before, there's more than 25 guys in the state of Kansas and throughout the country that want to come to Kansas and play Division I football.¬† We have an opportunity that's a little bit unique right now that some people look at as a disadvantage.¬† I look at it as an opportunity for some guys.¬† It's coming along really nicely.
I can't speak about anyone or anything other than the guys that we signed today.¬† But I'm very pleased with the progress of that program.¬† I appreciate you asking that.
Q.¬† Do the quarterbacks have a chance to play right away that you're bringing in?
COACH BEATY:¬† Here is the way we're going to do things around here.¬† It's real simple.¬† These kids, they know this, because I talked to every one of these kids that signed today.¬† It's no longer about what anybody says, it's about what you do.¬† We're going to go by who's the best.¬† That's easy to see.¬† It's not that difficult.¬† It's pretty easy.
The cream, as I say, always rises.¬† Somebody is willing to give more than the other.¬† That guy usually separates himself.
We have some tremendously talented players coming back at that position.¬† There should be no way that they could be unseated.¬† At the end of the day, we're going to go with the best guy.
So everybody on our football team is going to have an opportunity, everybody.¬† They're only as good as their next day, their next practice, their next rep.¬† That's the only way we're going to get this deal done.
So absolutely they're going to have an opportunity, absolutely.
Q.¬† (No microphone.)
COACH BEATY:¬† It is.¬† I'll tell you, I'll give you a great example.¬† Johnny Manziel, Kliff Kingsbury told me he was going to be one of the best ever.¬† He was wearing a redshirt.¬† How can you say that?¬† I don't understand.¬† He knew.¬† I didn't realize it.¬† But I wasn't watching the quarterback every day either.
It is, it's hard to project because you just don't know what they're going to do when the pocket breaks down, when they're not getting contact in practice.
Yeah, it's very, very difficult.¬† So those quarterbacks are just like the rest of the class.¬† We kind of put them on a little bit of a higher pedestal, but they're still doing laundry for the first time.¬† They're trying to find out where their classes are.¬† There's a lot of things going through their mind.
It's hard to play as a freshman.¬† It's extremely difficult to play as a freshman.¬† They almost all hit walls, even the ones that play.¬† But they make their way through it.¬† That's probably the most difficult time.
Q.¬† What do you make of how quickly and early they came in?
COACH BEATY:¬† I think technology has a lot to do with it because that old fax machine, I see the doctor sitting back there, the paper feed, that would cause a lot of problems on a day like today.
That was one reason.¬† The new technology, being able to do it electronically is something that helped us.¬† I mean, we were done looking at each other by 7:45.¬† That's not normal.¬† Doesn't happen like that very often.
But I will say this.¬† I think it did speak to the fact that those kids were willing to do it that early and get it done.¬† Our coaches did a really nice job of coaching them through that, making sure they understood we needed them back so we could speak about them.
But here is the thing, and I said it earlier, every one of these kids before I walked out of their living room, I made sure they wanted to be here as bad as I wanted to be here.¬† I think that helped us.
Q.¬† (Question regarding committed quarterbacks.)
COACH BEATY:¬† That's how it works.¬† Basically we set Ryan down when he came on his official visit with his mom and dad.¬† We told him that we're going to recruit another quarterback.¬† We were very candid with him about it's going to be competition no matter where you go.
The truth of the matter is it doesn't matter where you go, folks, there's going to be four to five guys in that room.¬† When you're at the receiver position, there's four wide outs, there's going to be four or five guys in that room.¬† Sometimes kids don't want to see it.¬† The general rule is four to five deep.
The great thing I love about Ryan Willis is he never balked, not one second.¬† He is not worried about competition.¬† I love that.¬† Same thing with Carter.¬† The same thing.¬† That's one thing I really like about these guys, they didn't ask, Can you give me a number?¬† Coach, can I do this?¬† They didn't ask any of that.
They said, I'm not afraid to compete.¬† That's the type of guy that helps you win.¬† That's why I'm really excited about those two young guys because they never asked for anything other than just an opportunity.¬† So I was really excited about that.¬† But, yeah, that's how it worked.
Q.¬† What are the differences between those two from a style‑of‑play standpoint?
COACH BEATY:¬† I think both of them are excellent throwers.¬† They both can throw the ball extremely accurately.¬† Both of them, they complete a lot of touchdowns.¬† Both of them move around in the pocket actually really, really well.
Ryan was not asked to run as much.¬† Carter was a little bit.¬† Carter is a little bit more of a dual‑threat guy.¬† Ryan moves around pretty good, a lot better than you think he does.
I'm really excited about those two guys coming in.¬† Neither one of those guys are worried about the situation.¬† They have embraced it.¬† I think that's been a real positive for us.
Q.¬† (Question regarding Charlie Weis and coaching change.)
COACH BEATY:¬† Absolutely.¬† I mean, not only him, just everybody that was committed to Kansas, being able to evaluate them, make sure that we went and put their mind at ease.¬† Listen, there's been a change, but we want you to be a part of this just like it was before.
That wasn't a hard deal at all.¬† It wasn't hard because Ryan's good.¬† I mean, the dude's good and he wins.¬† He's talented.¬† So that one didn't take us very long at all to get that done.
Like I said, we're going to be competitive.¬† We're going to compete.¬† In order to give Coach Likens and his staff the opportunity they need to compete, we need to be able to give him the right guys at that position to be able to choose from.¬† That's why we took another quarterback, to make sure we gave him a sampling to be able to find out who that guy is going to be.
Q.¬† You talk so much about length.¬† Why is length so important?
COACH BEATY:¬† You keep hearing me talk about contested catches.¬† One of the things that I've noticed, really been more of a trend over the last five to six years, is guys are breaking up passes in man coverage now a lot more than they have in the past.
One of the things that I'm seeing is I'm not seeing a lot of little corners out there anymore.¬† There's a few, don't get me wrong.¬† There's a few playing at a really high level.¬† There's a lot of guys out there that have good length and long arms on them that that makes it difficult.¬† Literally just look at it.¬† Their reach is further, the ball gets knocked out.
That's one thing we liked about the corners we were able to take in this class, was the length.
We also think that our team needed more length, period.¬† We needed the profile to get more length and speed about it.¬† That was something that was important to us because we can't make them taller, we can make them a little bit bigger.¬† It's hard to make them taller.¬† But we were not going to sacrifice ability and speed just because they were tall.¬† That had nothing to do with it.
It's kind of like the coaching search.¬† We wanted to find coaches that could coach and recruit.¬† We needed to find long, fast, good players.¬† So we didn't sacrifice any of that if that makes sense.
Q.¬† (Question regarding offensive tackle.)
COACH BEATY:¬† I think the first thing that sticks out to most folks at tackle is length.¬† It's arm length.¬† It's height.¬† It's the tall, long, big‑hand guys.¬† Those are the guys that really have been‑‑ you're trying to recruit many of them.¬† If guys can't play tackle, they'll move them down inside.¬† We're not that different in that regard.
We're trying to find as many athletic, big guys as we can.¬† This league is humongous.¬† The thing for us, we wanted to go length in those positions, and I thought we did that.¬† But we were not going to sacrifice a good player there.¬† The reason that is, the Big 12, that league has changed.¬† Those guys coming off the edge are really lean and fast.¬† Those dudes have got to be able to move their feet.
In order to do that we needed to address that side‑to‑side movement, guys that were a little agile.¬† Rhodes can move his feet.¬† That's going to be something that can keep them off our quarterback.¬† We have to be able to do that to protect the passer.¬† You'd like them to be as tall and long as you can get them, but they better be able to move their feet.
Q.¬† Wins are tough to come by.¬† When you were pitching KU, was there a theme that got them most excited about the opportunity to come up here?
COACH BEATY:¬† I think the opportunity for a lot of them was maybe the one thing that stuck out.¬† One of the things that we talked about is, this is going to be fun.¬† College football is tough now.¬† It's hard.¬† It's a hard job.¬† You got two full‑time jobs as a student and an athlete.¬† That's two full‑time jobs.
Football is too hard not to be a little bit fun.¬† We're going to be an up‑tempo, high‑flying, throwing‑that‑ball‑around offense.¬† It's going to be exciting to play in, an explosive attack.
Same thing defensively.¬† We're going to be a high‑pressure, get after you, get up field, try to create turnovers, steal possessions.¬† Those are things that we want to play in.
When those guys in that room, those guys that we've hired, set in those rooms and they talk, I was in awe when they talked about their systems, how they were going to bring those systems to KU, what their visions were.¬† Man, I was ready to sign.¬† Those guys did a great job.¬† They do a heck of a job.
Part of that vision is you being able to see it.¬† They were able to paint it for them.
Q.¬† Could there be more guys added to this class?¬† Might there be more?
COACH BEATY:¬† As you know, I can't speak about anybody that did not sign in our class.¬† But like I said, we are always trying to get better.¬† We're always trying to get better.¬† We're always trying to improve our roster.¬† We're looking for creative ways to do that.¬† That's something that, man, I got to take our hat off to our administration because they have been very supportive in that regard in order to create the ways we need to in order to supplement that roster to help us do what we need to do to be successful in this league.
You have to have a roster.¬† The depth is where it's at.¬† The league I just left, if you got people hurt, you were not going to be really good.¬† That's the way it was.¬† That's exactly how this league is.¬† You got to keep them healthy.¬† If you don't, have a guy behind them.¬† It's hard.¬† It's hard.
We need to create that depth.¬† We don't care where it come from, we just want to create that depth.¬† We don't care what people think about them.¬† We care what we think about them.
Q.¬† Is it better your family has been away the last couple months?
COACH BEATY:¬† I miss them like crazy.¬† I don't know if the word 'better' is good, but it's probably been a little bit of a blessing because it's allowed me to do what I need to do to help our program get better.¬† It's allowed them to be able to focus on dance and all the stuff that they're doing right now, school.¬† My poor wife, goodness gracious.¬† I love you.¬† I'm hoping I can help you soon.
Q.¬† When you get here in December, put your staff together, how does that change the process the first time through?¬† Is this a different January than normal?
COACH BEATY:¬† It's absolutely different.¬† You're drinking from a firehose for a while there.¬† It takes a little bit of time.¬† You're managing a lot of things.
Building that staff, that's a lot harder than people think.¬† People think you just go pick people and you got them to come.¬† Like I told you back in the day, I learned it even more this time firsthand, that pool of guys that can do both is small.¬† It's a market like anything else.¬† It's very competitive.¬† Timing is important.¬† That was extremely important.
I was going through it for the first time.¬† Luckily I had some guys in our administration that had been through it before that were great ears for me, I was able to lean on them, talk to them about how to do it, do it the right way.¬† Because of that, we were able to get the men we wanted here here.¬† That was important.
Next year when we can completely focus on just the football players, improving, it's hard to hire one coach much less nine.¬† We were lucky we had two.¬† When you're trying to hire seven, you're literally on the plane going, Hey, man, the phone is about to go dead.¬† It goes dead.¬† There's a lot going on there.¬† Is it challenging?¬† Yeah.¬† But I'm going to tell you, the hardest part was the funnest day of my life.¬† It was awesome.
Q.¬† You brought these guys here for a reason.¬† Did you learn anything you didn't know about your staff during this crazy recruiting period?
COACH BEATY:¬† Yeah, I did.¬† There's some guys on my staff that had to jump in and help that are not necessarily the top nine guys, that are not the nine full‑time guys.¬† There's a guy named Louie Matsakis that is our chief of staff that was able to help me in ways that I never thought I was going to be able to get from him.¬† He was so good for us in that process.¬† He was a guy that I was able to bounce a lot off of.¬† He helped me as we traveled.¬† That made it a lot easier.
I didn't realize how funny Coach Yenser and Coach Likens were because we were always studying football, always serious.¬† Those two guys are hilarious.¬† I didn't realize how funny Coach Thibodeaux was out there.¬† I didn't realize how good Klint Kubiak was already at this job of the he's really good at it.¬† He comes from a football background.¬† This is going to be really good.¬† Remember, he was my GA.¬† He didn't talk very much.¬† This guy was really good.¬† I enjoyed getting to spend some time with Coach Kubiak on the recruiting trail.
Gary Hyman, you'll get to know him.¬† He has more energy than all of us have ever had in our life put together.¬† He is hilarious.¬† He has some energy.¬† I'm fired up to have him.¬† He's been fun to be around.
Then Clint Bowen and Reggie Mitchell, I can't say enough good things about those guys.¬† They literally kept this class together.¬† Over Christmas break, all the things we were doing trying to hire coaches, those two guys, they were the magic.¬† They did it.¬† Without those guys, there wouldn't be half these dudes on this page.¬† They did a great job.¬† I know I missed a couple of them, but they all did a great job.
Appreciate you coming.¬† Be safe now because that weather is blowing in.¬† Thank you for taking it easy on me.¬† Y'all have a good day.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports