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February 3, 2016

Kevin Wilson

Bloomington, Indiana

KEVIN WILSON: Appreciate you being here. Signing Day went reasonably well, again, a lot of efforts for a long time against very, very difficult, here I think again with all the mass communication and following recruits and basically I think everybody just sits around and follows everyone's Twitter and who is going where and who is committing where and there is a lot of hanging on down the stretch.

I think recruiting is getting where you better identify the students you want, the parents you want, the kids you want, but you have to build relationships where they buy into you and trust you because there is a lot of ripple affect. Like I always told the guys, recruiting doesn't start until January 15th and you're hanging on for dear life.

We added the guys we thought we would get. We had a couple of guys in the fold. We kind of knew we had, we thought. In the process of kind of ironing one out now. So we'll see if that comes through. Thought it was a good class, and appreciate all the efforts. We're staying uptown and going out to eat, all the interactions we have, academic support people help us, the people that serve the meals for us up top. Several car dealers that help us out with transportation throughout the year. It's a collective effort of a lot of people and, again, we're slowly building our organization in a positive way and be incompetent this is a good class.

So I guess real quick, I hadn't planned anything, I'll give you a synopsis of some guys. First of all, in general, and you want to have some balance but the last few years we have targeted defense so hard, we put a little bit more emphasis on offensive numbers, and we're be the trying to be 50/50. But I want to say going into this year we had signed 39 kids the last three years and with this class that's 47 and 47 times 2 is 94. That's more than half your recruiting commitment, so we wanted some offensive guys and you don't wait until a guy graduates typically and recruit a guy and expect him to come in and play winning Big Ten football.

You're thinking one or two years in advance for the development side of physically and psychologically and emotionally and all that kind of stuff so there is a number of offensive guys, the "O" line class I think is reasonable with their body types, their not length, their athleticism. A kid I fell in love with early was Coy Cronk. He's playing Mike linebacker and he's pushing 6'5" and over 280 pounds. The way he can run, it's intriguing. Mackenzie Nworah, out of Houston, very athletic guard was intriguing.

So some of those guys -- it was good to get four quality linemen in the class, Ryan Smith and Grayson Stover the other two.

Tight end position was pretty critical, you know, we lost last year, counting Sean Damaska, the walk on, we lost three tight ends and sort of bring in Ian Thomas who was on a visit last week to Texas A&M, still stuck with us and was offered. Thought it was too far from home like the offense. Had a great relationship with Coach Patton, and A&M. I was intrigued with him.

Excited about Shaun Bonner. Shaun plays on a Colquitt County, Georgia team, 30-0, I think they were the national champs. I don't know by several high school teams, high-end program, 26 and a couple pounds, plays in the backfield, you see him move around. He does a lot of things our tight ends do.

And the guy I'm throwing in the class, halfway a running back and halfway a blocker was Tyler Na tee, six-footer, weighed 263 on his visit, quarterback, lefty. So you're left-handed quarterback and you are 263 you are not attractive. When i went to Texas to see the Lagow kid I went to a couple of high schools and I just asked the question to a coach at a tremendous program, Southlake Carroll, I said who is the best player around here. And he said there is a quarterback at Trinity and nobody is recruiting him.

So I went to see Carter Wilson's dad, South Grand Prairie, and I said how about the kid at Trinity, he said he beat us, he's awesome. And the next thing I know I'm driving to Euless Trinity, which is a great program. And I walked in and said to the coach, why is no one recruiting him and he said the assistant coaches are having a hard time selling him to the head coaches. I said, well, I'm the head coach and I like him. We cut to the chase real quick and got him on a visit and I think he can be a gold mine, big back, very gifted. He's a big ball carrier. So I like the big buys. I like the tight ends, couple of good running backs and receivers. A couple quarterbacks. We hit defensive hard, and Marcelino Ball that we kinda felt was coming out of a great program, too, as a matter of fact, they lost to Colquitt County in the Georgia State championship, two best teams in Georgia was Roswell vs. Colquitt County. Saw him early December, the way he looked, we're calling him a defensive back, he will play that nickel safety, basically what's been an outside linebacker for us, but intrigued by Marcelino. Didn't take a lot of big guys up front, that will be a priority next year. Hopefully we've answered that in the last two years with the linebackers and D line we recruited, so a class of 20 and we got an ad.

So quickly, Marcelino Ball, see him as our outside what coaches previously called the Husky, like a big, strong nickel guy, very athletic, very explosive, athletic family, Reggie Ball was his brother, I think two of his brothers have played in the NFL football, great program, Roswell, Georgia. Lost in their state championship. Great kid, dynamic, athletic, 6-ish, 6-1, 205 pound athletic outside linebacker, safety type.

Phil Benker, Phil committed to us a long time ago from Sandalwood, Florida. I had a chance to see him play in person this year for open date. He committed last summer. He's a big kid, but he's actually already graduated and want to be here for spring semester. But we didn't have the mid-year spots available we took those two and filled them with Lagow and Jayme Thompson, so Phil wanted to be here. He's taking college credits right now. A unique kid. His mom is from Germany and came over, kind of a unique family, was visiting with them, and my wife did an exchange for six months in Germany. So she was my official interpreter, so I appreciate Angie helping me out there with Phil's mom, big receiver, athletic kid, probably weigh low 200s, when he shows us, a big bodied receiver, guy we think we need in the Big Ten.

Got Shaun Bonner late. If you watch his tape on the backfield moving around. Tremendous program, and he was over 260 pounds when he visited here, he's a big kid who will have a blocking presence and maybe big enough and good enough to play as a young man about we use that position quite a lot, I think this year as the offense took off a little bit it was a credit to the tight end play and losing a couple of guys. So very, very excited about Shaun Bonner.

Khalil Bryant was our early commitment with Phil, they're both from Jacksonville. He also graduated early. I saw him on his visit, he was working a part time job at UPS. He was in his brown suit and looking all good. And he's got him a little job, but physical defensive back. Maybe a chance to be a Husky guy but a strong safety type, does a lot down in the box, tackling, a very, very physical player we're excited about.

Coy Cronk, saw him on tape last summer and he was playing junior linebacker going side-to-side. Great program in West Lafayette, another championship team, very athletic guy, big guy, dad was assistant here for Coach Mallory back in 1991, has a tie there, mom is principal at an elementary school there, really got some work to do there as far as learning the position, like a basketball, baseball, tight end D-end guy that's growing into one of those big offensive -- could play defense, to tell you the truth. But we've got him pencilled in as an offensive tackle. Don't tell Coach Frye I said that. Brandon Drayton was committed to a Big Ten school out of Largo High School, which is John Crawford's high school, Hill's high school. As a matter of fact Coach Frey's. So big ties with the Drayton family and that area.

As a matter of fact one of my favorite players in Oklahoma is a guy by the name of Davin Joseph who played for the Bucks and there was a lady that worked in our town that actually married the guy that is the basketball coach at Largo and she lives in town and Brandon plays basketball and she has gotten to know Brandon very well. So had an Oklahoma Sooner in our back pocket, so even with Donovan Hill and those guys, is giving us love, Davin Joseph one of my favorite players of all time. She had a personal relationship with Davin. And her marrying the basketball coach at Largo has helped us recruit those guys, so I appreciate Ms. Val.

Kiante Enis, very talented kid. We will bring him in as a running back. He had over 7,00 career yards, 99 rushing touchdowns. We had him at camp two years ago and playing what we call Hoosier ball, which is a run-around tag.

He could play safeties, corners, receivers, big, skill kid, a 200-pound plus running back, we will start there. We will see how he handle it. I think he will handle it well, but he's got a skill set to play a lot of things and he was committed to another school in the conference. But glad he's coming our way and with him and Coy, those are our two in-state guys. We would like to get more in-state guys and we worked hard and hopefully get a couple more next year. Excited to have Kiante. We will say his Grandpa's cousin, I don't think it was immediate family, it was Rick Enis that played here in the late 70s, and he's related to Curtis Enis, a nice back at Penn State back in the late 90s.

Jerome Johnson, we got him late, down in Bassfield, Coach McCullough last week was hitting places from place to place and popped through Arkansas. We had Jerome on campus. He had offers early where some guys filled up, we needed defensive lineman and did take him late, played in the Mississippi-Alabama State all-star game. We watched his tape late and we pulled up game tape and the things I can say best about him was every play he was turning and running to the ball. You watch a highlight tape and you see a guy not get blocked and make a tackle, kill a guy and you say that looks good. When you watch linemen play you want to watch them play after play after play. You get a feel for their effort. So for a big 300 pounder, excited to have him up front. Good student. He is already qualified. He has to pass English like every senior does. But he's academically in good standing.

Richard Lagow, haven't seen him throw, can't do that but excited about Richard, he's going to be in the mix, to say he will be our quarterback, though, he's going to have to handle it and earn the respect of his teammates. We'll see how he progresses, very, very talented, target, we're glad he's doing great.

Jonah Morris, big receiver, does have skill set to play many positions on defense. He can play outside linebacker CK Audio, safety. But he is a good receiver. He can play with those guys. That's where we're bringing him in to play, very, very talented, recruited by a lot of guys. When he di dn like some things, he said I've always liked your offense, I want to bump a visit and if I like it I'm going to commit. We were excited. He got in with us more than us chasing him.

State championship team, Akron Hoban, Bobby Johnson on the Akron Hoban, 1991 class list, and since he coached here he is a former Hoosier coach. I sent a picture to Bobby and said "legend" he questioned that and he said he hoped Jonah was a lot tougher than he was, and we're excited about Jonah out of Hoban and had some fun

We don't play with a true fullback but sometimes you get those guys both in there and one is a little more of a blocker and you can do some great things with Tyler, awesome football program, one of the best programs in the state, Ross well Georgia these kids are coming out of big-time high school programs.

Mackenzie Nworah, very unique kid, family was in line in the country in Nigeria to actually be in the presidential lineage, help me out, the king -- Mr. Glass is here, I'm not politically correct on the governmental deals, but it's an unbelievable family and the best thing is the last time they were there she didn't cook for Coach Frey. He was not allowed to eat and Ms. Evelyn's food, I'll tell you a great story about it, his name is Mackenzie and he has a car that my daughter has and he nicknamed his car Elena and I go my oldest daughter is Elena in. This is a done deal. It was an ironic thing, you have a guy with a picture of Mackenzie and his car Elena that we're going to share but talented offensive lineman. I would compare him to some of my Oklahoma kids with his quickness, feet, I think that kid is a legitimate player, I have had some players I said were going to be pretty good, pretty good is pretty good and this guy has a chance to -- Coach Frye got all over him, he was committed to Missouri at one time with the coaching change a lot of guys went after him, educated, well-rounded, tremendous athlete, excited about him.

Peyton Ramsey, coach's kid, Cincinnati, 2-time GCL player of the year, quarterback, dad played quarterback, pedigree, another great program, excited about Peyton. He will be a great freshman quarterback. Committed a long time ago, appreciate everything he is about.

A'Shon Riggins, committed by many schools in our league to change his commitment after he committed. I think he needs not 20-some points and a couple of assist to go over the all-time assists in Hamilton High. I like what he's going to bring to the game.

Ryan Smith, defensive line we projected him as an offensive linemen and that's what Moeller played him at, another big-time program, Ryan very athletic kid, 290, 300 pounds, good cut, great-looking kid, great program we see him as an inside center or guard.

Allen Stallings IV, we got on late. He's big. He's 27 and 2, wrestling program, his program a year ago was the national championship wrestling team -- high motor, aggressive, guy, we got him in late we needed a couple of "edge" guys, we were missing on a couple, but his skill set is good enough. If you watch his tape, he's explosive. We were intrigued by that wrestling program. We're going to have him and -- lock-up because those wrestling guys have a knack to be good football players and he's coming out of the best wrestling program in the country and even though we're a football team that translates well to me.

Grayson Stover, offensive tackle lineman pressured, he made a commitment wanting to come here, but Greg said, hey I can't promise you and if I got one here if a week I'll come back to you and we came back to him because we felt we needed one more offensive tackle. So Grayson was committed to another school, switched back, always liked us, came up here, was recruited by many Big Ten schools -- official visit. Able to land him late. Offensive tackle, long, athletic, excited about him.

Ian Thomas, we can flex out as a receiver, bring him inside a little bit more of a receiver than a blocking tight end, basketball-type body, did a trip to A&M last week, South Carolina, other schools on him, Coach Patton did an awesome job like Coach Frey with Grayson Stover he was able to weather the storm and excited about him.

Jayme Thompson is here on campus. Jayme from Toledo, signed with another Big Ten school, went to Iowa Western. He's here two years to play and looking good.

And we're in the process of landing one more, potentially we've got two spots still available. But right now we've got those 20, two guys on campus and 18 are official today. Like the class, bigger bodies, longer bodies, Mr. Glass is sitting up there, it's not where he started. Somebody said this is our lowest-rated class since '12 and he I go, yeah, look where 12 started and where they finished because you've got three All-Americans in that class. But that's the weight room and nutrition and academic support and the kid on the field and the kid doing the job. So there are some body types like that, there is some length, some really good players coming out of really good programs, but to me there is going to be a lot of development, so recruiting is one phase of the deal and the next deal is development. I do think every year we're starting at a higher development part.

So we're bringing a better product, but still a lot of work to do, but excited about these guys.

Did I miss him Cole? Geez, he'll be mad. Let me show you this. I just got a message from Cole. This is the stuff recruiting is about, see. Now this isn't on Twitter. Do you do text, Don? Yeah, you do -- so you could handle this. I'm outta the Twitter world for him. Cole sends me this deal, and he says, just now, 10:17, "Coach, let's talk numbers." What does that mean? Jersey numbers, right? Everybody wants to wear No. 1 -- nobody wants to wear 29, nobody wants to wear 57, my freshman number. 57 is a great number! So I said to him, here is my number, 812-325 -- blah, blah, blah what's yours? I love this number game. He goes, I'm talking jersey numbers. I said, I'm thinking like 1275 yards and 12 TDs as a frosh. How do you like those numbers?

That's my Cole Gest conversation. Cole is a dynamic little dynamo. He is as explosive as all get out. I don't want to make comparisons but he compares to some dudes that played in this league that are short, explosive, great punt returners. He's a running back. He's a running back for sure; I think we could play him at slot. I think he's a fly sweep guy, maybe a return guy. He's not overly tall. He's in that 5-9ish range, but extremely powerful, compact, strong thighs and lower body, very, very explosive. He's a running back coming in, and even more than a running back than Kiante. Kiante is more versatile in playing other positions, and Cole is a pure running back that could do -- and, again, he plays for St. Ed's the state championship, big division Ohio team, great program, great player, had him at camp.

I would rate him explosively as high as many premiere backs -- that kid's got some juice, and he's coming out of a great program, he's going to be a heck of a player, so I apologize Cole for missing you there, because he's actually one of our favorite guys. They all are.

Q. (No microphone.)
KEVIN WILSON: Well, I don't know, everybody gets into ratings, like what are the ratings, and our ratings have went up because we picked up a 5-7, 5-6, 5-4 today, if I knew your numbers, but I don't know what they are, because that's -- but also, too, what happens to the guys you sign and never play? It's where you start. We've done a nice job of -- it's just we're starting with better bodies, and this is another good body class, and it's a body class that you'll sit here and say, and I say you, but as a reporter -- hey man they have struggled getting defensive guys. We have recruited so hard on defensive guys the last few years, we need to hit some offensive guys in this class.

You know, cuz you got Simmie Cobbs and Ricky Jones and some receivers getting on the "old" end, and you just lost a couple tight ends, you're losing some veteran linemen. You gotta get the next guys. You want to get the quarterback, so we tried to get J.C. for the answer, but a young guy, the running backs.

I just think guys look at numbers and where the classes were. This class got rated low because, one, we don't do a lot of early commitments, just because I think to get good players you've got to earn their trust, and I don't know if we've been good enough, quite honestly, Andy. And I think as we went through the season, we weren't sure -- like again, you're sitting there and you guys said it, but when you are recruiting and there are two years left on the contract, ain't nobody wants to play for that, because who is going to be your coach? When I showed up here, I showed up with seniors and juniors that were recruited when Coach Hepner was fighting and Coach Lynch was an intern, and all the kids heard for two years is, who is going to be your DB coach? Who is going to be your line coach? What offense are they going to run? What defense -- so there is so much uncertainty -- now we've got -- and the contract thing just took time, because, one, I stalled during the bowl game because I didn't want to talk about it for two weeks.

I wanted to win that game! I was almost being superstitious, and I knew we were going to get a good deal. It wasn't for me a good deal, it was a good deal for the program. For the strength coaches and his staff, and the whole deal. Mr. Glass and I put a lot of work into what was the broad-based approach.

That might have hurt us with some of our in-state local guys. Going forward I hope it really helps us because we're going to at that attack those guys hard with, man, we're on stable ground, we need a some better players, and if we get a couple more of those cosmetic guys, it's going to cosmetically look better, because these guys down the stretch -- I'll telling you -- we walked away from some. Don't think -- we had some kids on campus that chose other schools, fact. We also had some kids on campus that we walked away from, that we didn't think fit us or we didn't want, that's a fact, too. We're very -- Mr. Glass just left. We give these kids a lifetime contract; you can't cut 'em. So when you bring 'em in, they better be good enough.

So if we have reservations -- I call my plays in 3, 4, 5 seconds, but when I got time I'm as conservative as all get out, I think you ought to bury your money in the backyard in a jar, the way some of these investments are going. I have a conservative approach to things. We're conservative in our recruiting approach we are aggressive going after people. But we want to get people that can make it here so academically, Big Ten football.

Somebody said, hey, it's your worst class since '12 and I go, well, shoot, that was pretty good, I'll take that one a lot! I hope it's better than '12, which would be a really good one. We'll keep going, but, you know, it's all subjective comparisons, you know, at the end that 12 close was good enough to be 6-7 so we gotta be better than that.

Q. (No microphone.)
KEVIN WILSON: Again, the real thing -- I think there is some speed, but I think, just the size and wing span, the length of bodies, you know, those -- like Jonah Morris is 6-4, 6-5, Phil Benker is 6-couple at receiver. I felt a couple of years ago in our first or second class I felt like the receivers were getting too small and there is give and take and -- slower you get so there is give and take there, Don. Those DBs have nice size. I don't think there is one under 6 foot. We used to throw some 5-8, 5-9 guys -- punch to him so there are longer bodies, very athletic, some of those big guys gotta get bigger, stronger. But in general I would say the thing that pleases me most is not what the ratings could be or who else recruited them they're just longer bodies and are more athletic and each year we're recruiting more and more of those. You know four or five years ago the team looks a lot different, we still don't always play as good as we gotta play we have to keep getting better, but we've got to get stronger and faster -- we gotta keep adding to that.

Q. (No microphone.)
KEVIN WILSON: No doubt and that helped! We probably would have lost some in this day and age of guys coming after -- there was something like hey we have knew -- and at the same time I will say this, even though some things weren't official, Mr. Glass was one of my recruiters, talking to kids, hey get on the phone with this guy, tell them we're committed and we got this thing going and we play for Coach Wilson and his staff because we have had coaches that have been approached about jobs, and they will continue to be and we're not always going to keep 'em all. So we got some good coaches that we want to keep.

Appreciative of Mr. Glass's commit to the program and two, behind the scenes helping us as we were weathering the storms of dotting I's and crossing Ts, that being said it goes fast in the midwest we got junior days and if we don't get those juniors on campus by March it's like you're out of the game, and it's not like you're going to commit to that but these kids go so fast. The relationship right now with limited phone calls, and we can't call them. We're taking phone calls today from juniors saying in 366 days, because we do you have Ground Hog Day coming up, so we gotta count that, 366.

Q. (No microphone.)
KEVIN WILSON: The 29th, what's that called? Leap Year day, that should be like a holiday because it's a bonus day, so leap year should be an automatic holiday, everybody gets leap year off, I have a -- go home and enjoy the sun in February. With global warming we have to get -- it's a joke we have inside. I hope going forward, we started hard, I think we've got some strong relationships in state.

I personally feel there are a lot of great schools in this country, but wherever you grow up at your state school sometimes is very hard to beat and we're fortunate to be in a great state that has a great state school. So with the relationships and education you're going to get, then you throw the Big Ten football in there, the Big Ten East, all the things is we can provide resource-wise I think our product is hard to beat and we sell that hard is.

This year we went after some guys we didn't get, hopefully next year it will be stronger. -- we don't take that personally. We take guys that we can win in the Big Ten East, but we would like to do better in-state next year and that won't be the focal point but that would be something that we will work hard at and we will work hard to get some D-line, linebacker-types, which this last couple classes have had because we will have extreme voids as we go.

Q. (No microphone.)
KEVIN WILSON: It's hard, like I had kids that wanted to commit that have never been here, I'm like -- I always tell guys you don't want to pick a jersey and a stadium, you want to pick people and I don't want to recruit a highlight tape. When these kids say they don't want to commit, I hug them and say okay, tell me why. Because I don't want them to commit. I want them to be great students, get a great education and play football because everything you do is public record and we need to graduate our kids and we want them to win.

So committing, we've got to give them a lifetime scholarship now, I want the two-way street, I want you to do some things, too, be a great kid, get good grades and play high-end football. But it's tough. And somebody was telling me, as coaches -- kids commit and then coaches back off and it's almost like everybody is grabbing a bird in the hand and everybody is still shopping around. I made a comment a few years ago, nobody thought was write we keep talking about changing our recruiting calendar, I don't know if he need to change the calendar, but I would love to see an end of summer August 1st signing day.

And I've said this to 100 people, if there were 100 kids that were committed on August 1st, 50 of them would sign, 25 of them wouldn't send their papers back and 25 of them wouldn't get papers sent to them, because the coaches thinks he's got one because you're waiting on grades and whatever and I think the best way to slow it down is to speed it up and make it for real. It is what it is.

All the great social media things we have and you guys covering it, you guys make our job extremely hard. That's why I was quiet on those last-second things, is it worth it? But there is no secrets. You know? It's just hard. It's college football.

Q. (No microphone.)

Q. (No microphone.)
KEVIN WILSON: Had nothing to do with it. Even told Dick that. As a matter of fact I called Dick up and said tell me why I shouldn't hire him versus getting his recommendations first. I was intrigued by his energy and the success he had at Ole Miss through south Florida and then he had some ties but it wasn't like, hey, we'll get more Indiana guys, I think he's going to help us because walking around -- when you walk around Greg Frye in south Florida, Tom was hugging the cafeteria lady the other day at the school we were at together that he worked with. So he's going to know people and that helped. But the real help is getting our defensive culture and kids playing right and that was a bigger priority than -- because I think if we play good the recruits will come anyway. The recruiting was the last function of it. No disrespect. I appreciate where he's from. He says he's the greatest Newcastle nonbasketball player ever. He's going into the Hall of Fame in a couple weeks so he's excited about that.

Anything else, guys?

Q. (No microphone.)
KEVIN WILSON: Great question. We're getting more depth, but at the same time, Pete, when these kids don't play, they struggle, academically, socially, there is no JV team, no freshmen team and they want to play and we do work really hard I'm talking about the effort. As a matter of fact I said something to Jeff we ought to open up and you ought to catch our new winter workouts, sometimes the fifth year guys don't want to come back, it's like, that's a lot of time, it's a lot of wear and tear on my body. Is it worth one more year? And those guys are not up there -- the quarterbacks come back for six years, because they don't get hit as much when you think about it.

That being said, I just think kids do better when they play, we have never promised a freshman recruit he would play, we have played 60 in five years, true freshmen, right? My mathematics says that's 12 per year which means half our class mathematically plays on mathematically average. If you're going to the NFL you're going to play 3.9 years. If you make it that's the fighting average.

So we tell guys average-wise you have a heads or tails chance of playing as a freshman based on our track record, but we're not promising you you've got to earn it, but I do like playing freshman, and I don't want to minimize it. So I love to redshirt 'em. These kids are graduating early, all coming into summer programs, we got them 11, 12 months. They have dead time sometimes, Pete, they burn out. You get the injuries.

We got Marcus Oliver with an injury and got him back. Kiante Walton this year, some guys have injuries you get those years back. Happened to Williams, Devonte Williams got hurt in the second game, gets a year back, so I think we keep doing what we're doing and I think some of these guys are good enough to play.

Q. (No microphone.)
KEVIN WILSON: I don't know if those an particulars are new. My first boss was recruiting a running back to Wake Forest years ago when the kid said he didn't want to sign and Coach said, don't come home till you sign so. He said where am I sleeping.

The hard thing is used to be you could go to the off-beaten track and find a guy and if no one knew about it, you're like, hey, this guy is kind of a sleeper. I just wonder if there are any sleepers anymore, because everybody is awake, it seems like and everybody is talking about everybody! So I don't know if you can -- you know, to me -- it's not hard, it's just that you're always in a fight and it goes back to you better be building relationships, Mike, because if the kid doesn't trust you and believe in you they're going to be sold a lot of things and you gotta work hard as the decision makers, is the parent, influential or not, the grandparent, the coach, who is the kid leaning on and here is how we're going to take care of your kid. To me it's the dynamics. When I did this a few years ago, you need to follow the Alex McCarthys and Matt Weavers at every school because every time they write an article on someone, pull that film up and see if he's good enough, that's a little bit of recruiting right now.

You guys share so much information -- sometimes you're writing things about us like, I really wish you wouldn't be writing that right now. But it's free press, too, so you like that, but anyway it's just difficult. At the same time we're all fighting the same deal, recruiting, weather, the storm, I'm not complaining about it. It's just part of the product.

Q. (No microphone.)
KEVIN WILSON: I don't care what school we're at, I don't know if there was not one place where somebody said I saw you play so and so. I got on a plane flying from Houston to Tampa sitting beside a gentleman and he looked and he saw my deal and he said is that U of H and I said, no it's Indiana and he said are the Hoosiers going to have a good football team this year? And I go, well they better because I'm the coach and he said, I saw four of your games and he started going into all our games. He was just some guy on the airplane on the way back to Tampa. That helped a lot. Hopefully there is some local press that we can start to get continuity to get these local guys behind it because if you go to Florida the kid thinks he's playing in the Big Ten. These Indiana guys know historically we've struggled. We gotta cross that bridge. The "W" is going to help in-state.

On a national brand, you guys call these guys nationally, I think nationally the kids have a good vibe for IU football and Big Ten and what we are doing and we have coaches that have good networking within those regions, so I think we do reasonably well. I was in New York City the other day and it was like, hey, they're going through the games and the exposure helped and I appreciate that, and that's a credit to our team and I hope we can do more of those and it's a product of Big Ten football and that's one of the things we sell and we sell it hard.

Q. (No microphone.)
KEVIN WILSON: I don't know if they're in my favor -- what do you mean? Kiante? When he came down on his visit. I think quite honestly he's unbelievably talented and I think the recruiting where he's fro, I think he got overwhelmed and we gave him space. He's more of a small town kid, to be this -- I think he's a shy kid and when you are this excellent athlete in this small town and you become bigger than you are, I think he's a quiet, shy kid.

I think the way that Coach McCullough and Coach McDaniel and Coach Johns recruited him, we gave him space and when he came on the visit I think he felt at ease and we felt several weeks ago he was coming our way. But he also wanted to -- he was tired of people bugging him so he kinda shut it down. He didn't shut it down from talking with us and we didn't cross the line.

Sometimes you feel how the kid wants to be recruited and I think the worst thing to do is overrecruit a kid and if you have a good relationship trust that and don't become a burden and I think we had a connection with him and he connected and with our players, too, pleasing, kinda felt that was going our way, it was good to get him.

Q. (No microphone.)
KEVIN WILSON: No doubt. As a matter of fact, if you're worried about getting hurt, as media will say watch a young guy coming back he is going to risk getting hurt. I think a young guy at Notre Dame was picked to go in the top 12, 15 in the draft, right? So if you're good, you're good, I had a chance on coach Sam Bradford that got hurt, played six quarters his senior year and Jermaine Gresham didn't play a snap, one was picked 1, one was picked 23.

I tell kids if you're good enough you're good enough and I always tell kids, don't drive a car, put that baby in park. We don't worry about that. The great thing about playing sports, I said to A'Shon Riggins, I am glad you are playing basketball. If you can't play basketball how are you going to cover those kids.

So I want kids that play sports. I think the more competitive situations they're in their better. I think you can train and lift. You know, weights don't hit back. You know what I'm sayin'? And the track is sitting there and you got a clock. I think to have a bad practice day and a coach be all over you in baseball and to strike out on a full count and feel that, you know, to throw the strike, to make the shot, to make the shot -- the more kids compete I think the better they're going to be.

And the NFL had a stat a couple of years ago 70% of all quarterbacks played two sports, and 80% of all quarterbacks in the NFL played three sports or vice versa, might be backwards on the 70 and 80 of two and three sports. A lot of kids want to specialize, I love it when -- I like Allen Stallings IV being a big-time wrestler. I think that's awesome. Skills was 34-1 in the state of Ohio. But I'm concerned when they don't, why don't you run track at your high school? Why are you not playing tennis? Golf? I want them playing. I think it's awesome and I think great players play sports.

Q. (No microphone.)

Q. (No microphone.)
KEVIN WILSON: Well, it's different because it is different and at the same time change is change. That doesn't mean it's better, just because you're doing something different doesn't mean it's better. It's just different. Better is better. It will be interesting to see if we are better. We think we are. One, he si coming into a situation where he has got a new program, but there is a five-year standard of working hard, doing it right. So for our kids to be able to handle a certain degree of volume of work there is not a lot of push-back from our players.

I think also our players have done Coach Hill's program and you can get stagnant. I'm always challenging our coaches to think outside the box and to do different things. I think some of his new ways are going to be awesome. He's including everyone in the department. Yesterday when he finished the workout he had our nutritionist go through the menu and what they should eat at the meal that day and he had us buy water bottles. He said a guy pulled a hamstring. He's not drinking enough water. Not that he didn't stretch, he is not hydrating himself well enough. So anyway, intrigued. Personally, Don, I had two thoughts when Coach Hill told me he was moving on. One, we wanted him to stay because he did an awesome job for us. But the first thought was there was a coach at Missouri that was not retained by the new coach and I always thought Missouri Coach Pinkel did a great job, and then I was intrigued about what they done at Baylor, how fast they are, how physical they are and how hard they play and how competitive they are.

When I called a coach I know at Missouri he said you need to hire the number two guy at Baylor. He used to play here and I said well, shoot, that's the best of both world's. So there is a little bit of that and playing against Coach Pinkel's teams the last couple of years, I go back to playing against his teams at Toledo and we were at Miami of Ohio, and Oklahoma-Missouri and we played him here the last two years.

I was impressed with how well their team played and how they developed their guys. And when I watched Baylor from afar having competed against them for nine years, I was intrigued about that. So I didn't know him, but I wanted somebody of his pedigree. I said Coach, I wanted a Baylor guy. I am impressed with what you do and he said, you got a great guy and I will try to facilitate. You guys set them clocks early now and if you guys come late to the, as a media deal, he might make you all do some up/downs.

But I would encourage you to catch a workout. He walked through there and said, man these guys are good! I'm very encouraged, and we lost a good guy. But I don't think we're stepping backwards. That's not slighting Mark. I think we slipped and you keep moving the way you want to keep moving. Anything else, men, ladies? Appreciate you guys. Go IU. Have a good one.

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