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December 18, 2019

Les Miles

Lawrence, Kansas

LES MILES: -- guys that set on the back wall and did recruiting as a senior analyst or as an analyst, we got great effort and great energy from those folks. It made a difference.

Guys that we took on offense are going to be really immediate helpers. The guys that we took on defense, especially at the corner and the linebacker spots, I think you'll find we're much better there than we've been.

I think blame this building. This building right now is a very functioning team, whether it's recruiting, whether it's weight strength, whether it's everybody in this building recruiting well. We're excited that this class is going to be a real capable class.

Any questions?

Q. Every player that you have announced so far is from the high school level. Why is that important for you?
LES MILES: The high school player gets four years, okay? It's pretty simple. The junior college guy, it's two, sometimes three, but more than likely two.

What we're looking for is that guy that's going to be able to make a commitment over time and improve, get involved with the system, stay with the system, and come out the other end a much better player.

Q. Does it take some patience to stay with high school guys? Do you ever feel an urge to go get that ju-co kid? Is it hard?
LES MILES: It depends on how severe the need is. If there's a guy that fits you specifically in something, maybe a quarterback, maybe a wide receiver, some real specific skill that you have to have, that you don't have on your team, we understand.

But we're not building that way. That doesn't appeal to us. What appeals to us is the opportunity for that guy to come on campus, improve, take steps, take time.

Two years, he's probably played at least a piece of one of those two, then now he's got two solid years left to play. That is to me the recipe for success here.

Q. How important is it to get a lot of these guys signed in December as opposed to waiting until February? Do you like this relatively new format?
LES MILES: The new format is to me an advantage. You go to work to sign December 18th. Now whatever you didn't get, you now are looking to attract and go get. There are good players in the second signing period.

What's happened is what used to be the first and only signing period is now the second signing period. You'll have the opportunity to sign on the 18th of December, then now February as well.

They're going to have opportunity to play. They're going to have the curriculum that they need to study. I think that they would much rather make that decision now than wait another three weeks.

Q. As a coach, what is the ideal number? What would you ideally like to have in December?
LES MILES: I'd like to have exactly who I wanted in December, every December, first of all. But if there's an offensive tackle that's not necessarily signed, he's looking for a spot where they can get a great education and an opportunity at being coached by all our coaches, et cetera, then we'll certainly entertain that second spot.

I like the first spot to know where you're at. Right now we could possibly want two players, then maybe not. There's some guys that we have signed, and you don't know that they've signed, and we can't let it out because it's their responsibility to make that determination, not ours, okay?

If we had an extra two, we'd be shopping for a very specific style of team.

Q. Are there guys that you all signed today that you feel like you need to come in and contribute next year, guys that you need to be on that two-deep, make an impact next season?
LES MILES: Yeah, when we looked and recruited, we looked for those guys that could come in and make really immediate impact.

With that being said, your offensive line, two big tackles, a guy that could play guard or tackle, and you've got a center. We're going to need those guys.

We probably need more if we came to a position where we were looking at some good tackle style guys. We'd like to do that as we come forward, as we go into the next signing period. Or maybe some defensive linemen. We really would like to latch onto a couple guys that could run, had the ability to play multiple positions, et cetera.

Q. Is there anybody on this list who was a particularly dramatic story in getting him to sign, particularly satisfying signing? Is there a person we can highlight in this?
LES MILES: Yeah, there are a number of stories. I'll tell you the Karon Prunty story. He's a 50-meter champion in the state of Virginia, he's a 100-meter runner, got great speed, toughness. He's a wonderful man, okay?

We went through the school and we found out there's not a guy in that school, not a female teacher, who just doesn't think the world of the guy as a student, okay?

We kind of geared up, we were going to go in and spend some time. We went to his classrooms, every one. We went to the principal. We went to the guy who teaches gym. We spent time in that school.

Afterward, we had the opportunity to visit his dad. His dad is a manager in a local Planter's store. There were a couple of peanuts that Coach Miles could have scarfed away there. I thought that I was kind of novel. I'd never seen anything like that.

We spent time with his mom at her place of business. I kind of felt like that was one of the places and one of the times that I really enjoyed meeting people.

Yeah, I think he's a tremendous prospect. I think our corner prospects, we took three, all three of them can play, every one of them. Just wait till you see how aggressively they flip their hips. They'll hit you. They're pretty special.

Q. At a quick glance, it looks like a pretty impressive geographical distribution, from one end of the country to another. Is that a reflection of what you want to do with your recruiting reach here?
LES MILES: What happens is you step out and you want -- I mean, we want to recruit the state of Kansas, period. We recruited a guy in Missouri. I mean, we want the Kansas footprint. But it's easy for us to go to Texas at times, and we have nice ties there. Certainly football is tremendously important there. We'll kind of go south, as well.

But we went both Oklahoma and Texas, that kind of region. It's a nice drive from Kansas to Oklahoma. It's something that the mom and dad can watch that son play and participate.

Q. What do you think about the group of wide receivers you have coming in?
LES MILES: Lawrence Arnold is a 6'3" mobile, great ball skills, really good person.

Malik Johnson has got tremendous speed, just down-the-field speed. He'll play a slot. They'll have a difficult time covering him. When they do, it's just likely he might run deep. He's talented.

Again, there's a foursome there. They're all very talented.

I mean, Tristan Golightly, oh, my goodness, 6'4", ability to turn and snag balls. Just what you want.

We've much improved our positioning at the wide receiver position.

Q. Do you believe that you've found your quarterback of the future in the class?
LES MILES: Jalon is a six-foot-tall guy that can run and throw. I don't think there's any question that he has talent and ability, can step back in the pocket, can rush the ball, can have quarterback rushes.

Is he a quarterback of the future? He's certainly a choice. I think there could be another quarterback out there that's being pursued. I'm not really sure at this point.

Q. Jeff Long talked about investing more this year in resources. Talk about the tangible ways that showed up in this recruiting class.
LES MILES: The indoor facility, as an example, recruits some part of time during recruitment spent a significant amount of time in the indoor facility, okay? They thought it was phenomenal. Music, the ability to play a light show, what will eventually be a placard of large Jumbotrons, if you will, inside Jumbotrons.

You're looking at a place where a student-athlete goes in there, and the play he messes up is up there in replay, and he turns and he watches his play, then goes back to the huddle.

Oh, my goodness, right? So the things that are in front of us certainly are those things. The things that are behind us have shown us that this indoor facility was used tremendously here.

Q. With those guys that are committed to you but are waiting to sign, what are the next few months like for you guys to try to secure their commitments?
LES MILES: Well, if they've committed then decide not to sign, we say, If you've made your decision, then what's the hesitation, okay? But if they say, I just need a little bit more time, I want to see, I want to come up. You know what, we're for that. If it's more information, they seek an experience on our campus, then we're for that, okay?

Ideally these 18 that we signed, they all kind of wanted to get it over with. I think the great majority of college athletes today that are faced with both signing periods would much rather get it over with early.

Thank you.

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