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PURDUE UNIVERSITY MEDIA CONFERENCE
February 1, 2012
Q.Â Hello, coach.
COACH HOPE:Â Hey, how's it going?
Q.Â Pretty good.Â I just wanted to ask what does it say about the reach of a program when you can get so many commitments from so many different states?
COACH HOPE:Â I think it's a result of a lot of different things.Â It's a signature class in a lot of ways.Â It's the first time in the history of Purdue that we've had a Director of Player Personnel from a staffing standpoint, and a big part of that position is recruiting coordinator where someone oversees the recruiting process.
And we have an excellent person in charge, Paul Gonnella.Â I think he really impacted the recruiting process.Â We have states that we recruit in, and we did a good job of going into our recruiting areas and landing a lot of the top prospects.
There were several other states that we landed prospects in that are outside of our normal recruiting areas, and I think a lot of it had to do with the efforts of Coach Gonnella identifying prospects on a national level.Â We signed an outstanding player, Jonathan Curry, from the state of Alabama, and that's not one of our normal recruiting areas.Â Really excited about the big offensive lineman that we signed out of Arkansas.Â That's not one of our normal recruiting areas.
Got Ryan Watson, four‑staff defensive end from Maryland.Â That's not one of our prime recruiting areas.Â We also signed players out of North Carolina and Virginia as well.Â So I think a lot of it has to do with the efforts of coach Gonnella trying to identify prospects, top prospects for Purdue on a national level.
The thing that's exciting to me about ‑‑ a lot of things about this recruiting class is very exciting to me, but the bulk of these guys, almost all of these guys have been committed to Purdue for a long time.Â They chose Purdue for obviously a lot of the right reasons.Â The bulk of our class was committed before we had a winning season secured.Â So we've done a good job, I think, of recruiting players that chose Purdue for a lot of the right reasons.
It's a ranked recruiting class, for the rankings are worth.Â It's been recognized by a lot of the so‑called experts as a good recruiting class.Â I believe it's ranked somewhere out of the top three, four, five in the Big 10.Â So that's exciting news in some ways.
The thing about that that's exciting to me is the fact that Coach Gonnella didn't really get on board until the latter part of the spring and he has a great plan in regards to futuristic recruiting.Â He didn't really have a chance when we were scrapping up the 2011 class to identify the 2012 class a year in advance like other big‑time programs did.Â So I think that Coach Gonnella and all of our staff did a great job rallying up this recruiting class.
Q.Â The first thing I wanted to ask you about is obviously the offensive line from last year's class that you had to replenish.
COACH HOPE:Â I had to numbers wise.Â And really it didn't happen by design.Â When I first came back to Purdue, I thought that we were behind in some ways across the line of scrimmage.Â I thought we were ‑‑ we weren't very fast or athletic on the offensive line for the most part and I thought we were small on the defensive line.
So the first two or three years as the head coach at Purdue I tried to hang our hat on recruiting line prospects.Â And I think that served its purpose very well for the program.Â We were out recruiting guys that we thought were athletic enough and good enough football players to play on defense, but also big enough to go to the offensive side of the ball.Â And I think that really has impacted our program.
As a result, we have guys like Trevor Foy and Justin Kitchens, the tackle prospects that can move as well as any tackle prospects in the country, and we have some defensive linemen that are a little bit bigger than what we've had around here in the past, guys like Bruce Gaston and Ryan Isaac and Ryan Russell, guys that have good height to them.
The down side to it is more on the defensive side of the ball.Â We did a good job in the evaluation process.Â In the beginning we weren't really sure if Ryan Isaacs, I felt he could play on the defensive side of the ball, but the staff wasn't 100 percent sure, but I knew he could play somewhere here at Purdue.Â He comes in, he's a very aggressive guy, he's someone that we could start as a freshman.
Same thing with Ryan Russell.Â Evaluating Ryan Russell as a junior prospect, we knew he was a good line prospect, but we weren't sure if he was going to be a big‑time defensive end or not.Â I thought he could play defensive end and he was big enough to grow into an offensive tackle, and sure enough, he ended up being a freshman All Big 10 Defensive End this year.Â So more of those lines prospects ended up on the defensive side of the ball than I had originally expected would, and as a result we have fallen short in the numbers offensive line wise, and this was the year we had the opportunity to go outside a larger class.
We had an excellent person on board to help us identify offensive line prospects on a national level, and we went out and signed a half a dozen big good smart athletic offensive linemen and we needed to based on our defensive numbers in that position.
Q.Â Where do you project Warburg as an offensive lineman?
COACH HOPE:Â I think there's a couple guys in the class that I would refer to them either inside guys or outside guys.Â I think that Jordan Roos is an inside guy.Â He's listed at 6' 5.Â He's not 6' 5.Â He's probably 6' 3 and some change, probably 305 pounds.Â He bench pressed 440 the other day.Â He reminds me a lot of Rob Turner who played here at Purdue last time, a souped‑up version of him, which is a good thing, but I think he's an inside guy.
I think that Jason King is probably an inside guy.Â He's very athletic.Â He's not as long body parts wise.Â He's maybe 6' 4 and some change maybe, about 305 pounds, but very athletic, can dunk a basketball.Â I think that Joey Warburg can play inside or outside.Â He's a little bit longer, looks more like a tackle prospect today, but you never know two or three years down the road.
I feel the same way about JJ Prince.Â I think he is a tackle prospect.Â He's got a long body, very quick getting out of his stance.Â He's very, very aggressive.Â You can be a little bit lighter at the tackle position in college football.Â Our offensive tackle play in the two‑point stance, very athletic.Â Our guards have to get down in three‑point stances and they have to kind of be hedgehogs, if you will, on the line of scrimmage, hold up against the 310, 20, 30‑pound defensive tackles, so a taller, thinner athlete at the tackle position holds up well in our offensive scheme.
So we have some guys that will probably be earmarked to play on the inside, some earmarked to play on the outside and a couple can go either/or.Â I think Joey Warburg is a guy that can go inside or outside, and I feel the same about Devin Smith as well.
Q.Â Adding any more guys the next couple days?
COACH HOPE:Â Yes.
Q.Â Just the two defensive linemen you signed, Watson and Ike, how do they fit in kind of in the context, how do those guys fit in in terms of some guys believing they can play man‑to‑man outside line?
COACH HOPE:Â We didn't recruit those guys with the idea of idea of either a 4‑3 or 3‑4.Â We recruited those guys as defensive line prospects, and both of them are defensive ends.Â Kingsley a little bit lighter, about 6' 4, about 220 pounds, but he's an off‑the‑edge rusher right now, very athletic, very aggressive; really, really smart.Â He's an engineering student candidate for Purdue.Â He reminds me a lot of the good ends that we had here in the past, guys we signed because they were excellent athletes, all the edge‑rush type guys who had to get big and stronger before they were ready to play in the Big 10.
Big kid, Ryan Watson from Baltimore, Maryland in my mind he's more of a strong end.Â He's got good quickness, he's very aggressive, plays with leverage.Â He's about 270 pounds right now.Â He's trying to keep his weight down and stay with a lean body type.Â You look back during the course of the season last year and we were tied with certain teams and we had to put two tackles in the game at one time.
We put Kawann Short out there at the defensive end position playing a five technique to help us with some of the big strong all‑tackle power running teams, and I think Ryan Watson is a guy that can come in and purpose very well as a strong defensive end, someone that's big enough and stout enough to play out toward the offensive tackle against the strong running teams, quick enough to manufacture some pass rushes, and maybe in time (indiscernible).
We like both of those guys as defensive end prospects.Â And there are two types, two different types of defensive end prospects, and obviously Greg Latta was very important to us because he could be here mid year, and he has the size and athleticism and the brains and the talent and he'll play for us right away.
Q.Â You get a guy like Watson who had the options he had, obviously, is that maybe a little more satisfying in terms of recruiting?
COACH HOPE:Â Not necessarily.Â I understand what you're getting at, but the thing that really excited me about Ryan Watson is he, along with a lot of other guys in his class, chose Purdue for all the right reasons.
I was concerned in the recruiting process when there was a change from a staffing standpoint with the coach that recruited him and was going to be his position coach.Â When I called Ryan Watson up and talked to him about where we were at staff wise, the first words that came out of his mouth and his father's mouth was, "Coach, we're still fully committed to Purdue."Â And they chose Purdue for all the right reasons.Â The position coach is one of those right reasons, but only one of the right reasons.Â The value of Purdue education is why Ryan wants to come to Purdue and also the opportunity to play in the Big 10.
Q.Â The rankings might fair this out, but do you feel like in your opinion is this the best class that you've assembled in your time here at Purdue?
COACH HOPE:Â I don't know.Â You hope it is.Â You'd like to say that.Â The rankings are fun and they're nice, but you won't know until three or four years down the road.Â We didn't get a whole lot of kudos for signing Raheem last year.Â And he's one of the fastest guys in the country, fastest guy on our track team here at Purdue right now, led the nation in kick‑off returns.
So you never know if the experts are right, but it's nice that a lot of the so‑called experts have recognized this recruiting class.Â Numbers help me a lot.Â Last year we only signed about a dozen guys, I believe, on the National Letter Day and it's hard to have a dozen guys regardless of how good they are.Â This is a large class that helps us in a lot of ways, a lot of good prospects that were recruited last year.Â That's really what the rankings were based on.Â It's based on who all wanted the guys.
Sometimes you have a guy that's committed to you early in the recruiting process doesn't allow other schools to recruit him.Â He doesn't have any chance to ever increase his rating by all the recruiting experts.Â So it's exciting to have a class that's ranked as high as it is.Â There's an old saying that recruiting is a lot like babies.Â No one ever says you have an ugly baby, but there's a lot of ugly people in the world.Â No one ever says they have a bad recruiting class, but there's a lot of bad football teams.Â So you have to wait and see how it all develops over a period of time.
Q.Â IÂ’m not sure how to follow that up.
COACH HOPE:Â I don't either.Â I hope I don't regret saying that later.
Q.Â Just in the last month we talked a lot of about perception and reality and getting to the bowl games and things.Â Do you feel like this is just another step sort of like in the right direction of the program as far as the perception of having some momentum and showing fans and perhaps other underclassmen in high school (indiscernible)?
COACH HOPE:Â No question about it.Â We have a lot of things in place right now that we didn't have three years ago, and a lot of things in place that we didn't have eight months ago.Â We had a full‑time football administrative assistant now.Â We didn't have that before.
We have a director of sports performance, Duane Carlisle.Â His staff was a big drawing card in the recruiting process.Â We didn't have a director of player personnel eight months ago.Â Has an extensive background recruiting at this level.Â We have Paul Gonnella in place now.Â So a lot of things in place right now for the program.Â A ranked recruiting class I think is a good indication of the direction that we're going in.Â A lot of things that are coming of age now for a football program has to do with things that are in place now from an operations standpoint that hasn't been in place before.
Q.Â Players I wanted to talk to you about, just the kickers, Griggs and Meadows.Â Seems like ‑‑ obviously with Carson not here anymore, you're going to have a spot open potentially.Â What are you going to do next year?
COACH HOPE:Â We could have a spot for both of those guys because we're in a novel situation.Â We're one of the few teams in the conference that has a full‑time assistant coach, his job description is dedicated solely towards coordination of special teams and a guy that's considered one of the premier instructors or specialist on a national level.Â He's an outstanding coach for kickers and punters and snappers.Â He's an outstanding special teams coach.Â So we have a draw to Purdue.
We bring the very best kickers and punters to our camp.Â We have a chance to watch them inside the Mollenkopf Athletic facility which is as fine a facility to have to work kickers out in.Â So we are very high on both of those signings, with Thomas Meadows and with Paul Griggs, but if you noticed, we're in position right now from a coaching standpoint to cross‑train our guys.
Carson Wiggs, who is behind the center and we use him as our punter when we're coming out of the end zone we use him as our backup punter.Â There were a couple times later in the season where Cody wasn't playing as well.Â We put Carson Wiggs in the game, so we cross‑train our guys.Â Thomas Meadows is an outstanding kick‑off man.Â He was in our camp, did a great job with kickoffs.Â He could come in and compete and be the guy that kicks off for us next year.
Paul Griggs is an outstanding field goal kicker, and he also has the potential to be the same quality of long ball hitter that Carson Wiggs has been the last two or three years.Â Carson Wiggs may be the best field goal kicker in all of football in regards to kicking the long ball and Carson Wiggs could be the same type of long ball hitter as well.Â So I'm anticipating both of those guys to come in and compete and help us utilizing both of those guys and they can help us win.
Q.Â Can you just talk about Anthrop, the local kid, what you like about him?Â He's listed as an athlete and obviously did a lot of different things for CC.
COACH HOPE:Â I like everything about Danny Anthrop, and really his recruiting process was kind of a throwback in some ways.Â That's how we used to do it.Â In the old days you'd go out and identify them as juniors, guys you thought might have a chance to be a special player for your program.Â You'd watch him over a period of time, you'd stay in touch with them and come back and evaluate them their senior year.Â If they were guys that are improved and guys you thought could come in and make a difference to your program, you'd offer them a scholarship.Â He was a guy we knew a lot about because he was local.Â He was a good player.Â We looked at his junior film and recognized he was a good prospect, he still had some developing to do.
I think the effort that he put into his track season last year, I think that really impacted his performance as a football player his senior year.Â When his senior videotape came out, I thought he was a significantly better player, a significantly more explosive player, faster player, more aggressive player, more confident player than he was when he was younger.Â So really excited about Danny Anthrop.
To be able to take someone locally that you feel like can impact your program to me is one of the most exciting things about this recruiting class.Â I could be off in some ways, but I came here in '97 and we had Chike Okeafor on the team.Â He probably graduated from high school '94, '95, somewhere around in there, and then we had Dustin Keller right before I came back to Purdue, a local guy.Â And now we have Danny Anthrop.Â I don't know if there have been any other BCS prospects.Â I don't know.Â Maybe you guys know better than I.
Q.Â I just wanted to talk to you, too, about the wide receivers.Â Seems like a position where you would like somebody to sort of step up in that spot.Â Is there an opportunity for one or more of these guys to play a little bit?
COACH HOPE:Â I think so.Â When you go to the next level, the physical maturity sometimes can be a difference maker.Â Out of the three receivers they're all three different.Â You have BJ Knauf is one.Â He reminds me a lot of Vinny Sutherland.Â First time I saw him on film I thought he was like Vinny Sutherland.Â First time I met him in person, he's built like Vinny, he's taller than Vinny.Â BJ is probably 5' 11, but both extremely fast.
BJ Knauf had participated in Miami's camp last year, and there were several hundred skill players at that camp, and he ran 4.4 twice in the timing.Â And they raced all those kids every night after practice, and at the end of every day at camp he was the fastest guy there.
Sutherland was not as fast.Â Knauf is maybe about an inch taller, he's really developed, really strong, spent a lot of time in the weight room, so he's physically maybe mature enough to help us the right way.
Jordan Woods is one of the leading receivers in the state of Michigan the last two years.Â Whether he's been most catches and most yards or most yards per catch, whatever it may be, but he's been a top statistical guy in the state of Michigan the last two years in a row, very athletic.Â He ran a 4.5 500 yards.Â Second fastest guy that came to our camp last summer.Â Jordan Woods has a good game.Â He's 6' 2, has long arms.Â He's a good student, very, very athletic, smooth as silk when he runs.Â He's going to have to get bigger and stronger when he walks out on the perimeter.
Cameron Posey is kind of a mix of the two, he's taller, about 6' 2, stronger, more developed now upper body wise than Jordan Woods.Â Cameron Posey has excellent ball skills, great hands, excellent work ethic.Â So all three of those guys have redeeming qualities.Â I'm not sure which one will be the one in the best position to help us next year.Â Could be BJ Knauf, could be Cameron Posey; maybe it's Jordan Woods.Â Physical maturity will be a factor in it and they'll have a transition period during their freshman year, being away from home and being able to adjust.
Q.Â You've signed all of the guys to one‑year renewable scholarships.Â Is that right?
COACH HOPE:Â Yes.
Q.Â Why did you go that route instead of the four‑year?
COACH HOPE:Â Well, really, the four‑year, the multi‑year scholarships was just a proposal up until recently.Â So we started the recruiting process and up until a couple of weeks ago it was only a proposal, and it wasn't really adopted until about the middle of January, I think January 15th, and it has a 60‑day override period.
So to my mind it would be a little misleading to sign someone to a recently adopted proposal that's really in the middle of a 60‑day override.Â I didn't want to sign them to a four‑year scholarship in February and turn around possibly 60 days from now and change our minds.Â I just thought until it's etched in stone, since these are contracts, let's sign that we know it's etched in stone and is valid and is not going to change.
If it changes, I think March 14th is the deadline, the override period.Â At that point in time if we have to change our minds or make a different decision, we will.Â In my mind if it was etched in stone by signing contracts, theoretically you're in an override period.Â I didn't think that was a good way to go about business.
I don't know the difference, whatever it takes to keep the scholarships is not going to change, whatever it's a one‑year deal or four‑year deal.Â And whatever it takes to lose a scholarship is not going to change whether it's a one‑year or four‑year deal.
Q.Â Austin Appleby, how did you first kind of maybe I guess take us back through that recruiting process of when you first saw him and really thought he could be a guy who could play here for you?
COACH HOPE:Â He obviously was a national recruit in some ways.Â We needed a left quarterback.Â Coach Nord was a young coach at University of Louisville and coached his dad.Â Wasn't his position coach, but he was I think a freshman when Coach Nord was a graduate assistant or first‑year coach at the University of Louisville, so they had some ties, if you will.
But the thing that really impacted me in my evaluation of Austin Appleby is when he came to our camp this summer, he was four months off of ACL surgery.Â I haven't seen any of our quarterbacks going through practices or camps four months out of ACL surgery.Â And I wasn't sure whether or not Austin could go through it.Â He was determined.Â And we were going through some drills and he was running over some bags and at a certain point in time we'd give him a command and he pulled up between the bags and throw the ball, and he tripped over the bag, and I thought he'd injured himself, and I was really concerned.Â And before I could get a word out, he jumped up and stuffed the ball right in the target.
At that point in time I had my mind made up this was my guy, someone we would want to have on our football team.Â From an academic standpoint he's a very good student, excellent leader.Â I thought he showed a lot of courage four months off of an ACL surgery going through camp, and he went through a lot of camps, not just ours.
Q.Â Is he different than some of the athletic kind of running quarterbacks that you have?Â Is he more of a traditional drop‑back guy?
COACH HOPE:Â He's a pro style quarterback.Â He's not a guy that lays in bed at night and is going to think professional.Â Trying to manufacture a lot of quarterback run game with.Â He runs fine.Â Don't misunderstand me, but he's a big strong arm quarterback that's more of a pro style.
I really like Bilal Marshall in the evaluation process.Â He was always in my mind one of the top dual‑threat quarterbacks in the country, and the quarterback was always on our short list.Â Actually he was on our wish list.Â I really regarded Bilal Marshall very highly in the recruiting process.Â He's a guy that has run a .22 flat 200 meters as a junior in high school.Â He's an excellent student, comes from a great family.Â He has a school record in the 400 meters, a school that's been around for about 75 years.Â 400 meters is a man's race, so here's a guy that has sprinter's speed.Â Obviously he has a lot of intestinal fortitude about him.Â He's a great player on the field.Â I think that he's similar to Rob Henry in some ways, but more advanced as a passer in the same stage.Â I think he runs a lot like Rob Henry, he's taller than Rob Henry, but he has Rob‑Henry‑type speed.Â But he's further along as a passer coming out of his junior than what Rob was.Â So similar to Rob in some ways, but maybe more accomplished as a passer over his career.Â It was a no‑brainer for me.
Q.Â With Carvajal, obviously he's here now.Â How much does that help a guy when you're able to come mid year and have that under your belt and be in the weight room and everything?
COACH HOPE:Â Well, they're ready to play now; it makes all the difference in the world, be part of the team now, going through the workouts, and being in the weight room.Â He and Greg Latta both they're both going to get bigger and stronger and faster, but they're already big and strong and fast enough to play with us right now.
That's the beauty of it.Â They can go ahead and get indoctrinated into the system, study hall, classes, team meetings, weight room, off‑season conditioning.Â It's huge to have those two guys here.Â Both of those guys can impact our football team.Â There's no question about it.
Q.Â And Carvajal is projected as a tight end.Â Is that someplace that he'll stay?
COACH HOPE:Â You never know where they'll end up when it's all said and done, but he's a really good tight end.Â He's also a good defensive end.Â I remember going out and meeting Carlos a couple years ago, or at least being able to evaluate him all the way back to his junior year.Â When I met him, he was 6' 6, 190 pounds and very thin, and I thought he looked like everything but a Big 10 football player.Â And when I saw his film as a junior, he was a lights‑out player.Â He could really run, really hit.Â He was on defense, lighting them up.Â He was catching passes, great athlete.
We recruited him hard.Â He committed to Purdue the first go‑around.Â He was behind a little bit academically.Â So he went on to Milford Academy Prep School.Â He comes out of prep school this year, get ready to play with the football team.Â When the fall camp rolls around, he was just like every other freshman getting ready.
The timing was right.Â I think he can make an impact to our football team as a tight end or defensive end.Â Obviously he wants to play tight end and that's where we're going to line him up.
Q.Â He's listed at 240 now; right?
COACH HOPE:Â Yes.
Q.Â So he obviously worked to get to where he is?
COACH HOPE:Â Worked very hard.Â He's a really good football player.
Q.Â Just talk about the two safeties, what kind of impact could they possibly have the next season for you?
COACH HOPE:Â They're different types of safeties.Â I think that Anthony Brown can play any skill position on our football team; very, very fast.Â He's got good size.Â He's at least as tall as I am, not that I'm all that tall.Â He's not a little skill guy.Â He's over six feet tall, and has a good body on him.Â He's good size potential there, and he was third in the state of Florida last year in his classification.Â I'm not sure which classification Hillsborough would be in, but it's a bigger school, so third in the state of Florida. Anthony Brown won, our football team or on our track team is possibly going to lead.Â Anthony Brown was an outstanding player on offense this year.Â He averaged about 150 yards rushing a game.Â Look at his highlight tape, he was outstanding on both sides of the ball.Â So he's a guy that can play any skill position on a football team.
But Jordan Shine is more of a safety.Â He's stockier build, a big hitter.Â I thought looking at him as a junior player on film that he was a Top 5 or 6 football player prospects in the state of Indiana, and we offered him early and he committed to us early.Â I really appreciated his loyalty.Â He's been true to his word all along.Â Both of those guys have the skill set or they bring something to the table from a quality standpoint that could allow them to be on the field.
Jordan Shine is a hard hitter, good contact, has quick feet, good pass coverage.Â He has the ability to compete with what we'll have in place and our two deep when he gets here.Â Both of those guys can play next year.
Q.Â Coach, Anthrop is a local kid, the other guys from Indiana.Â First couple years you spent a lot of time in Florida and the Southeast, but how important is it to get local kids, but not just local kids but in the state of Indiana?
COACH HOPE:Â It's really important, but we didn't change anything from a philosophical standpoint.Â We went about our business exactly the same as we have in the past.Â It's a result of numbers.
Â Â Â Â Â Jimmy Herman was exciting because his mom and dad are both Purdue people.Â He's a great student, 4.0.Â He's an outstanding student.Â He came to our camp‑‑ we watched his junior film; he was playing safety and he was a good player on film, but we couldn't tell what his numbers would be.
He came to camp and ran in the high 4.5s, which was a really good time for a linebacker prospect, and he ran a great shuttle time, defensive back shuttle time in our camp.Â He's 6' 4, about 190 pounds; now he's 6'4 250.Â In my mind he's a lot like Joe Holland, same type of student.Â Both have red hair, but same type of student, in‑state guy, great academics, great family, outstanding athlete, a little bit taller than Joe.Â He was a no‑brainer once he came to camp.
We encourage the in‑state recruits to come to our camps in the summer, play spring football in the state of Indiana.Â You can walk right up on those guys and watch them practice and see exactly what they're all about.Â You can't do that in the state of Indiana.Â If you come to our camps and we get a chance to find out more about them, I'm glad Jimmy Herman came to our camp.Â He did well in our camp and caught our eye, and developed a relationship.Â It was a no‑brainer.
Aloyis Gray, I have a few stories about him.Â We identified him as a junior and he was playing wide receiver.Â He comes from Hialeah High School.Â We've been to that high school a lot the last couple years.Â We knew about him.Â I'd seen him.Â I knew what he looked like.Â He was very tall, very long arms.Â And we evaluated him playing the wide receiver position.Â We offered him a scholarship based on the film we saw him playing wide receiver, and all of a sudden senior year he was a quarterback.Â He had played quarterback I believe his ninth grade, tenth grade season some, was injured and then played his junior year as a receiver.Â His senior year rolled around, he was playing quarterback, got injured, went down his senior year, got behind on the bench a little bit, someone else played the quarterback position.Â But he wants to play quarterback.Â So we'll give him that opportunity to play quarterback.
I've never seen him throw a pass.Â We offered him a scholarship based on his junior film in the receiver position.Â But he's a heck of an athletic, very, very bright, excellent leadership potential.Â But he asserted himself to communicate with the coaches and other recruits throughout the recruiting process.Â So he shows a lot of the intangibles it could take to play the quarterback position, but he was never really evaluated as a quarterback.Â My philosophy as a head coach is if you want to play in a certain position, tell me and we'll line you up and you can compete in that spot until you earn a position in the two deep or decide to move somewhere else.Â He fits in that category.
Q.Â How long do you foresee all these quarterbacks staying at quarterback and Appleby?
COACH HOPE:Â Time will tell.Â We're going to give them all a chance to compete.Â Right now we have three quarterbacks coming back.Â Four, actually with Sean Robinson as well.Â We started him last season, so there will be a line with these guys from a repitition standpoint.Â But we could do a lot of different things with them.Â We have the last couple of years out of necessity we've had to incorporate some dual quarterback systems and plans, if you will.Â We can kind of hold true to that with these guys because they're very athletic.Â So we'll give them every opportunity to compete at the quarterback position.Â Obviously it won't be any clarity brought to these new guys throughout the course of camp.
Q.Â Gary Nord in a culture shock having all these quarterbacks as opposed to all the injured ones he's had the last couple years?
COACH HOPE:Â Well, I don't know.Â Based on what he's had the last couple years, I think he's just in shock in general.Â It's unbelievable really.
Q.Â With the different type of quarterbacks what's a different type of offense you may run?
COACH HOPE:Â I'd like to be able to if we had to get in the shock, spread the football field, throw the ball as many times as we need to in order to win or line up and hand it off and establish a run game and run the football as many times as we can.
Don't ever want to be a football team that can't run it or a football team that can't pass it.Â We tried that in the past and it's tough.Â I like the idea of having a dual‑thread quarterback that we can develop.Â You saw with Justin Silverman for us at the bowl game behind the center.Â Wildcat quarterback, in my mind three years ago, I thought he was going to be the guy until he got himself in an academic situation.Â He got injured and he didn't practice in the position a couple of years, but having a vocal quarterback, I think is dual‑thread quarterback can be important and be able to have a dual, multiple quarterback system.Â It fits right along the lines of what we've been trying to do the last couple of years anyway.
Q.Â You had spoken about the rankings.Â I want to get just your gut feeling on this class and how you feel about it.
COACH HOPE:Â I feel great about it.Â I think the rankings are encouraging, a lot of the so‑called experts have signed a good class.Â Guys that over a year ago recruited them long and hard.Â It's a very smart class.Â Our average GPA for their core classes right now is (indiscernible).Â And average test score for this class right now is almost 1100.Â Those are good numbers.
So a very smart class, a class that meets our needs.Â When they walk in the room, they'll pass a little test.Â All the offensive line are big and tall and have great frames.Â Defensive linemen are all tall, athletic, some speed in the class; no peanuts, no little bitty guys.Â No 5' 6, 5' 7 guys in the class.Â So I feel really good about the class.Â I hope the rankings are right and we'll be in the good a couple years down the road.
THE MODERATOR:Â Is that it for everybody?Â Okay, folks.Â Thank you very much.Â Appreciate your time.
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