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UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA MEDIA CONFERENCE
February 5, 2014
THE MODERATOR:¬† Welcome here to Cal for our annual Signing Day Press Conference.¬† Happy to have you back here.¬† We'll go ahead and start with an opening statement from head Coach Sonny Dykes, and then we'll entertain questions.
Open up for a comment from Sonny Dykes.
COACH DYKES:¬† I think this was a solid recruiting class on the heels of a tough season.¬† I think that's the thing that I'm very proud of is how our coaches and our staff rolled their sleeves up and went to work.
The great thing about being at Cal is there's so much that the university itself sells to these kids.¬† I mean, Cal's going to sell itself.¬† The opportunity to come to the number one public institution in the world and get a degree here is always going to be attractive to kids that are serious about getting a degree and getting a quality degree and something that's going to change their lives.¬† So that allows us to go out and recruit really good football players that have that mindset.
I think it's important for us, as we've talked about many times, to find those type of kids.¬† The fit is so important for us.¬† The great thing about this group, I think it fits.¬† There's going to be‑‑ and we said this last year.¬† There's going to be a bunch of signing classes today that sign guys that are highly ranked players that know that those guys aren't going to play for them.¬† They're going to be at a junior college for two years or whatever.
We anticipate this group being here, and so that's‑‑ again, that's what's exciting about this bunch is that these are the players that we think are going to play for us in the fall, and we're really excited about it.
We're excited about the kids that graduated and are participating in our conditioning program right now as we start preparing for spring football.¬† So we're excited about that group as well.
Again, it was a solid class, a class I'm very excited about.¬† We addressed needs.¬† We started‑‑ it was unusual.¬† We started with the idea we were going to sign 12 guys and ended up with about 22, probably about 22 when it's all said and done, that will sign.¬† So we had to do some adjusting on the fly.
A year ago, we looked at our linebacker depth, and we said, wow, we're as deep at linebacker as anybody in college football, and all of a sudden, you look up, and we're not.¬† So we had to address linebackers, which I was really pleased with what we did with that group.
Obviously, we needed to address the running back.¬† We felt like we needed to get bigger at the running back position, and we certainly did that with the addition of Devante and Vic.¬† Those are two big backs.¬† Devante can play a lot of positions, but I think his first reps will be at running back in the spring, and we'll see how that goes.
And Tre Watson is probably as good of a football player, as productive as anybody in high school this year.¬† His numbers were astronomical and did that against some of the best competition in the state.
We addressed those needs.¬† We also needed to find a junior college corner, and I think we signed the number one JC guy in the country, according to some lists.¬† So that was encouraging.¬† We needed somebody with size, and Darius has got great size.¬† So we're fired up about him.
We're excited overall.¬† The men, the work they put in and the hours they put in, those guys did an incredible job.¬† It was really a team effort.
We had a coaching change kind of in the middle of the recruiting cycle, and that certainly‑‑ you know, certainly made it difficult, but it was one of those things we felt like we needed to do, and we did it, and we moved forward.¬† Again, credit to our staff and our recruiting staff.¬† We were able to put together a heck of a class.
So I'm very excited about it.¬† I think this group is going to be a special group, going to do a lot of great things for Cal.¬† The thing I was most impressed with was we had 11 kids up for an official visit one weekend.¬† I think we ended up getting 10 of the 11, and just the bond that those kids shared and the commitment they had to Cal, I think, was really exciting and fun to watch.
So I couldn't have been more pleased with what happened today.
Q.¬† Sonny, you described as solid and a nice recovery from a 1‑11 season.¬† When you look at it, are you also thinking, it needs to be stronger going forward next year?
COACH DYKES:¬† You know, the funny thing about recruiting classes, you guys know.¬† I mean, we've talked a little bit about some of the classes that have been signed around here in the past, and they looked really good on paper and didn't‑‑ weren't so good.¬† And for a lot of different reasons‑‑ you know, student‑athlete retention, guys not qualifying, just not working, those types of thing.
So to me, you judge a recruiting class three or four years from now.¬† There's going to be those guys that sign classes today that are top ten classes that just don't get much out of that class, and there's going to be some classes today that are bottom ten that are going to be really good for the program.
All this is speculation.¬† Nobody knows.¬† This is like‑‑ this is like right in the NFL Draft with a lot less information and a lot less available information.¬† So it's a crap shoot, it always is.¬† You just don't know how these things are going to play out.¬† You think you do.¬† Everybody in the room thinks they know who's going to be the stars in this class, but truth is we really don't.
As I said, this class will be, in my opinion, the way you judge this class is three or four years from now.
Q.¬† Addressing the linebacker depth, is Nick Forbes going to be available next year, or is he done?
COACH SYKES:¬† No, he's not going to be available next year.
Q.¬† Is he going to be retired for injury?
COACH SYKES:¬† I believe so, yes.
Q.¬† How much did Art Kaufman help with recruiting your defensive guys?
COACH DYKES:¬† I think what Art did at the end was solidified some guys.¬† He was able to settle some guys down.¬† Any time you make a coaching change, there's uncertainty.¬† Art did a good job coming in, building a relationship with a lot of these kids in a small amount of time, and I think giving us a direction and giving us some certainty.
The great thing about Art is he's got a resume that we can hang our hat on.¬† He's got experience.¬† He's done it.¬† He's got a proven track record.¬† And so I think that was attractive to those kids that were defensive players certainly, and really to all the kids that were going to be part of our program.¬† I think any time you can put their mind at ease, I think it helps your recruiting class.
Q.¬† Sonny, you've got an 11th hour commit, I guess, in Hamilton Anoa'i‑‑ I don't know if I'm pronouncing that correctly‑‑ coming from Northwestern.¬† How did that come about?¬† Can you tell us how that came to be?
COACH DYKES:¬† Yeah, it the just one of those things that happens sometimes.¬† A lot of it had to do with the current needs on our roster.¬† We started looking at linebackers and depth, and he was an athlete that we were aware of that we had evaluated that we liked.
I think a lot of times‑‑ Art came in and saw his tape and liked him and thought, wow, this is my kind of guy.¬† So I think we reached out to him, and he was receptive and made it happen.
Q.¬† Was it one of your assistants who did most of your work on that or you yourself?
COACH DYKES:¬† Garrett Chachere probably did most of the work on it.
Q.¬† Joe Mixon made some comments about the bear raid offense.¬† What is your response to that and those that think maybe the offense isn't the most efficient?
COACH DYKES:¬† We've got a proven track record.¬† I mean, I don't really have a comment.¬† I think 17 years of being one of the top offenses in the country.¬† But, yeah, I don't have any comment specifically about that.
Q.¬† Sonny, on the heels of Hamilton, talk about just your ability to flip, I think, seven guys who initially were headed somewhere else.¬† How did that happen?
COACH DYKES:¬† Yeah, I think just hard work, hard work, building relationships, and, again, the power of Cal, the power of the university.
Again, if you're recruiting an academic kid, as someone who's really serious about getting an ivy league education and playing big time college football, there's not many places in the country you can do that.¬† So I think, when a lot of these kids are presented with that opportunity, they're excited about it, and they jump on it.
Again, credit our coaching staff for hard work and sticking with guys and not giving up.¬† That's‑‑ you know, in some ways it benefits you to flip guys and some ways it hurt.¬† We had guys that were committed to us that got flipped as well.
That's the nature of recruiting now.¬† It seems to be that guys commit earlier than they ever have before, and as a result, they change their mind.¬† And that's okay, but that's the‑‑ you win some, and you lose some in that regard.¬† I felt like we won the lion's share of that and lost some as well, but that's recruiting.
Q.¬† Sonny, Stanford has established itself as a national power.¬† It's got the best recruiting class in the Pac‑12.¬† Does that make your job more difficult, or does it actually help you?
COACH DYKES:¬† No, I think it helps.¬† I think in a lot of ways it helps.¬† I think, because‑‑ again, I think sometimes high academic institutions haven't always been power houses in college football, and they've proven that you can do both.¬† And so I think in a lot of ways it opens people's eyes to the idea that you can‑‑ you can recruit kids that are serious about academics and be successful on the field as well.
Q.¬† How much did the 1‑11 season come up recruiting guys?¬† Was it a big‑‑ did you have to sell guys on‑‑
COACH DYKES:¬† You know what's funny?¬† A lot of times with recruits‑‑ I mean, we could have told them we were 11‑1, and they wouldn't have known.¬† You know what I mean?¬† They're focused on a lot of other things sometimes besides the record.¬† Just like everything else, some kids were acutely aware of it.¬† Others didn't really know.¬† Some didn't care.¬† Others cared deeply.
You know, it's just recruiting.¬† Everybody's different.¬† Everybody's looking for something different.¬† So that's the key in recruiting is figuring out what's important to that particular student‑athlete and address it.¬† Some guys are‑‑ you know, some guys, it was a big issue, and other guys it wasn't an issue at all.
Q.¬† Sonny, of the high school players you signed, how many do you expect to be playing as true freshmen?¬† Any way of telling at this point?
COACH DYKES:¬† If you'd have asked me that last year, I'd have said not very many.¬† I think we played 12.¬† I don't know.¬† Hard to say.¬† A lot of that depends on what happens with our team.¬† So much of that depends on staying healthy during fall camp and, you know, getting an opportunity.¬† If there's a lot of depth in certain positions, then more often than not, a player won't contribute early.
If you'd have asked me a year ago did I think Chris Borrayo was going to start seven games at guard as a true freshman, I would have said there's no way.¬† So you just don't know.
At some point, we'll do this as a staff, and we'll write it down just so we can keep it and make fun of guys.¬† We'll say, Okay, who's going to be the best guy in this class?¬† Who's going to be the last guy in the class that's going to contribute?¬† Typically, whoever receives the least amount of votes is going to be the best player.
Q.¬† And what do you see for Rubenzer as a true freshman?
COACH DYKES:¬† That's a good question.¬† We'll see.¬† That will be interesting because this spring will be big for us at quarterback.¬† Obviously, Jared's going to have to have a good spring and improve, and we anticipate that he will.
And Austin Hinder as a backup.¬† We'll see what Austin does.¬† I mean, I'm really excited about him.¬† He's a great kid.¬† He's one of my favorite kids on our team. ¬†He's got an incredible attitude, work ethic, just love to be around him, and I think that attitude's infectious.¬† I think our players believe in him, and they enjoy playing for him.¬† So I'm excited to see what he can do as the backup quarterback.
And then we'll see with Luke coming in and where we go from there.¬† You know, Luke was obviously a guy that put up some pretty impressive numbers in high school.¬† He gives us a little bit of dimension‑‑ a little different dimension because he can run so well.
And Chase Forrest is going to be a kid as well that I'm anxious to see what he can do.¬† Chase is a little different.¬† He's a little taller.¬† He's got a very strong arm, and I think he'll provide something a little bit different as well.¬† He's a good athlete.¬† We like both those guys.
We felt like it was important to sign two quarterbacks in this class just because when you look‑‑ and we were going to get into a bind if Austin is going to be a senior this year, and Kyle Boehm could potentially graduate pretty quickly.¬† And if he didn't come back, then we were going to be down two scholarship quarterbacks.¬† That's bad business.¬† So we felt like we needed to take a third.
Q.¬† Staying on the quarterbacks for a second, Sonny, Kyle Boehm could potentially graduate this spring?
COACH DYKES:¬† No, like in the fall.¬† Yeah, yeah.
Q.¬† And you sort of characterize, at least it sounded to me like you characterized Jared as having to prove that he belongs as the starting quarterback still.¬† Is that an issue?
COACH DYKES:¬† No, I don't think so.¬† I think he's just got to get back and get healthy and continue to improve.
Q.¬† Can you talk about‑‑ I think you got two players from the greater Bay Area, nobody from the East Bay in what I think was a pretty strong year.
COACH DYKES:¬† Yeah.
Q.¬† How concerned are you about that?¬† How do you turn that around?¬† That's been a strength of Cal over the years, protecting its backyard.
COACH DYKES:¬† There was a couple of kids that we went heavy on that we didn't get obviously that were disappointing.¬† A lot of them had academic issues, we didn't feel they were necessarily great academic fits.¬† So I think that was‑‑ there was some hesitancy on our part to recruit some guys that we didn't feel like fit the academic profile.
But I think that's‑‑ as we move forward, that's one thing we're going to talk a lot about and spend a lot of time considering what can we do to make sure we're keeping all the guys local here?
I think that‑‑ any good football program protects its own backyard, and I think it's important for us to do that and to have an emphasis recruiting in the Bay Area.¬† I think it's a strong year coming up for Bay Area kids.¬† I think we're ahead of the game on those kids.¬† They're identified.¬† We're already building relationships with them.¬† We're much further along right now on the 2015 kids than we were obviously a year ago.
So I think we're in a good position.
Q.¬† Sonny, could you talk about the coaching changes, particularly the position coach changes and how you approach that in terms of when Barry and Randy were let go on the 8th, what was the urgency to get someone right away?¬† Was it just a matter of‑‑ what kind of unfolded, and what were you thinking?
COACH DYKES:¬† The first thing you've got to do is hire a coordinator, and I identified Art pretty quickly.¬† Like most things, it took a little bit longer to get it done than you want it to because, quite frankly, he was being pursued by other people.¬† So that took a while.
Once we did that, then at that point I'd interviewed probably six or eight different candidates at the national convention for secondary jobs.¬† Some more candidates' names came up.¬† We brought four guys in, met with them here with Art, and then felt like we picked Greg, felt like he was the best fit and had the experience, was everything we were looking for.
So we were very fortunate to be able to hire him.¬† And the funny thing is it's always good to get quality people.¬† That's the most important thing.¬† Any time you hire coaches, it the a process, and, again, a lot of it has to do with how the negotiations go.¬† Is this the only job that they're involved in are they involved in other jobs?¬† Just like anything else, you've got to let some of those things play out, and that takes some time.
And the important thing is find the right people.¬† It doesn't matter when you find them.¬† It's finding them.¬† Would I have liked to have hired somebody the next day?¬† Certainly.¬† But that's not the way this stuff works.
Q.¬† Can you talk a little bit about the offensive line, the three guys coming in are a little bit unheralded, but they possess some traits I know the staff values.¬† Can you talk a little bit about what they bring?
COACH DYKES:¬† The thing about that group, I think they're Chris Borrayo type guys.¬† They're strong, powerful, physical, passionate about football, tough.¬† And that's the kind of offensive line that we want to build is build it with toughness and build it with kids who are program type guys.
All three of the additions are‑‑ I think they're very physical.¬† I think they're tough.¬† I think they play hard.¬† They were all good students.¬† So when you sat down and you looked at what do we need with that group up front?¬† We've got to build a group up front that's accountable and tough and committed and strong and all those things, and these guys are all those.
So I love the group.¬† I really do.¬† I feel real strongly about it.¬† You know, next year we're going to need to address some tackle type guys, some longer, athletic guys, and we know that.¬† Didn't really feel a need to do that this much this year.¬† Really just needed to continue to add strength and toughness to the group, and that's what these three guys do.
Q.¬† Sonny, getting back to Jared, where is he in his recovery?
COACH DYKES:¬† He's good.¬† I think he's ahead of schedule.¬† From all indications he's‑‑ you know, what they were saying before was a week and a half ahead of schedule, two weeks ahead of schedule.¬† I talked to him yesterday.¬† He said he felt good enough to start throwing.¬† We're going to not allow him to do that quite yet, but I think he's ready to do that and feels well enough to do that.
He's on a pretty strict protocol about when we're bringing him back and what he can do, and he feels good about following it.¬† I think he feels great and has no problems with his arm.¬† We don't anticipate there being any lingering issues at all.
Q.¬† What's the status of Sam Atoe?¬† He didn't appear to be on your roster.
COACH DYKES:¬† Waiting on paperwork.
Q.¬† Do you expect him to be with you, or you can't comment?
COACH DYKES:¬† I can't really comment.
Q.¬† Can you talk about a short quarterback won the Super Bowl on Sunday?¬† What does that say about your confidence in Rubenzer in that he can overcome being just under 6 feet?
COACH DYKES:¬† When he gets here, you better not call him short.¬† You're going to have to fight your way out of the room.¬† No, he's just a competitive guy.¬† When you're going to put the ball in somebody's hands every single play and your offense goes through them, you want to put it in a guy's hands that's competitive and confident, and he has all those qualities that you want a great quarterback to have.
His personality is magnetic.¬† He did a great job of holding our class together and recruiting these guys.¬† He's just got that‑‑ some guys are natural leaders.¬† He's got those natural leadership qualities.¬† He's just a talented kid.¬† That's his strength, just those intangibles that you want a great quarterback to have.
Q.¬† You said last month that you'd be shocked if you didn't have a top three class in the Pac‑12?
COACH DYKES:¬† I'll always be shocked at Cal.¬† I think that's the kind of class we ought to have.¬† Again, I think you judge this class three or four years from now.¬† I don't know how you rate them right now, quite frankly.
Same deal.¬† I mean, we could sign some guys now‑‑ we could have gotten some commitments and signed some guys down the stretch that were‑‑ would have helped our class rating, but we didn't think it was going to help our football team.
Q.¬† Are you done, or do you have one more?
COACH DYKES:¬† We're going to have‑‑ we always want to have at least one left over.¬† So now I think we're probably going to have one spot.¬† You'd like to really have two just because there's‑‑ you know, you have potential for transfers and that type of thing.¬† But I think really it fell into place perfectly the way we wanted it to in terms of the numbers.
Q.¬† Sonny, you have a lot of hybrid type guys coming in, especially on defense, a lot of guys that can play outside back or defensive end, safety, outside back or running back.¬† How do you look at placing those guys?¬† Do you really see what they have in the spring or fall, or do you have a preconceived notion of what you want to do with them?
COACH DYKES:¬† Honestly, just kind of see what their body does.¬† We'll see what Devante Downs does.¬† He's a kid that's here.¬† He's big.¬† He's one of those kids you see him, he's 6'3", 235, but he's skinny.¬† What happens to his body?¬† Does he stay the same?¬† Does he become 260 or stay at 235?¬† All those are things that happen.
I think in this group‑‑ Hamilton is a guy that can do a lot of different things that way.¬† When you sit down and look at the bunch, there's a lot of flexibility with these guys.¬† That's good.¬† If they're doing a lot of things for their football team, that means they're good players.¬† If you're a high school coach, you want your best player to touch the football, and you want your best player to play on defense and make tackles.
So the thing I like about these guys is their coaches found ways for them to touch the ball on defense, found ways for them to be versatile on defense, whether it's lining up as a defensive end, rushing, playing linebacker, and even in some cases, playing those guys on pass coverage on the back end that are 200 pounds plus.
So there's a lot of‑‑ you know, they're good athletes.¬† They're long.¬† They're rangy.¬† They're athletic, and they can run.¬† I think that's what we set out to do, and our goal in recruiting this class was to improve our speed, improve our length, and we wanted to be able to be a team that's more athletic and play faster.
Q.¬† You talk about the gap in letting go of Barry and Randy and bringing in a couple of new guys.¬† Did you find that was an impediment when you met with recruits on that side of the ball?
COACH DYKES:¬† You know, I think that‑‑ not necessarily, you know what I mean?¬† I think that any time‑‑ I mean, those guys had relationships.¬† They're both great guys, did a really good job recruiting.
So when they left, obviously, there's uncertainty.¬† So it was important for us and me as a head coach to say, look, we're going to hire the right people.¬† Give us some time.¬† You're going to have an opportunity to meet him, talk to him, get to know him.¬† I think the hiring of Art was obviously a big deal.¬† I think it settles everything down.¬† Again, just because of his experience and his track record.
But the great thing about our coaching staff and, again, our support staff and our recruiting staff is they all had deep relationships with these kids.¬† So if a position coach left, there was eight other guys on the staff that had a lot of‑‑ had invested a lot of time in getting to know these kids.¬† So I think that made them feel probably more comfortable than it could have.
Q.¬† Where is John Porchivina going to fit?¬† Obviously, he's a big, powerful back, but he can also go deep.
COACH DYKES:¬† I think linebacker.¬† That's what we're looking for at linebacker.¬† He's got some length.¬† Obviously, he can run.¬† He's physical.¬† He's very athletic.¬† He's a guy that we just kept coming back to.¬† We kept watching his film, and over and over and over again, we said, wow, this guy's a really, really good football player.¬† He's our kind of guy.¬† Let's try to find a place for him.
As we sat down and got further and further in the process, you're still evaluating your numbers.¬† A lot of it has to do with, again, what's going on in our current roster?¬† Do we feel we need to add more linebackers?¬† Going in, we were going to take two linebackers, and now we feel we need to take three, four, even five.¬† So that list was always growing, and John was exactly what we're looking for.
Same thing, I mean, he's the best player on his football team.¬† He's a guy that they put the game in his hands all the time by playing him at running back.¬† So that kind of kid is a pretty good athlete.¬† He can do a lot of different things, change directions, run.¬† As you said, he's very physical.¬† He's got good size, brings a lot of toughness.¬† So I think he was a very underrated prospect, in my opinion.
Q.¬† Sonny, where are you with your other guys who were injured this year?¬† Scarlett, Sebastian, McClure, Jalil?¬† Do you expect any of those guys for spring?
COACH DYKES:¬† I think Scarlett's fully cleared.¬† Sebastian, I think, will be almost fully cleared by spring.¬† I would expect him to probably be fully cleared.¬† You know, I don't know about‑‑ Jalil's going to be able to do some things.¬† We're going to have to bring him along slowly.¬† McClure won't be doing everything, probably noncontact, but will be out there learning and be able to do some work on the ground and do some things.
Q.¬† Sonny, have you made a decision on what you're going to do with the defensive line coach and how that's going to be?
COACH DYKES:¬† What we'll do is we'll kind of announce our staff assignments at some point here over the next two weeks probably.
Q.¬† Sonny, you talk about addressing your linebacker needs.¬† Was that ‑‑ coming into this recruiting, 2014 recruiting class, was that one of your biggest priorities was to get that linebacker corps?
COACH DYKES:¬† Coming into the season, not really, because we felt like it was a very deep position on our team.¬† But as the season progressed and as the injuries mounted, and pretty serious injuries, then all of a sudden it became a huge position of need for us.
So the number of linebackers that we were going to recruit continued to get larger and larger and larger.¬† Again, the thing that I like about this group, I don't think we reached for anybody.¬† That's the thing.
I mean, sometimes you take a player and you say, wow, this is a reach.¬† We're going to take this kid here, and we don't really like him, but we really need a linebacker or whatever, and I don't feel like we did that with anyone in this class.
Q.¬† Do you see Cedric Dozier staying at cornerback, or do you think he'll switch positions?
COACH DYKES:¬† I think Cedric will stay at corner.
Q.¬† Sonny, do you have any concerns about with Andy Buh being moved from coordinator to a position coach, and just how the chemistry of the staff and the chemistry of the players is going to work in that regard?
COACH DYKES:¬† We'll kind of see how that plays out.¬† I don't really‑‑ Andy is a great guy, a great team guy.¬† Our coaching staff is a great group of guys.¬† They'll work well together.¬† I don't have any concerns about that.
Q.¬† Sonny, can you talk about the work of Rob Likens and Pierre Ingram?¬† It seems like those two in particular brought in some really high profile guys.
COACH DYKES:¬† I was impressed with our entire group.¬† I thought‑‑ I think Pierre is a very good recruiter, does a fantastic job in Southern California, and really recruits hard.¬† I think Rob does a good job as well.
I thought Garrett Chachere recruited well.¬† He had to make a run at some defensive ends.¬† Again, that was a position where coming in we weren't going to take a lot of guys, and we ended up going on a bigger number, larger number of defensive ends than we thought we were going to initially.¬† He did a good job of building those relationships.
So recruiting is a team effort.¬† I mean, it really is.¬† Some guys‑‑ sometimes you're recruiting in an area or a position, and sometimes that's a position of need, and so you end up signing a large number of guys.
But our recruiting's a team effort.¬† It's a collaborative effort.¬† Everybody's involved in recruiting.¬† We start out by area recruiting, identifying players in our area.¬† Some areas have more players, and we make the transition to recruiting by position later in the recruiting cycle.
So any time that you're‑‑ you know, you need to take a large number of players at one particular area, there's going to be one guy that recruits him in particular.¬† Like I said, those guys all did a great job.
Q.¬† Sonny, can you talk a little bit about potential position changes?¬† Might Cameron Walker move back to cornerback.¬† Might McClure get a look at safety?¬† Might Sina get a look at defensive tackle?
COACH DYKES:¬† All those things will play out in the spring.¬† What we'll do is, in conjunction with our strength and conditioning staff, there will be a lot of communication, specifically defensively between our defensive coaches and the strength and conditioning staff, about what guys can do, what their weights are, how are they moving, what are they doing here.¬† And there will be a little bit of projection that takes place at that point.¬† We're projecting this guy at this spot, this guy at that spot.
But I think the three position changes you alluded to are all possible.¬† You know, we'll see how it plays out.¬† It depends on depth at those spots.¬† We feel like those spots get solidified during the spring.¬† There's always a little bit of give and take.
And Art's going to get familiar with the defensive personnel, what their strengths and weaknesses are, and I think he'll put all the pieces in the right spots.
Q.¬† Sonny, you have five or six JC guys coming in.¬† Would you expect all of them to presumably compete for a lot of time or starting jobs?¬† And do you expect also that maybe in the future you wouldn't take as many as six?
COACH DYKES:¬† I think‑‑ you know, it depends really on what you need to do.¬† Obviously, we needed some experience and some depth and some guys we felt like could come in and play, especially defensively.
You know, the tackle position, we needed some age and some experience and some size.¬† And so went out and signed Trevor and David, and they're big bodies that can contribute there in the middle.¬† So I feel good about the group.¬† I mean, I really do.
Again, Darius‑‑ certainly, we were expecting Darius to come in and compete at the corner spot, and Granado at the tackle spot as well.¬† Those guys, we recruited them for the competition, to bring competition, and competition always brings out the best in our players.¬† That's something we always want to do is challenge our players by bringing people in and making them compete for their jobs.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports