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July 21, 2005

Colin Allred

Maurice Lane

Guy Morriss

Daniel Sepulveda


PETER IRWIN: Good morning, and welcome to everyone for Day Three of the Big 12 Media Days for football. Delighted to have everybody out this morning. As a courtesy to our student athletes and coaches, we would like to remind you about your telephones, if you would turn them off or put them on silent or vibrate or whatever you do. We are glad to have everybody out this morning. We would like to welcome the first group up this morning, Coach Guy Morriss and the Baylor Bears. Coach, if you will introduce your players and make a couple comments.

COACH MORRISS: Thank you, Pete. On my far left, Colin Allred, linebacker from Dallas. Next to him is Maurice Lane, a starting free safety from Killeen, and this guy here is probably the most recognizable of the four of us, Daniel Sepulveda, from Dallas as well, a punter and a want-to-be linebacker. I will make a couple comments about this guy. You know, we are very fortunate to have Daniel on our football team, and we first came -- when he first came to Waco the punting game was kind of in a mess, so we were recruiting punters, and Daniel is better to be a linebacker. So we asked if we have anybody out there that can punt a football, and this kid jumps up and down, raises his hand, and I asked him when was the last time he punted, and it was something like junior high, something like that, and I thought oh, boy, here we go. He picks up the football and kicks the cover off it, and the rest is history. Award winner, and we think he is about the best punter in the nation and expect him to be more this year. Maurice lane is a free safety, a senior. We have enjoyed Moe, getting to know him, watching him play ball. He has been a great player for us, expecting a big year from him as well. I think there has been some buzz in the media about him and Moe and Willie Andrews being one of the best safeties in the conference this year, and we feel that way about Moe. Colin, linebacker, he will take over at middle linebacker spot in the middle there. One thing you probably ought to know about Colin, I love this kid. I love all of them, but I really love this kid a lot. I call him a kid. He is a young man, 22 years old. He probably is the first player that I have had since we have been at Baylor to stand up and be the kind of leader that we have been looking for for the last two, two and a half years. I don't know if it's that linebacker mentality or just Colin's personality, but I think about most of his teammates think he is half crazy and they are a little scared of him, but he has kind of been the policeman for us since our last game in November last year, and a lot of these other guys have fallen in behind him, but he has been that leadership that we have really been missing for the last couple of seasons and expect him to have a great year there in the middle at the linebacker spot.

PETER IRWIN: You ready for questions, Coach? How about questions for coach and the players.

Q. Does finding a punter by asking for volunteers change your attitude about using the scholarship and how you feel about that, going out and actively recruiting them?

COACH MORRISS: I think we will continue to actively recruit kickers. I mean, this is a blessing is finding a guy of this quality, you know. I guess the decision of coming to Baylor was following his brother. We have his brother there as well. He walked on and the rest is history. We will continue to search for good specialists. We really emphasize that part of the game. It's important, I sleep good at night, so we are going to have good kickers and good snappers.

Q. Coach, when you came to Baylor and where the program was then, how far have you come and how far do you feel like you still need to go?

COACH MORRISS: Well, I think we have come a long way, really. Better football. Baylor football was kind of in a mess, you know. We had to not only attack it from a football side, but to some degree from an administrative side, and some things that had to be corrected and those type of things, which has progressed, which makes my job that much easier and helps us get things done that we need to get done. As far as the football side has come, I think that it's also come a long way. I feel comfortable that our kids now understand the schemes. They are comfortable with their coaching staff, and there is that relationship that I think has to form, you know, over a trial period, you know trial in games under fire and that kind of stuff, and they know what to expect from us and us from them. I think the thing now, to continue to grow as a football program, falls back on us as coaches. We have to go out and convince 25 kids a year to come to Baylor. I think we are doing pretty good in that regard as well. The class that's coming in in September from some of the old heads around Waco that have been watching football for a long time, they tell me it's probably the best recruiting class in the last 15 years. So hopefully they are right and time will prove that true or not, but I think we have come a long way. We have a long way to go. We are in a tough, tough conference. It seems like we take one step and our competitor takes two, so it's a tough job to close that gap. I think we are making progress.

Q. This is a question for Moe and Colin. You hear people say from time to time that Daniel is one of the best athletes on your team. If he wasn't punting and wasn't so valuable there, what role would he play in the defense? How good would it be? What kind of player do you think he would be on your unit?

MAURICE LANE: I think he will be sort of like a leader like Colin. He is always talking and encouraging people. He probably would be a good linebacker (inaudible) pick up.

COLIN ALLRED: He ran a 4.4 testing on the 40-yard dash. He has whatever kind of speed you want to talk about. As linebacker, safety, he is a great athlete. People talk about it, but it's true. He is a great athlete.

Q. Chip Brown, Dallas Morning News. This question is for Guy and the players. Can you put the Texas A&M victory in perspective for us as you go into this season, maybe how you build on it and just what that victory meant to the program?

COACH MORRISS: Well, as far as me as coach, I don't know how these players feel about it, but I have pretty much forgotten about it. We will talk about that game probably the Monday, Sunday or Monday we get back together as a football team when we are ready to play A&M, and that's all the discussion we will have about it. Last year is over, and they are going to be poised and ready for us when we go to College Station. You can bet on that. To me, it's two different situations now. It has helped us as far as recruiting goes. You know, that was kind of the marquis win, if you want to call it that, last year in our season. There were a lot of recruits out there who took notice of that and that was very beneficial to us as a program.

DANIEL SEPULVEDA: From a player's perspective, I would say the biggest contributing factor that win had for us as a team was in confidence. It let the players know that it can be done, and it's not out of reach. I think some of the guys, sometimes it was kind of the same old deal, we get down early and that's just it, we would give up. It taught us if we just keep fighting, things can go our way.

Q. Hey, Guy, I wonder if you would talk about the difficulty turning the program around, considering every other team in your division went to a bowl game last year.

COACH MORRISS: Well, you know, that's the nature of the beast when you are playing a conference that is as good as the Big 12 is, especially the southern division. We don't really focus too much on what everybody is doing right now. We are trying to just improve ourselves. I think the best thing we can do is to sell what we have to sell and, again, it falls back on us to be good recruiters. That is the most one single thing that we have to be good at in order to turn this program, attracting better athletes to our program on a yearly basis. Each year has to continue to get better, and as those kids are developed, and it's imperative we keep our recruits here for five years. At Baylor we are going to have to win with fourth and fifth-year players. So we focus on doing just that at our place, and hopefully that's good enough to close the gap and catch up with everybody else. You know, I would say the bigger programs in this conference are running at full throttle. They are about as good as they are going to get. How much better can Oklahoma be, and Texas? I mean, they get the cream of the crop now. How much better are they going to be? Our focus has to be on raising our level of recruiting and level of play and those kind of things and that's what we are going to focus on. That's the only thing we can do something about. I can't do anything about what Texas is doing.

Q. Guy, when you talk about the A&M game in terms of recruiting, did you have any kids sign? You said the A&M game is what changed their minds about that.

COACH MORRISS: No. No. We had some kids say they watched the game or they read about it the next day, but it wasn't that one particular game that put us over the top.

Q. Coach Morriss, can you talk about the development of your offensive line in the spring. I know that's a unit that worked really hard to upgrade and what does Will Blaylock bring to that group?

COACH MORRISS: Well, Will Blaylock from Tyler, he was at Tulane. When they made a coaching change over there he wanted to transfer back to a student in Texas and, obviously, decided to come to Baylor. He is a kid that, in our scheme, the way we do things, has probably got to be one of the best athletes of the group upfront, the five upfront. He is a kid that is very sharp mentally, and he is our traffic cop. He sets our protections and controls the blitz pick-up and all those kinds of things that we ask our centers to do. He is very dependable in that regard. He is a kid that is probably 6'1", 6'1" and a half, 300, 305, has tremendous leverage, and he gets up under people, he can knock you off a ball. One thing I noticed about Will really quick watching the tape before we signed him, he has tremendous balance. You never see the guy on the ground. That helps him from a pass protection standpoint. He uses his hands well. You know, I think it starts from there. I will continue to work with that group quite a bit this fall. I think it paid off some last year. We made some philosophical changes that helped us, and for whatever reason, I think the kids enjoyed me coming down and working with them, and I think it paid off for us and I am going to continue to do that.

Q. After two years at Baylor is the job any different or any more difficult than what you anticipated going in?

COACH MORRISS: Yeah. Now that I have had two years to look back, it was probably in a little bit worse shape than I thought it was. I knew when I was looking at coming to Waco that there had to be problems. It didn't really -- I didn't really know it went quite as deep as it did. Everything I have seen so far is fixable, let's put it that way. That's the bright side of it, I think. We have a good plan. We have solutions to all these problems, and now it's just a matter of time and getting it worked out.

Q. Moe and Colin, can you all talk about trying to stay and keep your confidence and everything, and you haven't won more than three games (inaudible)?

MAURICE LANE: Well, you know, we have been here four or five years, it will be me and Colin's fifth year so we experienced the bad times. We have to start out with our confidence level winning the first game.

COLIN ALLRED: Confidence can be built from one game, A&M, and it can be taken down by Tech. We lost pretty bad. Confidence, it's a fickle thing and changes a lot. For me, what's most important is what do you do every day? What did we change from when we got here until now? What's different? Why can I sit here and tell you we are a better team? I can tell you we are a better team. Why? Because we have done things differently. I don't want to put it on the guys in the past that they had a negative attitude. We had a lot of negative attitudes around. We have a positive team now. So confidence is built every day. When you see your teammates, you see the difference. You know what I am saying? Hopefully that will carry over to the field. I am pretty much sure it will.

PETER IRWIN: Charles, this will be the final question.

Q. Coach, just for you and your student athletes, student athletes first, number one, there has been a lot of attention on Baylor about the success of other teams on campus, basketball team, tennis team, et cetera. Are you guys feeding off of that? Are you getting support from fellow student athletes? Your coaching staff has been relatively stable. How big a factor is that in building your program as well as influencing and selling it?

COACH MORRISS: I think you make a good point. I think the number one thing in turning this program around for Baylor has to be stability. We have been lucky. We have had a lot of people make runs at our coaches, but we have managed to keep our staff in tact. Pretty much the same people that came from Kentucky, Coach Gooden retired, and that's the only one change that I think we've had in our staff. You know, I think kids thrive in a consistent environment. That's the one thing that I think our staff does a good job is they come through the door with the same work ethic every day. We are going to coach as hard on Day 12 as Day 1 and right on through the season. As far as support from our student athletes, it may be at an all-time high. I know it is since I have been there. I think the success of our other sports has been good for Baylor as a whole, and especially the athletic department. We have set our kids down in the end zone when Jeremy and Daniel -- Darryl were over at the Olympics, and we put it on the jumbotron, took time out of practice and stopped, sit down and watch those kids run, and what a thrill it was to see them accomplish what they have done. Our student athlete support, other student athletes in their sports, I know that we went, as a whole football team, to welcome the Lady Bears home from the national championship, the tournament. I look up and I go to a baseball game, and about half our team is down there behind first base and third base heckling the heck out of them, the players and that kind of stuff. You know, I asked the question of our student athletes, and I think they have posed the question to each other, is if all our other sports can have success, why can't we as a football team have the same success because we share a big weight room? They see all those other people in there working and lifting and doing the same things we are doing. If they can do it, why can't we? They go out and do the same type of running and lifting and all that sort of thing that we do. Why can't we be as successful as they are? You know, I think it's time we started answering that question, why can't we?

DANIEL SEPULVEDA: School spirit is definitely at an all-time high since I have been there. I am sure the same thing for Colin and Moe. They have been there longer than I have. I think that presents us with an excellent opportunity to see the results of some early success. We really hit the season hard early, and I know that we will get a couple wins early, you can be sure that the stands will be full when we come back from that early road trip we are going to take because people are just waiting for success from Waco. I think that presents an excellent opportunity. It's encouraging.

MAURICE LANE: I think the early success will put a little pressure on us, but it's a good motivation. You see all the other teams doing well, you don't want to be a weak link. Like Coach Morriss said, we see them in the weight room and it's motivation for us to go out and play.

COLIN ALLRED: I think when you mentioned you can see how many people want the Bears to do well in Waco, if football does well, they will come out. We have nobody playing but ourselves. We do well, they will come out. They love football. Waco is a football area. We put it up and they will show up.

PETER IRWIN: Thank you, gentlemen. We appreciate it very much. If you all go back to the round tables in the back and do the one-on-ones. Best of luck in the season.

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