Feb. 5, 2014
Head Coach Art Briles
"A very exciting day, as always, this time of year. Heath mentioned a top 20 class per ESPN and I think Scout also., so if you are into rankings that is a good deal. We are into trying to get really good football players that fit our system. Fit our needs from an athletic standpoint, character standpoint, and educational standpoint, and we certainly feel like we were able to hit that this year. The great thing about this class is it's unbelievable. We have had these guys, a lot of them since January, nearly all of them were committed by June, and they have stayed true all the way. We may be one of a handful Universities, if not the only University, that did not have recruits in last weekend. If have never been associated with anything like that. It just shows that the commitment of these players to us 100%. We have always been to committed to them, but it is not always a two way street. They have stayed strongly committed to us with many suitors. They had a chance to date other people and they didn't do it. That really says a lot them, and it says a lot about the direction of our football program, University, our visibility, our national brand, and our regional brand. I think that has to do with the leadership of our University being proactive. We are not sitting and waiting, although it would be nice if we could do that, but we are leading the charge, and I like that. Just like it says out there on the wall we are being the standard. We are not trying to emulate anyone else in what we are doing, and we are doing it better than anyone else, and that starts from the top of our University and bleeds down to us. Parents see it, I know recruits see it, and I know it is good for Baylor University at the end of the day. We are excited about these guys."
On how success of the field has led to this recruiting class:
"Without question that is what it is all about. These guys were actually recruited off of a Holiday Bowl season, winning the Holiday Bowl last season and finishing pretty strong at the end of 2012. As this season went around they got to see everything become fruition, which led to this. Where our 2015 class is off of this year. Without question producing on the field is what it is all about. The name of the game is to win, and we have been winning. That is something that will certainly take notice, and something that we need to continue to do. It is our driving force. That is the difference from three years ago to now. Three years ago we were selling hope, drive, and vision trying to acquire something rather than defending something. Our job now is to defend a Big XII Championship, and that is a whole different attitude and responsibility that we have to learn how to deal with."
On this year's recruiting process being finished early:
"There was a lot to finish. I walked around scared all weekend because it felt so weird not to have parents and students and be going to the song and dance show because that's what we do. Fortunately I had a football clinic that I was at and that occupied some time. It was a strange feeling. It's almost like you need to be doing something, but you're not there doing it. It felt like we needed to be at work but there was an ice day and we weren't able to go in."
On the feeling when the faxes come in:
"I don't know what to parallel it to, but it's certainly a feeling of accomplishment without question. It's a lot of time and effort and energy that you spend to make it a reality so it's fun to see these faxes come across. Is it a little outdated? Probably. I think that's the only time our fax machine is used the entire year, but it is what it is and everybody's dealing with the same process that we go through. There are quicker ways to do it that are just as meaningful, but it's a great day. It really is, always has been, and always will be. The great thing about this class is that we've been full for a long time and there's been some flirts here and there, but as far as our class it's been solid and we've been where we need to be, where we wanted to be, and where we are for at least about the middle of July. That's the best thing about it. We were really pleased and satisfied with where this class all the way through."
On KD and Davion's chances to step in and play:
"I'm trying to flash back to Josh's year. I think he came in after the 2008 season, so 2009 would've been his recruiting class. I'm not really thinking how strong that group was as a whole, top to bottom. But this year's class, I'm not sure what the rankings have said because I haven't looked, but if there is a better receiver class in America then somebody is speaking with forked tongue. There are not four receivers better than who we signed. It's not out there. We're talking about KD and Davion and Chris Platt and Ismael Zamora. These guys are phenomenal athletes and football players. Somebody could challenge it but I'm not going to challenge Heslip to a three point shooting contest because I'm not going to win. They can challenge us but they're not going to win because we've got facts to back it up just like he does on me. That's reality and these guys are phenomenal players that are very, very skilled. That's the great thing about where we're at as a program right now because we've got proof to these student athletes that this can happen and it will happen. As far as them all getting on the field, that'll be determined by how the process goes because we've got good guys on campus. These guys will certainly get in the mix and get a shot without question. Platt's going to win the 400 for the fourth time in row--the fastest quarter miler in America in his age group. Zamora got second in intermediates last year. Davion Hall is as multiple an athlete as we've signed in forever. He can play any position but we're going to bring him in as a receiver and turn him loose and see what he can do. KD's the smoothest and purest receiver at the high school the level I've ever seen. When the ball's in his hands, he is as instinctive as anybody I've ever been around. They all have great talents they bring to the table."
On if Baylor filled the need at certain positions:
"I feel like we filled the need and that's what you look at all the time. We're getting the best athletes we can on campus and then we'll put them wherever they fit. A good player or a good athlete is going to play. He'll find a position. That's the first thing we look for. We recruit everybody assuming they're going to start at some time through their career or we wouldn't take them. We sign all these guys as starters without question."
On selling McLane stadium to the recruiting class:
"We've been selling the vision for about three or four years and now we've finally got a facility to look at. It is a reality and that certainly helps. That's what I was talking about earlier--the leadership of our university being very proactive because you have to be. It's an arms race. We can kid ourselves all we want, but it is. You think everybody else is sitting around at their universities not doing anything right now as far as facilities? They are just like we are. It's just the way the world is. If you want to ride in the car you better make sure it's got some gas. We're doing the right things to giver our university a chance to compete at the national level. That's what we're about. We want to be the best in the United States of America at everything we do so we're getting that opportunity to be that way. These guys certainly understand they're going to be the first guys to come in here and open up the stadium on the Brazos-McLane stadium on the Brazos River and that's a big, big deal."
On the mix of offensive and defensive lineman:
"As I've said many times before, that's where we always start, maybe with the exception of a quarterback and some other skilled positions, but we always like to be strong up front on both sides of the ball. The game is certainly determined in the trenches. We feel really good about our O-line class and our D-line class. Those are areas where we're always going to try to be very strong as a team year in and year out. We feel really good about our team from this year from and O-line and D-line standpoint and through the 2014 season. But these guys--some of them are going to be really outstanding players before all is said and done."
On fans tuning into the fax machine video feed:
"I was right there with them. That's just the way it is. I think that's what you want. If there's interest you fulfill it. Certainly of our staff this morning, I was one of the last ones here and I got here at 6:15. They were up here rolling and going and having everything set up. It was impressive. It was certainly good vision by whoever decided to that because it is neat. I'm glad our fans got to be a part of it."
On the group of defensive backs:
"That was an area we certainly felt like we had to hit, needed to hit, and did hit. Once again we've got guys on campus we have a whole lot of confidence in, but the guys we signed and bringing in the two junior college guys at midterm who we really have a lot of confidence in and feel like they can come in and compete without question because they're mature--they're junior college guys--they're ready to go, Tion and Sanders. The freshmen, the guys we just signed have a little bit more of a process, but once again we sign all of these guys to be starters eventually someday. Everything takes care of itself. The talent level is very impressive and that's where it all starts."
On the process of using the fax machine in getting letters:
"We did have some issues this morning because it's a phone line. If it's busy, it's busy. You have to try again and again. There was a bit of a bog down there for a few minutes early. I think we had all of our guys in by 9:45, which is another record. That's really nice. Keith always does a great job manning the fax machine. The fax machine was a bit of an issue, but it's also something that everybody deals with. The thing about recruiting day is I think parents and coaches are the last to know what's going on sometimes with all that's going on on social media--the tweets and the Instagram and just everything that's going on out there with guys recruiting guys for the universities. It's really something that's changed the recruiting world without question. Our guys that we've signed have done a good job of holding this class together."
On another Terence Williams:
"That's always been good for us. He's another guy that's a midterm guy that we're really proud of and on campus. He's going to be a great football player for us, just as the first one was."
On Jourdan Blake having played quarterback before:
"Coach Blake was the head coach at OU back in the mid-90's. Jourdan has played quarterback this year and has done a great job, quite honestly. I think they went two or three rounds deep in playoffs. Having a quarterback like Kendal Wright was a high school quarterback, Terrance Ganaway was a quarterback; I could run through four or five more. We've always recruited high school quarterbacks without question, because a lot of times in high schools, depending on the classification level, that's where a lot of teams are going to put their most dynamic player. I'm not going to say best player but the most dynamic with the ball, has a lot of confidence. He may not project at that position at the next level, but he is a great athlete, which Jourdan Blake is. We're going to bring him in as DB, probably a corner so he'll be able to get on the field and play. That's a guy that's used to having people look at him and people depend on him. I think it helps at this level without any question. If they're a high school quarterback but don't look like they're going to be a college quarterback, we'll find a position for them because they can help us."