2013 Football Signing Day Press Conference Quotes

Feb. 6, 2013

2013 Signing Day Press Conference

UC Head Coach Tommy Tuberville

Opening Statement:

“First of all, I’m going to start teaching a class on how to sign a recruiting class in 30 days. I think I’ve done it three or four times now, but it doesn’t get any easier. It was hard, but I’m proud of the coaches that we’ve brought in over the last few weeks. They’ve done an exceptional job along with everyone else around here that’s helped put this class together. It was kind of hectic. We were probably looking at about 10 to 12 players at this time last week that we had no idea where they were going. So we had to put a hard drive on them the last few weeks and we had a lot of success. Usually when you have six or seven guys on the fence the last couple of the days you just hope to sign 50 percent, but we got more than that. We’ve filled a lot of needs and expectations of where we’re at as opposed to where we were a few months ago I think is a lot better. We needed to get some height at defensive line. We needed to get some taller guys. I didn’t worry so much about their strength as long as they had good athletic ability. We went after some 6-5 and 6-6 guys and were able to convince them to come to Cincinnati. We looked for speed. I said that the first day I was here. You build a football team on quickness and speed and we signed a lot of players that can run. When you start with those two areas of height and speed, you’ve got the chance to keep building strength and weight. You can move players around if you have to. We signed some positions where it looks like we over signed, but actually we just went out and signed athletes. We signed guys that we felt can play and help us pretty quickly. We’re going to need help in some areas so it was interesting going out and a lot of people thought we’d have problems with conference affiliation and that some people might use that against you, but I really didn’t hear anything about that. The thing that we just had to do was go out and sell ourselves as a new staff with what we’re going to do and how we’re going to do it. When you’ve got a good product to sell like the University of Cincinnati and you’ve won a lot of games and championships and had all the success on the field that we’ve and here you’ve got a chance. Players want to go and win games and we’re very fortunate to get players that out of many other players chose us to come here to get an education and to play football. I thought we got a well rounded class. We’re probably took more players away from this area than I would have liked. We didn’t sign as many players from this area based on the simple fact that we just weren’t in on enough of them early enough. We had to go out to places where we felt like that needs, such as taller cornerbacks and safeties, which we’re in dire need of and the experience of older players. We took seven junior college players. Normally we would take four or five, but we had to go a little deeper in the junior college ranks just because the depth that we’ve had at certain positions. We’ve got the chance to be a good football team next year if we can plug in some guys that can play and play immediately. That was a big need and concern going into our recruiting the last month. You never know how a class is going to end up. I don’t worry about rankings. I worry about the type of players that we bring in and their character, attitude, work ethic, and the academics. Are they going to be able to play for four or five years? Then it’s their will to play football because college football is a job. A lot of these guys that you watch on TV that are smiling and fired up about their signing their national letter, once that’s over with then they have to go to work. All that recruiting is out of the way and it’s time to go to work and get to putting your nose to the grindstone and do as much as they can to become not just good athletes, but good student athletes which is pretty hard to do. So, we’re excited about it and looking forward to everything.”



On if he is done now with recruiting:

“We have actually got one player coming in this week for a visit. That was by design, depending on who we signed and at what position. A lot of people are recruiting this young man, but we convinced him not to sign today. That doesn’t mean we won’t sign someone at the end of May in terms of them making it academically. A lot of times people won’t sign some players because they don’t know where they will stand academically. We are pretty close to the end. I didn’t want to sign 25 because I felt like there are some guys on the team that I might put on scholarship.”

On the class now compared to it when he got here:

“We kept some, we lost some. I spent the entire bowl practice looking at players, evaluating what we have on the team. Normally I’ve got ten or twelve sets of guys to help recruit guys that can help recruit in this area, but it was me. I was the only one here. I was just watching the team, taking notes, looking at the seniors that are going out. It is pretty difficult when you got one person trying to do it as to twelve or thirteen. It is a hard process. The evaluation part of recruiting is the most important part. You can go out and sign all of these big time so called high school athletes and they might not be able to play. I am not going to let other people pick players for me. The guys that want to come here, we are going to know what they can do on and off the field and academically. There is a lot that shouldn’t go into recruiting. I make sure all of our coaches do all the background checks. We don’t want just the best players, but also the best person that we can sign here to be a part of this team. It doesn’t take great players to win championships. It takes a lot of good players that can play together as a team that believe in each other, that love each other, that work hard, and practice hard. We went out and looked for guys that enjoy football, will go to class, want to get a degree, and then are team type of players. You are going to make some mistakes. We want to make sure when we make them we did all the background work. You make fewer mistakes when you go out and do your own evaluation. You work with the coaches and everybody involved, and try to get the best athlete to come here. “

On the keys to recruiting in 30 days or less:

“Patience. It is very easy to go out and just take players. There are a lot of guys out there that are ranked and you would want, but you’ve got to understand that you can’t go out and take five quarterbacks. You might need an offensive lineman. You have to have patience and go out and believe in what you are doing using your experience in evaluating. You also have to have context. It can be very hard in this profession to go to South Florida and recruit if you didn’t have the coaches that knew those people. It would be very hard to go to Virginia and recruit without having coaches on the staff that know people there and know who to trust. You can go to a place and you can take a recruit, and that recruit might be a good football player, but he is never going to get a degree, and he might be detrimental to what you are doing. He might go against the philosophy your team has. There are a lot of small factors that go into selecting players to make sure you have success at the end of the day.”

On the new recruiting rule involving texting:

“I hate that. It just puts work back into it that players don’t need, that student athletes don’t need, that teachers don’t need, that coaches in high school don’t need, and your coaches. You are going to spend a lot of time texting back and forth. I haven’t kept up with the rules, but I heard they were thinking about that. I am a member of the board of trustees and the American Football Association. Talking with assistant coaches, having a life away from the office or away from football for assistant coaches is something that everybody likes to have. Unfortunately, if you do it this way, then a lot of assistant coaches aren’t going to have a life. They are going to be doing things in terms of recruiting all the time instead of having a family life at home. It just puts too much into it. I wish we would just leave the recruiting alone. Instead of adding, I am for cutting back because there is just too much out there as it is.”