Feb. 6, 2008
"I'm pleased with the response we had. We had quality players contact us and it's been a lot of fun getting to know these players.
"We're exited about this group. Three or four of these kids committed to me before I even met them. I was amazed. I've never had that happen to me before. But I think that says a lot about what's going on here, what Steve (Orsini) has put in place.
"We had many kids that already had thought about going somewhere else, and now they're coming to SMU. That made us feel great.
"The level of these players is as good as any that I signed in my nine years at Hawai'i."
On Chris Banjo: "He's a real impact player. We were recruiting him prior to coming here to SMU. He has an unbelievable burst to the football. We think he'll compete right away along with the skill players for time on the field."
On Cole Beasley: "He's the type of player with whom we've had a lot of success with in my offense - guys that have been ex-quarterbacks and running backs that we convert to slot receivers. Has a 42-inch vertical jump and unbelievable quickness."
On Zach Boyd: "It's easy to see that he's going to be a real good pass protector for what we do. Obviously they've had a lot of success at Highland Park. He's a winner and a great kid."
On Jimmy Chase: "Of all of the kids that we looked at, he's one of the most powerful leverage offensive linemen that we've seen. When we watched him play, we thought, `Wow.' For us to get him on our team will be a great thing."
On E.J. Drewery: "He is one of the top receivers in Virginia. What impressed me the most was his size on his highlight tapes and the catches he is able to make. He was in the gym and stood up and reversed dunked and that got my attention. I've never seen a 6'5 or 6'6 man on kickoff returns - That was a first for me."
On Josh Emshoff:
"We think that his best football is ahead of him. He's a younger senior and he's only going to get bigger. He has the height. His grandfather was an SMU grad, and we think he has potential to be what we're looking for at tackle on the offensive line."
On Jordan Free: "The first DVD we looked at was his, and it was so impressive on film that we immediately called him. He was driving to his visit to Mississippi, but we were lucky enough to talk him into visiting with us. He has potential to play right away."
On Kevin Grenier: "I think he has the chance to be a great defensive end in our scheme. It's hard to believe that he has seventeen sacks in one season, not ever having played defense before. When you watch the film, there's a reason for it."
On Victor Jones: "A very, very good football player. He reminds me a lot of guys I've coached that have that knack and burst to the football. He finds the ball, he's a hitter, and as you can see, he's very highly thought-of player in the area."
On B.J. Lee: "He plays big. I've had success with a lot of kids like B.J. Lee that are undersized. The one thing the smaller undersized guys have to have is the ability to go vertical with the ball. B.J. Lee plays like a two-hundred pounder when he has the ball in his hands. I watched a lot of undersized guys play, and I think B.J. Lee on film in high school shows more potential at this level than any small guy that I've ever had, and I've had some pretty productive players."
On Zach Line: "Has a gear, as a linebacker, and he has a way of finding his way to the football. He's a hitter, a physical player. He's got that speed and the gear that the great ones have. We're excited about Zach coming to SMU to play for us."
On Cole Loftin: "As you can see in the stats, he can run. I've had a lot of success with kids like Cole and Cole Beasley and Bryce Lunday; ex-quarterbacks that probably won't play quarterback the next level, and turning them into slot receivers. They have a knack of running with the ball after they catch it, and they are also very intelligent kids that can pick up the reads we ask them to."
On Bryce Lunday: "Bryce played running back primarily at his high school. I look at him like I looked at Ricky Sanders with the Houston Gamblers. He was a running back that had only caught about ten balls when we asked him to come play slot receiver for us. Bryce Lunday looked like that type of runner when I looked at him on film. As you can see in the stats, he was very productive."
On Blake McJunkin: "He is a big-time top center. We think he is tailor made for being able to pass-protect how we need it done. He's got the genes; his father played in the national football league. He not only played center, but also handled the deep snaps for his high school."
On Bo Levi Mitchell: "I have watched thousands of high school quarterback DVDs over the last ten years and Bo I think is the most accurate passer that I had looked at on film. We are really excited that Bo is coming here to be a part of what we do. I think he has a chance to come in and compete right away and we're counting on him to do that. Competition makes everybody better, and I think Bo Levi Mitchell will do that for our quarterbacks."
On Sidney Nwangwu: "We think Sidney has tremendous upside. He is what we're looking for - his best football is ahead of him. We see enough athleticism, and we think he'll be able to play tackle or guard for us. He's a very smart and bright kid, and we're very excited about his potential for us."
On Robert Parker: "I watched him on film and just being the most valuable player in the district says a lot about Robert Parker. He just makes plays. He can rush the quarterback, and he has that something that all great pass rushers have that get to the quarterback. We see him as an outside linebacker rusher for us. He is an exciting player and a great kid."
On Torlan Pittman: "This kid has a motor and can play football as well as anyone I've seen on film. I learned a long time ago that film doesn't lie. If you see a kid playing on film, it doesn't matter what that size is, he plays football. He has it all, and you can see everyone in his conference thought very highly of him."
On Keith Robinson: "Want to watch a DVD of a kid making plays all over the field? This is him. The only reason he played linebacker in high school is the coach wanted him to make plays and he was right. He is a player, a gamer, and I`m excited about getting him on our football team."
On Braden Smith: "He has been very, very productive. He, too, had a sensational high school career. His touchdown-to-interception ratio says a lot about his accuracy and the type of quarterback he is. He will get his chance to play, and as I told all the quarterbacks, whoever the best player is, is going to play.
On Ryan Smith: "Had a history in his family of coming to SMU. He is another guy we uncovered late that had opportunities to go elsewhere. We think he'll have the chance to compete right away for us on the field defensively."
On Taylor Thompson: "Taylor was being recruited by three or four other schools. I see him as a pass rusher, and when you see his frame and his size, you'll see that he has what it takes to possibly to go to the next level, with that frame."
On Quincey Whittington: "He's one of the most exciting players that I've watched on tape. You talk about a guy who can do some things with the ball in his hands. He is exciting. He has unbelievable hands and the ability to separate."
On Andrew Robiskie: "Andrew is a wrestler with great balance that will play center or guard for us. He was a kid we were recruiting prior to us coming to SMU."
On Deyon McElroy: "I think he's really a big time corner - an NFL-type of corner. He can run, he can hip turn, he can do all of the things that the great ones do. He has a great knack for getting to the football, and he has a great burst. All the great ones do."
On Andrew Ellison "He's another guy with that `other' gear. He lost some weight recently because of tonsillitis, but we see him as a 245-pound guy who can run."
On Alex Odiari: "Originally went to Oklahoma State, and he started as a true freshman. He has a chance to be a really good football player and he is a good kid. Sometimes kids just need second chances, and I think a lot of you are aware that I do a little more homework on these kids, and I believe Alex has the chance to be a starter for us."