Feb. 4, 2004
Quotes from Ralph Friedgen's press conference to announce the National Letter of Intent Signees.
"We have a lot of athletes with great height, range, running ability. Coach Franklin did an outstanding job organizing our recruiting and staying on top of things."
On getting players from different regions:
"We always want to do well at home. We want the best kids from this area (Maryland, Washington D.C., Northern Virginia, Baltimore), and we try very hard to do that -- that's our first priority. I think as this program grows and we become more nationally known, I think we are starting to get players from other areas, too. We broke some ground this year and went into South Carolina and took a highly-ranked player out of there, and that's not easy to do. Last year we got into Ohio and this year we got two of the best players in Connecticut. I see us starting to grow and get better players from all of the country. I think the more we are on national television and have national exposure and the more we are successful in front of the entire nation, the better our chances are of getting really good players."
On if recruiting is easier now with the team's success:
"I don't know if you can say that recruiting is ever easier. One of the things that you can see that we definitely have done is that we have raised the stakes of who we are recruiting against - traditionally nationally-ranked programs. I consider us starting to get in that realm. When you've had 31 wins in three years, and won two out three New Year's Day games, there aren't a lot of teams that are doing better than that in the country. I think we are getting the opportunity to recruit a very high quality student-athlete now."
On grayshirt Dan Gronkowski and Keon Lattimore:
"Dan is a kid we recruited last year and took a grayshirt. He is 6-6, 250 pounds and runs a 4.7 from Williamsburg, N.Y., Charlie Taaffe recruited him. He's a great student. He falls right into the line of the guys we are talking about: big, tall, fast. Right now we have him quarterback but he can play tight end or a lot of places. It's hard to pass up when you get kids like that, especially when they are great students.
"Keon last year we recruited out of Mt. St. Joe's, Coach Franklin recruited him, he's 6-1, 215 pounds and runs a 4.4 in the 40. He's been in our camp and the competition was really Miami. Big, fast, athletic back with great vision, acceleration and hands. We're glad he decided to stay close to home."
On how quickly the defensive backs can contribute:
"If you look at our depth chart right now, they don't have a choice, especially at safety which is an area of concern of ours. At corner we still have some players. It's kind of interesting because Christian Varner and Richard Taylor are following Domonique Foxworth around like the Pied Piper. It seems just like yesterday that Domonique was in that same situation. These are two great kids who are working very hard and I couldn't think of a better guy to show them around."