Feb. 4, 2009
"We are very happy with this class. It is a large recruiting class. I feel that it met a lot of our needs. We lost a lot of linebackers last year. We lost a lot of offensive lineman and defensive lineman. We were able to fill those needs with this class of players. I think that if you were to describe this recruiting class, they are a big, athletic bunch of athletes who can run and hit. They are also good students. I am really putting an emphasis on guys who can be successful in life, and who have goals that they want to achieve. I look at myself and our staff to help them reach those goals. We have 15 local-area players. There are some others that we would have liked to have, but you are never going to get all of them. We put a lot of stock in trying to recruit the local-area kids."
On the five players (De'Onte Arnett, Cody Blue, Darin Drakeford, Zachariah Kerr and Avery Murray) who enrolled at Maryland in January:
"It's not going to be hard to get into the two-deep at linebacker because we are going to be fighting to put guys on the field with the injuries we have. (Alex) Wujciak is out for spring, and (Ben) Pooler is still out for spring. We had (Demetrius) Hartsfield, who really looks good right now, and Adrian Moten. I think we are going to start (Avery) Murray at Mike (linebacker) and just see where we go from there, and get Darin (Drakeford) involved too."
On his expectations for true freshman getting playing time during the 2009 season:
On the advantage gained by those players who enrolled in January:
"We are going to have some of those guys come in and help us fill in. I don't think there is any doubt they have a great chance of fitting in the two-deep. You never know who is going come in. To me, it's wide open. That's why we recruited so many linebackers - because we lost so many. Offensive line-wise, we have some guys who have been here a while, but there is not that much difference between those coming in. It should be competitive."
"I found that the adjustment is a little bit easier. They don't have 20 hours of football. It is kind of remarkable how our kids embrace these kids and take them under their wing, and try and go out of their way to show them the ropes because it is an adjustment. They are coming in right out of high school, and everything is a lot more intense. You should have seen some of the looks on their faces this morning at about 5:30."
On Maryland's success with recruiting locally:
"I do think that (offensive coordinator) James (Franklin) coming back has helped us quite a bit. If you look at the eight years, for the tenure we have been here we have done pretty well. We had one year and we didn't do as well. But from day one, I said I wanted to recruit this area and I have."
On his expectations for Maryland's defense under new defensive coordinator Don Brown:
"It's going to be different. One of the reasons why I picked Don was because he was different. I think you are not going to see a lot of teams doing what we are doing in the ACC, so you are going to have to prepare differently for us. I called a lot of people who not only worked with him, but had to play against him, and I can't tell you what they said. We will see how it goes. I don't like to always put a scheme to people because I think you have to be flexible to do what your players can do. I am kind of anxious to see how it all works out."
On his focus on recruiting linebackers:
"That was a major area. This year the way things fell together with guys who were coming back, guys who red-shirted, guys who were hurt, linebacker became an area of focus. All of a sudden you look up and you have eight or nine linebackers who were seniors, and our pool of linebackers really wasn't what it needs to be. We had to really address that this year. I think we have some linebackers who were excited about the opportunity to come in and challenge for that job."
On signing two quarterbacks in the same class:
"They asked the same question of how we're going to handle that and I said, `Simple, we're going to compete.' The guy who wins the job wins the job, and the next guy will probably red-shirt. We'll see how it goes. I think there's going to be some really healthy competition. I think the other thing that is pretty unique about these two guys is that they're very bright. Both of them are very, very smart guys. I think that's something you really want to have in your quarterback."
On what determines if he wants to sign or pass on a recruit:
"If I can tell how motivated the kid is to be successful, that would be the turning point for me. I think ultimately that is the determinant of whether you are going to be a success or reach your potential."
Recruiting Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach Dave Sollazzo
On if recruits are more receptive when given the opportunity to play right away:
"Absolutely, and especially in this day and age because so many kids are on the different recruiting boards checking to see the depth at their position, and obviously that plays into it a great deal. Kids today want to be impact players. They want to come in and make a difference immediately. Obviously, it is yet to be determined if they are capable of doing that, but that does play a big part in the recruiting process because, for the most part, kids want to see themselves on the field immediately, and so do we."
On having the largest recruitment class since he has been here, and if there is room for one more players if necessary:
"I think we are pretty much done [with recruiting for this year], and it is the largest class since I've been a recruiting coordinator. We're always looking around, but at this point in time I believe we are done. But there's always a possibility [for more recruits]."
On the potential impact of the linebacker recruits:
"They are going to have to make an immediate impact. We lost a lot of good players at that position, and we have always had good linebackers since we've been here the past eight years. We expect these guys to come in here and be impact players, like I mentioned earlier. We recruit at that position to bring in players of that capability, and we think that there's a few guys in this group that are capable of coming in and helping us right away."
On if the new quarterback recruits will have the opportunity to compete for the backup spots or if they will be more likely to redshirt:
"I would say that at every position it's competitive. It's wide open, and whoever does the best job in preseason is obviously going to be the starter, and is obviously going to be the backup. It's not set in stone either way. We will have to see what takes place during two-a-days."
On the importance of getting Pete White and Caleb Porzel:
"Pete White was a great get for us. His family members are all Terps. He's a great person, a great character kid. He is going to be a leader for us. Any time you can get a player of that caliber to come in and join our class - he was very highly recruited and as you said, it went right down to the wire, but we always felt in our hearts that he was going to be a Terp. We are extremely happy to have him, and we really believe he is capable of being a tremendous player for us, and be an impact player as well because we have a big need for offensive linemen. Caleb Porzel, he is a tremendous player, just extremely fast, and we're just extremely happy to have his as well. He brings a great dimension to our offense and to our special teams."
On securing a nationally-ranked recruitment class:
"When it's all said and done. I believe the bottom line is the left-hand column and the right-hand column - wins and losses. We have had two successful years going to two good bowl games in the past two seasons. We have been to six bowl games in the eight years that we're been here, and we've won four out of the last five bowl games that we have been to. But more importantly than that, I believe that it is about building relationships. I know our coaches do a tremendous job in building relationships, and eventually that is going to pay off. We are not into a whole lot of "fluff" and I think eventually the kids in the area see that. We are just good down-to-earth people, and coach Friedgen spends a lot of time with these players when they come in here - probably more so than any other coach in the country. He really takes a sincere interest in each and every individual, and that is going to help us in the long run. We are starting to see the result of that."
On what excites him about De'Onte Arnett:
"Number one, he is a great kid. I think more important than anything, to build a great player you have to have a great background as far as the person is concerned. This kid is a great person. If you have character then you can build off of that. He would not be recruited at this level if he didn't have speed and quickness and the ability to be a great player, but when you have character on top of that, then you can put it all together and you can turn yourself into something special. I just think this guy is going to be something special. From the day he walked in here a couple weeks ago, he has been on top of every bit of his game. He's doing the right things and being in the right place at the right time doing what he's supposed to do. When you have that type of person, I think the sky is the limit."