Ferentz Talks Recruiting
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Q: How many offers do you plan for this class?
Kirk Ferentz: High teens would be my guess.
Q: How do you feel things have gone to this point?
Ferentz: Well. It’s almost surreal, recruiting right now, this time of year. All you know is what they share with you. It’s hard to communicate with players other than facebook. In the old days you hired coaches based on communication skills, what they know about football. Now the top need is facebook..if he can’t facebook he can’t coach. That is a sad commentary.
Q: Do you have your page?
Ferentz: No, not yet. But working on it (laughs). The information that comes our way is chosen to come our way. So it’s hard to know where you are at. We feel good about where we think we are at. I think things are proceeding OK based on the last three years. That is all you can compare it to in my mind. It’s different than it was five and ten years ago. So we look at how things compare to the last few years. I think we are comfortable and I think there are enough good players that we think are good that have an interest in us right now, a far as we can tell. They are coming to campus and those kind of things. The other thing I tell our staff is there will be a lot of good players out there in December too. If we are iffy right now, lets tread water. I don;t know how many players from the MAC were in this last Super Bowl, but there are a lot of good players in the MAC. Welker got the last scholarship at Texas Tech, too. Aaron Rodgers wasn’t recruited. He went to Butte Community College. Then he went to Cal the next year. You have to be patient. We don’t get all the guys lining up at our door, take our time and do what we think is the right thing.
Q: Have you had to answer a lot of questions about Rhabdo here in Chicago?
Ferentz: More so through March and April. I hadn’t had one question until late yesterday. 98% of the questions were about Nebraska on every station. Everyone else must have got bumped out of the room. Yesterday was Nebraska day. It was great. But the last station someone brought it up. It’s well over and done. It hasn’t been prominent.
Q: Some recruits have talked about it, their parents said they talked with you and you laid it out there.
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Ferentz: We try to be proactive about it. There is nothing to hide. to this day we can’t explain it, everyone is fine, no one has transferred despite one of the national columnists that chose to write a very dramatic interesting story. It’s behind us.
Q: Where are you looking positionally?
Ferentz: The first thing that jumps out and me, if you look at it over the last two years, we have five senior defensive linemen now with three drafted, so that is the first thing. Last year we had four or five upper class receivers and Marvin this year. Those two positions come to mind right off the bat.
Q: Are you going to take a quarterback in this class?
Ferentz: Typically we try to take one each year. We definitely will.
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Q: Are you still evaluating things there?
Ferentz: Definitely. There were a few guys we had high interest in that wasn’t mutual. We might do something in season, but my sense is end of the year type thing before we really decide who we like.
Q: How flexible are you at that position in terms of skill set?
Ferentz: We want the best guy. Brad Banks is a great example. We didn’t want to recruit Brad, quite frankly. My goal there was to get a good high school quarterback. All the guys we liked didn’t like us, so he was the best guy on our board. That is how we ended up recruiting him. I’d like to tell you it was our master plan but it wasn’t. One of the best players we have ever had almost didn’t come. It was an easy courtship. He had us and we had him. That is what happened. Our master plan was to take a high school quarterback and bring him along behind Kyle. We will take a look at what is out there. Part of the equation is to see what the guys on campus do August and September, and we will know better what we have at all positions by October 1st
Q: Do you still plan to redshirt Rudock?
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Ferentz: In a perfect world yeah, but we want to win too so we will do whatever. We will see what he does. Jake is like James. A little time in the weight room and training table won’t hurt him. Chuck Long was skinny too. My first year at Iowa was his. In sweats, he looked like a kid in those NFL positions. He was a big man by the time he finished.
Q: Is it difficult to follow up, at QB after you have landed a big name like Rudock?
Ferentz: That is factored into a few guys we were interested in. I didn’t ask them but I am sure. Quarterbacks are like point guards in basketball. They look at the roster and there is only one point guard on the floor. There are some guys that don;t care because they think they are going to come in and play.
Q: In your experience, how have those guys done under you?
Ferentz: It’s a good trait when any player thinks that. I was impressed with McCall, the running back. We started our courtship in December. Marcus had a pretty healthy bowl game and it didn’t bother McCall at all. That is impressive when you see that. That is the way you want guys thinking.
Q: That doesn’t seem to affect you at tight end?
Ferentz: I think we may feel it this year, that is my sense. We’ll see. There is a guy we like now and we are losing ground or maybe lost ground and I think that is factoring into it. What are you going to do about that.