Feb. 3, 2010
ORLANDO, Fla. -
UCF head coach George O'Leary met with the press on Wednesday in the Steve and Brenda Sloan Media Room at Bright House Networks Stadium to discuss the Knights' 2010 signing class. Here is a sampling of what he had to day.
"We finished our recruiting class with 23 athletes mostly from the state of Florida. We had 16 from Florida, five from Georgia and two from South Carolina. We have 11 defensive players and 12 offensive players. With recruiting you're identifying, you're evaluating and then securing the talent. I thought the coaches did an extremely good job securing the talent. Recruiting to me is a business - you're just filling your needs and I thought we did a great job fulfilling the needs of the football team. It was a great day. As far as the kids getting their faxes in, I believe the first kid had his fax in at 7:00, 7:02 then 7:08. They were pretty prompt about getting their faxes in and things being done right. The last fax came in a little after 12 o'clock and we waited till 1:30 p.m. in listing the full squad so that was the reason for the delay. Right now it's 3 p.m. and we are still having people calling about any openings or opportunities but I don't have any. We are pretty much filled up by the people we went after."
On student-athletes making last minute decisions:
On the Miami Central pipeline into UCF:
"(Jordan Akins) was a real story in itself. I've been to his school before in the state of Georgia. I have my ties back there, and it's pretty much a Bulldog school. He went in there and it was all black and red, and announced UCF. I have a great respect for that youngster for standing up to the pressure that they were putting on him. We are real happy to have him. He was one of the top players we were looking at upstate. Torrian Wilson I thought we were in it but wasn't sure. He had made a commitment elsewhere so I was unsure what was going to happen. The last one we had to come in was Jose Jose which was a great find. Pretty much it was stable for the ones we knew had a verbal commitment. The last weekend of the year ended up being pretty prosperous for us as far as talent is concerned."
"I believe we have five commitments. We need to change that green and white to black and gold on that little stream. We are real happy with them. All of them made first team All-Dade. There's no question they all will contribute. The unit coming in is a very talented one. There are only three kids of the 23 that are under six feet tall. It's a very good size class and that's what you look for as a coach."
On Jose Jose:
"He's a big guy who's every bit 355 pounds. I think we're being nice. He reminds me a lot of when we recruited Torell Troup. Jose is a very similar big and thick guy. He is a point of attack guy who holds the point and controls it. His strength is amazing and he is a guy that can secure the inside to force things to happen."
On quarterbacks Blake Bortles and Jeffrey Godsey:
"I think both quarterbacks that we signed are going to help this program. What I look at is guys who control the ball and make good decisions, and I think both of them have that in their system. There are lots of guys who can throw the ball and run but they don't make good decisions and they cost you ball games. I think both of these youngsters have a chance to make great decisions and to keep you in games, and also have the athletic ability to make plays. That's what has come down to quarterbacks now in Division I is not how well can you throw it, but can you make a play when a play isn't there. I think both Jeff and Blake have that ability."
On Jordan Akins playing baseball:
"He asked me about baseball and I don't have a problem as long as it doesn't ruin his football progress. I spoke to coach (Terry) Rooney about him and I think he's the type of athlete who can help both sports, but my concern is football. If you play another sport nowadays it can affect your football scholarship limitations. I tell [two sport] guys that they have to have good academic standing and they have to show progress where they can afford to miss parts of spring ball in order to play baseball. I think he's a sharp kid and I can see him doing that, but you see less two sport athletes with sports now running full year with multiple seasons. I told him he would have the opportunity under those restrictions."
On how recruiting has changed since he been at UCF:
"We've always been down in [South Florida]. I think good news traveled and people have had exposure to UCF on television, coming on campus for visits, coming to home games to see the facilities and what UCF has to offer. It really sold itself because kids didn't know it was up here. I think the only thing we're lacking is tradition, only playing Division I football since 1996. Now alumni are spreading enough and the more you travel the more you see more UCF merchandise. I think it's not hard to have this place just take off and really dominate areas because of the size of the school."
On skill levels amongst the linemen:
"We've steadily improved in that area as far as speed, range, and quickness. With offensive linemen, we needed to go after a lot more talent guys that were big, move on their feet, and finish things. We have six offensive linemen coming and in and they all have girth and size that is going to help us down the road. Athletically, they're a higher notch then we usually have at that position."
On the McCray twins:
"They look exactly alike, but I know how to tell them apart. I'm not telling you how, but I can guess 100-percent right. If you're around them enough you'll know what the difference is. They both wrestle, (come from a) great family, are both honor students, and they're both guards. They (understand) as high school athletes what it takes to win on college level. I think they're going to have a great future athletically and they're the type of student-athletes we're looking for."
On constant recruiting road trips:
"I'm disappointed we didn't approve the early signing period. That's something that is needed and has to get done because there are over a thousand kids that we're verbaled before the month of December and we're still spending the same amount of money for six weeks recruiting these kids even though they've been verbaled elsewhere. That sends a bad message I think. The early signing period approval could have saved us a lot of money."
On Torrian Wilson:
"He has great foot speed, great hand action, gets moving up the line of scrimmage, a good run blocker, and because, of the system he's coming out of, he has a great chance of success."
On Josh Reese:
"He catches all type of catches, but the (yards) after the catch is what impressed me. (He's a) very mature guy and he has a lot of leadership ability with him."
On Blake Bortles:
"He has great fieldmanship and his height is a major league advantage. Across the top we have lots of height in our offense, and it's nice to see someone who can see over that."