"We are excited about this recruiting class. I don't normally make predictions,
but I think for those of you who will be here four or five years from now, my
prediction is this is going to be one of the better classes we've had. They
have got a lot of great kids. I think the potential is outstanding. It's always
a team effort and I want to particularly thank our players who I think are probably
the most critical part of the recruiting, along with our coaches and the people
at the university who extended themselves when these kids came in to visit."
"I will say a special thanks to Linda Ferrara. When I went to New York
to visit the home...I'm sure most of you have been to Mama Lioni's...and Mama
Lioni's has nothing on Linda Ferrara. So if you want a great dinner, look her
up. And the interesting thing, when we recruited him (John Ferrarra), the mailman
came. He had to come in and meet Steve Stripling and I. This kid got all kind
of mail every single day. But the minute he began to get these letters, the
mailman always put the Michigan letters on top so that the first thing he saw
was Michigan recruiting. At any rate, I want to thank her for one of the great
lunches I've ever had. I think we helped ourselves.
"The other guy I want to mention is Brandon Graham. I think that Brandon
will join some of the great players that we've had out of the City of Detroit,
Larry Foote, certainly comes to mind and a number of other guys. But Brandon
made up his mind very, very early and never wavered. I've always said, those
guys that know what they want to do, make up their mind and do it, and are able
to withstand all of the pressure that they have to endure in this process, I
think speaks to what he's all about. I think as you get to know him, you're
going to get to see what a special kid he is"
"I like especially the kids we got in the State of Michigan, Quintin Woods
and Quintin Patilla are two guys, not the most highly touted. Quintin Woods
is somewhat like Jon Runyan many years ago now, only played one year of high
school football but is a great athlete. And I think Quintin Patilla came out
of the same high school Jon Runyan came out of. And Obinna Ezeh out of Grand
Rapids; I think in this state we really got some quality people.
"Of course, there are two guys that have already enrolled. Carlos Brown
is an extremely versatile, talented athlete and played quarterback in high school.
We'll have to look at him and see how that goes. If there was a big surprise
in the recruiting class, it was Carlos because everybody knew he was going to
be a mid year graduate and he was going to enroll in January. Late in December
as we were preparing for a bowl game, Fred Jackson flew down to see him and
when he got to the high school, his high school coach said, 'Coach, you can't
see him because he has decided to go somewhere else to school.' So Fred turned
around, he said, okay, wish him well for us. He turned around and came back
home. The next day, we get a call from Carlos, and he said he had changed his
mind and wanted to come to Michigan. So I never visited down there, which tells
you how important I am in the recruiting process.
Justin Boren...his father was a great football player here, and Justin is enrolled.
We're extremely excited about what's in store for him. I think he's great potential
and I think he's one of quite a few of these kids who will have an opportunity
to play this fall.
"One other thing you might be interested in...Stephen Schilling from Seattle,
Washington came in last spring with his father to visit. He's a relatively quiet
guy and doesn't say a lot. But after his visit here, I told Ron English, 'I
think we're going to have a hard time getting Stephen to come to Michigan because
his father went to Washington, his mother went to Washington, his sister went
to Washington and his brother went to Washington.' But he committed last week,
and I think he is in the position that we needed to really focus on, which was
our offensive and defensive line. I think Stephen is one of those guys that
is going to have a great career here. So with that, I'll be happy to take your
On which players can help immediately:
"I'm not necessarily going to mention any names, but I think the position
where guys will have an opportunity because of our depth or whatever, or maybe
their talent, the safety position. Stevie Brown and Jonas Mouton are two guys
that I think have a great chance to factor in. I think because of the fact that
they are here for the spring, I think that's a great advantage for Justin (Boren)
and Carlos (Brown). I think Brandon Minor, who we think is an outstanding running
back from Richmond, Virginia, I think he will certainly be one of those guys
that has an opportunity."
On which of the current players are good recruiters:
"They are all good...and I hate to single anybody out, but I think because
of his personality, the guy that comes to mind would be Michael Hart. He's such
a fun guy and he wants to meet everybody and I think he looks at it as an opportunity.
I think all of them do. The better the kids that we get here, the better chance
we have to win. And certainly in today's football, you're going to have a number
of freshmen whose contributions very often can be the difference between winning
and losing. So Hart has done a great job. But there are a lot of them that have
done a great job."
On David Cone:
"I think David has a wonderful upside. We had him in our camp last summer,
and as we tried to focus in on a guy that we wanted in this class. He's a big
guy, and I think he's got a great upside. Scot Loeffler looked at almost every
quarterback in the country, and David is one of those guys that we think is
extremely smart. He did not play in an offense, I visited his home and his high
school coach was there, he's not in an offense where you could see the type
of things that you necessarily want to see. But because he was in our camp,
I think he had we had an opportunity for one week to watch him, Scot had an
opportunity to coach him, and he feels very confident in what his potential
On players that de-commit:
"I think it's one of the things we have had down through the years. Very
few guys change their minds, but there are always circumstances that makes that
understandable. It's certainly not something you like because it does impact
when it's done very late. It impacts that particular position for that year.
You can pick up a paper and see a number of guys who change their mind at the
last minute. I was going to say that there's probably fewer guys that have change
their minds today than there used to be, but I know it still happens."
On if he's still waiting on one signee:
"We'll have another player (Bryan Wright) sign. I don't know exactly what
day it is next week, yeah. So we'll have 19 guys."
On kids that made thier decisions in the last few days:
"Jason Kates from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania was in. He visited two weeks
ago and so he made up his mind in the last ten days. Jonas Mouton made up his
mind really yesterday. I think most of the guys it wasn't that late unless you
get somebody specific. You have to have one available, so we have another one
that will be available. It has to do with Jacob Stewart and his petition for
a medical redshirt, a medical waiver. He will not play next fall because of
that injury. It's been something that we can't get rehab. So that will create
that. Paperwork will be done next week, and you cannot issue a grant unless
you have one to give and so that will be delayed a week."
On Kates and Mouton:
"I think Jason Kates is a 300 pound defensive lineman, and he moves extremely
well. One of the things that we're trying to do is look at guys who have potential
to play on both sides of the football. I think Jason certainly is an outstanding
prospect because he can move, he's athletic. And of course Mouton is the safety."
On Cobrani Mixon:
"I think he has been in our camp, I want to say three years. Cobrani,
I think fits the mold of Larry Foote, Ian Gold, some of the guys we've had.
He's a guy that can run, very athletic. He's 220 pounds and a guy that played
in a great program. He committed relatively early, but he's the same high school
as BJ Askew, and I think he's got a great upside to him."
On the number of states Michigan landed recruits out of:
"We always start in the state of Michigan. And we did not recruit a large
number of guys from this state this year. It already is apparent that next year
will be a very good year in this state. We start here, but I think our coaches
did a great job. I was in 16 states in 15 days in January, and so we were spread
out, and yet I think we've got an outstanding class."
On Adam Patterson and Greg Banks:
"Adam is a guy that I think has the capability to compete in the two deep
this fall. He's a big guy. I mean, he's not a guy, that -- some kids that age
have to come in and develop their strength and mature. He is physically a very
mature guy. He comes out of an excellent program. He's been well coached and
I think he's a guy that has a chance to play early. And I think Greg Banks is
a guy with enormous upside, great athlete, can play a number of places, in the
On if he said he didn't like the idea of kids enrolling early:
"I don't think I said that. I'd like to hear that tape. I think what I
said -- I have a right to change my mind but sometimes I don't change my mind
because I never took a position. This is what I said. I don't encourage guys
to do that. That's strictly something that they choose to do because they are
giving up their senior year...their last semester of their senior year and all
of those things that go into that. So if a guy makes up his mind that that's
what he wants to do, that's fine. I'm not going to go out and say to a guy,
'hey, if you graduate early, you can come in and play spring ball.' I'm not
going to. So from that standpoint, it's their decision."
"I think in terms of their college careers, it's a great advantage depending
on their maturity. If they are a guy that's capable of playing as a freshman
to be able to start school in January to be able to play to be in the strength
and conditioning in the winter is a wonderful advantage in spring practice.
So they get a real jump and in terms of being able to graduate at the winter
term of their fourth year, now they are free to go somewhere else if they choose
to in terms of preparing for the NFL Combine. There's some advantages as far
as getting started, yes."
On the young offensive linemen and if bonds between them help their
"I think in the case of Justin Boren and Stephen Schilling, I think that
was a very positive thing in terms of Stephen's decision. I don't know what
kind of an impact, but certainly you get to know Justin and they played the
All American game together. I think there's a bond there.
"I think Perry Dorrestein is one of those kids. I would guess -- the gentleman
is 6-7, the kind of height that you really like in an offensive tackle because
of pass protection and because of the potential size that he has. He's already
a big guy, but he's a very athletic guy. We're excited about all three of those
On if the new facilities help attract players:
"It makes our recruiting seamless. You're in here for a game now...after
the game, we'll have a very nice place where we can meet a kid and his parents
and they can be in a comfortable seat. The technology is a wonderful part of
that building. There's no question that in terms of the overall environment
that you operate, it's a positive. Now, what kind of factor one room is going
to have on a guy's decision to come, I don't think it's significant. However,
I think that in the overall impression that a guy has, I think it's a very good
positive. Our facility upgrades here I think have been significant."
On Brandon Minor as running back:
"He's a big guy that has excellent speed. He's a guy that if he gets out
into the open, I think they are going to have a hard time catching him, and
he's 215. As a number of these cases were, he's a guy that grew up, his mother
had said, it's been his dream to come to Michigan. And yet, he had to endure
an unbelievable pressure that comes from staying at home and he was able to
do that. But he's a guy that Fred Jackson is really excited about because he's
got great feet. He is probably a little bit bigger than Chris Perry was when
Chris came to Michigan. We're excited to have him."
On Greg Mathews:
"I always meet seniors in our camp and take a picture with them on Sunday
when they come in. That's where I first met Greg. We knew a little bit about
him, but he was not one of those guys that we had made up our minds on. But
during that week he was a standout and he is a big guy that I think has great
potential. He's a solid guy, a good student and I think is everything we're
On if Steve Brown is a corner a safety:
"I don't know; until he gets here, that you really know. I think there
are a lot of people that think he can be a corner. But he is a safety. The one
thing I do know, he is tough and physical. He really likes to play the game.
He went down and played the All American game. He missed the last part of the
season with an injury, but he just willed himself to play down there. So we
just have to wait there and see."
On the Michigan players playing in the Super Bowl:
"I'm going to the game and it will be my first Super Bowl. I had tickets
to the first one here in Detroit but as I recall we got into traffic and decided
not to go. I think particularly for all of them (it's great), but for a kid
like Larry Foote who grew up in the city, went to high school, for him to be
able to come back and I saw yesterday where he went to his high school and they
had a wonderful reception for him. I think what he can mean to a lot of kids
who grew up in Detroit and are growing up in Detroit, as far as, here is a guy
that went to college and has been very successful in the NFL. I think it's a
"I talked to Steve Hutchinson, he called me this morning. Detroit is not
the typical venue that hosts these games. But for those guys that went to school
here, I think the great thing about it is they have got so many friends here,
and for me to be able to go to a game and see Larry, Jerame Tuman and Steve
Hutchinson play, and of course Teryl Austin who was our secondary coach here
for three years with Seattle, I'm going to have dinner with him Friday evening
with his family. But Hutch is coming up Friday afternoon when they have some
"I was doing an interview yesterday for a minute and Larry Lage, who some
of you know, evidently gave the phone to Foote. So I ended up just saying hello
to him. But I'm happy for him. I'm going to be very happy for those who win
that Super Bowl ring and I'll be disappointed for those who don't. Of course
Grant Bowman, I think that's a wonderful story. When you think about being in
New York and just taking a job, I think his boss can be commended for being
an understanding, compassionate man. But to think about, having a job and then
being called to practice for two weeks and having an opportunity to win a Super
Bowl ring, that's pretty exciting stuff. Then Jeremy LeSueur and Alain Kashama
are with the Seahawks, so, yeah, that's a lot. I'm excited for them."
On John Ferrara:
"His father is a New York City policeman. When he came in last summer,
I can remember him coming with his mother and father. I think we saw one film,
and I had not had a chance to see the film. So when he was in, we told him,
we wanted to see one of his first couple of games on film. And as soon as we
saw those, we called him and he committed. When I went out for the visit, when
a guy is already committed and you go into the home, you go into the school.,
then it really changes the tenor of the visit. I mean, it's much more relaxed
and you don't have to, you know, sell the guy. It's a lot less stressful for
everybody. We had a great visit, and of course his dad told us a lot of stories
about 9/11. As you can imagine, him being there and having a lot of friends
involved in that day, so it was a fun deal. I think John Ferrara is going to
be really something here."
On Obinna Ezeh:
"He is a big, strong powerful, tough guy, and he can run. I'm not sure
where he's going to end up and that's one of the things I like about him. Because
you know, we've had a lot of success here with guys (like that), Ian Gold comes
to mind. He came here, he played fullback in high school, Ian did. So he wanted
to play tailback, so he played the first fall at tailback and then we moved
him to linebacker and he's had some success. I think he is the kind of guy that
is going to be a great special teams player, and I think we'll find a place
for him. I don't know where that could be. It could be on offense, it could
be on defense."
On where Brandon Grahamwill line up:
"Our linebacker to the tight end side is normally the bigger guy. But
Brandon is extremely explosive. I think he's going to be the kind of guy that
will be a great blitzer because he's very quick, very strong. He's the kind
of guy that you can do a lot of things with because he is big and he's powerful
and he's athletic. And so we've got to find a place and a role for him, and
I think particularly as a true freshman, he'll factor in. The thing you try
not to do with a freshman is overload him. You don't want to put him in a position
where he's got too many things to learn. We'll just have to see how that goes.
We know he can play."
On if they tried to bring in another quarterback:
"We did look at some other quarterbacks, and it was something that we
had anticipated. And yet, it had to be the right guy. So the next year becomes
a critical issue for us, but I think any time going back in my experience with
Drew Henson I think has been here down through the years, any time you have
a young, starter at quarterback, and I'm sure when Rick Leach was here, it makes
it very, very difficult to recruit behind him until somebody can see a window
and a space. That's just the way it is because a guy wants to go somewhere where
he can know that he's going to have an opportunity to compete for a starting
job for two or three years. So this next year, that will be a major priority
On if there is anybody else on the team that won't come back next
"Not to my knowledge. We're going to have a lot fewer (surgeries). Brandent
Englemon had shoulder repaired a couple of weeks ago and probably will miss
spring practice. But if you remember a year ago, we had probably the largest
number of mid year surgeries that we've had. We're in much better shape physically
than we were a year ago."
On coaching staff changes:
"I don't have anything for you in terms of the staff at this moment."
On the players participation in recruiting:
"I mentioned Michael Hart because he was involved in every weekend. All
of our guys, it's not easy because what we want to do is treat them and host
them like we would want to be treated if we were visiting. A lot of these kids
come in on Friday afternoon and they are here till Sunday morning. There's a
lot of time in there that we ask them to show them around campus and introduce
them to as many people and be with them. And so that's what it means for one
of our players is if they are giving up a significant part of their weekend,
so if you don't have guys that are willing to do that, and if you don't have
guys that are willing to do that with some enthusiasm, then you're not going
to recruit very well. If there's the one most critical part of recruiting in
my view is the official visit. And any more in recruiting, the unofficial visits,
because we're getting so many kids who come in here during the winter to watch
basketball games in their junior year. They are coming in here throughout the
year. You want them to meet the players, and that's a critical part of this
On some of hiscoaches being mentioned for NFL jobs:
"I think I would just say that we have a great coach this year. And I've
had a number of guys that I've hired that have been hired in the NFL, hired
as head coaches, and there will be a number of them that will have opportunities
to go in the NFL. When they choose to do that, I'm happy for them -- if that's
what they want to pursue. And because you always like to see people do things
that are conducive to their careers that they really want to do. So I've had
probably contact from six NFL teams that want to talk to our coaches. They are
good men and they are outstanding coaches. That's what you deal with when you
hire great people."
On if the players from California were helpful with Mouton:
"Yes, I think they were. And yet, when Jonas was in for his visit, I told
him this yesterday, when he came in for a visit and I can't even remember exactly
but I said to him, 'Do you like Michigan?' And he said, 'Yeah.' I asked him,
'When are you going to make your decision?' He said a couple weeks. So, a couple
weeks came and I talked to him. 'So when are you going to make your decision?'
He said Christmas. I talked to him at Christmas, and he said first of the year.
I mean, this went on and on. I told him this is the longest recruiting process
I ever went through with a guy. And when I visited him out in Los Angeles, I
think the first weekend in January that we were able to go on the road, I said
to him, 'You know, I'm making my decision next week.' So the next week came
and well, it was the next weekend. So Ron English did a wonderful job, but I
think we persevered. I think going back to what I said earlier, he really liked
our players. I think he felt comfortable with them. I think right from the beginning
when he was here, I think Michigan was the leader, Michigan was his choice.
But he had to deal with a school right there in his backyard, and then late
in the process, he had to deal with his mother's alma mater, which was the University
of Texas. So he was under tremendous duress. But he hung in there and we're
happy to say he's coming to Michigan."
On Quintin Woods:
"I think he could be, and where we saw him on film really excel, the thing
that really excited us about him was as a defensive end. This guy is really
a great athlete. I saw him play basketball late in the recruiting process on
Friday evening. And I mean, he has been recruited by a number of basketball
schools, so this guy is a great athlete. I think certainly, in our offense,
the tight end position is one that he's very capable of playing. I think what
we'll do when he gets here, and what I've told him is, where do you want to
play. The truth is that he has not played long enough to where he may have a
great feel for what is his best position. He is a young guy that as he gains
experience, he'll be a great player, because he is tough and it's very obvious
in the film that he has a great upside. Where he's going to end up, I don't
know. But when you look at a guy, and of course Mike DeBord looks at every single
player, and when you look at a guy like that, and primarily as a defensive player,
then you see him play basketball, and that's what Fred Jackson told us, wait
until you see this guy play basketball, you're going to say he'd be a great
tight end. So, we'll just have to see."