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Gophers Jerry Kill's 2013 Recruiting Press Conference Notes

02/06/2013, 3:00pm CST
By Nadine Babu

Jerry Kill is fired up with the Gophers 2013 recruiting class!

·         First I'd like to thank our University, from admissions to academic, all of them have been very supportive in the recruiting process.  I also appreciate everyone's support in the state and helping us through this process, our coaches have done an outstanding job. 

·         Last year, we lost 7 scholarship defensive backs, and sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't.  They're all paper tigers until they meet the evaluation.  We recruited 8-9 linebackers, fortunate we were able to get 5 of those young men.  We lost a kid to LSU, and South Carolina. 

·         De'Vondre Campbell is  kid that I wasn't sure until today if we'd get him or not, we had him committed. 

·         We got a kicker punter combo, he's good (Ryan Santoso).  We felt like we've helped ourselves there.  From an O Line standpoint, we have a bunch of kids that are coming back, we were lucky to get Alex Mayes.  He sums up our recruiting, a lot of determination to get him.  He decided at the last second not to stay home and go to Baylor, that was due to Limegrover building that relationship. 

·         Last year's recruiting class turned out pretty well, we played 11 of them in the bowl game.

·         We brang in 4 kids at the semester.  Streveler - he can really run, a good athlete.  He can play QB, also good enough to play receiver. 

·         Wilson - we needed a big linebacker, he's probably at 255, we need to get him down a little bit.  He's an athletic gifted kid, national JUCO college defensive player of the year. 

·         Hendrick Ekpe - has already put on 12 pounds since he's been there.  245 to 285 is how much his bro (Scott) has grown since he's been here.  Hank is going to get bigger and stronger.

·         One thing I will tell you about this class, 90% there's some connection between the coaches, staff, or state of Minnesota.

·         I think to be honest with you, with the whole class, I'm excited about the whole class.  To take one of the toher...there are some gifted players.  For me to point out just one, I can't do it justice, because there's several of them. 

·         I knew last year in MN was going to be a good situation for us, and we got after it.  We'll continue to recruit here hard.  We recruited our tail ends off with James Onwualu who  it just didn't turn out, he went to Notre Dame.  We've got a great relationship with the HS coaches, I always tell them if we're not doing something right, tell us.  I wish we could have landed a few more in state kids in there.

·         We got a young man, a DE from Beaver Damn Owen Salzwedel , he's 6'6" and he knows someone in our academic family.  We had Owen in camp, I think we're the only campe he went to, so he runs a  4.65 - we're the only one that knew that.  Sometimes, we got a couple of those kids last year. 

·         Coach Reeves recruited Florida for me.  We have a lot of young men that come to school here from the south, and never leave here.  Coach Anderson - we knew we needed to make up for some lack of depth in some areas.  Georgia is a Delta hub, and an easy plane flight, we looked at that, and worked it.  There are ties with so many of these kids.  We found a kid that hadn't gone to any camps in McGhee, he was a hidden talent.  I credit Coach Anderson for that. 

·         We'll probably put 2 people in Georgia, the mothers that came up here, it's a natural fit.  You look for that fit.  We sold our University, the Fortune 500 companies, and what our state had to offer past 4 years.  You can name your ticket here, because the opportunity here, with the alums we have, those are things we sold.  Our coaches would tell you, I was in every single home, except for one, because it was too late, and spoke with a lot of mothers and fathers, that's a big difference for people.  Those ties and relationships are important. 

·         Sid:  Did you find a punting coach that can coach?  Kill:  The kid we have committed was in the Under Armour game, and is big time. 

·         Wipson - He's exactly what we want as a football player, he comes out of a great FB program.  He's a young man, looking at Wayzata and the linebackers we have, we feel like we're getting a young mane that's smart and intelligent.  He's smart.  He can run our defense and those kind of things.  It's great timing for a linebacker coming into our program right now.  He's a great leader, he doesn't have to do it by yelling and screaming, he does it just naturally.  When we had Chris in camp, he ran well, moved well.

·         We went and played the bowl game, and our kids played hard.  We knew we were starting to get this done, we played physical football for the 1st time since I've been here.  I look at long arms, and speed, and that takes care of a lot of things, this class has that. 

·         This just adds to the depth, there is nothing better than competition.  I used to have to beg these kids to do something on their own.  When I came back after recruiting, I saw people all over the place, working.  They take ownership.  I think it's part of the process.  We took a JUCO, that's proven, De'Vondre Campbell - he was committed to Tenesse and de committed.  We all built a great relationship, and he just couldn't tell us no.  We are going to be able to build our linebacker foundation.  Jalen runs a 10.6 in 100 meters, that's electronic time.  Edwards is a 10.6/10.7, one of the top 10 sprinters in the country.  He's a great fit for us at RB.  I like our speed in this group.  But again, how's the maturity?  Everyone says they have the best coach in America, but no one knows until they start summer school, and go throguh that grind.  From 2006-2009, 47% of them didn't play, the top players didn't play.  You don't know. 

·         Coach Anderson is a good recruiter I guess.  Donovan Jones - Arkansas offered him to play D, Wi got in late, and he wanted to play offense.  He's a great bball player, and he's smart.  Donovan would like to start out at QB.  It's just like the 49ers, they didn't know who would be starting.  If he wins the job for QB, ok.  You recruit great athletes.  I'll recruit as many athletic quarterbacks as I can get. 

·         All I know is that I was out on the road recruiting, and I know who was recruiting them.  Moreso than a year ago, we were able to compete for some people that we couldn't get in the door with last year. 

·         Gerry Dinardo told us that we had a heck of a class when he visited us last year.  The NIU class was the last ranked class every year, but those kids played in the Orange Bowl.  At the end of the day, I've been doing this a long time, we feel good about how we're doing it, the right way, 1st class.  We need to improve next year, and I expect us to improve. 

·         Sid called Billy Glasscock a bad recruiting coordinator.  Kill corrected him and said he did a good job.

·         The toughest thing for us to sell, if we get them on campus, we have a great chance of getting them.  We are further away for a lot of kids, it's hard for us to get them into camp.  Sometimes kids commit before they ever seen MN.  You have to work at it.  Once you get the kids, you have to develop them.  Our S&C coaches are doing a tremendous job. 

·         We do things the hard way.  No excuses.  We've gotta out work people.  I feel like our kids are staring to understand that. 

·         The best thing that's happened to us since we've been here, is going to the bowl game, and playing Texas Tech.  They were physical, and fighting and scratching. 

·         Academically - I feel good about this class.  There is nobody, they could have a 4.0, and if they don't finish their last semester, they could become academically ineligible.  As far as class wise, I feel pretty good about it, I really do. 

·         Nate Wozniak is a Tight end that turned down Miami- I always wanted to have one that looks like Matt Spaeth.  Nate is at least 6'9". 

·         I'm never done.  Some of the best players I've ever coached, a kid named Ronald Moore, he'd pull up in the summer with his Dat.  You never quit recruiting.  We rewarded some kids already, we'll continue to do that.  We won't stop recruiting. 

·         I don't want to ever have to see a dang kick off ever returned again, I want him to punt it past the end zone. 

·         It's always hard to recruit your hometown, because some kids just want to leave.  Some kids are dying to be here.  You get a pretty good take on that.  There was more of that type of kid a year ago.  If a kid wants to get away, you're not going to beat that. 

·         We can't make a lot of mistakes in recruiting, because of APR and a lot of other things.  If you take 30 kids, and 16 are playing by their senior year, you're gonna win.  Kids get burnt out, and something happens.  Last year, I think it was even more than that.  We're excited about this class because of the length and speed. 

·         Only one national letter of intent was sent out that he didn't get back, he'll see about that. 



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