Feb. 4, 1998
Bruce Snyder Press Conference
There are a couple of players that I cannot comment on because of logistics. Papers haven't been retrieved. So, we have not signed anybody else.
(ON WHETHER IT'S EASIER TO SIGN RECRUITS NOW THAN IT WAS TWO YEARS AGO) I wish I could have recorded some of these battles. They've been fun, by the way - a lot of fun. I have not witnessed easier recruiting. It is not easier recruiting. Maybe we are on guys that other people are also on more now than before. I certainly think there is a lot more name recognition. There is a real belief out there that we have established a program and that it appears that we are going to be good for some time. The downside to that, which I had not faced here since I have been here, is that I have more times this year where guys are saying, "You are loaded. I don't know whether I can play at your school." I say, "Wait a minute, let me talk to you, young man." There is a little more of that that I am hearing.
(ON KYRAN JONES) I think we did a really good job in state. Kyran is not a real big man in terms of mass, but he is extremely tough. He is a very tough runner. I think he is very good with the ball in his hands. You can see that in returning kicks, if he happens to catch the ball in the backfield or run. He likes the ball. He's good with the ball. He's tough and highly competitive. I think he's out to prove that he is one of the best runners in college football, not only just high school. We're excited about having him.
(ON PEOPLE GRADING THE CLASS) I'll give them a grade. I actually get a chuckle out of the grading system because I think there is so little value in it. The trick now is what happens to them between now and two years down the road. That's really the trick - to make sure they gain strength, confidence and stay academically healthy. If you have all of those things, then you eventually end up with a good football player. This group, to me, if they do what we ask them to do and continue to do what I think they have said that they will do, they are all going to play on a really good football team for the next three or four years.
(ON THE FLYBACK POSITION) We think we have two excellent guys that we have signed: Turner out of Los Angeles, Mayfair, and Jake Each out of Iowa. Both are kids that can run, athletic. But, when I watched them play, and this was really fun, it ended up that they would smother and smash the guys that they ended blocking. Both of them are really aggressive, strong, physical blockers. I think either one of them could play another position. They are that athletic and that tough. But, right now the idea is that they are going to come in and they are excited about what we are asking our fullbacks to do, flybacks.
(ON J.R. PEROULIS) Like most of the guys that touch the ball, they can play other spots. But, Peroulis, when you watch him on tape, he is a tailback. Like Kyran is a tailback. They could probably play someplace else on a football team, but we recruited them to run the football.
(ON PEROULIS AND JONES) Both of them are really tough. You can not play tailback, in our system anyway, unless you are really tough, mentally and physically tough guys. They both have that. There is a football speed when you do not have the ball, and there is a speed you have when you do not have the ball. Both these kids played faster when they had the ball in their hands. There was just more acceleration and more enthusiasm in their play. I think they love touching the football and playing with it, so they both have that. The third thing is their ability to move their feet in traffic - to not stumble over somebody. You can go out to a track meet and find a guy that can run like the wind as fast as he can, but there are no bodies in between, and he's very fast. But, you have to run through traffic, pick your feet up, move your feet and your body lean and your balance, and they have that. I graded out both those kids very high about running the football.
(ON WHETHER THIS RECRUITING YEAR HAS BEEN MORE HECTIC THAN OTHERS WITH RESPECT TO HAVING COMMITMENTS AND THEN LOSING THEM AND THEN GETTING THEM BACK, ETC.) Every year I have ever recruited has been some strange stories. Some strange stuff happens that makes you wonder, "Where did that come from?" Just stuff out of the blue. Some of it centers around young people who are subject to emotion. It's kind of like that last person who talks to them tends to sway them in their direction. So, they are unpredictable. It did seem like this year we certainly had a full share of that. I bet in a lot of cases there is not enough structure around the guy. A common threat among those guys that commit, decommit, recommit, self-commit, maybe I committed, maybe I didn't, is that there is not a lot of firmness around them. They don't know quite how to handle some of this stuff. You have to wait till the ink dries before you really know.
(ON WHETHER HE VISITED EVERYONE'S HOME) If I didn't it was because their families came here. They had enough wherewithal and interest that the family came here. So, I made this the home visit. I think if you did both, the other is just kind of frosting on the cake. But, I got into almost every one of their homes. I certainly met every parent and all of the families.
(ON WHETHER THE CURRENT PLAYERS PLAYED A ROLE IN RECRUITING) I think it's a good sign when you have a player in your program, and you also get somebody from their high school. It tells you that they are getting good word about the current player that's in the program, how they are treated and their experience. If a kid comes here and has a bad experience, I'll tell you what, you probably won't get a kid out of that high school for awhile. So, that's really a good sign that that's happened, that we've gotten kids from high schools that some of the current kids went to.
(ON RALPH ZARATE) He is still taking the test. He has taken it several times. He is a part-time student to build his skills. He is going to continue to take the test. He's close, very close. I fully believe he will be here in the fall as a full-time student. I am really convinced that he is going to be a true freshman next fall, a full-time student, eligible and ready to go.
(ON HOW MANY OTHER PLAYERS HE IS TALKING TO) Three or four with three or four scholarships remaining.
(ON THE IN-STATE SIGNEES) I thought it was a very good crop in state. To win the state, most people think it is a battle between Arizona and Arizona State. It is that. There is no question it is that. But, everybody else is here - everybody, other than maybe the Big East. Nebraska, Colorado, Texas, all the Pac-10, all the WAC. Everybody visits the state of Arizona. But, we feel like we targeted as early as spring last year the guys that we really wanted and we made a concerted effort and I think we did a terrific job. Now, they have to come in and play. We actually in seriousness recruit with three coaches, and I don't know that many schools put three in here. Their school will be represented. But, we have three - myself being really important in the deal, (Robin) Pfulgrad and (Kevin) Wolthausen. The three of us target the state, and we go after it, and I think we have done a really nice job of it.
(ON WHETHER THERE HAS BEEN AN INCREASE OF D-1 CALIBER PLAYERS IN THE STATE) Yes, just because the population is growing. I am amazed a bit about how many guys signed Division I. It's a large number considering our population base. I think that is a tribute to good high school coaching. The kind of kid that lives in our state is a good kind of kid, a lot of family support and that kind of thing. They make good recruits. They tend to stay around longer, and be diligent in the classroom.
(ON THE WHETHER HE RECRUITED PLAYERS THAT NO ONE ELSE RECRUITED) You should find out who you want to recruit first and then find out who is recruiting them. Many coaches, in my opinion, go about it the wrong way. There may be kids in this class that I am not sure anybody recruited, and then there are kids that everybody recruited. I feel equally strong about both categories of kids. There will be some guys in here that will be excellent players that were not heavily recruited.
(ON KYION GRAYES) He is in school, a full-time student. He is rolling.
(ON CREIG SPANN) Spann's petition is still alive. We should know his status in a week and a half to two weeks.
(ON LEVI JONES) Levi Jones walked on to our program. He's about 6-5, 270. He did a great job this fall. He was voted the outstanding scout-team player. I scholarshiped him. He's a defensive lineman. He will count in our numbers as a newly recruited athlete. I think he is going to be a great player. He's going to help our defensive front.