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Football – Lane Kiffin National Signing Day Press Conference (2-5-20)


We talked about kind of being
part way through, you know, two different
signing dates, so, you know,
today is still not over. The signing period
isn’t for an hour, so, you know, there’s still
going to be some things happen down the road,
you know, for months to come. So, kind of like
I mentioned before, this is a different era
of college football. It’s more like the NFL,
managing your roster, so we left ourselves some room. Didn’t reach on kids
to fill slots, and that puts us in position for
kids that are still out there. It also puts us in position
for grad transfers, regular transfers,
and also, you know, we can save some
for next year too. So, I think going through this
process, you know, is different. You know, before becoming
a head coach and not having
the early period, so, you know, no one
could get signed up, so you’d have all the way up
until today to sign guy guys. So, that does make it
a little bit more challenging for first-year staff to come in
and try to turn a kid. So, we lost some kids,
obviously, like everybody does, but kind of going back
over the kids, you know, a lot of that
was relationship-based of, you know, losing out who they had
longer relationships with kids. So, we’ve already started on
next year’s class, having a whole year
to do that. And, you know, I know everybody
gets up here and says, you know,
this is the best class ever. Every coach says that. This is a good class
with some really good players. But we’ll sign better classes
every year that we’re here, and this deeper classes
that fill all the areas of need, you know, just want
to reach this year. Raise your hand if you have
a question. We’ll bring a microphone to you. You talk about
not wants to reach, not going after players that you wouldn’t have
been interested in maybe. How do you evaluate in class? It’s good by your words, but what are the holes you’re
still looking to fill with maybe the later players
in the market later. I think the players are good
that we signed in this class, just not very deep,
obviously. You’ve got a lot of people
around the country signing 25, 27 players, so, you know,
from that standpoint, obviously it’s not the same. But there’s really good players
within it. I don’t think we’re really
looking for certain positions left. I think once now you get
to this point, it’s more best players versus
just adding a certain position. So, you know, I think that
we’ll be able to find
the best players available, whether it’s kids
that are still left, grad transfers or normal
transfers, or save them. Like I said, it’s more like
an NFL model, you’ve got to manage
your roster. So, you know, I’m not going
to get into positions much except for we’d probably
like to sign a really quality
running back. Lane, counting scholarships
is difficult as it is, but I’m guessing you got
around 80 now maybe. Does that give you five to work with in this different
environment you’re in? Well, I think, again, you know, a lot of people are going to be
over 85, you know, today. We’re not,
but a lot of people are. And, you know, again,
it’s different. These kids leave so often,
you know, even though we had, I think, five go into the portal
before we got here, they all came back.
Normally they don’t come back. So I think people plan
on losing kids after spring, and so that’s why
we saved some too, because you’ll see a lot of kids leave after spring,
where they’re at, because it’s not going exactly
the way they want or the fit, and some of those kids
can play immediately, and some of those kids
can come sit. So, I think we took three
in that way of, you know, two transfers
and a grad transfer, so we’ll look at all areas. Lane, not a recruiting question,
per se, but with spring practice
just right around the corner, can you share with us maybe
your impression of the personnel in your quarterback room
right now. Oh, I think with baseball,
you know, that’s going to be tough
to evaluate that completely. With John playing baseball, and we want that
to be his priority, because if you’re going
to be in something, I just think
you go with it. And whatever time he has left,
he’ll come to us. But excited to work with a lot
of really young players at that position, and two players that played
a lot last year and made a lot of really
good plays at times. Lane, will Otis Reese
definitely sit out, or is there a scenario which
he could be eligible next year? There’s always a scenario
where they can, you know. They’ve got to go through
a process, you know, a waiver process. Some of these kids win nowadays, as you’re seeing
around the country. So, I believe he will be going
through that process to try to get
eligibility immediately. Coach, have you given
any thought to hiring additional personnel
in the Recruiting Department? Yeah. Priority number one was getting
ten on-the-field
coaches and recruiting. And so, you know, we’ll restructure
that as we move forward and hire some different people
in some different roles, because that’s very critical. College football,
especially the SEC, because it’s recruiting all year
around, as you guys know, so we’ve got to nail
that as much as anything. Lane, you talked about
managing a roster and using
the transfer portal. Kenny Yeboah, the tight end
that you brought in, certainly looks like
he could help fill what was a critical need,
just your thoughts on him and what he can do
in your offense. Yeah, that was really big,
like we talked about. You know, like managing
an NFL roster now with all the different
ways players can transfer and come in. So, Kenny was obviously a need, losing some kids from last year
at that position, so very talented kid, a kid that actually thought
about going early to the draft and decided to transfer
and in his turn wanting to play
somewhere bigger. Looking at your roster now, and I know you want to look
at transfers and all of that, but how do you assess
your defensive line position right now,
particularly the interior? Well, I think we’ve got
some work to do there. You know, we didn’t add
a lot there and lost some really
good players from last year. So, you know, whenever you come
in a new system, you’ve got to be careful
adding players at spots, you don’t know. We don’t know our own roster. We know these kids better
than our own roster just because we haven’t
worked with these kids and it’s a different scheme. And so, you know, I think
what usually happens, is, after spring, you start
to see guys change positions, look at different things,
look at different roles and then work our systems
around the players that we have, you know, instead of just making
the players fit the system. Lane, first time
we talked to you since you filled
out your staff. Can you just kind of talk us
through how you expect Chris and DJ
to handle the defense together, and then just your process
with hiring DJ and how you evaluated him. You know, we went through a
really extensive process there. I’m not going to use names,
but talking to a lot of people at multiple universities
very high up. Also talking
with former players, former head coaches, and, you know, they raved about
DJ, everyone, you know. And our short time here,
I can see why. He’s done a great job
in recruiting. Done a great job
around the players, around the assistant coaches. Tireless worker,
he’s always in here. So, Chris and him
will do it together, and we’ll figure out the, play calling that stuff
down the road. And that was an easy transition
and an easy move because they had been around
each other at Michigan too. Lane, along those lines, have you had co-defensive
coordinators in the past, and has that dynamic changed,
as opposed to just one guy? Well, I think, again, as we go, we’ll figure out
the play calling. You know, people do it a bunch
of different ways around the country. You know, some people on offense
have people call different areas
of the game. So, we’ll figure out that
as we go. We’ve got two really
good coaches and both really
good recruiters. I think they’ve both been
national recruiters the year before as well, and, again, worked together,
so they know the current system. The process of bringing
Clowney — I know bringing a January
signing is kind of unique, but how did you kind of
get him on campus here and then sign him so quick? Well, again, when you bring
coaches together this late, sometimes they know
players already, and so Partridge
was familiar with him from recruiting him before,
and it was a quick turnaround. You know, we got on him late,
came in, visited, and I think turned around
with 24 to 48 hours to get back to start school. So, you know, good player,
extremely talented, and so happy to have him. Lane, what about
on the offensive side, yours and Coach Lebby’s
arrangement, let’s say, of play calling,
who’s offense is it, all that kind of stuff? Well I usually answer that
after the game on Saturdays, depending on how the game goes.
When we do really well, I’ll take credit
and call the plays. But, you know, it was exciting
to get him. I’m familiar with it.
His brother-in-law, Kendall, was our coordinator
that first year at FAU and set all kinds of records in
the history of the conference. And then Lebby has done that
basically wherever he’s been, you know, great track record and
the last couple years at UCF. So, you know, we’ll do
the thing together. I would anticipate him being
the primary play caller. But, you know, we’ve done this
before, you know, as the head coach, you know, the three years there
with two different coordinators with Kendall and Charlie Weiss
and do the whole thing together and just help each other
on game day. You mentioned, Lane,
that you have some good players in this class. But in the totality of it,
December and now, is there a group,
or are there several that you think
are ahead of the others? Is there a group that you think
will contribute next year? Yeah, I don’t know that. Again, I know this probably
sounds bad, but you know, we only know so much
about our current roster. You can watch tape, but until
you really get your hands on and really work
with them and practice and see what they can do
in our systems, you know, versus two
very different systems that was in place here. So, I think it’s too early
to project that stuff, which of these guys should play and what we have
and what we need. So, we don’t ever
put limitations on kids. We don’t say you’re coming here
to red shirt. You know, we push all our kids
to play right away, and the ones that aren’t ready,
they red shirt. But we don’t want kids
not having a high ceiling. Lane, you signed Henry Parrish
this morning, and Kentrel Bullock
back in December, and you put them
in a running back with Jerrion Ealy
and Snoop Conner, and I realize, like you said,
you haven’t had a chance to really work
with those guys yet. But how would you anticipate
Parrish and Bullock, you know,
just fitting in? It looks like you’ve got backs
that have the ability to do a little bit
of everything. Well, I think that’s
a good problem to have. You’ve got these guys coming in, you’ve got four running backs
within 12 months of each other, so that’s a good problem
to have. You know, we play really fast. We’ve got high play talent, so you can never have enough
running backs, so excited to have these guys,
you know, two true freshmen. And I’ve said it before,
you know, Coach Luke and his staff
did a really good job recruiting these last
couple years, and especially
in that last class. You’ve got starting tackle,
starting quarterback, and two starting running backs,
you know, at the end of the season,
and they’re all true freshmen. So, they did a really good job. You alluded to John Rhys, baseball being his first
priority this spring. Do you expect to have him at all
during practice this spring, or is he going to be
full time baseball? Yeah, I talked about
with baseball, about, you know,
let’s see how it goes. So, they’re all in right now
in baseball, and then, you know,
let’s see. If they haven’t
significant role, they’ll stay in there,
if they’re not, then they’ll probably come back
and do more football. So, I found out where the
baseball stadium was yesterday, because I was driving
the car and then Ealy was walking on the side
of the road by himself, so I circled around
to pick him up. I’m like where you going. He says, “To the baseball
stadium.” And I kept taking
the wrong turns. He says, “Do you know where
the baseball stadium is, Coach?” I’m like, “I have no idea.” But I wasn’t made
in the stadium. I didn’t even know about it. Beautiful looking stadium. You mentioned turning the page
to this next class already. What kind of relationships
have you guys established with some
of the kids out there? What has the reception
been so far from those guys? Yeah, you know, like I said,
you guys don’t know me, I’m just going to tell you
how it is all the time and not give you toad speak. You know, it’s hard to come in
with this early signage day, because whatever percent is,
75 percent of the kids are gone. So, you know, we didn’t want
to reach, like I said. We’ll sign deeper and better
classes every year that we’re here
the longer amount of time we have to recruit these guys. That’s why we put together
the staff. And, you know, we’ve already
been around the schools. You can’t go talk to them,
but to see juniors, go to see coaches
and things like. We’ve already had almost all
the top juniors on campus already at some point
over the last three weekends. And it goes dead here. New rule now all of February. So, I think March 1st,
we’re having a junior day it goes live again, so we’ve got
a lot of work to do.

Robin Kshlerin

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Janoy Cresva Posted on February 6, 2020 at 12:04 am

    Kiffin is already calling this season a wash. Very motivating….NOT. LOL

    Reply
  2. That Guy Posted on February 6, 2020 at 2:37 am

    Can the university hire a sound engineer?

    Reply
  3. Because Reasons Posted on February 6, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Bunch of dumb questions. They keep asking what his players are capable of when he hasn't even worked with them yet.

    Reply
  4. Jeremy Rider Posted on February 6, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    Lana has already gave up on the 2020 season. Loser mentality

    Reply
  5. Adam Locker Posted on February 6, 2020 at 9:12 pm

    He looks so excited 😆

    Reply
  6. Chris Dills Posted on February 7, 2020 at 1:17 am

    not quiet as hyped as the 2009 version of the Lane UT train…he deserves Ole Miss….not so sure Ole Miss deserves him

    Reply
  7. Shel main Posted on February 8, 2020 at 3:01 am

    Talk about some major red flags!! Kiffin was so arrogant he sat back and thought the recruits would just show up without any work on his part.

    Reply
  8. All Pro Sports Posted on February 9, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    My prediction for 2020 3-9 4-8

    Reply
  9. Brenda Dean Posted on February 9, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    saban was a traitor to bring him to sec to start with, om made a bad hire

    Reply
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