Thursday, February 02, 2012

Rutgers' Flood on signing day

Opening Statement: “We are very excited to announce the 2012 class of signees. To give you a little bit of an idea, there are 20 total players in the class, 18 of them signed today. I will read through the list and give you some information about each one.”

On WR Carlton Agudosi (Somerset, N.J./Franklin): “Carlton is cut from the same mold as a player like Brandon Coleman – tall, long and a guy who is going to win the one-on-one matchups. A guy that should be able to go out and catch the deep balls. We are very excited to have him in our program.”

On OL Brandon Arcidiacono (Holland, Pa./Archbishop Wood): “Brandon is going to be at center for us. He is very athletic, very quick to the second level. When I was the offensive line coach, I was really excited about coaching him. Now as the head coach, I know the next offensive line coach is going to love him just the same.”

On OL Ryan Brodie (Long Branch, N.J./Long Branch): “Ryan is going to be one of two guys that are going to be your prototypical NFL-type left tackles. We have two of them and we are very excited about having that. I have had Ryan in camp as the offensive line coach and he really has all the tools and the skills that you are looking for in an offensive lineman. He’s got the height, the size, the length, the ability to change directions with balance to keep his body centered. He is a player that is going to be fun to watch around here for a long time.”

On WR Leonte Carroo (Edison, N.J./Don Bosco Prep): “He is one of two players from Don Bosco that signed with is today from the national champions, Don Bosco Prep High School. Leonte is lightning fast, an All-American track athlete. He also plays on their basketball team, has excellent hands and great ball skills. A strong finisher, that shows up in football and in basketball. He knows how to finish.”

On OL J.J. Denman (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury): “J.J. is a young man that I have had in camp two years. J.J. is a road-grader type offensive lineman – big, strong, barrel-chested, physical, a guy that plays with an attitude. He is the type of offensive lineman that if you are a line coach, that is the kind of guy you want to start with.”

On OL R.J. Dill (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Trinity [Md.]): “He is a transfer from Maryland. He had graduated from Maryland and has one year of eligibility left. He has 30-plus starts playing for them in the ACC at right tackle. That is where we project him competing for a job.”

On PK Kyle Federico (Ponte Verde, Fla./Ponte Verde): “He is also, like R.J. [Dill], on campus. [He has a] strong leg with good accuracy. Again, a guy that we think can come in and play for us right away.”

On DL Darius Hamilton (West Paterson, N.J./Don Bosco Prep): “I have seen Darius play live and he is as disruptive a force as I have ever seen at the high school level. A guy who makes plays in the line of scrimmage on the interior, he makes plays rushing the passer, he makes plays chasing the ball carrier down from sideline to sideline. We are really excited to have Darius in our program today. I think a lot of you are familiar with his father, Keith [Hamilton], who played a number of years in the NFL for the Giants.”

On DB Davon Jacobs (Paterson, N.J./DePaul Catholic): “We think Davon is a lock-down corner – excellent feet, good quickness, excellent change of direction, closing speed that you are looking for in a corner. He is going to be a good one for us.”

On LB Quanzell Lambert (Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek): “Quanzell is going to be our middle linebacker. He is going to be the guy that makes the calls, makes the adjustments and ultimately, when the ball is snapped, makes the plays.”

On LB Steve Longa (Saddle Brook, N.J./Saddle Brook): “If I was going to compare Steve to somebody as a player, it would be Khaseem Greene. He is that type of player and in our defense, that is the will linebacker. A guy that can really run, is physically strong and a guy who is going to be fun to watch in the next couple years. Also, an excellent leader.”

On OL Chris Muller (Perkiomenville, Pa./Boyertown): “I would put Chris in the same classification as Ryan [Brodie]. He is another guy who going forward, has the speed set to be a left tackle, which is what everybody is looking for. Exceptionally strong and really runs well for a guy of his size. In this recruiting class, he was a tremendous leader for us. He, Darius Hamilton and many others really held this recruiting class together over the last four or five days. I think you guys are going to enjoy being around Chris, he’s got a good personality.”

On OL Derrick Nelson (Capitol Heights, Md./Archbishop Carroll): “We had Derrick live in camp this summer at our Big Man Academy. Derrick is going to be an excellent inside player, he runs really well and you are going to like the way that he pulls. He is already physically strong and he is just going to get stronger here in our weight program. We are excited to have Derrick and another young man coming up to us from Maryland.”

On WR Ruhann Peele (Linden, N.J./Linden): “Tremendous ball skills and tremendous ability to make the play and to make things happen when he has the ball. Ruhann is going to be an excellent receiver for us.”

On RB Desmon Peoples (Cheltenham, Pa./Archbishop Wood): “We really feel like Desmon is the quickest running back in the country, bar none. When he has the ball in his hands, boy is he tough to get on the ground. We are excited to get him here and see what he can do for us here at Rutgers.”

On DL Julian Pinnix-Odrick (Montclair, N.J./Montclair): “An extremely disruptive defensive lineman. I watched him play in his state title game. I watched him make [tackles for loss], I watched him personally sack the quarterback in the game. As a defensive lineman, he is not just the guy who is going to take up the blocks, he is going to take on the blocks, get off the blocks and ultimately make the play in the backfield for us.”

On QB Blake Rankin (Bloomsburg, Pa./Bloomsburg): “Blake has the skills set of everything we were looking for in a quarterback moving forward. He’s got the height, he’s got the arm strength, he’s got the athleticism and he has the speed. He was a sub-4.7 [40-yard dash] in the summer when we timed him here live. Just an excellent young man and just embodies everything you want in a quarterback. He is going to lead your team in season and out.”

On ATH Delon Stephenson (Sayreville, N.J./Sayreville): “The last name you might recognize. A guy who can play a lot of different positions. He is the third player from Sayreville to sign with us in the last two years. Delon can do a lot of different things. I saw him in our stadium for his state title game and I walked out of the tunnel with the game already in progress and the first thing that I see is Delon Stephenson making an interception to help change the momentum of the game.”

On WR Ian Thomas (Baltimore, Md./Franklin): “Again Ian Thomas is another receiver who makes plays when the ball is in his hands. He makes people miss. He can go get the ball in a lot of different places, even if it is not thrown perfectly, and ultimately [he can] go get the ball in the end zone.”

On DB Jevon Tyree (Somerset, N.J./South Brunswick): “The same high school that Mohamed Sanu came to us from, the same high school coach there. Jevon is a guy who I really feel can help our cornerback depth as we move forward.”

Closing statement: “That is our class of signees. It is the top-recruiting class we’ve had here at Rutgers and we are very proud of it. Before I open it up for questions, really the people who are responsible for it are the coaches, the assistant coaches and the recruiting staff. Our recruiting staff here is led by Tariq Ahmad and his assistants Jimmy Worth, Sopan Shah and Jessica Larmony and I can’t stress enough the job that they do in that department, day after day after day. Recruiting is about relationships and everybody says that but relationships take time. They are not always the ones that are building the relationships out on the road but when theses players come to campus, they are building relationships with them. They are helping us set our schedules up as coaches so we can make sure we are in the right places at the right times, coordinating the efforts and I can’t thank them enough because really from Friday when I was named the interim head coach until Monday when I was named the head coach, this has been a 24 hour a day job. We always say this is a 24 hour a day job but usually we only work 20. Certainly the last four days they have been working 24/7, along with the assistant coaches and they’ve done a tremendous job. To assign this class the top class in the history of Rutgers football, I’m very proud of that, but they are the ones that deserve the credit in all of this.”

On getting news last night from three different recruits within 10 minutes: “I think what it does is it helps us build momentum. It is the second year in a row now that the top player in the state of New Jersey has committed to Rutgers. But they are not the only great players that committed to Rutgers over the past two years, or the last three or five years. But every year we’ve been able to – more and more – build that wall around the “State of Rutgers,” so that the players in our area are coming to play for us – the top players. And when a guy like Darius Hamilton does that on TV, what it does is it gives more validity to what we tell the people in this local area. Nineteen of our 20 signees in this class are from the “State of Rutgers.”

On being happy with the class that Rutgers got: “We are ecstatic. We really are ecstatic. What I said to the players and what I said to the recruits when I became the interim coach on Friday was that I plan on being the head coach and on Monday I was the head coach. And then what I said to them again “hey the vision of Rutgers football goes forward and the recruits bought into that. The recruits that were committed to us, they are here on paper today.”

On the difficulty of holding this class together: “It has been a great testament to what I have always believed about recruiting and I think sometimes this gets distorted. If you recruit good people and you deal with them honestly, you can get through any situation. That was what we were able to do with this recruiting class, because at every stage of events from Friday to Monday to Wednesday we were completely open, completely honest and one of the best things that we did was bring Tim Pernetti on the road with us as an assistant coach to show them that. We didn’t hide anything. When I said that night that I fully expected to be the head coach at Rutgers they believed me and they stayed with us. When that came true on Monday it just gave more credit to that way of dealing with people. I think if you deal with people like that in recruiting you have a chance to get through anything.”

On it being more challenging than usual: “Certainly. It was a little trickier this year than most because you had to deal with questions you normally don’t deal with in a normal year.”

On having well known recruits in the area sticking with Rutgers even before Kyle Flood was named head coach: “I think that’s important. The first that we sell at Rutgers football isn’t Kyle Flood. The first thing that we sell is Rutgers football. The second thing that we sell is Rutgers University. Both of those are made up of people and I am one of those people. So it is important to me [that recruits are stuck with Rutgers] but it is important to everybody. In the 2013 class that’ll be pretty important too.”

On the offensive line recruits: “I’ll tell you what, it’ll be hard for me not to coach these guys. So if you see me over there by the O-line drills in the fall you’ll know why. I believe this is the top offensive line recruiting class in the country. I’m not really concerned with what the rankings say. I think that will play out. We had three of the five offensive linemen down on the same weekend and I was able to sit them all in a row and talk to them a little bit and say ‘okay lets talk a little bit about what’s going to happen when you come to Rutgers and what it’s going to be like two, three or four years from now. I think when people look back on this recruiting class of offensive linemen they are going to say there is no doubt that that was the best offensive linemen class in the country.”

On this elevating the expectations of fans: “I think you embrace all the pressures of this job regardless of what people say or think about your recruiting class, at the end of the day everybody gets judged on wins and losses.”

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