Feb. 4, 2009
Below are some of the comments from head coach Jeff Tedford from his press conference announcing Cal's 2009 recruiting class.
I think we did a real nice job of addressing some of our needs. I've always approached recruiting looking for speed and athleticism. I feel like we got some size on the offensive line and pretty much at every position. We got skill in the backfield, an athlete in Isi [Sofele], one wide receiver, four offensive linemen, which we fee like are very talented guys, a great linebacking corps, three secondary guys - two corners and a safety. I feel really good about the class. I'm really proud of our staff. They worked very hard in recruiting. As always, it is very, very competitive, with some going right down to the wire. But we are really, really excited about the way it turned out, and we're looking forward to getting them here. We think that they're the right type of guys. They are good students, and we feel they are great fits for our program here.
What is that like for you when it comes down to the wire? It seemed like there a lot of late commitments and de-commitments this year.
It's a little unsettling because sometimes they go underground and you can't get hold of them. You don't know what's happening, so you just continue to try. With not being able to text now, now you just have to call and you get an answering machine. So you're really at their mercy. It's a helpless feeling when you don't know the information. You can't counterpoint something you don't know about, so that's some of it. But it's so competitive. No one's going to give up. Everybody is going to always continue to battle right down to the end. Obviously, the people we are recruiting against are very good programs and very competitive that way.
When did you find out about Ryan Davis?
Last night, he gave me a real good indication, but I wasn't really 100% sure until this morning when I got him out of bed and his tone hadn't changed. This morning I felt pretty good about it.
With all the new coaches in this league, does that change anything for you in terms of how you adjust your recruiting practices?
Not really. I think that there were some interesting strategies this year, as far as the USC contingent going to Washington. There's a lot that they were able to take there with them in far as philosophy is concerned. That's really about it. I'm not really sure that there are many others. Really, that was the only difference.
On how defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi did in his first year recruiting for the Bears.
He did awesome. He was a bulldog right down to the end. You talk about a tireless guy, I don't know if he ever sleeps. He amazes me the way he can continue to go and go and go with it. Sometimes, you need that because you're all over the place. You're in Hawaii to New Jersey to Canada to wherever. He was all over the place. He did a great job, as did our whole staff. Our whole staff did a really nice job.
On Cal's offensive line signees.
We've had good offensive linemen classes, and this one's no different. I feel that there's two really big-body guys there. As far as good wingspan and tackle type guys, [Charles] Ragland is 6-8, [Charles] Siddoway is right at 6-6, 6-6 1/2. They're big guys. Siddoway's 320 pounds or so. Ragland is only 285 but very, very athletic. Tall guys. Then inside with [Mark] Brazinski being very strong and powerful at the center position. And then [Brian] Schwenke is a guy who's very athletic, who really can come off the ball with great pad level and can move and can do a lot of things. He can probably play center or guard. But we have two really good tackles who we feel our going to have great futures for us there.
On recruiting offensive linemen before having a new o-line coach on board.
I talked to our offensive line guys that I was hiring someone who was going to have the same philosophies as we always have here. We're really fortunate to have the guy that we wanted as far as offensive line coach was concerned. Steve Marshall has tremendous credentials. He's been in the NFL for the last six years. We really believe he's going to do a great job of having our guys reach their full potential. We got him out there as soon as he was hired. Last week, he was there in all the offensive lineman homes and got to spend some time with them.
On quarterback Allan Bridgford.
He's very well coached. He's very sound fundamentally. He has a great mind for the game and is extremely focused on being a great player. That guy is all about ball. He's into it. He's about training; he's about the mindset of the game, a student of the game. I'm really excited in getting him here and getting him into the mix and the competition as far as our quarterbacks are concerned. He can throw any ball on the field. He's athletic and has a nice escape dimension. A very tough kid, so he has a lot of the attributes that we want in our quarterback.
On wide receiver Markish Jones.
It was kind of down to the wire with him. He's a real talented guy. He's very fast, has very good hands - very good athlete. He was a great track runner in high school. He's a very talented guy. He went to JC in Kansas for a year (Hutchinson JC), then out to Compton JC. We're fortunate to get him. He's a guy who is probably the most talented of the guys we were looking at all along, as far as his combination of speed and hands and athleticism. So we're really, really happy to have him.