Feb. 4, 2004
Jeff Tedford Quotes
February 4, 2004 National Letter-of-Intent Day
On being relaxed:
"The knots are gone, this morning there were a few, making sure they were all going to come across the fax machine as planned. We feel good about the class. We are excited we accomplished another Top 20 class, two years in a row. We felt like we addressed many of our needs with speed, skill, and depth at a lot of our positions. I would like to commend our staff for their unbelievable work ethic, through bowl preparation and the bowl game, and our players who are really our best recruiters. When recruits come on their trips, it is imperative that our players are our best recruiters and they did a very nice job through the recruiting process. I just feel great about the class and about keeping the local kids home. We have ten Northern California kids. Two years ago, when we came here, we talked about saturating the Bay Area and keeping the local kids home. We have taken a step toward that this year and we are going to continue our efforts."
On crossover between football and basketball recruiting success in the Bay Area:
"Without a doubt there is crossover. Guys can see Leon Powe come here and have success and they can follow in those footsteps also, so that is a determining factor."
On running back Marshawn Lynch:
"Marshawn is a difference-maker. He is explosive. Has great balance. Has breakaway speed. Just a tremendous player who has the ability to be a difference-maker. We feel very fortunate that he is a part of our program now. We feel like he is going to be a tremendous addition for us and has all the ability to challenge as a freshman to play."
On Lynch's commitment helping in recruiting other athletes:
"I'm sure it did help, especially with local kids. When you have players like him that have confidence in our program, it has an effect on the other guys that all wanted to come together, not just with him, but as a group."
On recruits who may contribute immediately:
"You never know until they get to practice and you can see if they can adjust to the speed of the game. I do expect that Phillip (Mbakogu) will be a guy who will compete right away for playing time. It will be interesting because a lot of them are skilled and able to take that next step. But it will be interesting to see in camp how they respond. I also believe Marshawn will compete early."
On Phillip Mbakogu:
"Phillip is a tremendous pass-rusher off the edge. He is a tremendous young man, first of all, a great family and a very good student, as well. He has a lot of skill coming off the edge, great speed, technique, great motor. He can give tackles some fits."
On JC recruits:
"Last year, with losing 24 players, we needed some help immediately and that is why we were so heavy on the JC class last year. That was not as critical this year. While we will always take probably a couple JC guys, it will really depend on our immediate need at certain positions. We took five offensive linemen, one a JC player, that was an immediate need. Also, the kicking position we needed to address that with the loss of Tyler (Fredrickson). And the defensive end position, we needed to create some depth there."
On kicker David Lonie:
"When you watch him, it is very evident that he is a tremendous player. Some of the things, as far as the kicker is concerned, he cannot control, when snaps are on the ground or over his head or the ball is not being placed properly. He has great leg strength and can do all three: can kick, punt, and kickoff. He was highly recruited and Coach (Pete) Alamar did a great job in recruiting him. Teams like Michigan and Ohio State were really high on him and competed hard to keep him there and we are fortunate to get him. He will compete at all three. Just like Tyler, if one guy does all three the best, he will be the guy."
On Sekeli Faateete:
"He is listed as an athlete because he is so versatile. In high school, he played fullback as well as a linebacker/safety-type position. For us he will play linebacker/safety. He can run, he is very physical, and tough. That is why he is listed on all those services as an athlete, because he was equally effective on both sides of the ball."
On competing right away:
All of these guys will have the ability to compete right away. Some positions are easier to compete at right off the bat. Offensive line and quarterback are probably the two toughest positions to step right in and compete right away. The learning curve is pretty great at those two positions."
On JC offensive linemen like Bryan Deemer:
"I think it is critical that they are mid-year guys, and (Deemer) is a mid-year guy. He is currently enrolled in school, working out, and will be in spring practice. He is going to get a tremendous opportunity to get some reps and going through spring ball will give him the opportunity to make that transition. (Deemer) has tremendous strength, athleticism, he has a nastiness to him where he finishes blocks, tremendous balance. Very good run-blocker as well as a great pass-blocker. We feel like he is an all-around player who can make the transition."
On Virdell Larkins:
"He has the ability to play corner, safety, and return kicks for us. He is a very talented young man."
On Worrell Williams:
"Worrell stands on his own. I think coming to Cal is an opportunity for him to step out of the shadow of (his brother University of Miami player) D.J. (Williams) and make his own mark on a program."
On quarterback Nathan Longshore
"We had an early commitment from Nate and we really didn't pursue quarterbacks after that. We felt like Nate was a great fit for us. He is very smart and competitive."
On kids' interest in coming to Cal:
"There definitely has been a positive response to the success we have enjoyed the last couple years. The bowl game was a benefit for us, to have one more game in the public eye. They see they can combine the athletic and academic success. I believe they look at Cal in maybe a different light than they did three years ago. In that vein, I would say it is a little easier to recruit now, winning takes care of a lot of things."