Feb. 6, 2013
Press conference quotes courtesy of ASAP Sports
BERKELEY - The following is a transcription of Cal's press conference with football coach Sonny Dykes on National Signing Day.
COACH DYKES: Thanks for being here. ... Big day for Cal and for our coaching staff and really for our football program.
National Signing Day is an exciting day for a lot of different people. It's a culmination of a lot of hard work both from our standpoint and then from the high school kids' standpoint. These kids have been playing football since third, fourth grade, and today is the day where they you know, it all pays off for them. They get a free education out of the deal and an opportunity to advance their future. So it's an exciting day for them and their families.
As I said, it's a culmination of a lot of work for us. It's been a crazy two month period. I got hired December 5th. Two months later, here we are signing this class of 25 players that I'm very excited about. I feel really good about this group.
When I got hired, I think the challenge here is to make sure we are recruiting student athletes that fit the profile for Cal. That's the number one thing we had to address was to make sure that the current kids that were committed to the prior staff fit from an academic standpoint, and then anybody that we brought in, it was very critical for them to fit as well.
So as we started this process, the first thing we did was get high school transcripts. Part of this process was learning about what fits here and what doesn't. So our academic support people did an outstanding job. Keiko was fantastic getting these transcripts evaluated and again sharing with us her experience and which kids could be successful based on the background and the high school they attended, test scores and all the things that you factor in.
It was a lengthy process. Again, as we put our staff together, our staff did an outstanding job of going into homes and sharing our vision for Cal football. And, again, we got a class that we feel very, very strongly about, and we're very comfortable with. The great thing about this group is we anticipate we anticipate all these kids being with us. We think that all but one of these players have already qualified academically from an NCAA minimum standpoint. We're very, very proud of the academics in this group.
As I said, we feel very, very strongly that all these young men are going to represent Cal and represent us well both in the classroom and on the field. So exciting day for all of us, and, again, thought it was a great first class considering all the things that have happened in the last year. I feel very, very strongly about this group.
The best thing about the group, in my opinion, is that we signed a football team. If you look at us, we signed a quarterback, a running back, four receivers, five offensive linemen, a kicker, four defensive tackles, four defensive ends, three linebackers, and two corners.
The one need that we feel we came up a little bit short on was on the defensive backs. We went down to the wire on a couple of kids and didn't come our way down the stretch. Other than that, we filled those positions we needed to fill.
When I was hired and evaluated our current roster, the first thing I noticed was we needed to build depth on our offensive and defensive lines. So 13 kids were added to that group. Five on offensive line. Eight on the defensive line. So it's a pretty substantial day in the development of our lines, which, again, is going to determine the success of our program.
So it's a great day, great exciting bunch, and I'll open it up for questions.
Q. Sonny, do you have an idea at this point how many of these will these players will play as true freshmen? Do you have a sense on that?
COACH DYKES: The funny thing about coaches, we all think we know right now. We'd all like to say, yeah, this guy is going to play and this guy's going to play. Typically, we'll as we go through the process and talk, we'll say, I bet this guy plays as a freshman, I bet he doesn't. I bet this, I bet that. Typically, we're usually wrong. It's just the way it is.
What happens, really guys play early because of two things. Number one, because of a need or a deficiency in your current program, and number two, they play based on their ability to adjust quickly and learn the system quickly and just be mature and make the transition from high school to college.
So a lot of times, it has nothing to do with talent or high good a player a guy is really as much as it does how quickly can he adjust and make that transition from high school life really as well as football to college life and college football.
So in other words, we don't really know. I think I think just looking at our roster, my guess would be Khalfani Muhammad would have an opportunity to play early at the running back spot. He's a game breaker, state champ in the 100 meters, somebody who can make things happen when he gets the ball in his hand.
I think, when you look at our roster, we need those kinds of guys. That's an area we need to improve in is recruiting game breakers and getting them in our offense, and he fits the bill in that regard.
And then probably Cameron Walker. I love his maturity on the back end as a corner. I think he'll come in and compete hard from day one. I think he's a very bright young man and will adjust quickly. And obviously some of the junior college players we added will have an opportunity to get on the field pretty quickly as well.
Q. Sonny, you had a very short period of time to assemble this class, and it looks like you did pretty well and you're happy. How will it be different a year from now? If you were to judge this class, will it probably have different standards than a future class?
COACH DYKES: I think so too. Certainly, we'll have a higher standard in the future. Again, going in, I think that, when you look at our needs and what we needed to do with this class from a developing linemen standpoint, those guys are never going to be the flashy guys in the recruiting class.
We're going to watch video later on, and the linemen are going to block guys, and everybody is going to go, you know, who cares. And then the guy with the football is going to run, and everybody is going to go, wow, that's exciting. But football is won and lost in the trenches. To add 13 quality players to our lines, I think, was critical and was important.
I think that next year's class will probably have a little more star power. There will be more probably skill position players in that class than there is in this one. But to me, we addressed exactly what we needed to address in this class again, which was depth on both the offensive and defensive lines.
Q. Sonny, could you talk a little bit about in your introductory press conference, you said you thought this could be one of the best recruiting classes that Cal had ever had. How do you feel that kind of turned out?
COACH DYKES: I think that remains to be seen. That's the great thing about recruiting. We have today, which people are going to sign classes that are going to be highly ranked. Then when they report, there's going to be three, four, five, six guys that don't qualify academically for certain schools. So the actual class they sign today and the actual class that plays for them in the fall are going to be two different classes.
The good thing about our class is this is going to be the class that reports in the fall. And that's exciting.
We weren't trying to win any signing day accolades. We didn't take players down the stretch with four star academics to sign somebody just to sign somebody, to try to improve the ranking of our class. We really don't care how it's ranked, honestly. For us, it's about improving our program and bringing the right kind of kid to Cal.
I think we all know there's some academic issues around here that we've got to get fixed, and I feel very strongly that this class will fix those. And that's, again, what's exciting.
So we'll look back on this in two or three years, and we'll really have a sense of how good this class was. Hopefully, these 13 linemen we signed will all be contributors and be playing down the stretch, and we'll look back and say that was a heck of a class.
Q. In terms of the offensive line, that can be a tough position to make the adjustment from high school to college. Are these guys that can jump in?
COACH DYKES: I think the funnily thing about some of these guys, if you look at the five young men we signed, a couple of them are really huge guys, and a couple of them are smaller, more athletic guys that need to get a little bit bigger. So I think we've done that really with both lines.
If you look at four of our D tackles, two of them are really, really big guys. Two of them are kind of smaller guys that we're going to need to grow up and get a little bigger but can really move. It's a little bit of the same thing on the offensive line. I would be surprised if a lot of guys contributed. It really is a very, very difficult transition to make from high school to college playing on the offensive line.
I think the defensive guys will have a little bit better opportunity to contribute early just because there's not a more technical position really in football than offensive line. There's just a lot of techniques. There's a lot of skills. There's a lot of technique and really a lot of scheme that you have to learn as well. So those guys do make that transition a little bit slower.
But these guys are talented, and the good thing is there's some big bodies. So from a maturity standpoint, a physical standpoint, I think some of them are ready from that standpoint, but we'll see how it all works out.
Q. Coach, they said you've got one running back, and he's a good one. But given the depth concerns there now with recent happenings, is it a little bit of a regret that you didn't get more than one, or is that going to be rectified maybe in next year's class?
COACH DYKES: I think we wanted to make sure that we just didn't sign another body. When we I think, as you said, due to some injury situations that we've got at that position, I think we wanted to find another running back that we felt really fit, but we weren't completely sold on anybody. We looked at a lot of different guys. We went and visited a lot of different guys and didn't think that we found anybody that we felt like was going to make a difference.
So for us, we decided to not to give the scholarship just to give it and that we were okay from that standpoint. I think all our injury situation that we have will be all of those will be fine as we enter two a days in the fall. So I don't see it being that big of a need.
It's going to look a little crazy this spring. I'm going to be playing running back most of spring. But then we're going to get some guys back, and I think we'll be fine.
Q. On the offensive line, it looks like you have a couple of guys who could play guard or tackle. Do you know yet where they'll be?
COACH DYKES: Not yet. A lot of that, we'll see what they do. We have an idea. We kind of stick some guys here and there, but really that will play out. That remains to be seen.
Just, again, based on need, whoever's the furthest along could end up filling in at a spot that we need to be filled in. Or we could just kind of slot him and say, okay, we're going to bring these five days along at these five position. So we'll see how it all plays out.
Like I said, it's kind of one of those things that we think we know, but we really don't.
Q. Sonny, how does Muhammad fit as a running back in your spread passing offense? How do you envision him being used?
COACH DYKES: The thing that's unique about Khalfani, he's not a real big guy, but he's a really physical runner and obviously has great speed. Being the 100 meter champ in the state, he's really a good player in space but runs surprisingly hard for someone with his stature. Finishes runs very well.
So he's a guy, I think, can do a lot of different things. I think can play the true running back position and could possibly get on the field for us as a slot. He's a guy that we're going to need to be creative on ways to get him the football because he does bring that game breaking speed element to our program. That's one of the things that we needed to get addressed.
Q. Coach, how challenging was it to recruit coming out of some of the turmoil we've had this year, and how are you able to overcome those obstacles?
COACH DYKES: Well, I think any time there's a coaching change, that's tough just because there's so many dynamics involved in recruiting, whether it's allegiance to old staff members, whether it's kids that want to go to programs, that have had success recently or last year. So you have to battle all those things. Those are things that obviously other schools point out.
That's something I think that people used against us a little bit this year in recruiting was a new coaching staff, uncertainty associated with all of that, the 3 9 record, academic issues. All of those were negatives we had to address.
Again, I think our coaching staff did a great job selling these recruits on our vision and the future of Cal, and the great thing is we have we have a university here that sells itself. We have facilities here that sell itself. So we've already jumped into the '14 class today very heavily. We're going to be incredibly aggressive as we move forward.
The thing that we want to do is we want to recruit the right way. Recruiting has changed so much. When we offer a young man a scholarship, we want it to mean we've offered him a scholarship and we're willing to take his commitment. That's a different approach than some universities have. So that's the way we choose to recruit.
When you do it that way, which, again, I think is the right way to do it, you have to do your homework on these young men and make sure the football part checks out but also the academic part checks out.
Q. Can you detail some of the academic characteristics of recruits that you looked for and any of the specific accomplishments of these guys?
COACH DYKES: Yeah, I would love to get into that more specifically. I don't have that data at this point. The one thing I loved was to me I think a lot of these kids fit. A lot of them went to high schools where they're going to be well prepared to go to school at Cal. They've gone to high academic institutions and have a good background academically, have come from competitive environments. I think that's critical.
Cal is a very competitive school. You're going to be sitting next to people that had high expectations and come from a great background. Our student athletes need to be equipped to be able to deal with the competitive atmosphere that exists within the classroom here at Cal. A lot has to do with their background, their commitment. Test scores, I think, are important. When we evaluate who fits at this institution, I do think we put a lot of value into standardized test scores just because typically those students that do well on those tests have a tendency to do well at Cal.
Again, that's some of the secondhand knowledge that we've gained from talking to people that have been here an extended amount of time. Johnny Ragin is a guy that stands out. He's made one "B" in his entire life, I believe. He's a tremendously interesting guy just because he's interested in everything. He was a fun guy to recruit. Obviously, a very good football player.
Any time you go into Oregon and get the second rated player out of that state and stick with him Oregon made a run at him, and he stuck with us. Again, I think Cal sold him. I think this university and this opportunity to get this kind of education, I think, was really the difference in his recruiting.
Barry Sacks and the defensive staff did a great job of working with him as well and recruiting him hard. So he's somebody that stands out, I think, from an academic standpoint.
Q. You touched a little bit on the 2014 recruiting. You've had a chance to get your feet wet with those guys early. What's your sense with them being at a different point in the recruiting process, how you're going to be able to approach this new class versus this current one? You're kind of hamstrung a little bit with the negative recruiting with you being new, coming from a different area, coming off the losing record, which I assume you're not going to be anticipating this year. How do you expect to be different?
COACH DYKES: I think the more success we could have, honestly, on the front end, the more games we can win, the more momentum the program will carry into recruiting next year. I think that's what you look for is you want momentum in your program.
When you take over a program that has been really good but is going through a little bit of a down time, both on the field and academically. The academic issues were used as much against us in recruiting as the record was last year, quite frankly. Those are issues we've got to clean up, got to get addressed, and we've got to represent this institution the right way with our football program and make high school players aware of success stories within our program.
I think that the low graduation rate hurt us a little bit, and APR potential issues hurt us a little bit. But, again, I think our coaching staff, our players, and most importantly, the university was able to overcome a lot of that.
And I think it is going to be big for us you know, if you think about it, we just started building relationships with these kids in December. And signing them in February where next year's group we're going to be building relationships from February to February, and that makes a huge difference.
Q. With the quarterback position being in flux, do you expect Jared Goff to compete for the starting job immediately?
COACH DYKES: You know, I think the fact that he's here going through spring football is certainly going to give him more of an opportunity to compete than he would have had he waited until August to report. I'd like to answer that question better. I just don't know where we are.
We'll have a better sense after about a week of spring practice, and where we get a little bit better indication of where those guys are, but I think it's a position where we have a lot of talent. I think, if you look at the entire group, and Jared obviously is part of that group. They've all got talent. They've all got strengths. They've all got weaknesses.
We'll see how who adjusts most quickly and how they pick up the offense and who the team really rallied behind because I think that's ultimately what may be the most important thing is who do the players have confidence in, and as a result, who develops confidence and that swagger that your starting quarterback's got to have.
Q. Sonny, a couple things. Could you talk a little bit about Takkarist McKinley. He seems to have an unusual athletic skill set with his size and his speed. Also, do you have anybody else that you're going to be signing in the next week? There was one name of a guy who's been out there and I know you can't address it but is there anybody that you're waiting on?
COACH DYKES: No, not waiting on anybody. I think this class for us is complete. Tak McKinley is an unusual football player just because there's not many guys that are 6'3", 240 pounds that have run 10.5. That's highly unusual. He's a very raw athlete that we're very excited about. I think he's got a tremendous upside. His potential, I think, is really, really strong.
So we're excited about him and what he can develop into. There's going to be some developmental things on his part where he's going to have to come in and adjust pretty quickly and try to pick things up, but he certainly has great potential.
Q. Regarding McKinley, where do you see him playing?
COACH DYKES: I think probably defensive end. I think that's probably where he'll start, and we'll see what his body does. A lot of times you sign these guys, and you think, okay, this kid's going to be a corner in this 160 pound corner two years later becomes a 215 pound linebacker that can really run fast.
So we don't really know where their bodies are going to take them and where they're going to end up. The thing we want to make sure we're doing is signing good athletes that can play a variety of positions. As we talked about, students that fit and fit not only from an academic standpoint but also from an attitude standpoint.
Q. Have you had a chance to evaluate the current players that you inherited? Have you done much of that?
COACH DYKES: We've done as much as we can do on film. We'll have early morning workouts next week to get a little better sense of their movement and what they can do, and then we'll kind of have a chance to evaluate them there. Again, non-football specific drills, but just see how they compete, how they move, what kind of shape they're in. That evaluation period will take place for about two weeks, and then we'll get into spring football.
Things are going to happen quickly, and we're excited about it. I really like our spring schedule. I like the fact that it's happening early. That will begin to allow us to work with our players and develop them and then allow them to develop in April in the weight room and also work on their own and hone their skills as we start preparing for next fall.
Q. I'm wondering how you kind of dealt with the disadvantages of only having two months to recruit players as opposed to other programs that have several more months to build relationships?
COACH DYKES: It's tough. It requires a lot of work by your coaching staff. Again, I'm really proud of the way our guys answered the bell in that regard. I think our assistant coaches worked incredibly hard. I think they were very, very persistent. I think that we did a good job of identifying people and not spending a lot of time and resources chasing ghosts. We focused on players that we felt fit and guys that we felt like we had an opportunity to recruit.
So I think they did a fantastic job of getting the list narrowed down and chasing those guys. We had some good things happen to us down the stretch. I think we held on to some players that were going to be difficult to hold on to. Again, a lot of that came from hard work by our coaching staff.
I thought they were well organized. It's different what you have to do when you take over a recruiting class a little bit, it's important for the position coaches to get a relationship with those players. So what we did is a lot of position recruiting. The running backs coach recruited the running back. The receiving coaches recruited the receivers. The offensive line coach recruited the offensive line.
So that's kind of the way you do that when you take over a class in December where typically area coaches recruit areas so they can build relationships within those areas.
We had to take a different approach just to build those relationships with position coaches because ultimately those relationships are where the young men attend school so often, how they feel about their position coach, so that's the approach that they took.
Q. Coach, talk a little bit about Ray Hudson. He seems to be that fit you talked so often about himself, but he paradoxically doesn't fit in a box himself.
COACH DYKES: Ray is the tackler we talked about earlier. He's a big guy who has the body of a tight end who can do a lot of different things. The thing that was fun about watching Ray's film was they would split him out some, flex him out. He ran routes very well for a guy his size, caught the ball extremely well. I think he's a matchup problem because he does have good size, good strength. He really catches the ball well. So he's a guy that could play a lot of different roles in this offense.
I think those guys are hard to find. It's hard to find guys with his body type that can play wide receiver, play inside receiver, play the tight end position with his hand down, and also play the fullback position. Ray is a very flexible guy and, again, somebody who's a great student.
He stuck with us through it. He did a great job of recruiting some of our players as well. He felt so strongly about Cal that he rolled his sleeves up and really worked hard to keep the recruiting class intact, and you have to have some players that do that given the set of circumstances we were dealing with.
Q. Talk about any attrition you've had on the existing roster since the beginning of the season.
COACH DYKES: Haven't had any. Everybody's back. No attrition at all. And, again, that's pretty unusual. Typically, when there's a coaching change, there's a mass exodus, but, again, I think our coaching staff here has done a great job of holding this football team together and also too, again, the value of the Cal education, I think, sells itself.
These kids, they know they have an opportunity to get a special education and get a degree from someplace that's going to take care of them for the rest of their lives. So hopefully they understand that opportunity and are less resistant to move on to another school as a result of that.
Q. Sonny, what was your vetting process like for the guys that had already committed to the previous staff?
COACH DYKES: The biggest thing we had to do and it's hard to do is some kids that were committed to us, we had to look at their academic situation and make some tough decisions and decide to go a different direction on some guys. That we just felt like weren't a good fit for us academically. We could not bring in student athletes that could not be successful here, not just in the short term, but in the long term. We had to make difficult decisions, and that's a hard thing to do.
We tried to make them as quickly as we could. We tried to give the young men the opportunities to move on to other schools. But any decision that we made in terms of not keeping a commitment was not athletic related. They were all based on academics. We didn't look at anybody's film and say this guy doesn't fit. We're going to cut him loose.
We looked at the academics, and we said, you know, you're going to have a difficult time getting into Cal and more importantly staying in Cal. So as a result, we had to move on from some kids that were committed to us early on.
Q. Talking with you and all the coaches on staff, it's apparent that you guys really believe strongly in the power of recruiting, and not only that but it seems like you really all enjoy it. Can you talk a little bit about what role your new coaches, their recruiting ability played in their hiring, and can you talk a little bit about their recruiting ability as a whole?
COACH DYKES: I think in this business, if you don't enjoy recruiting, you're in the wrong business. The last two weeks of recruiting are always wild, and personally I'm always worn out. It's stressful. There's a lot of things happening, and you're trying to hold on to these guys, and you've invested a lot of time and effort and energy into recruiting them.
So the last two weeks are always hard on a personal note, but the rest of the time, I love recruiting. I think our staff loves recruiting. When you sit down and you put a coaching staff together, you think about all the elements that are involved in assembling a successful coaching staff, recruiting's a huge part of that.
We needed to have some guys that recruited California and had experience doing that, and Andy Buh, started with Andy as a defensive coordinator. He's had a lot of success through the years recruiting. Randy Stewart has been recruiting California for a long time. Barry Sacks has been recruiting California for a long time. Garrett Chachere, the last hire that I made, who has a lot of experience recruiting in California, is going to be an excellent recruiter.
And then a lot of other coaches. Tony Franklin come out here a lot through the years and recruited. Rob Likens had been out here through the years recruiting. So they all had experience and an understanding of what California recruiting was like.
Then you go the thing I found through the years, though, is that connections don't mean as much really as your personality. I think that what makes a good recruiter a good recruiter is they embrace recruiting and have an enthusiastic personality, a personality that young people can relate to.
As I said, we've got a good group of guys that have been coming out here. Mark Tommerdahl has been coming out here for a long time as well. Good group of guys with experience in California, and mix in good recruiters, and I think you're going to end up with a really good recruiting staff.
MODERATOR: We do have a question from the Twitter world and one of our fans. This is from @BrianRamona. He says this class is top heavy in state. In the future, will there be more of a national reach?
COACH DYKES: I do think there could be. For us, number one thing we can do is recruit well in our own backyard. We've got to do a great job in the Bay Area. That's where it all starts. And then we've got to do a great job in California. That's the next step. And then I think we've got to do a good job nationally of going to places that produce the type of student athletes that Cal will appeal to.
So that's been our focus. We've been in the process of getting our recruiting areas nailed down as we move into the 14 recruiting. So we're going to be very judicious about where we recruit outside of California. But for us, we've got to do a great job in the state. The Cal brand carries a lot of weight in the state. It carries a lot of weight nationally as well, but within the state of California, people know what Cal stands for, and it appeals to a lot of different young men.
So Cal would be very, very, very important for us. California will be. And as we move forward, we've got to do a good job of keeping as many of the players instate here as we possibly can.
MODERATOR: Just one more question from Twitter, from David Erod. What new things did you learn in recruiting for Cal these last two months, and how will you implement that in the future?
COACH DYKES: I think we were pleasantly surprised really what the Cal brand was in recruiting. Sometimes you have an understanding in the academic world about what Cal means and the stature that the university carries. But you really don't know how many young men recognize that and young people, and I think that was the thing that I found most interesting was that a lot of these student athletes understood what Cal was about from an academic standpoint.
I was highly surprised that academic guys, they were going to be interested in Cal no matter what. In the past, it's been hard to recruit those kinds of kids because they don't change their mind very often. Once they make a decision, they stick with it because they're a little bit more judicious maybe in the reason they make those decisions in the first place. So they're less apt to change their mind.
We were able to flip some guys from schools that again, Cal, the brand, sold them. I'd like to say that we sold them, and I think our coaches did a great job, but I think really the education probably sold them as much as anything else.
Q. Sonny, can you talk about, in terms of trying to fill out your staff and recruiting, what the impact was of having to wait on guys like Andy or Zach's hire obviously came later. They only had like maybe a month to recruit. Do you think there was an impact, and if so, what was it?
COACH DYKES: I think you know, that's a good question. Really, I think that had we come in with a full staff December 5th, I'm not sure recruiting would have gone any differently honestly. From a head coaching standpoint, it allowed me to build a little stronger relationship with the players because I was their primary recruiter for a long time. I think in some ways, that's a benefit.
It always helps to have more guys, especially guys who are good recruiters, on the staff recruiting those guys. At the same time, we made it work. Again, it's a credit to our coaching staff. Those guys rolled their sleeves up and went to work. Everybody carried an additional load, especially until we had our staff complete.
I'm excited about our recruiters. As I said earlier, good recruiters can recruit anywhere. We've got a staff full of good recruiters, and I'm really excited about next year's class already. We'll make some big splashes here in recruiting pretty quickly, and I'm excited about the future of the program and how we're going to be able to recruit and going into '14.
Q. What was the process like of assembling your staff, and could you describe some of their responsibilities on the recruiting trail?
COACH DYKES: Yeah, I think what you have to do is, coming from Louisiana Tech, and I tried to bring as many of the offensive coaches as I could, guys that I felt like fit. So really that part of our staff stayed intact. Brought Tony and Rob, and they were guys that came early, and Pierre Ingram who came, who's going to be an outstanding recruiter as well, and Mark came. So that was kind of the offensive staff.
Then what we did was interview a bunch of line coaches and decided to hire Zach, felt like he was the best guy. I think in a perfect world, you look around, and you say I'm going to go hire the most experienced offensive line coach in the country, and I talked to a bunch of different guys. Then we felt like we hired the best coach after that.
So we were very fortunate to get him. He had two other opportunities, and so we were lucky enough to get him on board. Again, that's going to ease the transition as we move forward into spring football that could have occurred.
Then being able to bring some of our young coaches, some of our graduate assistants and young coaches was very important as well. I think we've got some of the best young coaches in college football, guys that are in training to become coaches.
And then assembling defensive staff, I took a little bit more time because, again, Andy was playing in the Rose Bowl. Once he got done coaching in the Rose Bowl, then he started putting his staff together, and I think continuity was critical as those guys started to be assembled. He had worked with Randy before. He had worked with Barry before, and felt like that's absolutely critical that everybody speaks the same language and has the same philosophies and has the same beliefs.
I think that is where it all starts really in your coaching staff as assembling a staff that's like minded, a staff that can work together. Our guys have a blast working together. I think that's we have a great staff dynamic. I think that's going to help us win football games. I think our players will recognize that. I think our players will appreciate it, and I think it will carry over to the chemistry of our football team and football program.
So I hope I answered that question. That was kind of a long rant, but I think I did.
Q. You did.
COACH DYKES: Thanks for lying.
Q. Can you talk about your wide receivers? You signed three, including the JC guy. It's a position where you use a lot of people. Talk about where these guys fit in and how quickly.
COACH DYKES: I think the thing that we did is we signed some big people. I think, when you look at the wide receiver corps overall, it's a lot of big guys - guys that are going to be able to get into the mix pretty quickly from a physical standpoint.
Ray Hudson is a big guy like we talked about earlier. He's very versatile, can play a lot of roles in this offense. Caleb Coleman is a guy who's undervalued. He's one of those guys that every time you turn the film on, you like him more and more and more. Great attitude, great work ethic. I think he runs well. I think he's got great ball skills. He's been well coached. He's a guy that has an opportunity maybe to get on the field relatively early.
Drake is a big guy, coming from San Francisco City College, that's got good ball skills, can go up and make plays. They're all a little bit different. They all bring something different to the table. But the thing I'm happy with is the overall size and bulk of that group.
Q. What about Jack Austin?
COACH DYKES: Yes, I'm sorry. He's a guy, to me, that I think is a special player, I really do. Incredibly productive. He's got good size. Very well coached, very smart. I think Jack will have a chance to contribute as well. I'll be very surprised if he's not playing for us next year.
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