NIU Head Coach Jerry Kill's 2010 Signing Day Press Conference
Feb. 3, 2010
DEKALB, Ill. - Northern Illinois head football coach Jerry Kill discussed his new signing class at the 2010 Signing Day press conference on Wednesday at the Jeffrey and Kimberly Yordon Center.
NIU Head Coach Jerry Kill
"I think we have fulfilled the needs in our recruiting. It's always a need thing when it comes to football and where you have to plug in things that you're losing. We feel like we have done that very well. We worked up to every single minute, even this morning to where we had a few things happen in the process, which was good. We're excited about the class. Again, I think we've done a great job. You never know how your recruiting is going to go. We felt like we had a great class last year, and once we got them here and they performed, we felt like there was no question that we did. This one certainly on paper looks good. Hopefully they'll perform as well as they look on paper and hopefully we've done a good job."
"I know the question will come up, `Coach, you've got 25 kids or whatever." We'll scholarship the ones we have available and we'll also try to recruit nine or 10 guys we feel will earn a scholarship. I would tell you that we have four guys that were non-scholarship players that started on our offensive football team this year. So we'll continue to recruit and hopefully we'll bring in a class of about 32 freshmen. That's kind of what we'll look at. I will tell you again that I appreciate the work the coaching staff did. Coach Fleck, who has left us to go to Rutgers, did a great job. But the guy I'm going to plug a little bit up here is Coach Phelps. He stepped right on in and did a great job carrying the stick for us and we held in on kids and then he snagged one late last night, so it's a good thing. He's done a good job."
On the strengths of this class
"It gives us depth and I think the strength is what we've always talked about. I think there is a great deal of speed in the class without a doubt. There's a lot of athleticism. We need offensive linemen. The offensive linemen fit what Coach Limegrover wants. He wants smart kids, he wants kids with some length and some size, and he wants competitive kids. I think he feels tremendous about this group. In the skill positions, we want speed. When we played South Florida, it was evident what they brought to the table at linebacker. So you kind of get a way of looking at what you need. We feel we addressed that. We feel like we've got some guys that can really run and that was important."
"The kicking game, getting a kicker and a punter, was very important that we did that and addressed those needs and we've done that and a deep snapper and etcetera. I think we've fulfilled our needs. We've got athleticism. I always say there are two types of things and this is one of the questions I ask the youngsters. There are football players and there are ones that like playing football. I want a football player. Not one that just likes playing and at this level I have to get a football player. You've got to get someone that's serious about being a football player and also getting a college degree. I think we've done a good job at addressing those needs."
On recruiting NIU Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Jeff Compher's son, C.J.
On how much h-back they used last year
On surprise signings
On the positions Marckie Hayes and Michael Santacaterina will be playing at NIU
On kickers Tyler Anderson and Mathew Sims
On Jamison Wells
On immediate impacts of the recruiting class
"There's a reason USC has been where they're at. They've got competition every single day in practice. We have not been able to do that since we've been here. I feel like now, with this class coming in, we can go to practice every day and you better compete and you better practice hard, and you better be ready to go or you're going to get left behind because I really think we've filled in some depth."
"If you look at our class, for instance the running back. We recruited a national player of the year, offensively, and he's on campus right now. A lot of people say, `you have a couple of running backs.' We want the best of the best and if you have an opportunity to recruit the best running back in the nation coming out of junior college that's tremendous. That's a tremendous signee for us."
"We had an opportunity with the situation with quarterback. With Chandler having had some injuries and things happen, we decided as a group we may need a junior in there. We had a great opportunity to get a great football player. Casey Weston has led the nation in junior college per game throwing the football. He is tremendous and he can flat out play. Those are kind of things we looked at. You go into class and talk about guys that we expect to compete. You look in the offensive line, there's going to have to be a couple of those guys that step up. Which five of those are going to step up? It's hard to predict."
"Linebacker-wise, you talk about the class of just linebackers alone, they may grow. What you have to understand is you recruit them and they could grow. Stingily is 6-2, 240 today and might be 6-3, 270 tomorrow. There are seven guys in that class that are 17 years old. Males tend to grow from 17 to 19. Tyler Loos is only 17 years old and is 6-6, 270. He may be 6-7, 320 [in a few years]. You've got to think of what Ryan Diem looked like when he came here and what he's playing at in that National Football League. He's going to line up in the Super Bowl and look what he looks like now."
"You recruit length and I think we've done that. If you look at Barksdale, he's a kid that's a local youngster and a heck of an athlete. Jamaal Bass from Florida, I think he ran 4.51 electronic time in Florida, one of the fifth fastest times in South Florida as a linebacker. He was recruited by everybody in the country, but he got a lower bone in his leg broke toward the end of the year and some things fell off. But a tremendous athlete and very similar to what we were playing against at South Florida. Mike Hellams is a tremendous athlete from Bolingbrook. We know a lot about him. He can really run and do some great things. Stingily, I mean he's 6-2, 240, played tailback and linebacker. He probably thinks he's coming here to play tailback. He's asked me that about five times. He probably could be; he's that kind of athlete."
"I'm excited about the class as far as their athleticism. For example, Joe Windsor came to camp. He's from Kearney, Missouri, they didn't lose any football games and won a state championship. Most of these kids have won a state championship. They've been winners and that's a good thing to do. You want to recruit kids who know how to win. Joe is 6-1, 225 and his vertical jump is somewhere between 38 and 40 inches and he hand cleans from the floor 385 pounds. We don't have anybody like that right now."
"The class brings some strength. We've got some guys in this class that are stronger than what we have now. That's what we try to do every year. We got to do better than this class. Next year we get better and before long we got a pretty deep team. That's kind of what we're working for."
"The three guys that were here that I need to mention that you'll see in the Spring is Akeem Daniels, which is Kiaree's brother, is a young man out of Florida that we've had in camp and he's the fastest guy we've ever had timed in camp here. So we know he can run. He's a great punt returner, kick returner, receiver, slotback, and he's here on campus because he graduated early out of high school and he's here right now. Jasmin is here, the tailback, is already here taking classes and going to school. Demetrius Stone, a defensive back out of Coffeyville Junior College, who can play safety or corner. He's a unique guy that can do both and he's got three years left. Those three guys are here on campus and you'll see them in the Spring."
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