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Jan. 21, 2003

“At the banquet last week the MVP was Langston Moore, the Best Attitude was Jonathan Martin, Corey Jenkins. Academic Award went to Chad Walker.”

“Because of the very small senior class, we decided to elect captains early. Travelle Wharton for the offense and Dunta Robinson and Jeremiah Garrison for the defense.”

“We have eight players that will play in a postseason all-star game. Andrew Pinnock in the East-West Shrine Game. Ryan Brewer, Shane Hall, James Adkisson in the Hula Bowl. Down in Orlando, Corey Jenkins, Dennis Quinn, Cedric Williams and Rashad Faison. Jonathan Martin is looking into a sixth year. Three seniors have been invited to the NFL Combine, Langston Moore, Watts Sanderson and Andrew Pinnock.”

“You can’t tell about recruiting. The NCAA doesn’t allow you to say many things about it. You can’t tell but it’s critical. I think it’s going very well, but then again you don’t know.”

“I’m looking forward to spring practice. We will start either March 22nd or March 29. We’re going later then normal, because we want to make sure we get everything done that we have to get covered. I can tell you this, I’m really looking forward to getting out on the field. As you know we hired Jappy Olliver to coach the Defensive Line. He had been at the Air Force Academy. I knew Jappy and really like him, I think he will be an asset.”

“As far as Recievers Coach, we didn’t do much last week with our coaches on the road recruiting. We are getting close. In the next couple days we could name a Receiver Coach.”

“Bennett Swygert is coming along very well. Anytime you have second major surgery, it’s questionable. Considering everything, it’s going all right. He is able to run the straight line, they won’t let him cut yet.”

“Chris White plans on playing. But there is a lot of paperwork involved with that. It is my understanding that he wants to play.”

“There are four players on campus now (from JUCO). One of them is Marcus Lawrence. He was first team JC All-American at linebacker, he is presently in school and in the winter program. You have Darryl Shocksheyer, first team All-American DT. He did have a little problem with his wrist and shoulder. Mike Rathe, QB out of San Diego is on campus and in class. Fred Bennett, DB is in class and one more D’Von Hill, is here. It makes a big difference having them here in many respects. One they learn the coaches and system, but also they go through the spring practice, summer program, just like a red-shirt freshman.”

(on recruiting and identifying areas) “We feel that QB is critical. Last year we were in a situation, Dondrial Pinkins broke his ankle, Bennett Swygert hurt his knee, so we feel that situation is critical. Big-play running back is critical. Skill players, wide receiver is critical. A lot of big-time plays happen at wide receiver. We have to rebuild the entire offensive line, Travelle Wharton is the only one back, the other four are gone. Linebackers, I think we have only six on scholarship at the present time. If you look at our defensive secondary, we have several that will be seniors next season.”

“It takes awhile to develop a quarterback. It takes repetition. You would like to have a senior, junior, sophomore and a freshman. Bennett Swygert hurt his knee, Aryhel Freeman’s going to be a wide receiver, so we must have two quarterbacks (in this recruiting class). Mike Rathe is a junior, Dondrial is a junior, so we feel we have to have two that can play.”

“Last year was a weird year. We never quite required (from the LSU game). What we did right after Christmas, we went into the home of many of our (current) athletes and visited them in their home and with their families. I went into 11 myself, Skip went into some himself as did Chris Cosh. Then we had an excellent team meeting to start with. They understand this, I’m going to have to make decisions that is going to affect their career and future.”

“We have a lot of question marks. We have a lot of people we have to replace, but I have never looked forward to a spring practice as much as this one. Never.”