Coach Riley Discusses New Recruits

Feb. 2, 2005

Corvallis - OSU FOOTBALL COACH Mike Riley -- Quotes from Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2005 2 p.m. press conference regarding letter-of-intent signing day:

'We're obviously excited about this group that has signed with us. We set many specific goals and a lot of goals were by position. I would say that if you look offensively, at the O-Line, we did just about exactly what we wanted to do. We signed a tight end. We signed a couple of running backs. We wanted one high school receiver and we got him. Of course, our two quarterbacks, one mid-year guy in Matt Moore and Sean Canfield, who may graduate early and be up here for spring practice. So that's very positive.

'Defensively, we still have some ongoing things I can't talk about right now. The corners are outstanding for us. We feel great about what we did there, particularly with where we were at the end of the year, losing Brandon (Browner) and Aric (Williams). This will boost our corps there for sure. Linebackers, we hit the mark exactly where we wanted. Defensive line is the one area at this point where we are thin in our recruiting class. It was not for a lack of knowing who they were or effort. It came down, and those guys were like gold, and it was very competitive.

'This is an outstanding group of young men. Guys who can deliver some immediate help, and other guys who will be great in the program as they grow, mature and develop.'

(on improving the running game) 'We have a young man here that will add to the picture in J.T. Walker, who has been on campus but was not eligible last year because of the transfer rule. We added Nate Wright, who's an exciting athlete from Fresno City. Markel Devorce is a very, very good freshman. We had him rated right near the top of our list of all the running backs around. We're excited about him and what he can bring. It's important that we added Jason Vandiver, who's an outstanding blocking tight end as well as a receiver. And there are four offensive linemen, which is also what we got in last year's class. So we're building that depth, and that's big in the running game.'

(on players yet to sign) 'We will add to what we have right here. I guarantee you that. When it comes in, either this evening, or tomorrow, I'm not sure.'

(on anyone who will play immediately) 'There are guys on this list who will. We brought in Edorian McCullough and Aaron Miller as junior college corners to get in here and compete right away. Those are two outstanding athletes. As far as true freshmen, that will all play out in fall camp ... We'll let it all play out and see where they fit in physically and mentally when we come to fall camp.'

(on any boost from Insight Bowl, Raising Reser project) 'I think that as players visited our campus, the stadium project is front and center when they come in here and look out the window. I'm sure that played a part in some decisions. There's no doubt that our season in general, from the very first game, made a good impression ... The Insight Bowl was a nice fit, a strategic time for people to see us play ... It was all very good for us.'

(on offensive linemen) 'Michael Marks is a very interesting story. We earmarked him early last year. He's playing eight-man football over in Joseph. He travels 50 miles a day to get to school. Lo and behold, out there in the wilderness somewhere, there's a 300-pound, 6-5 kid that we really liked. He's a heck of a guy who has a bright future. He's athletic and strong. Ian Brinker is a guy we really liked on tape. We're looking for guys who can develop and be what we need them to be. Ian fits very well into that picture.'

(on Sean Canfield) 'If Sean makes it up here in the spring, he will enter the competition and we'll see exactly where he is. We wouldn't make a decision on redshirting until fall camp. That would give him a great jump on what we're doing.'

(on any fan disappointment, wanting more) 'In the one area, defensive line, absolutely. I don't know that we could have done any more at the other positions. We earmark positions. We've got quite a number of good young receivers, so we didn't want any more than one high school receiver, and we got a guy we liked. In recruiting at the end, that's what's important. We know exactly what we need, who we need. In our evaluation, these are guys who were above the line. I don't really need to react to people's opinions about whether we got the right guy. We evaluated, worked hard, recruited them. This is a whole bunch of good football players. They will be big members of our football team. Some sooner than others.'

(on in-state recruiting) 'I think we did great in-state ... We had Michael Marks, Bryant Cornell and Kevin Maher, and that's about where we wanted to hit. There are obviously other good players in the state, guys that will do well, but those are the guys that we really liked.'

(on some of the JC players) 'Matt Moore, we are excited about Matt being here. He brings a guy who has played in the Pac-10. Coming out of high school, he was one of the most highly recruited guys around. He brings an athleticism to the position that will be fun. He will be a great competitor to go with the guys already in the program ... With the loss of the two corners, we started hitting that very hard. We've got some guys on campus right now who may win the job. We know all about our guys. Edorian McCullough started out at Texas and through circumstances ended up at San Francisco City College. Aaron Miller started out at Oklahoma and ended up at Fresno City College. So these were two elite athletes coming out of high school that have played at a higher level of football. I will feel good this spring and fall with guys who have played junior college football, along with the guys who have developed in the program, because we've got some big shoes to fill at the position. We have addressed that as well as we could have.'

(on competing for recruits compared to earlier years) 'There's no doubt that we're in on more guys. We're recruiting against all the schools in the Pac-10. It is very competitive. It was rather unusual this year because we had so many competitions going down to the wire. As of a couple days ago, we might have had 12 guys here or there. That made it tough on us because you're still making those phone calls and grinding away late last night.'

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