Coach Dennis Erickson Speaks on 2010 Recruiting Class
Feb. 3, 2010
“This was a class that we recruited more for need, particularly junior college. As you look at our football team as it has progressed over the last three years. We’ve been awfully good on defense, as you can see. We’re getting more athletic and faster all the time. We’re a lot better offensively. As I sat back and looked at our team, where do we have to get better to compete for a Pac-10 Championship next year. We thought we need a couple junior college offensive linemen, which we did in this class. We need continue to improve our speed and skill at the wide receiver spot and at running back. The class has a lot of depth in it. We probably have more offensive guys than we have recruited in a while. That was our plan coming in, to build the defense and go from there. We fulfilled what we wanted to. We have a heck of good recruiting class. Probably as good as we have had. I’m excited about it. Everybody is. At this time of year, everyone is excited. We’ve got two players here in Steven Threet and Aaron Pflugrad that were here in fall, that have been here all winter, who are going to add a heck of a lot to our football team. They’re going to make a huge difference to our offensive football team. George Bell brings a lot to the table as far as speed is concerned. It is a good junior college class. Brice Schwab is an offensive tackle, probably the best junior college offense lineman that I saw. When they made a change at USC, obviously, we did a good job at getting on top of him. He is 6’8, 320 pounds. We expect him and have an impact right away. Chris DeArmas is the same way. He is an offensive guard out of El Camino [Junior College], who can come in a give us some depth. I look at our offense front, we’ve got a lot of young good players. We can add this depth along with Aderious Simmons, a junior college transfer out of El Camino. 6’7. Now to add these [players] to our offense front along with our freshman. We finally have some depth and we’ll be so much better there. That was part of our plan with junior college recruiting and it’s made a difference. We ended up taking six junior college players.'
On Ramon Abreu:
'Probably the best high school football in productivity in the Phoenix area, that I’ve seen. Played everything. We’re going to play him at safety to start out with. Everybody looks at his size. When you watch that kid play football, he’s really special. The thing that jumps out at me, he’s been at our camp ever since he was a ninth grader. We’re excited about having him.'
On Lee Adams:
'Lee Adams is a defensive lineman from Centennial High School. Obviously we have a few players from there. He is a guy that didn’t play much as a junior. He played behind Sutton. But when people started to see him play. People evaluate as juniors. Everyone offers so early. As you watched him continue as a senior and grow physically, he became a heck of a football player. He either be a defensive end or a tackle. I think he’ll grow into a defensive tackle.'
On Sil Ajawara:
'Offensive lineman out of Rancho Santa Margarita. Kid that has great potential. He was heavily recruited by a lot of different people. He will probably end up playing offensive guard for us, could probably play tackle. He is a guy who has great potential. Probably with what we’ve done, we can bring him in and redshirt. We can do that with a lot of our players, instead of playing them like we have the last three years.'
On Kevin Anderson:
'Kevin Anderson is a wide receiver out of Lakewood, Calif. He is one of the better receivers out of the state of California. He has great speed. He ran a 10.6 [100 meters] in high school. He has great feet. He has a chance to come in a play for us early.'
On George Bell:
'I really believe he has a chance to be special. He has great speed. He has great feet. We are very fortunate to get him. He’s got good height. He is a guy who can really help us as far as getting the ball deep. I looked at where we were offensively and made the decision to hire Noel Mazzone as our offense coordinator. He has been unbelievable. A pleasant surprise for me and what we’re going to do. We can gain more speed offensively. This class is going to make a heck of a difference in what we’re going to do.'
On Carl Bradford:
'Bradford is from Norco High School. He was a fullback but when we looked at him at fullback he was 6’2, 235. They only played him one way. We had him at camp and played him at linebacker. He was a good fullback. We feel like he can be great linebacker. We are taking a guy like that, who is very powerful, and moving him to linebacker, which I’ve done a lot in my career.'
On Alden Darby:
'Darby is from Long Beach Millikan. He will be corner for us. Kind of a sleeper, although at the end of recruiting he scored very well on his tests, so a lot of people came in on him. We knew about him. We recruited him at the end and he is a very good athlete. He can run and play corner for us.'
On Chris DeArmas:
'He is from Miami, Fla. He went to junior college at El Camino and sat out a year because of an illness in the family. So he is a little bit older. He is a very good football player and very mature. He’ll help us at guard.'
On Jamil Douglas:
'He is a guy that reminds me of Finkenberg from Southern California last year. He played tight end. Very good athlete. He is going to end up playing offensive tackle for us as time goes on.'
On Eddie Elder:
'Eddie Elder is a junior college transfer that is a safety. San Mateo Junior College. One area where we did lose some people at was safety. Although we have some good young safeties coming back that played quite a bit. Because of injury we ended up playing those seniors at the end. Eddie can come in and help us right away. We recruited him out of high school so we know quite a bit about him.'
On Josh Fulton:
'Josh Fulton is from St. Mary’s High School. He is a tight end who can really run. He is very athletic. He just had shoulder surgery, so he is going to be five, six months with that. We expect him to be ready to go in the fall.'
On Taylor Kelly:
'Taylor Kelly is a guy I really liked. He is out of Boise, Idaho. Taylor is a guy that led Eagle High School to a state championship. Very athletic. Starter on the basketball team. I had heard about him, so I started watching tape on him. That area is not recruited real heavily. I know the head coach Paul Peterson. We visited. I had a couple people call me. I really studied him. I looked about seven games. Games. Not highlights. Games. To me quarterback highlight films are so over rated. You see all the good plays, not the bad plays. I watched him from start to finish. He is a winner and a great athlete. He is about 6-3, 185 pounds. He has a really good arm. He runs 4.6, which is what they tell me. He makes things happen back there. He won a lot of football games at the end of the game. It may be Boise, Idaho but you still have to win games. I saw him take his team 80 yards at the end of games. He was making plays with either his legs or throwing it to win football games. I was very impressed when I watched him and talked to him and watched him play basketball. I was totally convinced that he was the guy. We were fortunate to get him to change his commitment and come here. I told him upfront, you’re going to be compared to one guy from [Arizona State] when you come here. Just be ready for that. He has no fear. If he can become as good as Jake [Plummer] we’re in pretty good shape. Obviously Jake was his idol growing up.'
On Randy Knust:
'Randy Knust is wide receiver out of The Woodlands, Texas. He is obviously from a great football state. He can run. He makes plays. We really liked him. He has good size and catches everything. We’re excited about him.'
On Deantre Lewis:
'Deantre Lewis, to me, is one of the better guys I’ve been around. If you watch him on tape, this guy is explosive and he can run. We don’t have anyone quite like him at the running back position. I think he has run a 10.6-10.7 [100 yard]. Which is pretty good. He can explode. He gives us that break away speed on offense that I was talking about.'
On Jordan McDonald:
'To me has a huge upside. He has good height and a good body. He is going to get bigger. He is a very good athlete. He is a guy, that once you get him here for a couple years, he is going to be a very good football player. He could be a great football player. That is the one thing about where we’re at. We don’t have to play these guys right now.'
On Kyle Middlebrooks:
'Kyle Middlebrooks is another player like Lewis. He is a guy who can play back there [in the running back position] and he can play in the slot. He can play a lot of different places. He is true speed. He a guy that I believe ran a 10.4. He can fly. He is going to be involved in our track program. A lot of those guys say they can but when the track coaches say so, you know they can fly. If you run on this track team you have to be pretty darn fast. He is a great athlete. You can do a lot of different things with him as a receiver.'
On Nduka ‘Junior’ Onyeali:
'Junior is a defensive lineman and defensive end, linebacker from Denver. He just jumps out at you when you watch him play. He had got a chance to play for us next year. He can really run. He is not real tall. He is a guy that can make plays. He was very heavily recruited and we’re really excited about him. He visited USC a couple weeks ago. He is a guy that can play.'
On Brice Schwab:
'He’s from Pittsburgh. We really think he has a chance to be one of the better players I’ve been around in a long time.'
On Aderious Simmons:
'He came from Louisiana and was a high school basketball player. He played high school and some junior college basketball and then he ended up at El Camino Junior College. He is a legitimate 6’7, 310. He is an athletic tackle that can pass protect. The biggest thing with him is that he has only played football for three years. He is a guy that will continue to learn while he’s here.'
On Devan Spann:
'He is a corner out of [Junipero] Serra High School, which is an outstanding private high school in the Los Angeles area. He is also a track star who has done really well. He has great feet.'
On Tyler Sulka:
'We like him a lot. We look at his upside. As I said, we are able to with the young offensive linemen, we can go ahead and redshirt them and bring them through the program.'
On Joita Te’i:
'He might be a guy in the class that might be a sleeper. He is 6’4, 260 pounds right now. He started getting pretty heavily recruited at the end. But he is a guy that has great potential. He is a guy that could play defensive end, defensive tackle. He could end up being an offensive lineman before it is all said and done.'
On Calvin Tonga:
'This is a big man. He is 6’4, 320 pounds and a big man. He is all of that. You watch him at defensive tackle and he is very athletic. He stays on his feet. He is a guy that could defensive tackle and a one technique over the center and take up a lot space. Or as time goes on, he could end up on the other side of the football. He is a very powerful football player.'
On Taylor Walstad:
'Unfortunately for Taylor, he was injured for a lot of the season. When we had them at camp we thought he was one of the better prospects in this area.'
On Mike Willie:
'He is another wide receiver that we talked about out of junior college. We think he can help us get a lot better at a couple things we’re doing. He’ll be here in the fall. When you watch him play, he reminds me a lot of T. J. Houshmandzadeh. Both came from Cerritos Junior College. Very similar, the coaches there compare him to T.J. which is good enough for me.'
On Damien Williams:
'He is a good running back but I think he is really going to be a good corner. He is 195 pounds. He is a big, physical corner and I really think he is going to be a good athlete out of San Diego.'
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