First off, nice crowd. Fortunately one of the guys I went with had the idea to go into the auditorium early and I’m glad he did. We sat stage left and who sat right in front of us? Coach Kadlec. We got up and talked to him for a few minutes before it started. Coach had had a knee replacement but was doing fine. Coach Kadlec got up and started the night off. When he did, Coach Pinkel sat in the seat Coach Kadlec vacated so we chatted a bit with him. Howard Richards got up next and spoke of his recruitment by Coach Kadlec and he spoke a bit about now being with the U doing radio. I guess he was nervous cause he finished and walked off without introducing Coach Pinkel. Coach Kadlec jumped up and interrupted Pinkel who’d already introduced himself and started talking to introduce him and Richards came back up obviously embarrassed. Then Coach Kadlec came back down and sat by us the rest of the night. Pinkel came out and staunchly defended Mike Alden saying that everyone that ripped on him needs to send him an email or letter, lots of them, apologizing for all the crap he got over the Frank Haith hiring (though he didn’t actually say Haith’s name).
[Bumped to Front Page.]Pinkel says they don’t look at stars. They have their own evaluating system. They count on that system. ( My observation - A couple times during the night they mentioned that if word gets out that they’re looking at a player who isn’t getting a lot of attention, suddenly there are more schools looking at that player which would be a testament to the value of their rating system.)
DGB comments – huge day. He doesn’t get nervous, but this was different. It seemed like 9-9:15 lasted about 3 hours. He was thinking he’d have to walk out and pat his guys on the back and tell them they’d done the best they could but even though we lost a great player, we have a great class or I was going to be jumping out of my chair and people would be screaming. Thank God I was jumping out of my chair.
We look for speed. We look for speed potential. We look for size potential. We look for guys that want to be competitive. At this point Ka-Ra Stewart’s little sister (less than 2 I think) started saying something down front and Pinkel asks if she’s chanting DGB (big laugh) mom scoops her up and off they go.
Practice starts March 6th. Spring game is 4/14.. Right now they’ve started the most important thing they do. They have workouts at 6AM on Tues/Thurs. It’s like Marine bootcamp and it’s for speed and mental toughness / discipline.
Found out that Elvis Fisher gets an extra year! We found out Brad Madison had a torn labrum and he needed surgery on that in August. Then he tweaked his knee during the season. Some people say he didn’t have the season he had the year before, but he was a soldier out there.
He was asked about how many scholarships he has left. He wouldn’t say. He was asked if $30 or $40 million being spent on the stadium upgrade was enough. He said no. He went on to how he told the U that if they wanted to go into the SEC they have to make a huge commitment. If they’re not going to be committed, he doesn’t want to go there. He was assured that they will do it.
All the assistants spoke about the recruits they worked on but a few stories stood out.
Cornell Ford talked about the similarities between Parkway North linebacker Donavin Newsom and former Tiger Aaron O'Neal. Ford said Newsom gets compared to Aaron a lot, and rightfully so, because Aaron was a first-class kid and a great athlete but that Newsom is a better athlete because he played on both sides of the ball and that they knew where they were going to play him and that when they signed O’Neal they didn’t.
I think it was Yost who spoke about Maty Mauk. They said the first footage they saw was him running and they didn’t want a running QB. But they watched more and in one game, there were 74 offensive plays. Mauk threw 64 and ran 10. Almost all of the video they showed on him was an empty backfield set.
On the ride down a buddy was wondering about the dearth of DT’s on the roster. Then Coach Steckel showed highlights of Harold Brantley, a 260 pound DT from Pennsylvania. They showed him plowing guys over which was nice. Then there was a video of him lining up as a RB, taking the ball and moving VERY quickly. Then a video of him returning a kickoff something like 83 yards for a TD. The kid has speed! Let’s hope he can keep that as he adds weight.
Come on 4-14!!!!!!!!!!!