We'll talk Braggin' Rights later today ... for now, everybody, shut up -- Coach is talking.
On whether some decommitments are expected when the head coach changes …
"I think anytime – and it hasn’t changed in the last seven or eight years of me coaching – there’s always commitments, decommitments, reservations. Is it a commitment? Are you dating? What’s the deal? So we’re working through that. Across the country, there’s change. I never did think stepping into this that it was just going to be smooth sailing and, ‘Oh, we’ve got 14 guys committed. They’re all going to stay committed.’ It’s a process. It will go down to the 12th hour of that night before signing day, until we get our class the way we want it. I look forward to the guys that are going to be on board with this first group of recruits."
On what changes/philosophy can be expected in recruiting …
"We’ll look at, No. 1, it’s got to be the right fit for us – as a program, as a university, culturally, of what we’re doing, program-wise, what we’re doing. Position-specific, I think with the things that we have set in place right now, there will be a couple of different positions maybe we recruit, add numbers to, a tight-end spot. We’ve always recruited the tight-end position, but maybe what we’re going to ask that guy to do a little bit differently moving forward. I’m always going to be heavy on making sure that we recruit up front on both sides of the ball.
After meeting with Mauk, Odom discussed the situation with Mizzou administration, including athletics director Mack Rhoades. Pinkel suspended Mauk indefinitely in September for undisclosed rules violations, then after reinstating him in late October suspended the junior QB for the rest of the season after an incident outside a downtown Columbia bar.
"He’s on our team now, and just like every other player he’s going to have very strict guidelines on what they can and can’t do," Odom said. "The quarterback position is different than any position on the team and different than any position in sports. Those guys are going to be held very, very accountable for everything they do. They’re a representative of me and our football program and university."
"The thing we’ve been able to do every year I’ve been a coordinator is take the skill set of the guys you have on your roster and don’t ask them to do something they can’t do. Find out what they do best and build the offense or defense around that. [Heupel's] been successful doing that, some years better than others as it goes. I trust and believe in his competitiveness. I’ve seen it as a player when I played against him. I’ve seen it on the recruiting trail. A lot of times he’s going to come off a little bit quiet, but don’t confuse that. He’s trying to kick your tail in whatever he’s doing. I like that part of it."
"He is in my opinion one of the best if not the best quarterback coach in the country. ... I’ve said it a number of times, it doesn’t matter what level of football you’re playing, but if your quarterback is playing well, you’re going to have a chance. If you’re not, then you’re not. That sounds very elementary but it’s the truth."
As for Kuligowski, Odom was more direct: He will not return.
"He'll be a coordinator somewhere," Odom said.