Feb. 1, 2012
Ted Roof - Defensive Coordinator
Q: On the challenge of getting into the recruiting of the class so late and getting to know the kids:
A: "It's certainly a challenge because the way that over the years the recruiting process has accelerated. I guess about 15 to 18 years ago, and I think it's Penn State that did it, started offering kids a lot earlier. So now the relationships are formed and so many kids make early decisions. It's certainly a challenge but we were very well-received. I think that things worked out well."
Q: On having Larry Johnson around during these times:
A: "That was critical. Larry and Ron (Vanderlinden) both did an outstanding job to continue the relationships that had been formed and to hold onto so many of those kids that were committed. They did a fantastic job and I think that certainly had an impact on a lot of the kids."
Q: On areas of need when you arrived and the ability to address those needs:
A: "Defensively, look at the secondary. We lost four starters there last year so we need to address that and get some numbers there. We got some kids with some versatility that can be either safeties or corners. I thought that was a real positive for us, a real plus. You can never have enough defensive linemen, no matter where you are, no matter what league you play in. Especially in a league like the Big Ten that's so physical. Those guys take such a beating; you hope they give a beating too. The physical nature of that position, you can never have enough of those guys. I feel good about that situation there as well."
Q: On areas you can up short you have to improve with the next class:
Q: On approaching the "hit the ground running" type of recruiting:
A: "I think you always go back and evaluate, but you know it would be easy to give you an answer right now. You never really know about a class until they actually get here and you get a couple years down the road. So many teams sign these heralded recruiting classes and a handful of them don't make it and another handful of them end up leaving and things of that nature. That's not the Penn State way. So we'll see how good it is and be able to tell you more in a couple years. "
A: "That's exactly how we're approaching it. Our No. 1 priority was to honor the commitments that were here and then to add to the batch that was already here. Through word of mouth, through connections, through whatever, but you know you can't really, Penn State's not a school that you just jump out and start offering kids that you don't know a lot about. This is a total package here and we have a responsibility as coaches to make sure we recruit the right fit. To jump in and offer this kid or offer that kid, we've got to get to know kids and they have to get to know us too. So that's not what we've tried to do because, like I said, we have a responsibility to bring the right fit here."
Q: On the impact on recruiting with Coach O'Brien being with the Patriots for the Super Bowl run:
A: "Like you said he's got two pretty big jobs right now and certainly his time is somewhat divided. He was able to communicate through Skype. The weekend that they had the Saturday game he was able to come in on Sunday and visit with all the kids there. There's been constant communication on the phones. He's done everything he could possibly do with the time constraints that he's under. It was good because people wanted to get to meet him you know as any family would as far as who they we're going to turn their son over to. He was a relentless worker when came to that and it paid dividends for us."
Q: How much did you know what you were selling here before you arrived?
A: "Some, obviously coaching for a while you know what Penn State stands for, both on and off the field. I had a feel for that. I think the last time I was here was 1987 or 1988, and you just come in and you play, and you win or you lose, and you leave. But coming back and being around here and getting a feel for really what Penn State's about, it's very unique place and I think very special. I think there's about seven or eight places in college football that are really like "wow" places and this is one of those places."