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National Signing Day - Feb. 4, 2015
Defensive Recruiting Coordinator Terry Smith
Q: Did you sign as many players as you wanted to on the interior of the defense line?
TS: We are very happy with the guys we got [on the defensive line.] We filled a lot of the needs and it is still going to take a couple more years to fill every need. We are happy and we're not complaining about the 25 new student-athletes that we signed today.
Q: How do you feel about Robert Windsor and what about him made your recruiting staff want to go after him?
TS: He is a big kid. He has incredible athleticism and he plays tough with a high motor. He plays how we expect our Wild Dogs to play. We feel like he will be a great fit with that group and on our team.
Q: Can you talk about the linebackers you signed today? How do you think they will add to the team?
TS: Daiquan Kelly and Manny Bowen are guys that are extremely athletic. We were looking for that outside linebacker, hybrid guy. We wanted to find players that you don't have to substitute for in your nickel package. You also want to get guys who will play down in the box and tackle. We feel that [our linebacker signees] have a chance to become the type of players that we need. Then you have a guy like Jake Cooper who is a throwback guy. He is a guy who could have played with me at Penn State years ago. He is a physical guy, tough as nails, and is going to be the inside linebacker-type.
Q: Coach, how much flexibility versus versatility do you have with some of the guys on defense? Could some of these guys grow into linebackers, safety or a hybrid positions?
TS: We have a lot of flexibility with our defensive recruits. We signed three safeties and only time will tell whether they fit the system in that position. The beauty of what coach [Bob] Shoop does with our defense is that he adjusts our scheme to the personnel. He doesn't try to fit them into the scheme we are already running; he adjusts what we do on the field to our personnel strengths.
Q: Coach Franklin gave you a lot of credit for recruiting Western Pennsylvania, what went in to the success you had out there?
TS: Coach Franklin made it a point to dominate the state when he first accepted the job at Penn State. We as a recruiting team made it a point of interest, as well. We got out there and are continuing to build and mend our relationships in Western Pennsylvania and for the most part we got all the players we wanted.
Q: How much of a relief was it to dominate the state?
TS: It was a great relief. When Penn State was [a title contender] we dominated the state in recruiting and hopefully we are on our way back to the top.
Q: Can you talk about Kevin Givens and his unique athleticism?
TS: We are going to bring him in as a defensive end, even with his size. We all know that some kids grow, but sometimes they stay the same. We cannot predict if he will grow into a defensive tackle, but he is extremely athletic and has a great motor. We heard some comparisons to Aaron Donald. I coached against Donald in high school and Kevin is built just like him. We hope he brings that motor and athleticism to cause a lot of havoc up front for us.