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National Signing Day - Feb. 4, 2015
Director of Player Personnel Andy Frank
Q: How important of a role is it to monitor what Coach Franklin can say in certain situations?
AF: I wouldn't say it's a primary job of mine. [James] is very aware of the rules; he is just in a unique situation where he is talking about a bunch of guys that he knows are coming to us, but he can only talk about the guys who have signed their National Letter of Intent.
Q: Last year you talked about a white board where you have mapped out who needs to go where. Did you take that approach again this year? Do you have a separate one for Pennsylvania based on the fact that you guys wanted to make your mark in the state?
AF: I wouldn't say I have a separate map, but it's definitely more important. We're going to try to dominate Pennsylvania and take care of this region. We feel like we know where we need to get to and where the prospects are and we're going to get there.
Q: How hard was it to establish relationships within in the state? You guys came in last year in the middle of January and scrambled with that class. This class has the most Pennsylvania than you've had in a long time; how did you do that?
AF: Our coaches are great at it. We have a bunch of great coaches with great personalities who are go-getters. They are going to be upfront with prospects, their parents and their high school coaches. I think that starts the relationship. Then you're get them on campus and build that relationship even more. Our coaches and staff have an infectious personality, and the more you see that, the more you're around them, the more you're going to develop that relationship and trust and the liking of being around.
Q: How did the solution of the consent decree affect the numbers that Coach Franklin talked about?
AF: Essentially it gave us a few more scholarships because of the initial counters--our limitation at the start of this year was our initial counters. Because of the consent decree, we basically were able to push our midyear guys into last year's class. So, the three early enrollees could be pushed into last year's class. We are coming in with 22 currently who signed letters of intent today.
Q: What's the impact on being able to continue to recruit for this class, or next year even?
AF: We will be able to add them this year or next year. We will have about two that we could potentially get this year and we will continue to look around. Things will happen this spring, things may happen tomorrow, you never know. Things happen throughout the spring and guys decide they want to leave the school they're at and we will be looking around. Whether it's in the spring or after the school year, it's a possibility for us now unlike it was previously.
Q: Last year the biggest challenge for you guys was filling up a class in less than a month. What was the biggest challenge in this cycle to fill out this class with the full year to do it?
AF: It was more normalized, but it was still unique in the sense that we started the year with a projection of a number we would be able to take. Last year at this time we were saying, `we are going to take this many kids,' then over the course of the year that number changed. So, you end up having to tell very good players, `Hey, we can't take you because of our numbers.' If we knew our number was going to be bigger, we could have and would have taken those guys.
Q: What is your long distance plan for the next class? What are some of the things you're hoping to accomplish? What are you most looking forward to accomplish?
AF: We are getting closer to being more balanced, which allows us to take the best players available across the board. I would say, and you can see it, we need to get bigger up front both offensively and defensively. We have been very good defensively, especially this year, but some of those guys who are very good are going to graduate and move on and you need to replace them. With the offensive line, our guys are getting older and more experienced and will be better players next year. The offensive and defensive lines are typically not going to be great contributors for you until their third year on campus. We had two corners who came in for us as true freshman last year and played very well. That is just rare for the offensive/defensive line.