Petrino talks recruiting, coaching staff, and more on WDRB
Photo courtesy of WDRB.com
Bobby Petrino was in the WDRB studio on Monday morning and talked with Candyce Clift. The following is the full transcript of the interview posted on WDRB.com.
Click here to watch the video of the interview. The video doesn’t show all of the interview, so be sure to read the transcript as well.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — WDRB in the Morning Anchor Candyce Clifft interviewed U of L head football coach Bobby Petrino Monday, and asked what he thought about the current pool of talent.
“I’m very excited,” Petrino said. “First and foremost, they have a great work ethic and a very positive attitude. Sometimes change is hard on everybody, but we can’t afford to have it hard on us. Going into a new conference, we have to adapt quickly and move forward, and I’ve been really happy with the attitude and the leadership of the senior group.
When asked who he expects to be some of the leaders on the team, Petrino says they’re still getting to know each other.
“We’ve been on the road for three weeks, but we’ll look forward to the winter conditioning and the mat drills that we have, but the senior group is really strong. It’s a group of young men that have won a lot of games, and have a lot of pride. So we’re going to build on that.”
What about junior college transfers to fill some of the holes that you have?
“We recruit a couple of junior college players. When you recruit a junior college player you do it for a specific need, and you expect them to come in and contribute right away and be ready. So there’s a couple of young men that we’re looking at that will fill that gap.”
I want to ask you about your coaching staff. What is your assessment of the group that you’ve put together and kind of how you’ll proceed this fall?
“I’m real excited about it. The two coordinators, Garrick McGee and Todd Grantham are very, very experienced — coached at the highest level and won games at the highest level, so that’s exciting for me. I also wanted to add a few young guys that played the position at the highest level and can really relate to the young men and be mentors to them on what they’re going through on a daily basis.”
How does the recruiting class look to you?
“I think it’s going well. Our coaches have been hitting the road hard. It’s a much shorter period with the extended dead period that they’ve had, so we’ve only really had three weeks to be able to get out on the road and it is kind of a two-fold situation. where, we go and see the recruits that were already committed, and we have to get to know them very fast, and then find some other players to recruit. So our coach has done a nice job. We had a big weekend last weekend and hopefully Wednesday will go well for us.”
How has the recruiting game changed in the years that you have been coaching even since the last time at U of L? I see a lot on twitter where the players commit and decommit … is that a real challenge for you in a way that’s different from maybe five years ago?
“It is. With the early commitments, you always wonder how much that really means. Because, some players want to commit, and they continue to take visits, and one of the things that we always have to tell them is, ‘if you’re looking then we have to be looking.’ So, you’re not sure how solid the commitment is, you have to continue to recruit other young men, bring them in for visits, try to balance it all out.”
“I know a lot of services rank recruiting classes, and yours made a jump. The last one I saw was about 40th, and that could change again. Do fans put a little too much weight on those ranking?”
“They probably do, yeah.”
Is there a big difference between three–star and a five-star guys?
“Sometimes, but not always. Sometimes you can’t get too caught up in the stars. We have to really just have a lot of confidence in the process we go through, how we evaluate the young men, on the field, off the field, how we see their future and development. And then, make our own decisions, not based on what the stars are, and what somebody else thinks.”
How did Charlie Strong’s move to Texas — I mean, obviously, it benefited you — and you’re back at Louisville, but how did that hurt recruiting or affect recruiting?
“Well it affected it. There’s a couple of young men that decided to decommit, and, what happened was that shows a little blood in the water and the sharks come in and everybody starting recruiting every athlete that was committed to the University of Louisville. So we had to continue to recruit them and hold on to some. Some changed their minds and decided to go to other schools. Some that we were recruiting, there’s other issues that don’t allow you to sign them. So, it’s just a process of balancing it all out. I do believe that our class is going to be strong, and I’m excited about it.
Are there any particular positions that you feel are extra strong or maybe on the weak side for your liking?
“Well, we’ll know a little bit more on Wednesday, but, we knew going into it, we had to have a big year with the offensive line, simply because of the depth and the number of seniors that were there. We had to get a good young quarterback, which is really important; and defensively, it was kind of hit a few in every position, the linebacker spot we don’t have a lot of depth at, and that’s really important when it comes to special teams.
“The corner spot, you always have to recruit a lot of corners and then, find out a couple of guys that move inside to safety. And the defensive front is an area that’s always a concern, and one right now that we’ll probably have to wait until Wednesday to see how we did.”
Petrino takes over for the Cardinals as the team becomes a new member of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Cards take on Miami at Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium on Sept. 1.
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