The ACC football coaches had a teleconference on Wednesday to talk about their teams and wrap up the spring season. Bobby Petrino updated the status of Will Gardner, talked about wide receivers who have stood out, and more.
For the transcript of all of the coaches, click here.
BOBBY PETRINO: Well, I thought we had a very good spring. It was nice to have the continuity on our staff and have all of our coaches back and see the improvements that we made because our players really understand how we’re going to work and go about our business and the tempo that we’re going to practice at. So I felt like we were able to make some real strides there. We’ve had some good quarterback competition going on, which is always a lot of fun and something that I thought they all handled well, and then I like what I see from our defense. We’re going to be strong on the defensive front. We’ll have some new guys in the secondary, but they’re talented, and we have a really good linebacking crew. Overall I thought we got done a lot in spring ball, but certainly we have a lot of work ahead of us and a long way to go to get ready for a real tough early schedule.
Q. I wanted to ask if you see any pitfalls or unintended consequences of the cost of attendance legislation. Do you see it creating a recruiting imbalance when one school could potentially pay more than another for that number?
BOBBY PETRINO: Well, I think we’re all still trying to work and figure out exactly what’s the best for the student athlete. I think when they did the rule with the meals, that certainly helps our players, and it was a great addition to our student athletes. I think they have a lot of work to do on the cost of attendance because obviously you don’t want it to be an advantage for one school over the other. But our numbers are good. It would certainly be good for the University of Louisville, but I’m not sure that’s fair throughout the country to have it be different at one school than the other.
Q. I just wanted to ask you, how will you kind of approach the quarterback competition as it now goes into the summer and can you kind of give us an update on Will’s status and when you expect him to be back, and when you get to fall camp in August, how will that — where will these guys pick up as far as a three-man race, a four-man race?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, that’s a great question. I was in here yesterday with Will and visiting with him, he says it feels better than it ever has. It’s something that is the third surgery, but obviously the first one didn’t go well, so he had to have it redone, and now he says it feels better than it has since he’s been here. But he still has a timetable where he’s probably not throwing the football until early June to mid-June. So we have a ways to know if he can get into the competition or not in August. Certainly we hope so, and we’re cheering for him because I think he’s a really good football player. But in the summer what it’s really about is to watch and observe and see how our players, our quarterbacks lead the team and how they go out there and run the drills and take charge, so it gives them an advantage away from the coaches to show their leadership and dedication to their craft.
Q. And one additional question, can you kind of comment a little on your decision to hire Dave Boller on your recruiting staff?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, Dave is just a guy that I’ve known for a very long time. He’s been in football ops. He’s been a professional scout, somebody that I’ve always had a great relationship with, and I think what he adds to us is the organization in our recruiting department, and also the ability to evaluate players and evaluate recruits and put a grade on them and give us a little more leadership in our recruiting department.
Q. The addition of those guys mid-year and having that extra spring practice, how does that help those guys, and do you see any of those guys competing for starting jobs in the fall?
BOBBY PETRINO: Oh, most definitely. We’re going to need them. You know, with graduating the number of seniors that we had last year and then also having three guys coming out early, it was important for us to get some mid-year transfers so we could execute and practice in spring football. We had two true freshmen that graduated early that came in in Traveon Samuel and Jaire Alexander. Both of them are going to be outstanding football players for us. They’re still young and they’re still learning, but they’re very talented and really motivated. I like their commitment and motivation and how much they add to our campus and our football team. And then we have some transfers either from UAB or junior colleges that you go out and recruit so they can come in and play right away, and they compete for it and they understand that they have to earn it, but our expectations are when you go out and recruit a transfer is that they’ll come in and contribute immediately.
Q. I wanted to ask you two things: One, I guess related to that, at receiver, who are you really happy with this spring, because you’re obviously going to be looking at a whole new crew to step up from the guys you lost last year?
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, there’s great competition, and overall I think it’s going to be a really good group. I think we’re a little taller as a group. We have more speed. We’re just inexperienced, so we have to make up for the inexperience and get them to really come along here in the summer and early August. But on the outside, Jamari Staples had a very good spring for us. He’s played in this offense with Garrick McGee at UAB and he’s tall and has good hands and can really run and runs good routes for us. Ja’Quay Savage now, he changed his last name, is a very talented young man that was with us all last year, so he does have an understanding of the offense, and he’s big and physical, and he missed a little bit of time this spring that hurt him, but hopefully he’ll be back full speed and ready to go when we get going in August. James Quick had a really good spring for us, kind of moving him around, playing him at different spots, and he’s been through how we practice and then through how we go about our business, so he was mentally in better physical condition than the other guys. We do think Traveon Samuel will really help us. He’s a guy that can really run with the ball after the catch and is very quick and has good hands, can make different catches. We have Charles Standberry is playing in the slot position, is a big, physical guy with great hands and a real competitor. I think that’s what — the thing we liked about him last year as a true freshman was that he’s a great competitor and really is a playmaker. Whenever we gave him an opportunity to make plays, he made the plays. We do have some young freshmen that will come in and compete and work this summer to get in the rotation.
Q. The other thing I wanted to ask you which was more of a national thing, with the satellite camps in the news now, I wondered if you had any thoughts about whether the SEC or ACC should lift restrictions and allow you guys to work them since other conferences are allowed.
BOBBY PETRINO: Yeah, I’m not in favor of the satellite camps. I think that’s kind of a loophole in the rules and allows you to go to somebody else’s campus and act like it’s their camp. But if it continues, if they don’t restrict the satellite camps, then probably we need to be able to do what everybody else can do. But the idea to have camps is to bring young men to your campus, help them get better in the game of football. That’s the one thing I don’t like as much about camps as I used to. It’s all more about recruiting now and one-day camps, half-a-day camp, where it used to be about bringing young men to camp and help him get better so he can be more productive in the fall. The purpose of camps has changed quite a bit.