Hauck's Quotes From Signing Day Press Conference|
Feb. 1, 2012
Thanks for coming. Obviously today is a great day. This is our third recruiting class and like many coaches around the country, we feel good about these future Rebels. We are excited to get them signed today and move into our offseason. We certainly have a lot of work to do here and progress needs to be made but today, especially, optimism is high.
It is a physically gifted group of young men. I don't really know what the ranking will be; in fact I'm kind of interested to see where they rank us in the league, because I think this is a good group. The fact of the matter is, the evaluation that counts is ours; it's the only one we are really concerned about. We evaluated these guys to be top-notch individuals both on and off the field. When I discuss these guys individually, one thing that will be a common refrain is they are quality people, they come from good homes and we think they will represent UNLV very well.
They are predominantly high school kids, the 20 signees, but the breakdown is 18 high school kids and two major junior college players. Again the preference is to emphasize the high school athlete for a variety of reasons. One of those is the fact that we think the provide long term stability from when you build it that way you don't have so many peaks and valleys. You can keep more veteran players on the field for a longer period of time as they develop into juniors and seniors. The other thing we believe is they have a better chance academically to succeed and get their degree. With that said, we think our two midyear JC transfers are quality guys that will have success here.
We have guys that come from a lot of different places, I think its six states and one Canadian province. Starting first with three kids from Las Vegas, 10 from California, several from Texas and the surprise maybe in the class is the Northwest was really good for us. We feel that we stole three kids from the great northwest and all of them are what I would consider superior prospects. They are big framed and athletic. They went through a fairly intense recruiting pressure but they hung on for us and I'm really pleased with that.
We have said we will go anywhere and sign a good class, but along with those places I mentioned the three kids from Las Vegas I'm really proud that today, to the best of my knowledge, I think eight people signed division one letters of intent from Las Vegas and three of them signed with UNLV. Roughly 40 percent of the guys who signed division one scholarships out of Nevada signed with UNLV today and that's good. We would like it to be 100 percent, but certainly that is not always going to be the case. These guys decided to stay put and we are excited about all three of them. J'Ondray Sanders, Marc Philippi and Ronnie Scoggins are all great kids. We are excited to have them join us.
The class was pretty evenly split and balanced like we want it to be. If you look across the board, a lot of players upfront on both sides of the ball. As we continue to transform the makeup of our football team into a bigger, more athletic, more physical bunch that's kind of what this class defines. With that, let me talk about them.
If you look at your height and weight chart here. That is as good as can be. We had the ability to weight and measure these guys and do a medical history on them when they come in on their visits. These heights and weights are accurate. We didn't inflate these a lick, this is what these guys look like and you will be impressed when you see them in their uniforms next fall.
First guy on the list, obviously we are doing this alphabetically, is Bobby Alvarez from Barstow. Barstow is basically is an in-state home area for us. We are the closest division one institution in terms of time. Bobby is a great kid, comes from a great family, when we did his home visit they had the whole family there, it was awesome. He came over here to our camp in June and stood out against some tremendous competition. There were guys from all over the western United States and some guys that signed at some very marquee institutions and he was what I thought, along with Tom Clarkson, the best player in that camp in terms of front guys. He is a big athletic guy that brings a physical presence, something that we are trying to develop on our offensive line. You can see that the tackles have some studs and some length and are big guys, in (Brett) Boyko and (Cameron) Jefferson, but we need some big physical guys inside who can push, and Alavarez is one of those.
Dominic Baldwin is one of numerous guys from central California from the central coast. Righetti High School was really fruitful for us this year. He is a big tall athletic guy; he runs really well, he's fast. Again comes from a good family and I believe that he will develop into a big pass rusher at defensive end.
Justin Chandler is a highly recruited guy out of Texas. He comes from a football family. He kind of got lost in the recruiting shuffle. He left Jacksonville, Florida, and moved to the Houston area after his junior year and kind of got lost. He did get a lot of attention from a lot of schools toward the end, but he stuck with his commitment. His family is football oriented. His dad and his uncle both played for Bear Bryant at Alabama so he comes from a football background.
Tom Clarkson is another Canadian who joins our offensive line. (I've) known Tom for a long time. His father I knew when he was our offensive line coach. He was Chad Germer's teammate in college and Tom really felt that this was an extension of his family and hopefully have his folks convinced to buy a place in Vegas and spend more time down here. They are great people and I have known them for a long time. This kid was another one of the guys at our camp this summer that excelled. He earned and offer out of our camp and was the first player to commit to us last summer.
Marcell Frazier is a guy that was maybe the more under-recruited player in the class. He is a little more than 6-5. He is a gifted basketball player. He has got great speed and played wide receiver and tight end. He is a good-looking guy and we think he has the right frame and attitude, temperament to be a good player. Rarely do you find an athlete like him that played some wide receiver in high school and gets the ball thrown his way a lot that comes right in and says I want to be a defensive end. I think he will be a dynamic pass rusher.
David Greene was another one of our early commits. He came from Skyline High School in Dallas, I believe they had eight or nine players sign division one scholarships this morning, so it's quite a high school program. He made his decision early on and stuck with his decision despite a very active recruiting process, a lot of people came in and tested the waters with him and tested the waters with him to see if he would waiver and he didn't. We are excited about David. He is a guy that can come in and look to get on the field early.
Troy Hawthorne is our high school quarterback in the class. He is a little bit unique because he played a lot of different positions in high school. His coach loved him because he would do whatever was asked of him. They didn't throw the ball a bunch when he was in at quarterback. He came to our camp last summer and it didn't take watching him long to see that he can play. He has an active arm and is a gifted athlete; he can run it or throw it. The story around him is similar to the Virginia Tech guy who played a lot of different positions and then had him in their camp and decided he was a good looking quarterback and recruited him. We are looking for similar things for Troy in our place.
Charles Howard is a big guy. He weathered extreme recruiting pressure. He made his decision early on before Christmas. He is a quality guy and Lincoln High School and he is as solid as there is. Certainly with his size on the defensive line, we believe he has the ability to anchor things and not get shoved around in there. He is a big, active kid. Some people were looking at him on the offensive line, some on the defensive line. We liked him on the defensive side and that's where he see's himself.
Trent Langham is a unique guy. He only played in four games this season before getting injured. He is a guy we really fell in love with last spring with his junior tape. He had an early offer from us and narrowed it down to us and a very few others in a hurry, especially after he was injured this year. Trent's got a good frame. He won a 10.67 in the 100 meter and won the Orange County track meet. So he is a linebacker that can run under 11 flat and that's what we are looking for. He can close ground and we are excited about that.
Matt Lea. Matt's an interesting guy. He was another one that committed early and came to our camp. There is common theme there as well. There were a lot of guys here in June. We got a chance to get to know them and they got a chance to know us. Matt's father was a boyhood friend of J.D. Williams. He came in and played well in June when he was here. His intensity, toughness and tackling ability are things that obviously you need on the defensive side of the ball and something we are fired up about. He will be a good addition for us on that side.
Another guy that I mentioned earlier, Marc Philippi, who has a history in Las Vegas. He goes to Bishop Gorman and plays for Tony Sanchez there. It's obviously a very strong program, the strongest in our state. We are excited that Marc chose us. He is a bright kid and has a high GPA. Academics were heavily involved in his choice and he is looking into the medical field. His dad worked at UNLV a few years ago. Marc kicked around leaving town and going someplace else and getting out on his own a little bit, but we are excited that he decided to come play for his hometown university. We think that he will be ready to go in the fall and I would say there is a likelihood that he can contribute early because he is physically ready. Kind of like Matt Lea, he is a good tackler and is physical and really brings a lot of great things to the table, but the best thing that he brings is his character. He has strong moral fiber and we are as thrilled as we can be that at the 11th hour he chose to come to us.
Andrew Price is a big tight end out of Blaine, Washington. For those of you that don't know where Blaine is, their nickname is the Borderites because is the town right on the border with Vancouver. We spent a little time in that neck of the woods. The only guy I knew that knew what Blaine's high school was besides our Athletic Director was Dennis Erikson. So the Borderites gave us one this year and we like him. He is 6-6, 230 pounds. What really sold me on him was his athletic ability on the basketball court. He's got soft hands and good feet. He can jump and dunk it effortlessly. He is a really good-looking prospect. If I were to cookie cutter a guy at tight end, this would be it. He is exactly what we are trying to find and frankly they don't make very many of these guys who look like this. There just isn't a whole bunch of them out there. He was one of those guys that I was really interested to see if we could hang on because he made his decision pretty early. He did and was a man of his word and we are thrilled to have him.
J'Ondray Sanders is the second of our three Nevadans. J'Ondray was coached at Basic High School by former Rebel Jerry Reynolds, who was his position coach. Jerry was instrumental in the evaluation because he is kind of a guy that is really coming on. He really came into his own the second half of the season. Jerry was telling us this guy could play. Along with coach Cahill out there, they did a great job of bringing him along. As a junior we thought he was kind of a suspect more than a prospect but he J'Ondray is just going to keep getting better. His mother is as thrilled as she can be and happy that he stayed home. We are thrilled with him and he will be a gifted athlete on the offensive line. He weighs in at 270 and looks like he is only 240, he will be a big man before it's done.
The third Vegas guy, Ronnie Scoggins is another guy from coach Sanchez's program out at Bishop Gorman. Certainly we have a bunch of players on our team from Gorman High School and we are glad to have Ron. His dad played here numerous years ago. Ronnie is a guy that can provide a physical presence. We have recruited a lot of tackles over the last couple years and now we feel we need to sure up our guard and center spot and he has a chance to do good things. He is a really fine athlete that played both ways for Gorman High and never came off the field. He plays with great energy and has natural leadership skills. I'm really enthused with him. All the good things about him, his size and athletic ability, pale to who he is as a person. He is a great kid.
Michael Thomas is a wide receiver from Consumes Oaks High School. He has the profile we are looking for at wide receiver. He's 6-2, long armed and has great reach and also has great speed. He ran 10.6 in the 100 meter in high school. He has legitimate speed and can really get out and go. He was well coached in high school and is exactly what we are looking for at wide receiver.
Jeremiah Valoaga is from Channel Island High School. We have never been in there before and he is the first person in his family to go to college. His family is thrilled that he is going to be within five hours and get to games and excited that he is going to get his college education, which is great when that is the first thing you hear in the house. He is a pretty highly regarded guy that emerged. He got attention from a lot of programs and visited a Pac-12 school. He really wanted to play on the defensive end and that's where we see him. Everybody in the country is looking for great pass rushers and we think we got three of them.
Anthony Williams from Concord De La Salle in Northern California is a great kid from a great family and his brother played at Oregon. This kid comes from a great home and his parents are awesome. We are really fired to get a kid from De La Salle. They have had a lot of guys over the years signed scholarships and they don't have any signing day function. We are excited to have a guy out of that program. He is a physical guy and runs DB's over when he gets the ball. We hope that physical attitude that he possesses carries over to our wide receivers.
Jonavaughn Williams is our last commit. He is a late get for us. We really thought early in the process he was going to Colorado. He came in last weekend and is really a gifted kid. Jim Hartigan is one of the most well known coaches in California and has been at different places. He is building a good strong program at JSerra High School. We list Jonavaugh as an athlete but we will probably have him on the defensive side of the ball in the defensive backfield. His film will light you up. We are excited to have pulled him in on the last weekend.
James Boyd. He's has some notoriety because he did go to USC out of high school. After he left USC he went to West LA (community college). He is 6-5, weighted in at 256 on his visit, after winter conditioning might be down to 250. He's a good-looking kid. He wants a chance at quarterback and we're going to provide that to him and see where it goes. He's a versatile guy, played a lot of different positions and certainly if he's the best quarterback that's where we'll play him, if not he'll find a home I guarantee you.
(We) went out to Texas in December and were able to bring Parker Holloway back. Again, both parents have been out to see Vegas, didn't think they were going to like it, but they loved it. It was fun listening to his dad and Tom Clarkson's dad and some of the other fathers sitting down at the table at a recruiting dinner and talking about all their sons and how they're going to be great friends here. Parker made his decision to come and we beat out some really fine schools, some people with long traditions and he bought into the fact that he could come here and make a difference. I think he will. He looked good yesterday morning moving around on the field at conditioning.