UNLV HEAD COACH MIKE SANFORD NATIONAL FOOTBALL SIGNING DAY MEDIA CONFERENCE QUOTES|
Feb. 4, 2009
"We took steps forward in the 2008 season toward our goals of playing in a bowl game and playing for the Mountain West championship but we came up short. We have an excellent nucleus of players returning to this team but we felt like we needed to add to the existing group to take that next step, which we must take in 2009."
"The first part of taking that step is the returning players and the second part is this recruiting class. It has been a long but fun process through the year recruiting these young men but I feel strongly that with them joining us, Rebel Football is on the rise. It's evident that the kids that we recruited and their families saw that and that there is proof of that on the field and in our program. One of the things that goes into getting players to commit to your program is the chemistry of your team and I have to give a lot of credit to our players because they are excited about the future and they conveyed that to the recruits and their families when they came to campus."
"This is the best recruiting class since I've been here. The foundation has been laid for our program and with this class we are filling in pieces to take that next step. That is what this class is about. We addressed some specific needs. First, we needed to improve in the defensive secondary and we signed eight players at that position, which is a lot. Out of those eight, four of those were junior college players and three of those joined us at midyear. We are mainly a high school recruiting football program because that's the way you build a program that is going to last. We are also going to find players to fill specific needs and that's what we did with the JC guys this year. The next need was speed and we ended up with some very fast football players. Some examples of that are Mark Barefield, Marcus Sullivan, Charles Childers, Bradley Randle, Irshad Stolden and Reggie Umuolo, who is a linebacker but can really run."
"The next need was a pass-rush defensive end and we went to the defensive ranks to get a young man that we knew and a family that we knew. And that's B.J. Bell. We all know that name. He is a very good football player in his own right as well as being the third in the line of a great legacy of Bell defensive players at UNLV."
"The next need was a big-time high school quarterback and I feel like we got that with Caleb Herring. We wanted to get a difference-maker at the running back position and we feel we did that with Bradley Randle."
"The other thing we needed to do was improve our depth on the offensive line. We are building an offensive line here and the guys that we got - Doug Zismann, Andrew Mack, Thomas Kilgore and Robert Watermann -- helped us do that."
"As far as where we went to recruit. Just as in the past we hit the state of California hard. Out of 22 players, 12 were from California. The second most players in this class -- with five -- came from the state of Nevada. As I have said from the beginning, we are the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and we are going to recruit this state. All five of those players are from Southern Nevada. We ended with two from the state of Texas and two from Arizona, which are two more states that we recruit hard."
"This recruiting class is another significant step in moving closer toward our goal of going to bowl games and competing for and winning a Mountain West Conference championship."