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Signing Day press conference

By mrasor Published: February 3, 2010

Opening comments -- Coaches took 32 official visits and got 23 commitments. "You can do the math. The percentage is very high. We want to do a great job in the state of Ohio and Pennsylvania foremost. We want to stay in the blueprint of the Mid-American Conference."
Bailey -- "We really felt like we'd need a fullback in this class to do some of the things we want to do with a two-back offense. Currently, we don't have a fullback on our roster."
Bizarro -- Didn't catch many balls out of his team's option offense, but averaged 39+ yards per catch. "He is extremely fast. We like fast."
Blake -- Comes from a solid juco school. "I like the idea of having a couple of guys in a recruiting class who are mature."
Bowers -- "He is very physical. He's a powerful runner. Also has good speed. We felt it was important to get two tailbacks in this class."
Caponi -- More natural position is defensive end. "He has played up, but is going to put his hand on the ground. He has a feel for playing in space."
Cunningham -- "Great speed. He also has good height. Receivers are getting bigger and bigger. He shows great toughness."
D'Orazio -- "As a coach's kid, he grew up on the field. He was the guy holding this thing together. They were all talking in the interim. Very athletic. Throws a good ball. The personality and presence you look for in a quarterback were very evident to me."
Hall -- "We project him to play down as a defensive end. We believe he will be a good guy off the edge for us."
Holmes -- "He's an older young man, a year removed from high school. So that bodes well for him to help us right away."
Howard -- "For a young man locally with that background and accollades, it speaks volumes for the way young men think of the direction we are headed."
Jones -- "I like having guys that you recruit who play multiple sports." Jones runs track, which doesn't get him on a lifting cycle, which means there is more upside for the strength coach in college.
Lio -- "He's got a great frame. He finishes plays. He's athletic. He bends well."
McCloskey -- "Having an older offensive lineman in your group. That's a good thing to have. Very physical. Excellent frame. He finishes blocks really well."
Miller -- "Was flying under the radar when we arrived here. A high school coach we respect told us to check him out. He's going to start out at safety for us. He's athletic and has a lot of upside."
Potts -- "Plays quarterback primarily. Plays safety. Could play receiver. Had a really big junior year. Senior year, had some injury issues."
Ritossa -- "Very good frame. Very good hands. Very good ball skills. In our offense, we like to throw the ball to the tight end. I think he'll fit in nicely."
Schrock -- First player that Ianello called after taking the job, and Golden Tate had just won the Billetnikoff Award. His high school coach is Greg Dennison at Wadsworth; his is son of Jim Dennison, former Akron coach.
Sconiers -- "Really terrific football program." Dwyane Wade graduated from Richards High. "He caught passes, returned kicks." (Got some wows from the media through his highlight video.)
Smith -- "We're going to let him start out on offense (at receiver). He does a lot of different things."
Staten -- "Marvin is a physical runner. He is going to put on a lot of weight."
Turpin -- Same high school as Nadir Brown. "When he was a younger guy, he played center. Then he got tall and lean and they moved him to tailback."
Washington -- "Most likely will start out at corner. You want to have as many guys on your team who have done a lot of things and done them well. Those are your playmakers."
Williams -- "Physical. Really runs and hits. Those are the two things you're looking for when you're evaluating someone. We watched his tape and really got excited."
Other comments:
"A couple of things factored into that (lack of linemen). (First, the current roster is strong there) As we evaluated, we wanted to make sure we took the best guys available."
"We're not going to shy away from junio college athletics. We're going to recruit junior college ahletes where we have a need."
"We have to run the football in November in Northeast Ohio. (Howard) fits that scheme. For Erick to feel strong enough about us to make that decision, we're proud of that."
"I'm not going to give away someone's job in their living room. We're going to give them every opportunity in training camp (referring to Schrock and Howard)."
"The graduate assistants kind of saved me. They had some things laid out for me to approach."
"The hardest part of starting out is, do you make your phone calls to recruits? Do you make your phone calls to put your staff together?"
"We want guys who, to get a degree from the University of Akron is important to them."
"Now we need to get to the phase where we're on campus. I am excited to know our players better."
When asked if anyone has left the program: "No."
When asked about a marquee player in the class: "I don't want to single out a single player."
The 2010 schedule is shaping up: The first game is Syracuse at home on Sept. 4. Then Gardner-Webb comes in the next week. Then it's at Kentucky and at Indiana. As far as MAC games go, Akron misses Bowling Green, Toledo and Central Michigan. The dates are not set, though.

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