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Signing Day Press Conference Quotes

Feb. 6, 2008

Opening statement

Coach Solich: Our class is a class we do like. We had a few more junior college players than I normally recruit. We have seven players from Ohio, which is light for us. There are probably a lot of factors in that. I think one is that we are able to reach out more. We are now seen nationally, so we are more visible to certain players. Recruiting is probably the toughest part of the job and we have guys that are willing to go and put Ohio out in front of a lot of people.


On how the class rates

Coach Germano: Well, that's hard to say, because I really don't believe in all those rankings. The old saying is that you don't really know until two years down the road exactly how good the class is. I don't know how exactly it rates from a star standpoint because I really don't pay attention to that.


On the quarterback situation

Coach Solich: Everybody that was listed as a quarterback in our program is still in our program. At this point, we do not have an established quarterback. We do not have a player who has stepped forward and taken the position. If you go down the list of our quarterbacks, several of them have had injuries so that may have prevented them, in some respect, from taking over that spot. Almost everyone involved with football understands how important the quarterback position is. We need to get that resolved and I think the competition will be great.


On whether or not Boo Jackson can compete for the starting job right away

Coach Solich: We're going to give him an opportunity to show what he can do. We're excited about him coming in.


On how he ended up at Ohio

Coach Germano: We were recruiting a teammate of his when things fell through with Memphis as far as he's concerned, so that's where we saw an opportunity.


On his relationship with El Camino College head coach John Featherstone

Coach Solich: It's been a very good relationship and one that I've had for some time, so it was good to renew that a little bit. They have a lot of very talented players that come through that system.


On getting junior college players into the program in time for spring ball

Coach Solich: It comes down to have many scholarships are available. The idea behind recruiting junior college players is to get them in here and get them ready for the spring. Otherwise, you shouldn't be recruiting them.


On Josh Febus' status

Coach Solich: I've had several meetings with Josh and all the quarterbacks. I'll meet with several players in my office prior to the spring. That's part of being a head coach in that you have to address things that need to be addressed. That continually goes on and is done by every program. What you've been reading on the internet is a lot of rumors. Josh is remaining with the program. I never intended to remove Josh from the program, but I did explain to Josh and all the other quarterbacks that we did sign a junior college quarterback and what that will mean as far as reps go. That was the basis of our conversation and Josh has shown to be a very team-oriented guy. When you start to read what is on the internet and some of these things are being stated by people who won't put their name to it, anything can be stated. Of course, as a coach, your best bet is not to read the internet, the papers or watch TV. You'd be better off crawling into a hole. It was a situation that got overblown a great deal and we never intended for Josh not to be a part of the program. We've never put Josh or any of our other quarterbacks in a situation where he felt he needed to transfer to another school. It (the rumors) just seemed to get rolling and just fed off inaccurate statements. Again, Josh is very team-oriented person and has done a tremendous job in the classroom. When you have a guy like that, you're not trying to move him along. There are three areas you look at as a coach. There is effort on the football field. There is effort in the classroom. Then there is character. If I was going to move people along, I would've done it during my first year as head coach here. I did not do that at Ohio because that's not what I'm all about.


More on the quarterback situation

Coach Solich: We don't have anybody with a great deal of experience. Brad (Bower) had that when you look at what he did with us the year before and during his time at Illinois. This year is a bit different. We're talking about guys that have to gather experience very quickly.


On the offense

Coach Solich: I think we're multiple enough that we can build around any style of quarterback. We've got different styles of quarterbacks on our team and whoever wins the job, we'll build our offense around him.


On the last 48 hours of the recruiting process

Coach Germano: Every year is different and this year was quite on the edge. We hung in there and got a nice crop of kids to work with. When you're recruiting BCS-type kids, you're not going to win all those battles. Some of it was frustrating because some of the BCS schools weren't done and that made it tough for schools like Ohio. That tells me we're looking for the right kids. You have to start by looking at your needs and analyze where you might be hurting. If you're going to recruit junior college kids, you're more or less saying that they are as good or better than what you've got. You have to find what makes that kid tick. Sometimes the allure is tempting for them and we know the battles are going to be tough (against the BCS schools).


On only seven players from Ohio

Coach Germano: I wouldn't call it a direction. Every year is different. This is a heavily-recruited state. There are a lot of battles here. It comes down to your needs. I'd call it more of a fluke because it's not the direction we're going. There is good football here and we want to make sure we're taking care of the home state. That said, it doesn't have to drive our recruiting because the bottom line is finding good kids, character-wise, academically and athletically.


On getting more depth at safety

Coach Solich: When you look at what the safety does, he's really a linebacker in coverage, because he's coming up to support the run. He's also blitzing an awful lot. We've had physical guys there but they've gotten banged up along the way. It just made a lot of sense to hit that area heavily. Depth is one thing we've tried to address in recruiting. In the MAC, when you have injuries, you aren't the same team. It even affects your special teams. You have to recruit a number of guys who are physical and can run. If the toughness isn't there, I don't feel comfortable, as a coach, putting you in the game.