Football Signing Day Comments

February 4, 2004 · MT Media Relations
  • Audio: Signing Day Press Conference
  • Audio: Recruiting Review Radio Show

    On Lee Baker:

    "Came here because he wanted to get back closer to home after attending Coffee County Community College. He had offers from some Big Ten schools. He will play receiver and some running back here at Middle Tennessee. He was the leading touchdown maker in the state of Alabama in high school."

    On DeMarcus Green and Keon Raymond:

    "We targeted him [DeMarcus] early. He is here now and will get to go through spring practice. Keon, from Highland Community College, is another recruit we feel like will be an impact player.

    On Jeremiah Weaver:

    "Jeremiah is a free safety who was originally out of Georgia but attended New Mexico Military. He was a guy when you watched the highlight film he shows up in a lot of places.

    On Richard Bortner:

    "Is a 6-foot-6 310-pound tackle that we recruited early, but he committed to Kentucky. We didn't feel like we were in it but about a week ago coach [Darin] Hinshaw gets a call that the kid is interested and we went to go see him. He visited us last weekend and decided to come to Middle Tennessee."

    On Tavares Jones:

    "Tavares Jones is a player we are very proud of. He was one we targeted early. We were so excited to get him in here last weekend. He was one of the ones we were very excited about when the fax came through. He has great character and is a great kid."

    On Damon Nixon:

    "Carlos Dixon is a player, at free safety, that we think can come in here as a freshman and have a chance to compete."

    On Joe Craddock:

    "Joe Craddock was our first commitment this year. He's a quarterback and he is an unbelievable player. He is an unbelievable player for what we do offensively. We had several quarterbacks at our camps during the summer, several of the top in the country that signed with a lot of places, and Joe was our No. 1-rated quarterback coming through the summer. He was the one we wanted and the one we targeted."

    On John Marc Stephens:

    "Very proud of our local signee John Marc Stephens. He is a big and physical tight end that will keep on growing. He is the first Division I signee from Blackman High School."

    On Boston McCornell:

    "Boston McCornell is probably one of the top-rated linemen in the state of Georgia. He is a guy we have been watching since he was a sophomore."

    On Brandon Nix:

    "Brandon Nix is a player we went after very hard. He has a chance to make a big impact in this program. He originally signed with Mississippi State but when they had the staff change we had a chance to get back in on him."

    On Jonathan Presley and Roy Polite:

    "Roy was a tailback who rushed for right at 1,900 yards rushing. He is a guy we will play at corner. He's an impressive player. (Presley) cancelled visits to Louisville and Iowa State and chose Middle Tennessee."

    On Chris Ritter:

    "(Ritter) is a big, strong tough guy who we think we can in and brings toughness."

    On Brian Fitzgerald and Cleannord Saintil:

    "Brian is a receiver who played high school football with one of our current quarterbacks, Clint Marks. Brian has great speed and great toughness. (Saintil) was the 14th rated junior college receiver in the country. We believe (Fitzgerald) and (Saintil) can make an impact in our program."

    On Quinton Staton:

    "He was a football finalist in this state from Chattanooga Tyner. He went to East Tennessee State as a defensive lineman. He played offensive line and was a second-team all-conference performer in the Southern Conference. When they closed the program down we were able to get back in on him. We see him as a defensive lineman for us. He will be immediately eligible since they dropped football at (East Tennessee State)."

    On Tommie Weatherspoon:

    "A linebacker who may grow into a defensive lineman. We have watched him since he was sophomore, and he's one we feel very good about."

    On Stephen Chicola II:

    "Comes from one of the better high school programs in the country in Jacksonville (Fla.) Bolles. He is a tight end who can run and catch and he can be a threat for us. We've been looking for that."

    On landing highly sought players:

    "The credit goes to my staff. We believe in not backing down from anybody recruiting. The guys that went after those players didn't back down. We have to have those same type guys to play those people who have been on our schedule. We believe this place is as good as any place we are recruiting against. I couldn't be more proud of our staff for going after guys in that manner."

    Recruiting coordinator Kevin Fouquier:

    "With this class here we started two years ago. We've seen a lot of these kids at our traveling camps and we have known about them. It's all about building relationships with them and their coaches, getting them on board, getting them here on our campus and, again, the coaches have done a tremendous job putting in a lot of miles, a lot of hours and a lot of time in getting this class signed."

    On filling needs:

    "We targeted our secondary and offensive line. Those were our biggest needs and coaches did a tremendous job getting kids to fill those needs."

    On the class as a whole:

    "Great personality. The kids are good fits. The chemistry was probably better than I've seen in awhile. The biggest thing we have been preaching is we want good character kids, but we also want those kids with a burning desire to be champions."

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