Describe the qualities that your program is looking for in a potential student-athlete?
A) A need to be a fit academically, which is a little unique at this institution. B) A need to have strong character (this could go on forever). I read every tweet for nearly 18 months from most prospects. C) We have to believe you have the athletic ability to play here and beyond that we have only so many scholarships. So you may be talented enough to play here, but we may fill the spot with someone who we feel is a little better in some area, or who we knew more about. So that athletic piece has to sort itself out.
Could you give us an example of a current or former player who exceeded your expectations, highlighting the reasons that player excelled?
We have high expectations of our young men. They have high expectations of themselves. Furthermore, this is a team sport and our focus is about the expectations for the team. Are there times when a player is more productive than we maybe anticipated, sure. Our staff prides itself on player development and as a result I don’t think our coaches would short-change one of our student-athletes by saying that his accomplishment “exceeded their expectations.” Our young men are capable of great things. They are special people, excellent students, and very talented athletes. As such, we expect them to make good choices socially, do well in school, and compete for championships. Those things are standard here, not above and beyond. I suppose you could look at a walk-on who caught 90 passes as a senior and say he exceeded expectations, but even in his case, going into his senior year our offensive coordinator predicted he would catch 90 passes. Three years earlier he didn’t predict that, but as the young man matured, that expectation was there.