2014 Football Signing Day Press Conference Quotes
Feb. 5, 2014
Wake Forest Head Coach Dave Clawson
Signing Day has become a national holiday of sorts. It's the one day in college football that we all go undefeated. The true measure of this class is not necessarily on how many stars we have today or how many we sign today but where we are in two to three years with that class. I always thought the classes should be re-ranked in two or three years. Ultimately, the success of this class we will know in two or three years. How many are playing, how many are starting. We certainly feel that we got off to a good start. We certainly are proud of the class. The class represents a lot of hard work by a lot of different people. As there head coach I get to come up here and introduce them but I am only a small part of the whole process of getting these student athletes here. AS a staff we had to hit the ground running. Recruiting is about relationships to some degree. We feel we are even playing catch-up with the '15 class. When you get hired 6 weeks before signing day recruiting is such a relationship oriented approach that obviously we did not have the relationships with a lot of these players that the other staffs had. We saw opportunities to go after players were maybe some of these relationships were broken. If there was change if there was a change in head coaches a change in coordinators a change in position coach perhaps give a young man to open his recruiting up. We certainly approached a couple of those players and now fortunately a number of those guys are Wake Forest Demon Deacons and we think we got some good ones.
I am really proud of our staff we hit the ground running. There wasn't one day that a coach could be on the road that we weren't all on the road. At times it got delirious we woke up in hotel rooms and had no idea what city we were in. The work ethic allowed us to make up ground and sign a very strong class. I want to go on record and really thank the faculty here at Wake Forest. The amount of time that faculty members were willing to spend with our recruits - faculty members that came in on Saturdays, came in on Sundays, gave tours of buildings, the generosity of their time I think speaks to what Wake Forest is a about. We play big time football in a great conference, but we are also an elite academic school where student-athletes get individual attention. There is no better way of selling that then having a tenured faculty from their school spend an hour an hour and a half with a prospective student athlete in their building. It was really impressive, and our entire staff is grateful of their efforts. I want to thank Jane Caldwell in our academic advising office. They were always available and helped sell our program. And Ashley (Wechter) in career services did a great job as well. It really is a team effort. I also really want to thank a number of our donors. We had to hit a lot of players in a short amount of time. We had a lot of donors who were really generous and allowed us to use their planes and see players in remote areas that we could have never seen all these players if it wasn't for their generosity. When you sit here and introduce a class there are a lot of people involved. Some are directly involved in with meeting the recruits, and others are behind the scenes. But certainly all are critical to the process of bringing in a good class.
To wrap it up, it was a team effort. We felt we made up a lot of ground in a short amount of time. We were looking for obviously good football players that would fit Wake Forest academically. This class sort of becomes the foundation of what we are building so character had to be paramount. We really wanted to recruit leaders, captains, high character guys that we feel will not just make a splash on signing day, but hopefully will be very productive members of the Wake Forest Community for the next four and five years on and off the field. Our approach to the class was we basically wanted to sign a whole football team. We have not worked with our players here yet on the field. I did not want to take other people's opinions for what we had and what we didn't have. I've done that before. I once stepped into the job and someone told us we had recruited a great offensive line class the year before so we didn't sign any offensive linemen. After going through the spring we didn't think any of the offensive line men they signed the year before could play. Now we were two years short so we did not want to make that mistake again. Some things you learn that the hard way. So we basically tried to recuit a whole football team. We wanted to sign a player at every position. In some cases we doubled up if depth was concern. Who is going to play early I have no idea. Who is going to red shirt I have no clue. We have no idea until we go through a spring and a camp with these guys. I am sure when it's all said and done some of them will play early, some will provide depth, and others will try to redshirt. If you look at the class positionally, it's basically a football team.