Head Coach Chan Gailey Press Conference

Feb. 7, 2007

Opening Statement
“Every year I stand up here and say the same thing, that we are very pleased about having this class. They are a good group of young men, high character as well as greatly talented. Out of 20, 12 are from the state of Georgia, and like we said all along that we wanted to make sure that we recruit Georgia first, and if we have to go other places, then we do. We feel like we’ve addressed both sides of the ball as needed and we’re excited about this group that will be in here.”

On ratings of classes
“You don’t buy into it when you have a low rated one, and you don’t buy into it if you have a high rated one. You do what you think is right for your school and your situation and that’s the most important thing. You get the guys that are going to fit you and help you win a championship. Hopefully they will get their degree and work to be successful in life. I don’t buy into those (rankings), it’s like a preseason poll, who knows what is going to happen in the end.”

On kids coming to Tech because of a friend
“I would hope that you would be recruiting intelligent enough young men that picked a school for the right reason and not because they’re jumping on board with buddies. That’s what you would hope and I think that when you deal with intelligent young men, like the ones that we deal with, that would be the case.”

On this class being close
“That has been a unique situation. By far this is the tightest I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if other places have this happen or not, but it certainly seems like something that would be unique.”

On the technology playing a role in that
“Sure it is. They have avenues to be able to do this much more today than they have ever had in times past.”

On recruiting higher ranked athletes
“I don’t know that I have ever paid attention to that (rankings). We end up evaluating every year the guys that we feel like have an opportunity to help us win a championship and get their degree from Georgia Tech. I don’t know that I’ve ever said, `This group is better than that group, or this group we couldn’t of recruited and that group we could.’ I don’t know if I have ever looked at that. You just do the best you can every year and whatever happens, happens.”

On more talent in Georgia than years past
“Obviously our pool was greater this year so there were higher academic young men this year than maybe in years past. And we probably got a few more than we have been getting out of that pool this year. I don’t know, I never went back to see if the pool was higher, we were actually recruiting more young men in the state of Georgia this year. I know that we got more than years past. I have not compared it, but maybe there was a better response and more kids available.”

On the NFL interest helping recruiting
“Most of the guys had committed by the time that stuff started. So I don’t think that had a bearing on their decision one way or the other.”

On kids committing early
“There’s a lot more information out there. They’re able to gather information quicker, see a good fit and they decided to make the decision. They don’t see a reason or benefit to dragging it out any further than it needs to be. They do not have to wait to take all their visits and find out about the school, once they get to a school they have a ton of information and can almost say yes or no before they go on a visit.”

On having to keep on the recruits after they commit
“It’s no more or less work. To me you keep recruiting. You almost act like, in your work ethic that they have not committed. It’s not more work to get it done, it would be worse if they had not committed.”

On recruits wavering because of NFL interest
“I did not get the sense, nor from the coaches, that any of that was going on. Now you might talk to them and get a different story, but I didn’t get the sense that that was going on.”

On the kids being dedicated to Tech and not coaches
“We try and tell them the advantages of Georgia Tech. Not the advantages of Chan Gailey, or Giff Smith. We try and sell them on the advantages of Georgia Tech that probably has something to do with it.”

On certain players standing out
“As soon as I start naming one, he isn’t going to do it, and a guy that you don’t anticipate happening with, does do it. I hesitate to ever talk about that. There are a lot of reasons that guys play early. Their physical and mental maturity might be ahead of some other guys and they’re able to come in and compete quickly. There might be a need, because of injury or depth problems, that you need them to be on the field quicker. So there are a lot of reasons that a guy might be on the field. You all are good at speculating, you go ahead and speculate whichever ones they are.”

On having a quarterback play that was not here at Spring Practice
“Only start, Reggie Ball.”

On the offensive line being a target this year
“Last year we did not sign any, so this year we knew we had to go out and get a minimum of three.”

On that position needing the most help
“No, no, but you really need to be looking two years in advance, because that’s when the guys will play. Now, all of a sudden does something happen that creates a problem somewhere, like Calvin (Johnson) leaving early, you didn’t plan on that, or you didn’t get a recruit that you thought you might get two years ago.”

On recruits playing receiver and defensive back
“That is up for grabs. We have said that D.J. Donley and Willie White will start at receiver, and (Jerrard) Tarrant and Morgan Burnett will start at safety. But don’t hold me to that. I don’t know if that is where they will end up when we get to the first game or not.”

On having a high profile guy like Calvin Johnson help recruiting
“Anytime you have a guy like that, which represents your school the way you want it represented and he is great player, and they are talking about him every week with highlights, it does nothing but help. I don’t see anyway that is a negative or hurts your program. Now did he have a specific impact on one or two of these guys, I can’t tell you that, but I know that it never hurts to have that.”

On the impact of having this class signed early for next year
“It gave us a tremendous jump on next year’s class. You are able to do quite a bit of research during this last few weeks of January and even in December, we were able to begin our research into next year’s class. We feel like we are ahead of the game.”

On the possibility of having two quarterbacks
“I really don’t believe in platooning quarterbacks, but using them in totally different roles, I would not be adverse to that. I could see us having defined roles for people and using that.”

On the talent of Jonathan Dwyer
“Have you seen him play? You ought to because then you can tell that he is going to be a good player. He has been very productive in high school and that would lead you to believe that he can be very productive at this level. He’s big, he’s fast, a strong runner and has great vision. Every coach in America that recruited a running back is saying the same terms. It looks like he has a chance to be a very good player before its over.”

On changing positions for Josh Nesbitt
“He never asked me about it, because we wanted him as a quarterback, we didn’t look at him to be playing something else.”

On the toughest recruit to sign
“The guy that went the longest, down to the wire, where two; Mike Peterson was an unusual circumstance there, and Jason Peters went down to the wire with us and LSU. The decision wasn’t made until last Monday or so.”

On Mike Peterson and Jason Peters committing somewhere else and coming here
“Michael committed last summer, and when there was a coaching change, and our numbers changed, that is when we were able to link back together. Jason we never were encouraged to stop recruiting and visiting with him.”

On Mike Peterson not following Tom O’Brien to NC State
“Academics played a big part in his decision making. I just think an academic school is what played a big part in his decision process. He thought a lot of Boston College and a lot about us as well.”

On Jason Peters deciding to come here over Tech
“Every young man is different. That sometimes is a problem. He was pigeonholed for LSU because he is from Baton Rouge and he is a great player, and that is not fair to that young man. What it says about him is that he is able to look at facts and he isn’t swayed by popular opinion. That’s what you have to give a guy like that credit for. It says a lot about him, than it does about Georgia Tech.”

On where the team might have immediate needs
“Receiver would be one spot. There could be some defensive backs spots, it depends on how spring practice works out.”

On the running back position
“You have to look at that and say, `Is this guy more mature mentally and physically and ready to step in and play and contribute?’ It’s my responsibility to put the best players on the field, it does not matter what year they are, and that’s what we’ll do. The only problem is only getting three weeks of practice to identify that.”

On which recruits could make an impact on returning
“Several of them have done it. (Jonathan) Dwyer has done it, Roddy Jones has done it, (Jerrard) Tarrant has done it, (Morgan) Burnett has done it, (Tyler) Melton has done it, even though he will not be ready to play this year with his injury. Those guys we could look at. The difficult thing is punt returns at this level, kick off return is a little bit easier, but in high school the punters are not the same punters you see here.”

On Tyler Melton
“We are looking on him not coming until January so that his clock does not start until then. That’s a strong, strong possibility.”

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