Al Golden met with the media Wednesday afternoon to share insight on the new recruiting class and answer questions on the events of National Signing Day.
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Recruiting Class Overview...
"It's a class that we're proud of. It's obviously a class that we really had to fight hard for. I don't think anyone outsides this room understands what we were up against the entire year fighting for this class, and I'm really proud of our coaches for not making any excuses, for hanging in there and really bringing in a class that we think is not only excellent, but is going to be a great complement to the class that played so well and so often for us a year ago.
"By numbers, we started out targeting 16 guys - which is a really low number, as you can imagine. Obviously some of that is in part because of the self-imposed penalties, so it was a tight number to begin with.
"As you break it down, we went searching for a big time pro-style quarterback and I think we got one of the best, if not the best, in the country in Kevin Olsen.
"We sought out to get one wide receiver in this class, and that's tough when you're in South Florida, that means you're letting a lot of good ones go. I think we got the best one down here in Stacy Coley - that was a really good get for us. I'm really excited about bringing him in, he's one of the more fluid wide receivers that we've seen in a long time.
"We sought out to get one or two running backs. Obviously we're still uncertain of Eduardo Clements' future in terms of his injury, and I don't want to be premature with that. But that number is set at one and now it might be one or two based on that. We brought in Gus Edwards, we needed a big back this year. We think Gus fulfills that at 6-1 and 230 pounds, and a guy who can run between the tackles.
"We sought out to get two tight ends in this class and I think we got two of the best. We have the number one junior college tight end in the country coming in, Beau Sandland. He's here right now at 6-4 and 255 pounds. Standish Dobard [is] also in this class from Louisiana. Two big time tight end prospects. I'm real proud of Coach Carroll and then Mario [Cristobal] for bringing in those tight ends.
"We sought out to get three offensive linemen. We got Alex Gall from Moeller, Hunter Knighton from the Hun School who is going to play center or guard for us, and then one we're really pleased with in Sunny Odogwu, who comes to us from Hargrave Military.
"On the defensive side, we sought to try and get two defensive ends and we accomplished that. Number one, a pass-rusher on the open side - Al-Quadin Muhammad from Don Bosco Prep. We think he is one of the premier pass-rushers in the country. [He is] 6-3, 230 pounds, long, rangy, animated, plays with passion, and a young man that we're excited to bring here. Another young man I'm equally as excited about, especially when I met him - Ufomba Kamalu, a 6-5, 275-pounder who is also a defensive end prospect. We needed someone with a little more maturity, so we went to Butler Community College to get Ufomba and I'm grateful we did.
"We wanted to get three or four linebackers in this class. Obviously we missed out on a highly sought-after young man locally, but we did get Jermaine Grace, who was one of the two premier linebackers in the state of Florida and the one of the best ones down here. We also got Devante Bond, SAM linebacker and someone I'm really excited about from Sierra Community College, and Alex Figueroa enrolled with us in mid-year.
"We sought out to get three defensive backs, and we feel we got two guys who are proven defensive backs in Artie Burns, who can play corner or safety, and Jamal Carter. We think they are phenomenal. We also got a guy in Ray-Ray Lewis who can play corner, slot receiver or running back. We're excited about that.
"There's no question that today we lost on defensive tackle and that's something we have to address moving forward.
"That should give you an overview of the class, so you understand, because you can caught up in the numbers. We took 32 last year, we're very pleased with that group, and really out of the last two years, 30 of the 48 that we signed, or 63%, hail from the state of Florida, so I think we're right on with that."