ATHENS, Ohio -- Head coach Frank Solich, associate head coach/offensive coordinator Tim Albin, defensive coordinator/safeties coach Ron Collins and special teams coordinator/recruiting coordinator/tight ends coach Brian Haines met with the media this morning for Ohio football's annual media day. Check out each coach's full press conference and select quotes below.
Head Coach Frank Solich Press Conference
Head Coach Frank Solich Select Quotes
"We're excited about starting off a new campaign. The players have worked tremendously hard in the offseason to get ready for fall camp and the upcoming season. We're proud of what they accomplished in the weight room with Dak and his crew. I think it's a group of players that not only have a great work ethic, but I think there's a lot of leadership on this football team. That is one thing we try to do, and that's develop leadership in this program so as leaders go, we have more leaders come in and take their place. I think the leadership with this group will be especially strong."
"We've had a few changes, obviously. Ron Collins is now our defensive coordinator. Ron is in his ninth year as a coach here and has provided a lot of stability. He's been a coordinator at a number of different schools like Colorado and Boise State. He has tremendous experience and when Jimmy left it was great to be able to move up a guy like Ron to take over the duties of defensive coordinator. Nate Faanes, the graduate assistant, then became the linebacker coach as Ron moved to safeties. We felt very comfortable moving Nate up, he has some experience as a full-time coach at a lower level school, but he had the full backing of everyone on our staff in terms of taking that position. Allen Rudolph will be with us for his first season, and we're excited about that. He's done a great job working with our offensive line since the time he stepped on campus. He's a demanding coach but he does it in the right way. His players have really taken to him, so we've been really fortunate that when we have a guy leave we can replace them with quality coaches and great people. I think that's what has enabled our program to continue to win football games and have respectable seasons. You don't really have the up-and-down that you see with some programs because of the fact that we've been able to continue to hire great coaches."
On fixing what went wrong the last three years:
"There was a play or two that kept us out of the MAC Championship Game. I'd like to think that if we'd gotten in, the way that we were playing at the end of the year, we would have had a shot at winning it."
On Nathan Rourke:
"He's a tremendous athlete, and a well-prepared athlete. From day one, he was a different guy in that regard. You didn't have to drive him to prepare. He was always spending his own time in the film room getting ready. He's a great leader and a great example of what a young man in college football should be all about."
On using Rourke more because of the young running back core:
"We're expecting our running backs to be able to go from the start. We run the ball, we come off of our play-action passes and we expect Nathan and our other quarterbacks to throw the ball really well. I really like our receivers, and we want to be a complete football team and display that from the start."
On Kurtis Rourke:
"Kurtis is very much like Nathan. He's a student of the game. He's probably a little bit bigger (than Nathan), but he probably doesn't have the speed and quickness at this point in his career that Nathan has, but he has good speed and quickness. He has a great throwing arm and great touch. I think he can develop into a special thrower."
On Joe Mischler:
"Joe has great passing ability also. He doesn't quite have the height Kurtis has, but he's able to do an awful lot. He's smart, his dad is a head coach at the high school level and has prepared his son very well. He's a lot like Nathan and Kurtis when they came in because they've been around it a long time. They're already skilled and we just have to finetune those guys."
Associate head coach/offensive Coordinator Tim Albin Full Press Conference
Tim Albin Select Quotes
On the running backs:
'We're repping all of them evenly. I'm preparing for all of them to play. There isn't any question in my mind that you'll see every one of those guys throughout the season."
On the wide receivers:
"They're very much like the running backs, talented, but young. As a whole, taking into consideration how young they are, it's a really good group. Cam [Odom] is the most experienced, and we have to get him targeted more."
On the priorities for the offense during fall camp:
"Our number one priority is developing some depth at a couple positions. With the o-line, depth-wise, we're probably as good as 2012. We had a great summer. After last year's summer, I thought it could get any better, but these guys took it to a different level."
Defensive Coordinator/Safeties Coach Ron Collins Full Press Conference
Ron Collins Select Quotes
On developing the backups:
"We have to be able to develop our backups because that is what we're going to be defined by at the end of the year. We all know what that's like. We get into November, and we get lower on the depth chart. The biggest thing is being able to develop those guys and get them ready to go. Obviously, it starts up front and developing the inside guys."
On improving the weak spots from last season:
"We have to get better at some things we weren't so great at last year. Pass defense, red zone defense, and again, with the turnover thing, we have years where we practice that like crazy and then we don't do very well. It's really something that feeds off itself. It's huge for us to get the offense extra possessions on the field."
Special Teams Coordinator/Recruiting Coordinator/Tight Ends Coach Brian Haines Full Press Conference
Brian Haines Select Quotes
"We're looking to build off of a very productive special teams year last season. As you heard Coach Albin and Coach Collins talk about, when you have the speed and explosiveness out on the field that we do have, it's a good formula for special teams. Another good part of it is having Devin [King], Louis [Zervos] and Michael [Farkas] back. That makes you feel pretty good. Behind those guys, Justin Holloway, a long snapper, has done very well through camp. Tristian Vandenberg doing well. We'll ask Tristian to come along as a kicker and a punter."
On keeping the guys competing when you have the experience that the special teams squad has:
"When a kid comes in I compare it to a batter or a pitcher. You're not going to completely overall everything. But they're always going to get coaching. We're going to make sure that they get the highest level of coaching that they can. With those guys, or any player, if you don't keep them competing, you're going to see some problems."