I sat down with Central Michigan football head coach Dan Enos last week to take one last look at the class of 2013 and to look ahead to next year's class. Enos also discussed several other issues surrounding recruiting and next year's team.
On losing recruits to other schools
That is difficult. We haven't had a lot of guys decommit in the last three years. I mean, Da'Mario Jones got offered by Michigan. I don't really want about other guys recruits, but Da'Mario and his family were first class about it. They called us and communicated it to us. We know those things are going to happen. The thing that I ask is that everybody is upfront and honest and communicates, just like we do with them. That's just the way it goes sometimes, you lose guys. I do try to tell the guys not to commit until they're ready. I will even go as far as to talk them out of it sometimes. I don't want them to commit until they're ready and I would rather not play that game later. I would rather you not commit and let's just keep going through the recruiting process until you're 100 percent ready to come. Like I said, we've only had a couple in three years, which is pretty good. Hopefully, we can keep that up.
On the types of quarterbacks that he has recruited
They're all a little bit different. Cody Kater, Alex Niznak and Darrien Boone can all run. Boone runs a little better, but Alex and Cody can both hurt you with their feet. Cooper probably isn't going to do that, he is more of a pure drop-back passer. I will say this, they are similar in that they can all throw the ball. To have a guy that run is a bonus and they make their biggest impact just by taking off and running on third downs. The film that I've seen on Dan LeFevour showed me that a lot of his great plays were called pass plays where he tucked it and got a 10 yard run on third and eight to keep the sticks moving. With the exception of Cooper have the ability to do that, all those guys have the ability to do that, including A.J. Westendorp. But Cooper can throw the ball. If you can run that great, you need to be able to throw the ball at a high level and Cooper has a chance to do that.
It's going to be fun to watch play out. It's a good, solid group of guys and they all have different areas that they're strong in. Having Ryan Radcliff here may have hurt the progression a little bit. When one guy is playing all the time, sometimes the guys behind him can get caught in a rut because they're not playing a lot. I'm not saying that those guys necessarily did that, but it's human nature sometimes. Right now, you can see that these guys have all kicked it up a notch in their preparation and the way they're handling themselves and the way they're working because it's a wide open race.
It's important to have a guy with good size. Those guys all have big hands and have big bodies, which is good because they will have to take hits and stay healthy. I'm excited that some of the guys have the ability to run and you might see a little more of our quarterback run game, which we kind of shelved because that's just not what Ryan did. We're always going to take the guy who gives us the best chance to win and cater the offense to his abilities.
On if his offense changes if he has a mobile starting quarterback
There are some good things that we can do if one of those guys that can run wins the job. There will still be a lot of similarities no matter who the quarterback is, but if we have a guy that can run, there will be some subtle changes and some things that we can emphasize that will be a little different. It will be fun. We will look at lot of those things in the spring.
On how much his system will change down the road
It's always going to be evolving. I've never been a coach that said "this is what we do and let's keep doing it." We do scheme evaluations and look at every single play in all three phases. We're always trying to learn things to make it better. It will always be evolving, but our base stuff is in and our kids know. You can just see how much better we've gotten in the last couple years running our schemes and watching the film is very encouraging. We just have to keep building it, making it better and getting our players to do it better.
We want to do the things that our quarterback does well and emphasize that. But our run game was solid last year. We had a guy that rushed for over 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns. We had nine games last year where we scored 30 or more points, which I think tied the school record. There were some very good things; we had a 3,000 yard passer and a 1,500 yard rusher. Not every school has that every year. Titus Davis would have been a 1,000 yard receiver if he hadn't gotten hurt. I'm also very encouraged by the guys coming back on the offensive line as well, guys like Nick Beamish, Kevin Henry and Jake Olson, who is coming back for a sixth year. Our backs and receivers are very good and even our fullback Adam Fenton played at a high level. We're excited about that and we're excited about our defense too. They performed much better as the season went on and some of those young defensive linemen gained some confidence. Jabari Dean, Leterrius Walton and Alex Smith were all playing at a high level. Obviously, Alex got hurt, but getting him back really helps us.
On replacing the senior class
Cody Wilson will be tough to replace. He did a lot of little things and was so tough on third downs. We will need somebody to step up there. Obviously, we need somebody at quarterback and we have to replace David Harman too. Those are three real critical areas. The good news is that we have guys to choose from to replace them and we're very confident in who those guys are going to be.
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