It has been a long process for
you. You visited FSU and you've
made your decision to commit with UCF right after the visit with the Noles. Would you talk about some of the reasons
why you commit to UCF?
"I had narrowed down to them (UCF)
and Florida State. I really like it up there in
Tallahassee. I like the atmosphere and stuff but the
way that the town was, I'm not really sure whether that'll be the place I can
see myself being for five and a half years. Because it's a college town and I grew
up here (Orlando), I'm used to doing stuff. All there is to do up there, really from
what I thought, is going to school, party and football. I'm a little bit more; I like to do some
other things. I really like to be
around my family and literally they all live in east
Orlando. That was the biggest factor, being close
to my family. I know when I come
in; I'll have an opportunity to play early. At Florida state I would not go into school
until next January, plus I would be part of the 2005 recruiting class so
wouldn't get to sign on Wednesday (2004 National Signing Day). My Signing Day would be the summer of
this year coming up. I'm not so
sure sitting around is a good thing for me, I'm really not. Florida State can be the place for me, but it's
just not the right timing. And a
lot of recruiting, for quarterback at least, has to do with timing. My spirituality is very important to me
and I prayed about it and the people at my church had prayed for me.
Florida State would have been great. It was great to have an opportunity to
go play for coach (Bobby) Bowden and go see him and be in his house this weekend
and talk with him, talk to a legend but at the same time, I know that's not the
place for me. UCF is perfect
timing. I'll be Coach O'Leary first
recruiting class and his only quarterback that he did bring in and being able to
come in and compete with the other quarterbacks right the way. Take the program to the next level. I can't see a better situation to get
myself in. And also being from
right here in Orlando to stay local and people are
familiar with me which is the great opportunity. The school (UCF) has done a lot. They added the
Academic Village is phenomenal and the athletics
facility they have there along what they're building in the football facility
such as indoor practice field. It
was the right thing and I feel that.
I felt that a little bit before Florida State (official visit) but just to be
safe and make sure that I don't wan to take the visit and I really enjoyed
myself. They make it hard, they
really did. On my way home I still
haven't make my decision until half way through our drive. I called some people for advice and
ended up going with UCF. The thing
that really was hard was academic is very important to me and if I'm going to
Florida State I have five and a half
One of the in about UCF is I can go
in practices and meetings now, then spring football. I'll know the terminology and everything
like that along the same time all other quarterbacks learning it. Obviously I can't practice but I can be
out there in the hurdle. It's
definitely beneficial. I'm going to
enroll in school in the summer. I
can start the program and passing the ball and stuff like that with the
guys. That's one of the other thing
that's coming here I can start in March."
Since you watched the Super Bowl and
I'm sure you've watched a lot of the NFL games. Do you have an aspiration to play in the
NFL and the Super Bowl?
"Definitely, the thing about it is a
lot of the guys in the NFL don't even come from the huge colleges. Bret Favre is from Southern Miss. Kyle
Bolar from California which is a huge school and all kind
of places. Yes, I want to play in
the NFL. I really do. That's the reason why playing early or
at least competing for a position early it cans help put out a lot. Experience in college can only propel
you to the next level and coach O'Leary said that he'll help me to get there,
that's what I want to do. When I
come out of here (UCF), people really going to know who UCF is (confidant young
man). Four years from now or five
years from now, UCF is not the school that's not recognizing anymore as far as
far as I have anything to say for it. I want to play in the NFL...the
chance of that is very slim. That's
what I'm working toward to. Those
are the big factors and the playing time is one thing a lot of it came down
to. Be able to compete with Steven
(Moffet) right the way and Jon (Rivera) and Brandon (Sumner). If I don't start right the way then I
just push Steve or whoever is playing and to better and just push the program.
When it's my turn I just jump in
there take it where we need to go.
That's my plan right now."
This year recruiting class this does
not a lot of recognizable names that some would say brings a buzz to the
program. Do you think you by signing with UCF you
bring a buzz to this class?
"You know, I would think so. Our class has nine offensive linemen
coming in. To be honest with you,
offensive linemen could be very good in high school but they never work out in
college. We're brining in a very
solid class. This whole thing about
being noticed and people know who you are and what not, a lot of times it has to
do with anything. It's great to
have people know who you are. They can rank your recruiting class
as much as they want. But, from
what I've seen and what I've heard from the coaches, George O'Leary knows what
he's doing and he's not going out there and get anybody that thinking he's not
going to get the job done. He
(O'Leary) beats Florida State before and he's the one that won
the ACC championship. He knows how
to do that.
This whole thing about recruiting is
all done and over with. Tell us
some of the frustrations you had during the whole process?
"I'll tell what's really
frustrating, seeing all these guys that I was in camps with and going to Notre Dame, Alabama, and a punch of these guys going to places (Alabama or Auburn)
that I camped where I competed right at their level or even better. For these guys to be going to these huge
schools and I'm still was sitting without an offer in November. It was frustrating, I don't know quite
the reason for that but it all worked itself out and I Florida State offer you
and want you to come in there is something to say for that."
Is the lack of recognition from big
schools will be your motivation to play better especially when you'll get a
chance to play against a big team?
"I like to say it wouldn't but at
the same time you know, I'll be honest it'll was very very frustrating it really
was. I'm not so sure how much of a
motivation but I'm just going to worry about winning with UCF. But at the same time when I play the big
schools, that had passed me up and had tried to come back late on me, it'll be
on the back of my head, it really will.
Probably my Dad and family a little more, they were a little worry about
because they don't understand why had it taken so long. Just winning football games is big
enough of a motivation for me. But
it definitely always will be back of my mind for a year or two.
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Kyle Israel signed with UCF on National Signing Day. George O'Leary first recruiting class filled of big men, unlike some previous classes where skill players were the highlight. However, UCF got a terrific local quarterback in Israel. Inside Israel talks about his future with the Knights.
Kyle Israel signed with UCF on National Signing Day.