One On One With Kyle Israel

Kyle Israel

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.

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 years.

 

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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