Spring Practice Q&A with Mike Kruczek Part I

Coach Mike Kruczek

On National Signing Day, UCF signed 21 high school players and five junior college players. Almost two weeks later, the Golden Knights are getting ready to hit the field once again. Knights News caught up with Coach Mike Kruczek to get his opinions on the spring practice and recruiting class. Coach Kruczek also talked about the needs that the team tries to fulfill going into spring practice.

KN: "How is the preparation for the spring practice as far?"
MK: "it's going good. It accelerated to some degree, since we don't have a lot of time to prepare but we've done this in the past. The biggest thing is evaluating what we did in the fall and look at the difference schemes we've used offensively, defensibly, special teams determining what the reason for failure was and which we mostly successful with then putting together kind of a plan to keep the young guys which you feel that you need to work on for next year. It's coming along and we should be ready to play on Sunday."

KN: "Will the team continue to look into the local talents when come to recruiting and isn't it a priority for UCF?"
MK: "I think it is. I think if you look around the state of Florida, which is a good model to look at, Miami does a great job in Broward County down there. Florida State does a great job up in there in their area and obviously Florida in the Gainesville area. I think it critical you work from inside out as far as talent concern within the state and we need to really concentrate on the six counties surrounding Orlando. Obviously from there, we get into Dade, Broward and getting up to Leon County, Tallahassee, and then Jacksonville, Duval County. You have various pockets of great football players in the state, but our primary concern right now is to kind of build a fort around Orlando and get the best talents out of here if we can."


KN: "Did you fulfill your needs in this recruiting class?"
MK: "I think we did, except for one position. Going into each spring recruiting season, and we'll do this in a couple of weeks after we get out of spring practice, we determine what we're graduating and what we need to do to replacing the talent we're graduating. Starting on the offensive side of the football, you starting a quarterback and I only want to sign one. I think you can't keep quarterbacks happy and we have a couple kids here already. If we signed two or three guys you're just wasting scholarships unless they can move to another position. Running back is kind of the same thing. We signed two very good college football players, a tailback along with a full back, so met our needs there. At tight end we signed two tight ends, one being a JC kid (Harvey Joiner) who'll come be immediately competitive and we got another kid (Mike Merritt) who will come in next year who has a tremendous talent. At wide receiver, because we graduated four we though that we had establish that we'll sign three, well as it turned out, there were four great receivers out there we couldn't turned the fourth one down. We had to go with him. The position that we didn't satisfy was the offensive line. We have setout to sign five offensive linemen, four tackles and a guard. Well we've signed two tackles and one guard. We're still looking at the JC people. This semester we're still have another scholarship to give as far as that concern. I think its 24/7 finding another football player that can protect the running game and passing attack. We're satisfied the big portion of the needs offensively.  Defensively, we signed four defensive linemen, which is what we set out to sign.  At linebacker, we signed four of those which I though were critical and which was the initial number we've set to sign.  Defensive back, anytime you could find quality defensive back, you've got to sign them.  We find five of those young men, one or two of those going to be blue shirt, which they will come in January probably because of grades.  We signed what we need on that side of the football.  I think one position that we really didn't satisfy was the punter.  Ryan Flinn graduated this year and he did a fantastic job he was a top rated punter in the MAC and ranked nationally.  Unfortunately for Ryan, he didn't qualify because he didn't have enough punts as far as national statistics was concerned.  We have a need for punters.  Spring practice it's going to be very pivotal for a couple of guys that we're looking at right now but I'm real comfortable with where we're at with that process.  We got another on-going recruiting in trying to find a great punter which isn't easy to do."

KN: "Do you still have one scholarship available for another player?"

MK: "We have a scholarship whether for an offensive linemen or a special teams player like a punter that we're going to give that to.


Tomorrow: Part II of spring practice Q&A with Mike Kruczek

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