Sam Pittman is scheduled to meet with reporters to preview Kansas. Also been told there is a high probability Travis Williams will speak this morning. Updates will be posted here.
Note: Morgan Turner has joined Pittman and Williams at the press conference table.
• Pittman: Practices have gone well to this point. I’m very excited about Travis Williams. I went out and interviewed several guys, and this was a home run hire, in my opinion. Morgan Turner, he’s had 7 guys drafted at tight end from Stanford. I felt like Stanford was Tight End U. We went out and got their coach, because we’d like to be that way here. Both guys are great family men. In all honesty, I couldn’t be happier.
• Williams: Pittman reached out and we got on the phone and talked. Once I got in front of him, it was easy and a done deal. I’m fired up to be here. We’re excited to get going.
• Turner: A lot of change going on at Stanford. I got a text from my uncle from El Dorado who said the tight ends coaching job was open. I got Pittman’s number and let him know I was interested. It materialized quickly.
• Pittman on the new hires: The thing that hit me about Williams, we needed a recruiter at the DC position. Needed a good man, and I heard so many good things about him from guys I knew. When I got in front of him, I remember calling Hunter Yurachek and saying we have our guy. You try to find fits. I felt so good about it. I wanted to do it the right way. I didn’t want to hurt our team or UCF’s team. Some things changed at UCF, where I was able to clear, in my mind, not hurting either program. We talked to Gus Malzahn and we were able to get it done Saturday.
With Turner, I knew a lot of people that knew him. His resume had a lot of guys in the NFL on it. I was wondering about his personality and all that. It was kind of fun rounding these guys up.
• Williams: I got in last night, got in the facilities this morning. You have everything you need. There’s so much you can sell to kids. Coach showed me around and I said, “We’ve got enough.”
• Turner: I’ve been coming to Arkansas every year of my life. I’ve got a vacation spot on Lake Ouachita. I’ve known this my whole life, that this state cares a great deal about the program.
• Williams: We’re going to get to the ball, we’re going to play intimidating defense. We’re going to have mental and physical toughness. It’s going to be sound defense. I’m on the phone with recruits right now and I want the guys on the field to see me. I’ll be around.
• Williams getting back in the SEC: I like the competition, recruiting and football in this league. It was a big selling point for this job, as well.
• Turner: I’m learning how things are called here. There is a different way of relaying information from what Stanford did and what we’re doing here. He added that it is kind of like learning Spanish coming from the check system and everything being on the wrist band for players.
• Williams: You watch Arkansas on Saturday and you can get an overview of what they do. We’re going to look a little different. I’m evaluating movement skills and things like that. Pittman said he met every player this morning while lifting weights.
• Pittman on Kansas’ Jalon Daniels: He’s scary. They do some unique things offensively. To me, he’s what drives Kansas. We certainly are aware of him and all the things he does. He’s a really good runner and an exceptional thrower.
• Williams: I know Cam Ball and Pooh Paul really well. I know Paul’s dad very well.
• Pittman: Our red zone offense made a difference in this year’s 6-6 mark and what we did last season. Secondary play, too, needs to improve a lot. We can do that. I didn’t think we maintained our strength well. We don’t look like the same team as early in the season from a nutrition standpoint, and that is no one’s fault but my own. We got whipped physically at times throughout the season. I think we’re headed in the right direction.
• Pittman on matching Kansas’ energy for the bowl: I think we’ll be fine. It’s kind of like starting 2023 right now. The ones that we have out there are fired up and ready to go. You want guys who want to be a Hog. The ones at practice want to compete, and I think we will compete.
• Pittman says Cam Ball, Jordan Crook and Mani Powell are some of the young guys who have taken advantage of the bowl practices to this point.
• Beaux Limmer has done a good job at center. Ty’Kieast Crawford is at guard. Everyone else in the starting unit is in the same position.
The defense rests your honor.
Not sure the point you are trying to make
Yeah we improve our inside five offense and we’re 10-2 team. Defense had no chance whatsoever for success with all the injuries in the secondary.
Why I’m not freaking out like some people on this board. We have to get better up front on both sides of the ball, that is the main thing we have to get accomplished. We get studs on both sides up front and we’ll be able to do a lot of things we couldn’t do this year.
Williams said we would look different, what is his base defense Scottie??
Not sure of the defensive scheme, but here’s a midseason evaluation of the UCF defense. Strong on red zone and third down, which have been problems for us.
And this depth chart suggests a 3-3-5, although the “buck” may be an edge rusher.
Thanks…yeah they were much better in the 1st 8 games giving up 141 pts,the last 5 were not so good giving up 160…overall they gave up 23 a game but quite a bit more than that playing the good offensive teams…
I am not a 3 man front guy at all but 3-3 better than 3-2 any day and I am fully aware that you can do some games up front with movement and run blitzes(that we didn’t do) that can make it tough to run on
We will see how he does in a better conference,He is supposed to be a great recruiter and with our facilities and chance to play in the SEC lets hope he can recruit some of those Fla boys to us.
For what it’s worth, the two guys listed as “buck” on the depth chart are on the UCF roster as DEs. Maybe some kind of DE/LB hybrid.
I agree with you about not freaking out. We know we need better personnel. So does Sam, which sounds like a major portion of hiring Williams.
As for the bowl game, I’m not going to get upset. I watched Cincy lay a complete egg against Louisville Saturday. If our effort is better than that and we still lose, so be it. The Prairie Chickens haven’t been in a bowl in a long time so they’re geeked up. We aren’t. Plus we have a bunch of departures/optouts.
yeah you can do a lot with the Buck type player…can make it tough for OL to account for him bc they tie everyone else up and Buck usually is left free, we will see,he appears to very energetic guy which can’t do anything but help.
Thanks for the info Jeff.
yeah we will be very shorthanded in the Bowl game,so not really concerned about it either,the young guys are getting an early spring training is the best part of it all.
Big Kat Bryant, Marlon Davidson and Derick Hall were some of the players who played the Buck position at Auburn. I’ve always thought of it being a pass rusher.
Mmm-hmm. It’s a Red-White game against another team. We’re getting a preview of Hogs 2023.
That’s kinda what I thought when I saw the depth chart. Especially after that article I linked decried their inability to get sacks rushing four. Three DL and the buck makes four.
Just saw a tweet from UCF recruit Michael Harris who is decommiting (and RD is following him). According to his profile, he’s an MLB with 4.4 speed but only weighs 195. Sounds like a safety prospect to me. This is him:
Scottie boils it down and gives me what I want, every time.