With 19 new players in the fold, Gophers coach Jerry Kill sounded optimistic Wednesday, while acknowledging that every coach is giddy on signing day. Here's a sampling of Kill's comments:
On signing only one scholarship player (linebacker Chris Wipson) from Minnesota: "There's a couple that got away that I'd have liked to have. And we got after it; just didn't get it done. I'm responsible for that, and I've got to do a better job, but overall I think we've hung in there pretty good [recruiting Minnesotans] over the last two years."
On Wipson: "Chris Wipson is exactly what we want as a football player. He comes out of a great program [Wayzata]. ... He's smart and intelligent. He came off knee surgery, but he's been doing well. I think he can run our defense and those kinds of things. So I think it's a great situation for us and a great situation for him."
On this recruiting class ranking last in the Big Ten: "We were able to compete with some people we couldn't get in the front door with [in previous years], so I can't respond to that. ... We feel good about how we're doing it. We're doing it first class. We're doing it the right way, and I think we're getting people that fit into what we do."
On Ryan Santoso, a 6-5, 260-pound kicker from Pace, Fla.: "I don't want to ever have to see a dang kickoff returned again. I want him to kick it out of the end zone, period, and he's got the leg to do that. And I also want him to be able to punt the football. I think he has the capabilities of doing that."
On whether 6-9 Nate Wozniak will stick at tight end: "He has a tight end's body. He's not skinny or frail; he's ripped. I mean the kid's 6-9 and benches over 300 pounds right now. He comes from a great program [in Indiana], so he's got a head start on some things. And he can be a mismatch problem with somebody as he learns."
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