Feb. 1, 2012
Houston, Texas - Houston Football National Signing Day Quotes Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012
HEAD COACH Tony Levine
"I can't tell you how happy I am to be standing here because it means all the faxes have come in. It seemed like this moment would never get here. It's been such a hectic time. I look back and I'm not sure now where all the time went, from becoming the interim coach to permanent head coach and playing Penn State a week and a half later and trying to hire some assistant coaches and hold together a recruiting class and add some more pieces to the puzzle.
About a week ago I began to see a light at the end of the tunnel and it's getting close now. Today has been a great day. A lot of people make more out of a national signing day than I do. I was asked where this class ranks in the history of Houston football recruiting classes and my answer was that I really hope the class we got two years ago is our best class ever because that means we're going to be really good during the 2012 football season. We'll get the answer to how good this class is in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
I am extremely excited about the 24 young men that signed today and that are going to be joining our program in four months when summer school starts. We look for young men with great character, a great commitment to their academics, are talented athletically and most importantly want to be here. We're going to be able to find 25 young men every year who fit that description and want to be at the University of Houston and want to write this chapter of their lives in this city. We accomplished that today."
On Deontay Greenberry:
"Relationships are critical in recruiting, and there has to be a trust factor between the young man, his family, the recruiting coach, the coach who will be coaching him and the head football coach. We were able to build a relationship with him in a short amount of time because of when Coach (Jamie) Christian was at Arizona State, he recruited him for two years.
"Him being able to come in and display his talents immediately since we lost four wide receivers was something that was extremely interesting to him. He is talented, extremely confident on and off the field."
On Larry McDuffey:
"We had Larry at camp twice this summer. We worked with him at wide receiver one week and he came back to work out defensively the next week. Our staff absolutely fell in love with him. He is a great kid, a competitor and a great student. When the ball is in his hands, you're not going to catch him from behind."
On if this recruiting class is better than he expected:
"It is better. I have had no time to stop and reflect on anything. It is definitely better than I anticipated."
On the national attention at UH over the last six-seven months:
"There has not been a time that there has been this much publicity on the University of Houston until now. With the success that we had this past season, there is more of a buzz nationally on the University of Houston football program than ever before.
On selling his coaching style to signees:
"We had two different types of recruit; we had the ones who were already committed and the ones we needed to establish relationships with in a short amount of time. The best recruiting tool you can have are your current players. When the recruits come and ask `What is Coach Levine like?' Those players have sat in Coach Sumlin's office and got to know him but they haven't built a relationship with me as the new head football coach. We were able to maintain most of the class with whatever our current players told them about me."
On the importance of landing national recruits like Greenberry:
You have a recruit with national prominence and now each year players will say `If he came here (and made an impact), why can't I?' The attention will really help us as we move forward."
On what it's been like the last six to seven weeks:
"I know I will not be wearing this tomorrow (about his sport coat and tie). I'm going to take a day off. It's been non-stop for quite a while."
On the toll recruiting can take on a coach and prospective student-athletes:
"When recruiting, it's all about building relationships. It takes its toll physically and emotionally but we will not shortchange the young men. We have a lot to sell at the University of Houston and our University and our city helps to sell them here. This is a great place to be and people want to be here."