These are some post-signing day thoughts. They’re a bit rambling, but maybe some good discussion points can be had as you slide into that Friday heading into a holiday.
- I wonder how much a team takes on the personality of a coach. That was probably my biggest question about Kliff Kingsbury, which is that he was so measured and so calm pretty much through everything, that if nothing bothered him while the cameras were on, good or bad, then would the team adopt the same personality. I think that Kingsbury wanted a team of terminators, guys that would just be relentless in their job and not stop no matter what happened to them (you may be young, but go watch The Terminator for reference purposes). I can’t say that I know the personality of Matt Wells just yet, but Wells mentioned the word “heart” a number of times and it’s not that Kingsbury wasn’t emotional, but we know that he wasn’t emotional on the sideline. And given Kingsbury’s very discreet personality, you’d think that he was that way with the kids. Business-like and sometimes tough, but fair. That’s not a knock on Kingsbury, but maybe there needs to be some more emotion in the football building. Some more heart. Offensive coordinator David Yost said that his wife bakes cookies for the offensive guys every Friday. I don’t know that this will make a damn bit of difference, but if the coaches show a little more heart and emotion into this thing, then maybe that translates to the field. And to be clear, I’m asking the question. I don’t have an answer and I’d guess that some teams perform really well with a guy like Kingsbury and some other might not. It takes both kinds, but I wonder if that will make a difference with this team. Playing with more emotion could be a really good thing.
- Wells acknowledged that he’s in a tough spot on Wednesday. He said that he’ll like this situation a lot more next year. That’s some pretty brutal honesty and I think that if there was ever a situation where Wells is just keeping things together as best as possible, this is it. To reiterate, Wells was hired on November 29th and he had to try his best to keep the players that are present here, try to connect with the commits and also try to find some players on his own. And make no mistake, there will be transfers most likely, that’s just a part of the deal. I mean, Wells pretty much said that Wednesday wasn’t the best signing day. At the very least, he didn’t make excuses for it, and acknowledging that this is a tough situation is refreshing.
- Again, this is from the non-transcript, but this was a near quote: “They have to feel you, they have to see inside your heart, and you have to do a good job of painting that picture.” Can you imagine Kingsbury saying something like that? Again, I’m not criticizing one coaching style over the other. I think after Kingsbury’s persona, to see those sorts of words from Wells is a bit shocking (shocking is too strong of a word, but you get the idea).
- I think that Kingsbury and Wells differ maybe on grad transfers in that he only wants grad transfers that are competing for a starting job. If not, then he’ll pass. In a handful of years at Utah State, he only had 4 grad transfers, while I think Kingsbury has had some that haven’t necessarily competed for starting spots. Maybe Wells will be more selective.
- Wells also said that he basically sent Yost back to Logan to coach the offense and said that it was the right thing to do. I like that there was some loyalty to make sure that Yost could help those kids achieve an 11-win season, make no mistake, it benefits Wells too, but I think Wells is being sincere here that regardless of outcome having Yost there in Logan to help was important and then Yost driving back right after the game to be with the recruits on Saturday night says a bit about Yost.
- I think it was a bit of a coup to get McLane Mannix from Nevada and this has nothing to do with the 2019 class, but it sure does make Wednesday feel a bit better. You’re probably getting an all-conference or near all-conference performer the minute he steps on the field for Texas Tech. I know that he was doing that at Nevada, but I’d bet $1 that he does that at Texas Tech as well. Getting open is getting open and yes, the competition at the Big 12 is certainly better than at Nevada, but I’d still expect him to do well. And the best thing about Mannix is that he was consistently consistent. In all but two games, Mannix had at least 4 catches, he only had one game against San Diego State where he had 1 catch and against Air Force he had 2 catches. Mannix catches about 4 to 6 a game and that 17.5 yards per catch from an inside receiver is impressive.