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Meet Brennan Carroll, UM recruiting coordinator

Here is a transcript from Carroll's teleconference Thursday:

Brennan Carroll Do you see similarities between UM and USC and how do you think you will help Miami get back to where it needs to be?
"I think there's quite a few similarities. One, the great home recruiting bases. South Florida is very similar to Southern California -- great talent, great kids. I also believe both private schools bring huge benefits for recruiting, and for these kids to get a private education. It's almost $55,000 a year. It's the same at USC. It's a really and impressive education, world class, all that stuff. In terms of helping the program get better, hopefully, I'll be able to help in recruiting and coach the tight ends up, get this offense going."

When you look at the roster, what are the biggest areas, immediate needs that need to be met through recruiting in 2011?
"I really haven't gotten a long look at our depth chart. I haven't been able to evaluate our own guys. I know obviously we lost our big receiver, so that's going to be an area of need. We only have two quarterbacks on scholarship. So, obviously, we're going to have to go and get some depth there.

What is your background in recruiting? What did you do at USC?
"I did both. I did California recruiting, recruited Orange County, the city, North Carroll and also went out of state. I recruited Midwest, East Coast, New York, Arkansas, Michigan, a little bit of Florida. I've been kind of everywhere. Wherever the top guys have been, that's where I went."

Have you had a chance to watch any film on this team?
"I really have not. I got into Miami the 1st, flew out right after New Year's Eve. It's been non-stop recruiting. The coaches have done a good job keeping me up to date, kind of what our needs are for recruiting. And I just kind of just gone off that. That's the one thing I wish I could do and I will do next week when we have our dead period, really evaluate our team. I just don't have the time. I can't do it right now. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, I'll be all over it. I'm really excited to get into that."

On coming into recruiting game late with new staff...
"It's always tough. When you have a new staff, there's always questions, concerns. Most of these guys have been getting recruited for 12 months by other staffs. We've been at it for a week -- a week or two. Obviously, it's difficult. But we're trying to bring a new energy, a new passion to Miami and hopefully some of these guys feel that."

Recruits have been changing minds on coming to UM. Do you ignore it and move on? What do you do?
"I haven't stayed up to date on who is supposed to come in and who is all that right now. Some of these guys were scheduled before we were hired. We just want to get all the guys that want to be Hurricanes. If a kid doesn't want to be a Miami Hurricane, he's not the kid for us, to be recruited. So, we'll find a way to get there."

How do you know Coach Golden and what was the decision making progress to come to UM?
"I knew him just a little bit, through the coaching circles. My decision process was: it was Miami. How could I turn it down? Tight end U. Tight ends coach. I had to come check it out. It wasn't very hard. The only thing I had to really make sure was that it was good for my family and that the kids could make the transition. I talked it over with the wife. She was great about it. We're in a new area now. But you're in Miami."

How do you plan to restore UM tradition at tight end?
"We've got to work with the guys we have here, get those guys coached up, to maximize their potential. And then obviously we're going to go out and recruit, and find some prospects to keep going in the future."

With quarterbacks, you watch the Top 100 guys, most of them are committed somewhere. How tough is it to get on a top quarterback at this point?
"There's a ton of kids. The rankings are great, they're great to look at, especially if at the end you have one of the top classes. But really, there's a lot of great quarterbacks out there that aren't always on everybody's radar. We've identified a couple of them. We still think we can get guys we think are great quarterbacks. It doesn't always have to be who everybody thinks is the best. We just have to get the best for our system, the best fit for what we're trying to do and guys who want to be winners and great leaders, great kids and guys who love Miami."

Brennan Carroll Miami hasn't signed many JUCO players in the past. Seems like you guys are going after a good number now. What is the benefit of getting a JC player versus a high school kid?
"Well, obviously, the JC guys have played against guys that are older than high school. They've played against 19, 20, 21 year olds, so they've played at a higher level of competition. They've played in college technically. So, if there's a need we're trying to fill -- obviously, Harris, our corner, is going into the league, going to the combine and tear it up there. So, there's a possibility we may have to go get a junior college guy to replace a starter we may lost to that spot. At USC and Miami they have very strict relations on getting JUCO kids in. So, there's a lot of kids we won't even be able to touch in recruiting because of the rules and such. We're trying to work it out, we're trying to find any means we can to make this team better as fast as we can."

The state has become a lot more competitive with UCF, USF on the rise. How tough does it make it to recruit in state?
"I haven't been here long enough to really get into what the kids are feeling about those schools. But I think it really goes back to how much talent there is down there. You can really have different programs and they can all be successful. They can all go to bowl games. If I'm not wrong, four out of five won their bowl games. That just goes to show you how much talent the state has."

What is the biggest lesson you've learned regarding football from your dad?
"Just be a great competitor. Just find a way to compete, whether it be in coaching or recruiting. Just find a way to get better. Usually things will work out as long as you compete."

Getting into recruiting so late, are you guys selling your vision or are you finding your dealing with negative recruiting?
“Our core is just to talk about us. Our motto is, it’s all about the U. That’s what we stand for. You can go down that route of negative recruiting but it just reflects on your overall program. It’s hard to find negative things about Miami University. With a great education, private school, top school in Florida in terms of education, great location Miami, South Beach, Coral Gables all that and we always have a great talent pool to recruit from. So we don’t find anything to talk about because we have all positives to talk about. We don’t have to cover anything up. We’ll let everybody see what we got.”

Do you find that people still use negative recruiting?
“Oh yeah. Sure they do. I think they need to and when they do, it’s a backwards way of respecting us because they know they just can’t talk about their program..."

You guys are going after a lot of players that are committed to other schools?
“That we can’t really consider kids committed to other programs. -- that term holds so little value nowadays anyway. We’re going to recruit everybody. We’re a new staff. Just because somebody says something to somebody  they’re going to do this or go to that school or whatever that doesn’t deter us at all initially, Some of these kids are truly committed and want to go to whatever school they want to go to. That’s just how it’s going to be. We wish them well. It goes back to we want guys that want to be at Miami. That’s what it’s all about. There’s some kids who always wanted to be at Miami and for some reason didn’t get recruited….if we can find those guys who have been to other schools but always wanted to be at the U, we’ll try to find a way to get them here.”

Some local coaches felt that relations with the previous staff had deteriorated. Has that been a focus of your efforts to mend those relationships?
“I can’t really comment too much about the last staff because I don’t know too much about them. The only coaches I’m familiar with are coach Barrow and coach Stoutland, but our goals are always going to be to get to every school in Florida and let every coach know that Miami is the top school in Florida and we’re going to be recruiting their kids, we’re going to do our research, do a very good job at it and involve them in the process and let the coaches know what we’re all about.”

What was so enticing about this job for you?
“The chance to win national championships. When we were at USC, our goal was to win all our games and whatever happens, happens. We can do that here. We have a great recruiting base, with everything the university has to offer, we really don’t have an excuse why we shouldn’t be competing with the top teams in the country real soon. The chance to win, that’s really why we do things. We want to win for our program and win for our kids and get our kids degrees and all that. They’ve done a great job with graduation rates here, they’re through the roof right now which is a testament to the previous staff and the academic facilities. You put all that with a chance to win, play on a huge stage, that’s what I’m all about. That’s what I want to be involved with.”

Can you talk about the parellels of when you father took over USC and taking over this program?
“I agree. I feel coach Golden and coach Carroll got started at the same time in recruiting, it was late and were trying to make a push and make a splash. They felt like they needed a ton of guys and they really had a ton of talent. Coach Carroll inherited Troy Polamalu and Carson Palmer. Just talking to coaches, there’s a ton of talent in this program. There’s a great offensive line, a great defensive line. That’s the core of everything so in terms of recruiting there’s a lot of similarities. They’re both city schools. USC is south of downtown and Miami is a little south of the city and South Beach. That’s one of the things that attracted me to it.”

But the stages of the programs, USC was a sleeping giant waiting to get awoke again and Miami seems to be in the same situation?
“If we get anywhere near what we did at USC, I think we’re doing pretty good. Miami went to a bowl game this past year so they’re doing a little better than USC when that change was made. But we’ll see. Hopefully we can get going right away. USC’s first year, coach’s first year there at USC went 6-5, went to a bowl game. I think we can do better than that, but we’ll see. There’s a lot of work to do and a lot of hours to put in. Hopefully, we’ll get a lot better and there will be a lot of similarities. Hopefully.”

Will you get a chance to see the playoff game this weekend?
“I hope so. Somehow I have to work it out that I’m on a home visit and that family likes to watch the Seahawks. That would be great. I wish those guys all the best. They have a tough task ahead of him.”

What did your dad tell you about taking this job?
“He was fired up. He was excited for me to come down here and get started. We’ve always been talking about if I left USC what could be my value and what could I get done..."

Were you out of football last year?
“I was out of ball and working on some family projects. When the shot came up, everything I was trying to do on the side fell off. I said let’s go do this. This is what I always felt comfortable doing. When you start coaching football, there’s not many opportunities to do something else. When this opportunity came up, I couldn’t even think twice about it.”