The Edmond Sun

March 6, 2013

Sooner Sports Minute: New OU coaches meet with media

By John Shinn
CNHI News Service

NORMAN — Newly hired defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, defensive line and tight ends/special teams coach Jay Boulware met with reporters Wednesday for the first time since joining the Oklahoma staff.

Here on some highlights from each coach’s interview session:

• Montgomery’s initial impression of OU’s current defensive linemen: “They’re definitely good-looking kids. I’m excited to work with them. We’ll move some things around a little bit, but I like what I have to work with and look forward to starting spring ball Saturday.”

• How does Montgomery plan to get SEC-quality defensive linemen to come to OU: “It’s about building relationships. Most of those kids are in the South and want to stay close to home. We’re not too far away. So it’s about getting into those schools and building relationships in those recruiting areas. Getting the kids on campus more than once. That’s something we’ve got to continue to build on, getting the kids on campus and showing them what we have to offer at this great place, the tradition and the history of the defensive linemen we’ve had come through here. It’s unreal. We’ve gotta show them those things. Heck, when your numbers are so low, playing time is going to be early. Which is always a huge selling point.”

• How will Montgomery sell going against spread offenses to defensive linemen: “One thing kids like to hear is getting after the quarterback. They like to throw the ball around a little in this league. They’re also running the ball well. You’ve got to have guys that can do both. You’ve got to have guys that are really good against the run, you’ve got to have guys that can come in on third down and get after the quarterback. Just selling them on the opportunity to play early and the opportunity to play against high-powered offenses is a good selling point.”

• What does Montgomery look for in potential recruits: “For a defensive lineman, you’ve got to have great foot quickness. You like size, but size is not always the tell-all. If the kid can play the game and he’s long enough and tall enough and he’s very athletic… That’s one thing with the offenses we’re playing now, the athleticism of the defensive lineman has to be pretty good. You can’t take too many 330-pound defensive tackles in this league, because you’re not seeing the two-back. You’re seeing ‘10’ personnel and people spreading it out and getting it in space to guys that can run. Footspeed is definitely one thing I look at.”

• What advantages does Boulware see OU having in recruiting: “You walk in with this OU on your chest, and you’re immediately in everybody’s top two or three. It means something. It makes a difference. We’re big brother now. I’ve been at places where you’re little brother, as some people say, or you’re equal or whatever, how some people look at it, but this is my first time at a place where you’re definitely the big dog on the street and everybody knows it.”

• What Boulware sees as the essentials of recruiting: “One of my friends used to say all the time, ‘Recruiting is like shaving. If you don’t do it everyday, it’ll show.’ You’ve gotta, everyday, you’ve gotta pound it and pound it and pound it. You’ve gotta establish relationships. Not only with the kid, but whoever the kid is close to. If you do that and you build the relationships, I think at the end of the day, you’ll come out on top more than you will on the bottom of them.”

• Did Boulware have a prior relationship with Bob Stoops: “I do not. I know some guys on the staff through recruiting. Actually, Bobby Jack Wright was probably a big part in getting me here. When I went to Texas, he was a there. He knew me back in the day. I actually GA’d under them. I’ve been knowing him for a long, long time. He knew me when I had snot on my nose and didn’t know how to put one foot in front of the other. That’s probably my biggest tie to Coach Stoops.”

• Will Boulware — a Texas graduate — find it strange to be competing against the Longhorns: “No, it’s not gonna be weird at all. If you see my little 5-year-old daughter and she is so cute. Every time I look at her she gives me a big old hug and kiss. This is how I feed my family. So when I look at that little girl and then I like across that field all I’m thinking about is this is how I feed my family — this is how I feed Jordan. It’s gonna be real easy for me to go out and try to beat them down a little bit. It won’t be hard. I have my own motivation.”