New UW defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Nick Holt naturally gets most of the attention in my Wednesday story and in several blog posts below. But today also provided a chance to hear from Steve Sarkisian again for the first time in a couple of week.
Here's some of what he had to say:
"This is a big recruiting week for us. We're still in the contact period so we're doing a lot of home visits, we're flying around the West Coast. We've got coaches all over the place. Starting next week, it's a dead period because of the (football coaches) convention, so we'll be in the office trying to kind of get our bearings a little bit, getting guys feet on the ground here. Some guys will be going to Nashville. (He's unsure if he is going.)
"Then after that week it's a big push. It's a big push on the recruiting front. Starting the 16th we've got three straight big recruiting weekends. Obviously, we're going to be out on the road those final two weeks, in homes trying to solidify some commitments, then we've got to close hard for the fourth of February.
"It's a big time right now, we're trying to hire really good coaches, obviously some of these coaching hires will have quite a bit of impact on recruiting. Not only on the front of how we recruit, but also in the response that we get from the kids. So I think this is a tremendous hire for us getting Nick today at this stage of the recruiting game."
On Holt's additional duties as assistant head coach:
"A lot, really. The first thing you have to remember is that he's going to speak to half of our football team every day, and I'm not going to be in that room. We're going to be at team meetings, and we're going to split up offense/defense, and he's going to be talking to 50 guys every day and spreading the word of what we're about and what we're going to become.
"The second thing is I'm going to use his voice for our football team. As you guys heard, you could feel his intensity, and I think it's important for our entire football team to feel him.
"And thirdly, he's tremendous with boosters, alumni, the fans, everyone's going to feel Nick Holt. He's got a great presence, and I'm really going to rely on his opinions on a lot of things."
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On his early interactions with his players:
"We had a great team meeting yesterday. We kind of gave them the lay of the land and our overall philosophy of things and how we're going to do things in strength and conditioning and in the classroom and what their expectations should be. I think they're really motivated right now, I think there's a buzz on our football team about where we're headed. But they also understand we've got a lot of work to do. It's going to take a lot of time and effort and diligence on their part. But they understand. They're excited, they know what this place can be, they feel the energy. They're feeling hopefully myself and the other assistants and who we are and what we represent."
On the Huskies forming a new identity:
"Well, it starts with me. I can't try to be Pete Carroll, I have to be Steve Sarkisian. I have to take some things that we did at SC and incorporate them with the things that I like, but we can't try to be USC North, and we're not going to be. We're going to be the University of Washington, I'm going to be Steve Sarkisian, Nick is going to be Nick Holt. We're going to be who we are, but there are definitely some things that we will try to incorporate that I think can be successful for us."
On his final game as a Trojan in the Rose Bowl last week:
"I knew going in that it was my last game, and I really tried to embrace the whole leading up to the game and the ball game. After the game it was a great moment for me knowing it was the last game at SC and winning another Rose Bowl – our third straight, and all of the confetti and all the things that go on in that environment is something special. Sometimes when you've gone to four in a row you can take it for granted. I was fortunate to know it was my last game there so I really wanted to embrace it. And I thought to myself walking into the tunnel off the field, Some day I'll be back. We'll be back here. Sooner than later. That's the mindset we're going to have. We're going to get back to that game. We're going to get the University of Washington back to that game."