Sonny Dykes met with the media yesterday to discuss the nine players TCU signed during the early signing period. Here are some of the highlights, and you can watch the full press conference below.
“First of all I just want to say thanks to our coaching staff and support staff and to TCU’s admin. We had to hit the ground running from Tuesday’s presser to today so really we’ve had 15 days to try to assemble a recruiting class. I’m really proud of what we did.”
“What we try to do and our philosophy is always this we don’t reach on players. We wanted to sign guys we felt could make a difference in our program. It would’ve been very easy for us to go out and sign 25 players for today’s signing period; that would not have been a hard thing for us to do. Instead we elected to sign 10, 11, 12 potentially early and then sit back and wait. That’s been our philosophy at SMU and certainly as we transition here to TCU was to don’t reach on players. My dad always said something I always thought was interesting – he said if you lose a recruit you play against him one time a year and if you sign somebody that can’t play for you they hurt you 365 days a year.”
“I’m a believer in free enterprise, market value and all those type of things and always believed that the player kind of got the short end of the stick when it came to earning a lot of money for the university. The value of a scholarship is very significant and these guys have some tremendous benefits but at the end of the day I never felt like that the money they were generating was quite distributed to the kids the way it ought to be and (NIL) is now the opportunity for us to do that. I think it’s the right thing to do, just from an ethical standpoint and I think it’s certainly something we need to develop a taste for as an athletic department or we’re going to get left behind.”
“Look, I’m going to address other schools. It’s like anything else, when you read the same newspaper that I do, or the same tweets or same social media posts that I do about players that play certain positions are going to get a certain amount of money, how is that not an enticement to attend the university? Name, image and likeness was not supposed to be an enticement to attend a university, but like everything else you draw conclusions and connect the dots. Well, they’re paying this guy, let’s say $50,000 a year, all right, well I play that position and they’re going to pay all the guys $50,000 a year, so that means I’m going to get $50,000. That’s not really drawing too many conclusions, applying a common sense way of thinking. So you sit there and think, if I’m there five years and make $50,000 a year, it’s a quarter-million dollars. That would be an enticement for anybody. So I think that’s where it’s headed, you know what I mean? It’s like anything else, everyone has to decide what their appetite is and act appropriately.”
On transfer portal activity and priorities:
“It’s always the same positions. Every football program, whether it’s a seventh grade program or an NFL program, is looking for those same positions. You’re always looking for D linemen, you’re always looking for O linemen, you’re always looking for corners. Those are the positions. We’ve got a little bit of a numbers issue, probably at linebacker, just transitioning from a three linebacker to a four linebacker defense. So we’ve got some numbers that we have to address when it comes to that. There’s going to be a lot of things that we have to do to improve the roster. The good thing is, we’ll have a real strong opportunity to sit down over the Christmas holidays and spend a lot of time diving in, looking at our current players, watching film, trying to get an evaluation on what those guys have done in the past. And also, keep an eye toward the future. We’ll have a chance starting January 10th to start working with our players, and we’ll be here at six o’ clock every morning watching our guys lift and run, and making determinations on who can play what, where can we move this guy, and how can we best address the needs our team needs to address when it comes to transfers. So all these things will play out for a long time. That number may be a little high (20 transfers), or it may be a little low just depending on what happens and how many spots we have on our roster.”
Good foundation for ‘23 and beyond?
“Yeah, I mean, you know, it’s a very small foundation, you know, my hope is that a lot of these guys were here on that first Jr. Day, Sunday, Sunday, you know, my hope is that, you know, there’ll be on campus 10 times more, at least, for the cyclists, maybe as many as 15 times. That’s just kind of the way that we recruit, you know, it’s, again, we want to get to know these guys, we want them to get to know us, we want to have a connection with them, is more than football. You know, where it’s a personal connection, and certainly their parents as well what they feel comfortable with us with, want those kids to have attended practice and see how we coach, see how their kids are going to get coach. Get around our players see what the what the atmosphere of the team is, what the culture of the team is, you know, because I was apparent.”
“You know, we’re in a great situation, because we have a world class university here as a private school education, you can’t deny that you’re in a great city in Fort Worth 12th largest city in the country, you know, the number one sports market in the country? So that’s a great beginning. Okay. So not many people can say all that, just from a recruiting standpoint, we can. But then, you know, the next thing to me as a parent would be, what’s the culture like? You know, with these, I get to send my son to that locker room to be around these people every day? What kind of players? Are they? What kind of people are? And then you know, what kind of adults are going to mentor us to be around them every day? And what’s the interactions going to be like?”
“And how are they going to be treated, and you can really care about Moffett Field, and, you know, all those things would be important to me as a parent. And so we try to do is get people here on our campus, and then just show them what it’s like. And then let them make a decision really on whether or not they think it’s what they want their son to do. And that’s the way that we recruit. And sometimes that’s a that’s a process, we have, probably more junior days, and anybody in college football, I’m guessing. You know, I’ll be in the house, February 1, and there’ll be guys coming to my house, as soon as we have some furniture for him to sit in. Because I’m within while campus, you know, I guess is left 35 events in my house probably the next calendar year. And so recruiting to something that you do, you know, 365 days a year. So it’s kind of part of who you are. And it’s not going to go to my insurance sales certificate.”
Watch the full press conference below.