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He Gets It

Over at WWL's Pac-10 blog, Ted Miller has put up two great Q&A posts from a recent interview with Rick Neuheisel. Neuheisel gave his impressions on the fall camp to date and shared his vision of the UCLA football program (something that has been lacking in last five years):

Recruiting. You go to USC's camp and it's like, 'Wow, these guys have got a lot of players.' How do you recruit against them; what do you say to a Southern California prep superstar to get him to choose you over the Trojans?

RN: There are three things you can do. First of all, you sell UCLA. Fortunately for me, I don't just sell it, I get to share it because I went here. I lived this. It has a lot just on its own merits to entice the very best. Second, you point out our depth compared to their depth in terms of opportunity. Third, you point out: Where did [USC] begin? With a bunch of guys who decided that this is where they were going to go. You try to get a group of guys to decide the same thing over here and be the ones who start the thing. There's some allure to that. I think there's enough kids out in the country who, once they get to see this campus, once they get to see these coaches -- the resumes of the coaches out here are at least impressive enough to bear mention -- and then they see what can be. They get to go to school here and start their own deal in California, knowing that while USC is certainly king of the mountain right now, in the last 29 years since I was a freshman, the record [between the teams] is 14-14-1 between UCLA and USC. So it isn't so far-fetched that it's too far away. We can get it done. But we have to be relentless in recruiting and our energy has to be at least equal if not beyond the very best in the country.

CRN also talked about the"job requirement" of a UCLA head football coach:

You've talked directly about USC. It's seemed like one of the things that former coach Karl Dorrell hated to do was talk about USC. You've engaged the topic. What is the strategy behind that?

RN: We're playing them anyway. If by not mentioning them, I could get them off the schedule, then I'd have to rethink the thing. But when you're at UCLA, you've got to look forward to that game. That's got to be as exciting as anything that happens in your life. That is a job requirement for any coach who coaches here -- to be successful against the Trojans. It's a job requirement! So, let's tell everybody that's our plan and here's how we're going to go about doing it. It isn't as though they are going to play any harder in that game. That game is going to bring out everybody's best. I just want to be very much front row talking about what our goals are and how we're going to get there. I think that also will attract the very best in recruiting. We're not coming here to hide out. We're coming here to be front-and-center on a stage that is pretty darn grand when you're talking about Los Angeles.

I've got nothing to add after that.

You can read rest of CRN's Q&A with Ted Miller here (Pt II) and here (Pt II).