For the first time in nearly 20 years, Rich Rodriguez will serve as an assistant coach next season in Oxford as he serves as Matt Luke’s new offensive coordinator.
Of course, he’s not been away from the game that long, he’s been serving as head coach of programs across the country at West Virginia, Michigan and Arizona. During his introductory press conference in Oxford on Wednesday, he touched on a number of topics, with an obvious emphasis on the offense his plans to run for Luke.
Here is what Rodriguez had to say on the offensive players he has inherited and the offensive system he plans to run next season.
“There are a lot of really good players coming back. I think it is an awesome opportunity for some of the guys that haven’t played very much and for the guys that we are bringing in to play as well. We’ll figure out who will be playing,” Rodriguez said. “Scheme-wise, I don’t want to fit it into one category. We have to be able to adapt to the skills of our players. It isn’t just the quarterback even though that is a part of it. I’ve had running quarterbacks and I’ve had guys that were stronger throwing the ball. What we will do is evaluate it in camp and see what our guys do well and what we have got to do to win games. Our job is to get the talented players here and to help them execute well. It is a spread-based system.”
The program’s new offensive coordinator was then asked to share his thoughts on the rising quarterback, and projected starter, Matt Corral.
“I remember him from high school. I remember him being a really good player and one that I would have liked to recruit,” Rodriguez noted. “When this opportunity came up I told Matt (Luke) that I know he has a really good young quarterback on the team. He was the first player on the team that I reached out to. I am really excited to get to work with him. He has the kind of skill set that I think is going to be perfect for what we want to do.”
Aside from the quarterbacks on the roster, Rodriguez was also asked about the traits he looks for when evaluating a quarterback.
“You don’t have to be the fastest runner but you have to be a willing runner,” Rodriguez explained. “The certain traits are being competitive, loving football, being able to execute certain plays. You don’t want a recruit that likes football, you want one that loves it and needs it. A guy that likes it as a hobby won’t have nearly the success as someone that is absorbed by it. You want a guy that loves to compete all the time.”
If you missed his introductory press conference, you can view it in its entirety here: