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October 2, 2007

Mike Stoops talks personnel

Mike Stoops had some interesting personnel announcements during his weekly press conference on Monday. Here are some quotes from the UA head coach.

On who will step in for Dominic Patrick:

"I don't know yet. We're looking at it right now; we're exploring all of our options. We just need better safety play. Our safeties and our secondary as a whole needs to step up and play better…

"I'll have a better feel for that probably (Tuesday). We're going to look at some different options; we want to get Devin Ross on the field. He's a guy that makes plays and that's what we're trying to do on defense, get our playmakers (on the field). We need more playmakers on defense.

"That will give us an option, we've talked possibly about moving Antoine (Cason) to safety and putting Devin at corner. I don't know, we're going to look at all of those types of options to get our best players on the field. Antoine has played so much football here, he understands our defense here very, very well. Whether that's how we go, I don't know, we'll look at it.

On knowing what type of player Nicolas Grigsby was during his recruitment:

"We had a pretty good feeling. We wanted him here early this summer. We knew we needed some help at running back and he was a great option. What was a he a three-star? The guy is a player. I don't know if he's not a four or five-star, I don't know if it really matters. The kid can play, he has tremendous burst and ability to cut on the dime. The kid has it all - great hands - you don't see many backs that can catch and run like that, that early in their career. It gives you a real diverse player back there.

"Hopefully Nic can stay with it and keep doing what he's doing. He has a great future. He's got a knack for playing football. He's a football player, really enjoys the competition of it and that's unique."

On the offensive line:

"I thought Pete (Graniello)'s played well, he did really good on Saturday. I think all of them have played well. Eben (Britton)… it's been an impressive group. I don't know how many times we've thrown it but to give up seven sacks on the season is very impressive. I just like the way they're playing. I think coach (Bill) Bedenbaugh has done an excellent job with that group and they're really playing as a group and that's good to see. That's probably the thing I notice more than anything."

On the defensive ends' play against Washington State:

"Ricky Elmore played well defensively and Jason Parker played well defensively. Our young kids really came in and did some good things. Brooks Reed came in and got him a sack. We moved him (to end) and that's a great position for him. That was a smart move on our part. He's got a tremendous upside as a defensive player. He has great foot speed, quickness and really turns his feet over well. I've been really impressed with him.

"We're bringing them along and they're practicing well. Ricky really showed up in special teams and he's starting to get it. He has a motor that really goes quick. He's a fun guy to coach."

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