Ames, Iowa -- Iowa State recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach Scott Fountain is a very busy man with national football letter-of-intent signing day (Wednesday) rapidly approaching. He talks with cyclones.com about both of his roles in the ISU football program. Tell me what the recruiting coordinator part of your job entails?
“Right now we are just trying to plan our week-to-week schedule and what coaches are going to see who. With coach Chizik being the head coach, he can only make in-house visits one time during the contact period. I coordinate who he is going to go see each week. It’s so important to coordinate just when he is going to see a a young man, especially during the last couple of weeks. We need to know if it’s better to go see a potential signee at the beginning of the week or at the end of the week. That’s kind of the big thing that is going on right now. We’re just trying to organize coach visits.” How has the Internet affected recruiting?
“I think it has affected it in a big way and in a bad way too because there is a lot of information out there that is often not true. Kids and parents today read the Internet and they often believe what it says whether or not it is based in fact. When head coaches are fired you see their replacements come in and start exploring the internet to see what is out there. It becomes a real battle this time of year with recruits.”
When starting your prospective recruiting class, you begin with hundreds of individuals that you are considering to start a slow but sure process. When did you start recruiting the guys that will sign next week?
“We were a late staff getting in here so we started last January (2007) on 90 percent of the kids that we were going to look at. We started following a few others the second we got here. For the most part we have been on these kids since last January (2007) and a lot of offers went out from our end between February and May. We then made a sprinkle of offers throughout the summer and fall. So the majority of the kids have had an offer for quite a while and this gives us a chance to get to know the kids and what kind of person they are and I think in the end the recruits really appreciate that.” Now switching topics and talking about your job as the tight ends coach. Ben Barkema had over 50 career receptions and will be gone, but Derrick Catlett played a much bigger role than he had previously. Where do you think Derrick Catlett is at in his development as a player?
“I really feel Derrick has good hands and he did a great job for us last season at fullback and tight end. I’d like to see him this spring become more of the true tight end and we can then put his hand down and put him up on the line of scrimmage and continue to improve on what he did at fullback. But going into the spring, he should be our guy. Derrick and I have talked and realized he’s got to build upper-body strength and put on weight to be better when he puts his hand on the ground. I am also expecting Collin Franklin to step up and do good things.” You mentioned Collin Franklin. He’s tall (6-5) and would be a really big target. What does he have to do this spring to make progress?
“Collin is going to be a great route runner for us. He’s a very fast, speedy type. He’s got to continue to put on weight and build strength. My big concern with him is developing his blocking skills. There’s no doubt he’s going to be a kid that can stretch the field for us and I think you will see him become a really big weapon in our offense. I would think it is easier to work with a player on a technical skill like blocking as opposed to making someone faster.
“Athletically, Collin is what you would want every year when you sign a student-athlete. In junior college he was a tight end and split receiver. There’s no doubt about the trade-off. You’d rather have a kid come in here that athletically can run routes and can go get the ball and continue to get better at blocking as opposed to being a guy that would be a great blocker that doesn’t have speed. Speed is harder to develop. Putting on weight and gaining strength is a little easier to do
"I think that people are responding to someone standing up and saying this is what we want to do and let's not be afraid to go for it,'' Pollard said. "I think Iowa State has a very conservative, modest background. We never pound our chest and say `Let's do it.' It's OK to set a goal. You can't do it if you don't say what you want to do. You should be proud of it.''
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