ANN ARBOR - Brady Hoke didn't hold back much. At today's Michigan Associated Press Sports Editors workshop this morning, the second-year Michigan coach touched on plenty of topics, including:
- His stance on the media's attention on recruiting: "You can take all these stars and the way guys are rated and all that, and that's great. It's great for the fan base and for the public, the year-round recruiting. We've had some pretty good players here that probably would have been two-star guys. Tom Brady probably would have been a two-star guy and he turned out OK. As a coach, and we've talked about it, I don't remember what. If a guy is a football player, has the character, has the integrity and fits the mold at Michigan, it's not for everybody. It's demanding.
"There's a lot of guys who've got stars and all that stuff, but that's not what we're recruiting."
- Concussions in football: "There's a lot out there that's still unknown. But I know the responsibility we have as coaches, I think it starts at the younger levels, to be honest with you. How you teach the game of football. How you teach fundamentals and tackles. All those things that are part of that. I think the changes made in the rules, when you look at kickoffs now going back to the 35 (yard-line), only giving them a five-yard head start. That's a new rule. You can't have those guys lined up because they won't get as much momentum going.
"I think college football, and the NFL, it kind of trickled down a little bit. They're fining guys at a pretty good rate, they're trying to take away anything above the shoulders and leading with the head and the crown of the head. Everybody's conscious about it.
"We've got to keep talking about it, keep the conversation going. I started playing tackle football in the third grade. How to tackle, it's got to be taught consistent, all the way through."
Did Hoke have concussions?
What was the number?
"I have no idea."
Any worries about this?
"Maybe I should."
- His perception of the media and how he feels about its treatment of the program: "It's easy to write bad news. Everybody loves bad news. We all do. When the school gets in trouble, believe me, in our office, we're talking about it."
"There's so many good things that kids do and that the kid does ... it bothers me anytime. They're 18-23 years old. They'll make some mistakes. We have 115 sons on our team. Believe me, I don't have 115 angels. I can tell you that. There's a maturity process that goes on.
"Sometimes there's shots taken, there's half-truths or the full story isn't out there. That bothers me."
Also, "The only thing I care about is those 115 boys. I don't care what you guys write, unless you're attacking one of those guys. You can attack me all you want. I really don't give two craps about that. I care about those 115 boys and us doing the job to help them grow."
- College programs hosting playoff games, if a college football playoff format is approved: "You always want to play at home, wouldn't you? But that's not going to happen. It's not going to happen. Networks, or whoever, and I'm getting way too far into is, they're going to want to play in an controlled environment."
- On the in-state rivalry with Michigan State, in which Michigan is 0-4 the last four years against the Spartans: “We have not done our job the last four years. But the Ohio (State) game is the Ohio (State) game. That doesn’t lessen anything on the Michigan State game. In this state, you draw a line in the sand.”