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Friday, January 14, 2011
Q&A: Michigan coach Brady Hoke, Part II

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Here's the second half of my interview with new Michigan coach Brady Hoke.

Check out Part I if you haven't already.

Why do you think it's been such a struggle for Michigan defensively?

Brady Hoke: I don't know. I'm not hands-on, I'm not eyes-on. I've been pretty busy with other teams and we don't get distracted. Haven't seen much. I know as we get further along, we'll look at things that we want to do. I know we're going to be a defense that plays with great toughness and great effort. It's going to be a defense that's going to play fanatical. That's an expectation. The guys who play that way and play with that mentality are the guys that are going to represent Michigan on the field.

As a defensive guy when you were an assistant, will you spend more time with that group as you try to get them improved?

BH: It's always where my eyes go first, those two fronts, offensively and defensively. How we're coming off the football from an offensive standpoint and how we're playing fundamental football and techniques with our defensive front.

You talked about having a local recruiting focus. Does Michigan need to re-establish itself locally and regionally in recruiting? Is there enough of a presence?


BH: I don't know why there wouldn't be. This is the University of Michigan, the winningest program in college football. Obviously an important piece of it is this state and the talent that's in this state, and then regionally. We're going to focus our attention on that, we're going to compete, we're going to work, and we're going to extend ourselves to those high school coaches and those programs. We want their student-athletes to be part of Michigan.

You recruited in the area before at Michigan and at Ball State. Have you reached out to those coaches and contacts?

BH: It's probably one thing I haven't gotten to do as much as I'd like to yet. I wanted to meet with this football team and wanted to spend a lot of time with them. In the next 24-48 hours, we'll be doing a lot of that.

You talked Wednesday about pressure needing to come from within. Do you sense that urgency among the players, being around them for a few days?

BH: I know one thing: the kids want to win. They're going to understand the preparation it takes to win. Our mind-set is clear, our vision is clear and they are guys that are going to go out there and represent the University of Michigan and hold the legacies and the traditions very high. And play Michigan football.