WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Purdue Head Football Coach Darrell Hazell has been on the job a little more than two months since Boilermakers Athletic Director Morgan Burke announced the hiring of Hazell on Dec. 5, 2012.
The Boilermakers gridiron leader signed his first Purdue recruiting class, consisting of 23 Class of 2013 Boilermakers, on National Letter of Day Wednesday. Hazell spoke with WLFI Sports Director Mike Cleff shortly after his signing day press conference day.
Mike Cleff: First and foremost, thanks for the time. Just as a coach, with all your experience, do you still get goose bumps on National Signing Day?
Coach Hazell: Oh, it's an exciting day for us. We got up this morning around 4:30 (a.m.), got to the office probably at about a quarter till six (a.m.). And you're just so fired up for these guys. Talk about the numbers...so many kids in high school have an opportunity to better themselves. So that's the experience.
Cleff: Darrell, the average fan...what do you say to them about this group (Class of 2013) of 23? Because, obviously, the fans want to know every nook and cranny. But to instill confidence in this group what would you tell the fans....any time you're talking to fans about this group? What do you like about them?
Coach Hazell: Energy. I mean, you watch the film and their energy jumps off the film. They're an exciting group. They play so hard and they're smart football players. That's what excites me about this group.
Cleff: I know how important it is to get your staff together. I saw them speak and how they carried themselves. How excited are you about this staff? Personally, I'm impressed with them.
Coach Hazell: I've got a great staff. They bring a lot to the table. They're a lot of different minds that they have and different ideas. But we all think alike at the end of the day. They're smart guys.
Cleff: A couple of more things. How are you doing? Because I know your energy level. You've been on the go and everything but, just professionally and personally, how are you holding up?
Coach Hazell: I'm doing OK. Getting enough sleep. And having some fun. And I'm eating well....but I'll be looking forward to moving into a house pretty quickly and settling down a little bit.
Cleff: My final thing, and I appreciate the time, between now and late April, what's the most important thing that you and your staff, the current players, and the future players need to get out of this next span? Because I'm sure it's a vital period of time.
Coach Hazell: Very important time coming up here. We're going to start our 6 a.m. workouts and we're going to find out what kind of football team we have here sitting on campus. And we're going to test them a little bit. Test their toughness, test their character. And it's a big period of time for us.
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