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Buh and Sacks

Posted: 12/22/2012 3:54 PM

Buh and Sacks Post Rating (3 votes)


To help out Ryan and give you guys a bit more of info with these two new defensive coaches, I thought I'd send y'all the 411 on Andy Buh and Barry Sacks.  I spent plenty of time at Nevada with both of these men. They are outstanding individuals. Considering my past relationship with both of these guys, I know they could care less if I make a comment and profile them a bit for you.

First off, lets talk recruiting...cause that's where the game starts in my book.  Andy Buh is the polar opposite of the image of Bob Gregory; he's a guy who flat out gets it when it comes to recruiting. He was a JC recruit himself, so his contacts on the California JC's are terrific.  He's also well connected in Texas. He's recruited a number of young players in the area, and I believe he was the first to make contact with Andrew Luck, who was kind of a Plan B at Stanford originally. 

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Andy Buh, and something that I know Jim Harbaugh really appreciated about him on the Farm, is his toughness and his ability to lead.  You walk out of a recruiting meeting with Coach Buh fired up and ready to roll for him. It isn't fake-talk or rah-rah, BBQ stuff...he's the real deal.  I've seen him in action first-hand and the guy can close. I really appreciated his connections in Texas because that's a state that I just really believe you can find some outstanding players, despite the fact that there are double-digit in-state D-1 programs.

Barry Sacks and Andy only worked a couple of years together in Reno, and while I think they have that obvious connection, Barry is truly is his own individual.  They are not best buddies or anything.  Andy was brought in to turn around one of the worst defensive squads in the country, and Barry was the D-Line coach already on staff at the time, with his unit truly the most talented year in and year out on the Wolf Pack 'D. Two years later, Nevada went 13-1, finished in the Top 15 and produced a number of offensive and defensive team records in what was their greatest season ever.

I personally watched a program that had a divisive split on the team between the offense and defense in 2008 and 2009 actually come together as a unit in 2010. A lot of that had to do with these two men, plus individual leaders like Brett Roy, James-Michael Johnson and Colin Kaepernick.

Now, I'm going to say this with the utmost respect to Barry, but the bottom line is as crazy as the game of College Football is, he's perhaps the craziest individual I've ever met.  He isn't as loco as this Montana Tech coach, but he's downright nuts.  I love the guy; I've known him a long time and I know he'll chuckle if he reads that. But its true, and anybody that knows Barry knows he's a mad-hatter of sorts. He's a guy that's legendary for his Taco-eating records in Reno, and his ability to cover massive ground on the recruiting trail.

As a coach, he gets the max out of his players.  He coached a pair of kids in Dontay Moch and Kevin Basped that took a lot of constant work, and he motivated them to become outstanding college DE's. He's done the same for numerous other guys.  It's not so much inspirational, fluff-talk either.  Sacks does an outstanding job of reaching players and believing in them.  Brett Roy is a great story; a young man out of the Inland Empire who nobody wanted at all except Barry.  He was a greyshirt, then put on some weight...and after 3 years of working with Barry, became an All-American DT. Two of the current Nevada starters are Jack Reynoso, who was another greyshirt who had no offers besides a greyshirt one from Nevada.  He did the time, put in the work and is now an All-MWC DT.  The other is Brock Hekking out of Vacaville. He had 8 sacks this year, and is very similar to Brett Roy. Kid ate lasagna's Garfield-style to add the weight needed to play D-1 football.

I am not amazed that much when it comes to recruiting anymore. I've been around that aspect of the game for a long, long time...but Coach Sacks amazes me.  Over a third of the Nevada program is made up of young men he recruited. He brings in about 10 guys per year.  We are talking about some major studs too.  Additionally, he's solely responsible for finding young players that nobody else offered, and that list includes Colin Kaepernick and Vai Taua, a pair of two-star recruits who became the greatest rushing duo in the history of college football in 2010 after posting 8,700 combined yards from scrimmage, which broke the mark by Craig James and Eric Dickerson.  

Barry is well-known as the Sacramento and Central Valley's top recruiter.  He's mined that area, from Bakersfield on up, for over a dozen years now...and he's done it single-handedly, out-working just about everyone in the game. The list is incredible;  Kaepernick (49ers), Taua (NFL Free Agent), Virgil Green (Broncos), Rishard Matthews (Dolphins), Isaiah Frey (Bears), Brett Roy (Jets), James-Michael Johnson (Browns), Stephon Jefferson (3rd-team All-American in 2012) and Zach Sudfeld (2013 NFL Draft TE prospect)...just to name a few.  Those are all guys he personally recruited to Nevada.

If I'm a Cal fan, I want this guy in my program. I want him recruiting the area that he pounds year after year, mining more gems.  His loss is a huge blow to the Pack's recruiting efforts, as there truly isn't anyone like him in the game.

Last edited 12/22/2012 3:58 PM by awprince

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  • matteye
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Posted: 12/22/2012 4:26 PM

Re: Buh and Sacks 


Thanks for the post. I'm very excited to see what these guys do out in the recruiting world for us.
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Posted: 12/22/2012 5:31 PM

Re: Buh and Sacks 


It is going to be an interesting transition for him, going the route of unearthing undiscovered gems vs fighting against the top programs for the top talent. It will also be interesting to see how many times Cal goes the route of lower rated guys who they have "discovered" instead of going after the 5 star talents.

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Posted: 12/22/2012 7:41 PM

Re: Buh and Sacks Post Rating (2 votes)


Thanks for info, very insightful.  And that Gregory reference made me cringe.  Tedford had some real turds on his staff over the years, and among many things, was a big contributor to his failures.

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Posted: 12/23/2012 7:44 AM

Re: Buh and Sacks 



clunkyregistration wrote: It is going to be an interesting transition for him, going the route of unearthing undiscovered gems vs fighting against the top programs for the top talent. It will also be interesting to see how many times Cal goes the route of lower rated guys who they have "discovered" instead of going after the 5 star talents.
My thoughts exactly when reading the (much appreciated) comments from A.W. Prince.  

I'm also curious if there isn't a middle ground between projecting and going after no and 2 star guys nobody wants, and competing with all the top programs in the country for the highest ranked prospects everyone wants.

I mean schools like Oregon, Stanford, Boise State, Virginia Tech, Kansas State, and West Virginia have all had lots of success by getting great results from many 2 and 3 star recruits, that maybe weren't offered by Texas, Alabama, and USC, but had many offers nonetheless.

If the increased recruiting firepower of the current Cal staff can help Cal win more battles for guys Oregon, Arizona, ASU, Colorado and Utah want, Cal should be in great shape.  Sure it would be nice to land some 5 star guys who could go anywhere, but if Cal has a staff who can turn guys nobody wanted into NFL-level players, they can probably have a lot of success with the larger population of 3 star talents.

It is a statistical fact that in the NFL, you have more success finding talent by simply having more draft picks and having more chances to find good players, than you do by drafting a small number of 1st and 2nd round picks.  And so it is in college football, that the more guys you try out, the more players you will find.  But that means doing what it takes to make sure you get to have as many chances to find players as you can.

Not to go off on too  much of a tangent here, but to me, this is the key to the success of the SEC.  If a player doesn't produce in two years for Alabama, they basically don't renew the kid's scholarship after two years, recruit over him, and get him out of the program.  At Cal, nobody is ever told their scholarship isn't being renewed because they can't play.  Guys may quit as a result of injuries, but Cal doesn't run guys out of the program, and sign classes of like 33, count 25 toward the current class and backdate eight to account for guys who who's scholarships weren't renewed in the previous semester.

There are a few different ways to find players who can play.  It will be quite interesting to see if the new staff finds them and the techniques and strategy they use to do so.
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  • BearA
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Posted: 12/23/2012 11:46 AM

RE: Buh and Sacks 


Great info thanks for posting
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Posted: 12/26/2012 1:57 PM

Re: Buh and Sacks Post Rating (1 vote)


Aside from the random escapee from Texas, Oregon or elsewhere, Cal's recruiting will live and die in California; there aren't many from the outside who'll want to venture here; given the academic challenge if for no other reason. It's much easier to skate through 3-4 years at a 'Zona or a WSU than come to Cal and have to work in the classroom.

The sad fact is this crew's Cali connection, with all due respect to the JUCO circuit, is slim to none. Think Holmoe with a Southern accent and without the NFL panache. Them good ol' Southern Boys might have their schtick down for Red State recruits but the West is a whole different game. Buh? Lupoi's shoes are mighty hard to fill and he has yet to prove his abilities. It has been many years since we've had this level of diminished recruiting ability, even with our shiny new facilities.

Bottom-line: This is not a time to be optimistic, Bear Alums, at least not until we see some mad skillz on the field and some W's on the board. Louisiana is a *long* way from Berkeley.
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Posted: 12/26/2012 2:20 PM

Re: Buh and Sacks 



BearyOld wrote: Aside from the random escapee from Texas, Oregon or elsewhere, Cal's recruiting will live and die in California; there aren't many from the outside who'll want to venture here; given the academic challenge if for no other reason. It's much easier to skate through 3-4 years at a 'Zona or a WSU than come to Cal and have to work in the classroom.

The sad fact is this crew's Cali connection, with all due respect to the JUCO circuit, is slim to none. Think Holmoe with a Southern accent and without the NFL panache. Them good ol' Southern Boys might have their schtick down for Red State recruits but the West is a whole different game. Buh? Lupoi's shoes are mighty hard to fill and he has yet to prove his abilities. It has been many years since we've had this level of diminished recruiting ability, even with our shiny new facilities.

Bottom-line: This is not a time to be optimistic, Bear Alums, at least not until we see some mad skillz on the field and some W's on the board. Louisiana is a *long* way from Berkeley.

How does one spell out that buzzer sound that game shows use when people are wrong? ehhh?
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Posted: 12/27/2012 8:53 PM

RE: Buh and Sacks 


Fantastic post. I'm fired up. Thanks!
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Posted: 12/27/2012 9:09 PM

Re: Buh and Sacks Post Rating (2 votes)



BearyOld wrote: Buh? Lupoi's shoes are mighty hard to fill and he has yet to prove his abilities. It has been many years since we've had this level of diminished recruiting ability, even with our shiny new facilities.
Are you on dope?

First of all you are comparing our new DC with a former DL coach who, by the way, has shown more prowess at recruiting trouble than success.  Sure, he gets a lot of star ratings but the results on and off the field have been less than stellar.  His most successful players were recruited by others.

Second, your nay-saying about the new staff's recruiting abilities, or lack therefore, are based on absolutely nothing.  Au contraire there is anecdotal evidence that they will be quite successful.  In the short time Dykes and Co. have been on the ground our class ranking has shot up from ~60 to top 25 and they have apparently shored up the existing class.

Tell you what, why don't you STFU until there is a shred of evidence to back up your rampant negativity and we'll talk again this time next year?
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Posted: 12/27/2012 9:36 PM

Re: Buh and Sacks 


Another tired troll. Clearly our rivals are getting nervous to sling all that mud.
BearyOld wrote: Aside from the random escapee from Texas, Oregon or elsewhere, Cal's recruiting will live and die in California; there aren't many from the outside who'll want to venture here; given the academic challenge if for no other reason. It's much easier to skate through 3-4 years at a 'Zona or a WSU than come to Cal and have to work in the classroom.

The sad fact is this crew's Cali connection, with all due respect to the JUCO circuit, is slim to none. Think Holmoe with a Southern accent and without the NFL panache. Them good ol' Southern Boys might have their schtick down for Red State recruits but the West is a whole different game. Buh? Lupoi's shoes are mighty hard to fill and he has yet to prove his abilities. It has been many years since we've had this level of diminished recruiting ability, even with our shiny new facilities.

Bottom-line: This is not a time to be optimistic, Bear Alums, at least not until we see some mad skillz on the field and some W's on the board. Louisiana is a *long* way from Berkeley.
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Posted: 12/28/2012 7:21 PM

Re: Buh and Sacks 


Well said Mig. ~AWP
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  • t7pericles
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Posted: 12/29/2012 8:28 PM

Re: Buh and Sacks 


It's like talking about the ex when you are trying to date a hot one! Not so good Old Beary. Invest in testosterone and look forward to a great year for CAL!!
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