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Jason Candle, Toledo Head Football Coach

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
April 23, 2024 4:44 pm

Jason Candle, Toledo Head Football Coach

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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April 23, 2024 4:44 pm

Toledo Head Football Coach joins Zach Gelb


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See We miss college football. We can't wait for the 2024 season.

Who was that tripping? And we're counting down the days to kick off. Here is your college football fix only on the Zach Gelb Show. Toledo a season ago they were 11 and 3 in 128 days. They will kick off its season up against Duquesne.

They're also going to have a big party on Thursday evening I would imagine as Quinon Mitchell who was defensive back for their team a season ago had an illustrious career with Toledo and he's now being projected as a top 15 pick in this upcoming NFL draft that is two days away. So let's welcome in the head coach at Toledo and that is Jason Candle. Kind enough to join us right now on the Zach Gelb Show on the Infinity Sports Network.

Coach, thanks so much for doing this. How you been? I'm doing great.

I appreciate you having me on, Zach. How's everything with you? I'm doing fantastic and I know this is an exciting time as you guys are zeroing in on seeing Quinon Mitchell get drafted on Thursday evening in the first round. Just kind of describe the emotions as now draft week is here.

Really excited for Q. Obviously a great representation of our football program and really just happy for him because I really feel like he perfected this entire process of being true to himself, staying true to what he wanted to get done from when he was a high school senior to a college freshman and now seeing this thing through to potentially being a first round NFL pick. And man oh man, I say all the time to our team that man's greatest struggle is being who you said you were going to be because I think the behaviors that are required to do that are really difficult to master and this young man has been first class every step of the way in that. These are my favorite kinds of stories when you have guys that aren't in power five schools and they make these crazy just ascensions and now you're seeing him. I've seen him projected to be the eighth overall pick in the draft. When you go through the journey since you've been there, when you look at him from 2020 until now, how do you describe how this is even possible with what he's been able to do?

Well, elite physical traits first and foremost. I mean 4-3 all day long, six foot corner, 225 on the bench press over 20 times for the last few years here and a ton of ball production knocked a ton of passes down, some coming out party a couple years ago at NIU, four interceptions in that game. He's just been able to answer all the bells and as I mentioned before, just to watch him perfect the process and really hone in on his craft. Just a special story and one that we're going to celebrate in the city of Toledo for a long time. I know you talked about the four interception game. Was there like a moment though in practice that you maybe realized that we were talking before you came on?

I told you I'm a temple guy. I'm still not over the ass kicking you gave us in that Boca bowl a few years back when I was a senior at the university calling those games, but I remember Matt Ruhl once pulled me aside and said, hey, just watch this guy Hassan Redick. He's going to really be a player now. Hassan was a walk-on, ends up being the top 15 pick of the draft, but you saw something and you knew that you had a secret that would eventually get told throughout the years.

Was there maybe a moment or two behind the scenes that you just remember saying, man, this guy's going to be really special one day? Well, I think I've been asked that question a lot and it always comes back to me of the consistency of the quality of play. I mean, I learned this as a Mount Union College coach and Pierre Garcon as a 24 year old, you know, a wide receiver coach. And you know, you saw those highlight type moments every day at practice and you just watch an elite athlete perfect the process to where it looks the same every day. And the physical traits are off the charts.

The quality of the human being is superior to many, you know, but I think there's some intangible things there. Like I think he's got great eyes in the secondary. He's got a real feel for anticipation of what most guys can. They have the speed to recover on a double move. Others have great anticipation.

This guy's got both. And you know, that's that creates a rare, rare talent. And that's why you see where he's probably going to be picked where we're where he's projected to be because of those type of things.

But it wasn't it wasn't a specific moment that I could point to. I think it's just a consistency of the moments and the highlight type plays that I saw every day. Jason Kanzel here with us, the head coach at Toledo. They were 11 and three a season ago.

They kick off its season coming up in 128 days from now up against Duquesne, just staying here with Quinon Mitchell for a few more moments where we talk about your team for this upcoming season. Now we're in an era where you could develop someone. But before you get to see them fully develop, when they get a little bit of some recognition, NIL, transfer portal, they leave the school that they were originally at and maybe go to a bigger program. Why did he always stay? Well, I think that's a question he's answered publicly, so I feel really confident in telling you that I think it was about relationships.

It was about the people in the locker room and he's a team guy and these are his words, not mine. Staying loyal to the people that have been loyal to you. I don't want to say that's a rare thing today because I think that's selling young people short, but it's becoming more uncommon that this is the practice and this is the way that this works out. So to have him go through this and really do the right thing, what was right for him and ultimately at the end of the day what I think was right for our program and for it to work out on both ends. I mean, this is a great story to tell and one that, as you mentioned, just from the opening, the one that you root for.

Absolutely. I'm just wondering when a coach calls you up and they're trying to do the due diligence on him in the final 24-48 hours, obviously everyone could see what he was able to put out there on the field onto film, but what do you say about him as the person? Because those are always things, right, where every stone, these teams that are running their draft department, scout departments, all of this, they try to leave every stone. They don't want to leave any stone unturned here. So what do you tell them about him as a person outside of football?

Well, I would point to one story. He had a top 30 visit with the team this year. He stays overnight in that particular city. They're flying back on a 6 a.m. flight. I look out of my window and he's in the 10 o'clock a.m. workout group running with our guys and they're running, you know, they're training.

They're not, you know, hey, we're going to condition because spring football is over. We go right into two weeks of real training to preview the summer and man, oh man, a guy that's a first round draft pick. He's on a top 30 visit. He gets a 6 a.m. flight.

He's back in Detroit at, you know, whatever time, 8 o'clock and he's in his car and he's here to be in a workout and he's right there running with the guys that he played college football with. You can't make that up and then you can't script that and nobody's telling him to do that. His agent's not telling him to do that. I'm not telling him to do that.

That's just who this guy is each and every day and once you make light to that story, that's pretty much all they really ask about because that speaks to the character of the young man. Are you guys going to the draft together? You're going to be spending it, you know, where he's from? We are going to the draft. You know, he's an in-person invite and, you know, myself and a couple of our coaches are going to go up.

So, super excited about that and really fired up for him and be able to, you know, to share a special moment with his mom and his grandma and all the people that are close to his inner circle and going to be a special time for him. I know you guys have been very consistent. You've been at Toledo for a long time outside of Quinon Mitchell and the story will get highlighted whenever he hears his name called on Thursday. As you guys gear up for another football season, what do you want people to know about your program going into the year of 2024? I just think we're a program that does things authentically and we tell each other the truth. We have honest conversations with our players and, you know, we fully understand and we fully embrace that we're a developmental program that, you know, gets guys at 18 or 19 years old and tries to, you know, allow them to reach their full potential and we do that in an authentic manner. And I think our guys really appreciate that, you know, that way there's not a lot of corners cut and how the growth process goes when these things come up about Portal and NIL and the things that you mentioned and, you know, what I would call tampering. I think that, you know, you can deflect a lot of that because I think our guys really are connected team and they enjoy playing for one another and they enjoy playing for their coaches. So I think it's real here. I think the relationships are real and we're starting to produce real results and real people from what I think is a very strong growth process. Yeah, and let me make myself clear.

I'm not anti-trance reporter. I'm not anti-players getting paid through name image and likeness deals, but for the smaller schools, for the non-power five schools now for with the packed all pretty much done. So, you know, it's so challenging. I think for you to navigate it as a coach and, and I'm just wondering, you know, it seems like guys have adjusted just, just fine to it because you keep on pumping out big time victory seasons, but how has that transition been in this changing landscape where, you know, you look at Nick Saban, it's why he's walked away.

We've seen Jeff Halfley go from being a college head coach to an NFL defensive coordinator. It's an adjustment. How has that adjustment been? I think the frustration becomes what's the, you know, there's so many uncertainties.

I have no problem with adapting to the waters. Change is inevitable and you have a personal choice of how great you want to make your situation that you're in. And I fully embrace that. So I get that it's my job to put our players in our program and in the best position to be successful and we'll continue to work really hard at that.

We've got a great thing here. We've got a great city that we're, you know, we're you know, we've locked arms with, we've got a great institution that supports our athletic department at a high level. So we have a lot of things positioned to where we can be really successful. Obviously, you know, first round draft picks help and you want to make sure that you recruit quality young men like the Quinion Mitchells of the world. And you know, our guys next year, the Maxon Hooks, the Jerwan Newtons, the Darius Alexanders, the guys that I think could, you know, you're going to be hearing these guys' names picked next year. So we can continue to develop at a really high level if we know what the rules of engagement are and we're happy to play the game with whatever those are. I just think everybody in college football would like some clarity on maybe what it looks like moving forward.

And sometimes you don't have the answers to that and you got to adapt on the fly and that's the word we live in right now. Well said. Hey, I really do appreciate the time. Enjoyed coming up on Thursday. I know it's an exciting time for you, Q's family, and obviously it's going to be a great night for Toledo. So thank you for doing this.

I appreciate you, Zach. Go Rockets. What up y'all, it's your boy, Danny Green, three-time NBA champ.

You either rooted for me or rooted against me. Join myself and my co-host Harrison Sanford on the Inside the Green Room podcast. It's a podcast that brings you never before told tales from the locker room to candid interviews with basketball legends to breakdowns of what's happening in the NBA right now. Whether you're a diehard fan or casual about your hoops, this podcast brings you the game like never before.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-23 18:29:53 / 2024-04-23 18:35:59 / 6

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