One of the key reasons Brad Bates chose Steve Addazio as Boston College's new head football coach is his ability to recruit.
With his passionate, fiery personality, Addazio plays well to a crowd, but the coach is also able to build meaningful relationships with recruits and, if he gets them to sign on, his players.
In fact, when he was an assistant to Urban Meyer at Florida he managed to get a top recruit in the Northeast to decommit from UConn and head south to play for the Gators.
"He was definitely one of [the reasons I committed], because he's a straightforward guy," New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez told ESPNBoston.com's Field Yates on Thursday. "He doesn't just tell you what you want to hear. That's what you want from a coach."
Asked on WEEI's "The Dennis & Callahan Show" on Thursday morning about recruiting Hernandez, Addazio said he pitched the tight end on the chance to contribute to a top-flight program and to make an impact in a high-powered offense.
"I had a great relationship with him," Addazio said. "I had a great trust factor, obviously being from the state of Connecticut going into Connecticut [to recruit]. I thought [Florida] ended up being a terrific fit for him. And certainly so, so proud of all the things that he's accomplished. He's a great guy with a great work ethic and great talent."
Hernandez was also full of praise for his former coach.
"He's a great coach," he said. "He's a great person on and off the field. He can be a little intense at times, but I loved him and I loved having him as a coach."
On the morning talk show, Addazio was also asked about the academic standards at BC and how that will impact recruiting, leading to this exchange:
Isn't it true that there are going to be players you can't get past admissions at BC?
"Yes it is," Addazio answered, matter-of-factly.
And you're prepared for that?
"Yes, I am," Addazio said. "Obviously there are plenty of really talented student-athletes that are really looking for a powerful degree and want to play a high-energy and passionate, great brand of football and want to be in a city like Boston and be on a beautiful campus like Boston College. That group is out there and I'm really looking forward to attacking it."
Hernandez was asked a similar question later Thursday, about how Addazio will fare recruiting in New England and bringing talent to the Heights.
"I know it's hard to get into a school like BC," Hernandez said, "but he's a great recruiter, and knows how to get recruits, so I'm sure he'll get a bunch of athletes there."
Jack McCluskey is an editor for ESPN.com and a frequent contributor to ESPNBoston.com. Follow him on Twitter @jack_mccluskey. Information from ESPNBoston.com Patriots reporter Field Yates was used in this report.