Kentucky Wildcats Football: Mark Stoops News Conference Quotes

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Q.  On if the 2013 class still may grow …



Q.  On Alvonte Bell …

COACH STOOPS:  Alvonte is a guy I was familiar with when I was at Florida State, and as a matter of fact we offered him at Florida State.  Alvonte has great size range and great upside, and very excited to see him committed when I arrived here on campus.  We worked hard at keeping that relationship with Alvonte with us because we think an awful lot of him.


Q.  On Javess Blue’s coach saying he rarely saw him tackled unless forced out of bounds …

COACH STOOPS:  I don’t know if I could be quoted saying that because there is probably some film of him being tackled somewhere.  Chad Scott has known Javess for, I want to say ‑‑ you can talk with the assistants out there after I’m done but Coach Scott has known him for three, four years, has watched him so he had a great relationship with him.

Again, another guy that was right away, as soon as we had our staff together, started watching film, that’s a guy we must have.


Q.  On early commits recruiting other players through social media …

COACH STOOPS:  It was very important because players want to play with other great players.  They see what we’re doing, they see the plan that you lay out for them, they understand your commitment to winning, but they also want to know that there are other great players around them.  As you know, in football, it takes an army.  It takes a whole bunch of us to be successful.  It takes a great commitment from a lot of people, so I think that’s part of it.

The players want to feel that there are other great players around them.  Our players did a great job of communicating with each and building this class and making it special.  That along with the Big Blue Nation and the social media out there, our players felt that, they felt that on Twitter and they felt the support of our fan base and I want to thank ‘em for that because that makes a difference.


Q.  On the Super Bowl commercial and signing day video and how important it is the marketing of all this and get momentum to try to move things forward …

COACH STOOPS:  I think that’s a big part of it, it is, to get it out there what we’re doing, what our plan is, what we have going here at Kentucky.

Our people do a great job.  Since I’ve been here I’ve been extremely impressed with everybody I’ve worked with, the administration, marketing, compliance, everybody does a fantastic job.  Again, it takes us working together and I want to thank them for everything that they do.


Q.  On life as a head coach …

COACH STOOPS:  Yeah, it’s been different, for sure.  Being that I have two brothers that have been head coaches and watched them grow through the years and be head coaches and all the ups and downs and time commitments and those things, I was very familiar with it, but until you get into it and start doing it, it is a little bit different.

It is still an adjustment, so I’m working extremely hard to stay disciplined with everything that we’re doing.  We have a plan for what we’re going to do, staying with that, staying on track and don’t vary from it.


Q.  On if being a head coach is as fun as he thought it would be …

COACH STOOPS:  My brothers told me, “Be careful what you wish for”!  (laughter) They told me that a while ago.  But, no, it’s been great.  It’s different and it’s definitely more demanding, it’s a little bit more challenging on your family and things like that, but it’s been a lot of fun, because I’m not trying to be anybody that I’m not.  I’m going to be exactly who I am, try to be very consistent and try to do things right and we know we’re not going to be perfect but I’m going to strive to do the best I can every day and that’s fun.  It’s good to put together this staff.

To work with the staff every day ‑‑ and, again, I’m not going to change.  I am who I am and I’m going to stay consistent with that.


Q.  Have you kept track of how many living rooms you have been in?

COACH STOOPS:  I have not.  It’s been quite a few.  My family is here now though, so, my boy had his first day of school today, so that was fun.


Q.  On Reese Phillips’ play …

COACH STOOPS:  We’re not allowed to work with them with a football right now, so I haven’t seen him throw yet.  But everybody that has been associated with Reese Phillips has been extremely impressed with what he does, and he’s in the weight room doing a great job.


Q.  On if he sold immediate playing time …

COACH STOOPS:  We always present an opportunity.  We’re never going to guarantee anybody ‑‑ that wouldn’t be fair or be right to the players that are in our program, but, you know, we always tell them they’re going to have a great opportunity.  They’re only behind 15 practices, so  when they arrive here in the fall, they’re not going to be too far behind with learning the scheme and so on and so forth.


Q.  On getting better up front defensively in the SEC …

COACH STOOPS:  Very important.  You know, you have to.  We worked extremely hard to get some big guys, you need some size, you need girth but you always need size in this program because those guys take a bit of time to develop as well.  Some guys come in ready to go and other guys need a couple of years to develop and get bigger and stronger.


Q.  Speaking of “ready to go” are there any guys that you know of that will be red shirted for next year?

COACH STOOPS:  No, we will see between now and then.  That will be up to the players and how hard they work between now and then.


Q.  On the evaluation of the previous staff’s commits …

COACH STOOPS:  Just the same, just to make sure that those players would have a fair opportunity to play within our system, to fit our schemes and what we’re looking for and to be up front and honest with them.


Q.  On signing players from the state of Florida …

COACH STOOPS:  Yeah, we signed 9 players from Florida of the 22, and I think it’s percentage-wise about what you see, maybe, in this conference as well.  There are a lot of great players that come out of Florida.  It’s probably the way it fell because of our relationships with some of them.  So I don’t know if it would be the exact percentage in the future but I’m not going to put any limitations on it.  There is a lot of talent down there but we’re going to work extremely hard to hit everybody we can within a four, five, six‑hour drive from Lexington.


Q.  Talk about the process, the excitement, dealing with all of this on the phone and how exciting has this been for you and your coaching staff?

COACH STOOPS:  It’s been very exciting.  Some people mistake exciting with intensity sometimes, but it gets intense and it gets exciting and, you know, recruiting is just ‑‑ it’s another battle, it’s just another challenge.  Again, we’re going to go to work every day to win our fair share of the battles.


Q.  You talked about recruiting and relationships.  Some of your staff members you didn’t have relationships with, so how did you get to know your own people?

COACH STOOPS:  I had a feeling about most of the guys before I hired them.  That happened quickly.  I feel very good and very comfortable with the staff.  We do a lot of research before we hire anybody and get a good feel for who they are and what they’re all about.

That’s been relatively easy to be honest with you.  You get a pretty good feel for your guys, we spend a lot of time together, we may spend the day from six in the morning until eleven at night driving in cars and planes and you get to spend a lot of time with them.

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