To say that Kentucky football recruiting has risen to new heights is an understatement. With three commitments from Ohio, two of which are 4* prospects, UK is turning heads in the Buckeye State. With as many as a dozen recruits expected to be high enough on the Wildcats to commit for this cycle, they are drawing some attention. Not all of it good.
While fans and national recruiting writers are surprised and praising the Wildcats for their early recruiting success in the Mark Stoops era, other schools are also taking notice. The negative recruiting has already begun. We saw an example last year when UK signee Jaleel Hytchye admitted that the rival Louisville coaches had plenty bad to say about the Cats when he told he was committing. This year they are reportedly at it again, with a few other teams taking up the scare tactics.
The main theme that opposing coaches are using seems to be that with enough success, these coaches will jump ship quickly. Ohio prospects are told that Vince Marrow will be poached by a power school if he signs most of the players he is recruiting. (It looks like he will. Sign them that is.) Prospects in the South are being told that Stoops and the staff as whole will either lose and be fired, or win and take a more prestigious job elsewhere. Players are reminded that Neal Brown looked into head coaching jobs before taking the offensive coordinator position. Add all this to the traditional negative recruiting pitches about UK’s place in the SEC and how it’s a basketball school and fans will forget football by November.
It all reeks of fear. These coaches must being doing something right if the worst thing you can say about them is that other schools will want to hire them away. And frankly, it’s not working. Kentucky has done an excellent job of identifying local playmakers whom they have a chance to sign and focusing on them. The results have been impressive so far and are expected to get better as the next month unfolds. But let’s look at some of these pitches.