College football season is right around the corner with the SEC Media Days taking place this week. First-year Kentucky Wildcats football coach Mark Stoops spoke to the media yesterday at the Hyatt Regency in Hoover, Alabama.
It came as no surprise that the first question asked to the new Kentucky coach was about his brother, Oklahoma Sooners coach Bob Stoops, who had commented about the Southeastern Conference during the offseason.
“I don’t think any of us need to defend what’s going on here in the SEC, Stoops responded. “The success we’ve had in the SEC speaks for itself. Of course, there’s some other good conferences out there, as well.”
Stoops wasn’t surprised by his brother’s comments but at the same time, he wasn’t offended “that bad” having been in the ACC the past few seasons.
Stoops response upon being asked about recruting in the Commonwealth of Kentucky:
Question: Historically Kentucky has had a tough time recruiting outside of its region. Do you think Kentucky can succeed staying with Kentucky recruits long term or do you want to expand the base beyond the state boundaries?
Stoops: Yes, we need to expand certainly beyond Kentucky. We want to start there and recruit our home state first and foremost. Of course, it’s been my philosophy to branch right out into Ohio. It just makes sense with the proximity of where Southern Ohio lies with regards to Kentucky.
Then with my ties throughout the whole state, growing up in Northern Ohio, just really working hard all through Ohio.
From there, of course you need to work south. We all know the type of talent that’s in the south. We’ll continue to expand through the southern states, as well.
The full transcript of Stoops comments can be read at the UK Athletics website. In addition to Stoops, there are comments from senior linebacker Avery Williamson, Sr., senior running back Raymond Sanders, Sr., and senior defensive lineman Donte Rumph.