Jul 17, 2013; Hoover, AL, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops talks with the media during the 2013 SEC football media days at the Hyatt Regency. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky Wildcats Football Recruiting: One hit wonder or a building power?

The University of Kentucky Football team has made history in the nearly 8 months since Kentucky Football Head Coach Mark Stoops was hired. He immediately went to work, grabbing up one of the top offensive coordinators in the country in Kentucky alum and former player Neal Brown from Texas Tech University and his Air Raid offense. He was able to bring along Florida State’s coveted Defensive Line coach D.J. Eliot to become Kentucky’s new Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach, brought in even more great recruiters like Tight Ends coach Vince Marrow, Running Backs coach Chad Scott, Wide Receivers coach Tommy Mainord and Safeties coach/Special Teams Coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto, among others. He then finished up recruiting and securing the 29th ranked recruiting class of 2013, according to Rivals. Not only has Head Coach Mark Stoops brought in all of that coaching talent, he’s also brought in a “Kentucky Effect” type of feel with his great enthusiasm to the football program, too.

The coaching staff’s excitement is amazing to watch in action. It’s been infectious, putting all of Big Blue Nation in a frenzy every time they see a “#YAHTZEE” on Twitter. The fact that the simple word “Yahtzee” means so much, so fast, is a tribute to the effect this staff and it’s use of social media to get ahead in recruiting, getting the fan base in a craze about it, and to have Kentucky Football constantly being mentioned is simply outstanding. That’s a huge difference from only one short year ago, don’t you think?

All of this is easy to see when you go to the latest Rivals, 247Sports, ESPN or Scout recruiting rankings and see Kentucky’s Class of 2014 no lower than a 14th ranking, the highest being 4th while still fluctuating up and down. That’s pretty amazing considering the very short amount of time the staff has had to connect with all these recruits as Kentucky Football coaches. Class of 2014 players like 4-star QB Drew Barker (Hebron, KY), the #1 All-Purpose Back in the nation, 4-star HB Stanley Williams (Bethlehem, GA), and 4-star WR Thaddeus Snodgrass (Springfield, OH) have gotten out on the recruiting trail themselves, relentlessly going after their fellow top recruits and friends like 5-star DT Matt Elam, 4-star WR’s Braxton Berrios and Blake Bone, and two Ohio offensive linemen in 3- star OT Brady Taylor (Columbus, OH) and 4-star OT Nick Richardson (Westerville, OH).

Jul 3, 2013; Beaverton, OR, USA; Quaterback Drew Barker (15) passes the ball during the Nike 7on7 elimination play at Nike World Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

“We’re trying to bring in the best talent in here to Lexington”, QB Drew Barker said when asked about his recruiting exploits. “We want to be the class that can look back and say ‘WE were the class that turned it around at Kentucky’, and I also got to talk to Braxton Berrios, Josh Malone, Blake Bone, TV Williams, just to name some, and I’m still going after guys like wide receiver Dorian Baker and a really good Florida (offensive) lineman Andrew Harrell as well”, Barker said of his continuing efforts at recent UK and national camps.

With the efforts of Kentucky Football’s excellent coaching staff and recruiting gurus like Tight Ends coach Vince Marrow and Wide Receivers coach Tommy Mainord, as well as the commits of the class of 2014 in continuing to recruit other players not only in their own class, but younger guys of the 2015 class too, it looks like Big Blue Nation is in good hands for years to come. Not only with the players on the field, but especially with the coaches on the sidelines as well.

This is a Two Part series chronicling the state of Kentucky Wildcats Football recruiting. You can find Part Two right here on Thursday at 4pmET

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Tags: Drew Barker Football Kentucky Wildcats Mark Stoops Recruiting

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