After games like last night’s against Mississippi State, it could be easy for some fans to say “what could’ve been.” However, while its true games like the South Carolina and Mississippi State games were tough losses for the Cats, as the Cats made valiant second half comebacks in both games to nearly win, it’s not necessarily accurate to say the Cats will always play that way. Look at what Stoops has accomplished in the past with Arizona and Florida State.
Both Florida State and Arizona had terrible defenses before Stoops took over as defensive coordinator. However, once Stoops began to recruit and mold his teams how he wanted them; they became one of the most feared defenses in the nation. An example, of one of Stoops’ major turnarounds is at Florida State. The Seminole’s are ranked number two in the nation and only allow 12.3 points per game according ESPN.com and according to John Clay’s blog on Kentucky.com, the Nole’s are the number three scoring defense in the nation and the number seven overall.
If Stoops continues to recruit the way he has been doing and continue to develop players the way he has been, Kentucky Football will continue to receive positive attention. So far, there have been a couple of hard losses, but overall BBN should like the improvement that Stoops has made thus far.
The next feat that has to be accomplished is changing the mindset of “what could’ve been” to “what will be.” It’s as simple as seeing the glass half empty or half full. The football program is on the verge of something great, we see progress every game that is being played. As long as the Cats can stay healthy and listen to coach Stoops and buy into his system, the Cats will slowly start to contend in the SEC.
Stoops currently has the number eight recruiting class by Rivals, number 16 by ESPN with top recruits such as Drew Barker, Blake Bone, Mikel Horton, Cory Johnson, Thaddeus Snodgrass, Stanley Williams and Nick Richardson. Stoops is still in the running for one of the best unsigned recruits in the 2013 recruiting class from the state of Kentucky, Matt Elam. If Stoops signs Elam, he would bring an instant defensive presence to the team. Elam has offers from Kentucky, Alabama, Notre Dame, Louisville and Ohio State. However, Kentucky and Alabama are believed to be the leaders for Elam.
The future is bright for the Cats and it will be interesting to see how everything molds together in the coming years. Stoops said it when he took the job at Kentucky, he will build this program with a “blue-collar work ethic” and that’s exactly what he has been doing with both recruiting and developing current players.