Rebuilding Football Programs: Where Kentucky Weighs In

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Coaching changes are surrounding the SEC and The Commonwealth. UK students headed back to Lexington for a new semester. I decided to reflect on the whirlwind that has taken Lexington, otherwise known as Mark Stoops.

Nov 23, 2013; Athens, GA, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops shown on the sideline against the Georgia Bulldogs during the second half at Sanford Stadium. Georgia defeated Kentucky 59-17. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Flash back to a year ago from November, Mark Stoops was hired after Joker Phillips was fired before the 2012 season concluded. Stoops and staff (who were hired soon after) had a mission: to change the entire culture around Kentucky Football. Rome wasn’t built in a day but the Stoops Troops army was. People all around Kentucky rallied around the former FSU defensive coordinator. I was in my second year at Kentucky and never in my life had kept up with so much recruiting, heard football talk during basketball season, or seen fans so excited for a season that was months away. Come January, Stoops had begun assembling his first recruiting class, sign day was approaching and this staff had no time to spare. Come National Sign Day in February Stoops had secured players such as Javess Blue, Jojo Kemp, Jeff Badet, Blake McClain, Jaleel Hytchye, and Marcus McWilson just to name a few. This was one of the more successful classes in recent history and if you watched any of the games from this past season, you saw these guys make an immediate impact.

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