At a recent event for Uk Boosters Coach Mark Stoops said that he expects Kentucky to finish the year with a recruiting class ranked between numbers ten and fifteen in the nation. Not too shabby for a program that won two games last season and two games the year before that. It has garnered a fair amount of positive buzz in the college football world. And, like Ole Miss last year, a bit of skepticism. Many a Louiseville fan has alluded to some sort of shady goings on in Lexington because they are being out recruited.
So just how are these coaches bringing in such highly-rated talent to a school with little football tradition and no recent success to speak of? It’s a combination of many factors but the point that keeps coming up when discussing Kentucky’s recent success with media and recruiting folk is these coaches “just get it” They get what it takes to get guys excited and wanting to join something. It’s become cool to want to build something at Kentucky, believe it or not.
Don’t get me wrong, Kentucky’s staff is selling other things, like playing time and the facilities upgrades. But the driving force behind this recruiting class is the opportunity to build something, to be a part of something that means a lot and the coaches have gone out and found a lot of talented young guys who that resonates with. Look no further than Drew Barker, one of the biggest draws when he committed to the Wildcats was that he would feel regret if he went elsewhere and watched Stoops build his home state school into something special. And they all believe that is going to happen. These guys have bought into the coaches and the program like none I’ve ever covered or observed and that should pay big dividends.
The coaches also do the little things much better than we’ve ever witnessed. They have, for lack of a better word, a swagger about them that previous staffs lacked. They turned the Spring Game into a huge recruiting event, they have brought in new uniform designs that recruits love, they started the Yahtzee trend on Twitter, it’s just example after example of ways that these guys “get it”. Just today, recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow was the “Y” during halftime of the basketball game and he pulled his jacket open to reveal a Danny Trevathan Broncos jersey and then the mascots came out honoring Jacob Tamme and Wesley Woodyard. Marrow also got a new contract that locks him up through 2016 and gave him a nice raise for his efforts. At the same time, highly-touted 2015 linebacker Eli Brown was tweeting a picture of a huge poster the staff sent him that he had hung on his bedroom wall. Oh, and it was revealed that the three former Wildcats that will play in the Super Bowl next week each received a nice care package from the staff with UK to work out in and hopefully sport during some interviews. The difference is simply night and day.
So when a rival fan asks how Kentucky is recruiting so well or makes a snide remark about someone getting paid, just let them know, Kentucky’s staff “gets it”. They are coming up with creative approaches all the time and they are simply out-hustling several staffs that they have gone up against. And to beat it all, they aren’t using negative recruiting against anyone. So let those haters know, our coaches “get it”