Recently Kentucky offered class of 2017 running back Marquise Mickens. That’s right, UK offered player that just completed his freshman year of high school a scholarship to play football in the SEC. This isn’t shocking, he is one of a handful of 2017 prospects with offers from the Cats. The staff actually extended an offer to middle-schooler Justin Brents last year. Some shaming came with the headlines. That came from both inside and outside of the Big Blue Nation.
There seems to be a certain portion of the Kentucky fanbase that always has something to say when UK unveils a new recruiting tactic. Whether that be alternate jerseys (don’t get me started), flooding a prospects mailbox, or beginning relationships with the country’s top prospects as early as possible. The same folks never seem to offer an alternative course of action, but complain of any efforts made to stand out. It doesn’t make sense.
In order for Kentucky to compete at the level many of us want them to, they need to improve the level of talent on the roster. In order to do that, UK needs to stand out to prospects. If Kentucky just does what they’ve always done in recruiting, the results on the field will continue to follow the same pattern as well. So why complain about change unless you don’t really care to see improvement on the field?
When pressed, these detractors will eventually fall back on the proposition that if Kentucky would just win, they could recruit with the rest of the SEC. As if no one had ever considered that. There really is no answer to how UK is supposed to compete in the most dangerous conference in college football without the caliber of player that they face weekly.
At this point you are probably wondering where I’m going with this, and it’s relatively simple. Who cares how Kentucky recruits players so long as they get results and don’t leave the program on probation (for you Mumme lovers)? As Kentucky fans, we like to take shots at Louisville for their tendency to take on talents with baggage and to do so shamelessly. (And keep top recruiters with a Show Cause) But at the end of the day, we would like to have their recent success. So what if Mark Stoops and his staff want to use gimmicks to grab attention? It’s working. Some of the top programs in the country are copying their tactics. Kentucky has become a hot brand for recruits. So cheer up, relax, and enjoy the new golden age of recruiting at Kentucky.