Sports Illustrated’s Stewart Mandel graded fifteen of the new hires in college football and Mark Stoops earned a B+ for his efforts so far in Lexington:
• Kentucky: Mark Stoops, former Florida State defensive coordinator. It was not realistic to think the SEC’s doormat would land a big name (unless that name was Bobby Petrino). Stoops carries cachet from his time at FSU, where he produced top five defenses the past two years, and at Arizona and Miami before that. He already made one commendable move in hiring Texas Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown to install the Air Raid that Kentucky formerly employed under Hal Mumme. Grade: B+
Since coming on board, Stoops has brought in eight commitments, including Za’Darius Smith, the class’ lone four-star recruit. With another big recruiting weekend coming up, more will surely follow. More so, he has changed the attitude surrounding the program, with fans buzzing and highly touted prospects giving the school a second look (I see you, Jason Hatcher). Nowhere was it more evident than at the Texas A&M game on Saturday when 20+ football recruits walked in and saw signs with their names on them in the student section, and stopped to take pictures and tweet about the fans’ support. Further proof that Stoops is leading a revolution? We’re talking about football in January.
I’ve got a G and I’m sitting on the the O, let’s go!