Hello, Kentucky football fans. In the middle of the two most exciting college basketball weeks of the year, I’m sure many of you worried football news would slow to a trickle. Fear not, there’s still plenty of football to discuss.
Unfortunately, none of it is spring football. The team has the week off for spring break. While the players are away, Stoops made a move that could change the trajectory of the program over the next five years. That’s not something you can typically say about a new quality control coach, but that’s what Mark Perry brings to the table.
Stoops Swipes Mark Perry from Neal Brown
This morning Football Scoop reported UK has added two new quality control analysts. Joe Scola will reportedly work with the defense and Mark Perry will assist the offense. The breaking news stories noted each person’s history at the University of Kentucky — Scola previously served as an administrator and Perry played quarterback at UK — but the story behind the story is why the move is so significant.
Last year Perry served on Neal Brown’s staff at Troy as Director of Football Operations. The former UK quarterback played with Brown under Hal Mumme in the late 90s. In January, Perry agreed to follow Brown to West Virginia to serve as the Director of Football Administration. Stoops used a quality control vacancy, a more hands-on job that digs deep into the X’s and O’s for a football program, to convince Perry to come home.
At this point, you’re probably asking, “Why should I care that Stoops swiped one of Brown’s administrators to be a quality control coach?” Sure, there’s a nice revenge factor after Brown’s first West Virginia commitment came from Danville, but that’s not why Perry’s addition is a big deal.
Before Perry entered the world of college football, he was a Kentucky high school football coach for 14 years. In his final year as Lexington Catholic High School’s head coach, Mark Perry’s starting quarterback was Beau Allen. Fast forward two years, Allen is a four-star prospect and the No. 15 pro-style quarterback in America according to Rivals.
This move is just the latest card Stoops loaded into his deck to land Allen. To start, Beau is a legacy recruit. His father, Bill, was a reserve quarterback in the 80s for Jerry Calibourne. Continuity is key too. Since Kentucky offered Allen in May of 2017, the Cats have kept the offensive staff intact. When Eddie Gran turned down Georgia, it helped the Allen-to-UK momentum.
All of those good Kentucky vibes around Allen entered shaky ground once Brown accepted the head coaching job at West Virginia. Less than a week after Brown took the Country Roads to Morgantown, Allen had a scholarship offer from West Virginia. You’ll never guess who told Beau he had the offer.
“Earlier, I talked with coach (Mark) Perry and he told me about the offer,” Allen told the Charleston Gazette-Mail. “I was really excited.”
Football recruiting is not for the faint of heart. Neal Brown is a nice guy, but Stoops is from Youngstown. You do not mess around with a guy from Youngstown. Brown won an early battle in this recruiting war, a war Stoops is willing to use big guns to win.
Criticized for being unable to successfully recruit an elite, program-changing quarterback, Stoops went so far as to swipe one of Brown’s staffers to prevent Allen from leaving Lexington to play college football.
Will this move secure a commitment from Allen? Only time will tell. Ultimately, I believe much of it will depend on how Terry Wilson and the UK offense develops this fall. Allen plays in a spread system at Lex Cath. If the pocket-passer chose to play in an Air Raid system, instead of the Benny Snell power run offense, you could not blame him one bit. Stoops has done everything to cultivate the ideal environment for Beau Allen. Developing the offense is the final piece of the puzzle.
Arkansas Offers Fifth Grader
Today Stoops proved he’s willing to go to great lengths to win recruiting battles. Luckily, he’s not relying on gimmicks. In an attempt to recruit a four-star defensive tackle from Houston, Arkansas head coach Chad Morris offered scholarships to Vernon Broughton Jr.’s eighth grade cousin and fifth grade brother.
Blessed to say my cousin Vincent Wells ’23 and younger brother Isaiah Broughton ‘26 have both received a offer from the University of Arkansas…??#WPS #HammerDown @BroughtonBroth1 @yadiva71 #BroughtonDNA? #Blessed pic.twitter.com/m3qWjPnMaH
— Vernon Broughton ll (@Broughto1Vernon) March 10, 2019
Sorry kids, I prefer to see parents in pads on recruiting visits.
Watch UK Pro Day LIVE
The University of Kentucky announced NFL Pro Day will be Friday, March 22 at 9:15 am. Sixteen Wildcats will compete in combine drills in front of a slew of NFL front office personnel at the Joe Craft Football Training Facility. Dick Gabriel, Jeremy Jarmon and New York Jets’ linebacker Avery Williamson will broadcast the event on SEC Network+ and UKAthletics.com. This year’s Pro Day participants:
- Josh Allen
- George Asafo-Adjei
- Derrick Baity
- Dorian Baker
- David Bouvier
- Miles Butler
- Tymere Dubose
- Nick Haynes
- Lonnie Johnson Jr.
- Jordan Jones
- Adrian Middleton
- Benny Snell Jr.
- Bunchy Stallings
- Darius West
- Chris Westry
- Tristan Yeomans
C.J. Conrad will be sidelined as he undergoes further medical evaluation. Mike Edwards will wait until April 8 to undergo combine workouts. The safety is still recovering from a broken thumb he suffered in the Senior Bowl.
UK Pro Day probably won’t be your top priority just hours before the first round of the NCAA Tournament tips off. KSR will have you covered with plenty of coverage from the event and a little football podcast from KSBar once the action concludes. If you’re lucky, we’ll have a special guest or two.
Josh Allen is still Winning Awards
With a little help from KyWildcatsTV, you can see all of Allen’s best moments from the Bednarik Award ceremony that happened last weekend in Atlantic City.
Poop Johnson is Cashing In
Known at UK as C.J., the former UK defensive tackle went viral when the CFL announced “Poop Johnson signed with the Argonauts.” How much traction did it pick up? TMZ is now reporting the one-time KSR Pregame Show host has inked an endorsement deal.
Dude Wipes confirmed the report saying, “If you play ball and are having poop problems, we have your back.”
What a time to be alive.