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The 3 Biggest Announcements in the Mark Stoops Era


Certain days as a Kentucky fan just pack a little more punch than others. When you wake up in the morning, you feel as if you are on the eve of something big. Whether it’s an announcement or a big game, you just know that you are on the verge of a memorable and exciting day. This past weekend, waking up on Saturday morning, Big Blue nation collectively had that type of feeling. You just knew it was going to be a big day for Kentucky football. I would even argue that in football, due to the fact that a single player committing doesn’t necessarily have the same major immediate impact that a single basketball player could have (1 of 5 on the court has a lot greater impact), such big moments and announcements aren’t as frequent as in basketball. Nonetheless, in the brief period of time Mark Stoops and his coaching staff have been in Lexington, the football program has produced a number of big announcement moments that have led to those “special” types of days for Kentucky fans. 

Amidst all of the 3, 4 and now 5-star prospects who have pledged their allegiance to Kentucky in the last couple of years, which announcements were the biggest? I would argue that the following 3 were the biggest announcements of the Mark Stoops Era. Feel free to agree, disagree, or banter in the comment section. And Go USA.


1. Drew Barker


I think we can all probably agree that Drew Barker was the commitment that really got the ball rolling for Kentucky’s 2014 class. Barker not only signified a top-level quarterback to anchor the class, but Barker became one of the main leaders on the recruiting trail to secure other top-tier players alongside him for Kentucky. Barker was relentless in his quest to make believers out of players who might not have otherwise considered Kentucky in the past. By picking the Cats and putting his faith in the vision of Stoops and his coaching staff, Barker proved that big time recruits could be comfortable picking the excitement and rebuilding efforts in Lexington over other higher profile schools such as South Carolina.

Barker looks poised for success in the future at Kentucky as a quarterback, but even before he ever put on the blue and white uniform– his contributions to the kickstart of the Mark Stoops recruiting era were second to none.


2. Matt Elam

While Barker was perhaps the most influential recruit for Stoops so far in bringing in other top talent around him, Matt Elam signified a different type of recruit and recruiting battle win for Stoops and his staff. Elam not only represented Stoops’ new stronghold on bringing in the top talent in Kentucky, but Elam was a 5-star in some services’ rankings and was a highly touted recruit that held an offer from the mecca of college football… Alabama. As talented as Elam might prove to be on the football field, it’s hard to deny the monumental moment of beating out Alabama for a recruit that the Tide really wanted. Stoops and his staff had already won some impressive recruiting battles with schools Kentucky had never been able to compete with before, but this was certainly the biggest of them all.


3. The D.C. Duo

When Jabari Greenwood and Darius Fullwood chose Kentucky on Saturday, an entirely new avenue opened up in the recruiting spectrum for Kentucky football. Mark Stoops and his coaching staff have already knocked down a lot of big walls. Kentucky has the monopoly right now on top in-state talent. Kentucky has moved itself into a position of significant stature in the state of Ohio. But now Kentucky has widened its recruiting range to a new area… and it’s not typical SEC stomping grounds. By reaching into the D.C. area for top talent, Kentucky is probably (at least as of now) the only SEC school going that far north. Kentucky has found at least one area in which it can go into those living rooms and say, “You can come play in the SEC.” And that argument right there will hold a lot of weight with kids whose other offers probably don’t include some of the more tradition-rich football programs ALONG with the best conference affiliation. To me, this duo of commitments begs the question… “What’s next for this staff?” Just when we think we’ve got them figured out as far as recruiting strategies… they flip the switch and turn over a new leaf.






Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

30 responses to “The 3 Biggest Announcements in the Mark Stoops Era”

  1. Joe

    Look, I love the guy too, but ranking the biggest moments of a 1 year 2-10 coaching era? C’mon, did this lose the coin toss to ranking best condiments to use with french fries?

    1. charles t

      When KSR says it is your turn to post an article, I guess you have to come up with something, even if it is weak and irritating.

    2. Futbol

      Winning the coin toss vs. WKU last year should be #2

  2. LexNative

    That’s the best picture you could find of Coach Stoops?

  3. colbert

    the DC Duo is definitely one of the three most over hyped stories in the Stoops dynasty.

  4. Rob

    1) ^Trolls. 2) Landing Denzel Ware was pretty big. 3) I’m elated we got the duo but let’s see if a pipeline has been truly created. 4) Getting Harris may trump them all. Let’s hope

  5. Duuuuuude

    Yea….. Stoops was an angry baby also.

  6. MtnCat

    Jason Hatcher has to top three. Bigger than DC duo.

    1. Slam

      I would agree. To bring in Hatcher (away from USC) right out of the gate really set the tone for this staff and future recruits.

    2. JDH

      I agree also. Hatcher was a huge get for Stoops. I just hope he can stay out of trouble from here on out.

  7. Possee

    A wide receiver that runs a 4.6 40 ranked number 3 story of Stoops era.
    Make that the #1 story.
    That is blazing for the SEC.

  8. rixter

    You know what else gives you that special feeling? Big wins. I’d have to say I felt a lot better after beating LSU, Louisville, South Carolina, and Georgia, than I did when the DC duo signed.

    Just keeping it real, folks.

  9. Almost gametime!

    I must be one of those ‘football guys’. I personally loved the story. I would have to agree with the top 3 also. Only thing that scares me is that, I always made fun of slow Big Ten guys and the Virginia Tech Ho-cares, which is mostly who we’re Make me look stupid guy’s. Go Cat’s!!!!

  10. Deacon

    Wasn’t Boom Williams the #1 all purpose back in the country? I’d say he’s a bigger get than the DC duo.

  11. Succer

    Two 3* recruits verbally committing is one of the 3 biggest announcements of the Stoops era? I just don’t get that or all the hype. Is it because, wow, they announced together? It’s 2 average recruits. Put away the hype machine. Also, please give me a link to one recruiting service that had Elam as a 5* in its final ranking. Facts once again optional on KSR

    1. fuccer

      You don’t get it because you’re an idiot hater.

    2. Succer

      You’re right. I hate you, you idiot.

    3. Hawkfather47

      Off the top of my head I know 247 had Elam rated as a 5*


    4. Tampa Satchel

      Hawk- I believe he was referring to the DC recruits, not Elam or Barker.

  12. sugar shane helms

    I will say Vince Marrow and Neil Brown are 1(a) and 1(b).

  13. who else??

    Guy’s, it’s who else could the DC duo help us get from the area. There isn’t one dominant school in the region that kids are drawn to. Most of the top talent go Virginia Tech, Penn St or Maryland. If we can draw some of that talent here then the DC Duo is a HUGE get. And from what I’ve read there’s a lot of talent there. Heck we we’re the headline story and biggest news of the weekend on Rivals. That’s pretty big for UK Football.

  14. Stoops

    I’m doing everything in my power to outbid Ohio State for that in state running back. Yahtzee BBN!

  15. hal

    not one of these kids has even played one down yet for uk. can they at least help us win more than 2 games before we tell everyone how great they are……

  16. bigredbleedsblue

    Wow, UL fans are really insecure!

  17. Common Sense

    If one can figure out that as head coaches Joker and Kragthorpe were losers shouldn’t the same person be able to identify that Stoops is a winner…No brainer!

    1. SEC

      Remind me. What has he won?

  18. Shawn

    No Ryan Timmons? Look getting these two players from DC was a big thing, but lets not act like they are parade all americans out of highschool. This is starting to get out of hand.

  19. sluggo


  20. Jim Harris

    Someone said a commit by Harris would trump them all. I fully agree that getting Harris would be fabulously helpful to further instate recruiting. However, IMO, Barker a

    QB will play a bigger role in UK’s football growth than even Harris would. Just hope we get a chance to find out.

  21. Tom

    Probably the new grey uniforms and dropping the seating at CWS has to be the top two. Since nothing has been shown on the field to go ga-ga over, let’s wait at least until we win a conference game to get excited. How many confernce games do you think we’ll win this year. I say one and possibly two. We’re a LONG way from being respectable. But ain’t that the signature phrase for Kentucky football? Thank goodness Western is off the schedule!