Kentucky went all in on its recruiting efforts for last Saturday’s primetime showdown against Florida.
“It was a busy weekend,” said Vince Marrow. “Had a lot of top guys in the country here. It was good. They got to see a great atmosphere. They got to see us play well. We didn’t finish, but their parents loved what they saw.”
Along with dozens of unofficial visits from 2020 commits and underclassmen, Kentucky hosted five official visitors, all of which were four-star recruits. It made Marrow and Mark Stoops’ weekend busier than normal.
“I didn’t get out of the stadium until 12:30. Then I had to go down, we have a hospitality room for the parents. I looked up and it was 2 o’clock in the morning before I went home. But you got to do it. When you’ve got that much talent on campus for official visits, you have to do that. It was very productive,” Marrow said.
In the past, official visits were taken later in the year. Teams rolled out the red carpet just before National Signing Day to make one final impression before recruits made their final decision. The early signing period has moved official visits into the regular season. Even though it makes the coaches’ lives more hectic, Marrow believes it works to debunk negative recruiting efforts from other schools.
“I want them to see that atmosphere, because sometimes schools use all that type of stuff against you, saying we don’t have a fanbase like other schools. That atmosphere Saturday — I’ve been to a lot of places, I played in a lot of Super Bowls and that was an electric atmosphere.”
Yes, Marrow did in fact play in a pair of Super Bowls for the Buffalo Bills.
— Kentucky Football (@UKFootball) September 17, 2019
Even though Kentucky lost, the Wildcats played quite a few underclassmen. The recruits and their parents surely took notice.
“What I was very happy for and very encouraged by, we had a lot of young guys that was going to play on that stage and until we played on an SEC stage like that, I wasn’t really sure what we had. Now, I seen what we really have. You saw a lot of young guys step up. You saw what I’ve been telling you guys a long time about Ahamad Wagner. I’m very encouraged by what I saw on that stage.”
The loss may have dampened the spirits of the Big Blue Nation, but it will not steal the Cats’ recruiting momentum.
“This ain’t the old Kentucky,” Marrow said. “We’re built for this. We’re going to keep being built for this.”