When Vince Marrow first got to Kentucky with Mark Stoops, recruiting wasn’t easy. Now the script has been flipped.
UK used to have to sell recruits a vision. That vision featured new training facilities, a renovated stadium and a team that could compete in the SEC. That vision is now a reality and things have changed for Marrow on the recruiting front.
“It was kind of hard recruiting here early when we first got here. Now I know how Ohio State and all them guys feel. When you’re on the other side of the thing and being a top 20 team, you’ve got guys that were so-so, now they want to hurry and take official visits. They’re afraid we’re going to fill up now with all our recruiting boards. It’s good to be on this side and it’s well-deserved. We worked hard for it.”
Marrow actually let out a chuckle when he was asked how Kentucky’s perception has changed. It’s completely different and the fans are responsible for some of that change.
Kroger Field was rocking against Mississippi State. With more than 60,000 in attendance, recruits were treated to a spectacle.
“We had some big recruits in, some guys were on official visits, and they were blown away. Their parents were like, WOW. Some people recruiting against us say we’re just a basketball school. When they left they were like, ‘This is definitely a football school.’ Then getting that win, just put us way up.”
It’s not just that Kentucky got the win, it’s how they won. Josh Allen completely dominated Miss. State’s offense. Sitting in the stands was a guy who plays Allen’s position, four-star Louisville pass rusher J.J. Weaver. When recruits see guys at their position excelling, it gives them confidence that they can achieve great things at Kentucky.
“When you’ve got college directors of pro player personnel guys and GMs coming in this early, that means you’ve got a lot of good players. It ain’t just Benny and Josh. When DBs come in and tight ends are here, it’s easy to recruit when you’ve got a lot of guys that are pro prospects,” Marrow said.
“We got a lot of guys playing well. Josh and Benny stole the headlines, but a lot of other guys played well in that game.”
This weekend’s guest list for the South Carolina game is also quite extensive. Four-star Louisville linebacker Jared Casey will be taking an official visit, UK cornerback commit Jalen Geiger will be in town as well as the BBN’s most desired recruit, Wandale Robinson.
If the atmosphere against South Carolina is anything like what it was against Mississippi State, don’t be surprised if more prospects quickly decide to join Kentucky’s 2019 recruiting class.