There’s been a lot of “I never thought I’d see the day” going around here lately when it comes to Kentucky football, but I’ve got a new one fore you: I never thought I’d see a Clay Travis article praising UK for anything, especially football. Yet, one day after Kentucky football momentarily kissed the sun with a #1 recruiting class, Travis penned a piece about how Mark Stoops is using the SEC brand in Ohio to turn UK football recruiting around. Travis says that by focusing on Ohio, Mark Stoops has opened a channel to a whole state of players Kentucky (and the rest of the SEC) pretty much ignored before, and because of the SEC brand (and Stoops and Marrow’s connections, close proximity, etc.), it’s working:
So Kentucky has found a fertile new recruiting region that welcomes its SEC pitch without having to compete against very many SEC schools. Instead of being a second rate option in much of the South, the Wildcats are a premium product north of the Mason-Dixon line. As if that wasn’t enough, Kentucky is beating Louisville for recruits in Ohio because even though Louisville has a stronger team right now, the SEC’s brand is infinitely stronger than Bluegrass dominance.
While we’ve known about the staff’s connections and success in Ohio for a while now, Travis does bring up some good points. Right now, Kentucky doesn’t really have a lot of SEC competition for players from Ohio, and as a result, can sell the SEC brand and stand out from Big Ten schools. By looking north outside of the SEC footprint, Stoops has given the Cats the advantage in a state that churns out quality football players like it churns out…well, whatever Ohio is really famous for.
Read more over at Outkick the Coverage. It might be the last time we ever encourage you to do so.