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Drew Barker never felt the love from Joker Phillips’ staff, was “done with UK”

Next week, all eyes in the Bluegrass will be on 2014 quarterback Drew Barker as he announces his college decision. Barker has not only become a household name, but the dual threat quarterback, an in-state star, is also the apple of the Kentucky football coaching staff’s eye. Mark Stoops, Neal Brown and company have made no secret about how much they covet Barker, hoping to use him as a centerpiece to build the rest of the 2014 class around. The letters and attention by the staff toward Barker have been documented both publicly and privately.

Barker knows he is wanted by the Kentucky football staff… But that hasn’t always been the case with Kentucky, his home state’s school. 

When Joker Phillips was the head coach at Kentucky last summer, Drew Barker attended UK camp. After performing well, he was told to get in touch with the staff a few days later. Barker had high hopes after a strong showing that when he called Phillips, an offer might be forthcoming– or at least a strong interest. Mike Fields of the Herald Leader got some great quotes from Barker about what transpired on that phone call.

“So I called them…But when I talked to them, they were like ‘So, have you been to any camps recently?’ I was like, ‘Oh man, I was just at your camp and you didn’t even know I was there!’ It was kind of funny, but that’s when I cut it off. I was done with UK.”

My how the times have changed. Enter Mark Stoops. Since Stoops’ arrival, the mutual interest between Kentucky and Barker is at an all-time high. UK offered a scholarship almost immediately and so began the continual dedication of time to building a relationship with Barker. Barker’s father, Terry, has been impressed with the Kentucky staff so far.

“We were raised as Kentucky fans. I love the Big Blue Nation,” he said. “So it hurt Drew a little bit when the previous regime didn’t want him. I guess Coach Stoops and the rest of his coaches knew Drew had kind of a sour taste in his mouth after that, so they’ve gone the extra mile to show how much they’d love to have him. I think that’s really resonated with Drew. He really appreciates that.”

Kentucky may have had some ground to make up with Barker thanks to the previous coaching staff, but the staff has done its best to mend the fences. We will all find out on May 10th if Barker will be poised to put on the blue and white… something that seemed impossible just a year ago.


Article written by Ally Tucker

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

30 Comments for Drew Barker never felt the love from Joker Phillips’ staff, was “done with UK”

  1. Jeff Garlin
    8:35 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    Joker sure lived up to his name while head coach at UK!

  2. JBR
    8:36 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    “But Joker was a good guy”

  3. Shawon
    8:42 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    Repeat – Ally has the Herald Leader article linked in the blog post.

  4. williamtitan
    8:42 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    yeah… Barker is coming to kentucky. he is a kentucky fan, loves the coaching staff, and is excited for the changes. if he picks somewhere else to go ill be very shocked.

  5. JD
    8:43 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    #3 that’s what the link was for in the post, to as how you where it came from.

  6. Boogie
    8:45 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    I really like this kid. The only problem I see is he tries to make too many highlight plays and scramble for 40 yards instead of throwing the ball away or sliding. Nothing that can’t be coached out of him. Real good prospect. Give him 2 years in a college weight room and 2 years of practice/film study and he could make a name for himself.

  7. 84Cat
    8:45 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    What the heck was Joker thinking? Sad.

  8. The Water Boy
    8:47 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink


  9. Sons of Anarchy
    8:51 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    Someone should really punch Rich Brooks and Mitch Barnhart in the face for ever making Joker the coach in waiting and eventual coach. Joker should have to pay money back to UK for his sorry ass recruiting. How many other talents did we miss out on because of similar screw ups from him and his staff. Mark Stoops is doing one hell of a job. Even though he wont get every top player he goes after, these kids still have UK on their final lists with the likes of the Alabamas and Notre Dames etc of the world and that really says more than anything. Joker had players that had UK, North Central Michigan Technical Institute of hair styling, UNC Asheville and other crappy schools on their final lists. The downside to Stoops making this kind of impact, especially if he gets it done on the field, is someone like Alabama is going to lose Saban to retirement or Florida will get tired of being mediocre under Muschamp and try to steal him away

  10. Experienced
    8:58 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    11- Agreed!

    10- I was LOLing for a good 5 minutes at that hair styling school line lolol

  11. Kristin
    9:17 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink


  12. KCK
    9:18 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    “But…but…but… Joker’s a GREAT guy.” – Every Internet tool on earth. The Joke sucked and was completely incompetent.

  13. The Bank is Open
    9:19 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    Bet if I were smart, the world would seem different.

  14. Roberto
    9:26 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    I remember listening to an Ohio State football podcast last football season. They had Barker on for an interview and said he was a big Kentucky fan, but he had not been contacted by them at all. At that time he was talking to Ohio State and some other schools. That stood out big time.

  15. BigBlue
    9:27 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    So glad the Joke is gone.

  16. BP in Tennessee
    9:36 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    But guys, you’re judging Joker as a recruiter before he found this wonderful deal-closing tool that is Photoshop. I think the first #ComePlayQBForTheJoker image with footballs launching from an aircraft carrier flight deck with Harry Potter & Heath Ledger as The Joker looking on would have ended this whole thing. Joker had it all the way.

  17. NL
    9:44 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    I like Joker as a person, but he was clearly incompetent as our coach

  18. Bubba Earl
    9:46 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    I have always stated that Joker stole money from his University and again he exudes his stupidity in recruiting, good riddance.

  19. Wildcatsteeler
    10:10 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    I wasn’t impressed with Joker as our OC. When they named him couch in waiting I nearly cried. I knew that a half-decade of UK football was out the window. This is worse than I imagined though. I knew he didn’t coach well but incompetence on recruiting and in-state guy that is dying to come to UK? Just sad.

  20. BBN.
    10:22 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    Why are all these people trying to defend joker?? Who cares if he’s a good person. This is a business and he did a horrible job!!! He didn’t even try to recruit. So save this pitty for that lame coach joker. That’s all he was while being a head coach A JOkE!!!!!!

  21. Duffus
    10:27 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    Was Brooks wanting the next coach to fail? Maybe so. It worked!!

  22. my computer is messed up
    10:42 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    So i was just sent to his twitter page and it has uk all over the background, not what i have seen earlier when sent there. Am i imagining things or looking at the wrong twitter page? hmmmmm

  23. my computer is messed up
    10:46 pm May 5, 2013 Permalink

    damn this computer, now it is gone. Guess I must be seeing things and it is time for bed. I’ll take it as a good sign.

  24. Joker
    3:00 am May 6, 2013 Permalink

    I never called Coach Cal a cheater like Matt Jones tho.

    What coach specifically told him that? Funny how KSR doesn’t het specifics. I guess Chick Smith is one of your own so you don’t want to run his name through the mud.

  25. Doo Doo Brown
    4:01 am May 6, 2013 Permalink

    Watch it, Chuck Smith is a Kentucky boy.

  26. Kentucky Derby loser
    7:42 am May 6, 2013 Permalink

    KSR should take a survey of all kids that attended a UK home game as a guest during the Joker/Chuck Smith era the past couple of years. Or better yet, how they failed to contact the kids or answer calls. Barker is just one of many who was not shown the time of day. Chuck Smith was the worst recruiting coordinator ever. FACT!

  27. Ollie
    8:14 am May 6, 2013 Permalink

    I played with Rex Burkhead’s father at GRC. It took UK a long time before they even contacted Rex, when they finally did, he came for a visit. He said it was the worst visit he had.

  28. Tommy
    11:58 am May 6, 2013 Permalink

    Chuck Smith was the guy that they sent out to shake hands with all the Ky H.S. coaches. He had nothing to do with decision making he didnt even know where the staff stood with kids .It was Joker and Sanders on both sides of the ball. I coach and I know. The recruitment of H.S. kids in Ky was a joke even in Brooks regime. They slow played every ky kid no matter who it was. They didnt offer Towles till after is senior season. If they didnt have the pressure the wouldnt offered him at all.

  29. Tampa Satchel
    4:29 pm May 6, 2013 Permalink

    #20 no one is defending Joker, they are saying that as sarcasm…mocking all the fools who supported him before he was fired.

  30. Aaron
    4:37 pm May 6, 2013 Permalink

    I thought. Joker was good fit. When started but I was really wrong