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James Coley’s recruiting ability is unmatched

Mitch Barnhart began what could be an all-out raid of Florida State’s football staff with the hire of Mark Stoops on Tuesday. Numerous reports have indicated that Stoops would like to bring Florida State’s current offensive coordinator, James Coley, to Lexington with him to serve in the same capacity. This would be great for the Wildcats for a number of reasons, but none more than Coley’s ability to recruit. Since Coley returned to his alma mater in 2008 as recruiting coordinator/tight ends coach, he has been one of the best recruiters in the nation. As we hold our breath in anticipation of Coley accepting the Kentucky job, lets look back at Coley’s recruiting resume’ from 2009 (his first class) to the present. (


K Dustin Hopkins was the number one kicker in the 2009 class and finishes up his career as one of the best kickers in the nation.


DE Bjoern Werner is the 2012 ACC Defensive Player of the year and leads the nation in sacks with 13.


LG Josue Matias started in last year’s bowl game and has continued to be the starter at left guard since.


TE Christo Kourtzidis is battling for playing time at TE because of an abundance of talent, but the young TE has seen action this season.


To put in perspective of what Coley has done on the recruiting trail, Kentucky has signed six four-star recruits since 2008, whereas Coley has signed eight by himself in that period. It’s outstanding what this guy has been able to do and he is one of the big reasons for the quick turnaround down in Tallahassee. Coming to Kentucky, Coley would be able to tell recruits that they would be playing against the best players in the country every week, something he couldn’t say at Florida State. He would also have the state of Ohio in his backyard, ripe for picking. With his Florida ties, NFL background, and unmatched recruiting ability, Coley might as important a hire for UK Football as Stoops.

Article written by Rashawn Franklin

34 Comments for James Coley’s recruiting ability is unmatched

  1. jmt
    5:12 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    Is there a difference recruiting to Florida State and UK??

  2. tankercat
    5:15 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    #1 I had that same question in mind

  3. Ouch
    5:18 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    If joker can get 3 star players they will get 4 and 5 star guys

  4. BigBlue
    5:20 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    I really doubt this guy will come to UK…he is a pretty big FSU guy. I hope he does though! He won’t get as many 4 and 5 stars as he did at FSU, but it would be a BIG step up in recruiting as far as we are concerned.

  5. Brian
    5:24 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    I would imagine it’s easier to recruit for Florida State than it will be at UK. Just a thought!!

  6. So-so hire
    5:26 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    Amen#1. The sunshine pumpers like to leave out that bit of info.

  7. edrnm
    5:27 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    He can sell Boonesborough Beach!

  8. Dr PinDyke
    5:31 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    #1) True that! If the man can have those results at UK let him set his salary, cause we need those results and then some to compete and win in the SEC, our recruiting budget will have to be tripled as to what it is now, that has been our problem for years, “You have to Pay to Play” and we are so behind the eight ball in everything.

  9. UK22
    5:32 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    Umm I don’t believe the article meant he would match that 100%. Still encouraging to know an energized new coaching staff that can potentially recruit a few top guys might be on the way.

  10. mocha
    5:33 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    i won’t be satisfied until Cauley-Stein is running routes on Saturdays.

  11. Manbearpig
    5:33 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    #4 the way it’s looking the whole football coaching administration at FSU is about to blow up. Fischer may or may not be there, and he already has said he is going to hire an actual O coordinator regardless of what Coley is doing, so if the writing is on the all why not leave?

  12. tdogg40330
    5:37 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    wonder if he can get Timmons and Quick to UK?? to local boys that need to be in BLUE !!!

  13. mudcreekmark
    5:38 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t know about the headline. I’m sure if you were to do some research you can find plenty of assistant coaches around the country at the football rich schools who have many more 4 and 5 star recruits than this guy. Not being negative just sayin. I’m to lazy to doo the research but I would say any assistant at Alabama and USC or LSU or Florida can show more 4 and 5 star recruits than this.

  14. gridiron_cat
    5:42 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    Hey, Coley is a heck of a recruiter there is no doubt but… I’ve followed this for years and the star rankings in football are total crap. Players actually drop or rise in star level simply based on the schools they commit to (M. Newton dropped from a 5 star to 4 literally the day that he committed to us). Heck, Cobb may have been a 4 star athlete if Florida had picked him up. Basketball recruiting rankings are pretty good because of all of the AAU tournaments where you get to watch them compete against each other multiple times but football is still much more of a crapshoot. The level of high school football varies much more than does basketball throughout the country and often a star rating will be based entirely on one game that recruiting person saw against a team that may or may not have been good (ie Trinity may have been playing Hazard that day). Many players go unranked just because none of the recruiting sites ever sent somebody to watch them. You just don’t run into that often with basketball but it happens multiple times per year in football.

    That said, the man knows talent and could recruit one of the best areas in the country for talent, Miami. Go Cats.

  15. Chicago Chris
    5:42 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    #13. Yeah. “Unmatched?”

  16. Reality
    5:58 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    The headline is TRUE!!! UNMATCHED at Kentucky! Does that REALLY need to be said???

  17. Now That's Freaky
    6:00 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    It kinda freaks me out though, how much he looks like a brunette 2012 version of Max Headroom.

  18. tom leach
    6:02 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    He will like mingie beef.jerkey

  19. Does It Worry You, Just A Little?
    6:03 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    Does it worry you, just a little, that question in the back of your mind, “Yeah, but WHY is the FSU football program
    about to blow up?”…

  20. Beavis
    6:05 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    Do you want to compete with Youngstown State and Hanover for recruits or compete with Bama and LSU ? If we are going to go after the same recruits Hanover is after,,,,,then that is who we need to be playing. At least make those 4 and 5 star guys tell you no.

  21. drew
    6:29 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    #19. Cause jimbo fisher is heading to UT. Thats why!!!

  22. mudcreekmark
    6:41 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    20)We have been going after the 4 and 5 stars and they have told us no 99.9% of the time. You think we only recruit 3 stars and below?

  23. John
    7:05 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    Maybe I’m just not understanding. But why would Coley leave his alma mater to come to UK?

  24. BigRush
    7:32 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    Are those 5 stars next to a football recruits name? 5 … Whoa. That’s never happening for us.

  25. Reality
    8:08 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    Word is Coley is on his way out anyway. Fisher calls the offesive plays 95% of the time. Coley just helps in practice and signals the calls from Fisher during the game. Good Recruiter but has yet to prove what he can do when HE calls the game…. this is a gamble. Just sayin . . .

  26. Not Nerlens
    8:56 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    25 – I agree that it is a gamble. I would rather take a gamble on the DC rather than the OC if you are going to gamble with one of the two. Stoops has been a DC the last 9 years so I think the defense will largely be what he wants regardless of who they hire, so I would rather the DC be the recruiter.

    The OC needs to be a proven play caller and someone who can develop players. Obviously in a perfect world the OC is a recruiter too, but our OC really needs to be able to own the offense and play calling. From what I hear Coley is one of the best recruiters in the country, but that Fisher calls the majority of plays for FSU. The only reason Coley would be interested in KY is if we gave him the opportunity to call plays, but I’m more inclined to hire an OC that is experienced.

  27. KyTom
    8:58 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    I love the Stoops hire. I love the fact that Coley may come to Lexington. They are both GREAT recruiters, and they are better than what we had. But lets stop blowing smoke up people’s butts. It is easier to get a Florida kid to commit to Florida State than to UK. A lot of 4 and 5 star kids naturally go to certain schools. I bet there are plenty of GREAT recruiters from other schools that went after Anthony Davis, Kidd-Gilcrist, John Wall, etc. But they wanted to play at UK for the same reasons a lot of these kids wind up playing football at Alabama, LSU, Florida and Florida State. Saying that, I want this to work SOOOO badly. I go back to the old Stoll Field days. I remember setting in the rain with my son and about 4 other people and watched UK and Indiana battle to a 0-0 tie most of the game. UK eventually won, 3-0 but the biggest cheer was an incomplete pass by Tim Couch. I want UK football to win so bad, I can taste it. But, let’s just get back to reality. I think we will see if Stoops and Coley are really GREAT recruiters. I sure hope so.

  28. KyTom
    9:00 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    23) Because he is Offensive Coordinator in name only. Jimbo Fisher calls all the plays. Apparently Stoops has told Coley it would be HIS offense and his play calling.

  29. Big Ron 0718
    11:15 pm November 30, 2012 Permalink

    Maybe we ought to let the new head coach make some of these decisions since we are paying him rather well to come here and change things.

  30. Chicago Chris
    12:28 am December 1, 2012 Permalink

    Sort like if Antigua went to Miami of OH, people would be assuming he’d haul in a bunch of 5 stars there. Yeah.

  31. john
    1:18 am December 1, 2012 Permalink

    17: To me he looks like a younger version of Tom Berenger in that pic.

  32. Beavis
    8:19 am December 1, 2012 Permalink

    Cut through all the nonsense,,,,it is obvious that he is a better recruiter than what we have now. Has got to help.

  33. UK FAN
    10:04 am December 1, 2012 Permalink

    Florida has enough 4 star athletes for 3 schools Miami, FSU, Florida. If you want to impress me get this type of recruiting at UK and its NOT going to happen folks.

  34. David
    11:47 am December 1, 2012 Permalink

    We shall see if this translates to uk foot. It is much easier to attract these athletes to lower latitudes.