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Kentucky Football Player Quotes on the Hiring of Mark Stoops

From UK Athletics…

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Mike Douglas, So., DT 

On when he first learned of Coach Stoops being hired …
“Yesterday afternoon. I felt really great about it and I know he is known for his defense and he turned Florida State’s defense around. I am really excited.”

On Coach Stoops …
“It makes me really excited because growing up I have watched Florida State and all the other Florida schools. I am really, really excited to meet him and learn his defense.”

On Coach Stoops being a defensive-minded coach …

“We are still going to have to practice hard and work hard. He will probably pay more attention to the defensive side like Coach Phillips paid more attention to the offensive side of the ball. We are ready and excited.”

Landon Foster, Fr., P

On when he first learned of Coach Stoops being hired …
“I got a text saying Coach (Stoops) was hired and then got a text from ESPN saying he was probably going to be hired. It was around 3 (o’clock) yesterday afternoon.”

On Coach Stoops being a defensive-minded coach …

“Defensively minded guys really enjoy punting, obviously, because of field position. In high school, my defensive coordinator loved me and he would always take pride in telling me where he wanted the punts to go, which side of the field he wanted me to punt to. I think defensive-minded coaches really care, enjoy and understand the importance of punting and field position. That is obviously exciting.”

On what athletics director Mitch Barnhart told the team the last few days …

“Just to continue what we are doing academically and just continue to work hard in the classroom and in the weight room. Obviously, everyone is excited about Coach Stoops coming and he is excited, too. He wants that to carry on in the weight room and classroom as well.”

Khalid Henderson, Fr., LB

On when he first learned of Coach Stoops being hired …
“We found out yesterday. I found out through some of the players and staff.”

On Coach Stoops being a defensive-minded coach …

“I was very excited, being that I am a freshman and have a lot more years to play here at the University of Kentucky. I felt it was a great opportunity for me to have a more defensive-minded coach that can help me out in the long run.”

On if he knows or is familiar with Coach Stoops’ defensive style …

“I know about the Stoops family overall and some of the similar coaching styles. Based upon the defense he ran at other places it is a very exciting defense and they fly around a lot.”

A.J. Legree, Fr., WR

On when he first learned of Coach Stoops being hired …
“Actually, Jalen (Whitlow) told me first and then I saw it on ESPN. Then they texted us like they always do, so we found out that way as well.”

On what his first impression of the hire was …

“My home state is Florida and growing up my cousin (Kendyll Pope) played for the Seminoles and I was a Seminoles fan, so I was king of excited.”

On guys that he knows that have played for Coach Stoops and their impressions …

“I know some guys from there like Timmy Jernigan (defensive tackle at Florida State), but I haven’t really called or texted them asking how he is. I want it to be a surprise. I just want to soak it all in and work hard like I did last season.

On the mood of the team …
“The guys are looking at it as we are making a transition right now. The guys are focused on getting better and working out and finishing this semester right. We are excited.”

On what athletics director Mitch Barnhart told the team the last few days …

“Just to stay positive and work hard.”

Maxwell Smith, So., QB

On when he first learned of Coach Stoops being hired …
“Well, I saw a lot on Twitter and they said he was the coach and then I got a text from Nolan (Jones, director of operations) that it was official and that is when I knew for sure.”

On what his first impression of the hire was …
“I was surprised, in a good way. I didn’t really expect that and I think it is a good answer for our team. I have heard a lot about him and heard a lot about his defenses so I thought it would be a good fit for us.”

On what he knows about Coach Stoops’ coaching style …
“I watched a lot of Pac-12 football being from California, so I know a lot about that defense. I have watched a lot of football in general, so I know a lot about his defense. I know his brothers some and I was recruited by his brother (Mike) some at Arizona and got to meet his brother there.”

On what athletics director Mitch Barnhart told the team the last few days …

“The message was just to let us know what he (Coach Stoops) is about. He wanted to make sure that we stayed on top of our grades.”

On how his rehab is going …
“Things are going well. I am a lot further along in the rehab process, starting to do some ladder drills and starting to jog a little bit here and there so that is good. It is getting close, but not fully there yet where I am able to run and get out and throw routes.”

Patrick Towles, Fr., QB

On what his first impression of the hire was …

“I have never met (Coach Stoops) but from what I hear he is a very enthusiastic guy and very, very passionate, which is what I think we need around here. We need a guy that is going to come in and not take any nonsense and going to get us to start winning football games.”

On how he would describe the mood of the team …
“I would say that last week we were all just waiting patiently for a decision.  When we heard who the coach was going to be there was definitely a since of excitement and anxiousness to meet him. Now it is go time. Now, we know what the future holds and we have to work as hard as we can to be productive.”

On what his emotions will be when Coach Stoops is about to walk into the team meeting room for the first time …
“I think excitement. First impressions are everything and we are super excited to have him here to join us in an effort to compete to get to Atlanta.”

On this being the end of a roller coaster three weeks …
“It has been a roller coaster, that is for sure. Like you said, a couple three weeks ago is when we found out that Coach Phillips wouldn’t return next season and that was emotional. We really do still love him and we wish the best for him. The win here at Senior Night was awesome to send these guys out of Lexington with a win. Yesterday, finding out who our head coach was going to be next year just really excited me. It should really excite the fans, too.”

Jalen Whitlow, Fr., QB

On what his first impression of the hire was …

“I am excited. I am ready to get started.”

On what he knows about Coach Stoops …
“My high school teammate (who plays at Florida State) said that he loves him and all the guys love him and that he is a good guy and good coach. I am excited for him to get here and try to get some wins and get to a bowl game next year.”

On the mood of the team …
“Everybody is up and intense and ready to get started. We are ready for a fresh start.”

On what athletics director Mitch Barnhart told the team the last few days …

“He just polished us up on getting good grades and staying focused and doing everything we have to do so we are ready. When Coach Stoops comes in we need to be ready to work.”

On getting to meet Coach Stoops …
“We are excited, of course. Very excited. We are ready for a change, ready to get started and ready to beat some teams next year.”

Avery Williamson, Jr., LB

On when he first learned of Coach Stoops being hired …
“I saw it on Twitter and everybody kept saying it so I figured it was probably him.”

On what his first impression of the hire was …

“I started to look into it and got really excited. He is a great defensive coordinator and he has a great defense down there. I feel good about the pick.”

On Coach Stoops being a defensive-minded coach …
“Yeah, it is kind of exciting. I know that he is going to be a really aggressive. I am excited to see what his coaching style is and what he brings to the table.”

On what his emotions will be when Coach Stoops is about to walk into the team meeting room for the first time …
“I really don’t know, I am just excited to see what it is going to be like.”

On what athletics director Mitch Barnhart told the team the last few days …

“To expect an up-tempo and really aggressive style of coaching and be ready to work hard because that is the type of guy that Coach Stoops is.”

On this being the end of a roller coaster three weeks …
“I am glad that we got a win for Coach Phillips on his last home game and for the seniors as well. This has been a rocky season with a lot of stuff happening, ups and down and different emotions.”

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

20 Comments for Kentucky Football Player Quotes on the Hiring of Mark Stoops



  1. sonny lesbos
    5:34 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    only UK would ask the punter his thoughts on a big time coaching change….



  2. Watch
    5:42 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Watch. If someone is smart enough to hire petrino compare where his program is and where UK will be in 3 years. I guarantee Petrino’s is light years ahead of Stoops.



  3. DUFUS
    5:45 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    DUFUSS SAYS: “This is what I’m talking about”!! Get ready guys you are going to get some coaching.Fight on Big Blue Fight on!!!!!



  4. DUFUS
    5:49 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Whatever #2 he may end up in Hattiesburg go follow him!!!!!!!!!!



  5. Reply To Watch
    5:53 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Mr Watch

    Apparently you are the only AD in the SEC that is smart enought to hire him.
    Oh! I almost forgot that you aren’t an AD in the SEC.



  6. Waldorf Salad
    5:56 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Glad you asked Foster. He is the best player on the team!



  7. Robster
    6:02 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Does anyone know the pay structure for Stoops?



  8. Radio Ron
    6:02 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Best quote of the year from Tony Kornheiser on PTI, “Louisville is leaving a dead conference for a dying conference.” LMAO !!



  9. Neale Oliver
    6:03 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Great hire! But I’m concerned about The OC who is his friend and hasn’t been calling plays. My opinion is that Coach Stoops needs to get someone who is use to calling plays like Neal Brown and running a wide-open spread offense. Remember, when his brother Bob went to Oklahoma he got Mike Leach as his OC. Leach was the game play caller. Cooley is the Fla. St OC in name only. Jimbo calls the plays. When a coach starts hiring his friends and not getting the best man for the job, it usually doesn’t work out. Just my observation. But I am really excited about the hire! GO CATS!



  10. Clueless
    6:04 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    #2, give it up already. Why don’t you try supporting the team and be a real fan! No one appears desperate enough to take a chance on the douche bag named Pretino.



  11. me
    6:26 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    I bet all of the other SEC schools are totally freaking out worrying that UK is going to transform into a football powerhouse.



  12. Hoof hearted
    6:29 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    #2 n the words of mike ditka COME ON MAN!!! Bp is a butt! He made so much fun of uk while at loserville now u want him? COME ON MAN!!!! Go stoops and go cats. Get on bored !!! COME ON MAN!



  13. EC
    6:31 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    I’ll tell you where we would be after three years of Petrino. In the same s***house where UL and Arkansas ended up.

    If you love Petrino so much, you’d better become a fan of Idaho St. or some similar college where he’ll end up. No major BCS school wants to be dragged into the toilet by this reprobate.



  14. Hawkeye Tim
    8:33 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    I can’t wait to see where the UK program is in 4 years…..8 wins? 9? 10? Holy cow, this Iowa Hawkeye will take us places.



  15. Hawkeye Tim
    8:36 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    Petrino ran down/mocked UK for years……if we hired him, it would make us even a bigger joke than we are now. Stoop (U of Iowa alumni) will lead us to the promised land. Get on board or get out of the way.



  16. J A Brooks
    8:51 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    9) I understand your concerns but he’s not trying to hire him just cause they’re buddies… he’s a helluva coach and an amazing recruiter. Were talking about one of the top 5 recruiters nationwide and he’s probably a very capable play caller but jimbo fisher is an offensive guru and wants total control of the offense



  17. gridiron_cat
    8:56 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    REALLY excited to see who this guy brings in for a staff and what they can do. I’m just glad UK is finally ponying up for the football program, facilities, assistant coaching staff money, it’s on the up. I wish they would have done this back in 2006 or 2007 when Brooks had us on the rise but better late than never. Credit Mitch with coming through on that part and feel bad for Joker and Brooks who fought for those same things for over a decade. In many ways their failure was what finally made the university realize they needed to do something more for the team to compete in the SEC. Water under the bridge though, good luck to both.

    Lets go Stoops, build something special here and let’s actually compete with some of the big boys in the SEC. I’m tired of getting stomped every fall by the SEC east and now Louisville too.

    Oh, and @watch, you are either a troll or a moron, Petrino will be lucky to get any D1 job. A desperate program like Colorado may decide to but you don’t build a program with a guy like that, you will only be good while he is there and then you will be worse off than when you started. Short term success rather than long term.



  18. SonsOfAnarchy
    9:02 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    No one cares about Petrino. Who cares where he goes or how he does. He will screw them over like all the other places he left hanging. Any Cats fan still hung up on wanting him needs to shut up and get over it. As for our coach. The thing that excites me as a coach is he wanted to come here, he made sure upgrades were a part of the deal and he is enthusiastic. That transfers to the attitudes of the players. Joker never could do that. It was just “well we need to do this. And didnt do that”. This guy already is telling everyone “Damnit, we are gonna win and bust some heads doing it”. It has everyone (almost) united again for the FB team. Only time and results on the field will tell but I truly believe Coach Stoops has what it takes to make UK competitive. No ome is asking for National Title contention every year. Most fans want 7,8,9 wins a year with possibly a 10 or 11 win season sprinlked in and some New Years Bowls. And to compete and have a chance in every game no matter the opponent



  19. CatFan
    9:19 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    I can’t wait until next season starts! It’s great to hear that the players are excited about coach Stoops and what he is bringing to the table. The fans are pumped to see the Cats become relevant in footballand the players will finally be to see what it’s like to play in front of a packed stadium. They deserve that much.



  20. Don
    11:14 pm November 28, 2012 Permalink

    On Patrick Towles comments,You really quoted “a since of excitement”? Give me a break..you are a journalist and you cant even spell or use the correct word? WOW…