Kentucky’s new offensive coordinator Neal Brown took some time today to meet with the Louisville Quarterback Club. Some of the talk was much of the same, with Brown once again letting everyone know that the quarterback race for next year will likely continue a few weeks into the fall practices. John Clay of the Herald Leader was on hand to relay some of Brown’s messages from the speaking engagement.
Here are 5 of the best tidbits from his talk:
1) The Kentucky staff’s message to the recruits is that everyone remembers “the first.”
If you’ve been wondering what the coaching staff has been selling the latest “big gets” on the recruiting trail (besides the opportunity for early playing time and a chance to compete in the SEC), the vision of being a part of the first group to turn Kentucky football into a championship contending program is clearly a top selling point. The staff has been able to build upon that idea, putting the pieces together for a class worth talking about, which has created a palpable buzz in the college football world. While some kids are looking for a chance to be a part of an already established program, where winning and competing for championships is the norm— some kids relish in the opportunity to pave their own path. That seems to be the idea Brown and the staff are focusing on at the moment.
2) Brown thinks the UK fan base is the most active fan base in social media.
We’ve seen the good and the bad of this effect over the years, especially with Kentucky basketball. If someone writes a piece about Kentucky basketball, they know it will be read by the masses. For decades, Kentucky basketball fans swarm polls, support their team, travel across the country, etc. The Kentucky fan base hasn’t had much reason to reach that level of excitement and passion for the football program, but now that Stoops has given them a reason– the fans are all over it. The recruits are feeling the love on Twitter on a daily basis. The coaching staff not only notices, but seems to believe it’s helping with the momentum and recruiting process.
3) The wide receiver picture for next year is… interesting to say the least
With some of the recent departures from the program, the fact that the receiving corp is very, very thin should come as no surprise. Brown says the team might have a tryout just to increase the numbers to see what they can find. Luckily Brown likes the depth and talent at the tight end position, which might help to plug some of the receiver holes. Brown also said that the recruiting process for wide receivers in the future is going well. The staff will be picky about the position, but Kentucky is already “in” on some big-time targets.
4) Ashely Lowery is recovering well
Following a very scary car accident earlier this summer, Lowery is recovering well. The staff is cautiously optimistic about his return for the fall.
5) Current commitments understand the challenges ahead this season
One general concern that has been floating around as of late is that while the 2014 class is so strong right now, it might be hard for the staff to keep all of the commitments in tact following what could be a tough season with a brutal SEC schedule. The results on the field may not be pretty, and certainly may not match the excitement and enthusiasm created by the nation’s current top 2 recruiting class for 2014. Brown says that part of the conversation with the new commitments though is that this season may not be smooth and the challenges will be huge. Brown doesn’t believe the results of this season will have an effect on the incoming recruits. Phew.
And last but not least, Neal Brown was quoted by John Clay as saying that “Coach Calipari has made Kentucky cool. We’ve got to make Kentucky football cool.”
I think this staff is well on the way…