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The Mark Stoops train continues to roll…

Drew Barker committing to the University of Kentucky is huge news. You can mix the words up or package them however you’d like, calling him a “huge get” or a “recruiting class building block” or the “next Tim Couch.” Barker is projected as the 6th best quarterback in the class of 2014. South Carolina wanted him. Tennessee wanted him. Ohio State came to the party late, but the Buckeyes clamored for him too. The longer Barker’s recruitment played out, the bigger the schools were that started glancing in Barker’s direction.

The rankings and the numbers all tell us that Drew Barker has the potential to be a big time player for the University of Kentucky. Long before Barker ever takes a snap in the blue and white, his impact will likely be felt in the waves of the recruiting aftermath of his decision. Anytime a big time quarterback signs on in a particular recruiting class, especially when it happens early, the probability of landing other offensive weapons and strong players only improves.

Beating out the likes of South Carolina and the Ol’ Ball Coach, Tennessee and even the big named late arrivals to the recruiting process made for a big day for Kentucky football. Stoops not only went toe to toe and won against one of the SEC’s big time coaches, but Stoops also won by virtue of a major come-from-behind victory. Joker Phillips’ staff put Kentucky deep in the hole with one of the state’s best prospects. A kid from Kentucky felt shunned and disrespected by the former staff. Barker was almost turned off of Kentucky completely. The Wildcats were not only off of his radar, but the taste left in his mouth made Stoops’ staff have to work that much harder just to get back to holding serve.

The Kentucky staff met the challenge head on with Barker and not only got Kentucky back into his good graces, but managed to swipe him from South Carolina. Ask anyone. Barker was South Carolina’s to lose, and Kentucky had a ton of ground to make up. Once again, this Kentucky staff found a way to turn a “no way you can do this here” situation into a “we just did it here, and we’re not done yet” situation. 

It’s a great day to be a Kentucky Wildcat. But you know what’s even more telling than that…what is more telling than simply today’s big news? It has been a good day to be a Kentucky Wildcat every single day since Mark Stoops arrived in Lexington. Chew on that for a moment. Stoops has managed to not only build momentum for this dormant football program, but he’s also found a way to maintain, sustain and even deepen the momentum over the course of the last few months. From the press conference, to the assistant coaching hires, to the renovation plans, to the already beefed up recruiting, to the season ticket sales increase, to the rabid fan support and daunting numbers at the spring game, to the relationship building with donors, to Drew Barker’s commitment today. Stoops hasn’t lost a major recruiting battle over a must-have recruit or a big-time in-state player yet either. Ryan Timmons? Check. Jason Hatcher? Check. Drew Barker? Check.

Every step Mark Stoops has taken since arriving in Lexington has been positive and in the right direction. Today was no different, and perhaps that is part of why today’s victory is so huge. The Mark Stoops train just keeps on rolling.

It’s a great day to be a Kentucky Wildcat. I have a feeling we might be saying that for a while.

Article written by Ally Tucker

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

29 Comments for The Mark Stoops train continues to roll…



  1. Ukcatsfan2
    8:06 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    You don’t realize how poor of a job Joker did until see these type results!

    This staff is amazing….



  2. Catlogic15
    8:10 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    Absolutely huge pickup by Stoops and Co. Especially, as you say Ally, with Hatcher and Timmons (in-state kids).

    Not sure about the “Tim Touch” reference though. I’ll let you and Dr. Freud figure that one out!



  3. mudcreekmark
    8:13 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    Didn’t Patrick Towles suppose to be the next franchise quarterback? I’ll take a wait and see approach. How a high school player translates to college is not an exact science. Max Smith wasn’t a hot shot quarterback coming in but he has shown that he is probably the best QB we have.



  4. CatLanta
    8:15 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    Anybody else feel that if Towles loses the QB competition IE, 3rd string behind Smith and Whitlow, that he’ll be redshirted/will transfer?



  5. BIG MONEY ROB
    8:28 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    People forget this is an instate kid…. If we got him from another state it would be different..



  6. Jen
    8:33 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    The likes of Tennessee? What high school football player remembers the last time they were ranked in the top 25 much less the top 10? The Vols are the new Vanderbilt.



  7. Deprived for years
    8:48 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    Stay and be a hero Sroops



  8. Deprived for years
    8:49 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    Stoops



  9. capt
    8:51 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    nazr just put LeBron on his butt. hahahaha



  10. Deprived for years
    8:53 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    Talent level has a way of moving players to other schools when the level rises. I thought Towles was a 4 star, may like the challege.



  11. fireant
    8:55 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    Towles has accuracy issues. He has a strong arm but in college that isn’t enough. As competition gets tougher accuracy is much more important.

    Welcome Drew Barker. You will be a very very good player for UK. If work hard enough you can be better than Tim Couch. Your mobility will be the difference.



  12. DCS195
    8:56 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    6). An instate kid that had every reason NOT to stay instate. Convincing him to stay was no different than getting him from another state and in some ways may have been more difficult.



  13. Who needs bourbon
    9:03 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    Petrino needs players



  14. Motor Scooters with a seat for ladies
    9:06 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    he could use a girl look out!



  15. Bubba
    9:09 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    Ohio State came to the party so late that Barker came to OSU’s camp LAST YEAR and they told him they wouldn’t pursue him. OSU clamored for Barker so much that they NEVER offered him a scholarship. They clamored for him so much that they offered THREE QB’s not named Drew Barker. Lets not try to hype Barker more than he is.



  16. Rixter
    9:29 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    Would it be a stretch to say Joker was as bad for UK football as Billy Clyde was for basketball?



  17. SMH
    9:32 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    Thanks for your input, Bubba. Isn’t it time to kick your dog



  18. ukcats42301
    9:52 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    What is hard to understand about Joker is that he was always heralded as being a “great” recruiter long before he became head coach. I think we know now that was a load of crap like everything else to do with Joker’s tenure. So glad he is gone! I truly believe naming anyone, at any program a “coach in waiting” is ridiculous. Too many variables involved. Go ‘Cats! Welcome Drew!



  19. bubba has blacktop knees
    9:53 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    Joker was not a head coach…not even a good assistant…Florda will be replacing their staff at the end of 2014



  20. bigbluebear
    9:56 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    You go ahead and keep on waiting and miss the train.But the fact that anyone would act as if they had some sort of special knowledge after referencing Towles lack of productivity last year is missing more than the train. I can handle a recruit waivering but never a ‘true’ fan. And as a diehard football CAT I find this rhetoric, especially right now, not only passe but laughable.Who needs a fan that cannot figure out when things are finally going good., but will wait and see until it is on the scoreboard. Typical basketball only attitude that I cannot stand. Anyone can back an already Proven winner. Being a fan is about being ‘All in’ w/o knowing how good you will be to start. In fact it makes winning that much better.GBB!!!



  21. Katdaddy
    10:09 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    Wait until stoops misses a BOWL!



  22. Katdaddy
    10:18 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    I will say this. I saw this kid play against my Bowling Green Purples in the state championship game. Mr Drew Barker is the real deal. The young man can flat out play football. But may purples walked away with the hardware. BG Back to back champs!



  23. bigbluebear
    10:22 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    Just to put it in layman’s terms we beat FSU in the Music City Bowl leading them to find a new defensive coach. Said coach in only two years took them from #114 ranked defense to #2 and several national player awards to boot. FSU wasn’t the FSU of old until he got there.Otherwise we wouldn’t have beaten them.They may be young but inexpierienced they are not. A youthfully exuberence/vitality/believe is just what we needed to break the ‘we just can’t’ mantra of past regimes. If they are willing to believe and put themselves out there then how can we as fans not do the same? If you are not then we don’t need you. Now is the time for everyone that says they are a fan to man up and act like one or stand aside. Winning starts w/believing and if you need proof to do so you are not a believer you are just a loud open mouth breather.GBB!!!



  24. just sayin'
    10:53 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    if in 2 to 4 years Stoops is clickin’ on the field as well as he has been clickin’ off the field…and I- for one- BELIEVE…could get into details of why, but…any real fan already knows, so…but if he does…and if Stoops gets us to 8-4 or 9-3 or what have you in 3 or 4 years…then I DEMAND Barnhart pays him TOP DOLLAR to keep him here and build his own legacy right here at KY…which IS a bigger accomplishment than taking over some perennial powerhouse who has just hit a brief dry spell…but truth is…the offers will come in hot and heavy…if Stoops does succeed at the level many of us expect…and we gotta pay him first and foremost…and sell him on the idea of becoming a legend and building a legacy here that is all his own…yeah…he has yet to coach game one…but…my gosh…he is kicking arse and taking names…and I LOVE IT!!! GBB!!!



  25. uktim
    11:01 pm May 10, 2013 Permalink

    the next tim couch i thought towles was suppost to be the next tim couch. i guess that didnt work out so guess another ky qb is the next tim couch. we will see if he is that good



  26. kennb
    7:49 am May 11, 2013 Permalink

    I can say that since Coach Stoops has been here in Kentucky, he as done more then any other coach has done in a very long time. Needless to say he has not played a game yet. But I think you will see a Big improvement this year. It will take a couple of years to get where we was once was, but over all I think he will be here for a good long while. In saying that, this is his legacy to built and I think he is going to built a big one.



  27. Tigercat
    9:21 am May 11, 2013 Permalink

    Why did he thank his high school coach for recruiting him?



  28. TJ WREN
    9:42 am May 11, 2013 Permalink

    I thought Patrick Towles was the best Qb out of ky since Tim Couch what happened to him in all this drew barker craze.Is he gonna start over Towles who is rumored to be redshirted this year so when he gets here Towles will be a Soph.



  29. bigbluebear
    9:49 am May 11, 2013 Permalink

    What ‘just saying’ just said is the spot on the Wildcats back. If coach can keep up/continue/or dare to dream improve we must roll out the wagons. Never again can we repeat the single greatest mistake in our,could/should have been,luminous football history and let go a hot young coach to save a dime. Especially when one thinks on,I try hard not to,the fact we are still paying joker through next year.And the only reason he has his current gig,they don’t really have to pay him much or at least on an average per position rate or less.I however still feel him overpaid to fail at trying to snake his old teams in state targets that he somehow missed while living here. Makes you wonder just what the heck any of them were doing all that time. As it certainly wasn’t coaching. I guess it does take time to pre plan your weekly excuse parade/which player to throw under the bus for the assured loss. And this from a former Joker fan,pre coaching days.He did an admirable job as head recruiter for Papaw but given too much too quickly as an asst/co/in waiting HC. I knew how this would go from jump,as did anyone that went to games his entire stint here. This was the final straw on the old boys mule where favoritism ran unchecked and saving money was the final goal. Well I learned that it can work to our advantage as well.I am only freaking floating that everyone else followed suit. No longer would I attend a game coached by that regime. And waivered on renewing our family plot of 60 years for the first time ever thinking everyone in charge insane. Only by hitting Mitch in his side ditch and not going spoke for us all. We were to blame merely for being sickeningly patient/overly trusting/painfully loyal to the point of making the principles lazy,fat and happy in mediocrity cruise control. Shoot we were ecstatic w/a winning season/low bowl at all. We also often took the blame from Joker for not being 110% behind the team. Right idea wrong people on both counts. This is why I have no qualms calling it like it is PC or no.That is also something quite refreshing w/ Stoops/co. No BS and mumbling drivel excuses for failure. They are too busy for that nonsense. As a realist I could not be happier w/what has occurred. In fact the first time I heard the name as a possibility I knew it was going to be him. I don’t know why other than we have paid our debt and it is finally our time,again. And if nothing else our past has given us the insight into what doesn’t work.Curry is for chicken.This time we had to go young/hungry w/something to prove and the marbs to WANT the job.Then to actually bring a plan I have written in my mind a million times lacking only a coach that believed as I that done right CAN work. We CAN be great. For that I can forgive the past as looking toward the future is suddenly too much fun and the train is leaving the station! Finally!GBB!!!