Why yes, that is Radio Ron and the Turtleman. I bet they’d like some notes from Mark Stoops’ press conference, don’t you?
Stoops met with the media today to address some things before leaving for Tallahassee on Thursday. He started by addressing the news of the day, UK’s two newest JUCO commitments, Steven Borden and Za’Darius Smith.
— On Steven Borden: “It was a need for us. We felt like we needed to go out and address the tight end situation.” On him being WCW wrestler Sting’s son: “I asked him at the indoor if he wanted to throw around a little bit, but he didn’t want any piece of me.”
Don’t believe me that he said that?
(Full video of the presser coming soon)
— If Borden’s commitment was big, Za’Darius Smith’s was huge. Stoops called landing Smith, a four-star defensive end, in such a short time a “unique situation.” Smith was out of official visits, so Stoops and DJ Eliot flew to see him and his mother (and the mayor of Greenville, Alabama, who met them at the plane…bizarre). Smith committing to the Cats without setting foot on campus shows the faith he has in Stoops’ vision for the program: “That was part of what we were selling: set the tone, set the precedent for new Kentucky football.”
— You better believe there were some excited people at Nutter when they heard Smith’s decision. “There were some high fives in the office today…It makes you feel very good about the future.”
— Stoops called the first 18 days of his tenure “overwhelming at times,” and that his wife has fussed at him for not calling as often. So far, he said he’s had one moment where he’s realized he’s a head coach: “I caught myself. I said, ‘Wait a minute. I am the boss.’ ”
— When asked about UK’s commitments from the previous staff, Stoops says he’s talked to some of them about letting them look at other schools because they might not fit in the new system he’s trying to install.
— When asked if he had a house in Lexington yet, Stoops said he’s putting his wife in charge of that. “I pick the job, she picks the house.”
— Stoops said he spoke to Tim Couch recently, who told him about the excitement in the football fan base right now. “It’s great to hear because we’re going to need that.” Does that excitement surprise him? “I know the fans of Kentucky want good football – and that doesn’t surprise me one bit.”
Want to get even more excited about UK football? Offensive coordinator Neal Brown will be on the radio show tomorrow morning to talk C-A-T-S CATS CATS CATS. Ryan Lemond, you better get him some Burke’s Bakery to make him feel at home.
The podcast widget is still flailing on the mat from a Stoops Stinger, so here’s the link to listen to the radio show on Talk 1080’s website, or just click through the jump. Enjoy.