Mark Stoops is getting it done at Kentucky. You know it. I know it. And now Sports Illustrated knows it. SI.com named five college football programs on the rise and your University of Kentucky Wildcats made the list:
KENTUCKY: (Up 25 spots to No. 37 from No. 62)
The Skinny: It is the work of Mark Stoops, plain and simple. Despite the lukewarm recruiting of former coach Joker Phillips, Stoops has made Lexington an attractive football destination — a rare feat indeed. He has re-doubled his efforts on kids who were on the fence and has made a run at players who were not initially interested in Kentucky. There is a buzz in Lexington now and this is a class that is showing it already.
Quotable: “Part of this rise is just a recent run, because before Mark Stoops got there this was a pretty down class. He got a couple of high-profile junior college players including four-star Za’Darius Smith, and then went into Ohio and got three kids, Jaleel Hytchye, Kyle Meadows and Lovell Peterson. I think that he found a perfect plan and is going after it. He didn’t give up on this class and is showing he can get players into Kentucky.” – Woody Wommack, Rivals.com Southeastern region analyst
It really is amazing what Stoops has done in just 52 days on the job. He has us talking about football in mid-January.