Looking back now it seems obvious. Kentucky, the northernmost school in the SEC should take advantage of it’s proximity to the talent rich neighbor. A state with the population to produce guys with the answers to Kentucky’s inherent limitations. In the South Kentucky will always play second fiddle to the Floridas, Alabamas, and Georgias of the world. In Ohio they can make a stronger case than anyone not named OSU. Kentucky’s own high schools may produce enough talent to fill the first tier of skill positions but not enough to build the depth needed to compete in the nation’s best conference. Ohio has that in bunches. Yet, in the recent history of Kentucky football no coach took advantage of the North. That is until Stoops rolled into Lexington.
Since Stoops’ arrival UK has picked up eighteen recruits and three transfers that hail from the state of Ohio. That’s 4 in 2013, 13 in 2014 and 4 so far for this next class. Of those 18, 13 were ranked in Ohio’s top 40 players. Kentucky has gone into Ohio, competed with the big dogs, and won. Previous staffs had the mentality that they should only target guys they knew they could land and as such UK had only signed 5 top 40 Ohio guys while Rich and Joker were calling the plays in Lexington. Stoops and Marrow, Ohio natives, have the mentality that they back down from no one and so far it’s been nothing but success.
Time will tell if Ohio players can bring success in the SEC but with guys like Heard, Horton, Edwards, and Baker expected to make an immediate impact we should have an answer pretty soon.
Kentucky isn’t finished in Ohio for 2015 either. They want more players from the Buckeye state to round out the 2015 class. Will players like Darrin Hall, Nick Conner, and Anthony Mckee come be a hero? Only they know. One thing for sure, Ohio is going to be a Kentucky hotbed for years to come.
What do you think the impact of all these player from OH will be on the SEC?