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Stoops: “A Big Day for Kentucky Football”

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Even though Kentucky didn’t win half of their football games last fall, Mark Stoops has continued to build on his recruiting success with what he believes is his best class.

“From my point of view, absolutely.  Top to bottom, I feel like it’s the most solid group.  I feel like there’s elite talent in this group, and I feel like there’s great glue.  There’s great players  There’s great program guys.  There’s guys you can develop.  There’s guys you can play right away.  There’s impact guys.  There’s guys that change the scoreboard.  There’s guys that can get extremely difficult yards when ya gotta get ’em in the run game.  We got the big uglies that we always want.  I think there’s a nice combination of guys in this group,” Stoops said.

Most importantly, the Class of 2016 has the character that reflects the values of the coaching staff, “They’re exactly who I want and who we want in this program,” he said.  “They’re great kids.”

They remained loyal throughout the process, even when traditional programs came calling after they saw more success.  The instate guys make up the core of the class.  All eyes have been on the All-Americans, but Stoops doesn’t want you to sleep on Davonte Robinson of Henry Clay.  

“A guy who goes unnoticed in that group is Davonte,” Stoops said.  “He can play just about anywhere in the country.”   Stoops added, “He was arguably as important of a guy in this class as anybody we went for, him and Jordan Griffin.”

Speaking of Jordan Griffin, the Georgia cornerback was the toughest fight for Stoops’ staff.  Griffin visited Auburn a few weeks back, opening the door for other SEC schools to creep in.  They continued “hounding” Griffin and his mother, until his lead recruiter, Derrick Ansley, handed Stoops the phone this morning.  With another school flustering the family on another line, Stoops said, “Tell them the fax is in my hand.”  

Stoops said landing Griffing was “very gratifying,” but also extremely important in extending their recruiting reach.

 “To win that so far away from home in the heart of the SEC, I think is critical.  Because we know we had the nucleus of the five guys instate that were solid as can be.  We know we’d been extremely strong with Vince’s leadership there in taking a lead role with the Ohio kids.  We were very strong with them.  But it’s also very important as you to supplement them with guys through the South.”

Even though Griffin’s commitment caused some anxiety, he was the day’s first signee.

The staff is pleased with their success in ’16 — “Top to bottom an extremely strong group. Great people, great leaders, great families” — but there are zero days off.  “We got a Junior Day on Saturday, so no rest.”


Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

8 Comments for Stoops: “A Big Day for Kentucky Football”

  1. Piedma Schwartz
    1:46 pm February 3, 2016 Permalink

    According to Rivals, we nabbed the 11th best class in the SEC
    According to 247sports and Scout, we we’re 12th.

    Great job, Stoops! Keep up the excellent recruiting!

    • CatFan26
      2:15 pm February 3, 2016 Permalink

      Being that low in SEC will probably always be that way. But you can easily see how much better the last 4 classes have been compared to years past when you take your negative blinders off. We are still getting much better talent.

      Rivals 2016: 29
      Rivals 2015: 36
      Rivals 2014: 17
      Rivals 2013: 29
      Rivals 2012: 62
      Rivals 2011: 61
      Rivals 2010: 50

    • Mathlete
      2:25 pm February 3, 2016 Permalink

      11th in the SEC and top 30 in the country says a lot about the SEC… It’s the toughest conference in football for a reason

    • kvltclassic
      3:12 pm February 3, 2016 Permalink

      I agree with the others, I’ll take it.

    • Piedma Schwartz
      5:39 pm February 3, 2016 Permalink

      Yes, we are getting better talent.. but if you take your fanboy glasses off, we still only have the 11th best class of incoming talent in the league, and play most of the 10 teams that have better talent. We could have we the 11th best in the country and it wouldn’t matter, if the top 10 were all SEC schools. If all but two of the other SEC schools have better players than us, we better have superior coaches if we want to win.

  2. Catlogic15
    3:24 pm February 3, 2016 Permalink

    11th in the SEC is light years better than 6th in the ACC.

  3. Caliparty09
    4:21 pm February 3, 2016 Permalink

    I hate to be that guy, but i’ll get excited when you win some football games. I’ve followed football recruiting pretty close since Stoops got here. This year I have zero interest. Player development has been weak.

  4. KTower
    8:59 pm February 3, 2016 Permalink

    CATFAN 26’s post says it all

    Stoops can recruit talent, no question about it.

    I have always argued Kentucky needs to get the football program to the level of Arkansas, South Carolina and Miss State…….