Mark Stoops was his candid self during his interview on KSR this morning, talking for about 15 minutes about his team’s progress going into Friday’s spring game. Although Stoops can’t discuss recruiting directly, Matt did manage to get him to talk about what it feels like when recruits that have committed to Kentucky then get offers from bigger schools, like, say, Alabama, who offered 2018 UK QB commit Jarren Williams yesterday. That has to frustrate Stoops, right?
“Of course it does. Anybody who doesn’t say, ‘It’s not personal,’ well, it is personal because we spend so much time on it. We work at it, we evaluate, we watch tape, we watch these kids for years, we build relationships with them on the phone, by them coming to campus, social media, just all the time we put into it.”
That being said, Stoops pointed out that schools continuing to go after players who are committed to other schools is just a part of life in football recruiting, and to pretend that Kentucky doesn’t do it too would be hypocritical.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get frustrated, but I’ll tell you this, it’s just part of our job. It is. It’s part of our job. We’ve taken guys that were committed to other schools and other schools have taken guys that were committed to us.”
Stoops said he’s adjusted to that reality over the years and does his best not to overreact when another coach comes after one of his commitments…even if that coach is his own brother, Bob, who recently accepted a transfer from former UK wide receiver Jeff Badet.
“It’s gone on in our sport for ten years,” Stoops said. “We used to take it personal, get mad, maybe if you saw the coach that took him, you’d say something to him, whatever. Nowadays, shoot, my own brother will recruit my player, I’ll recruit my brother’s player, my best friends are in coaching at other schools, we’re going to recruit them, you know what? You don’t even say a word. Want to know why? It’s a part of our landscape. It’s just what we do.”
Stoops’ mantra these days? Que sera, sera…
“What’s meant to be is meant to be,” Stoops said. “We’ll get the players that are meant to be at Kentucky.”
Great interview from Stoops, who also throws shade on guys with beards, in today’s second hour. Check it out starting around the midway mark of today’s podcast: