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The thing nobody is talking about that makes Stoops an excellent recruiter

Garry Jones | AP

"I'm coming for you Nicky!" (Garry Jones / AP)

“I’m coming for you Nicky!” (Garry Jones / AP)

Mark Stoops has been a recruiting machine since arriving in Lexington.  He’s done things the most diehard football fans never thought could be accomplished in the recruiting game, earning a contract extension despite only winning two games in his first year as head coach.

Most of Stoops’ success has been attributed to Vince Marrow and their Ohio roots, pitching early playing time in America’s best conference for college football. They’ve taken a fearless attitude into the talented pool of prospects in Ohio, becoming the #2 team in Ohio, replacing Michigan State and falling just behind the Buckeyes.  One thing people aren’t talking about, is the coaching staff’s ability to evaluate talent at an early stage in the recruiting process.  All of the pitches from above are enticing, but a recruit is more likely to believe them when Kentucky is one of the first school’s to extend a scholarship offer.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the players Stoops has successfully recruited from the start of their process:

Alex Stump’s biggest offers were from Harvard and Yale, along with offers from Ohio MAC schools.  Following his UK offer, Georgia tech, West Virginia and Miami came calling.  Stump wasn’t even rated by recruiting services when he committed to UK; he received 4-stars from 247 a few days after.

Jordan Jones’ first offer was from UK.  Michigan State, Nebraska and Oklahoma followed within a month before Miami and West Virginia tried to get in on the action.

–  Matt Elam received his Kentucky offer two weeks before Alabama extended their offer.

 Mikel Horton only had an offer from Indiana when Mark Stoops extended a scholarship offer.  Within a month Louisville and Florida State had extended offers.

Stoops has been able to find the talent at an early stage.  Time will tell if Stoops can develop that talent, but I’m not going to bet against him.


Article written by Nick Roush

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

14 Comments for The thing nobody is talking about that makes Stoops an excellent recruiter

  1. This one weird recruiting trick
    2:47 pm May 18, 2014 Permalink

    Other SEC schools hate him!

    • Cholley
      4:13 pm May 18, 2014 Permalink

      You win the comments, sir.

    • Reality
      7:04 pm May 18, 2014 Permalink

      They hate him because he can’t win football games and he makes the SEC look bad.

  2. correction
    2:54 pm May 18, 2014 Permalink

    Sorry, Michigan is the number 2 school in Ohio recruiting…not msu or kentucky.

    • Tom Tom Cats Fan
      3:44 pm May 18, 2014 Permalink

      Nope. UK has more Ohio kids committed than any school other than OSU.

    • Trill
      6:11 pm May 18, 2014 Permalink

      I don’t necessarily disagree, and completely get that Mich is still a bigger name in Ohio than Kentucky, but what are you basing this on? In the Rivals top 25 in Ohio 2014, UK had 7, Michigan had 1. For the early 2015 list (which will surely change to include Stump and Jones), UK has 1 and Mich has 2 (though they’ll probably lose Crawford to Ohio St and only have 1).

  3. correction
    5:05 pm May 18, 2014 Permalink

    If we are going by common sense and the fact that uk has tons of open scholarships, and um has about 6 remaining….also take into account the last 5 or so recruiting cycles….it’s very easy to see that michigan is solidly #2 in Ohio.

  4. Brian the Derpface
    5:34 pm May 18, 2014 Permalink

    Extending offers to 4 star kids before big-name programs isn’t a reflection of early talent evaluation; it’s an indicator that our cupboard is more bare and we could easily improve it with a whole host of options whereas the blue chip programs have the opportunity to be more selective.

  5. Goo
    6:05 pm May 18, 2014 Permalink

    I highly doubt offering early has anything to do with it. That’s nonsense nick come on dude

  6. RandyB
    6:52 pm May 18, 2014 Permalink

    The reinforcement of Stoop’s judgement is not that BIG schools offer the kid later,
    but the accolades the players receive after UK offers, as with Stump and Conrad
    who won Best Receiver and Best Offensive Player Awards in Rivals’ camps.

  7. Terry Blue
    7:24 pm May 18, 2014 Permalink

    A lot of us who appreciate Football and not just basketball, would appreciate it if some of you Moronic basketball only fans would keep your negative comments to yourself. I guess you don’t know that our football program basically carries the entire Athletic Dept besides basketball and the success of football is vitally important.

  8. uk78
    7:46 pm May 18, 2014 Permalink

    Amen Terry Blue

  9. Reality_Correction
    9:05 pm May 18, 2014 Permalink

    Hey Look…I took two user names and came up with ONE BIG Louisville TROLL!!

  10. BillDozer
    10:07 pm May 18, 2014 Permalink

    There are some others out there we didn’t get too……Zach giella, customs, Marcus walker, Derrick Kelly last year, ty dubose….