Just days after Matt House officially departed for the Kansas City Chiefs, Mark Stoops made his next move. Multiple Ole Miss media outlets report that former UK linebacker Jon Sumrall will leave Oxford to return for a position at his alma mater.
There’s no other way to spin it: this is a great hire by Mark Stoops.
Sumrall’s credentials are extensive in spite of his age. In three years at Troy, he served as special teams coordinator and helped Neal Brown’s defense finish in the Top 25 nationally in scoring, rushing and total defense. The man knows his X’s and O’s.
On the recruiting front, the Huntsville, Alabama native has connections in his home state and its eastern border, Georgia. In only one year at Ole Miss, he served as the primary recruiter for at least four players in the Rebels’ 22nd-ranked recruiting class, including four-star middle linebacker Lakia Henry, a day-one starter next season.
Most importantly, Sumrall checks all of the boxes to pave the way for Brad White to become UK’s defensive coordinator.
Sumrall can easily fill House’s vacancy as middle linebackers coach, leaving White the opportunity to still coach the edge defenders while coordinating the defense. Not only does Sumrall give the defensive side of the ball a young, aggressive recruiter, he has ties to an area UK needs to tap into to take the next step. The cherry on top — Sumrall is a Kentucky guy. He will not be too eager to leave his old stomping grounds.
In six years as UK’s head coach, Stoops has a knack for finding rising talent in the coaching ranks. Five of his former defensive assistants are coordinating defenses or special teams in Power Five conferences. That doesn’t include House’s move to the NFL. Sumrall is the next UK assistant with an incredibly bright future.
Stoops deserves plenty of praise for the impending move, but I’m giving all the credit to Adam Luckett. Minutes after news broke about House’s departure, I texted KSR’s resident Gridiron Guru.
He spoke it into existence. Follow that man, BBN. @AdamLuckettBOS