Kentucky’s football recruiting guru earned his stripes in the state of Ohio. Now the Big Dog is setting up shop in the state of Kentucky.
The Commonwealth is not well-known for producing a ton of high-caliber recruits. However, the 2019 recruiting class has plenty of prospects on Kentucky’s radar. It’s Vince Marrow’s job to make sure many of them play college football in Lexington.
“It’s very important,” Marrow told KSTV’s Lyndsey Gough. “This year there’s 10-15 guys that can actually play in the SEC. You gotta keep them guys here, or at least get your share.”
After a few early misses, Kentucky is in the mix for quite a few talented prospects, most notably all-purpose back Wandale Robinson, defensive end J.J. Weaver and inside linebacker Jared Casey. The message Marrow preaches is simple.
“My message and Coach Stoops’ message to these guys is that it ain’t just a four year decision. It’s a forty year decision. These people in the state of Kentucky will remember when you come here, even after (football). I’ve seen that for myself. I see basketball players who are here and they’re doing very well. I will commend the way the university treats these kids but also the community. The message from us is: ‘You’re going to graduate. You may go on to play pro ball. You may go do some things, but when your career is done, Kentucky takes care of its own.'”
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? The “4 for 40” message Marrow uses has been Freddie Maggard’s calling card since he joined the program in April as UK’s Director of Player Development. Marrow said he used something similar for years, but Freddie brought clarity and steadfast conviction to the motto.
“It’s been a real blessing to have Freddie,” Marrow said. “His heart really bleeds for the University of Kentucky and this state. The local kids see it. We’ve had a lot of big-time recruits the last few weeks on campus and he’s really knocked it out the box. It ain’t a sales pitch. He really believes it. I think it’s going to be a great addition for us. That was a great hire by Coach Stoops.”
Nicholasville offensive lineman Eli Cox is the Cats’ only 2019 commitment from the state of Kentucky. If Marrow continues preaching this message around the Commonwealth, that will quickly change.
See the rest of Marrow’s 15-minutes interview with KSTV here.