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What’s going on with UK football’s in-state recruiting?

Mark Stoops (Vicky Graff Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

After not signing an in-state player in the 2018 recruiting class, Kentucky coach Mark Stoops vowed in-state recruiting was a priority for him.

“I definitely want to continue to make Kentucky our priority. Some years there’s going to be more than others. There’s always a good quality in Kentucky. The quantity is not maybe the same as other states, but there’s always some very good players in here,” Stoops said in February.

Based on what the top 2019 recruits in Kentucky are doing, it doesn’t look that way with UK’s in-state recruiting.

Scott County offensive guard Bryan Hudson is the latest in-state player to decide to play out of state. He verbally committed to Virginia Tech Monday. He’s the top offensive lineman in the state and was offered a scholarship by UK two years ago.

He’s a four-start player and among the top 225 players in the nation. He’s made several unofficial visits to UK, including one in January.

Hudson had scholarship offers from 24 schools, including Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, Notre Dame and Florida. However, he said on Twitter he “found a HOME” at Virginia Tech.

South Warren defensive tackle Jacob Lacey has verbally committed to Notre Dame and Trinity defensive end Stephen Herron has done the same with Michigan. Wide receiver Domontae Crumes has committed to Louisville.

Stoops does not have in-state commitment for 2019. Kentucky does have commitments from Ohio defensive back Moses Douglas, Georgia linebacker K.D. McDaniel and  Florida defensive back Keonta Smith.

 

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  1. If Stoops is smart, he will start making Kentucky HS stars, and potential Div. 1 players, a priority, especially great ones from the Louisville area schools, Male, St. X, Trinity, etc. Looks like he lost some good players to other schools per this article. He has done a great job recruiting Ohio, and good for him, but he needs to keep the good ones in Kentucky home as much as possible.

  2. When you see highly rated KY players like Ryan Timmons, Patrick Towles, Drew Barker, and Eli Brown seem disgruntled, under perform or leave the team, it could really make other KY kids wonder what is going on. I also think KY kids hear the disgruntled fans more than out-of-state fans. Especially, when every interview with Stoops contains the phrase, “we know the problems and we are going back to work to fix those problems,” and then they seldom seem to get fixed.

  3. The biggest problem Stoops has is the one of getting 3 and 4 star players when the better SEC teams are getting 5 star players. It will be hard to beat teams like Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, and LSU with undersized, slower, less talented players.

    1. True. That said you have to give Stoops some credit though because the recruiting at UK now is miles ahead of where it used to be. Stoops has to take the talent he does have and coach them up. He has to find a way to mold his teams into giant killers. Upset a big SEC contender now and again, and build momentum every year in the process. I am still not convinced Stoops is the right man to achieve that goal. I also believe this year is paramount for his future. UK is behind the eight ball every year because of a less than stellar track record and tradition in their football program. They get zero respect. They are taking small steps forward now, that’s a good thing, but they need a big leap in 2018, and several eye opening seasons thereafter to gain national recognition and more interest from the top talent you are talking about.

  4. Sadly, I agree with everything you said Pup. Stoop and his staff show little ability to coach kids up.

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