By LARRY VAUGHT
One of many things I’ve learned from Kentucky recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow the last few years is the importance of not burning bridges.
If a recruit picks another school, Marrow and the UK coaches wish him well and often continue to follow his success. Sometimes that pays off later if a player decides he wants to change schools and transfer to Kentucky like Ohio linebacker Xavier Peters recently did.
But Marrow has also said he has no ill will for players who transfer from Kentucky in hopes of finding more playing time at another school. He gets that players want to play and understands that.
Quarterback Gunnar Hoak spent three years at UK before transferring to hometown Ohio State. Not every UK fan was thrilled with his move because it left Kentucky without a proven backup — a void the Cats quickly filled when 2018 Troy starting quarterback Sawyer Smith came to UK as a graduate transfer.
So how has Hoak adjusted to being at Ohio State?
“He’s doing well,” Holly Hoak, Gunnar’s mother, said. “Put on a solid eight poundsl of muscle and has been studying the playbook along with keeping up with his summer classes. He’s made a wonderful adjustment with classes, workouts, and getting to know his teammates.”
Myself I always liked Hoak a lot and was hoping it would work out for him. But backup quarterback is a tough spot and he knew he was not going to unseat Terry Wilson going into this season after UK won 10 games last year with Wilson as the starter.
The good news for Hoak is that everything is working out fine for him.
“Columbus has welcomed him home with open arms. Literally everywhere we go someones has recognized him, congratulated him and wished him well,” Holly Hoak said.
I now call that the Marrow Effect where fans understand that change sometimes happen and doesn’t have to be a bad thing for anyone. Hoak has an opportunity at Ohio State, Kentucky got Sawyer Smith. To me, that’s a win-win for everybody.