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Could North Carolina be fertile recruiting area for UK football?

By LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky football has become a recruiting fixture in Ohio under coach Mark Stoops and recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow. Every year the Cats are now getting top tier players out of Ohio and did so again in the 2020 recruiting class.

But recently I keep seeing where UK is offering more players than ever before in North Carolina, a state where UK has had very little recruiting success.

So what is going on?

Rivals.com recruiting analyst Justin Rowland said the reason for the interest in North Carolina is simple — new defensive line coach Anwar Stewart. The former Kentucky player was an assistant coach at Appalachian State in Boone, N.C., before recently joining Stoops’ staff.

“He’s very familiar with players in North Carolina. That is now part of his recruiting region at UK. (Former UK coaches) Dean Hood and D.J Eliot had recruited some there in the past but not like this,” Rowland said on WPBK-FM Thursday. “Anwar will also be in the Atlanta area and part of Florida. So North Carolina is just part of what he is doing. But don’t forget UK has a good recruiting formula in place and is not going to abandon that.”

Rowland said it is obvious that Stewart comes with a “pool of knowledge” about top players in North Carolina because he evaluated players there when he was at Appalachian State.

“He’s just bringing part of that info from Boone to Lexington,” Rowland said.

Could North Carolina eventually become a fertile recruiting area for UK?

“I don’t think North Carolina will be a big part of what they do,” Rowland said.

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