A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky signs record-setting football class, including top talent from Kentucky and Ohio

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops, in his first full recruiting class, oversaw perhaps the best in school history. (Photo by James Pennington)   It felt real when Matt Elam committed to Kentucky last week, the five-star defensive tackle from Elizabethtown who chose to build something with Mark Stoops and the Wildcats instead of fall in to the destruction assembly line at Alabama. That’s the day...

Signing Day interviews: Mark Stoops, head coach

MARK STOOPS Opening statement: Excited to have everybody here.  Great day for us.  To wrap up this 2014 class, you know, just a great day.  We feel like we closed just like we started, just very strong. We signed players from ten different states.  Really feel good about what we did in Kentucky.  I said that a year ago.  I said that in my opening press conference about how important it was to...

Signing Day interviews: Neal Brown, offensive coordinator

NEAL BROWN Opening statement: A great day for football in the Commonwealth in general. Echo kind of what Coach Stoops said. This has been a really enjoyable process. A lot of neat kids in this class. Great families, great high school coaches. I thought it was a great team effort, led by Coach Stoops. It always starts with the head coach. He’s a tremendous recruiter, does a great job being who...

Signing Day interviews: D.J. Eliot, defensive coordinator

D.J. ELIOT Opening statement: What a great day for Kentucky and our program. There’s a lot of people that helped us get where we were today, and I want to thank the administration for all they did. I also want to thank the wives. Not just Neal thanked the wives. Can you guys put that in print? That I also thanked the wives today? I’m very excited about this class.   On Lloyd Tubman: I...

Signing Day interviews: Vince Marrow, recruiting coordinator

VINCE MARROW Good evening, everyone. I’m not going to go into the routine of saying thanks to everyone, because my previous colleagues have. But it is a thing where we thank the support we have from this university. Just for me, being appointed recruiting coordinator, this is pretty good with this class. I need to ask for another raise or something. I’m excited, and it’s a testament of our head...

From the halftime Super Bowl commercial, UK’s early enrollees adopt mantra: Why not?

  Kentucky’s seven early enrolles in the class of 2014—five high schoolers and two junior college transfers—were featured in the last few seconds of the commercial that played in Lexington at halftime of the Super Bowl on Sunday. [widgets_on_pages id=”James”]   That commercial was tagged with the slogan that echoed throughout the Nutter Training Facility on Wednesday’s...

From the halftime Super Bowl commercial, UK's early enrollees adopt mantra: Why not?

  Kentucky’s seven early enrolles in the class of 2014—five high schoolers and two junior college transfers—were featured in the last few seconds of the commercial that played in Lexington at halftime of the Super Bowl on Sunday. [widgets_on_pages id=”James”]   That commercial was tagged with the slogan that echoed throughout the Nutter Training Facility on Wednesday’s...

Bio briefs on all 28 UK signees

The following are player bios for all 28 Kentucky signees, as provided by UK Athletics. ** Dorian Baker, Wide Receiver, 6-3, 205, Fr-HS, Cleveland Heights, Ohio (Cleveland Heights) – A four-star prospect according to Rivals.com who is a mixture of size and speed at wide receiver … Rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports.com, Scout.com and ESPN.com … Rivals.com ranks him the 16th-best prospect...

Signing Day interviews: Drew Barker, quarterback

On his feelings in seeing a class he helped hold together officially sign: It’s pretty awesome. I know not all of them have signed yet, but I think the majority of them have signed. It’s just pretty cool cause a lot of people were criticizing our class because a lot of us signed or committed in the summer. A lot of guys were saying, ‘Well, UK’s not going to be able to keep these...

Signing Day interviews: Dorian Hendrix, linebacker

DORIAN HENDRIX On how it feels to have the class in place: It’s a lot of excitement. These guys have been committed for a while, a couple of them, and I’ve talked to them for a while now. And now that it’s official and I know for a fact they’ll all be here, it’s really exciting, and I’m waiting for them to get here.   On why he picked Kentucky: The future. It’s...

Signing Day interviews: Mikel Horton, running back

MIKEL HORTON On what the last few weeks have been like: You know, just adjusting to everything. Being here straight out of high school, today’s my birthday, just turning 18. So being a young cat with the older guys has been a different thing for me. Having people that are better than me, that are teaching me things, is totally different for me, because I was the man in high school and all that. It’s...

Signing Day interviews: C.J. Johnson, defensive tackle (junior college)

C.J. JOHNSON What do you expect as far as immediate playing time? Whatever they lost or gained — I feel like anywhere you go, you’re going to have to fight for a spot. I’m just looking to come in and have an opportunity to showcase what my skills are and get a place to go on the field.   How close is this group, especially the early enrollees? Oh, we’re real close. It’s like, from Day...

Signing Day interviews: Thaddeus Snodgrass, wide receiver

THADDEUS SNODGRASS On why he picked Kentucky: This is a beautiful place to be, a family atmosphere and everybody’s ready to win.   On the role Drew Barker played in his recruitment: It played a big role. I wanted to come in with a real smart quarterback and we got one.   On if he wavered at all when he watched UK go 2-10 last season: No, I was committed the whole time. They told me that...

Signing Day interviews: A.J. Stamps, cornerback (junior college)

A.J. STAMPS On his recruiting process, sneaking into the class right at JUCO singing day: The relationships I built with the coaches throughout the whole recruiting process. What held me on was I had to wait until I got down here on my visit or whatever and when I got down here I really felt at home and I built a nice relationship with all the team. The whole teammates and whatever, and also the other...

Signing Day interviews: T.V. Williams, wide receiver

T.V. WILLIAMS On how much he was looking forward to Signing Day: I’ve been looking forward for this day for a while. Every since I commmted, I’ve been helping, trying to get more guys to come to this program, and this day just solidifies all of it. Seeing the names going up on the board, it’s a tremendous feeling. It’s a big day for UK football. We’ve just got to keep working hard so we can...