You cannot muzzle Kentucky’s Big Dog.
UK associate head coach Vince Marrow joined Matt Jones on Wednesday’s edition of Kentucky Sports Radio. A day after Steve Clinkscale accepted a position at the University of Michigan, Mark Stoops’ hype man is confident that the UK football program is in good hands.
“First of all, nothing against Clink, I love Clink,” Marrow said. “He’s going to Michigan. Come on, I think we’re a better program — not I think, I KNOW we are.”
Kentucky’s lead recruiter since Stoops arrived on campus in 2013, he’s seen how negative recruiting against the Cats has changed over the years. At first they fought against the “basketball school” narrative. Opposing schools shifted to the NFL Draft as their calling card, a moot point after UK had six selections in 2021, including first rounder Jamin Davis.
“We got to a point now, it used to be people (would) say, we had no talent, no skill guys. Now that we got the type of players we want, we get (others) that we’re trying to get better. There’s been schools, I ain’t gonna say who, you guys can figure that out, certain kids in this state went other places. The other places send them stuff, these are the draft cards and showing them draft things that they’re going to be a first round pick and all that and they haven’t even had no damn body drafted,” Marrow said.
“My point is like this, like you said, we ain’t ever going to take a backseat to nobody. We love what we got going on here. I think it’s just going up. Our recruiting classes are showing that. A lot of these schools are trying to take shots at us and to me, I kind of like it. Now it’s like we’re kind of on top more than them and they better keep doing it because we ain’t gonna slow down. You know me, any little angle I can get, I’m coming at them. That’s just the way I am.”
The Wildcats opened the 2022 recruiting cycle by securing ten commitments in the spring, five by Marrow alone, to solidify a spot in the top ten of the national team recruiting rankings. With the open recruiting period resuming in June, Marrow says there are still a few big fish left on the Cats’ big board.
“This is a great place to play. This is the SEC. If we didn’t have Covid last year, we probably would have won nine games last year,” he said. “We got a ton of high, high priority guys that are four-stars, one is a five-star that’s remaining that we’re very in on. I’ll say that on their list we are very high. We got these officials coming up in June and I think we’ll seal the deal on the rest of these guys.”
There’s one player in particular that Marrow is courting to Kentucky, four-star Frederick Douglass wide receiver Dane Key. Of course, coaches cannot name names until players are signed with the program, but when asked about the impending passage of NIL rights, Marrow strongly hinted at how the legislation could benefit local players (like Key).
“For me, if you’re a local kid, not saying no names, but if you’re a local kid and you grew up here, an hour away from here or you grew up 15 minutes away from here, can you imagine coming here and you have a great high school career, and now you’re here (at UK), all these people in this city knew you? If that thing passes the way I think it’s going to, I can name three businesses that will probably be like, ‘Hey, I want to put this guy’s name on my business or advertise this restaurant,’ and the kid would do very well. To me it’s still all about you gotta know people, and all I’m saying is if you’re an in-state kid, that’s going to be an easy sell.”
Marrow is selling Kentucky’s football program with some swagger. Ya love to see it.