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Coach Marrow Talks About UK Football Recruiting Class

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Vince Marrow Vince Marrow

Kentucky Football

2018 February Signing Day Media Opportunity

Kroger Field – Lexington, Kentucky

Wednesday, February 7, 2017

Recruiting Coordinator and Tight Ends Coach, Vince Marrow

On being from Ohio and recruiting against Ohio State … 
“You see me smiling? I recruited Chris (Oats) since he was a freshman. I think there are times they came in on kids late that are here now, but this was a kid that they’ve targeted since he was a sophomore. Beating them on this kid speaks volumes of what we were able to do. A lot of these other kids in 2019, it is a big recruiting class for Ohio next year. I’ve being getting a lot of DM’s (direct messages) already from kids and they’re like, ‘wow’, because up until last week everybody thought Chris was going to Ohio State. And, I kind of knew where he was going, just kept it to myself. But, until he signed the paper, I was nervous all the way to last night. It was huge getting him.”

On pinpointing Chris early and being able to keep him … 

“Like I have told you guys before, our logo is probably the second-most dominating logo right now when you talk about recruiting in Ohio. So, when Ohio State came in, you always were nervous like are they going to offer this kid? They (Ohio kids) get a lot of Big 10 offers, but that Ohio State offer, every kid in that state just like in Kentucky, they want to play for their state school. This goes up a notch because like I said again, I know they recruited this kid from day one. This kid is a really good football player. A lot of high school coaches called me last night and were saying you guys got a really good one. This is definitely going to boost us in Ohio for next year. I really do believe that.”

On where Chris will play … 

“He reminds me of the kid that was at Mississippi State. We went against them and I remember Coach Stoops saying that he has a lot of length. I remember that kid (Benardrick McKinney) was about 6-foot-4, Chris is a legit 6-4 or 6-5. He is very twitchy, can bend, he is going to play inside. He can play Mike or Will, but he is so long that you can put him on the outside as a pass-rusher because he can run. I know right now Coach House is really excited about him playing inside or outside.”

On recruiting in Michigan … 

“Yeah, you talk about getting top guys out of Ohio but now we are getting players out of Michigan. Getting those two players out of Michigan was huge. You got the No. 1 and No. 3 or 4 player in the state. And, that’s a school if you get locked in at that school, it’s like some of the bigger schools in Ohio. You get in that school, and Coach Clinkscale is doing a good job with his relationships with the coaches there. And, they are loaded there for the next couple of years too. So, it just a platform that we keep going forward. We are going to Michigan, Maryland, Ohio, of course we’re going to recruit Florida. Coach Brad White, our new linebackers coach, he’s going to New Jersey, he is from Rhode Island, hopefully he does some recruiting there. We are still going to stay in a six-hour radius but also do some spot recruiting.”

On the process of getting players to think about the SEC in Big 10 Country … 
“I told Coach Clinkscale, the message that everyone asks me what did I use in Ohio is the same thing I think now in Michigan: the closest SEC school is Kentucky. That message works in Ohio, Michigan, even Maryland and different stats up north. We have been told the SEC is the top football conference and has been for the past 10 years, so if you are a good football player, our selling pitch is, ‘Hey, come six hours and play for Kentucky against the nation’s best football players.’ That is the message that a lot of these kids are hearing and why they are coming here, they want to play against the best. I know this, just speaking for Ohio, Ohio High School coaches are some of the best coaches that I have been around in a a lot of different states. These kids believe. Ohio is one of the top-four states in producing Division I and NFL football players. The new thing was, ‘Let’s go to the SEC. We have been to the Big 10. Let’s go see if we can play with the kids from the south.’ That is the same message that is coming out of Michigan.”

On adding Michael Smith in the south to recruit … 
“I have known Mike since we played together in Kansas City and that was 1992. We were in camp together. He was a charisma-guy then. I think he is going to use his hometown connections because he is from Louisiana. You look at Arkansas, they had a fair amount of guys from Louisiana there. I think he is going to use that and it will be huge. If he can get two to three guys out of there that is a bonus. If he can get four, that is a huge bonus.”

On if he grew up or knows every person in football … 
“(Laughter) seriously, it is kind of weird. I just told someone that Doug Pederson, who just won the Super Bowl, is another teammate of mine. He was a high school coach just eight-10 years ago. I think when you walk through different styles of life – I coached middle school, high school, NFL Europe – and meet all different type of people. When you play in the NFL, you meet all different kinds of people and it is what it is. It’s a good connection to have. It is huge trust me.”

On change anything moving forward with early signing period … 
“I think what we did was great. I think us signing and having 20 guys secured really played a factor in me going forward with Chris Oats. When you are trying to get that type of kid, it is a constant that you have to recruit that kid every single day. If we didn’t have the early signing period, we would have probably been battling Ohio State with two more guys that we already have locked in. I really like it. You get most of your class signed and you focus on just four or five guys. I’ll take that anytime. The earlier you can get guys the better.”

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