Kentucky has finally turned the tide on their football program with a huge thanks going to Vince Marrow and Mark Stoops, of course. In November 2012, Mark Stoops took over the program and it started off very rocky. In his first year he went 2-10 and then followed it up with two straight 5-7 seasons, barely missing bowl season. Everyone was calling for Mark’s head, including myself but I am forever thankful that Mitch trusts himself more so than the passionate Big Blue Nation.
After his first three years of going a combined 12-24, he started his 2016 season with another disappointing 0-2 before he turned it around. He finished up going up 7-5 defeating Lamar Jackson and the Louisville Cardinals in the best way possible. This was followed by another 7-6 season due to another bowl loss and we all know what happened this past season, 10-3 with a Citrus Bowl victory over Penn State. Stoops has given Kentucky fans a wild ride, but the actual ride is only beginning.
I never thought these next words would be in the same sentence, but in 2019 Mark Stoops is challenging Nick Saban and Alabama for more than a few recruits. Stoops is fighting hard for four star linebacker Quandarrius Robinson, who many say is Alabama’s to lose mainly because he is the 28th ranked prospect and is in Saban’s backyard. Not only are they trying for Robinson, but today they are hosting three star Joshua Jones…another Alabama commit. The fact that Kentucky has been able to land these visits as well as constantly getting into people’s head is just amazing. And it proved that Kentucky is changing their culture and they were able to do so with Justin Rogers…who Alabama just happens to be hosting this week.
Justin Rogers is the highest commit Kentucky has ever had. He committed to Kentucky over a plethora of schools but right after that, Alabama began their push. Now Kentucky has gone against Bama before with Matt Elam and Damien Harris, gaining the lesser of the two. But this is nothing new for Marrow and Stoops. To change the program they need to do it one step at a time and right now, it starts with keeping Rogers and stealing a few from Alabama.