By LARRY VAUGHT
Wonder how Kentucky recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow has so much success in Ohio?
Let Ohio junior running Bryant Koback, Kentucky’s most recent verbal commitment, explain why not long after running the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds he went ahead and said yes to UK’s scholarship offer.
“I guess it was just the right time for me to do it. I like the school, liked the coaches. Plus, I had a previous relationship with coach Marrow,” said Koback.
“Him and my sister were friends growing up. I have known him since fifth or sixth grade,” the 5-11, 190-pound Koback said. “His daughter came over to our house. We interacted a lot. He’s like a family friend.”
Koback is also friends with three other Ohio junior players — running back Michael Warren, defensive lineman James Hudson and receiver/defensive back Russ Yeast — who have already verbally committed to UK.
He says it’s no problem that Warren is also a running back.
“We will be teammates and we have to work together to make the team better,” Koback said. “I met them going to training before we ever got recruited. They are all exceptionally good players and talk great about Kentucky.”
He knows Yeast’s father, Craig, is a former all-SEC receiver at Kentucky and met him on a recruiting visit. He also played against Russ Yeast’s team coached by Craig.
“We beat them, but it was really a good game,” Koback said.
Koback rushed for 2,015 yards and 31 touchdowns last season to earn all-star honors. He had also drawn recent interest from Ohio State who had wanted him to make a visit.
He says he is an “explosive” player.
“I am just a playmaker. I try to get the ball in my hands and just do what I can to help my team win a game whether it is catching, running or blocking,” Koback said.
He turned heads when he ran the 4.35 at the Army combine in San Antonio. Combine that with over 2,000 yards rushing as a junior and one wonders he is not more highly rated by recruiting services.
“I don’t pay attention to rankings. It’s just someone’s opinion. What matters is what you do on the field. If you are producing, you are. If not, you are not. That’s all that really matters,” the Ohio junior said.
He went ahead and committed to UK in part because of the atmosphere he found on game day during an official visit last season.
“It was second to none. The fans were so loud. I had never seen anything like it in my life,” Koback said. “I had never really hard about that atmosphere until I made it to Kentucky. Then I did my research and learned quite a bit more about Kentucky.”
Plus, Marrow had a message about why UK would start winning that Koback believed.
“They have great players, great playmakers headed that way,” Koback said. “Coach Marrow just said if you want to be part of then, then jump on and I did.”