By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky offensive line coach John Schlarman was thrilled with the way UK’s overall recruiting, and in-state recruiting, went this year.
“I love this class,” he said Wednesday. “I think we’ve stacked two pretty good classes (together). Time will tell, we’ve got to go out and prove it on Saturday.”
So how did coach Mark Stoops feel?
Question: Is this your best recruiting class at UK?
Mark Stoops: “I definitely do. I believe so. I feel that way. I don’t know where the numbers stack up. I don’t really care. From my point of view, absolutely top to bottom, I feel like it’s the most solid group. I feel like there’s elite talent in this group and I feel like there’s great glue, there’s great players, great program guys.
“There’s guys that you can develop, guys you that can play right away, there’s impact guys, there’s guys that can change the scoreboard, guys that can get difficult yards in the run game, the big uglies you want. I think there’s a nice combination of guys in this group, I definitely do.
“ I think it can’t be stated enough, going back to the question of why they stayed so close together, I think it just shows a lot about this group’s character, who they are. They’re exactly who I want and who we want in this program. They’re great kids that football is extremely important to.”
Question: How close do you feel you’re getting to the type of depth you need not just for success, but sustained success?
Stoops: “I think that’s something that we talk about in this room. You hear me talking about it all the time. Heck, it is what it is. Nobody cares, you’ve heard me joke about it before, nobody cares what your problems are. Nobody cares in this league, that’s for darn sure. But you need to stack classes on top of classes on top of classes. Then you need to develop them and put them in position by coaching. There’s a lot of things that go into it. But it absolutely starts with having great players. ”
Question: How important is it to stack good recruiting classes in consecutive years?
Stoops: “Take a good look around at our league. We feel very good about this class. Again, take a look around where we stand. The good thing is, wherever you slot us, nine, ten, whatever in the SEC, it’s a lot closer than being way off. You know what I mean? The balance is getting closer. ”