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Barker on Stoops, Kentucky: “The vibe is different” (about UK football)


Six months ago Conner quarterback Drew Barker admitted he didn’t see any scenario where he would be coming to Kentucky after being ignored by former UK coach Joker Phillips and his staff.

However, Friday he did verbally commit to Kentucky and the major reason was the “high octane” offense of offensive coordinator Neal Brown.

“Coach Brown came in right away (and recruited me). Two days later (after getting the job) he came to see basketball game, came to see me throw and offered me that night. Coach Brown is just a great guy. I think his offense is going to do really well at Kentucky. We just have to get the playmakers there,” Barker said.

Barker said he did see coach John Calipari’s office on his visit during the Blue-White Game and he talked to UK basketball assistant coach Orlando Antigua. He admitted he grew up a UK basketball fan and was more of a “bandwagon” fan when it came to football depending on who was playing well.

However, he said it “was pretty cool” to know new UK coach Mark Stoops and Brown wanted him the way they did.

“It was kind of cool to stay home and think about after football all the connections you will make in your home state. Life after football and then obviously representing your state will be pretty cool, too,” Barker said.

He said he knew players going to Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee, but that did not impact his decision on picking UK over the other two.

“At the end of day you have to make sure you are going to be happy your whole stay (in college),” Barker said. “Just the whole thing of being in your home state. I was close to going to South Carolina, but I thought about what it would be like (not going to UK) and I looked over and really missed out on that. I think this staff is turning it around competing. The vibe is different.”

Barker said he’ll likely redshirt his freshman year — he does plan to graduate in December and be at UK in January — but that he will compete like he can start.

“The plan is that I will probably redshirt. But I am going to go in there like I am going to start,” Barker said. “I am not going in with the mindset I will redshirt. I will come in and work my butt off. I will start working harder right now. I will go in there and try to win the starting job right away, but if that does not work, I will probably redshirt.”

He’s also going to be busy recruiting others to come with him.

“I have a lot of guys’ numbers on my phone I am going to be hitting up. I am not going to pressure them,” Barker said. “ I had guys do that to me and I did not like it. Do what is best for you, but I think you will look better playing with me. Just what I am going to tell them. No pressure.”

Permanent link to this article: http://vaughtsviews.com/barker-on-stoops-kentucky-the-vibe-is-different-about-uk-football/


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  1. Ira

    BBN is riding high!

  2. Larry Pup

    This was a great catch for UK. Drew, BBN is very thankful you are a wildcat. I wish you nothing but the best. This is a great day for UK football. GO CATS!!!!

  3. Richard

    I’m still both amazed and ticked off about the recruiting fiasco of the previous staff on Barker.

  4. Ira


    It’s hard to believe isn’t it. But the more you find out about Joker’s recruiting methods the more it does tick you off. But I think on this. This should be the last class Coach Stoops will have to make up ground on recruits like this.

    Joker just didn’t want to recruit against the so called big boys on a high level basis. It was easier to recruit against MAC and CUSA schools.

    Thankfully no more of this recruiting for diamonds in the roughs with this new staff.
    We have a SEC quality recruiting staff.

  5. Love SEC F-Ball

    Ira, you are right as usual -Glad to see the 4-star kids, the push in Ohio and now we are getting our Ky. kids as well. They said that it could not be done – We were too far north in the SEC – This staff knows how to use that as an advantage rather than an excuse.

  6. John Whitaker

    What amazes me is the fact that the excuse of were not in a area we could Recruit…..If you go 6 to 8hrs from Lexington and draw a circle you will see such cities as Chicago, Dayton , Cincinnatti OH, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Nashville, St Louis, and many smaller cities and other bigger cities in Between…. We never seemed to Recruit any of them hard in the Last 30 yrs…. I know we didn’t have a big tradition with football but seriously how could a administraion let things like that happen……That laziness is why we lost so many in a row to Tennesse and Florida……

  7. grant

    Can’t help but think what is going through jokers mind when he looks at how stoops has grabbed this job by the horns rather than the job and tough conference dictating how how you do your job.

  8. Mike

    Joker was nothing more than a Poser. He ripped off the university and the BBN while he was HC…talk about someone getting overpaid and under delivering.

  9. ukscat

    Both my kids went to Dr. Phillips HS in Orlando. ( Then UF & FSU )
    Spoke with an assistant FB coach there a few years ago and he said he had never seen a UK coach on campus. They average about 8 D-1 players a year. I think Bama currently has 4.
    Even worse is what friends in Louisville tell me about how the previous neglected Louisville Trinity. Borders on surreal.

  10. Larry Pup

    While some of you are probably right about Coach Joker, what good does it do now to criticize him. He’s gone, he was fired. Joker Phillips is still a Kentucky Wildcat who did much for UK in his playing days. Have a heart and let it go. Let’s look to the future under this great coaching staff. Just sayin.

  11. grant

    Larry , I did not bring up joker to get a pile on going , however when you feel like writing something you do it. right? so this was a thought that i had . ok? when it came to uk recruiting for football , it has come out that joker did not bother recruiting in high profile places , such as ohio and others . right? so its a fair question to wonder what he thinks when someone else comes in and goes to these apparent off limit hot bed places for football players and gets them. It is a fair question. Joker is not off limits for being an ex wildcat. Mike porter was a wildcat too . Does he get a pass?

  12. Andy

    Joker P was a good person but not a great coach.Let’s all just wish him well and leave it at that.

  13. grant

    And let the record show i am not putting joker and porter in the same boat or the same vein, but i don’t believe that being an ex wildcat assures a status of being a higher human being than the next guy.

  14. Little Baron

    Joker had his own personal agenda and interests… above and beyond UK Football.
    When y9u get paid big bucks and decide anyone or anything is more important than your integrity toward the institution paying you, then you may not be a “good man”.

    Joker was HANDED a program on the rise, with an amazing high-octane offense.

    Joker CHOSE to keep the inept DC Brown, though he knew (if he had a lick of football sense) that Brown was one of the worst DC’s in all of college football… at any level.

    Joker CHOSE to “try to hide” Brown’s inability to coach, by SACRIFICING UK’s HIGH-OCTANE offense when he publicly said he was going to slow down UK from scoring “too fast” and not make the D get on the field so quickly.

    Joker SUCCEEDED IN FAILING… he succeeded in slowing, stalling, choking UK’s offense, when he announced he would, at mid-season of his 1st year as HC. UK scored less and less as the year went by, and Joker didn’t even fully utilize the amazing multi-position star,m Randall Cobb, in our last regular season game against TN, and then refused to use our 4-star QB in the bowl game, where we were dismal against a Pitt team who had THREE DIFFERENT COACHES between their last regular season game and the bowl game- And we could barely put pts on the board!!! with the HIGH-OCTANE offense Joker had demolished!!!

    So, without going into the PATHETIC game-time coaching or the absolute useless “recruiting”, I find it difficult to call anyone who sold out our program in favor of an inept DC and a QB who could not connect on half of his passes…. a “good man”.

    Lack of integrity to place the program paying him $1,500,000 a year ahead of his personal agenda of keeping a loser DC and “promoting” a pseudo-QB.

    I am glad he is gone. Hope he has good health, etc. but have no desire to “wish him well” if it means getting another HC job where he puts personal agendas ahead of the program.

    Our AD blew it by hiring Joker as a coach in waiting… and we kept waiting to see when he was going to start coaching… and he didn’t. Glad the AD FINALLY got it right, similar to when he hired Clyde instead of Calipari after the other “Joker” in the UKAA left.

  15. Larry Pup

    I tell you what Little Baron I’ve never seen so much spite and down right vitriol in all my days. Hey Joker is fired and gone. I believe to this day Joker is a good man. You are kidding about that aren’t you? Joker was also a great UK football player, and for that reason alone he deserves better than he is getting from some of you. He is one of our own. Cut him some slack. My point though, what difference does all that make now anyway. The man got canned.

  16. mpennery

    No disrespect at all Larry but Little Baron is right. Joker put his own ego above his job (but I also think it was more Mitch’s mistake in hiring an unexperienced HC for the SEC). But you’re also right that it’s time to let the animosity go. We’ve all heard and read the same many, many times since Stoops and Brown came on board and showed us what a real coaching staff is supposed to act like. I know it’s tough to not say the obvious, which is express the kind of frustration that folks like Little Baron are, but I can promise you it doesn’t need to be said. Joker obviously knows what has happened since he left and realizes just how badly he did his job. There is nothing that can be said that will get a point across any more powerful, and I’d bet we won’t see Joker show his face around here for many, many years. It’s really quite sad and I feel for him but, like the Baron said, what happened to him was his choice and his choice alone.

  17. Larry Pup

    I will say this and shut up. Joker was a good position coach, and OC, but failed as a head coach. With that said, I have no idea what is meant by the statement “Joker had his own personal agenda and interests.” Or “Joker put his own ego above his job.” Enlighten me. If you are referring to how the QB position was handled with Newton, I didn’t always agree with the way some of that was handled, but there were injuries and other things that happened that hurt Joker. Besides, he has to live with the decisions. You guys seem to be saying Joker planned his own demise. The other thing is, not one single UK football fan I know of voiced anything other than praise when Joker was the “coach In waiting.” As far as Joker showing his face around UK, I would shake his hand and say thanks just because of his playing days, if nothing else. As UK fans he deserves that. Joker Phillips is just one of many UK head football coaches who failed at UK. Why single him out. None of the other coaches recruited like this new staff is doing. I just say respect the man for who he is and what he has done for the University of Kentucky as not only a player but as a coach. He was fired for not producing, simple as that. So were all the others. I’m not happy about that, but I don’t hate or dislike the man. I doubt there is any UK football coach we have ever had that wanted to win any more than Joker. I didn’t start this discussion, and I am looking forward to better days. Why dwell on the past.

  18. UKFAN197TONE

    Who is Mike Porter?

  19. bigbluebear

    Sorry but Lil B is spot on! I also am an alum/season ticket holder for many many years. The second I heard ‘coach in waiting’ I knew exactly how it would end. This is why we have never progressed and indeed regressed under Joker. He refused to hire competent assistants merely so they would not question his inabilities as an HC. The minute he knew he had the job he turned off and kicked back taking his money. How can he have spent the same exsct smount of money last year as Stoops this year and get NO ONE.Indeed he never even called anyone. Instead waiting for tier 2 guys to come to us. And the fact that all of the sudden he is recruiting the SAME kids for Florida he wouldn’t even call for us is inexcusable. Not to mention a double slap in our faces trying to take someone like Ryan Timmons. Even though he didn’t need him at all but didn’t want us getting him and proving immediately just how inept he really was. From all I hear his personnal life was more like Petrino only better hidden. So I have no problem calling it like it is as he has shown hisvtrue Colorado. Green.GBB!!!

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