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By LARRY VAUGHT
Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown values leadership at any position in recruitng and how well a recruit can get others to follow.
“You have got to have a little aura about you and have something people want to follow,” Brown said. “We have that in our 2013 and 2014 recruiting classes.”
He noted how Ohio defensive back Jaleel Hytchye , Stoops’ first verbal commit after he got to UK, turned down Big Ten and other SEC offers to come to Kentucky.
“He is an outgoing guy. People are drawn to him. He started the process and now guys in this class are taking it and running with it,” Brown said.
Brown said persuading in-state stars Jason Hatcher of Trinity and Ryan Timmons of Franklin County to sign with UK in February was a huge boost to recruiting.
“The best schools keep the best talent at home. Are we going to produce the same number of players at Alabama, Georgia, Florida? No. But there will be six to eight or maybe just four on a down year in Kentucky good enough to play for us. Maybe on a big year there will be 10 that can play SEC football in Kentucky. We have to make sure we get those guys to fit our needs,” Brown said.
“One of the first things coach Stoops talked to me about was that he did not have a background with Kentucky high school coaches but that we had to make inroads there and keep the best players at home. We didn’t get everybody, and won’t, but we did everything within the NCAA rules to get Jason and Ryan.”
Brown said Kentucky and Ohio will be UK’s home base and that the connections Stoops and other UK coaches have in Ohio have been huge in recruiting.
“But the biggest thing is any time your head coach is actively involved like he is, that gives you a great chance in recruiting,” Brown said. “The great thing with coach Stoops is that he was so involved with recruiting at his other coaching stops that he has continued on even doing more as a head coach.”