As Youngstown (Ohio) Christian coach Brian Marrow watched Tymere Dubose play basketball, he kept thinking what a superb football player he could be, too.
“He is raw. Last year was his first year playing football, and he showed a lot. I talked him into playing football. I told him with his size and the way he moved on the basketball court, he could get something in football,” said Marrow.
He got that, too, Saturday when he became the first football player from his school to commit to a Division I program — Kentucky. The 6-5, 255-pound Dubose had offers from Michigan State, West Virginia, Maryland and Pittsburgh. Ohio State, Purdue, Penn State and Oregon had called about Dubose and Marrow was expecting more schools to begin to show interest as Dubose’s highlight tape circulated.
“He had a good first year. He was a good pass rusher and played the run well. He has a ways to go, but his upside is large,” Marrow said. “He’s good in basketball. He didn’t make all-state or anything, but he’s really a good athlete.”
Because Dubose has not been to summer camps or clinics, Marrow knows he could make dramatic improvement once he gets to Kentucky and works under defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh and head coach Mark Stoops, the former defensive coordinator at Florida State.
“I think Kentucky is really getting a good player. With Stoops and his staff, they are going to do big things for Kentucky,” Marrow said. “He will definitely be a defensive end at Kentucky. I am not an expert on defensive line play, but I definitely think he will be an end. He’s a good kid, a fun kid. His grades are good and he’s doing pretty decent academically. I told him now he would have to hit it even harder now with the expectations being big on him. He has to work out and hit the books even more to get his grades up even higher.”
Marrow certainly knows plenty about the staff at Kentucky. His brother, Vince, is the tight ends coach at UK. He’s know Stoops since he played football with his brother. Brian Marrow’s high school coach was Stoops’ uncle.
“I know the reputation Mark Stoops has and knew he would be a good fit at Kentucky,” the Youngstown coach said. “I just wanted to see if he (Dubose) was wanted. He took a visit to the spring game with his grandmother and mother and they all really liked it. Once he told me that, I told him I thought it would be a good fit for him at Kentucky. People on that staff are accountable to me to look out for his best interests.”
Those are not the coach’s only ties to Kentucky. His daughter lives in Lexington and works at the University of Kentucky hospital. But get this — he coached former UK star linebacker Danny Trevathan, who is now with the Denver Broncos, in little league in Youngstown.
“Danny moved when he was about 12 or 13. But I’ve had my eye on Kentucky and I was excited when Stoops got the job. I remember my daughter texting me when they were looking at Stoops and thought then he could be great for Kentucky,” Marrow said. “His reputation is so good. It’s that way with the whole Stoops’ family. It would not surprise me if they won some games they are not expected to win next year and get this turned around.
“I know it will take time but I would not be surprised if they do turn it around quick. I do not want to put pressure them on because know I know it will be hard in the SEC, but it would not surprise me at all to see them do that.”
If it happens, one reason could be the recruiting Vince Marrow is doing in Ohio. He’s already got five verbal commitments from Ohio in UK’s 2014 recruiting class as well as one highly-touted transfer.