He’s a four-star quarterback who has impressed recruiting analysts and will be one of the leading contenders for Kentucky Mr. Football honors next season. Yet Kentucky was not one of the 10 schools that had offered Conner’s Drew Barker a scholarship until offensive coordinator Neal Brown changed that after watching Barker throw during a recent morning workout.
“It’s not like he has just surfaced as a top quarterback. Louisville offered him last spring. He has 10 other others. It’s just that Kentucky finally offered and that got his name out more in the state,” Conner coach David Trosper said. “The old Kentucky staff did not offer him. They recruited him just a little bit, but did not offer even though Rivals.com ranked him very highly and he had offers from Cincinnati, Western Kentucky, Purdue, Illinois, North Carolina, Louisiana Tech and South Carolina.”
Trosper thinks Barker was a bit miffed UK’s previous staff did not show more interest in him, but that will not work against new coach Mark Stoops and Brown.
“He does know Neal Brown’s background and how he fits in with what he does,” Trosper said. “With the previous staff, he probably had a little different feeling that the home state school did not offer a scholarship. But now he definitely has an interest. He has what they like and we’ll see what happens. I think after signing date (Feb. 6) you will see business pick up even more with Drew.
Barker said not being recruited by former UK coach Joker Phillips did leave a “bad taste in my mouth” based on the offers and interest he got from Louisville and Western Kentucky.
“When the new staff came in, I did not really think I liked Kentucky. Then they got in touch and I called them and we talked,” Barker said. “The first thing they told me was not to hold grudges and come with an open mind to visit. It’s a brand new staff and new people. They knew the situation with me. They just wanted me to come down with an open mind. I came and left impressed and definitely interested in Kentucky.”