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DL commit Jacob Hyde believes Stoops is coach to turn UK program around


Clay County defensive lineman Jacob Hyde got a bit worried when Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops was named Kentucky’s new coach. Hyde was the first in-state player to verbally commit to Kentucky and didn’t know if his commitment would be honored by Stoops.

“Not knowing what was going to happen with the coach was hard,” said Hyde, who will play in the National Guard Border Bowl Jan. 12 against the Tennessee all-stars. “I did not commit to a coaching staff. I committed to the university. When coach Stoops was hired, I was freaking out. I didn’t know if he would honor my scholarship or not.”

That was quickly taken care of when Stoops called to assure Hyde that he had a future at Kentucky and kept Hyde from having any reason to panic Sunday at Stoops’ introductory press conference when he said only commits that were the “right fit” for his system would have scholarship offers honored.

“It’s all good for me,” Hyde, who talked to Stoops 48 hours after he was hired, said. “Like he said, you have to fit his system to keep the scholarship offer and just knowing he believes so strong in me and will honor my commitment so that I can fulfill my childhood dreams. It is a blessing for me.

“Coach Stoops seems like an upfront guy. He doesn’t beat around a bunch. He is the type of coach Kentucky needs. Someone to grab the bull by the honors and turn the program around. I am excited that he can do that.”

Hyde figures he’ll get to meet new defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot when he takes his official visit next month.

“It shocked me that a coaching change had to be made. It hurts seeing coach (Joker) Philllips leave, but I’m glad he got another job (as receivers coach at Florida),” Hyde said. “I have known him since my sophomore year. He was a big reason I wanted to be part of the team. It hurts that he is gone, but you have to go on.

“The fans around here can’t wait to see me in this program and see what coach Stoops does. Everything around here is very positive about UK football right now. I know it will be good playing there. Things have changed, but I’m still excited about playing at Kentucky and excited to have coach Stoops as my coach.”

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  1. UK 24 7

    Great article. A heart of blue if there ever was one.

  2. Kokamo Joe

    I am glad that the young man has faith. I hope that he comes to Lexington and I hope that he is right. But, I must post this. I have seen this hope every time a new football coach is hired at UK. Unless UK makes a commitment to football Stoops will fail and there will be the same thing will happen again. Fire Stoops and find another coach who will stimulate hope…UK, IMO, is at a cross road. Either they will continue to reward the SEC by being a bottomfeeder and take the 20 million dollar payoff, or they will get off the pot and decide to compete in the SEC. Fans would do the program a favor by looking beyond 2 or 3 conference wins and a small tater bowl game. How about a BCS bown game as a goal?

    This is one time that UK needs to look to Uof L. There is commitment to football AND basketball at that school.

    1. Larry Pup

      Joe..I don’t know if Stoops fails or not, but I understand your mindset. I believe UK got a good one. Time will tell. You are right about UK being commited to FB. I think, at least in seeing the events unfold the way they have the last few weeks, UK has. Again time will tell.

      As for UofL, I can’t stand em, but I admire coach Strong’s dedication. and the way he shuned that ugly ass orange UT with all their millions and bullshit. UofL has made a dedication to FB and it shows. GO CATS< BEAT LOUISVILLE!!!!

      1. Larry Pup

        By the way, coach Strong shows there is still loyalty dispalyed in this day and age where many have the mindset that the pasture is always greener someplace else. Now I know UofL antied up, but at least he stayed.

  3. Stroker Ace

    Kid was literally walking on air the next morning when he came into class after talking to Stoops. He was trying to play it off after Joker was fired, but I know deep down he was nervous that his commitment wouldn’t be honored by the new coaching staff, so I know hearing Stoops say he was looking forward to coaching him was a huge relief for Hyde. Great kid and a great love for UK, look forward to watching him develop and hopefully contribute over the next 4 years.

  4. Larry Pup

    Great football player. A Kentucky boy too.

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