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Drew Barker photo courtesy Bleacherreport.com

Drew Barker photo courtesy Bleacherreport.com

By LARRY VAUGHT

Andy Murray was a fierce competitor when he played fullback at the University of Kentucky and remains a hard-core UK fan. That’s why he’s become a huge Mark Stoops’ fan already and believes that Conner quarterback Drew Barker will pick the Wildcats over South Carolina and Tennessee Friday when he announces his college choice.

“He is a lock in my opinion. Kid is a blue blood,” said Murray.

Because Murray’s son plays at Simon Kenton, he’s not been able to get out in northern Kentucky to see Barker play. However, he knows something about South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier’s quarterback knowledge.

“I would think Spurrier knows what he is looking for in a QB and you can take that to the bank,” Murray said.

Barker’s number could break the bank. He was 140-for-225 passing for 2,067 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2012 when he also ran for 1,422 yards and 18 scores. As a sophomore, he completed 93 of 181 passes for 1,009 yards and four scores and ran for 1,371 yards and 22 touchdowns. That’s 2,793 yards and 40 touchdowns rushing the last two years and 3,076 yards and 26 touchdowns passing.

“His commitment will send our recruiting into another gear and it amazes me what this staff is capable of doing with these recruits,” Murray said.

Stoops did do the unthinkable after getting the job when he persuaded Franklin County receiver Ryan Timmons and Trinity linebacker Jason Hatcher to reverse their thinking about UK and sign with the Wildcats. Landing the two four-star Kentucky players at the last minute proved that Stoops and his staff would be relevant with the state’s best players — like Barker.

“I think the state of Kentucky will depend on wins and losses,  and they must take control of the Louisville series. The Hatcher kid will go down as one of the turning points in this area. I think Timmons was a matter of timing and  the right coach (offensive coordinator Neal Brown),” Murray said. “The state will be ours if we win.

“Let’s face it, we have not had a desirable product and these guys want to play in the spotlight. There will not be a better spotlight than UK when this thing turns … and it will turn. We have never been in a better spot. Stoops is the man. I have never been more impressed with a guy than this one. My favorite thing about him is his demeanor and upbringing. He is awesome.”

Barker and his father seem to feel the same after being ignored by former UK coach Joker Phillips.

When Barker made a visit to UK, Stoops had a video showing former in-state UK quarterbacks Tim Couch, Jared Lorenzen and Andre Woodson on a video — and then Barker’s highlights were included.

“We are Kentucky fans. I love the Big Blue Nation,” Terry Barker said.  “I think coach Stoops and his staff knew Drew had a sour taste in his mouth, so they went the extra mile to show how much they’d love to have him. That has impressed him.”

7 Responses to Former Cat Andy Murray on Drew Barker: “He is a lock (for UK) in my opinion. Kid is a blue blood.”

  • ukscat says:

    I’m too old to hold my breath for 18 hours !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mike says:

    We can’t possibly give coach Stoops and his staff enough credit for what they are building and doing for UK. I don’t know that we could have made a better choice with him as HC. I do believe though that we do need to moderate out expectations for a “on the field” turnaround this year.

  • Juan4UK says:

    Agreed. Stoops is the perfect guy at the perfect time.
    UK, even with all the negative history, has a real chance to be relevant in the SEC. So many things are aligning for UK and the SEC right now.

  • Larry Pup says:

    Andy was a good one in his playing days. I sure hope he is right about Barker. I agree with his remarks concerning Coach Stoops. Football at UK has a long hard road ahead, but something is changing, you can just feel it.

  • MikeF says:

    I think we all agree the pieces are not here yet, the true fan base will be happy with the effort we see on the field, the organization and how they are coached. I ordered my tickets for WKU in Nashville the first day they were available. I think we will see a full house in Nashville for Stoops first game as Coach. It has been a long time since I have seen this type of enthusiasm for Big Blue Football. I feel real good about Barker’s decision today. I live in northern KY….8 weeks ago the word was he was signed, sealed and delivered for Spurrier……that is no longer the word Thanks to the superlative effort Stoops and his staff have invested!!!

  • TJ Wren says:

    I dont look to be the one that everybody gets mad at buuuut. Everybody was ready to have a parade when Patrick Towles signed as the Quarterback Here Jared Lorenzen said he was going to go down as one of the best ky Qbs.Chris Collinsworth worked with him and said his foot work was amazing and he was ready to do major things.He to was a 4 * QB and im hearing things that he will probably be redshirted this year and Max Smith Will be the Starter with Jalen Witlow Also getting situational reps.And if ever hurt Max goes down which I pray he has a great year because if he wouldnt have gotten hurt last year he would have thrown for at least 3500 yards.So a year better and neal brown running the show with alot of short accurate passes you would think he could throw for at least 4000.But like i said he will be majority Qb with witlow seeing some action so he might not get 4000.But back to Drew Barker He will be a Fr. Pat will be a redshirt so. with 3 years in the system do you think Drew would beat out Pat or sit behind him for a couple years or witlow.I know hes coming to Uk but will he transfer will Towles tranfer who everybody was ready to throw him up on there shoulders and ride off into the sunset,Or will the double threat witlow transfer?

  • JohnW says:

    All the major schools have 4 star qb talent that are backups…That is what it takes to keep playing at a High Level…. Even Tom Brady was not a full time starter in college….You have to build with the best talent available each yr… so if you think KY will not recruit another QB in the 2015 class you will be kidding yourself…..If you know anything about UK football you should know that when injuries have happened to us the drop off to the backup was horrendous…..this staff is trying to prevent that…..

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