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By LARRY VAUGHT

It has not taken long for new Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops to start trying to cash in on his Ohio recruiting connections.

Scout.com recruiting analyst Bill Green (@BillBankGreene) noted on Twitter Thursday that UK had offered four-star receiver Shelton Gibson and he would make an official visit to UK Saturday. Kentucky also offered Huber Heights Wayne lineman Lovell Peterson and he will also visit Saturday. Even McKinley sophomore Eric Glover-Williams got an offer from Kentucky, his first SEC offer.

Another recruiting analyst, Dave Berk (@DMBerk) posted this on Twitter: “#Kentucky football making push in Ohio with offers this week after few years of window shopping.”

Part of this has to be the Stoops name, which is particularly big northeast Ohio in cities like Canton, Youngstown and Cleveland. Part of it has to do with new tight ends coach Vince Marrow, the former Nebraska assistant with big-time ties to Ohio.

But there is also another factor apparently.

“The previous staff came but never really worked Ohio and was so selective in who they would offer,” said one recruiting analyst who asked not to be identified because of ties to the previous UK staff. “They would offer kids they could never get and ignore kids who could help them.”

“It’s still going to be an uphill battle for Stoops, but (Louisville coach) Charlie Strong is not as welcome in Ohio because he dropped a kid a couple of years ago a few weeks before signing day. He’s trying to remedy that, but Louisville won’t hurt Kentucky in Ohio.”

He said Peterson has the talent to play at Ohio State and could be a center, guard or defensive tackle. However, last year he lost weight, fell behind in the classroom and perhaps thought he could be an Olympian. He didn’t go all-out when he attended UK’s summer camp. His wake-up call came when less talented teammates got far better scholarship offers than him.

“He is the top kid in the school. If they get him, and they might, he would be a steal,” the analyst said. “I think Michigan State is maybe waiting to see his grades, so that could be a big test for them.

“But those guys are going to recruit Ohio more aggressively. They are going to hit Ohio hard. It’s not just the Stoops name. He knows they need to recruit Ohio. It’s a short drive from Cincinnati to Lexington. There are tons of players every year in Ohio who can help Kentucky a lot and Stoops not only knows that, but he intends to capitalize on that.”

27 Responses to Kentucky quickly making a big push to land Ohio recruits

  • grant says:

    You go Stoops. Gotta like a coach who is willing to get with it and break some recruiting ground that apparently UK’s last coach with his vast superior recruiting knowledge did not feel that one of the most historical, fertile recruiting grounds in the country was very important. Its amazing what a motivated coach looks like. UK has one.

  • Larry Pup says:

    You can’t sign em if you don’t recruit em! I have often wondered why UK did not recruit Ohio like a “house a fire.” This is encouraging news indeed. Keep hard at it, and UK wil eventually prevail for some great footballers. We need to steal a few from Urban. They have had their fair share already.

    • Love SEC FBall says:

      I agree with both of you – Grant & Larry Pup. Great news about Ohio.
      They are visiting on Sat. I assume they will attend a U.K. B-ball game.
      Wonder who will do the Y at this game?
      Can’t wait to sign some of these guys.

  • shinny says:

    Great news on Ohio recruiting. Let’s hope this coaching staff won’t forget the speed in Georgia where inroads have already been met. We have gotten some good ones from the peach state!

    • Larry Pup says:

      Amen to that shinny. We need to work all the deep south. Lotta speed and skill down there. I wish UK coaches would go after Ruben Foster. Looks like UGA has the inside track, and may have already reeled him in. He played at Auburn HS and had decommitted from Auburn. He is one hell of a fb player. He would make UK a great LB or DE. You want to know why Georgia beats UK just about every year? It is called recruiting the best talent. They sign the Ruben Fosters’. Great players make good coaches great, example,Nick Saban. By the way, Alabama promotes Tide Football, and so do the Gators. In my opinion coaches who win are coaches who can recruit the best talent. It is just that simple.

  • If you can recruit Ohio, you can get Penn. also…act now…

  • Mike Flannery says:

    I think there are several Ohio kids who would love to play in the SEC, we have the north border of the SEC and I am thrilled to hear Stoops will be working the area. More great news!

  • TrueBlueJohn says:

    Bear Bryant stocked his roster in the late forty’s and early 50′s from Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Names like Babe Parilli, Harry Ulinski, Walt Yarwarski, Bob Gain. We can compete in the SEC with that kind of talent. I have always thought that we ought to have a bigger footprint in Ohio. Maybe now we will.

  • Juan4UK says:

    I don’t agree with the hand at Joker. Big Ten state kids are historically loyal to the state U or to the Big 10. Only recently has any school repeatedly dip in successfully. We are lucky now that we have a coach w the built in inroads already there.

  • RJ says:

    Go get’em Mark Stoops!

  • jcc says:

    I remember back in the 70′s UK recruited Ohio heavy, why dud they quit?

    • And , you remember back in the late 70s, great Wildcat Football, funny how that works….I believe Pennsylvania is wide open also, Two Reasons…1) Penn State will lose those that normally would have been a given to that University. 2) Good Players and Great Players want to Play in the SEC, more than ever….

  • HONDO2 says:

    TO MY KNOWLEDGE COACH BRYANT WAS THE LAST UK FB COACH TO BRING IN A NUMBER OF OHIO FB PLAYERS–PEOPLE LIKE NEIL LOWRY AND BOB FRY[BOTH GOOD FRIENDS OF MINE]BOB BASSET–A KICKER–DICK SHATTO[FRESHMAN QB IN 52]SHATTO LEFT IN THE SPRING OF 53 FOR THE CANADIAN LEAGUE WHERE HE WAS THE LEAGUE MVP MORE THAN ONCE–

    YOU HAVE TO BRING IN SOME OHIO PLAYERS IN ORDER TO GET MORE OHIO PLAYERS[THEY LIKE COMPANY]

    I THINK STOOPS IS “RIGHT ON” WITH HIS RECRUITING–THE FACT THAT ELLIOT VISITED THE FRANKLIN SIMPSON PLAYER 2 HOURS AFTER OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCED AS UK’S DC IMPRESSED ME–THE FACT THAT BROWN VISITED THE FRANKLIN SIMPSON PLAYER AND ONE FROM TRINITY THIS PAST MONDAY AFTER BEING OFFICIALY ANNOUNCED AS OC AT UK EARLIER THAT DAY IMPRESSED ME–

    STOOPS GROUP HAS HIT THE GROUND RUNNING–IT WON’T BE EASY BUT “HARD WORK” BOTH OFF THE FIELD AND ON THE FIELD PAYS OFF–

    HONDO2

    • jcc says:

      I remember there being a number of players from Ohio on those 70′s teams I don’t know exactly how successful UK was but they hit Ohio hard.

  • LindaS says:

    Don’t tell anyone, but I may become a football fan, need lessons though.

    • Larry Pup says:

      Linda, IMO there are many of us who are UK football fans first. I love UK basketball, but my passion is UK football, always has been. We are sort of a rare breed in this crazy basketball state. We have not had much to shout about for many years now, but we have a new beginning and a renewed hope, and I for one am looking to better days for UK football.

    • Love SEC FBall says:

      Welcome to football Linda! We have a great time.

      Make sure your twin is available as well.
      We can usually use her during most seasons!

    • larryvaught says:

      Linda, would love to have you on the football bandwagon. Plenty of room

  • Alan says:

    Living in Ohio now, I am glad to hear that this staff is hitting this state harder. Someone posted that Big Ten kids are loyal to their state university, but Ohio is like the deep south, there is a lot more talent here than Ohio State can take.
    On a separate note, I don’t understand how the Mt. Union (Division III) coach has not been grabbed by a bigger program. He has coached at Mt. Union for 20 years.
    His record? He’s only had his team playing in the national championship game 16 of those years, and won it 11 times, he won it all again yesterday.
    His name is Larry Kehres.

  • Don't forget Indy says:

    Indy has some talent as well not much but enough that UK could come in and grab them.

  • UKFMLY says:

    Recruiting in Ohio is GREAT. But in my opinion you can’t win a SEC Championship without recruiting heavily in the South. SEC teams have won the BCS Championsip more than any other conference and it ain’t for recruiting the SEC.

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