By LARRY VAUGHT
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Veteran Lakota West Larry Cox likes what he has seen from the new University of Kentucky football coaching staff, but stressed even as impressive as Mark Stoops has been, the UK program needs time to develop.
“Patience is the key. Let them get developed. They’re doing the right things and saying the right things right now. Those kids down there are working hard but let’s bring in those top recruits to make a difference,” said Cox during an appearance Saturday at the Ohio UK Convention here.
“He’s the first coach to come in and dramatically impact Ohio. I’ve been at Lakota West for 17 years. (Former Ohio State coach) Jim Tressel probably did the best job of running Ohio. Before that, there wasn’t a school that just said, ‘We own it.’ Look at Cincinnati’s success. ‘We’re putting a fence around southwest Ohio. The ones that Ohio State doesn’t want, we’ll get.’
“When Stoops called me wanting Kyle (Meadows), he said, ‘We’re going to make an impact.’ It’s not a knock against athletes in Kentucky but a testament to how many SEC athletes you can pull from here. If you want to be great, you’ve got to pull kids that way. Getting those kids is critical to the success of the program.”
Meadows, an offensive lineman, did sign with UK in February. He’s not on campus yet, but will be soon.
“He’s finishing up one last class and he’ll be ready to go. I’m real excited about his impact there. He’s a big athletic young man, almost 6-6. I call him a tall 6’5, about 285 pounds,” Cox said. “He started out as a basketball player. I kept looking at him and saying, ‘I know you love basketball but you need to start looking at football.’
“(Kentucky assistant) Vince Marrow did a great job when his recruitment was coming to a close with trying to hook him in after he visited Oklahoma and West Virginia. Kyle had an immediate connection with him (Marrow) and (offensive line) coach (John) Schlarman.”
Cox has one story he feels illustrates how special Meadows is.
“Kyle Meadows used to walk two miles to school every day,” Cox said. “It didn’t matter rain or whatever. He didn’t want to be picked up and look spoiled. His attendance was near perfect. That’s the kind of young man he is. Attentive and very loyal. He will always work hard.”
Next: Cox on 2014 UK commit Mike Horton.