By LARRY VAUGHT
Running back Mikel Horton was one of 11 Ohio players to sign with Kentucky and knows most of the Ohio signees. “Can’t say it is an Ohio movement, but if one commits, all commit,” Horton said. “Ohio is a small state, so we know each other and talk about going to school together.”
Kentucky recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow, like coach Mark Stoops, is an Ohio native who had connections to many of the players, including Horton.
“He is a crazy guy. He is the type guy that showed up when he was allowed to come to the house and chilled with my grandmother, chilled with my family, talked, played board games. He is very interactive. He tried to be part of the family as much as possible. He’s the main reason I picked Kentucky. He’s an amazing person. (Running backs coach) Chad Scott and Neal Brown, that whole group is special and influenced me to come here.”
Marrow joked that Horton is a guy that don’t shut up” ever when asked if he let Horton beat him in any board games.
“But that’s why we kept most of the class (together). He’s a strong, opinionated young man. I just think … he said he’s going to beat me at basketball, which he probably could right now. No, I didn’t let him win anything I could sit down and compete with. I beat him. I won,” Marrow said. “We played cards, we played Monopoly. He’s a competitive young man. He’ll try to beat you in everything. But you know what? Our whole staff was like that. Our whole team is like that. We want guys who try to compete and want to compete.”
He said a long home visit like he had with Horton was the norm with this recruiting class.
“Some of these visits went for three hours. Like, honestly, coach Stoops said you think you’re in there for an hour, and it’s just the type of families we’re recruiting. I mean, (former assistant) coach Bradley Dale Peveto will tell you. We’ll go in there thinking we’ll be in there for an hour and 20 minutes, we end up being there three hours. Just the type of kids we recruited,” Marrow said. “We was chilling with his grandmother. Very, very nice lady. But you know, Mikel. He’s probably out there talking right now. It’s just how he is, but we love we got that young man here.”
Horton wouldn’t quit talking about his expectations for what lies ahead at UK, either.
“The legacy of this class is why not be here, why not go to the NFL, why not win a national championship,” Horton said. “Nobody is holding us back. We are going to put in the work for the fans of Kentucky and ourselves and become something special.”