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Recruiting analyst Randy Taylor says UK has to take advantage of the Stoops name

uk footballBy LARRY VAUGHT

Randy Taylor has over 30 years experience in the college football recruiting ranks and has been on staffs at Illinois, UCLA, San Jose State and Minnesota as well as having his own recruiting service before joining NCSA Athletic Recruiting as a recruiting analyst and national speaker. Taylor likes what he saw from Mark Stoops’ first recruiting class at Kentucky.

“If you have an aggressive, active head coach that enjoys recruiting you’ve got a chance. His name recognition can get him in the door of recruits other coaches can’t. Take advantage of it,” Taylor, who helped recruit a No. 1 class at UCLA, said. “I would be confident if I was a Wildcat fan as I think this group can get this done. In my mind success has different levels and being in the hunt for conference titles and consistently playing in bowl games should be the short term goals.”

Taylor offered these insights on the recent Kentucky football recruiting class.

Question: How do you evaluate the first recruiting class that Stoops was able to put together at Kentucky?
Taylor: “Under the circumstances of putting the staff and organization together in a first year it was pretty good especially with key mid year prospects on campus and a couple good junior college kids to add early depth and maybe more.”

Question: Are there any major surprises to you about the class?
Taylor: “That had to be getting Jason Hatcher at the end.”

Question: Do you think this is only a sign of things to come about the emphasis he will have on recruiting in Florida and Ohio? How much could that help Kentucky?
Taylor: “Their location to Ohio and other Big Ten areas as well as the southeast states lend itself to this. Being in the SEC allows them legitimate access to any of the southeast states where by the way the most talent in the nation resides. If a midwest kid wants to play in the SEC they can go to Kentucky without much of a long drive. In the end, where they decide to spend time building relationships with high schools or already have relationships going is whee they’ll be most successful.”

Question: Who are the stars of this recruiting class in your opinion?
Taylor: “Getting Jason Hatcher at the end the decommit from USC was a great get. Za’Darius Smith, the defensive end from East Mississippi Community College is a long athlete with good quickness and a motor who’s already on campus getting into the system is huge. I like receiver Javess Blue, another junior college kid from Butler Community College. He’s an explosive kid, a playmaker and has good length. Alvonte Bell, a defensive end from Everglades, Fla., has a terrific upside and may be the sleeper of the class. Finally, I like that they got the young quarterback on campus in the spring, Reese Phillips from Signal Mountain, Tenn. He’s got the size, accuracy and can throw on time that you want in a quarterback and I think he’ll get bigger, stronger and faster at this level making him a really good prospect. Nate Willis, cornerback from Arizona Western Junior College has good size, is instinctive, quick and runs well. He can handle bigger receivers.”

Question: How does Kentucky’s signing class stack up with other SEC classes?
Taylor: “They’re in the bottom few of the conference but have some good kids throughout the list that will be contributors at a high level and some immediately. This class would be several spots higher in most other leagues.”

Question: When you think of Kentucky football, what do you think of?
Taylor: “They should win more!”

Question: What kind of long-term impact can Stoops and this staff have on recruiting at Kentucky?
Taylor: “Depends on how active coach Stoops and his staff is year in and year out in their efforts. Recruiting is a year-round job and not just with the next class. They have to make underclass prospects high priorities. Recruiting of the class of 2014 is about one-third over already.”

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  1. Larry Pup

    Coach will get this done! All you have to do is look at him.

  2. Ira

    Coach Stoops alluded to the fact that they were behind on recruiting the 2014 class as well. Said they had to be so focused on getting the 2013 class secured, the 2014 class recruitment is behind. That was from an interview maybe week and 1/2 ago two maybe.

    But I know one thing, if you are a preemy member on Rivals, you’d never know it. There have been so many offers out in the last week or so it’s unreal. This coaching staff is making the ground up fast. You can’t keep up with all the guys we are going after. Guys who are expected to be 4 star, or highly rated 3 star at the least. Offers on 5 stars. This staff isn’t backing down from anyone. Talent to win in the SEC!

    1. Love SEC F-Ball

      That is great news. I do not have the Rival’s membership, so I appreciate your info.
      Keep us posted.

      I noticed his comments about being behind for 2014 and Neal Brown also mentioned 2015 as well. This staff will catch up and pass most schools very soon. They are getting it done!

      1. larryvaught

        LoveSECF-ball, just count on his for your football info. you know that

  3. Love SEC F-Ball

    I agree with Taylor’s comments.
    One item that jumped out was his comment about location. He said that our location is an advantage. (Close to Ohio, Other Big 10 areas and the Southeast states)
    In the past we were told that we can’t recruit because of geographical restrictions!

  4. Ira

    The only restrictions on recruiting were the ones the previous staff put on themselves.

    There is a list up now on the divisions on which part of the staff takes what state, what part of each state. Divided it up great. Each staff member will be working to their strength. No one will be recruiting in areas they don’t have connections in. Coach Stoops gets it. That plan he presented to the AD, had to have been awesome.

    Can’t wait for the spring game!

  5. David

    Great article! Coach Stoops and his coaches are really hitting the recruiting hard, something I have not seen in the 15 years of being a ticket holder. I can’t wait to see this team and coaches hit the field. I am predicting a couple upsets next season. if these guys pull off 6 wins I will be really impressed. Go Cats!!!!

  6. David

    Great post, thanks!

  7. Juan4UK

    I just cant see how all of this info from rivals, 247 and scout hasn’t made to the Internet. If UK coaches need to create more buzz by improving relationships w these Natl services, I can see that. But there should b more free flow after a week or so. Its a failing of the lhl in some respects cause they have staff designated for fb alone, yet from the vague twitterverse, they only get a fraction of what the premiums get.

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