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UK football coach Mark Stoops’ personality makes big impression on Ryan Timmons and his coach

Mark Stoops

Mark Stoops


If Franklin County receiver Ryan Timmons doesn’t go to Kentucky, it won’t be because new UK coach Mark Stoops was not personable enough.

On a recent visit to Frankfort, Stoops did everything necessary to impress Timmons, his mother and Franklin coach Chris Tracy. Stoops asked to meet Franklin teachers, asked about the type students attending Franklin and even shot basketball with members of the girls basketball team.

“For him to want to go around and meet teaches, that was really a big thing. For me to have a big-time coach want to do that with the teachers, that impressed me,” said Tracy. “But this is a guy who wanted this job. I don’t know that even Rich Brooks really sought out the Kentucky job. That’s very important that Stoops sought out this job and you can tell how much he enjoys having the job.

“Coach Stoops impresses people very easily. He has that great coaching pedigree and is very, very personable. You see that intensity on the sidelines, but he brings a charming personality to the table, too. He is somebody you could meet in a store and talk to. His personality really endears him to people.”

Tracy said UK offensive coordinator Neal Brown also related well to Timmons.

“It’s easy with Neal Brown. He is a very laid back person and very easy to like,” Tracy said. “I get calls from coaches really worked up that Ryan did not call back exactly on time. Neal is a lot more laid back and not a lot upsets him. I think they understand he is one of the kids they really need and Ryan understands he is one of the players they really want. Number one, he’s an in-state kid. Number two, he’s really talented.

“Ryan and coach Brown have a great relationship. They talk about the offense and it is almost identical stuff that we do. They really get along very well.”

Timmons was back at UK for an unofficial visit last weekend and watched the Kentucky basketball team beat LSU. His mother, who had n ever been to a UK basketball game, made the trip with him.

“He has a very difficult decision ahead of him picking a school,” Tracy said. “But I tell him on a daily basis that this time next year he will be doing what he loves. He’s going to be playing on the offensive side of the ball for a good school. He’ll probably be what we call an H-back so he has the ability to line up in the slot, motion to the backfield, run a jet sweep and get good matchups with his speed.

“He can do so many things. Until his sophomore year, he was not even a receiver. He was just a running back until then. But we wanted to make it so people could not hone in on him, so we started moving him around. His versatility makes him such a good player. That and his speed and instincts. I remember a game his junior year at Anderson County where three defenders were converging on him, he stopped, cut and all three ran into each other as he went into the end zone.”

Timmons will make his college choice known Tuesday at 1 p.m. during a ceremony at the high school. That’s a day before the national signing period begins, but Timmons will be attending a DECA competition at the University of Kentucky on Feb. 6 — signing day.

“We just thought it would be better to get his announcement out of the way before he went to the DECA competition,” Tracy said. “All along we talked about being deliberate and even taking his mom with him places to make sure she saw what he saw. I think deep down Ryan knows where he wants to go but he has not told anybody.

“What I have been most impressed with in the last month with all the coaches coming in is that he has kept his 4.0 grade-point average. His goal is to graduate with a 3.5. He came into the year with a 3.0 and has to have a 4.0 for the year to do that. Right now he has a 3.25, but he wants to get to 3.5. He’s very goal oriented like that and his mom has done a wonderful job of keeping him focused. Overall, he’s just matured and handled all this signing pressure very well.

“I couldn’t imagine being 18 years old and making this decision. He’s under a microscope. If he goes anywhere, it is tweeted out what he’s doing. Ryan just got a Twitter account three or four months ago and already has over 2,000 followers. It’s crazy, but he’s handled it all very well and it is almost over now.”

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  1. JCC

    If he is going to make the announcement the day before he is to be on campus???? I like our chances of getting this gamebreaking (Cobb) kind of player.

    1. larryvaught

      does sound good doesn’t it JCC

  2. coldspringmike

    Had to google DECA to see what it was. I’m impressed. Love to have you at UK Ryan Timmons.

  3. JCC

    Florida has offered and Joker is their RC so I guess JP is spending alot of time up in Frankfort? Who are the top 3 schools Larry?

    1. larryvaught

      I think it would be Kentucky, Florida and Illinois with Timmons

  4. Gary Dearborn

    What a great kid. Even better is the interest that Coach Tracy takes in his players on and off the field. FCHS is lucky to have him.

    Would love to view Larry’s thoughts on the new staff and their recruiting efforts. Can’t believe we are talking FB in January!!

    1. Love SEC F-Ball

      Looks like “The Times They Are A Changin”

    2. larryvaught

      Gary, agree with you on chris. Love the guy and did when he brought team to Bob Allen Pigskin Classic and first told me about Timmons. This new staff rocks. Amazing what it is doing

  5. Larry Pup

    Ryan is a great athlete. A home-grown one at that. I hope he chooses UK. He could do alot for this program. He would make many in BBN very happy. I would love to see him in the Blue and White. As for Coach Stoops, UK is very much in the hunt due to good effort and persistence. Thanks Coach for your hard work. When it’s all said and done however, Ryan should listen to his heart.

  6. eddie

    one thing he did say a while back it would nice to play in a place where his family could come see him play on saturdays

  7. Ira

    Great athlete, but great on the academic side as well. That would be one student/player we wouldn’t have to worry every year whether he is keeping his grades up in the class room come each spring and summer. Love to see him play for 4 yrs and get drafted at UK like our 2007 WR class did. He could be part of something special again.

  8. John Blakeman

    In my opinion, Ryan is our most important recruit by a long way! He is such a very gifted person that would be a real difference maker for our Cats. He would be getting in on the ground floor of our Cats becoming a real force in the SEC. At FL he may be just another good player, at UK he would become a hero!!
    John Blakeman

    1. larryvaught

      YOu are a wise man John Blakeman

      1. Viper

        Ridiculous ability, goal oriented, excellent student, great kid….sounds like a gridiron version of Brandon Knight.

  9. John Whitaker

    LarryVaught is there anyway you could do a interview with Za’Darius Smith and ask him about what he thinks of UK since he came without visiting….Thanks

  10. John Herndon

    I had Ryan Timmons on my selections for Kentucky Sportsman of the Year. Here is what I wrote about him on my ballot.

    “I have seen thousands of high school football players in my writing career, but I can only remember one who I felt was truly a threat to score on any play from anywhere on the field. His name is Ryan Timmons, who dominated the game even when he did not have the ball.
    When Anderson County kicked a field goal to go ahead of Franklin County 52-50 with 14 seconds to play, I tweeted it was an eternity with Ryan Timmons on the field. Even though Anderson kicked away from Timmons, it really was an eternity as he got the ball on a handoff, then returned the kick for a touchdown on the final play.
    Timmons is a mighty fine basketball player and a state champion sprinter as well. ”

    I have talked with Timmons just in passing a couple of times but came away very impressed by the young man. He would be a HUGE get for UK. Seems to be a fine young man. On the field, he not only has great speed, but great football instincts that just can’t be taught.

  11. Alan

    JCC is exactly right….I believe Timmons will be another Randal Cobb-type player.

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