Vince Marrow hasn’t been on the sidelines for a single game as UK’s tight ends coach, but he’s already heard plenty about how he won’t be with the Wildcats long.
The former NFL tight end joined Mark Stoops’ coaching staff in December after two seasons at the University of Nebraska. Since then, he’s helped build a surprisingly good recruiting class of 2013 and an unprecedented (by UK’s standards) collection of talent for the class of 2014.
Marrow has also attracted a lot of national attention in his first few months on the job. As primary recruiter for the state of Ohio, much of UK’s recent success has been attributed directly to him. He was the subject of an ESPN profile earlier this summer and has been mentioned among the best recruiters in the country in recent months.
With that attention has come speculation that he’ll bolt UK for bigger things sometime in the near future.
Marrow says he’s staying put.
“‘Are you going to stay?’ they ask me. ‘Are you leaving?’ This is the SEC. This is a great place to live,” he said Monday. “Unless somebody’s going to make me the head coach of the New York Jets or something like that, I like this place.
“There’s going to be negative recruiting. Don’t buy into that stuff.”
Marrow pointed out that he’s been friends with Stoops since the two were in grade school back in Youngstown, Ohio. Past UK coaching staffs haven’t had much success recruiting the state. That’s changed in a big way since the arrival of Stoops and Marrow.
The Cats already have commitments from eight of the top-40 prospects from the Buckeye State for the class of 2014, according to Rivals. That includes four four-star players, all ranked among the top eight players in the state.
And the new UK assistant is expecting bigger things in the future.
Marrow played for Nick Saban at Toledo in 1990 and followed the now-legendary coach’s career. He sees parallels to what Saban did at Alabama and what Stoops plans to do at UK.
“Just how Nick Saban went in in (2007) and changed that structure (at Alabama). Mark Stoops is doing this in 2013,” Marrow said. “The process is going to work. People have thrown out all kinds of negative of stuff, saying we couldn’t get recruits. Well, we did that in ’13. Then they said we couldn’t get people coming to the spring game. We had over 50,000 show up. Then they say we can’t keep up in recruiting. It’s 2014 and we’re in the top five.
“So we ain’t listening to all the noise out there. We’re going to do what we’re going to do. And we’re going to keep executing what we’re doing.”
Marrow spoke at length about UK’s efforts in Ohio, negative recruiting from other schools, Stoops’ plan for the Wildcats and much more. Check this blog Tuesday or see Wednesday’s edition of the Herald-Leader for a candid and wide-ranging Q&A with the assistant coach.