Q&A: What Vince Marrow said on signing day

 Posted by at 3:32 PM on February 6, 2014  Add comments
Feb 062014
 
Vince Marrow

Vince Marrow

New UK football recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow held a press conference Wednesday to talk about the Cats’ first-ever Top 20 class. Here’s pretty much everything the Ohio native had to say on national signing day:

On whether there’s anyone in the state of Ohio he doesn’t know personally:

“You know, it seems like that. But I come from a large family, and Coach Stoops comes from a large family. Growing up in northeastern Ohio and then playing college in northwestern Ohio, and then me and my wife — when I was coaching NFL Europe — lived in central Ohio for 10 years, so I’ve lived in three big parts of the state. And just my brother being a high school coach there, and Coach Stoops’ brother was a high school coach there, and he’s a college coach at Youngstown State, we just have a good connection there.”

On whether he exceeded his own expectations with Ohio in this class:

“Actually, honestly, no. I felt pretty good when I was at Nebraska and we took this job, having four or five high-quality guys go to Nebraska, which was like 14 hours away — I felt when Coach Stoops got this job here, the first thing he said to me was, ‘Hey, we can recruit Ohio pretty hard.’ So, like I said, with our reputation there, I felt pretty good about it.”

On Tymere Dubose, who played for Marrow’s brother in high school:

“I think if Tymere would have went through the whole process, he’d have had Ohio State in there, Michigan, Oregon — and he had some pretty good offers. But it’s a true story: I’m not going to say the school’s name, but it’s a top-five school that came in to offer him. My brother was saying that he was committed to us. They said, ‘Well, you would think that if we would offer him, he’ll be interested in us.’ And he said, ‘Nah, he’s committed.’ He paused a little bit, and then he said, ‘Are you related to the Marrow guy?’ And my brother said, ‘Yeah, that’s my younger brother.’ And the guy, he went on to another subject.”

On recruiting without on-field success to pitch:

“I think you’re pitching the university, but you’re pitching the head coach. I mean, you look at our staff. We come from a lot of good programs, and every one of these guys were fired up to come and work for Mark. I think it speaks to your leader. But then coming here — and I’ve said it before to a lot of different people — this state sells this program. I thought it was basketball (school), which they’re pretty good in basketball. But they really do love their football here. And so our biggest part, I think, has been the people here. The media’s been pretty good. A lot of the parents when they came down for junior days or spring ball, they were very impressed with the support that was given to this program.”

On whether they have to start getting wins to pitch to 2015 recruits:

“Yeah. I mean, that’s in life. You’ve got to win. But I think when we finished with the ’13 class and I think a couple of our coaches made the statement that we felt good about a higher recruiting — what you guys rank recruiting class — we felt good about what we were doing. Right now, we’re targeting and getting a lot of good responses from a lot of top ’15 guys in the country. I think when they get here, it’s such a family atmosphere. I love the coaches I work with, the support staff, the people of this university. It’s a thing where I think the parents see these things. And of course, you’ve got to win games, which we plan on doing. But it’s just a process. But I do feel pretty good about where we’re at with 2015. One thing about Coach Stoops is: Recruit, recruit, recruit. Like, we may enjoy the day for a couple of hours, and then we’re back tomorrow on 2015. It’s just the way it is in this conference. You see, you finish top 13, 20. But we’re No. 9 in our conference. We’ve got to keep recruiting.”

On the solidarity of the class and the key to having only one decommitment:

“I think Coach Stoops said it, and I heard Neal say it and even D.J. It was more the type of families. When you recruit, you recruit families. Just some strong-character families. Like I said, when they got down there, they see it’s football, but it’s also more than football. You want your kid to be at a place where they’re cared about, the academic support is strong. That’s the phrase other schools threw out, because when you’re coming up behind other schools and you beat them head-to-head in recruiting, they’ve got to throw out something. They said all that, but as we see, we had one decommit, and that speaks mainly who our head coach is. He’s a great recruiter, make no mistake about that. He’s a head coach, but he’s a good recruiter. And the families see that.”

On tight end signee Darryl Long, for whom he was the primary recruiter:

“You know, I think you guys need to understand how the recruiting process goes. We start out as a whole staff, and we watch guys. And they say yea or nay. Therefore, there’s a lot of other people without me just saying, ‘I want Darryl Long.’ It goes coordinator, then recruiting coordinator, but the head coach has the final say. And with Darryl, I think, unanimously, our whole staff liked him. He’s a long guy coming out of the state of Ohio, playing at a school, Westerville South, where they’ve got numbers of NFL guys that came out of there. They’ve got a Heisman guy, Ki-Jana Carter, and Andy Katzenmoyer, so it’s a good program he comes from. He’s a big guy that can run. My starting tight end was 230. Darryl’s about 240 right now and working hard every day, so I’m very excited about him.”

On whether he let Mikel Horton win at board games on his in-home visit:

“No. I don’t know if you guys got to meet Mikel. He’s a guy that don’t shut up. But that’s why we kept most of the class. He’s a strong, opinionated young man. I just think, you know, 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.”

On what games they played:

“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.”

On how long he was there if he had time for a game of Monopoly:

“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, Coach 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.”

On what makes Stoops a good recruiter:

“You know, growing up with him and knowing him for about 25 years now, just probably where he comes from, and a lot of people can say that. Coach Peveto’s a son of a football coach. His dad was a coach, a guy that meant a lot to me. It’s just a thing, we’re a blue-collar town. We don’t BS people, we’re just who we are. And I think families see that. And I know a lot of moms really loved him. They love him when he comes in the room.”

On whether he was “chilling” with Horton’s grandmother, as Horton characterized it:

“Yeah, 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.”

On whether there was anything that surprised him over the past year in recruiting for Kentucky:

“Just the negative recruiting. But like I said, again, it actually ended up benefiting us. When kids are sold on a school and people try to negative recruit, it actually backfires on them. What I learned is people — they had nothing else to say. We have a pretty good staff, guys are very knowledgable, come from a lot of good places, good head coach, good fan base here. So really, they try to just go off of what your previous success was.”

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