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First Down Kentucky: One Final Holiday

Nick Roushby:Nick Roush05/24/24

RoushKSR

The time to exhale is nearing an end. Memorial Day weekend will see be upon us. It means something different for everybody. For the Kentucky football team, it’s one last gasp at summer before the work begins for the 2024 season.

May serves as a month for Kentucky football players to return home and enjoy some time with family and friends. Players hit the reset button before the sweaty summer grind begins. The Wildcats will not immediately report back to campus following the holiday — after all, Mark Stoops still has to make a trip to Destin for the SEC Spring Meetings next week — but the end of spring vacation is near. Hopefully, they have a safe and enjoyable weekend, because there’s little time to rest. Only 99 days until it’s Football Time in the Bluegrass.

Vince Marrow Recruiting in Kentucky

Before the Big Dog enjoys some well-deserved R&R, he spent time on Friday morning driving down US-27 from Lexington to Danville to visit with Justin Haddix’s Boyle County football program. Marrow posed for a picture with Montavin Quisenberry, a three-star slot receiver who’s spent plenty of time on Kentucky’s campus over the last few years. The Wildcats are in a nice spot for the 2025 recruit, but he’s not the only player to monitor from that program.

Haddix has continued Boyle County’s legacy as a football factory and he has a few underclassmen that KSR will certainly be watching closely at camps in June. Maybe the most gifted of them all is Seneca Driver, a 6-foot-6, 205-pound 2027 athlete who plays tight end, EDGE, and power forward on the hardwood.

Another Headline for the Big Dog

On Thursday Marrow made a trip to Louisville with Eric Wolford to pay Isaac Sowells a visit at Male High School. That recruitment is going to be a competitive one. That’s also not the headline I was referring to.

FootballScoop is sharing which position coaches are the highest paid in the country. I admittedly can’t tell if it’s new data or just a more thorough scan of the USA Today database. Nevertheless, you will not be surprised to learn that Vince Marrow is the highest-paid tight ends coach in college football, earning $1.2 million per year.

The highest earners on the list make so much more money because they do so much more than coach tight ends. Marrow is Mark Stoops’ righthand man who is able to say things publicly the head coach often can’t. He is the top recruiter on staff and one of the best in the country at that. Marrow’s most important contribution to the program is overlooked. He’s the middleman between the players and the head coach. When players are unhappy or there are “locker room issues,” he ensures the problems do not become combustible.

Marrow is earning his seven-figure salary and he could give us another reason why when Martels Carter announces his commitment tomorrow afternoon.

An Obscene Transfer Portal Recruitment

Some Kentucky football fans weren’t too happy the Wildcats didn’t more aggressively pursue Brandon Lane in the transfer portal. I think we now know why Stoops’ staff made a wise choice.

Lane, an FCS transfer defensive lineman, was initially considered a heavy lean to Michigan State. A few weeks after nothing materialized, he committed to Louisville. That commitment did not stick. Four days later he announced a commitment to Wisconsin, ending a wild ride in the transfer portal (or is it?).

ICYMI: Kentucky Native Forced to Retire

This flew under KSR’s radar but is nonetheless noteworthy. Jacob Lacey was forced to medically retire from football. A four-star talent from Bowling Green in the 2019 recruiting class, Kentucky missed out on his initial recruitment. When he transferred from Notre Dame following the 2022 season, Kentucky was once again in the mix until he ultimately landed at Oklahoma.

Lacey suffered from blood clots in his lungs last summer, casting doubt on his future. Blood thinners worked and he was cleared to play last fall. Unfortunately, they returned just before the start of spring practice, forcing the Kentucky native to hang up his pads for good. Lacey is sticking with Oklahoma as the program transfers to the SEC, serving as a player-coach of sorts while completing his college curriculum.

Quote of the Day

EA Sports College Football ’25 will be a phenomenon, one that could actually impact college football programs this fall. Here’s what Texas A&M head coach Mike Elko had to say about it to Travis Brown of The Eagle.

“In full disclosure, because I’ve been a part of this before, you can’t imagine how much the release of a hot new video game can impact your football team. I remember going all the way back to when the second Call of Duty came out and it got released in October in the middle of one of our football seasons. We literally were having meetings with our defense about why it was not good to stay up until four in the morning playing Call of Duty. We had practice at 7 o’clock the next morning.”

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2024-06-12