Mark Story: Stoops' success recruiting in Ohio hurts 5 schools the most

Herald-Leader Sports ColumnistMay 12, 2014 

Quick hitters from Mel Kiper Jr.'s post-draft hibernation:

21. Mark Stoops' Ohio invasion. With the commitments last week of La Grange, Ohio, tight end C.J. Conrad and Youngstown linebacker Jordan Jones, Kentucky has signed or currently holds commitments from 18 players from the Buckeye State since Ohio native Stoops became UK's head coach.

20. Who is UK hurting? A much-discussed question is: Which programs are being most affected by Kentucky's recruiting success in Ohio?

19. A means of answering. One way of assessing that is determining which schools have seen the most players from Ohio they have offered scholarships sign with Kentucky. (To do so, I used the scholarship offers as listed by Rivals.com).

18. Indiana. Since Stoops came to Kentucky, the Hoosiers have seen 13 Ohio players to whom they had offered scholarships pick UK.

17. Illinois. The Fighting Illini have watched 11 Ohio prospects holding scholarship offers commit to Kentucky and Stoops.

16. West Virginia and Cincinnati. Since 2013, each school has had 10 Ohio prospects holding scholarship offers choose UK.

15. Louisville. Under Stoops, Kentucky has signed or has commitments from nine Ohio prospects who had been offered U of L scholarships.

14. Michigan State, Pittsburgh and Purdue. The Spartans, Panthers and Boilermakers have each seen seven such Ohio players from Ohio commit to Stoops at Kentucky.

13. Vanderbilt, Nebraska, Georgia Tech and Minnesota. Vandy has seen six Ohio prospects holding scholarship offers sign or commit to UK in the Stoops era; the Cornhuskers, Yellowjackets and Golden Gophers have all lost five such prospects to Kentucky.

12. The verdict. However the heavy investment in recruiting Ohio players turns out for UK, the guy who wrote the article "The Big Ten's Kentucky Problem" on the Ohio State fan site Eleven Warriors was on to something.

11. State of Kentucky in the NFL Draft. Colleges from our state had eight players drafted last week — Louisville had four (three in the first round), Western Kentucky two, and Kentucky and Murray State one each.

10. In perspective. LSU alone had nine players drafted.

9. UK in the draft, good. With Avery Williamson taken in the fifth round by the Tennessee Titans, Kentucky has had at least one player chosen in every NFL draft since 2008.

8. UK in the draft, bad. After having nine players chosen in three drafts from 2008-10, UK has had only five taken in four drafts from 2011-14.

7. Terrance Cobb. When the University of the Cumberlands running back signed a rookie free-agent contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars, he became the first player from the school ever to sign an NFL deal, according to the school.

6. Todd Pletcher. Contrary to what I wrote a week ago, the trainer has had two horses hit the board in the Kentucky Derby since winning the 2010 race with Super Saver. In addition to Danza's third place this year, Revolutionary was third last year.

5. Donnie Tyndall. Many people will recall that the new Tennessee men's basketball coach went 0-1 against Kentucky in his days as head coach at Morehead State. The Eagles and then-junior standout Kenneth Faried lost in Rupp Arena, 75-59, on Nov. 13, 2009, in John Calipari's first game as UK head coach.

4. Tyndall the player. Fewer people might remember that the new UT head coach also faced UK once as a player. On Dec. 12, 1991, Tyndall played 27 minutes at guard for Morehead State and scored three points with five assists in a 101-84 loss to UK in Freedom Hall.

3. Ben Revere. In 2007, when the Philadelphia Phillies outfielder graduated from Lexington Catholic High School, one of his middle school teachers, Sharon Calhoun, recalls sending him a graduation card with a $25 Target gift certificate inside.

2. Getting a job. As Calhoun remembers it, soon after graduation, Revere signed with the Minnesota Twins. At the time, it was reported that the first-round draft pick received a $750,000 signing bonus.

1. Revere's thank you card. "He signed his contract, then I get a thank you note from him in which he said he would spend (the gift certificate) wisely," Calhoun said. "That's always made me laugh. But that's Ben; he was always very humble."

Mark Story: (859) 231-3230. Email: mstory@herald-leader.com. Twitter: @markcstory.

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