UK Football

Stoops, Marrow visit all of UK’s high school commitments from Ohio in less than a week

UK tight ends coach Vince Marrow joked around with Drew Barker, left, and C.J. Conrad during the program’s media day in August. Marrow is the Wildcats’ primary recruiter for the state of Ohio.
UK tight ends coach Vince Marrow joked around with Drew Barker, left, and C.J. Conrad during the program’s media day in August. Marrow is the Wildcats’ primary recruiter for the state of Ohio.

UK football coach Mark Stoops and recruiting coordinator Vince Marrow have spent quite a bit of time in their home state of Ohio this week.

Stoops and Marrow were in the Cleveland area Wednesday night for an in-home visit with future UK running back A.J. Rose, capping a four-day whirlwind trip around the Buckeye State that included a meeting with each of the Cats’ nine high school commitments from Ohio.

The pair of Youngstown natives started Sunday by visiting offensive lineman Luke Fortner and punter Grant McKinniss. On Monday, they saw defensive back Tobias Gilliam, defensive lineman Kordell Looney, tight end Justin Rigg and linebacker Roland Walder.

Stoops and Marrow had in-home visits with jack linebacker Jaylin Bannerman and running back Benny Snell on Tuesday night, then headed north to see Rose.

Two other high school commitments from Ohio — quarterback Gunnar Hoak and wide receiver Dakota Holtzclaw — are already on UK’s campus as early enrollees for the spring semester.

Some of the players who Stoops and Marrow visited this week are still being targeted by other major college programs in the run-up to national signing day, but each of the nine commitments posted pictures with the coaches to social media and none have shown signs of wavering in their pledge to UK.

In all, 14 of the Wildcats’ 24 commitments for the class of 2016 are from Ohio. Three are junior-college players.

Ben Roberts: 859-231-3216, @NextCats

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