WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News, Weather, Sports

UK players react to Stoops' hiring

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Kentucky football players are reacting to the hiring of thier new coach Mark Stoops. Wednesday UK released several comments from players. Stoops is scheduled to be introduced in Lexington Sunday.

Kentucky Football Player Quotes on the Hiring of Mark Stoops

Mike Douglas, So., DT

On when he first learned of Coach Stoops being hired …
“Yesterday afternoon. I felt really great about it and I know he is known for his defense and he turned Florida State’s defense around. I am really excited.”

On Coach Stoops …
“It makes me really excited because growing up I have watched Florida State and all the other Florida schools. I am really, really excited to meet him and learn his defense.”

On Coach Stoops being a defensive-minded coach …

“We are still going to have to practice hard and work hard. He will probably pay more attention to the defensive side like Coach Phillips paid more attention to the offensive side of the ball. We are ready and excited.”

Landon Foster, Fr., P

On when he first learned of Coach Stoops being hired …
“I got a text saying Coach (Stoops) was hired and then got a text from ESPN saying he was probably going to be hired. It was around 3 (o’clock) yesterday afternoon.”

On Coach Stoops being a defensive-minded coach …

“Defensively minded guys really enjoy punting, obviously, because of field position. In high school, my defensive coordinator loved me and he would always take pride in telling me where he wanted the punts to go, which side of the field he wanted me to punt to. I think defensive-minded coaches really care, enjoy and understand the importance of punting and field position. That is obviously exciting.”

On what athletics director Mitch Barnhart told the team the last few days …

“Just to continue what we are doing academically and just continue to work hard in the classroom and in the weight room. Obviously, everyone is excited about Coach Stoops coming and he is excited, too. He wants that to carry on in the weight room and classroom as well.”

Khalid Henderson, Fr., LB

On when he first learned of Coach Stoops being hired …
“We found out yesterday. I found out through some of the players and staff.”

On Coach Stoops being a defensive-minded coach …

“I was very excited, being that I am a freshman and have a lot more years to play here at the University of Kentucky. I felt it was a great opportunity for me to have a more defensive-minded coach that can help me out in the long run.”

On if he knows or is familiar with Coach Stoops’ defensive style …

“I know about the Stoops family overall and some of the similar coaching styles. Based upon the defense he ran at other places it is a very exciting defense and they fly around a lot.”

A.J. Legree, Fr., WR

On when he first learned of Coach Stoops being hired …
“Actually, Jalen (Whitlow) told me first and then I saw it on ESPN. Then they texted us like they always do, so we found out that way as well.”

On what his first impression of the hire was …

“My home state is Florida and growing up my cousin (Kendyll Pope) played for the Seminoles and I was a Seminoles fan, so I was king of excited.”

On guys that he knows that have played for Coach Stoops and their impressions …
“I know some guys from there like Timmy Jernigan (defensive tackle at Florida State), but I haven’t really called or texted them asking how he is. I want it to be a surprise. I just want to soak it all in and work hard like I did last season.”

On the mood of the team …
“The guys are looking at it as we are making a transition right now. The guys are focused on getting better and working out and finishing this semester right. We are excited.”

On what athletics director Mitch Barnhart told the team the last few days …

“Just to stay positive and work hard.”

Maxwell Smith, So., QB

On when he first learned of Coach Stoops being hired …
“Well, I saw a lot on Twitter and they said he was the coach and then I got a text from Nolan (Jones, director of operations) that it was official and that is when I knew for sure.”

On what his first impression of the hire was …
“I was surprised, in a good way. I didn’t really expect that and I think it is a good answer for our team. I have heard a lot about him and heard a lot about his defenses so I thought it would be a good fit for us.”

On what he knows about Coach Stoops’ coaching style …
“I watched a lot of Pac-12 football being from California, so I know a lot about that defense. I have watched a lot of football in general, so I know a lot about his defense. I know his brothers some and I was recruited by his brother (Mike) some at Arizona and got to meet his brother there.”

On what athletics director Mitch Barnhart told the team the last few days …

“The message was just to let us know what he (Coach Stoops) is about. He wanted to make sure that we stayed on top of our grades.”

On how his rehab is going …
“Things are going well. I am a lot further along in the rehab process, starting to do some ladder drills and starting to jog a little bit here and there so that is good. It is getting close, but not fully there yet where I am able to run and get out and throw routes.”

Patrick Towles, Fr., QB

On what his first impression of the hire was …

“I have never met (Coach Stoops) but from what I hear he is a very enthusiastic guy and very, very passionate, which is what I think we need around here. We need a guy that is going to come in and not take any nonsense and going to get us to start winning football games.”

On how he would describe the mood of the team …
“I would say that last week we were all just waiting patiently for a decision. When we heard who the coach was going to be there was definitely a since of excitement and anxiousness to meet him. Now it is go time. Now, we know what the future holds and we have to work as hard as we can to be productive.”

On what his emotions will be when Coach Stoops is about to walk into the team meeting room for the first time …
“I think excitement. First impressions are everything and we are super excited to have him here to join us in an effort to compete to get to Atlanta.”

On this being the end of a roller coaster three weeks …
“It has been a roller coaster, that is for sure. Like you said, a couple three weeks ago is when we found out that Coach Phillips wouldn’t return next season and that was emotional. We really do still love him and we wish the best for him. The win here at Senior Night was awesome to send these guys out of Lexington with a win. Yesterday, finding out who our head coach was going to be next year just really excited me. It should really excite the fans, too.”

Jalen Whitlow, Fr., QB

On what his first impression of the hire was …

“I am excited. I am ready to get started.”

On what he knows about Coach Stoops …
“My high school teammate (who plays at Florida State) said that he loves him and all the guys love him and that he is a good guy and good coach. I am excited for him to get here and try to get some wins and get to a bowl game next year.”

On the mood of the team …
“Everybody is up and intense and ready to get started. We are ready for a fresh start.”

On what athletics director Mitch Barnhart told the team the last few days …

“He just polished us up on getting good grades and staying focused and doing everything we have to do so we are ready. When Coach Stoops comes in we need to be ready to work.”

On getting to meet Coach Stoops …
“We are excited, of course. Very excited. We are ready for a change, ready to get started and ready to beat some teams next year.”

Avery Williamson, Jr., LB

On when he first learned of Coach Stoops being hired …
“I saw it on Twitter and everybody kept saying it so I figured it was probably him.”

On what his first impression of the hire was …

“I started to look into it and got really excited. He is a great defensive coordinator and he has a great defense down there. I feel good about the pick.”

On Coach Stoops being a defensive-minded coach …
“Yeah, it is kind of exciting. I know that he is going to be a really aggressive. I am excited to see what his coaching style is and what he brings to the table.”

On what his emotions will be when Coach Stoops is about to walk into the team meeting room for the first time …
“I really don’t know, I am just excited to see what it is going to be like.”

On what athletics director Mitch Barnhart told the team the last few days …

“To expect an up-tempo and really aggressive style of coaching and be ready to work hard because that is the type of guy that Coach Stoops is.”

On this being the end of a roller coaster three weeks …
“I am glad that we got a win for Coach Phillips on his last home game and for the seniors as well. This has been a rocky season with a lot of stuff happening, ups and down and different emotions.”


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus

WKYT

2851 Winchester Rd. Lexington, Ky 40509 859-299-0411 - switchboard 859-299-2727 - newsroom
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 181264821 - wkyt.com/a?a=181264821
Gray Television, Inc.