Kentucky's top recruiter talks about his methods

Vince Marrow thinks having four children, including one who played football at Alabama, helps him relate to recruits and their parents. (Vicky Graff Photo)

What makes Vince Marrow such a dynamic recruiter for Kentucky football?

“I have four kids of my own and a son who played at Alabama and won a national title,” Marrow, UK's recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach, said. “You have to find out what kids’ interest are and what their parents are interested in. Who are the decision makers in the kid’s life? What ups and downs has he been through?

“The way I relate is the same way I relate to my own kids. Kids can tell you what their generation is like. I ask kids who is that singing that song. Stuff like that. I am like a kid really. I love kids, I really do.

“My main thing is most kids we recruit are from inner cities, single mom, live with grandmother. I want to help change the direction of their life. Everybody is not going to play pro ball but I can help them get a degree and change their life.”

He also doesn’t bash a player who doesn’t pick UK and tells fans not to, either. He points to Florida State transfer linebacker Xavier Peters, a one-time UK commit, as why he never burns bridges.

“I never talked to the kid again after he signed with Florida State, but when he wanted to leave to get back closer to home he knew he wanted to go to Kentucky. You just never know what might go full circle in recruiting,” Marrow said. “If fans bash a kid after he goes somewhere else it can be a negative experience and he won’t consider coming back.

“I didn’t really know what this fan base was like when I came here. The majority are really good. There is serious football support here. This is a very unique place. That’s one I reason I have never left (for a another job) along with just loving the guys here. I want to be part of winning and get this place really going. We’re heading that way, but there’s still more we are going to do.”

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Darin Hinshaw didn’t know a lot about the Kentucky football program before he joined coach Mark Stoops’ staff but during coaching stops at Middle Tennessee, Tennessee and Cincinnati he had formed certain perceptions about the UK program.

That’s why he wasn’t overly thrilled when Cincinnati offensive coordinator Eddie Gran told him that Stoops wanted him to join the UK program and he would like to have Hinshaw come with him if he made the move.

“When Eddie brought that to my attention, I went, ‘Wait a minute. It's Kentucky. If they can win six games they are going to be lucky. We are going to the SEC, Eddie. Every week will be a war,’” Hinshaw, UK’s co-offensive coordinator, said. “That was my perception.

“Then I talked to Mark and we saw what money had been spent on football. I was lucky to come in at the right time. Mark sold us on believing we would be a really good team and it has happened. I am so glad that I came and now I am going into my fourth year.”

Hinshaw had lost his job at Tennessee and was set to go to Arkansas when he decided to call Gran, who had just got the job as offensive coordinator at Cincinnati under head coach Tommy Tuberville, to ask him what kind of offense he was going to us.

“He said he was not sure and I told him I was looking for job and would like to present the offense we ran at Tennessee and also see what you want to do,” Hinshaw said. “I wanted to be part of something special and build an offense rather than just a quarterback coach or receivers coach at SEC. I was very blessed to get hired.”

The two have now been together for seven years and Hinshaw says they are “very close” on and off the field.

Hinshaw said he’s glad Stoops and his staff not only started recruiting heavily in Kentucky but have continued to do so

“When I was at Cincinnati you never used to see Kentucky up north. They always recruited the South,” Hinshaw said. “Mark’s impact recruiting Ohio has been terrific and is only going to keep getting better the more we can win.”