Charlie Strong, Mark Stoops and James Quick

Charlie Strong was the hot topic last night on twitter. Instead of basking in the glow of his team's Sugar Bowl invitation, the Louisville coach fumbled his way through a clumsy press conference in which Strong knocked his fans, complemented his arch-rival and basically refused to say he would be the Cardinals' head coach in 2013.

The performance synched with rumors that Strong has interviewed for two SEC openings, in Tennessee and Auburn. He has hotly denied both, but rumors are rumors and semantics. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said defensive coordinator Mark Stoops had not interviewed with Kentucky when clearly he had and we know how that turned out.

We also know that Strong gave his rival's new coach a welcome gift basket Monday by saying he wished Louisville fans supported their football program the same way the BBN — Strong's term — supported UK's programs, especially football. Never mind that U of L outdrew UK this year and that lack of fan support is the main reason Joker Phillips is now the wide receivers coach at Florida.

Strong is a good, hard-nosed coach who has returned a physical identity and a winning culture to Louisville football. He's not good with the media, however. It's not a part of the job he enjoys particularly and it shows.

Only here's the thing: After spending Monday in Lexington, Stoops hits the road today to interview potential offensive coordinator candidates. Texas Tech offensive coordinator Neal Brown, the former UK wide receiver, is on Stoops' list. I'm hearing there is a good chance the two will talk today. Brown coordinated the nation's No. 2 pass offense this past season.

And the top offensive recruit in Kentucky is James Quick, the 6-foot-1 wide receiver out of Louisville Trinity. Louisville is thought to lead for Quick's services, with Ohio State pushing hard and Kentucky trying to make up ground. But considering Strong's reluctance to give assurances he is staying at Louisville, if Stoops were to secure Brown, or another pass-oriented offensive coordinator, might Quick give more thought to coming to Lexington?

Coaches come and go, but at the end of the day it's all about recruiting. What better way for Stoops to start his tenure as UK coach than by stealing Quick from the Cardinals. With his press conference on Monday, Strong may have opened the door.


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  1. operationruse says:

    Quick would be the recruiting coup of the century but all the recruitniks seem to think that Kentucky has no shot. Have you heard differently? I believe Quick’s dad played for Louisville. I think the UK fans just hope that Quick goes to Ohio State instead of Louisville at this point b/c a lineup of Parker, Bridgewater, and Quick would be very difficult to slow down, much less stop.

    Also, do you think Louisville would take Petrino back if Strong bolts? Supposedly Quick was going to consider UK if we had hired Petrino. Sometimes, I think those Trinity kids are brainwashed.

  2. John Clay says:

    Have not heard anything, but you have to wonder what Strong’s comments will do to Quick’s recruitment.

    No, I can’t see a scenario where Tom Jurich takes back Bobby Petrino.

  3. stuart webb says:

    heard quick is 100%osu if strong leaves.

  4. John Clay says:

    I know Ohio State has made a strong push. (no pun intended)

  5. Larry Pup says:

    I would love to see James Quick lineup for UK. BBN would show him alot of love. The sec is where its at for top football talent . Neal Brown will put a wide open offense on the field James. Don’t overlook that. Most importantly though, go with your heart. I wish you all the best.