Print and Go Back ESPN.com: On The Trail: Midwest Region [Print without images]

Monday, January 28, 2013
Kentucky continues assault on Ohio

By Jared Shanker

Mark Stoops is from Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney, so he probably cracked a smile Monday when he landed a commitment from his alma mater.

Three-star safety Marcus McWilson completed the flip to Kentucky, giving his verbal commitment to Stoops and the Wildcats on Monday.

“Comfortability level is a big thing,” McWilson said. “The players and coaches and the fans -- they’re crazy fans -- I was able to connect.”

McWilson, No. 40 among safeties nationally, officially visited Lexington this past weekend and on Sunday decommitted from Nebraska -- whose coach Bo Pelini graduated Cardinal Mooney as well. The belief was McWilson would be a Wildcat within the next few days if not hours. He talked it over with his family when he made it home Sunday night and decided then.

A Huskers commitment since April, McWilson began reconsidering his commitment when former Nebraska assistant Vince Marrow followed Stoops to Kentucky.

“I talked to Coach Marrow and he knew he was leaving soon [from Nebraska]. When I went out to check out [Kentucky] I fell in love and could see myself playing out there and on their campus. There are great opportunities here.”

McWilson said he is already hearing it from Nebraska fans about leaving a storied program in Lincoln for one that has not had much success in football. But McWilson believes Kentucky “will shock the nation” as early as next season.

“I want to be a part of the program and the new legacy. … I actually see us winning quite a few games,” McWilson said. “We’re ready to go out and do our best. People don’t think we’ll succeed, people on Twitter saying we won’t win a game but they’re not out there playing. We have the drive to get the job done.

“They call us the Stoops Troops. We’re going to win. We’ll let the haters hate and go from there.”