VAUGHT: Exposure helps recruiting

Kentucky assistant coach Chuck Smith has enjoyed his recruiting duties since he joined the UK staff. He's personable and selling the UK program has always been a labor of love since he is a former Kentucky player. However, he's enjoyed his recruiting travels even more this year.

"Every place I go, people are talking about our team because we were on television so much more this year," said Smith. "It's been all positive about Kentucky football. Last year was good, but this year it has been even better because of the increased exposure we had."

Smith returned from a recent recruiting trip to Florida and told quarterback Andre Woodson that coaches and players at the schools asked about him after seeing him play on TV this season.

"There's no substitute for exposure when it comes to recruiting," Smith said. "When guys see you play on TV time after time, they notice and get to know more about your program. It's invaluable."

Which is exactly the way coach Rich Brooks said it would be when some, including me, questioned not playing the Louisville game the first week of the season and giving up a national ESPN audience. Obviously, beating Louisville helped vault UK onto the national scene and CBS-TV was happy to more than make up for the loss of the ESPN audience for Louisville by showing the LSU, Florida and Tennessee games.

"We think recruiting is going well, but you can never relax," Smith said. "But it sure helps when you go into a school and the people already know about your program because they have seen you on TV."

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