VAUGHT: Phillips: no vacation from recruiting

Even though the Kentucky coaching staff was supposed to be on vacation in late June and early July, recruits suddenly started calling and committing to the Wildcats. What happened?

"It actually started the week before we took off and then we had more since we have been on vacation," laughed offensive coordinator Joker Phillips. "It was just kids who had already been here and were still communicating with us during vacation and decided to commit."

Obviously, there is no real vacation time for a Division I coach, not with the competition for recruits today.

"As long as you have your phone with you, you are never on vacation. Recruiting goes on 365 days a year. That never stops. You have got to have open communication with prospects. When they call you, you better have that phone close to your hip. There are few opportunities to call them, so if they call you, it is important," Phillips said.

"As a coach, your family knows it is all part of the job. You are always on call in recruiting. You are never totally on vacation. That never changes and you understand that."

While it's hard to tell exactly what positions some players will play, the Cats already have at least nine commitments from players who list an offensive position as there priority. Still, Phillips says the Cats have specific needs and wants.

"We think we have got to sign a big time running back and a big-time quarterback. There is not a true quarterback in this group (who has verbally committed). We want one of each," Phillips said. "We will still take some receivers because we have some receivers-tight ends that could be defensive ends or linebackers. So we also have an interest in a big-time receiver that might still be out there who is interested in us."

While the Cats have commitments from four in-state players, Phillips says they would like more.

"There are still a few in the state we want. There are also a couple we are still evaluating and want to look at early in the season. There are a couple we would definitely like to get in the boat now. Then there are those we are on the verge of offering (a scholarship), and I think we will eventually offer them," Phillips said. "We don't like to miss on in-state players."

The one problem is that UK has fewer scholarships to offer this year and less margin for error.

"We have got to be selective in who we offer and who we take now, especially with the numbers we have," Phillips admitted. "We have got to close some doors at some positions, and that's never easy to do. We have to get more guys on board in at the defensive line position. We would really be feeling good if three or four of these guys (who have committed) were d-linemen."

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