Update: Pittsburgh quarterback picks UK

December 21, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Kentucky coach Rich Brooks felt he had a quality recruiting class last season that resulted in nine true freshmen playing for the Wildcats during the 2004 season.

However, Brooks said Monday that this year’s class is going to be even better.

“Overall, this class is going to be better. We are really getting some good players, the kind of players it takes to win in the Southeastern Conference,” said Brooks.

That was hours before highly-regarded Pittsburgh quarterback Bill Stull confirmed that he would sign with Kentucky, too. Stull had Kentucky near the top of his recruiting list for months and had narrowed his choices to Kentucky and Maryland before committing to UK.

Stull, who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.8 seconds, is ranked as the nation’s 11th best pro-style quarterback by His team recently completed a 13-1 season. He threw for 40 touchdowns and 3,300 yards while completing more than 60 percent of his passes.


“I just think Kentucky is the best fit for me,” Stull said late Monday. “They have recruited me longer than anyone and I have really liked Kentucky from the start.”

He said Kentucky’s hiring of former Mississippi quarterbacks coach Kurt Roper made the Wildcats even more attractive. Kentucky did not release any information on Roper’s hiring Monday.

Stull is the second highly-regarded quarterback to commit to Kentucky. Earlier Hopkinsville’s Curtis Pulley, Kentucky’s current Mr. Football, said he would sign with the Cats. Pulley is more of a dual threat quarterback while Stull is more of a dropback passer.

Kentucky recruiting coordinator Joker Phillips said months ago that UK needed to sign at least two quarterbacks and wanted the two to be different style players.

“We need to add that diversity and give our offense more options,” Phillips said in October.

Turituri signs: Kentucky did announce that 290-pound offensive lineman Fatu Turituri from Los Angeles Harbor College had signed with the Cats and would enroll in school next month.

“Fatu is a very active lineman who also could get a look on defense," Brooks said. "He has a big body, experience, good feet and good technique."

Turituri, a native of Samoa, helped his team win a division championship and set school rushing records last season. He will have two seasons of eligibility at Kentucky.

Sparks named: Kentucky junior point guard Patrick Sparks has received a variety of honors for his 25-point performance in Saturday’s win over Louisville.

Sparks has been named the National Player of the Week by The Sporting News, and Dick Vitale. He was also picked as the Southeastern Conference Player of the Week after making five 3-point shots in the 60-58 win at Louisville. He’s the 21st Kentucky player to earn this honor since the award was started in 1995. also has named Sparks their Star of the Week.

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