East Lansing – Mel Tucker is apparently moving quickly to fill his coaching staff.
Named Michigan State’s 25th coach on Wednesday, Tucker is reportedly taking a serious run at Kentucky associate head coach Vince Marrow. He’s also the tight ends coach, recruiting coordinator and NFL liaison for the Wildcats and head coach Mark Stoops.
It’s the recruiting angle that is most attractive to Tucker and the Spartans as Marrow, an Ohio native, is regarded as one of the best in the country when it comes to landing players. He’s helped Kentucky win recruiting battles for a handful of Midwestern players over the likes of Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State.
Kentucky plucked three Detroit News Blue Chip players out of UM’s and MSU’s backyard in the 2020 class – No. 1 Justin Rogers, a two-way lineman from Oak Park; No. 10 Deon Buford, an offensive lineman from Detroit King; and No. 21 Earnest Sanders, a receiver from Flint Beecher.
Multiple reports say that Marrow, who is scheduled to make $625,000 this year, has earned an offer from Michigan State that will pay him close to $1 million. According to Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio, the Wildcats have made a counteroffer that is close to that of Michigan State’s and it’s now up to Marrow to decide where he wants to coach.
With an assistant salary pool of around $6 million, it gives Michigan State the flexibility to make a run at Marrow. And considering the lack of momentum in recruiting — Mark Dantonio’s final class was ranked No. 42 in the nation by 247Sports.com — it might be one of Tucker’s most important hires.
Marrow has been at Kentucky since 2013, but has also had college coaching stops at Toledo (tight ends coach, 2008) and Nebraska (tight ends, 2011-12). He's also coached in NFL Europe with Berlin and Rhein, from 2005-07.
Marrow played one season in the NFL, appearing in 10 games at tight end with the Buffalo Bills in 1994.