As a 2-star prospect from New Jersey, Josh Allen wasn’t exactly on Kentucky’s radar coming out of Montclair High School.

But a friend of Mark Stoops who coached in Allen’s area made the Wildcats coach aware of him, and now Allen is one of the best players in the entire country.

During Wednesday’s SEC Coaches Teleconference, Stoops told the story of how he discovered Allen and what Kentucky originally saw in him. Stoops also offered a scouting report for Tennessee (4-5, 1-4 SEC), which the No. 11 Wildcats (7-2, 5-2) visit at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Below, you can read everything Stoops said during Wednesday’s teleconference.

Terry Wilson, have you seen him progress?

  • Definitely, I saw his confidence grow in the two-minute drill against Missouri. I think it carried over to the Georgia game. We would like to have more balance on offense; it’s been too much one way or another. Terry is making progress.

On RB Benny Snell:

  • He is very good and very versatile. He has been a good blocker and (is) very unselfish.

On Snell being one of four backs to rush for 1,000 yards or more in each of his first three seasons:

  • I knew he had some impressive stats. He has been consistent for us. It says a lot about him

Do you think it’s wild two Iowa defenders coached those guys (former Arkansas coach Bret Bielema and Alex Collins being the other)?

  • It is ironic, but we will take it.

How different is Tennessee this year?

  • They are different. Jeremy’s fingers are all over this defense. they play hard; that’s a credit to him. Offensively, I think they are trying to find the right pieces. Their receivers and running backs are talented, and Jarrett (Guarantano) has been improving.

On the Tennessee offense, the offensive line has been an issue, and on Guarantano:

  • He is having more comfort, and they do a good job of giving different looks. There are guys you have to worry about on the outside, that’s for sure.

On Georgia’s offensive line:

  • They were extremely physical. I knew they were well-coached. … They do a very good job, they run play-action off that. What stood out was how big and how physical they were.

On leaning on your leaders, how has that gone?

  • They’ve been doing well. They know we have a chance to do some special things here, and they are doing a good job.

On LB Josh Allen’s recruitment

  • I had a coaching friend in New Jersey that sent me the film. He wasn’t even his coach, he was an opposing coach. We liked him, thought he had some upside and next thing you know, he’s a Kentucky Wildcat. He has blown up. He made a wise decision coming back. He’s been a leader for us this year.

On turning around Kentucky:

  • The steady progress. There aren’t any easy fixes. I think traditional powers can do it a little easier. We want to continue to grow and push it, and we do that with work.