Kiffin credits Gran for catching Richardson

Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin saved wide receiver Nu’Keese Richardson’s highlight video for last at the recruiting celebration Thursday morning at the Knoxville Convention Center. It was easy to see why.

The 5-foot-9, 150-pound wide receiver from Pahoke, Fla., looked as much like a gymnast as a football player. He kept hurdling defenders into the end zone for touchdowns. Once, he leaped over a pair of defenders at the goal line before flipping into the end zone.

Getting Richardson away from Florida was almost as difficult as tackling him, based on how Kiffin described the recruitment to the UT fans. And he gave most of the credit to assistant coach Eddie Gran, a former Auburn assistant coach with a track record for recruiting talent-rich Florida.

“Pahoke, Fla., is the hardest area in Florida to go as an out-of-state school or as a school not named the Florida Gators,” Kiffin told a ballroom full of about 1,000 UT fans. “You’ve got to have the right guy to get in there.”

Kiffin said that if not for Gran, he doubted the Vols would have made any headway with Richardson.

“There are places, if you don’t have a prior relationship with the coach — and proven to him that you will take care of his kids — you’re not getting in that school. Eddie Gran had a great relationship with the people down there.”

Kiffin intimated that UT caught the Gators by surprise in recruiting Richardson.

“We had a great plan how to steer Florida away from this guy so they would think we’re not getting him,” Kiffin said. “So the pressure would stay off him down there, and they wouldn’t try to go get him.

“They would think they still had him.”

Sports editor John Adams may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 75

RS67SS writes:

No wonder Meyer was trying to call him. He found out after he was on campus and blew up, which is why they didn't want him to find out. Sneaked him out the back door. ha love it!

SeanJean writes:

in response to UTfan4life:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Have you heard about the possible surprise later this afternoon? Could it be Oku?

BigT_Chief writes:

Well, I think this coaching staff is proving that they're not laying down for anyone and afraid of nothing. They got some brass ones, I'll give 'em that. Hopefully, it'll transfer onto the field and into the W column.

Jamey1210 writes:

in response to SeanJean:

Have you heard about the possible surprise later this afternoon? Could it be Oku?

where did you hear of a possible suprise. Can you post a link. I do know that Kiffin stated that we should be getting another commit but I though he was refearing to Jackson.

one4black writes:

I like the new attitude ... but this was tacky, and if there was no rule he looks dumb! I mean, recruits will eat it up ... but still a little classless. But if he can get the team to produce on the field ... so be it.

I also worry about his comments on Pahokee possibly being crooked and so Richardson's aunts faxed from a different school. bad move ... think those HS coaches will be welcoming UT coaches again like they will others?

givehim6 writes:

Well, so the home state guy went to UGA, but we got the UF guy. Now that theres funny don't care who ya are.

Volunatic writes:

It's "Pahokee", not "Pahoke".

Youtee1 writes:

Kiffin said in Nashville today that there may be another surprise by the time they got to Memphis tonight.

Volunatic writes:

in response to givehim6:

Well, so the home state guy went to UGA, but we got the UF guy. Now that theres funny don't care who ya are.

Not funny to urban meyer.

gwaidley#279246 writes:

Oku would be great, but we already have great depth at RB and I want Orson Charles.

He is listed by Scout as a TE but by Rivals as a WR. At 6'3" 230 lbs, that would get us the big physical receiver and might soften the blow of losing Marlon.

He seemed really impressed by his Knoxville visit but USC gets to show him around last and that scares me. Probably a serious long shot.

swampbuggy writes:

Spurrier and Fulmer used to trade jabs but neither EVER accused the other of cheating. Kiffin has crossed a line by accusing Meyer has cheated. What he did was unethical. If he has any proof with respect to UF then he needed to take it to the SEC. Then Lance Thompson made a snide remark about Saban.

Florida has responded with a strong letter. Kiffin needs to learn how to act in public, and act like coaching is not something new to him.

swampbuggy writes:

in response to one4black:

I like the new attitude ... but this was tacky, and if there was no rule he looks dumb! I mean, recruits will eat it up ... but still a little classless. But if he can get the team to produce on the field ... so be it.

I also worry about his comments on Pahokee possibly being crooked and so Richardson's aunts faxed from a different school. bad move ... think those HS coaches will be welcoming UT coaches again like they will others?

I agree, it's one thing to motivate your players ... it's another to act like a fool and as you said "classless".

Volunatic writes:

in response to swampbuggy:

Spurrier and Fulmer used to trade jabs but neither EVER accused the other of cheating. Kiffin has crossed a line by accusing Meyer has cheated. What he did was unethical. If he has any proof with respect to UF then he needed to take it to the SEC. Then Lance Thompson made a snide remark about Saban.

Florida has responded with a strong letter. Kiffin needs to learn how to act in public, and act like coaching is not something new to him.

Cue the tiny violins...

swampbuggy writes:

Volunatic, Paul Finebaum is calling Kiffin something akin to a yapping dog that won't shut up.

We have UT in the Swamp this year .... last year Mark Richt paid for Georgia's antics the year before ... this year Kiffin will find out.

It's nice to have UT back in the position they love to be in, hated by the other teams and fans in the SEC.

GoVoLs04 writes:

I think it is obvious that this pumped the fan up, for good or bad is another story, but cant say you are not excited for next season

swampbuggy writes:

The AP:
Lane Kiffin apparently owes Urban Meyer an apology. And the new Tennessee coach needs to read the NCAA rule book.

On Thursday morning at a breakfast function in Knoxville, Kiffin accused Meyer of an NCAA violation for calling Pahokee wide receiver Nu'Keese Richardson while Richardson was on his official visit to UT this past weekend. Richardson signed with the Vols on Wednesday.

"Just so you know, when a recruit is on another campus, you can't call him," Kiffin said. "I love the fact that Urban had to cheat and still didn't get him."

Kiffin's accusation is false, because there is no NCAA rule that prohibits a coach from calling a prospect while he's visiting another school during a contact period. This past weekend was a contact period.

"There is no rule that would prohibit Coach Meyer from calling a prospect at Tennessee on a Friday or Saturday during an official visit during a contact period," said Jamie McCloskey, UF's NCAA compliance director. "There's never been a rule. I've been doing this for a long time. Not only has there never been a rule, there's never been a discussion about having a rule.

"Unfortunately, you have someone accusing our coach of doing something improper, which is grossly unfair to him, to the program and the institution. Urban prides himself in doing things the right way. It's unfair. If a coach has a conflict with another coach in this league, this is not the way you handle it. It's not doing it out in the media, especially when we've done nothing wrong."

UF released the following statement from athletic director Jeremy Foley: "There was no rule violation and we have confirmed this with the Southeastern Conference. It is obvious that Coach Kiffin doesn’t know that there is not a rule precluding phone contact with a prospect during an official visit on another campus during a contact period. His allegations are inappropriate, out of line and, most importantly, totally false. It is completely unfair to Urban Meyer, our coaching staff, our football program and our institution. The appropriate action at this time in my opinion is for Coach Kiffin to make a public apology.

His comments not only slandered our coach, but he violated SEC rules by publicly criticizing another coach and institution."

MY question: Is Kiffin really this stupid? I mean he just made Tennessee look like a bunch of fools. How can a guy coach if he doesn't even know the rules?

Again, from Finebaum: Kiffin is like a Barbie Doll, he goes home every night and dresses like a little girl. He acts like a 15 year old.

Volunatic writes:

"Is it okay to make phone contact with recruits during official visits to other schools?" was probably the question that Lane got wrong on the NCAA coaching test back in late November.

GoVoLs04 writes:

Kiffin is not that stupid, he is just igniting a fire under a struggling program

Volunatic writes:

in response to swampbuggy:

Volunatic, Paul Finebaum is calling Kiffin something akin to a yapping dog that won't shut up.

We have UT in the Swamp this year .... last year Mark Richt paid for Georgia's antics the year before ... this year Kiffin will find out.

It's nice to have UT back in the position they love to be in, hated by the other teams and fans in the SEC.

No one in the state of Tennessee cares what Paul Finebaum thinks.
As for Richt-- in his '08 game with uf, he paid the price for having Willie Martinez as his DC, not for the celebration penalty in '07.

swampbuggy writes:

in response to Volunatic:

"Is it okay to make phone contact with recruits during official visits to other schools?" was probably the question that Lane got wrong on the NCAA coaching test back in late November.

~chuckle~ You are probably right!

You know (again back to Spurrier and Fulmer) they used to trade jabs but neither one of them ever accused the other of cheating ... and fans on both sides had fun with the things they said, but Kiffin really did cross the line on this one.

swampbuggy writes:

in response to GoVoLs04:

Kiffin is not that stupid, he is just igniting a fire under a struggling program

If he wasn't that stupid why did he do it? I just called the SEC in Birmingham and no such rule exists. It's one thing to ignite a fire ... it's quite another to lie about a rule and try to ruin a persons reputation.

swampbuggy writes:

in response to WhitePineVol2nd:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I agree it's dog eat dog (although this year it will be Gator eat dog ie. smokey) but to make a public statement that is an outright lie is wrong. Where are the mountain values we hear so much about?

GoVoLs04 writes:

in response to swampbuggy:

If he wasn't that stupid why did he do it? I just called the SEC in Birmingham and no such rule exists. It's one thing to ignite a fire ... it's quite another to lie about a rule and try to ruin a persons reputation.

Not only has he fired up vols fans by these comments but he has gotten under florida fans skin and brought some attention back to us, i just dont think it is that big of a deal, but i respect your opinion too

swampbuggy writes:

in response to GoVoLs04:

Not only has he fired up vols fans by these comments but he has gotten under florida fans skin and brought some attention back to us, i just dont think it is that big of a deal, but i respect your opinion too

What he has done is show a complete lack of understanding about rules. It's a matter of ethics and you can't say ethics don't apply. Kiffin has displayed a lack of integrity. Integrity is hard to live with; impossible to live without.

swampbuggy writes:

The SEC Commissioner Mike Slive has just issued a reprimand to Kiffin. Apparently we Gators are not the only ones who feel Kiffin was out of line.

UTVOLSCK writes:

Swampbuggy, I am glad we got ya'll all riled up, lol This is what we needed!!! Go ahead CLK take jabs at all of them hopefully; up next will be some wins to back it up. In the meantime, talk @@@@ on Meyer, Richt, Saban and the rest of them, and then wouldn't it be great if in the Swamp we took down the Mighty Superman and left him squirmin in the middle of the field so that Smokey and the rest of the Vols could get the physical payback as well. Go screw yourself swamp and the rest of you Gator pieces of @@@@

shoalcreekvol writes:

Swampbuggy's blown fuse is proof of exactly what Lane is up to...

GoVoLs04 writes:

in response to swampbuggy:

What he has done is show a complete lack of understanding about rules. It's a matter of ethics and you can't say ethics don't apply. Kiffin has displayed a lack of integrity. Integrity is hard to live with; impossible to live without.

To report an official NCAA violation you have to send an official form in to the NCAA, he did not do that he just said it at a "pep rally", it was not something to base a mans integrity on

swampbuggy writes:

in response to UTVOLSCK:

Swampbuggy, I am glad we got ya'll all riled up, lol This is what we needed!!! Go ahead CLK take jabs at all of them hopefully; up next will be some wins to back it up. In the meantime, talk @@@@ on Meyer, Richt, Saban and the rest of them, and then wouldn't it be great if in the Swamp we took down the Mighty Superman and left him squirmin in the middle of the field so that Smokey and the rest of the Vols could get the physical payback as well. Go screw yourself swamp and the rest of you Gator pieces of @@@@

I guess this is what I expected from Tennessee. In any case, Kiffin will issue an apology because he was wrong. As far as who will win in the Swamp in Septemeber ... we'll see!

LDDFC912 writes:

in response to Volunatic:

Cue the tiny violins...

If you have an issue. Grab your tissue! Go Vols!

UTVOLSCK writes:

In the meantime Vol Fans, CLK got this started and hopefully our guys can turn it around. Let's get this back like 90's we had the swagger and the confidence then, just got it bottled up for awhile. Intimidation was ours back with the likes of Little, Wilson, Henderson to name a few( guys that not only wanted to beat other team but knock their heads off too. Good Luck CLK I want to see UT back like we should be. Great job with d crop this year, if only we get the QB we sorely need!

swampbuggy writes:

in response to LDDFC912:

If you have an issue. Grab your tissue! Go Vols!

No issue any more. Mike Slive the Commissioner of the SEC just reprimanded Kiffin. Kiffin will apologize to Meyer and the University of Florida. That must be so embarassing for the SEC to spank a head coach in public.

UTVOLSCK writes:

In response to swampbuggy Ethics should never come out of the mouth of a Florida Fan (Spurrier and Meyer are proof of 2 a@@@@@@ with no sense of the word) You may win titles but never throw the ethics card at us. Thats like saying SMU shouldn't have gotten the death penalty!

HartfordCTvol writes:

in response to swampbuggy:

Volunatic, Paul Finebaum is calling Kiffin something akin to a yapping dog that won't shut up.

We have UT in the Swamp this year .... last year Mark Richt paid for Georgia's antics the year before ... this year Kiffin will find out.

It's nice to have UT back in the position they love to be in, hated by the other teams and fans in the SEC.

I'm trying to figure out. Are you the pot or the kettle?

swampbuggy writes:

in response to UTVOLSCK:

In the meantime Vol Fans, CLK got this started and hopefully our guys can turn it around. Let's get this back like 90's we had the swagger and the confidence then, just got it bottled up for awhile. Intimidation was ours back with the likes of Little, Wilson, Henderson to name a few( guys that not only wanted to beat other team but knock their heads off too. Good Luck CLK I want to see UT back like we should be. Great job with d crop this year, if only we get the QB we sorely need!

Everyone in the SEC wants to see UT come back. We need it for the conference. It's what makes us great. But to lie about a fellow coach breaking a rule is just wrong.

swampbuggy writes:

in response to UTVOLSCK:

In response to swampbuggy Ethics should never come out of the mouth of a Florida Fan (Spurrier and Meyer are proof of 2 a@@@@@@ with no sense of the word) You may win titles but never throw the ethics card at us. Thats like saying SMU shouldn't have gotten the death penalty!

It's easy for you to here and spew garbage. The SEC is on my side on this one. Give me an example of Meyer or Spurrier breaking any rules. Just one!

mocsandvolsfan writes:

I suspect Kiffin is just young and doesn't realize that his one liner is not appropriate...tho' funny maybe.

swampbuggy writes:

in response to mocsandvolsfan:

I suspect Kiffin is just young and doesn't realize that his one liner is not appropriate...tho' funny maybe.

You're probably right, but regardless of that he's wearing big girl panties and needs to learn what he can and can't accuse another coach of doing.

LDDFC912 writes:

in response to swampbuggy:

No issue any more. Mike Slive the Commissioner of the SEC just reprimanded Kiffin. Kiffin will apologize to Meyer and the University of Florida. That must be so embarassing for the SEC to spank a head coach in public.

Okay. We are sorry Urban. Here's your pacifier back....Get in the sandbox with Eddie Munster. Its okay.

swampbuggy writes:

in response to LDDFC912:

Okay. We are sorry Urban. Here's your pacifier back....Get in the sandbox with Eddie Munster. Its okay.

Thank you. I'm glad you agree that an apology was warranted.

ICARRIEDGOALPOST writes:

in response to swampbuggy:

I agree it's dog eat dog (although this year it will be Gator eat dog ie. smokey) but to make a public statement that is an outright lie is wrong. Where are the mountain values we hear so much about?

as bad as i hate to admit it, your right. i have been a fan of kiffin since he was hired, but this i dont approve of. there's no sense in throwing gas on a fire, especially since fl has handed us our azz the last few years. if he wanted to get under meyer's the fl fans skin, go down to the swamp next year and beat the s@$% out of them. i just hope kiffin can back up all his talk on the field b/c he sure does talk. that being said, i am glad that we finally have a coach thats not scared of the rest of the coaches in the league.

swampbuggy writes:

in response to ICARRIEDGOALPOST:

as bad as i hate to admit it, your right. i have been a fan of kiffin since he was hired, but this i dont approve of. there's no sense in throwing gas on a fire, especially since fl has handed us our azz the last few years. if he wanted to get under meyer's the fl fans skin, go down to the swamp next year and beat the s@$% out of them. i just hope kiffin can back up all his talk on the field b/c he sure does talk. that being said, i am glad that we finally have a coach thats not scared of the rest of the coaches in the league.

As I said earlier, I hope UT is successful. We've missed the sparring between the two teams, but don't accuse a reputable coach of breaking rules when he didn't. It only makes the accuser look foolish.

gwaidley#279246 writes:

I find all these accusations of "classlessness" a bit amusing. Granted this is coming from our head coach but I think there was a reason he did that and figured he'd take the heat as the end result would be worth it.

I was in Tampa in Jan. 08 for the Vol/Badger Outback Bowl. I had the Power T on my car and wore orange pretty much the whole time. I know I was in Gator country but I had never traveled to FL for a UT game before. I was amazed at the number of times I was flipped off as I was driving down the road. We also spent the day at Busch Gardens (the day both teams were there to have fun) and could not believe the amount of profanity (F-bombs) that was flung around by Gator fans at me, my wife, other UT fans, and the UT players.

Whatever coach Kiff throws out there... the Gator fans deserve. And as for Urban, well, it's part of the job dealing with this. Don't you think he gets paid enough to deal with it? Pay me a few mill and see if I lose my focus on the job at hand.

LDDFC912 writes:

in response to gwaidley#279246:

I find all these accusations of "classlessness" a bit amusing. Granted this is coming from our head coach but I think there was a reason he did that and figured he'd take the heat as the end result would be worth it.

I was in Tampa in Jan. 08 for the Vol/Badger Outback Bowl. I had the Power T on my car and wore orange pretty much the whole time. I know I was in Gator country but I had never traveled to FL for a UT game before. I was amazed at the number of times I was flipped off as I was driving down the road. We also spent the day at Busch Gardens (the day both teams were there to have fun) and could not believe the amount of profanity (F-bombs) that was flung around by Gator fans at me, my wife, other UT fans, and the UT players.

Whatever coach Kiff throws out there... the Gator fans deserve. And as for Urban, well, it's part of the job dealing with this. Don't you think he gets paid enough to deal with it? Pay me a few mill and see if I lose my focus on the job at hand.

AMEN! Gainesville cry babies!

swampbuggy writes:

in response to gwaidley#279246:

I find all these accusations of "classlessness" a bit amusing. Granted this is coming from our head coach but I think there was a reason he did that and figured he'd take the heat as the end result would be worth it.

I was in Tampa in Jan. 08 for the Vol/Badger Outback Bowl. I had the Power T on my car and wore orange pretty much the whole time. I know I was in Gator country but I had never traveled to FL for a UT game before. I was amazed at the number of times I was flipped off as I was driving down the road. We also spent the day at Busch Gardens (the day both teams were there to have fun) and could not believe the amount of profanity (F-bombs) that was flung around by Gator fans at me, my wife, other UT fans, and the UT players.

Whatever coach Kiff throws out there... the Gator fans deserve. And as for Urban, well, it's part of the job dealing with this. Don't you think he gets paid enough to deal with it? Pay me a few mill and see if I lose my focus on the job at hand.

I can match you experience for experience. I was at the game in UT when the fans threw the neurosurgeon from Florida over a wall which did permenant damage and ruined a surgical career. UT paid out the nose for that one. The fans can tack all they want, but coaches are supposed to be above the fray.

You "think there was a reason he did that and figured he'd take the heat as the end result would be worth it."

IF that was the case it made him look ignorant with respect to rules. Now the UT fans can sit around and talk about having a coach that doesn't know the rules.

swampbuggy writes:

News out of Knoxville:

Lane Kiffin has apologized to Urban Meyer, Jeremy Foley and The University of Florida for making a stupid statement.

swampbuggy writes:

The next time Kiffin gets ready to make a dumb statement he needs get that free breakfast at Denny's and have someone wipe the egg off his face BEFORE he leaves the place.

volroadwarrior writes:

in response to one4black:

I like the new attitude ... but this was tacky, and if there was no rule he looks dumb! I mean, recruits will eat it up ... but still a little classless. But if he can get the team to produce on the field ... so be it.

I also worry about his comments on Pahokee possibly being crooked and so Richardson's aunts faxed from a different school. bad move ... think those HS coaches will be welcoming UT coaches again like they will others?

If all of the coaches drink the gator kool-aid, we aren't going to sell them anyway. That's like saying "let's not making Hitler mad by defending ourselves". The coaches are gators and there is nothing we can do good or bad that will change them. Gran did what he had to do to get the player knowing the situation that existed.

SavannahTNVols38372 writes:

1st and foremost baby!!!!!!!!!!!

swampbuggy writes:

in response to VOLstuckINky:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No one expects a graduate of UT such as yourself to apologize to us. Nope ... that's not your job. Your coach did it, he apologized. You know he had to feel foolish. Why would you ever apologize to us? All you are guilty of is stealing outdated jokes.

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