One for two: Kiffin, Pearl differ on recruiting strategy

It’s one of the oldest debates in recruiting: Is one prospect worth two scholarships?

Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin thinks not.

It happens quite often. One prospect requests (or demands) that his teammate, friend or relative be offered a scholarship before he makes his college decision.

“We don’t do that,” Kiffin said Wednesday on the News Sentinel’s radio show, The Sports Page. “It’s way too critical — the value of a scholarship to Tennessee.

“What I’ve been hired here to do is not to sign somebody to help us with somebody else.”

Rebuilding UT’s program is first on Kiffin’s mind.

“We’ve got to sign great players,” he said. “It’s too valuable at this stage right now to waste something just to get somebody. We have too many good things to sell and too many things going on. We don’t need to sign somebody else to get somebody.”

Kiffin could eventually face such a dilemma. Standout prospect Jesse Scroggins from Lakewood (Calif.) High School has said he’d love to play with cousin, receiver Jerry Anderson from Houston High School in Germantown (Tenn.)

As of last weekend, Anderson hadn’t received a scholarship offer from UT.

UT basketball coach Bruce Pearl isn’t as opposed to offering a partner to secure the right player.

“I recruited a brother combo one year and I made it really, really clear to the other brother … that this wasn’t about him, that he was a throw in,” Pearl said on WNML, The Sports Animal. “It was something that the family wanted and I thought he was going to be really challenged to play at our level.

“It was something that I knew was a game-breaker to get the kid we really wanted.”

There’s also the regret of deciding against a “one-for-two”. Pearl believes he could have signed Jon Scheyer, now a junior guard at Duke.

“I didn’t’ take his best friend and John didn’t come,” Pearl said. “If I had it to do over again, I probably would have given that (other) young man the 12th spot and gotten John Scheyer on our team. If it’s the game-breaker, you do it.”

Pearl said his main goal as a college coach is to help student-athletes be successful. Giving a player an instant friend on campus can do that, especially if the player is coming from a far away location.

Pearl, however, has his limits.

“I’m not into hiring (coaching) staff to get a player,” Pearl said. “That takes place.”

Pearl said the key to recruiting a prospect and another is honesty. The friend has to know he is more friend than true prospect.

Former UT coach and highly respected football recruiter Trooper Taylor, now at Auburn, isn’t a fan of the maneuver.

“To take from the football team or to take from another kid that could help you win, at the end of the day, I’ve never seen those things pan out,” Taylor said Tuesday on The Sports Page. “I’ve been doing it 19 years and the couple of times I’ve been involved in those situations they have never, ever, ever panned out because somebody’s unhappy.”

That someone is usually the lesser player.

“People refer to it as the cow and the calf,” Taylor said. “Usually when you get the cow, the calf is unhappy. He’s in that locker room and he usually becomes a type of cancer while the cow is playing.”

Clearly there are differences between the two sports. Football has many more scholarships to offer.

Yet the perfect basketball prospect can have a greater impact on a program than in football.

Kiffin has been selective in UT’s recruitment of quarterbacks, even in a year with few elite high school prospects. The Vols are slated to have only one scholarship quarterback on campus next year: Nick Stephens.

The debate rages on.

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Comments » 95

MNVOL98 writes:

Has anyone heard how Scroggins performed at the USC tryout? Should be over by now and I wonder if he won the scholarship.

gohawks1 writes:

in response to h8ag8r:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Kinda figgered they'd offer. I wonder if cuz got an offer as well...

gohawks1 writes:

I don't really see Scroggins committing to USC... too many QBs there already. No point in going there to ride the pines for 2-3 years when he can start as a Vol as soon as he's ready. Stranger things have happened, though.

kiffownsfla writes:

I agree 100% with kiff on that! GO VOLS!

the10sevol writes:

the name Houston come to mind?

UTVolAlum writes:

UF and USC will not offer Scroggin's cousin.

teampenny#658108 writes:

in response to RichRollin:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Are you sure it is a non issue? A lot goes on at all colleges we do not have a clue about. Go Vols

teampenny#658108 writes:

in response to gohawks1:

I don't really see Scroggins committing to USC... too many QBs there already. No point in going there to ride the pines for 2-3 years when he can start as a Vol as soon as he's ready. Stranger things have happened, though.

No one would be a non starter in college would be a starter in the NFL. Go Vols

kiffownsfla writes:

in response to MNVOL98:

Has anyone heard how Scroggins performed at the USC tryout? Should be over by now and I wonder if he won the scholarship.

Must of done good they offered him thats all H know.

Hrockytop writes:

As a normal practice I would say no. Fla. and USC both have the depth, skill, and liberty to decline. In UT's case, if in fact those are the terms of the deal I would certainly consider it. It's coming down to crunch time and we are thin on bodies and talent at QB. Like the T Boyd call, we if don't we may regret it for sometime.

appalachianvol writes:

in response to MNVOL98:

Has anyone heard how Scroggins performed at the USC tryout? Should be over by now and I wonder if he won the scholarship.

Here's the answer.
SC offers Scolarship to scroggins and he accepts.

http://wearesc.com/news/story.php?art...

vols14 writes:

in response to appalachianvol:

Here's the answer.
SC offers Scolarship to scroggins and he accepts.

http://wearesc.com/news/story.php?art...

he didnt accept

kman29 writes:

I actually kind of agree with both on this. Kiffin is right when it comes to the football world, scholarships are too valuable you need a ton of quality players to have a successful football team. Now in terms of college basketball I believe you can sacrifice a scholarship if it is to get a game changing player. In bball 1 player can turn you from just a tournament team, to a national championship team (Syracuse/ Carmelo Anthony) but you better make sure the kid is truely worth it.

gohawks1 writes:

in response to appalachianvol:

Here's the answer.
SC offers Scolarship to scroggins and he accepts.

http://wearesc.com/news/story.php?art...

Nothing in there about him committing, just that he received an offer as expected.

bobbytodd writes:

Nice article. Who knows the actual talent level of the cousin? Now if he is actually good enough to get an offer he will be looked at as a the calf. If I were Scroggin the whole conversation Kiffin had wouldn't sit well with me. Not too smart.

appalachianvol writes:

in response to vols14:

he didnt accept

Sorry,the headline stated he grabbed the offer. Maybe it should have said he was extended an offer. The way it was stated, I thought he accepted.

appalachianvol writes:

Could he still be trying to get his cuz a scolarship? does anyone think USC will offer his cuz one also?

gohawks1 writes:

in response to appalachianvol:

Sorry,the headline stated he grabbed the offer. Maybe it should have said he was extended an offer. The way it was stated, I thought he accepted.

It did kinda seem that way with that headline. I still think he doesn't accept that offer, though. Charts are too deep.

kabzs writes:

in response to teampenny#658108:

No one would be a non starter in college would be a starter in the NFL. Go Vols

Uh, Hello?

Check out last year's starter in N.E. after Brady went down, and Check out the starter in Kansas City. ....(It's a former second string USC grad).

gohawks1 writes:

in response to smokeydog:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

SC currently has 7 QBs on the roster. Two are seniors, leaving 5 others for the 2010 season (plus any others who receive/accept an offer). Included in that group is sophomore Mitch Mustain and junior Mark Sanchez. That kind of depth at a position can bury a career in a hurry.

matrosscbc writes:

I remember when Andy McCullough was recruited...it was the same kind of deal....except with a twist...the friend in tote was better....Peerless Price.

DingoVol writes:

Why would he want to sit for 3 years behind Barkley? He will not play at USC. He can be a star in Knoxville.

appalachianvol writes:

Truth is , nothing is final until they sign the LOI.
Where is the KNOX News on this?

jerseydevilvol writes:

in response to gohawks1:

SC currently has 7 QBs on the roster. Two are seniors, leaving 5 others for the 2010 season (plus any others who receive/accept an offer). Included in that group is sophomore Mitch Mustain and junior Mark Sanchez. That kind of depth at a position can bury a career in a hurry.

sanchez went to the nfl

kiffownsfla writes:

in response to gatorbait65:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yes in memphis I dont know if he is the answer in kville any way but would like to see what he could do for us.

Volstate writes:

Scroggins' head has been filled with so much garbage from everyone professing his greatness he probably could care less about a depth chart. He is like most of these kids today thinking they are one step below god and he'll win the #1 spot regardless of the competition. These kids are given waaay too much attention at a very young age which creates the cocky attitudes many of these guys have. It's kind of sad but college sports is BIG business...

gohawks1 writes:

in response to jerseydevilvol:

sanchez went to the nfl

My mistake. Still a lot of stiff competition, though.

kman29 writes:

in response to smokeydog:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It has happened before. Brad Johnson at FSU. Was backup QB to Casey Weldon in the early 90s. Went on to have a very successful career in the NFL.

panties4tebow writes:

I sense a troll with panties!!!!

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

in response to appalachianvol:

Here's the answer.
SC offers Scolarship to scroggins and he accepts.

http://wearesc.com/news/story.php?art...

I read the article and it does say that he was offered...but after looking twice, I still don't see anything that says he comitted.

panties4tebow writes:

UTWINSALOT WITH KIFFIN & COMPANY!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

panties4tebow writes:

in response to 1stAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He ate a wopper for supper!

GO VOLS!!!!!!!!!!!

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

in response to gatorbait65:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No family in Tn. He has family im Memphis...a different state entirely.

jerseydevilvol writes:

in response to gohawks1:

My mistake. Still a lot of stiff competition, though.

ur right, usc is a uphill battle from the start

kiffownsfla writes:

in response to utwhinesalot:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Lmao why you panicing utwinsalot lol itll be ok!

jerseydevilvol writes:

they got 3 or 4 qbs that would probably start for ut right away giving are current situation at the position

kiffownsfla writes:

in response to gatorbait65:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Lmfao thanks!

chad_t31 writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

hate to be the party pooper but is this "witch doctor say, witch doctor thinks" bs getting old to anyone else?!? Oh and chad never lie.

gohawks1 writes:

in response to jerseydevilvol:

sanchez went to the nfl

I didn't include 5-star signee Matt Barkley in that list. Yet another reason for Scroggins to carefully consider his choice.

kiffownsfla writes:

in response to chad_t31:

hate to be the party pooper but is this "witch doctor say, witch doctor thinks" bs getting old to anyone else?!? Oh and chad never lie.

Nope book like WD! GO VOLS!

nicksjuzunk#646117 writes:

in response to teampenny#658108:

No one would be a non starter in college would be a starter in the NFL. Go Vols

See Matt Cassel

jerseydevilvol writes:

in response to gohawks1:

I didn't include 5-star signee Matt Barkley in that list. Yet another reason for Scroggins to carefully consider his choice.

yea i just dont see him jumping ahead of all these qbs on that team. you know pete carroll isnt just going throw him in there just cuz hes the hometown kid. he will most definitly have to wait his turn a usc. in my opinion i actually think he is going to commit to the vols but you cant predict what high school kids are going to do.

gohawks1 writes:

in response to chad_t31:

hate to be the party pooper but is this "witch doctor say, witch doctor thinks" bs getting old to anyone else?!? Oh and chad never lie.

Not to me - witch doctor is top notch... has good insight and is fun to read too.

belayvol writes:

in response to utwhinesalot:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I sense you eat too many donuts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTfcFy...

chad_t31 writes:

in response to BIPOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Runs my mouth for attention? Oh yeah I make a point to come on here so everyone can see me. That makes alot of sense. I don't give a damn who he is or what he's a member of. I made a statement and most of u disagreed, that's fine, even for a "stuffed shirt", bipolar.

BillsBrother writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Try the old home remedies, Doc!

http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink4355....

Witch Doctors wife will be beating the old threads against the river rocks in no time at all!

chad_t31 writes:

Let me just say this. Since witch doctor had no problems finding a comment from me on June 10, I'm sure he has no problems finding the rest of mine. I'm not a troll, lmao...born and raised tn fan.

Bipolar, thanks for trying to hook me up with ur meds but I don't need them to help me calm down. I am sane, I assure u, no prescriptions or non prescriptions needed.

baldfan writes:

in response to chad_t31:

Let me just say this. Since witch doctor had no problems finding a comment from me on June 10, I'm sure he has no problems finding the rest of mine. I'm not a troll, lmao...born and raised tn fan.

Bipolar, thanks for trying to hook me up with ur meds but I don't need them to help me calm down. I am sane, I assure u, no prescriptions or non prescriptions needed.

Bones never lie!

FWBVol writes:

in response to BIPOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Cockrell was actually one of the top QB prospects in the nation when he signed with UT in the early 1980s. Granted, he was built like a linebacker. He ended up starting as a freshman. I forget whether he was injured his freshman or sophomore year and was lost for the rest of the season. He was gone after his junior year to play baseball after being drafted in the first round by the Giants. Maybe he should have stuck with football.

chad_t31 writes:

God knows I didn't mean to piss of fellow vol fans. I know I did, including u witch doc. Just going to stick with articles now. Good night all. Oh, if anyone hears anything on lester hudson, let me know. Draft is sloooowww.

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