Kiffin says UT needs to get a quarterback

Vols look for boost in recruiting

Tennessee needs a quarterback for the future. It also could use a more immediate boost in recruiting.

"It's very important," head coach Lane Kiffin said on the News Sentinel's radio show, The Sports Page, about getting a quarterback for the Class of 2010, "especially when we haven't had one for a couple of years sign."

Of UT's nine commitments, only two are slated to play offense. And while prospects' reviews have been overwhelmingly positive about the Vols' new coaching staff this summer, some have found reason to downgrade UT.

While quarterbacks are committing elsewhere, UT is still on the prowl.

"That's a knock that the receivers, the tight ends and the running backs (mention)," Kiffin said. "That's one of the few things they come up with as a negative for us.

"They're so excited about everything but they say 'Coach, who's going to throw us the ball?' It will be real critical to get a quarterback or two to help us to even go to a higher level of recruiting than what we are doing now."

Kiffin and crew missed out on Andrew Hendrix from Moeller High School in Cincinnati, who committed to Notre Dame on Thursday.

UT prospect Jesse Scroggins from Lakewood (Calif.) High School has some thinking to do after reportedly receiving a scholarship offer from Southern California on Thursday. Scroggins has said he's down to USC, UT and Florida.

Securing a quarterback could also help the Vols secure those who will eventually protect him. UT has only one offensive lineman committed: Jose Jose from Miami.

UT likely will have four seniors start on its offensive line this fall and has lost a handful of reserves who either left the program or weren't retained by Kiffin.

Securing offensive linemen is "very high" on UT's list of recruiting priorities, Kiffin said. However, don't expect UT to be chock full of four- and five-star blockers come National Signing Day 2010.

"They may not be the highest ranked players but they'll be players that fit our system - what we want," Kiffin said. "We want athletic guys. We want tough guys.

"I think what you may see is we may end up signing some guys that aren't household names in recruiting but will be great players in our system."

As UT's coaches take a much-needed vacation, Kiffin said he's pleased with the foundation that his staff has laid for the 2010 class.

"It has been really good," he said. "I think that you see Tennessee as a national powerhouse in recruiting.

"As you pick up articles through the country, you see Tennessee in the top five (among elite prospects' choices of schools). A lot of times the other four schools have just been winning national championships or have three- or four-straight 10-win seasons. Then here's Tennessee coming off a 5-7 season in that group.

"I couldn't be more happy about our staff and what they've been doing. It will continue to get better because what you read is when kids come here, they're blown away."

Kiffin said UT has overcome much of the negative national publicity that dogged its recruiting earlier this spring.

"This wasn't what I expected," Kiffin said, reciting what some prospects have told him. "We'd had other people tell us all these negative things about your staff and you. We get here and it's nothing like what we've heard."

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Comments » 162

Volfan4everandaday writes:

College football coaches have highlighted Lakewood California on their maps this recruiting season and for good reason.

Lane Kiffin is no exception, he is relying on an area he is very familiar with in his efforts of rebuilding the football fortunes at the University of Tennessee.

Lakewood High School is the home of two of the top players in the Golden State, four star quarterback Jesse Scroggins and three star defensive back Dion Bailey.

Both Bailey and Scroggins has offers from the Volunteers and it appears both will take unofficial visits to Rocky Top.

“Yes sir I’m going down there the first week in August,” Bailey told InsideTennessee.com Friday. “Jesse took a trip there last week and really loved it a lot there, we are great friends and it would be great for us to play at the same college.”

Bailey currently holds 19 official offers, including one from Southern California. Both Bailey and Scroggins attended the Trojans camp this week.

“I thought I did well,” Bailey explained. “Jesse had a great camp, he got an offer from USC.”

Did either of the two make a commitment to USC?

“No sir, neither of us have made a decision yet,” Bailey said. “I know Jesse really loved his trip to Tennessee, all the great things he has told me about it, makes me want to see it that much more.”

Bailey also is impressed by how hard he is being recruiting by the Tennessee coaching staff.

“They are really recruiting me harder than most schools,” Bailey said. “I have really been impressed with their coaching staff.”

Bailey has heard a lot about how crazy the football atmosphere can be in the SEC.

“Jesse said that the stadium was incredible and that everyone really gets into their football at Tennessee,” Bailey said. “I can’t wait to check things out for myself. I’m really looking forward to my visit.”

Weatherman writes:

Get a good coach! Go vols.

Weatherman writes:

I meant get a good "one," i/e QB, coach. Go Vols...we've got a great staff!

Weatherman writes:

Sorry about the typo fellas.

volzz writes:

Think Scroggins will be a starter for 3-4 years if kiff can sign a great quarterback for 2011?

TSNSD4UT writes:

If and when a good qb comes the gates will open and the O side players will flood in imho.

PrideOfTheSouthlandBand writes:

Espn's scouting report of jesse has been that he is almost a clone of Jason cambell. I think he will start for 4 years.

matrosscbc writes:

Scroggins will be a vol....California doesn't love their football as much as us hillbillies

chargervol writes:

Yes, we do need a recognizable quarterback. If, we can land Scroggins, I would also like our chances with this Bailey kid. That being said, I think Lane and his staff need to start targeting the offensive line. I don't think it will be too difficult to haul in some offensive linemen. Early playing time is a real possibility on the OL. It does sound as if he has a game plan. He's going to find out alot more about coaching in this part of the country in a few more months. It will be an adjustment to what he is used to. The SEC is a good old southern boy league. Work hard and play hard. GO VOLS!!!

matrosscbc writes:

I for one can't wait for the halftime comments by Monte all year....Man I hope we can beat the GatorS

matrosscbc writes:

in response to smokeydog:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

very true..I remember a time when everyone wanted to see Crompton on the field too

bluetick writes:

Really? We need a QB?

volpreacher writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why? He didn't do anything for UT. He certainly didn't do anything for me either. Used to like some of his music until he became a pediphile.

FWBVol writes:

in response to smokeydog:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I don't have feelings one way or another about Stevens, Crompton or any other player, except maybe for Eric Berry on this team. However, even if Stevens wins the job this year and starts in 2010 he'll be gone by 2011. That should be incentive enough for most QB prospects.

TnScooby writes:

IMO, the QB situation will work itself out and CLK will get a good one..the star rating system isn't always the best indication of leadership ability or general football savvy which I consider to be the most important qualities for a QB...having said that, Rozier could become a dandy as could Stephens and they are already here...sometimes the answer is right in front of you...that is why I am sorry BJ left without seeing it through..but I digress....whoever CLK gets, I have confidence it will be the right fit...JMO

Go Vols!!!!

lt4vols writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

FWBVol writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I understand what you are saying. But UT has had success in the past with getting kids from out west. You can go as far back as the Bill Battle days to find a few players from Idaho, Washington state or California.

The Clausens were California products and I think Casey had a nice career at UT. Erik Ainge hails from Oregon. Mapu the big DT was from the Hawaii. Those are just the ones that I can think of off the top of my head.

Currently Cody Pope is the only California/west coast guy on the roster.

The thing is a kid from California can be in Knoxville almost as quickly as a kid in Memphis or central Florida. Granted, the kids from California would have to fly into Knoxville which can get costly. That cost might keep some kids away if their parents can't afford to come to K-Town several times a year. But they seem to be finding a way to pay for these camps that are all across the country.

I believe Kiffin is simply recruiting an area in Southern California that he knows well and where he has good connections with high school coaches.

The allure of playing for a Southern Cal team that is always in the hunt has to have a draw for some kids. But I would like to think that playing in Neyland, Bryant-Denny, the Swamp and the other great venues in the SEC where fans are passionate about the game is a draw too.

IMO, if a kid doesn't want to face the competition in the SEC because week in and week out the competition is tougher than in the PAC 10 then we don't need him.

As for Memphis, my dad was born and raised in the city and we lived there until I was in the third grade when he took a job in NW Florida. The city isn't what it once was and I know families in Knoxville that have moved from Memphis because of the problems in Shelby County. Most people in Memphis know how bad it is and the ones that can afford it move to North Mississippi or further east into the outlying areas. If I was a parent with a kid that was a football player I'd be more interested in the quality of the education he can get and how the coach plans on using and developing him as an athlete rather than what people like you and me post on a message board.

givehim6 writes:

A lot of good prospects have UT in there top 5 or so schools, but once they narrow it down UT's no longer in the mix. When UT gets there 9 or 10 win season and wins a major bowl game UT will get the offensive players they want.

TonyGeist writes:

If you say Erik Ainge was worthless, you clearly didn't watch his career. Only the most accurate passer in UT history. And led us to the SEC Championship game. Sure, he lost it for us too, but even getting there was an accomplishment no one thought possible.

senracjr writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What did Micheal do that was heroic?

memphis_vol_fan writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dude you are pathetic. What has Micheal Jackson ever done for UT?????
I bet if Kenny Chesney (a native Tennessean who has performed in Neyland Stadium) died today you would say he was a worthless piece of s#it!! Oh, but that's because he's white.

Voluvr writes:

Here's the deal, USC wants a back up QB to play in a couple years. Funny how they say, "whoever is the best in tryouts gets the offer. Kiffin probably came up with that sales tactic at USC. Florida wants Jessie just so Tennessee doesn't get him. Besides, most expect this is Meyer's last year at Florida. They already have their QB for the next 3 years. Tennessee is the best opportunity to come in a be an immediate hero. Not to mention Knoxville is the center of the National Spotlight.

Gator_Hater (Inactive) writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

After the Clausen comment, I thought, "there goes Bobby, spouting his racist mouth off again," then I saw this post. Guess there is one white guy out there you liked :=)

bloodrunsorange writes:

in response to smokeydog:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Tennessee is looking for a QB. Wanted Pro Style, 6’5” – 6’8”, fast enough to have good foot work on a I, 3, and 5 step drop, can get the ball to the RBs, cannon for an arm (can make all the throws), smart (can check and make the correct reads), but most of all a leader that players will produce for and UT will be proud to have him be our representative. We didn’t want number 23, Tajh Boyd, 6’1”, not big enough, not pro style QB, and maybe knee problems.
Number 14, Jake Heaps, 6’2” Committed to BYU, NO SUPPRISE! (Mormon)
Number 20, Blake Bell, 6’6”, Committed to Oklahoma, NO SUPPRISE! (From Kansas)
Number 28, Paul Jones, 6’3”, Committed to Penn State, NO SURPRISE! (From Pennsylvania)
Number 35, Phillip Sims, 6’4”, Committed to Bama, SURPRISE MAYBE! (From Virginia)
Number 57, Conner Wood, 6’4”, Committed to Texas, NO SURPRISE! (From Texas)
Number 58, Devin Gardner, 6’4”, Committed to Michigan, NO SURPRISE! (From Michigan)
Number 77, Jessie Scroggins, 6’4”, USC offer and from California, NO SURPRISE!
Number 176, Jameill Showers, 6’2”, Committed to Texas A&M, NO SURPRISE! (From Texas)
Number 199, Peter Thomas, 6’5”, Committed to Arizona State, Surprise MAYBE! (From California)
We did offer Heaps, 6’2” to Scroggins 6’4” (maybe), so we will take one smaller just not Tajh Boyd 5 star. Maybe we can consider Cameron Newton, 6’7”, Munchie Legaux 6’4”, Chase Rettig 6’3”, Cy Ables 6’5” TN, or Bo Wallace 6’4” TN? Maybe in 2011 the QB we are really looking for is there. It just doesn’t seem like he is out there this year. There were a couple of big QBs, one we wanted one we didn’t. We seem to have enough QBs to get through this year. IMO we’ll get a couple more before all is said and done this year. Next year we do really need to score big at least on paper though. I believe it’s not over until the papers are signed so don’t sell this coaching staff short.

teampenny#658108 writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

American hero-no I believe not. If you were trying to be funny that is. Sad to see anyone pass, but he should have been jailed years ago. As we all know, you can buy your way out of most any thing in our country.

MidTennVol writes:

in response to smokeydog:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

My thoughts exactly. I think Nick is going to surprise a lot of people.

belayvol writes:

in response to uf2006bcs1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And we all understand how you gator's think the National Spotlight is on Uranus.

rockytopman writes:

I think CLK needs to swallow his pride and offer the cousin. The haters will have a time with this one though. It seems CLK is going through a serious learning curve, but at least he has the support of the fans, for now anyways. Way too many fairweathers here, but hey, it's home. GO VOLS!

2001_Volunteer writes:

Evan Hailes to Penn State. That was a biggie.

CLEMSONVOL716WASBANNED writes:

in response to memphis_vol_fan:

Dude you are pathetic. What has Micheal Jackson ever done for UT?????
I bet if Kenny Chesney (a native Tennessean who has performed in Neyland Stadium) died today you would say he was a worthless piece of s#it!! Oh, but that's because he's white.

Chesney is a Jimmy Buffett wanna be. He saw the following (parrotheads) that a 60 yr old singer has and changed his entire musical direction to copy the man from Margaritaville. But, what does that have to do with VOLS football?

I am not concerned about who UT will have for their starting QB, as I am sure our staff will be more than able to use what we have.

WhitePineVol77 writes:

in response to smokeydog:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Right on

hueypilot writes:

in response to listentothemusic:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Face these facts, music. Tennessee beat Florida twice with Casey Clausen and once with Tee Martin, not exactly Hall of Famers. You just have to smack Florida in the mouth and run the ball down their throat and play defense.

On Kiffin's statements about athletic O linemen, I've been dismayed how our linemen can't sustain a block for the RB to get into the secondary, or even get a push on short yardage. I mean, we've been running out of the shotgun on 3rd and 1 the last two years. We've had plenty big enough guys, but maybe athletic and quicker is the way to go against SEC defenses. Anybody want to talk football instead of Michael Jackson? Anybody? Bueller?

blitzshoot writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Where did Ainge come from?

mtvols writes:

in response to listentothemusic:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Why does Manning always get the rap for not being able to beat Florida. I don't recall Manning ever playing defense, which is why we usually lose to the Gators. One year they hung 62 on us. Why was that Mannings fault?

jimr07 writes:

in response to mtvols:

Why does Manning always get the rap for not being able to beat Florida. I don't recall Manning ever playing defense, which is why we usually lose to the Gators. One year they hung 62 on us. Why was that Mannings fault?

He is white.

volsoutwest writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I know...Let's change it to "Beat It", which is what I wish you would do!!!!

cloudodust writes:

Recruit's would like to see some sort of track record coming in. Tennessee's CLK has no track record Atop Rocky. Gotta find a QB that's willing to take a gamble and help mould the program. A 5 star probably won't want to take the risk, a 4 star maybe, a 3 star yes...Have to start somewhere until Peyton sires us one...

Vol43 writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm confused. Are you saying that all UT quarterbacks were jokes?

volsoutwest writes:

in response to Vol_RobE:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Explain to me how the Clausens (particularly Casey) and Ainge were jokes. They were dedicated Vols and played their hearts out for us so how do you get off calling them jokes?

InertGas writes:

in response to Volfan4everandaday:

College football coaches have highlighted Lakewood California on their maps this recruiting season and for good reason.

Lane Kiffin is no exception, he is relying on an area he is very familiar with in his efforts of rebuilding the football fortunes at the University of Tennessee.

Lakewood High School is the home of two of the top players in the Golden State, four star quarterback Jesse Scroggins and three star defensive back Dion Bailey.

Both Bailey and Scroggins has offers from the Volunteers and it appears both will take unofficial visits to Rocky Top.

“Yes sir I’m going down there the first week in August,” Bailey told InsideTennessee.com Friday. “Jesse took a trip there last week and really loved it a lot there, we are great friends and it would be great for us to play at the same college.”

Bailey currently holds 19 official offers, including one from Southern California. Both Bailey and Scroggins attended the Trojans camp this week.

“I thought I did well,” Bailey explained. “Jesse had a great camp, he got an offer from USC.”

Did either of the two make a commitment to USC?

“No sir, neither of us have made a decision yet,” Bailey said. “I know Jesse really loved his trip to Tennessee, all the great things he has told me about it, makes me want to see it that much more.”

Bailey also is impressed by how hard he is being recruiting by the Tennessee coaching staff.

“They are really recruiting me harder than most schools,” Bailey said. “I have really been impressed with their coaching staff.”

Bailey has heard a lot about how crazy the football atmosphere can be in the SEC.

“Jesse said that the stadium was incredible and that everyone really gets into their football at Tennessee,” Bailey said. “I can’t wait to check things out for myself. I’m really looking forward to my visit.”

How did you write so much and still be first ?

gmccown007#392764 writes:

I am bewildered! Every since we made the offer to MUNCHIE LEGAUX there has not been even so much as another "peep" about him. I guarantee you that this kid is our answer. He is already 6' 4" tall. Presently he weighs 185 but, on film, you can clearly see that he can easily carry another 30 plus pounds (minimum) (of pure upper body MUSCLE). (By Peyton's present age, Legaux will carry a frame very much like Peyton's currently is. At the moment, he is only 4 stars but if our supposed "Hall of Fame" coaching staff is only HALF as good as it is touted to be, the application of that kind of "coach-ability" makes this kid an absolute lock for All American. His arm is far more than merely "enough". Indeed, the sky is the limit here. And from what we have been given to "read", he fits Kiffin's "pro scheme" like a glove. At this stage he moves very much like a freshman version of Tee Martin.
Check the kid's videos for yourself. Then, the rest of you VOLUNTEERS need to help me get this snowball rolling!!!
(As a bonus, we --- as of 12:00 am --- are facing a dozen other offers but none of them from the usual "giants". In my opinion, the key thing that is keeping this kid under the radar). BUT we have all seen this kind of oversight "mistake" before.
My last guarantee is this. If enough of you fellow die hards will help me get this band wagon started, we can land this kid!! And if we do, the combined forces of Legaux and Bryce Brown will give us our next NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP --- in 2011!!!

pammyvol1000 writes:

in response to rockytopman:

I think CLK needs to swallow his pride and offer the cousin. The haters will have a time with this one though. It seems CLK is going through a serious learning curve, but at least he has the support of the fans, for now anyways. Way too many fairweathers here, but hey, it's home. GO VOLS!

Agree with you rockytopman! Offer the cousin and up our hopes in the process.

Go4Two writes:

Failure to sign a QB in 2010 may be the down fall of the Kiffin clan. We will have 1 QB ready to play next year. Maybe he can recall BJ from the minors

tdforvols writes:

in response to DCgators:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Ugh, DC. The record for the past 8 years is Fla 5 wins and TN 3 wins. So you got a one game advantage on us in the past 8 years (if we had won one more game the record would be 4-4). And now the Pendulum is starting to swing in the other direction. I would say the next 8 years will go the other way TN 5 wins and FL 3.

back2backchamps writes:

in response to sjt18:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Scott,
Hope all is well with you and your family. Give up on the Meyer looking for his next stop. Meyer has stated several times that ND was his dream job growing up. But much like UT, that job requires too much long distance recruiting, which is why he chose UF over ND 4 years ago.
I have stated before that Meyer will be at UF for another 4-6 years. After that, it would be time for a change for both parties. 10-12 years is about enough time with the fan bases these days. Look how much better the UT fans would have thought of Fulmer if he would have retired after 10 years.

kiffownsfla writes:

Go vols!

back2backchamps writes:

in response to BIPOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I see why you guys complain about the trolls. Look how quick the posts can turn to complete stupidity :-)

back2backchamps writes:

in response to sjt18:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Scott,
Go read this recent article if you haven't already:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports...

Meyer is not changing his offense to the pro-set. He has a "pro-style" QB set to start in 2010 at UF. He has a new QB coach that coached in the NFL last season, and coached Tom Brady in college. UF is adding pro-set to their offense to give them more options, and to give opposing defenses more to prepare for. Nothing hidden there to me :-)

OrangeCrush writes:

This kid may be a sleeper. Check out the video on Chase Rettig. It begins at the 2:25 min spot. With coaching development...who knows.

http://rivals.yahoo.com/video/recruit...

back2backchamps writes:

in response to gatorbait5and7:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey TARD, I was a Gator before you were born! Bring something besides stupid talk to the table :-)

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