Adams: Kiffin era continues to amaze

You don't know whether Tennessee football signee Bryce Brown will be the next Brian Darden or the next Jamal Lewis. But you know this: The new era of UT football is ahead of schedule.

Whether Brown becomes a star running back (Lewis), a colossal bust (Darden) or something in between, that doesn't alter the significance of his signing with UT on Monday.

Not only did the Vols sign the No. 1-rated running back in the country. They did it by playing catch-up against all odds.

They just finished 5-7. They had one of the nation's worst offenses. They changed coaches.

Yet one of the premier high school players in the country - from Wichita, Kan., of all places - said "count me in." That makes you think coach Lane Kiffin and his staff can recruit as well as they say they can.

Moreover, they can do it on the fly.

Kansas isn't exactly a hotbed for UT recruiting. And the former UT staff seemingly had no connection with Brown, who had his pick of any program in the country.

Nonetheless, he picked the new guys on the college football block.

He's not the only one. Kiffin and his staff finished enough of what their predecessors started to land a top-10 recruiting class.

Based on the recruiting resumes of this staff and UT's longstanding track record, I wouldn't have been surprised at a top-10 class - in 2010. But this year? After last season?

The Vols' whirlwind recruiting is a testament to the successful blend of old school and new school.

UT is about as traditional as you can get in college football. Its 33-year-old coach and his staff are more about hip than history.

They have that relentless, obsessive approach to recruiting that seems to turns the heads of today's recruits. You want attention. Kiffin and Co. will give it to you.

Committed elsewhere? Doesn't matter.

When you tell these guys "no," they suddenly turn deaf. Or, as Kiffin puts it in the face of recruiting rejection, "We're gonna keep competing."

The approach has worked before at UT - in another sport. No one put in more hours recruiting than former UT basketball coach Kevin O'Neill, whose tireless work laid the foundation for Jerry Green's success.

He probably could have written notes to recruits in his sleep - if he had ever taken time to sleep. Like UT football recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron, O'Neill was featured prominently in a book on zealous recruiting.

Even after a 5-7 season, Orgeron and Kiffin have a better product to sell than O'Neill did. In their fast-break recruiting run, they proved you don't have to know the words to "Rocky Top" to sell it.

That bodes well for the long run. It might have a short-term impact, too.

UT obviously needs playmakers on offense, and it needs them immediately. Maybe Brown is one. Maybe running David Oku is another.

Brown and Oku have something else in common. Both waited until late to sign.

UT's recruiters took advantage of the extra days and weeks. Imagine what they can do with a full year.

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

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Comments » 281

redneckerson writes:

slap the dog and spit in the fire ... Lane, Monty, Ed amd Eddie got this train headed in the right direction!!!

TomMorello writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Volunteer writes:

in response to redneckerson:

slap the dog and spit in the fire ... Lane, Monty, Ed amd Eddie got this train headed in the right direction!!!

Slap the dog twice and spit tha fire!! Dang right... Kiffin and compayny, commin to a city near you!!

Give_Him_Six writes:

and you forgot to name Lance Thompson who is also taking us there. Its great to be a Tennessee Vol!

nicksjuzunk#646117 writes:

THAT'S DAD BLAMED... ARRRHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! UH!! GNAAHHHHH!!!!

volsboy1983 writes:

this is really a good read i enjoyed it but i am scared they are gettin us in trouble and dont get me wrong i like them all i just hope they can coach and not get us put on probation but i guess we will see in two years or not . GO VOLS 4 LIFE

Orangeblood13 writes:

I'll take it

next year find us a damn QB! lol

abrown#232236 writes:

Gotta love the RATM reference.

Truly,
Zach De LaRocha

Layla_Kiffin_is_hott writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DCVol writes:

Fill me up a glass of the orange kool-aid, baby!

OrangeMagic writes:

in response to Layla_Kiffin_is_hott:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

grow up! and change your screen name

Caveman writes:

Caveman say John Adams finally writing more positive than negative. Fire say John may not be all bad - but - need to wait and see if he jump on Gaturd bandwagon.

ONE HELLUVA FINISH !!

Fire say drinking cup a little more half-full today. Fanbase excited, UT always in the news (sometimes negative), and many top 2010 recruits are intrested in UT Tribe. 2010 gonna be a banner year with even better recruiting class. Now gotta teach them up AND put more Wins on the schedule.

Caveman say ORANGE SWARM !!!

rockitwithrespect writes:

kiffin and co. must be doing something right if they can recruit john adams over from the dark side

GO VOLS!

BSweet writes:

It's official, h-e-double hockey sticks has frozen over. John Adams is writing positive articles on UT football. I never thought I'd see the day. If CLK can win over JA, then we must have something special on the Hill. Great job recruiting coach, can't wait to see what you put on the field.

Layla_Kiffin_is_hott writes:

in response to OrangeMagic:

grow up! and change your screen name

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

blitzshoot writes:

Now its time to go to work.

Layla_Kiffin_is_hott writes:

The best thing about signing Bryce Brown in the O-line men we are going to get attention from... Who wouldn't want to block for this guy... He is going to be the face of UT football (if Berry leaves) next year if not the next. Great get

kbart4033#247331 writes:

Yeah, but can Bryce Brown play point forward?

JohnsonCity_George writes:

Remember, these are proven coaches. Relax and let them do what they are paid to do.

VolsFan3390 writes:

Its a 3-headed beast with bryce brown, david oku, and nu'keese richardson.....oh boy i cant wait!!!
GO VOLS

MrBamSeydu writes:

All we're missing is a premier QB and some hefty O-linemen and D-linemen. We've already got a top 3 defensive end for next year in J. Smith. We're set on RB and DB for the next 2-3 years, so let's focus on QB, OL, DL, and maybe get a few 6'5 WRs in here and we'll be back where we were in the late 90's.

FWBVol writes:

Compete hard on the recruiting trail and go after a kid until he signs. Compete hard on the football field and go until the whistle sounds.

We are seeing the results of relentless recruiting. And I think we'll be pleased with the finished product on the field as well.

Cherokee writes:

in response to Layla_Kiffin_is_hott:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Not very often? But it HAS happened on occasion apparently...

Just kidding.

RockinTop writes:

Maybe I am nuts.....and there are people way smarter than me about players and such.....but as I read this stuff....I keep seeing this or that about our O-line and D-line....all as a negative. It seems we always come up with somebody that does a decent job. Heck, it's almost like some people on here have forgotten, defense hasnt been out problem for the last few years, not really. Most games our D did just fine, we just couldnt put points on the board.

I figure the Kiffin and Company is going to do something to get by. They have sure proved that with the fantastic job they did recruiting on short notice. Seriously, this is an incredible job.

I have watch alot of the vids on Bryce Brown. I dont know if he can surpass Hardesty and the others....but the thing I kept noticing about him, fully realizing these other teams Brown was playing weren't SEC defenses, but he hits the hole with incredible quickness and acceleration, so even when the hole isnt that big for long (lack of O-line), and his lateral moves then back to acceleration North & South....he looks real special even if the blocking isnt that good. And I figure with the great coaching he will get, his quickness will likely improve.

I like what I see in these coaches....and I really think we have players that just werent getting coached. So I figure Kiffin and company are going to coach somebody into being great at O-line and D-line. They have already started shuffling.

This is all GREAT STUFF!

Voluvr writes:

I need a cigarette.

And I don't smoke.

RockinTop writes:

Forgot to mention.....then there was that prevent defense we would always go into to "Protect our lead".....geeze I hate that "Maxum"!

Go Big Orange!

OKEMO writes:

OKEMO say

ja write with true word
ja write about cpf must leave two year ago
some got mad at ja
(tweetering twits).....
after loss to wyoming
what ja wrote two year ago
came true

got brown?
yes, ut got brown & oku

OKEMO has spoken

RockinTop writes:

philfan writes:

"I could almost put up with his loose mouth and unbelievable immaturity, but the allegations that Kiffin has given information about the Raiders to his NFL opponents is very disturbing. I hope it is untrue. I foresee a big ugly Court battle. This will hurt our recruiting efforts even more than they have been damaged already.

I realize Fulmer's winning percentage went downhill big time the last ten years or so. But I would rather have him in charge instead of this one man wrecking crew called Kiffin."

This was posted over on the controversy will psycho boy Al Davis article. Where is Philfan???? Kiffin "hurting our recruiting efforts even more than already"??? Get over it Phil and Philfans.... what a stupid thing to say.....

Maybe all you guys should move to Oakland.

utmdm writes:

Barnhart give Kiffin props and weighs in on Bama Bookgate:

http://blogs.ajc.com/barnhart-college...

hgjmoore#258236 writes:

in response to Caveman:

Caveman say John Adams finally writing more positive than negative. Fire say John may not be all bad - but - need to wait and see if he jump on Gaturd bandwagon.

ONE HELLUVA FINISH !!

Fire say drinking cup a little more half-full today. Fanbase excited, UT always in the news (sometimes negative), and many top 2010 recruits are intrested in UT Tribe. 2010 gonna be a banner year with even better recruiting class. Now gotta teach them up AND put more Wins on the schedule.

Caveman say ORANGE SWARM !!!

Doesn't matter if we are reading fire or bones, I like what these coaches are doing. I'm waiting for some positive news from spring ball. I want to see/hear about our players starting to play consistent ball. I'm excited - as excited as I was when I went to second base for the first time.

teampenny#658108 writes:

in response to JohnsonCity_George:

Remember, these are proven coaches. Relax and let them do what they are paid to do.

LK did not do well at Oakland, Monty did not do well at North Carolina, Ed did not do well at Mississippi see the trend. They can bring the players in and they can create excitement now this season we will see if they can coach. And we will see if they can get something out of these QB's. Go Vols

Volunteer-Varmint writes:

In response to: volsboy1983

"this is really a good read i enjoyed it but i am scared they are gettin us in trouble and dont get me wrong i like them all i just hope they can coach and not get us put on probation but i guess we will see in two years or not . GO VOLS 4 LIFE"

Snick? That U?

Wig

oldorange writes:

Outstanding recruiting accomplishment.

GO VOLS !!!!!!!!!

KILLERxMOOSE writes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjV_XS... watch bryce brown's best runs!

tnbigg writes:

Go Vols! Happy St. Patrick's Day! Hopefully he'll drive the snakes out of GOVOLSXTRA today too! Kiffin & Company are setting the tone for a very dynamic team! What a VERY welcome change! Pour it on!

tnbigg writes:

St. Patrick has done double duty before:

http://www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/dr...

tnbigg writes:

A snake is a snake and this site is crawling with them! DRIVE THE SNAKES OUT NOW! Return to an all Vol site TODAY!

jakethevolguy writes:

The B&O Railroad is coming to Big Orange Country. Go Brown & Oku!! Go Vols!!!

dvhill100 writes:

in response to utmdm:

Barnhart give Kiffin props and weighs in on Bama Bookgate:

http://blogs.ajc.com/barnhart-college...

Good article. Thanks for the link.

dvhill100 writes:

in response to jakethevolguy:

The B&O Railroad is coming to Big Orange Country. Go Brown & Oku!! Go Vols!!!

Pretty good.

GerryOP writes:

172 -- Fear The Kiffin...

strongtower writes:

Have to hand it to Kiffin, he pulled off a great class after a 5-7 season and a new coach.

Go Vols!!!!!!!!!!1

jakethevolguy writes:

in response to dvhill100:

Pretty good.

Thanks, DH. That just came to me this morning. I hear the train a comin!!!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to tnbigg:

A snake is a snake and this site is crawling with them! DRIVE THE SNAKES OUT NOW! Return to an all Vol site TODAY!

One only needs to quickly look at a Gator site to understand why they are here.

jake2583 writes:

in response to volsboy1983:

this is really a good read i enjoyed it but i am scared they are gettin us in trouble and dont get me wrong i like them all i just hope they can coach and not get us put on probation but i guess we will see in two years or not . GO VOLS 4 LIFE

It's scary-- you know they paid this guy. It's a matter of time before they get caught.

jakethevolguy writes:

in response to Agent_Orange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

CLK said that we will be alright at QB, so I'll take him at his word and not worry about it. I really believe that the problem this season was the system and the coaching. The QBs we have did too well in high school not to have enough talent to be effective with the right coaching.

DisorientedVol writes:

So, is there a big lull before we can expect other recruits to sign. I think Florida has 4-5 recurits for next years class already. I know it's early to panick, obviously after this recruiting class miracle, but I would feel so much better with on OL or a DT to be excited about. Go Vols!

THE_VOL writes:

First - I HOPE TN WINS EVERY GAME FOR THE NEXT TEN YEARS AND I WILL BE ROOTING LIKE HELL FOR THEM EVERY WEEK!!! BUT...Will everyone be just as excited when the NCAA comes calling??? There are reasons Miami said "go away young man." Kiffin has thrown alot of stones at alot of people and that house he's livin' in ain't bulletproof. It's just a matter of time til this little party comes to a crashing end.

jake2583 writes:

in response to THE_VOL:

First - I HOPE TN WINS EVERY GAME FOR THE NEXT TEN YEARS AND I WILL BE ROOTING LIKE HELL FOR THEM EVERY WEEK!!! BUT...Will everyone be just as excited when the NCAA comes calling??? There are reasons Miami said "go away young man." Kiffin has thrown alot of stones at alot of people and that house he's livin' in ain't bulletproof. It's just a matter of time til this little party comes to a crashing end.

Sadly, I have to agree with you. It's obvious this boy was paid...and don't think the NCAA hasn't followed him and his entourage through this whole recruiting process.

Guys, since Kif and company have been here they have bragged about firing people, called out the two most succesful coaches in the nation, had a very off color party (their wives have not yet moved here...obviously), made a terrible comment to a young man regarding his very difficult choice to go to South Carolina...and then lied about saying it. Oh yeah, and they had "spring" practice for 3 weeks before they were actually allowed to. This, on top of the obvious new development of illegal recruiting. We are in big trouble here and I can not help but be embarrased as Lane continues to make a mochary of our grand University...not to mention anxious about how it all will end.

vut56#231073 writes:

Hate to pull the punch bowl away but it seems the party is getting a little too giddy. Who does not (among Vol fans) want this kid and the team to do well?

However, when the time comes (and it is here) that an 18 year old kid assembles a press conference, and garners more attention...or at least as much, as the president of the US, it is time to be concerned. That, plus all the phooey about his "handler" and "trainer." Already, an entrouge. My concern is the "I" vs. "team" thing. We get all worked up when a camera picks up some guy in orange on the sidelines using his cell phone...or maybe playing Madden Football, but what do we expect when they are pampered from the time they were in pampers?

Of course, we wish him and them well; I am just concerned the animals are running the zoo. Remember; there were many who thought housing prices could never go down, also.

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