Lane Kiffin was once again asked Tuesday to defend himself about some public comments he has made as Tennessee’s head football coach.
This time, the questions came from ESPN’s First Take.
Kiffin was first asked about recent comments from Florida’s football team that defended Gators head coach Urban Meyer, who Kiffin incorrectly accused of cheating in the recruitment of Nu’Keese Richardson.
Florida players said they would rally around their coach and had Kiffin’s comments posted in their locker room for motivation.
“First of all, I think it’s a pretty neat thing for Tennessee that our logo is in Florida’s locker room right now,” Kiffin said. “So when recruits go through there and tour their facilities, they see the Tennessee logo.
‘That’s pretty exciting for us.”
Kiffin downplayed whatever psychological advantage such comments could give either team.
“Nobody comes walking into those games,” he said. “I don’t think bulletin board material makes anybody try harder once the ball is kicked off.”
Kiffin alluded to the increased publicity as one of the reasons the Vols were able to provide a strong close to their 2009 signing class.
UT secured signed letters of intent from two highly rated tailbacks: Bryce Brown from Wichita (Kansas) East High School and David Oku from Lincoln (Neb.) East High School.
“We need them seeing our logo,” Kiffin said of prospects. “We need them hearing about Tennessee. We need them hearing about our coaching staff.”
Kiffin referred to UT’s necessity to recruit nationally as one reason the Vols need such publicity.
“We have a plan,” he said. “We’re going in the right direction and things are coming together.”
Kiffin again denied telling prospect Alshon Jeffery that he would be pumping gas like the other South Carolina prospects if Jeffrey chose to sign with the University of South Carolina.
“First I wouldn’t have said it because there’s no full-service gas stations anymore, I don’t think,” Kiffin quipped. “They’re all self serve.”
Kiffin was also asked about his connection with prospects. He said his age, 33, and involvement in all offensive positions could be factors.
“I don’t know what that is for sure,” he said. “I just like being around them. I love coaching ball and love getting guys better. I think they feel our staff’s energy and our passion.”