This much can be surmised from Lane Kiffin's first five months as Tennessee's football coach: He's not going to back down from a fight.
Such was readily apparent as Kiffin's staff assembled UT's 2009 signing class.
Kiffin stared the mighty Gator - Florida coach Urban Meyer - in the eye and stole two of his commitments: Marsalis Teague and Nu'Keese Richardson.
To go into Florida this recruiting season will take another steely glare, especially in Pahokee, where many aren't very fond of Kiffin.
UT hopes Richardson is more than just a dynamic player in Knoxville. The Vols also are hoping Richardson becomes their first segment in building a recruiting pipeline into the nation's most talent-laden territory.
Pahokee receiver De'Joshua Johnson believes UT's acquisition of Richardson has had an impact.
"It makes a big difference because I love playing with Nu'Keese Richardson," said Johnson. "He's a very spectacular athlete to play with. Being on the same team with him in high school was a blessing."
The 5-foot-11, 150-pound Johnson speaks of Richardson with reverence.
Kiffin, however, doesn't command the same amount of respect in the Pahokee area, especially after he took some jabs at the high school and the community, which has a long history of sending prospects to Florida, concerning Richardson faxing in his letter of intent.
"When Lane Kiffin said that, some people had some bad remarks about it," Johnson said. "But, me, I really didn't hear it. When I was told, I didn't have a feeling about it.
"OK, he said some things. A lot of people say some things. I'm just going to play ball. There's criticism everywhere you go so you just deal with that."
Kiffin and crew are headed back into Florida this month as part of the annual spring evaluation period. The Vols are recruiting countless prospects and have offered a scholarship to nearly 40 of them.
Needless to say, there are still some hurt feelings in Pahokee that the Vols will have to overcome.
"They take it seriously," Johnson said of the reaction to Kiffin's remarks. "A lot of people take it personal. It was on the news and everything."
Hard feelings and recruiting against the Gators are just part of the challenge when recruiting in Florida. The real challenge is overcoming most every school in the nation since they realize that Florida is a one-stop shop for elite talent.
"It's hard to recruit players out of there because there's so many that have D-I offers from everywhere," Johnson said. "It's kind of crazy."
Pahokee is a prime example. The high school - near Lake Okeechobee, 45 miles west of Palm Beach - has at least four Division I prospects: Johnson, linebacker Zachary Allen, defensive tackle Richard Ash and receiver Chris Dunkley. More are sure to emerge.
As far as their collegiate future, most are taking Johnson's approach. He has 27 offers and is no hurry to make his decision.
"A lot of people," Johnson said when asked what schools he's considering. "Just opening it up."
As for a possible package deal with the "Pahokee Pack", don't depend on it.
"It's not really a big deal," Johnson said when asked if he'd like to play college football with his teammates. "We're happy we're on the same high school team."
Dave Hooker covers recruiting. He may be reached at email@example.com.