Hokey Pokey won't work in Pahokee

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 hookerd@knoxnews.com.

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Comments » 83

ibvolman writes:

New spin on an old story...and am I first????

MattDillon writes:

GO BIG ORANGE!

Volsfan75 writes:

1st

Volsfan75 writes:

oops

TurnUpTheVOLtage writes:

40 offers, now I want some commits!!! Haha I'll check back in January when I actually get interested in recruiting....

Laydbakvol writes:

Yes child, You are first. And no Volsfan75, You are not. But by now you know that, don't you?

belayvol writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No worries. They did not want them anyway.

HtownVol writes:

As long as we get a top QB, Some great OL and DL some big time WRs and othere great players here and there, I dont care where they come from.

Rick4UT writes:

Urban is a whimp......What does that prove..When Tebow leaves then Urban better look for a job..GO VOLS!!!!!!

HtownVol writes:

in response to Rick4UT:

Urban is a whimp......What does that prove..When Tebow leaves then Urban better look for a job..GO VOLS!!!!!!

Tebow better live it up this year. He knows he has no future in the NFL. A 3 year back up full back at best.

HtownVol writes:

in response to gatorz4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I knew that would hurt the pride of the teabag lovers! I was not arguing his college record. Just saying he has no NFL career.

txvolsfan writes:

I wouldn't count on it!!!

HtownVol writes:

in response to gatorz4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I have seen about 3 different projections for the 2010 first roound and none has mentioned Teabag. So is it just your opinion? You just have that much faith that he will go in the first round? Every expert I have seen projecting the "QB" says he is not a NFL QB. Just saying.

Now you can reply with " Tebow will be 4-0 against UT"

whybenegative writes:

ill bet whatever you want teebow doesnt go in the first round ncaa

teampenny#658108 writes:

I agree LK is willing to start a fight-the question can he win a fight. Much easier to fire up VOL nation than is to win in the SEC. Poking the big dogs and burning bridges does not usually work. More power to LK if he can-time will tell. Regardless for now can not wait to kick off. GO VOLS

rudy123 writes:

If Kiffin and Co can recruit as they are advertised that they can. Also, if they can keep away from SERIOUS NCAA
violations, then I have no doudt they will be successful.
I believe that collectively, as a group, those coaches can
coach. They just need to walk the straight line and stay
away from NCAA violations.

OrangeRush writes:

Hook is probably better off focusing his career on being a radio comic than a writer. I'm sure his high school English teachers gave him the same advise. He should look back to that time and redirect his future endeavors.

99gator writes:

pahokee has not traditionally been a pipeline to florida.

hooker is pretty clueless all the way around on this article.

in addition, i thought this story was dead. now, they are going to bring it up again.

VAvolfanRON writes:

i wonder how many more uf recruits we still this year!!!....it's icing on the cake....i love it

Bob....you are a complete jerk.....every fricking article you have to try to bring up manning....why? why do you like everyone to hate you? you and gatorzz are twins!!!

VAvolfanRON writes:

did anyone hit the ky derby?....huge payoff

VAvolfanRON writes:

i see some more tears coming down gators cheeks!!!

VAvolfanRON writes:

tebow....lol...a great nfl qb!!!....he will follow in the footsteps of the other 'great' uf qbs....

FLOP

101st_AIRBORNE_VOL (Inactive) writes:

in response to BobbeaVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Assaults on women? Awww, did Peyton slap you around? Figures, since you're a mouthy b!tch.

VAvolfanRON writes:

let's see...would i want my daughter to date a guy like peyton manning or Bobthe?.....hummmm....

Peyton by flying colors...instead of low like loser.....

that was easy

VAvolfanRON writes:

what's Meyer address...i want to send him a stuff animal and flowers for mother's day!!!...

101st_AIRBORNE_VOL (Inactive) writes:

in response to gatorz4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Lol, yeah he'll be remembered in the NFL for being the highest paid cheerleader in pads! Or is that the clipboard-carrier with the most Heisman's and NC's?
bwaaaahaaahaaaahaaahaaaaahaaaahaaaaahaaaah!!!!!

VAvolfanRON writes:

does anyone know what color leotard Meyer wears when he does jazzercise??......

VAvolfanRON writes:

Bob.....post your links!!...if you are going to accuse someone.....at least prove it

VAvolfanRON writes:

i read where Bobthe sexually assualted a 9 year old boy...

stormblast writes:

in response to gatorz4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think Tebow will be a winner in the pros. If I had to start a NFL team with next year's draft, I would start it with Tebow. I could care less about what the so-called experts say about mechanics, height, etc at quarterback (Flutie would be a hall of famer if given the opportunity). Tebow is a winner. Whoever gets him will get a quarterback that will bring and leave everything on the field. Surround Tebow with some talent...he walks with 3 superbowl rings.

VAvolfanRON writes:

how many Heismans and NCs does Bob have?

VAvolfanRON writes:

omg....Tebow will be a horrible nfl qb.....timing patterns dont work in the nfl...he's too short....he doesn't have the speed....

101st_AIRBORNE_VOL (Inactive) writes:

in response to BobbeaVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm rocking a Combat Infantry Badge, Air Assault Badge, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal w/t Campaign Star, etc. Juust missed out on a Bronze Star w/t V device. And you call me a coward you rascist pr!ck! Why don't you shut the he11 up, walk into traffic, or eat a the barrel of a .45. Pick your poison. Either one will be quicker and less painless than what I'd do to you.

VAvolfanRON writes:

in response to 101st_AIRBORNE_VOL:

I'm rocking a Combat Infantry Badge, Air Assault Badge, Purple Heart, Army Commendation Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal w/t Campaign Star, etc. Juust missed out on a Bronze Star w/t V device. And you call me a coward you rascist pr!ck! Why don't you shut the he11 up, walk into traffic, or eat a the barrel of a .45. Pick your poison. Either one will be quicker and less painless than what I'd do to you.

thank you

he's the coward...behind his computer..

you, my friend, are defending us....i cannot thank you enough

HtownVol writes:

in response to gatorz4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Only 1 of those was a " Mock " draft, and it had KC picking Teabag. They just invested is Cassel. Not smart. And Teabag ahead of Colt McCoy. Not smart. You did not use very good examples. Face it He is NO NFL QB! Just get back to me in 2 years when every one forgets who he is. Except the Teabag lovers like you.

101st_AIRBORNE_VOL (Inactive) writes:

And since when does mooning someone and having someone else see it constitute assault?! Oh, only when the player's daddy happens to have money.

BigOrangePoet writes:

in response to gatorz4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Gatorz is back, worshipping Tim Tebow.
But once he gets to the NFL, he'll be an average joe.
Grossman, Wuerffel, Palmer; the failures are long as he11,
but give Tebow credit, for staying out of jail.

Can't wait to see the gators fall, the night in mid September.
It will be a glorious day, a night to remember.
Gartorz will be suicidal, crying like a baby.
At home all alone, choking on Tebow's gravy.

The moral of the story, don't hate the Big Orange Nation.
You're only here because you fear the new sensatation!

GO VOLS!

HtownVol writes:

We all need to get a internet connection and quit...mmm mailing these comments in to KNS.

101st_AIRBORNE_VOL (Inactive) writes:

in response to BobbeaVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Typical coward civilian. No guts, no brains, all opinion. Oh and I enjoy living on my disability and retirement that you pay for. Unfortunately, I had to earn mine the hard way, unlike you and your grandma that you live with on welfare's dime.

101st_AIRBORNE_VOL (Inactive) writes:

in response to VAvolfanRON:

thank you

he's the coward...behind his computer..

you, my friend, are defending us....i cannot thank you enough

Not anymore, retired, but thanks anyway.

tennezz writes:

Witch Doctor, What do bones say about gatorazz4?

VAvolfanRON writes:

in response to 101st_AIRBORNE_VOL:

Not anymore, retired, but thanks anyway.

my friend, i dont care...retired or not...i now you'd still defend me if needed!!.........

Bob...I have my own company....PUNK...please..please i beg you to become a gator fan....you fit the bill

VAvolfanRON writes:

in response to JBVols1698:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

hey bud,...can you do me a favor and not respond to him?...

101st_AIRBORNE_VOL (Inactive) writes:

You think it drives Gator fans crazy when they read that while Tebow may have the Heismans, most of the experts are now saying that Eric Berry is probably the best college football player in America at any position? Read it on rivals today, espn analysts say it, guess the only reason he won't get the Heisman is because he's a db that doesn't return kicks. Also find it funny that lil-Urbie has tried putting in the I formation to get a downhill running game. That's bs. Everyone knows that Teblow can't drop back and read a defense at the same time. Looks like Urbie and Stevie boy will never put a qb in the NFL that's worth a darn.

VAvolfanRON writes:

yea.....grossman is awesome!!!....(sarcasm)...they keep wanting to trade him but cant.....and wuerful(?) jesse palmer.....etc...

timing patterns dont work in NFL...lol.....

VAvolfanRON writes:

ok....i say timng patterns down work....i am incorrect...sorry

but not the lofty soft passes that these qb's throw...sorry

JohnsonCity_George writes:

in response to gatorz4:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think it was Chris Leak the first year. Tivo was in on maybe four or five plays.

101st_AIRBORNE_VOL (Inactive) writes:

in response to Jovi:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Don't bother, think he went out to the corner to sling some crack. Welfare check just doesn't cut it when he wants to buy some new bling...

VAvolfanRON writes:

great post butch....you are such a fun person to be around

DekanGator writes:

in response to Rick4UT:

Urban is a whimp......What does that prove..When Tebow leaves then Urban better look for a job..GO VOLS!!!!!!

You are the same guy who said that Urban can only win with Zook's guys,We can win the SEC and the NCAA with a QB as good as Chris Leak.

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