Hooker: Kiffin’s ‘off week’ includes trip to Florida

So much for an “off” week.

As you may have heard by now, Tennessee’s bye week actually means more work for its football staff.

UT coach Lane Kiffin, who gets his travel plans from recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron, was visiting Treasure Coast High School in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Tuesday morning.

Kiffin was there to see Jeff Luc, who is considered one of the top linebackers for the 2010 signing class, and linebacker Deon Rogers, a Georgia commit who I’m told the Vols have a shot at.

Then Kiffin was off to South Florida to visit St. Thomas Aquinas High and Northwestern High. Both schools have a handful of major prospects.

The Vols are thought to be in good shape with St. Thomas Aquinas defensive back Cody Riggs, whose brother, Gerald Riggs Jr., played tailback at UT.

While in Florida, Kiffin was also at Dwyer High in West Palm Beach to visit safety Matt Elam, who many think is the best prospect in Florida. Elam has been committed to be a Gator for a year and recently re-affirmed his commitment publicly but the Vols aren’t giving up.

Kiffin also checked in on junior Nick O’Leary while at Dwyer. O’Leary is expected to be one of the top tight end prospects in the region — if not the nation — for 2011.

O’Leary has good genes. He’s the grandson of golf legend Jack Nicklaus. Worth noting is that both of O’Leary’s parents went to school at Georgia.

Kiffin, somewhat reluctantly, was back at practice on Tuesday. He admitted he considered staying on the road to recruit.

Kiffin was back out on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning. South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and North Florida were all on the itinerary.

Quarterback Update: Despite having Tyler Bray on board, the Vols wouldn’t mind adding another quarterback to their 2010 class. That makes Notre Dame worth watching.

The Fighting Irish have two quarterback commitments that the Vols have shown interest in: Andrew Hendrix from Cincinnati and Tommy Rees from Lake Forest, Ill. The pressure on Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis has been well publicized. If the Irish stumble down the stretch and a coaching change is made, it’s possible Hendrix and Rees could be back in play.

Notre Dame is 4-1 with close victories over every team they’ve played except Nevada. The Irish have Southern California, Boston College, Washington State, Navy, Pittsburgh on the road, Connecticut and Stanford on the road this season.

Speaking of Southern Cal, which Notre Dame plays this weekend, no one on UT’s campus has given up hope on USC commitment Jesse Scroggins, who is from Lakewood, Calif. An official visit to Knoxville for the Memphis game on Nov. 7 is in the works.

The Vols are also thinking about securing a junior college quarterback.

Offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will be in California to evaluate Matt Simms, the former Louisville quarterback, who is playing at El Camino Community College.

Quarterbacks coach David Reaves will be in Texas to evaluate Cam Newton, the former Florida quarterback who is playing at Blinn Community College.

Quiet Big Man: After not speaking to the media since his official visit to UT last weekend, Jawuan James finally was quoted by InsideTennessee.com.

“I haven’t been in hiding or anything, just been out of reach,” said James, who blamed a lost cell phone on his lack of communication.

Once James spoke, he was complimentary of his trip to Knoxville.

“It was real good,” the 6-foot-6, 285-pound offensive tackle from North Gwinnett High in Suwanee, Ga. said. “It was a chance for me and my family to get to know the coaching staff a lot better and get a better feel for their program.”

James also seemed impressed by the way the Vols handled Georgia 45-19.

“Kiffin and his team sent a message to Georgia,” James said. “He (Kiffin) has been telling me from day one that they want to take over the state of Georgia in recruiting. He backed up what he said with that big win.

“… He said he doesn’t plan on losing to Georgia during his career at Tennessee. As long he backs it up like he did Saturday, I have no problem with it. I like that attitude.”

James told the Scout .com Web site that he was also impressed with UT’s game day atmosphere and his parents were impressed with the Vols’ coaching staff.

James, who will take an official visit to UCLA this weekend, said he has no leader. Georgia is thought to be the Vols’ main competition.

Dave Hooker covers recruiting. He can be reached at hookerd@knoxnews.com.

© 2009 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 62

bearbull95#206250 writes:

Keep the pedal to the metal, men. I live in Florida and the Gator fans I know begrudgingly acknowledge that the status quo in the SEC East has changed with the arrival of Coach K and his staff.

bobbytodd writes:

I love the fact they aren't going to settle for 25 3* guys and say,"these guys fit our system much better than a lot of the higher profile players." The are going after the elite players and taking as many as they can. It seems like UT ends in the top 5 schools on most of the recruits lists. It shows they are leaving a good impression on players even when they select a different team.

FWBVol writes:

Like most UT fans I have a long memory and the thought of Matt Simms being a Vol after the way Chris made us look like idiots doesn't thrill me. Yes, a JC quarterback could be an option, but I would hope the good things CLK said about Lamaison (sp) after Tuesday's practice indicate he's developing into a strong candidate for next year. I would prefer to sign another high school QB along with Bray.

NoogaVol55 writes:

Gotta love the fact that our staff doesn't take no for an answer. Elam reaffirms he is a gator...Kiffin shows up at his school. I love the attitude.

Let's get focused on Bama....play smart and hard, who knows what could happen!

MTSUVOL writes:

Mr. Hooker, very good article. Keep it coming. The Lane Train is coming. Get on board, get out of the way or get ran over. Go Vols!!!

bobbytodd writes:

in response to FWBVol:

Like most UT fans I have a long memory and the thought of Matt Simms being a Vol after the way Chris made us look like idiots doesn't thrill me. Yes, a JC quarterback could be an option, but I would hope the good things CLK said about Lamaison (sp) after Tuesday's practice indicate he's developing into a strong candidate for next year. I would prefer to sign another high school QB along with Bray.

Texas didn't do anything wrong but I have pulled against them ever since. Wouldn't bother me to see him sign on and be a no. 2 behind Bray the rest of the time he is in college. It would be nice to see him standing there waiting on his chance to play and it never happen.

FWBVol writes:

in response to bobbytodd:

Texas didn't do anything wrong but I have pulled against them ever since. Wouldn't bother me to see him sign on and be a no. 2 behind Bray the rest of the time he is in college. It would be nice to see him standing there waiting on his chance to play and it never happen.

I agree with you. I think the thing that ticked most of us off was the way Chris went on national television and announce he was changing from Tennessee to Texas. I'm not saying Chris Simms would have made a difference in the way things went down the last 10 years, but that reversal seemed to take a lot of wind out of our sails.

tennezz writes:

You trolles thought Nuke and Teague were all gators to!

Voluvr writes:

Not one person in here could have scripted this whole thing as well as it's going. We're headed for championships. The young men they are recruiting right now are going to be a part of something great. Tennessee is now, The place to play and the pathway to the NFL.

jsm67vol writes:

This staff will bring in the talent. Another QB commit would be nice. The top teams in SEC ball all have fairly equal talent IMO, so once the talent level at UT rises back to equal the other top schools it will all come down to coaching. I like our chances there too! Go Vols!!!

6MillionDollarPumpkin writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey Forrest Gump...."thats all I will say about that", why dont you run to the end of the state of florida, jump in that big pond, and swim til you get tired, and sink!!! Teague burried in the depth chart at Florida??? Are you kidding me?? The reason Tim Tebho, I mean Tebow wont win the Heisman is because he has no one to throw it to except for Cooper. You cant tell me that Teague would not compliment Cooper. Honestly, you are just stupid!! Then again Forrest, "stupid is as stupid does". You should know that phrase........STUPID!!!

wsmows writes:

These guys should be relaxing in Jackson Hole Wyo. thats Vol tradition.

HossDiesel writes:

Buried in the depth chart. LMFAO. Get a grip on reality.

GBO writes:

Smokeybones = FLA fan that wears blue jean shorts. Hop off this site and go smoke some Newports. Your fans are white trash, you are probably 45 and still put gel in your hair, and your coach was caught giving Tebow an Eskimo kiss on national television during the LSU game. He'll have to go door to door to tell everyone he's a pederast when he moves to South Bend next year - I wonder what touchdown jesus will have to say about that?

carolinasmokey writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks for weighing in, Urban.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Buried on the depth chart? I'm sorry, aren't you guys struggling at receiver this year, or did I just imagine that?!?! I suppose receivers would struggle there with Tebow behind center... he seems to run the ball a lot more than he throws it.

DenverVol writes:

in response to GBO:

Smokeybones = FLA fan that wears blue jean shorts. Hop off this site and go smoke some Newports. Your fans are white trash, you are probably 45 and still put gel in your hair, and your coach was caught giving Tebow an Eskimo kiss on national television during the LSU game. He'll have to go door to door to tell everyone he's a pederast when he moves to South Bend next year - I wonder what touchdown jesus will have to say about that?

LMAO!! That was an eskimo kiss wasn't it?!? Didn't register until your post but did see it on tv. Hilarious. F-ing Gators and that's gators spelled with a Y. Thanks for changing that KNS.

volfan2002 writes:

This coaching staff is not giving up on anybody until they sign the dotted line. I think we'll see a great class this year and another QB as well.

murrayvol writes:

Uh Dave, Notre Dame is AT Pitt & Stanford. The rest are at home.

That schedule is only a click of the mouse away.

murrayvol writes:

in response to FWBVol:

I agree with you. I think the thing that ticked most of us off was the way Chris went on national television and announce he was changing from Tennessee to Texas. I'm not saying Chris Simms would have made a difference in the way things went down the last 10 years, but that reversal seemed to take a lot of wind out of our sails.

Liked his dad and I think Phil favored UT. Never thought much of Chris or his game.

Wouldn't hold that against the brother if he can help the Vols.

murrayvol writes:

in response to reyem060809:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Now that's funny.

Going to that game for a Gator fan was a waste of a good drunk.

the10sevol writes:

in response to FLVOL79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

i'm on the space coast, and agree with you. the good ol' boys in the jacked-up f-150's do act like smokey says. the ones who know their football, and may have actually attended uf, are very honest about their concerns with uT's rise.

on your last sentence, is smokey bones closing some restaurants, i seem to recall hearing that? oh, well, i've got a good bbq joint in my neighborhood (and they deliver!). when i'm in o-town, i go to blackwater bbq down on south orange ave, mmmmmmm...

GBO

the10sevol writes:

in response to murrayvol:

Liked his dad and I think Phil favored UT. Never thought much of Chris or his game.

Wouldn't hold that against the brother if he can help the Vols.

maybe we should check and see if major applewhite has a brother, too.

GBO

ArealVolFan writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Please, your form of reality is as warp as many Vols fans are sadly. A lot of Vols fans do only see things through orange colored glasses, but your no better. You only see them through orange and blue colored glasses. You know Teague wasn't waffling as much as you think he was, and you guys were just as hurt by Nuke not signing not just because of how it went down, but because of the impact he could have had on the field. He would have given another person to attempt to take over the Percy position and made the gator offense as potent as it has been over the last few years.Either way you guys probably realize there will be one or two of your guys switch off and come over here just because of how tough our coaches all recruit.Maybe it won't be Elam, but maybe Green or someone else. It will likely happen. Especially if this team continues to make improvements and wins 7 or 8 games.

rockytop321 writes:

Petty, arrogant trolls supporting programs with classless fans and no real tradtion can say whatever they please. However, Fulmer's gone. Not only will we now have top 10 classes like we have always had, we will also have top 5 classes on an annual basis. Phil could recruit. Lane can recruit PLUS he has MONTE KIFFIN. Are you kidding me? Monte Kiffin with 4 straight top 5 recruiting classes (it will happen). Plus the dream team. Enjoy your run Gators. Miami and Florida State never thought their runs would come to an end either, DID THEY?????? In a way it's actually good to see a team with some tradition (Bama) come back to the top. Things change, and it's happening soon!

Dalton writes:

There is no lock when you're dealing with kids in recruiting. Verbals give you a little comfort but visionaries like Kiffin know that you have to keep recruiting em after. He also has a good policy about encouraging them to take their OTHER visits to be sure. On Chris Simms...I never begrudged him changing his mind....if you fall in love with Austin why live in regret in Knoxville...the problem with him was like other disingenious people like Urban Meyer he had to hint that the reason he switched was because notice racial polarity on the Vol squad....that's when I wished failure on him and he was never able to really unseat Major Applewhite after that because he was a twerp.....and that's all I have to say about that

DC_Vol writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Actually read above, Cody Riggs strong lean is towards UT where his brother played. Try reading the article before posting. Geez, it is stated right in the article above. Here read it again. The Vols are thought to be in good shape with St. Thomas Aquinas defensive back Cody Riggs, whose brother, Gerald Riggs Jr., played tailback at UT. What are you in kindergarten? Do you have memory problems, you read something and then turn around and write the exact opposite? I grow tired of having to correct you all the time. Pay attention!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, Charlie Strong will be a head coach somewhere else next year. Several Florida recruits you consider strong committs today will change there status when they realize the coach they hoped to play for has left for greener pastures. Sorry I know the truth hurts.

navarrebeachvol writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey arse-clown, I live in Florida as well. The gator fans are indeed scared. Very scared. As they should be. Prepare yourself for another 90 year draught of SEC Championships. What do Tulane, Kentucky and Ga Tech have in common? All three won SEC championships before the reptiles finally won one...another 90 years of mediocrity is right around the corner.

DC_Vol writes:

in response to FearTheVols1252:

Buried on the depth chart? I'm sorry, aren't you guys struggling at receiver this year, or did I just imagine that?!?! I suppose receivers would struggle there with Tebow behind center... he seems to run the ball a lot more than he throws it.

GReat post Fear the Vols,

The trolls will not respond about there poor wide receiver play. I have posted many times with solid facts and they just avoid the truth. Here is one of the many posts that have received no response from them. Just hit the trolls with cold hard facts and they lose there nerve.

I have done the research, that is why I am aware of Florida's poor passing offense. I have my own stat sheet. Are you really going to say an average 127 passing yards by a Heisman Trophy candidate is good. Geez! I know Florida’s 127 average was more difficult than everyone elses. (sarcasm) Please just stop NO ONE IS BUYING WHAT YOU ARE SELLING. Your WR's have underperformed do some research yourself. To say they haven't shows you are completely biased.

The point I am trying to make is your wide receivers were the cream of the crop when they arrived at Florida. The WR's poor play is not poor because of Tebow, it is because Meyer has not developed their talent. Period, you know it, I know it and the media is finally, finally, finally discussing this truth nationally across the country. Everyone knows UF’s WR’s play has been poor but you just won't admit.

Lastly, here is some research for you. Meline, Richardson, Teague, Ambles and Cobb all chose Tennessee over Florida for some reason. Florida wanted all of these skill position players. I am going to do some research and tell you which recievers wanted to play in pro style offense instead of the gimmick spread not even played at the next level. These kids want to run routes not block for a Florida QB. These poor passing stats are hurting your recruiting at the WR position and you know it!!

So which is it:
1. Meyer made a mistake during the recruiting process in assessing talent.
2. Meyer didn’t properly develop the WR talent.
3. Meyer doesn’t emphasize the WR during play and prefers to run the ball from the QB position. Fact 127 passing average.
4. Meyer has no confidence in his WR (which is evident by the play calls) that is why he runs Tebow over twenty times a game until his injury. Now Meyer runs the dive play twenty times because he hasn’t practiced anything else. Hey at least Meyer is finally working on developing the running back position.

DC_Vol writes:

in response to navarrebeachvol:

Hey arse-clown, I live in Florida as well. The gator fans are indeed scared. Very scared. As they should be. Prepare yourself for another 90 year draught of SEC Championships. What do Tulane, Kentucky and Ga Tech have in common? All three won SEC championships before the reptiles finally won one...another 90 years of mediocrity is right around the corner.

Great post!!!

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey boner smoker: And that's why you troll these boards, right? You're so confident coach K can't recruit or coach that you spend all your time here? Interesting how you show up so often on articles about UT recruiting. Got a little fear goin on there, gator?

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to reyem060809:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The same game that gator nation said would be a 60 point differential? The same game that gator nation said would be Kiffins little big horn? The same game that our last offensive play was a downfield pass?

You can pretend that UT took a knee in that game if you want. You can pretend that something isn't fast gaining on you if you want. Suit yourself. But be careful if you bring that attitude to Knoxville next season.

As old satchel paige used to say, "don't ever look back, something might be gaining on you." Don't look back now, gators, cause something IS gaining on you.

jimr07 writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

If it is a so-called silent, how do you know?

dandyseniors#546965 writes:

in response to reyem060809:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Maybe he had to wee wee!

jimr07 writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

and, florida didn't want them any way. spin spin spin. blah, blah, blah

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Who should Tennessee have hired instead of Lane Kiffin? name names, boner smoker.

TennesseeGorilla writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What are you doing here?

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think Monte Kiffin was a DC for a SUPER BOWL winning team. Is that not correct, smarta@@? I think Lane Kiffin was an OC for a National Championship team at USC. Is that not correct, smarta@@?

Jonathan Crompton just won national player of the week honors. Jonathan Crompton. If this staff can't coach, you wanna try and explain that one, smarta@@?

TennesseeGorilla writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, and Bryce Brown showed low interest. So what?

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The 'school he could have committed himself to' will be on the bottom end of the score in this year's SECCG. Then it will be a slow, downward spiral. It will take years to recognize and admit it, but not only will Alabama replace you at the top, so will Tennessee.

You're really hung up on this liar thing, aren't you gator? If a dork like Meyer were calling you every other minute like a jilted high school girl friend, and begging to know who you were thinking of going out with next, you'd probably tell him anything to get him off of his back so you could enjoy your visit to beautiful East Tennessee and not be bothered by a pain in the a@@ like Meyer. And if you were Lane Kiffin and Nukeese asked you what to do, you'd tell him 'Anything' just to get Meyer off of the damn phone and stop acting like the cry-baby that he is. And if another coach is obviously disrepecting your program by calling a visiting recruit every hour on the hour, you'd be justified in telling him that and more. Urban Meyer is a sniveling, whining crybaby who whines about the flu and the other team not playing to win, etc, etc. He's also a complete idiot and a stupid coach for having Tebow in the Kentucky game when Tebow got hurt. Lying to a classless jerk like that is probably the only sane way to deal with him.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Looks like you're qualified to be on the search committee to hire the new gator HC. BTW, Phil Fulmer will be available, cause its likely he won't be in the running for the fightin irish job.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah, and he'll be clearing the gator goal line next year in Knoxville, gator.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Any more dumb posts?

DC_Vol writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are the Liar! Meyer even admitted he was surprised. The entire gator nation was shocked. Do you believe anything you write??? You have no class or integrity with the way you constantly make up stories even after everyone on this site really knows what happened. We were all there you fool! We read the news when it happened. You are fooling no one with your continual ridiculous posts. Vol fans don't believe anything this troll has to say, just consider the source and ignore all of his posts.

Nukeese will be a star. I believe he is the best reciever of the bunch that has snubbed their nose at your Florida school to play for a real offense. Here are the facts, Richardson, Teague, Ambles, Cobb and Meline all turned Florida down to play in a real NFL style offense.

Richards will be the best of the bunch. This guy is special! He is fast and has all kinds of moves you just can't teach. He will be the next Percy Harvin!!! Unfortunately for you he will be playing for the Big Orange and scoring touchdowns against Florida!!!

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're reading outdated stuff again, gator. How often do they update on that site, boner smoker?

BTW, how come we're not discussing how Meyer has taken any of Kiffin's commits away from him yet? Oh, wait, its because Meyer is still on the phone, redialing one of his commits that won't return his hourly calls.

missrvrvol writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bone...you can come pick up your wife now, she is through cleaning my toilets.

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Don't be so sure of that, boner smoker. After all, who woulda guessed Jonathan Crompton would be named NATIONAL player of the week? Pretty good job of coaching him, wouldn't you say, gator? Besides, we won't need a qb next year, because our defense will be scoring on you.

jimr07 writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

florida did not want him either. blah blah blah

VolunteerLifer writes:

in response to smokeybones:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It could be worse. I could be a Volunteer troll posting on a Gainesville, Fla newspaper site.

hueypilot writes:

If my team was ranked number 1 in the country as it has been all year long, I sure wouldn't be on some other team's site that I had already beaten, swapping barbs on a recruiting thread UNLESS I was damned worried about losing prospects to them. I'm proud to say as a Tennessee fan I have never been on a gator, or any other opponents site, and likely, will never be. Their fascination with our coach is truly amazing.

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