Recruiting class taking big hits with Kiffin's departure

Tennessee’s recruiting is, as expected in tatters, following Lane Kiffin’s sudden departure to become the head coach at Southern California.

“We bought into him and I made the biggest mistake I ever made,” said Glen Fulton, the father of UT commitment Zach Fulton. “I bought into the man instead of buying into the university. Always buy into the university instead buying into the man. The university is going to be there.”

Offensive lineman Zach Fulton was UT’s tenth commitment, from Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Homewood, Ill., when he turned down other Big Ten schools to commit to UT in June.

“Zach’s very upset,” Glen Fulton said. “We don’t know what to do. We took one official visit and gave our commitment to them all along. I asked (Kiffin) in his office if he was going anywhere else. He said he’s not going anywhere. That’s one reason I told Zach not to take any official visits. Now we have three weeks to figure out what to do.”

Some coaching stability could sooth the transition for the Fultons.

“Zach will be there if Coach (offensive line coach James) Cregg or (offensive coordinator Jim) Chaney will be there,” Glen Fulton said. “If not we will flourish elsewhere.”

Other prospects have been less patient. Linebacker Michael Taylor of Atlanta Westlake High School decommitted from UT and is pledging to Florida, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Taylor was the MVP of the recent Under Armour All-America game and was the first to publicly change his mind.

Several South Carolina newspapers have reported that defensive end Brandon Willis of Byrnes High School in South Carolina has once again changed his mind and will leave UT. His final destination is unclear.

Willis’ Byrnes teammate, defensive lineman Corey Miller, told upstate.com, the Spartansburg Herald-Journal’s Web site, that he is holding firm to his UT commitment.

Henry County (Ga.) wide receiver Markeith Ambles, another All-American Bowl participant, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he is considering following Kiffin to Southern Cal.

“I don’t know what to say,” Ambles told the News Sentinel. “I haven’t talked to coach Kiffin. I don’t know. I can’t really say anything. I want to talk to Coach Kiffin.”

Offensive lineman JuWuan James of North Gwinnett (Ga.) High School, a mid-term enrollee is considering not starting classes, the Journal-Constitution is also reporting.

Defensive end Jacques Smith from Ooltewah High School, UT’s first commitment for the 2010 class, is now undecided on his status with the Vols.

Smith, another mid-term enrollee, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that he would talk with his mother and grandmother before making a final decision.

“This is a huge decision because it’s the next four years of my life, so I have to be smart about it,” Smith said.

By not starting classes, the six mid-term enrollees who arrived on campus this week would not have to sit out a season if they transferred to another school.

The three mid-term enrollees — quarterback Tyler Bray, receiver Matt Milton and running back/linebacker Channing Fugate — do not have the same freedom. Since they practiced with UT last month, they are tied to the NCAA’s transfer rules.

Multiple sources told the News Sentinel late Tuesday evening that former recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron had contacted some of the other six mid-termers and encouraged them not to enroll in class so they can transfer to USC without having to sit out a season.

Defensive end J.C. Copeland from Troup High School in LaGrange, Ga., said he is headed to UT no matter what.

“It doesn’t matter to me,” he said. “I’m going to Tennessee as long as the offer is still on the table.”

Athlete Marcques Dixon from Southwest Dekalb High School in Decatur, Ga. said he hasn’t been able to contact UT’s former coaches and that he still plans to visit Miami and Southern Miss this month, as previously planned.

National Signing Day is Feb. 3.

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Comments » 154

tkmcleod#229458 writes:

What about the kicker from Florida?

CRFVols writes:

Great. Hopefully cooler heads will prevail and they'll realize what a great school and program we have as opposed to the sorry coach we HAD.

chazz25 writes:

if we dont bring in the right coach more are likely to jump ship

TxFatBoy writes:

Any recruit that would follow Kiffin to USC has to be completely ignorant! He's already lied to you and your family, and you're going to buy into that again? Fool me once shame on you....oh, well you know the rest.

volfreak#210492 writes:

It's tatters, not 'taters.... We're not eatin' spuds here...

BigBadVol writes:

Could KNS state anything more obvious?

chazz25 writes:

in response to TxFatBoy:

Any recruit that would follow Kiffin to USC has to be completely ignorant! He's already lied to you and your family, and you're going to buy into that again? Fool me once shame on you....oh, well you know the rest.

cant believe ambles would even consider goin to usc....shows how smart he really is i guess

OldNumber7 writes:

I am tired of "position coaches" being at the top of Tennessee's list! UT should be focusing on bringing in a proven staff first. We'll see.

RockyToptoNeyland writes:

You know, I know all Tennessee fans are hurt right now, but we have to build from this. We ARE TENNESSEE!!!! We are not going anywhere.

TennHillbilly writes:

I say good luck to all these kids regardless of what you want to do. If you wanted to come to UT only because of the Kiffins, well you see what kind of person he really is. UT is a great school and will rebound from this and become a powerhouse football school again very soon. If you choose not to be a part of that, then here's hoping you make the decision that's right for you.
GBO

Orange writes:

Commit to a university. Commit to a program. Commit to tradition. Never commit to a coach, because the coach is never committed to you.

vscebail#247785 writes:

Bill Cowher would smooth this all over like a giant zambonie.

Mule_Days_King writes:

Monte Kiffin on air in Knoxville this morning, just committed secondary violation by mentioning recruit by name. Exit as you enter.

Jaques Smith, BTW.

VOL_N_IRAQ writes:

One good thing about all this.
I don't ever have to see that stupid "Fear the Kiffin" anymore.
TN will be better without him.

RoyaltyVol writes:

Its sad, the one university that promotes Lane Kiffin, even with all the stupid things he has done, is the university that gets majorly screwed over by him. Maybe we should fire Mike Hamilton and hire fulmer AD and cutcliffe as HC

tncamp writes:

Ed O. is just like a man who cheats on his wife and then asks his girlfried to marry him. The smart girlfriend will ask him, "what is to keep you from cheating on me one day?" The new recruits should ask themselves the same question. What is to keep these coaches (Ed O., Lane and Monte) from leaving me if/when the NFL comes calling?
That is a distinct possibility. We already know he left once for the NFL Probably will happen again.

nfdeng13 writes:

in response to volfreak#210492:

It's tatters, not 'taters.... We're not eatin' spuds here...

Ha ha, I saw that...

vscebail#247785 writes:

Just go away to USC and take your NCAA violations with you. -- They tend to be over-looked out there, anyway.

oldTNrock writes:

Let me coach em. I'll take the guys already in town and any newcomers who want to play ball and we'll turn the SEC on its head next year. Our guys on the hardcourt showed how to do it last Sunday... it's not rocket science.

ViT writes:
golfballs03 writes:

I read that Tyler Bray's dad was furious. I think that if Tyler wants out of his scholarship then they should let him. We only want the kids who truly want to be here. The ones who stay will be beloved for sticking with the Vols through this turmoil. True Volunteers. Go Vols

Bloodrunzorange writes:

The University of Tennessee is WAY bigger than Kiffin and his staff. If Kippy calls all these kids and reminds them of the things he has accomplished it is a no brainer. Kiffin is not the only coach who gets kids to the NFL. A solid coach with integrity and who loves Tennessee will bring back all these young men and steal some from USC in the process. It will be easy to do some "negative" recruiting at USC now. That staff can obviously not be trusted. The Vols will be fine. Do some research about our soon to be future coach and put a positive spin on what Kippy can do for our program now! Show a kid like Ambles Kippy's resume and he will be chomping at the bit to come to Tennessee. All is not lost Vol Nation! We are Tennessee!!!

JohnnyVol writes:

One recruiting class would be a tough hit. However, Hamilton must hire someone who can build recruiting classes for years to come and coach those recruits up. So...if his hire saves this awesome class, then wonderful. If he hires the right man, and some of these kids still jump ship, then we can build for the forseeable future.

We DO NOT need a Ron Zook experience after getting hit with a Bobby Petrino type event...

BigOrangeVol writes:

USC ATHLETIC DEPT phone number:
213- 740-3843...Leave Lane a Message!!!

orgbleglory writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Get a Life; given what Urb put up with re: As***** Kiffin, he should have removed the smug smile and broke out into a full blown laughing fit!!! However, Urb has more class in his pinky finger than CLK/CMK/CEO have in their collective overblown egotistical bodies....

omahavol writes:

"This just goes to show how important it is how you treat people. You just don't know what's gonna come around." Ed Orgeron, Meat Market

digthevols writes:

I"m not certain, but I thought it was a dead period until Thursday in regard to contacting recruits. If that is correct and the Big, ugly "O" was contacting them, perhaps a violation? Wouldn't you love it ... fired before they're hired :-)

Hounddog writes:

Right, better days ahead. Too much money, too much tradition. Hire Tony Dungy with Manning as "coach in waiting" all goes away.

Let's feel better soon. Hounddog

Strap writes:

I doubt it will happen, but I would like to see Mr. Hamilton take his time about finding a new coach and do it right. Let Kippy Brown do whatever he can as interim and let take the time needed to find a coach who will be interested in what is best for the University of Tennessee, not just selfish gain. If we hire a big name coach at this point we will be asking him to do to his current school exactly what Kiffin did to us. We don't need that kind of person again!

EastTNvolfan writes:

Press conference at 1pm today to announce that Muschamp will be new head coach. Hamilton was flying back from Texas when Kiffin held his press last night. So it seems they knew about this beforehand

jobrando#216494 writes:

I'd say let them all go. There is programs around the counry that coach 3 star players up to 5. In 2007 we had 5 5-star commitments and they for the most part flopped. I hate to say it but the previous coach started the ball rolling down hill and Kiffin took us on to the devil. Now is not the time to panic but leave Kippy in charge until a big time dedicated coach can be hired. I'm not sure the AD we have is capable. I'll bet he makes another panic hire. We are following in Bama's foot steps. Fire this AD now

JohnnyVol writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey long_vol...maybe this could go in Webster's Dictionary next year:

Kiffin-ing: A coach, or coaches, who come to an athletic program with completely self absorbed motives, and with no concern for the players or teams, and shamelessly lie to that team before running to another program (see also Petrino-ism or Saban-ating).

Pullingguard writes:

in response to nfdeng13:

Ha ha, I saw that...

Does this make either of you smarter than the one
who spelled it as tater's... Probably Not...

BubbaTN writes:

College Football is a big business and the athletes who make it happen on the field are the ones who suffer through this whole mess. For all those recruits out there, come to UT because it is the right place not because any trust in man. Most Coaches are going to tell you what you want to hear no mater where you go!

oldTNrock writes:

in response to Hounddog:

Right, better days ahead. Too much money, too much tradition. Hire Tony Dungy with Manning as "coach in waiting" all goes away.

Let's feel better soon. Hounddog

After what I saw last season, as of today better days are already here. I already feel better.

VolfromtheBin writes:

ESPN just reported that Tyler Bray is going to stay true to his commitment. There is the most positive thing we've heard in a few hours

topgun writes:

in response to volfreak#210492:

It's tatters, not 'taters.... We're not eatin' spuds here...

But, we are eating a lot of crow.

RoadTrip writes:

I feel so dirty this morning after a year long fling with a ho.

BubbaTN writes:

in response to VolfromtheBin:

ESPN just reported that Tyler Bray is going to stay true to his commitment. There is the most positive thing we've heard in a few hours

Most likely because he is already committed by taking practice snaps. Hopefully the new coach will not run him off like Kiffen did the last one.

volinlouisiana writes:

Kiffin will be a 4 letter word in Knoxville for years to come.

JohnnyVol writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hey long_vol, maybe Webster's will add this term next year:

Kiffin-ing: A self-absorbed, athletic coach (and/or staff) who commits to a school or athletic program under false pretenses of building it, then unashamedly lies about his intentions before running off to the first offer he receives from another program (see also Petrino-ism or Saban-ating).

Exiled writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That on made my day! Brilliant!

thevoice writes:

“I don’t know what to say,” Ambles told the News Sentinel. “I haven’t talked to coach Kiffin. I don’t know. I can’t really say anything. I want to talk to Coach Kiffin.”

Talk to Coach Kiffin if you enjoy talking to liars and deceivers. Suspected it all along, in addition to his bully Ed O.

BPaone (Inactive) writes:

J.C. Copeland is a great prototypical DE with an even better attitude.

ViT writes:

Thompkins out, Pair staying:
http://www.tmz.com/2010/01/13/star-re...

vol88 writes:

Recruits: don't jump ship until you see who the new captain is going to be. That's all we ask.

Exiled writes:

in response to Exiled:

That on made my day! Brilliant!

I should have said: "That ONE made my day"

BubbaTN writes:

in response to volinlouisiana:

Kiffin will be a 4 letter word in Knoxville for years to come.

True, but would you or I have done differently? Kiffen didn't change...he's always been slime but now we do not have to try to hide the fact.

keywestvol writes:

Betrayal is heart breaking!
I feel as if i brought a homeless bum into my home.Fed him and gave him a warm bed to sleep in. The next morning he pees in my bed
screws my daughter, kicks my dog and flips me off on the way out the door!

3 Wishes for Lane Kiffin
I hope the hillbilly mafia burns down your house before you get your phooey out of it.

I hope the NCAA slaps USC with so many penaltys that USC will be mediocre for years.

I hope your wife runs off with Ellen Degeneras

I do hope you son grows up to be a real man with integrity and worthy of the name KNOX!

oldsmokey67 writes:

in response to long_vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I hate to be like this but i agree 100% with you.I hate that holier than thou piece of phooey.he needs to worry about his heart more than football.the only reason he was resigning is he could'nt handle geting owned so badly by saban.go hide oscar meyer do college football a favor.

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