Todd Campbell says 'I was not the biggest Lane Kiffin fan'

Todd Campbell's departure allowed him some leeway when asked to offer insight into Tennessee's recent run of football coaches.

Safe to say, the former UT receiver won't be rooting for former UT coach Lane Kiffin at Southern California this fall.

"I was not the biggest Lane Kiffin fan," Campbell said with a chuckle on the News Sentinel's radio show, The Sports Page. "Me and Lane? Nah."

The bad blood dates back to last summer, when Campbell was abruptly informed that his No. 11 jersey had been given to incoming freshman tailback Bryce Brown.

"I didn't get asked," Campbell said of the number switch. "That was a situation where I come back in June and there's a note on my locker that says you've been moved to 'No. 85'. This is your combination to your (new) locker."

Campbell didn't mind the switch per se, especially since the promised jersey number likely helped the Vols land Brown, who many considered the top prospect in the nation in 2009. Campbell just didn't like the way Kiffin handled the situation.

"I'm a man; he's a man (so) I feel like he should have come to me and said something about it," Campbell said. "If he would have come to me and said something about it, I would have OK'd it. But just the way he did it left a sour taste in my mouth, but it's OK because you play football regardless of what number you wear."

Campbell has left UT to pursue other options after graduating following the spring semester. He said he's unsure if he'll play football or just pursue a graduate degree.

"It's not a situation where I'm mad about anything," Campbell said. "I love Tennessee. I love being at Tennessee."

And clearly, he thinks the program is in better hands with first-year UT coach Derek Dooley.

"I feel like I got to know him really well," Campbell said. "As for the (coaches on) offense, I was really close to those guys. I think they will have a good year. They're going in the right direction because I think coach Dooley brings back structure, whereas Kiffin didn't really have a lot of structure.

"I think Dooley brings it back kind of how (former UT) coach (Phillip) Fulmer did it. I think that's what a team needs to be successful."

Campbell, who played in three games in the last two seasons, said leaving UT's football team wasn't about playing time.

"After talking with (wide receivers) coach (Charlie) Baggett and coach Dooley, they've been telling me I will play (had I stayed)," Campbell said.

Campbell said UT's graduate school offerings were also a factor. He wants to pursue a graduate degree in business administration and entrepreneurship, which he said wasn't a good fit at UT. As a graduate, Campbell could go to another school and be eligible immediately - pending approval by the NCAA - if he pursues a major that UT doesn't offer.

Campbell said he's like to attend school closer to his hometown in Franklin, Tenn., which makes Vanderbilt and Middle Tennessee State strong possibilities. Campbell, who is originally from Kentucky, said Louisville and Kentucky are also a possibility if he decides to play again. Campbell said he might also stay at UT and not play football, but that seems unlikely.

"Right now, I don't know what I want to do," said Campbell, who has two years of eligibility remaining. "I might stay at the school (UT), but I won't be on the team. I've already been released."

Campbell, who like most college players dreamed of playing in the NFL, said his limited role on UT's football team has changed his future goals.

"That really kind of changes your mindset," said Campbell, who never caught a varsity pass at UT. "That kind of lets you know that football isn't forever. You're always going to need a backup plan. Now, what's to say that I can't go somewhere else and go to the (National Football) League?

"I guess that dream never dies. It fades, but you can always get it back up if you want it."

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Comments » 47

orangecountyvols writes:

Good luck Todd. You and 100,000 people think the same way about the surfer dude.

Still, that person has his 'dream job' so he's happy
( so far ). Good luck with his appeals ! He'll need it.

kiddtigger#228291 writes:

Now that we are clearer on the reason for his departure, I'm hoping VOL fans will be more understanding with their remarks.

manoffewwords writes:

Smart guy.

nola_vol writes:

I believe UT-Chattanooga offers some business degrees based on an entrepreneurial model rather than the usual corporate one. Also, Mr. Campbell might enjoy a little on-field UT reunion with B. J. Coleman.

BTW, favorite tongue-in-cheek George Bush quote: The problem with the French is, they have no word for "entrepreneur."

Hounddog writes:

Best of luck with your future young man. You sound like a real human being. Hounddog

Ironcity writes:

I guess he counts towards our graduation rate. Good luck young man and I am glad that your good work in the class room has given you a lot of good options. Maybe some more players will see this and even apply themselves harder.

westknoxvol24 writes:

sounds like a great kid

DRORANGELOVE writes:

Good Luck Todd. I hope you will do well in the future.

d_ray writes:

I talked to a close friend of mine the other day. He lives just outside of L.A. and is an alumni of USC. The first words out of his mouth were "You can have Kiffin back. We hate him out here. What a douche bag." I almost died laughing. Lane has only been there since January and is already hated by USC alumni and fans.

govols1234567 writes:

in response to DoctorVol50:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I doubt it. UTC isnt very close to franklin or Kentucky.

KptVol writes:

This young man has his head on straight. I wish him the very best in life (though he really doesn't need my regards). It is obvious he is going to do quite well on his own.

Waldorf writes:

Good riddance to another Foolmore waste of space.

murrayvol writes:

You'll be fine Mr. Campbell. Best of luck.

And we're all on the same page regarding the Jackal. In the end we all get about what we deserve.

GerryOP writes:

Todd, go forth and do well. And remember ... once a Vol, always a Vol. Thanks for being a Vol.

GerryOP writes:

in response to Waldorf:

Good riddance to another Foolmore waste of space.

What a totally dorky statement. We're you born a dork or have you worked hard to achieve the status of total dork?

Colliervol writes:

Who is Todd Campbell? I can honestly say that I had never heard of him.

BigBadVol writes:

Good luck Mr. Campbell. It's your life, so enjoy the ride.

DennisVols writes:

Anyone heard abput the billboards some UT fans have rented out in LA?
"Got Sanctions
How do you like your dream job Lane"

Now that's funny.
Keeping it Real
GoVols!!!

mtowntim writes:

in response to Waldorf:

Good riddance to another Foolmore waste of space.

Dik.

mtowntim writes:

Good luck Mr.Campbell. GO VOLS!!

gtownvol writes:

Mr. Campbell, you sound like a very intelligent young man. Thanks for being a Vol. Best of luck to you in your next endeavor--whether that is pursuing a degree, playing football, or entering the workplace. GBO.

99gator writes:

Dooley is more like Fulmer than Kiffin according to Brown.

the question is does that make the people here happy or upset.

cdldoc#211897 writes:

I am surprised he wasn't disparaged for saying something good about Fulmer. Wait...this isn't Volnation is it?

You should go there Waldork. You would fit right in.

99gator writes:

in response to cdldoc#211897:

I am surprised he wasn't disparaged for saying something good about Fulmer. Wait...this isn't Volnation is it?

You should go there Waldork. You would fit right in.

there are some people over there who refuse to acknowledge that the fulmer era was the best tennessee football has been in the last 60 years.

RoadTrip writes:

This kid is all Vol. Good luck to you, Todd.

SoddyVol writes:

The reference to bringing back structure "kind of how coach Fulmer did it" sounds ok to me. Coach Dooley can sure use "structure" to do a better job. My favorite coaches: Neyland (I was a high school junior when I watched Hank Lauricella, and Doug Atkins on the 1951 National Champs), Majors (I could only watch as he played) and Fulmer, the only UT BCS Champion Coach.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

News to Campbell......lk lies. We all see this now.

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Wonder if he goes to Northwest Idaho State that we will get updates on him here for a while??

Southland writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You have got to be kidding. All of the guys you mentioned along with everyone else in the SEC hated Kiffin and recognized him to be a big mouth with nothing to back it up with. I think if you check Kiffin's head coaching record he is a loser as well. The SEC is a fraternity. We may not like each other but at least we know how to act. Staring them down my butt. You have to be kidding. Kiffin had his players motivated to play Florida and Bama. What about UCLA and VTech? Guess he forgot to stare the coaches down and he must have forgot to look at Houston Nutt

OrangePsyched writes:

No one denies what Fulmer did for the program and I think most fans are like me. I've always liked Phil but he didn't change with the times and got fat and lazy. Notice no one else has hired him. It's only fans like Duke that can't get over his firing and can't accept anyone else that make us criticize him. I think Fulmer would like Dooley. Anyway, glad Todd made the structure statement. Dooley has a no nonsense approach to the game that will translate well for this team. ROCKY TOP!

OrangePsyched writes:

I should've stated that I didn't mean that Fulmer got fat literally...I was making the point that he got comfortable in the position and no matter what you say I believe that he failed to recruit and coach with the same zeal that he did in previous years. He thought that kids would just want to come to Tennessee because of the tradition. Dooley is like Phil in his morality and respect for the tradition of Tennessee. I supported Kiffin because he was the Vol coach but did not like his arrogance and constant references to the USC program. In that we can find agreement.

cdldoc#211897 writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Outstanding!!!!

rockytopatl writes:

in response to DukeDeLuca:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We all know you love Fulmer, but please quit revising history:

He played guard and started and was a captain, but he was never all-SEC.

Check the pictures of his early days as offensive coordinator and head coach. He was never trim, but could hardly be called fat. He was fat his last few years.

He made it very plain he wanted to coach again. He was not hired by anyone. He didn't even make many "finalist" lists.

I loved Coach Fulmer and wanted him to break Neyland's record. But he crashed and burned. Two of his last three teams weren't competitive in the SEC. The 2007 team lucked into the championship game and it was pretty clear it was only because Coach Cut came back. He made a terrible hire for OC with his job on the line.

His time had come. Let it go.

TennesseeTuxedo writes:

Another Fulmer recruit who leaves the program because he was not coddled. This is just more proof of the type of recruits that Fulmer brought in and why this program is in the shape that it is today. No upperclassman depth.

easleychuck writes:

Coach Fulmer had an incredible run at UT. For someone to deny that his last few teams were being manhandled by UF and Bammer is to deny the facts. Same goes with the success that was achieved with Coach Cutcliffe on the staff versus when he was not there. Good luck to Coach Dooley in his efforts to restore UT to relevance in the conference.

BadBob70 writes:

Dukedeluca wrote "My beef isn't with our head coaching hires. My concern is that too many of our fans are idiots."

That was one of my big complaints about Fullmer. He refused to talk about his football philosophy. He wouldn't share critical information with the media, and thus his fans (and his potential recruits).

It seems Fullmer thought he had such great, innovative ideas that he didn't want anyone to steal them.

Well, you can learn more about how to play and win at football reading the Lincoln Journal Star 10-12 Sundays a year, than you could attending a Fullmer football camp.

When a recruit got to UNL under Coach Osborne, he already knew as much about Nebraska football as it took a Sophomore under Fullmer. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the benefit of that.

Vol_Doc writes:

in response to TennesseeTuxedo:

Another Fulmer recruit who leaves the program because he was not coddled. This is just more proof of the type of recruits that Fulmer brought in and why this program is in the shape that it is today. No upperclassman depth.

You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. Try reading the article.

TennesseeTuxedo writes:

in response to Vol_Doc:

You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. Try reading the article.

All one has to do is open their eyes and they can see why our program is in the shape that it is. Fulmer did a lousy job of recruiting players into the program in his final years. Campbell is another Fulmer recruit, who was not up to the task of playing at the top echelon of SEC football. That is why we have little depth. Look at the number of juniors, seniors, and red shirt sophomores-they are all Fulmer recruits. Few are contributing in a meaningful way. The few who are, are teetering on getting beaten out by freshmen and sophomores.

VOLliven2it writes:

Let's Keep it Current Guys, Fulmer is no longer our coach.He had his day and deserves his due for what was accomplished even if decline plagued his last few years. Neither is the little Twinkie on the west coast our coach anymore. I think we were delivered from his deal by a Dream Job. The fact is we will lose players and gain some. THIS IS DOOLEY'S first year for heaven's sake. Give him a few games before you declare how much of a loser he will be in Orangeland. In fact, give him at least a doggone year. If we cannot beat people we are suppose to beat handily, okay, you(naysayers)told us so. None of it has happened yet and everything said is mere speculation! As for trolls and non-UT fans, YOU KNOW WHERE YOU BELONG(on some other site). Let's get ready for some football. The time is drawing nearer though still is out there.

jcherrie#219531 (Inactive) writes:

in response to easleychuck:

Coach Fulmer had an incredible run at UT. For someone to deny that his last few teams were being manhandled by UF and Bammer is to deny the facts. Same goes with the success that was achieved with Coach Cutcliffe on the staff versus when he was not there. Good luck to Coach Dooley in his efforts to restore UT to relevance in the conference.

Well said. Great recruiter, great guy, taught fundamentals well, mediocre game-day coach.

I can picture him talking to the O-coordinator "Our offensive play sequence is this -- Run Off Tackle -- Counter Trey -- Bubble Screen -- Punt"

On defense -- Max Blitz, Zone Blitz, Dime Package - repeat.

I swear I spent 20 years watching this sequence. All the plays are good ones but not when you know when and where they're going to be called.

mtowntim writes:

in response to jcherrie#219531:

Well said. Great recruiter, great guy, taught fundamentals well, mediocre game-day coach.

I can picture him talking to the O-coordinator "Our offensive play sequence is this -- Run Off Tackle -- Counter Trey -- Bubble Screen -- Punt"

On defense -- Max Blitz, Zone Blitz, Dime Package - repeat.

I swear I spent 20 years watching this sequence. All the plays are good ones but not when you know when and where they're going to be called.

Excellent observation jc. I think Chaney will confuse the heck out of some defenses, Wilcox is going to bring some surprises and DD is smart enough to let those guys do their job. GO VOLS!!

BigOrangeBill writes:

Here's an honest summary, from the heart:

1. Coach Fulmer was an excellent coach for many years and brought great distinction to Big Orange Country. No coach, present or future, could love Tennessee more than him.

2. My take is, he didn't personally recruit enough in the last few years. Left it too much up to staff. Recruiting, my opinion again, was one of his greatest assets. But he just didn't hit the trail himself hard enough or often enough.

3. Based on spring practice BEFORE Coach Cut came back, discipline during these critical practices fell off dramatically. Weight room discipline and off-season work by players also fell off.

4. Trying to "fix it" when Coach Fulmer finally saw the light....he brought in the wrong offensive coordinator, then (my take again) didn't appear to give him the game-day leeway he needed to have any chance to succeed.

5. When Coach Fulmer was let go, it was one of the saddest days I had ever seen in Tenneseee football. Not because I didn't agree with the change but...instead, to have to sit and watch this great man humbled like that really hurt me, too. Problem was, there just wasn't ANY good way to do it.

6. Honesty again, I bought into Kiffin's braggadocio 100% DESPITE hating it every time he opened his fool mouth. When we played Florida so tough and SHOULD have beaten Alabama, I felt we were on the way back and let doing it the WRONG WAY overpower my great desire to see Tennessee back on top again.

7. When Kiffin stiffed us ALL with no remorse and his great $600,000 recruiter tried to steal all our good recruits, I realized like a slap in the face that I had been a Big Orange Fool. (A lot of you reading this were too!)

8. Last, the Coach Dooley hire was like a big orange scrub brush that cleaned away all that ugly, dirty feeling left over by Kiffin's desertion. Like a Rocky Top mountain river breeze, I felt Tennessee football being clean again. He's a fine man. Disciplined, making good hires, working LONG hours, intelligent, telling recruits the TRUTH, not just what they want to hear, great genes....and I could go on and on.

Yes Coach Dooley, I know it will take time. Here is one Big Orange Fan who will take your back and not become a summer patriot if it takes some time to do it right.

TennesseeTuxedo writes:

Kiffin cleaned out the malaise left behind by Fulmer. In one short year, he scrubbed the program almost entirely clear of the stench left behind by Fulmer. The last remnant of Fulmer is the lack of depth he left the program with. He crashed the UT football program into the ground. While some want to celebrate the past, the rest of us are looking at the present and future realizing where our football program is at-because of one man who failed the University that some say he loved. The fact is that he loved himself more than UT. Just the facts.

VOLFORLIFE writes:

in response to BigOrangeBill:

Here's an honest summary, from the heart:

1. Coach Fulmer was an excellent coach for many years and brought great distinction to Big Orange Country. No coach, present or future, could love Tennessee more than him.

2. My take is, he didn't personally recruit enough in the last few years. Left it too much up to staff. Recruiting, my opinion again, was one of his greatest assets. But he just didn't hit the trail himself hard enough or often enough.

3. Based on spring practice BEFORE Coach Cut came back, discipline during these critical practices fell off dramatically. Weight room discipline and off-season work by players also fell off.

4. Trying to "fix it" when Coach Fulmer finally saw the light....he brought in the wrong offensive coordinator, then (my take again) didn't appear to give him the game-day leeway he needed to have any chance to succeed.

5. When Coach Fulmer was let go, it was one of the saddest days I had ever seen in Tenneseee football. Not because I didn't agree with the change but...instead, to have to sit and watch this great man humbled like that really hurt me, too. Problem was, there just wasn't ANY good way to do it.

6. Honesty again, I bought into Kiffin's braggadocio 100% DESPITE hating it every time he opened his fool mouth. When we played Florida so tough and SHOULD have beaten Alabama, I felt we were on the way back and let doing it the WRONG WAY overpower my great desire to see Tennessee back on top again.

7. When Kiffin stiffed us ALL with no remorse and his great $600,000 recruiter tried to steal all our good recruits, I realized like a slap in the face that I had been a Big Orange Fool. (A lot of you reading this were too!)

8. Last, the Coach Dooley hire was like a big orange scrub brush that cleaned away all that ugly, dirty feeling left over by Kiffin's desertion. Like a Rocky Top mountain river breeze, I felt Tennessee football being clean again. He's a fine man. Disciplined, making good hires, working LONG hours, intelligent, telling recruits the TRUTH, not just what they want to hear, great genes....and I could go on and on.

Yes Coach Dooley, I know it will take time. Here is one Big Orange Fan who will take your back and not become a summer patriot if it takes some time to do it right.

Holy cow, BigOrangeBill, do I have a long lost twin out there somewhere? I'm right there with you Bud! You just said all the things I've thought but just never put into words, and you've done it in an excellent manner. Like you, I wanted so much for the Vols to make it back to the mountaintop that I let myself believe that maybe Kiffin was the answer. But also like you, I kept saying I wished he would just shut his big mouth and coach.

Anyway, loved your post.

GO VOLS!!!
JUGHEAD

mtowntim writes:

in response to BigOrangeBill:

Here's an honest summary, from the heart:

1. Coach Fulmer was an excellent coach for many years and brought great distinction to Big Orange Country. No coach, present or future, could love Tennessee more than him.

2. My take is, he didn't personally recruit enough in the last few years. Left it too much up to staff. Recruiting, my opinion again, was one of his greatest assets. But he just didn't hit the trail himself hard enough or often enough.

3. Based on spring practice BEFORE Coach Cut came back, discipline during these critical practices fell off dramatically. Weight room discipline and off-season work by players also fell off.

4. Trying to "fix it" when Coach Fulmer finally saw the light....he brought in the wrong offensive coordinator, then (my take again) didn't appear to give him the game-day leeway he needed to have any chance to succeed.

5. When Coach Fulmer was let go, it was one of the saddest days I had ever seen in Tenneseee football. Not because I didn't agree with the change but...instead, to have to sit and watch this great man humbled like that really hurt me, too. Problem was, there just wasn't ANY good way to do it.

6. Honesty again, I bought into Kiffin's braggadocio 100% DESPITE hating it every time he opened his fool mouth. When we played Florida so tough and SHOULD have beaten Alabama, I felt we were on the way back and let doing it the WRONG WAY overpower my great desire to see Tennessee back on top again.

7. When Kiffin stiffed us ALL with no remorse and his great $600,000 recruiter tried to steal all our good recruits, I realized like a slap in the face that I had been a Big Orange Fool. (A lot of you reading this were too!)

8. Last, the Coach Dooley hire was like a big orange scrub brush that cleaned away all that ugly, dirty feeling left over by Kiffin's desertion. Like a Rocky Top mountain river breeze, I felt Tennessee football being clean again. He's a fine man. Disciplined, making good hires, working LONG hours, intelligent, telling recruits the TRUTH, not just what they want to hear, great genes....and I could go on and on.

Yes Coach Dooley, I know it will take time. Here is one Big Orange Fan who will take your back and not become a summer patriot if it takes some time to do it right.

Post of the month, possibly the year. Well spoken Bill, you just summed up how most of us feel in one post. Thank you and congratulations on a job very well done sir.

vols2#227315 writes:

I do not blame Kiffin going back home to coach, I just hate that we do not have a coach that can bring enthusian and give Bray a chance to be the next UT quarterback. Brays does not throw the interception that Simms does.

CRFVols writes:

in response to 99gator:

Dooley is more like Fulmer than Kiffin according to Brown.

the question is does that make the people here happy or upset.

That's a crazy question....more like Fulmer is clearly the better choice in my opinion.

However....I say let Dooley be Dooley. Let's not make too many comparisons. And give him time.

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