Mike Strange: Lane Kiffin's Tennessee recruiting haul not reflected in draft

Mike Strange
Associated press
Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray works out during the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis on Feb. 24.

Photo by Dave Martin

Associated press Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray works out during the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis on Feb. 24.

They come on signing day, all with a dream. Time flies and then comes draft day, but for only a few.

The mystery is what happens to that dream in between.

College football is essentially a four-year cycle. A recruit signs and most likely plays as a true freshman. Redshirting isn’t what it once was.

An exceptional player might turn pro after his junior year. But a lot of good ones are still around as seniors, completing their four-year plan.

The 2013 NFL draft begins Thursday night. If Tennessee’s four-year cycle hadn’t gone haywire, this would be the draft for Lane Kiffin’s dramatic 2009 signing class.

Remember those guys? If you don’t, it’s understandable. Most of them, like the coach who signed them, haven’t been around for a while.

As the draft unfolds over the next 72 hours, the Vols will be represented. It won’t be like last year when Malik Jackson was the only name called in seven rounds.

The Vols just won’t be represented by Kiffin’s ballyhooed signing class.

Of the Class of 2009 hustled up by Kiffin’s staff, senior receiver Zach Rogers is the only likely 2013 draftee.

You could have made a small fortune betting those odds four years ago.

I qualify that by saying Rogers will be the only one drafted from Tennessee. As his fellow ’09 signees scattered hither and yon, he stuck it out and a nice senior year will give him a shot to make it at the next level.

One of his fellow signees, cornerback Mike Edwards, resurrected his career at Hawaii and is projected as a late-round pick.

Another one, David Oku, is still resurrecting his career at Arkansas State. Check back for the 2014 draft.

Bryce Brown, the top-ranked 2009 signee, pulled a neat trick. He got drafted last year without bothering to resurrect his career at all and played well as a rookie with Philadelphia.

Other touted signees in that class haven’t been so fortunate. Janzen Jackson, Nu’Keese Richardson, Darren Myles and Jerod Askew, to name a few aren’t on anybody’s board.

Marsalis Teague, considered a signing-day steal from Florida way back when, won’t be a draft-day steal. But at least he played four years for the Vols.

A handful of survivors from Kiffin’s one full signing class are still at UT awaiting their senior season. For a guy like Daniel Hood, the dream is still alive.

The highest draftee from Kiffin’s 14 months in Knoxville will almost certainly be quarterback Tyler Bray. He was an early enrollee in the class of 2010 inherited by Derek Dooley after Kiffin’s dead-of-night bolt to Southern Cal.

In January, Bray became an early departure, forgoing his senior year after a prolific junior season.

Prolific in stats, if not wins.

The Class of 2010 also produced Justin Hunter and Mychal Rivera. Cordarrelle Patterson didn’t come along until 2012.

Offensive lineman Dallas Thomas is a remnant from Phillip Fulmer’s final signing class.

Speaking of Fulmer remnants, Montori Hughes, a 2008 signee who didn’t actually get to campus until Kiffin had taken over, is on the board. He washed out at Tennessee but found traction at UT-Martin.

I imagine those guys from that 2009 signing class will be curious enough to watch the draft unfold over the next couple of days.

For most, the dream didn’t turn out like they thought it would.

Mike Strange may be reached at strangem@knoxnews.com. Follow him on Twitter at Strangemike44.

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 36

voloffaith writes:

coulda,shoulda,woulda......won't ye be mine darlin'..........man that list of names that mostly blew great opportunities to get to the next level............

FWBVol writes:

As the old saying goes, "When you tell a kid they have potential you're just telling them they haven't done anything yet."

There was a lot of potential in that 2009 class that never did a thing.

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you handle it.

SummittsCourt writes:

They shouldn't worry too much, after next season weasel boy will be in the unemployment line too.

orange_eVOLution writes:

Why are we even talking about this?

MooseandSquirrelVol writes:

in response to orange_eVOLution:

Why are we even talking about this?

Two words : Band Width.

oldster writes:

Kiffin's signing class was just like everything else about him - smoke and mirrors. No substance.

flatrock writes:

Thank you, Mike Hamilton.

PHAT_VOL writes:

in response to flatrock:

Thank you, Mike Hamilton.

YES, TKS Mr. Hamiltion. OH and lets dont forget baseball.

vol98champ writes:

You have to wonder how much Lame brain's immaturity contributed to all these guys lack of commitment.

BigBadVol writes:

in response to MooseandSquirrelVol:

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you handle it.

I like this comment! Never heard that before.

123forVOLS writes:

Y A W N! If any of you care about this, that's cool. I do not. It's time to get in a better Lane and leave the past as the past. But then, if the Knoxville media did that, it'd be Strange!

nocleats writes:

"Lane Kiffin is a flat out liar" Al Davis

pcorange writes:

The Dooley debacle probably ruined a lot of NFL dreams.

pcorange writes:

in response to nocleats:

"Lane Kiffin is a flat out liar" Al Davis

Al Davis spoke the truth.

Ayres_Hall writes:

Can we talk about the past, every day? If we talk about it enough, it might change... ugh!!!

laraccoon writes:

in response to pcorange:

The Dooley debacle probably ruined a lot of NFL dreams.

suggest_removal_4_all_troll_posts writes:

"Bryce Brown, ......played well as a rookie with Philadelphia" --

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/14...

4 TD and 4 Fumbles -- it's playing well for the other team.

bUTch_please writes:

in response to Ayres_Hall:

Can we talk about the past, every day? If we talk about it enough, it might change... ugh!!!

No doubt Ayres, no doubt. KNS spent last year whining about the horrible of horribles, 1 lone player with draft day stock. Now, over the next couple of days, UT will contribute 8 - 10 players to the league. Some played a little here, early or late, some went 4 years, some 3. But notice the tack of the story is "see, we told you hardly nothing good happens here".

I know what you mean, most college-town papers would play up the "Looks like UT is back on the radar" and "This is just the beginning of strong UT draft days" or "Tough times but strong class" angles.

Not only has KNS beaten the dead horse, now they're playing kick-the-can with the dog food.

madrigal writes:

So much for the vaunted L*** K*****. Now can we PLEASE stop hearing about him?

SevenT writes:

Strike 1: Fire Fulmer
Strike 2: Hire Kiffin
Strike 3: Hire Dooley
Strike 4: Hire Jones

laraccoon writes:

in response to SevenT:

Strike 1: Fire Fulmer
Strike 2: Hire Kiffin
Strike 3: Hire Dooley
Strike 4: Hire Jones

strike 5: quit using your face for Fulmers seat cushion .

nfvol writes:

in response to laraccoon:

strike 5: quit using your face for Fulmers seat cushion .

Too funny!

10seVol85_Part_Deux writes:

in response to SevenT:

Strike 1: Fire Fulmer
Strike 2: Hire Kiffin
Strike 3: Hire Dooley
Strike 4: Hire Jones

Strike 5: Use your IQ as a screen name.

MikeNPS writes:

in response to nocleats:

"Lane Kiffin is a flat out liar" Al Davis

This could well be the only time I have ever agreed with Al Davis.

MikeNPS writes:

in response to flatrock:

Thank you, Mike Hamilton.

I am not upset that Kiffin left Tennessee. I am still furious that he was ever hired in the first place. And for Mike Hamilton to walk away with a severance package is an absolute outrage.

voloffaith writes:

in response to SevenT:

Strike 1: Fire Fulmer
Strike 2: Hire Kiffin
Strike 3: Hire Dooley
Strike 4: Hire Jones

"Forgive your enemy seven times seventy..." No you are not the enemy...just an instigator...Our battle is not with flesh and blood, but powers and principalities,rulers of the darknessof this world,against spiritual wickedness in high places(no not the White House or it's chief occupant). So we disagree, but in light of Boston Marathon I choose to forgive and forget offenses here and daily as Christ has forgiven me. BTW strike 4 doesn't apply as he appears to be ok and it is three strikes and your out in besbol...since you were using that analogy..........want to be blessed? Be a blessing to someone else expecting nothing back...in other words ,don't do it to get an attaboy/girl........

UTVOL2001 writes:

We are now moving forward with Butch! The Kiffin and Dooley hire were both bad moves. When you are Tennessee, you get a proven winner. Neither Kiffin or Dooley had a proven track record. Butch, on the other hand, does! If he were hired after Fulmer was fired, we would be in great shape now. I believe the bad days are behind us now. Nothing can change the past, let's be glad we have Butch and momentum! Go VOLS!

antonio14313 writes:

in response to orange_eVOLution:

Why are we even talking about this?

kick a powerful program while it's down. go vols!

t

antonio14313 writes:

in response to bUTch_please:

No doubt Ayres, no doubt. KNS spent last year whining about the horrible of horribles, 1 lone player with draft day stock. Now, over the next couple of days, UT will contribute 8 - 10 players to the league. Some played a little here, early or late, some went 4 years, some 3. But notice the tack of the story is "see, we told you hardly nothing good happens here".

I know what you mean, most college-town papers would play up the "Looks like UT is back on the radar" and "This is just the beginning of strong UT draft days" or "Tough times but strong class" angles.

Not only has KNS beaten the dead horse, now they're playing kick-the-can with the dog food.

dead on!!! it feels like, if UT did win a title, they'd still talk about the days of coach kiffin, coach dooley, and what not. hmph. go vols.

t

antonio14313 writes:

in response to UTVOL2001:

We are now moving forward with Butch! The Kiffin and Dooley hire were both bad moves. When you are Tennessee, you get a proven winner. Neither Kiffin or Dooley had a proven track record. Butch, on the other hand, does! If he were hired after Fulmer was fired, we would be in great shape now. I believe the bad days are behind us now. Nothing can change the past, let's be glad we have Butch and momentum! Go VOLS!

...and, EVERY school goes thru bad times. our bad times, hopefully, are OVER!!! behind us! the great recruiting is a start. wins off the field are here already. winning on the field will come... go vols.

t

antonio14313 writes:

i wonder if ANYONE in florida (or anywhere else) continuously talks about the ron zook era? ... ... move on! coach butch jones is the current head coach of the university of tennessee. go vols.

t

BoroVol86 writes:

in response to bUTch_please:

No doubt Ayres, no doubt. KNS spent last year whining about the horrible of horribles, 1 lone player with draft day stock. Now, over the next couple of days, UT will contribute 8 - 10 players to the league. Some played a little here, early or late, some went 4 years, some 3. But notice the tack of the story is "see, we told you hardly nothing good happens here".

I know what you mean, most college-town papers would play up the "Looks like UT is back on the radar" and "This is just the beginning of strong UT draft days" or "Tough times but strong class" angles.

Not only has KNS beaten the dead horse, now they're playing kick-the-can with the dog food.

Like

JSmith525 writes:

in response to SevenT:

Strike 1: Fire Fulmer
Strike 2: Hire Kiffin
Strike 3: Hire Dooley
Strike 4: Hire Jones

Every time I read one of your post I smile and sometimes I even laugh. Trolls just ain't what they used to be!

http://www.mcubed.net/ncaaf/series/tn...

Do you think little Bob aka Mark will be able to turn the habit around for ya? :)

JSmith525 writes:

in response to bUTch_please:

No doubt Ayres, no doubt. KNS spent last year whining about the horrible of horribles, 1 lone player with draft day stock. Now, over the next couple of days, UT will contribute 8 - 10 players to the league. Some played a little here, early or late, some went 4 years, some 3. But notice the tack of the story is "see, we told you hardly nothing good happens here".

I know what you mean, most college-town papers would play up the "Looks like UT is back on the radar" and "This is just the beginning of strong UT draft days" or "Tough times but strong class" angles.

Not only has KNS beaten the dead horse, now they're playing kick-the-can with the dog food.

+++++++100
I have never understood the reasoning behind that. I would love for Jack or someone to explain that to us. The Woodbery Kid has been like a breath of fresh air though. He has put out some good stuff.

SevenT writes:

in response to JSmith525:

Every time I read one of your post I smile and sometimes I even laugh. Trolls just ain't what they used to be!

http://www.mcubed.net/ncaaf/series/tn...

Do you think little Bob aka Mark will be able to turn the habit around for ya? :)

Good question, we better get you next year at home while TN is down, all I can say from your little history lesson is from 1946-1953 under Bear Bryant Kentucky only managed to win 1 time and kissed the sister twice vs Tennessee.

SHEESH!!!

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