As has been noted on many an occasion, the concern swirling around the Tennessee football program was keeping their 2010 recruiting class intact in the wake of Lane Kiffin ditching the school last month.
As it turns out, the Volunteers received a surprise commitment today because Kiffin & Company headed out West.
According to the Nashville Tennessean, four-star offensive lineman James Stone committed to Tennessee after it had been assumed for months that Alabama was the front runner.
That status was indeed the case as the Tide was at the front of the line for the lineman’s services. Until Kiffin’s decision that rocked the college football world, that is.
Stone’s high school coach tells the Tennessean that his player had always liked Tennessee, but turned away from the school due to the presence of Kiffin and assistant coach Ed Orgeron. Once the old crew bolted, and Derek Dooley was in place, Stone shifted back to his initial preference.
“He always liked UT, but he wasn’t going to go there with (former head coach Lane) Kiffin and (recruiting coordinator Ed) Orgeron,” Maplewood Coach Ralph Thompson said. “He wasn’t really considering UT as long as Kiffin and Orgeron were there.
“Once Dooley got the job and Kiffin was out of there, once he was able to meet Dooley and see what kind of guy he was, he was all for going to UT.”
So, does this mean UT fans should be thanking Kiffin for his ill-timed decision less than a month ago? Yeah, I’ll hold my breath for that to happen.
Meanwhile, Tide fans can feel free to curse Kiffin from over 2,000 miles away for costing their school another four-star jewel for their Top Five class.