When Lane Kiffin joined forces with Nick Saban in Tuscaloosa, you just knew there’d be myriad storylines that’d sate media types from the Southeast to the West Coast and all parts in between.
With the initial shock of the marriage beginning to wane, we have our first post-nuptial “things that make you go hmmm.”
Ricky Town is a five-star player in the 2015 recruiting class, rated by Rivals.com as the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the country and the No. 9 player at any position. Last August, Town, a Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure High School product, verbally committed to play his collegiate football at Alabama. He is (was) the highest-rated quarterback prospect to commit to the Tide during Saban’s UA tenure.
Since making that non-binding pledge, the Tide’s offensive coordinator, Doug Nussmeier, left for the same job at Michigan. Nussmeier was ultimately replaced by Lane Kiffin just two days later. Coincidence or not, Town announced the following via Twitter just a couple of weeks after Kiffin’s hiring:
To add insult to injury, Town reportedly visited Kiffin’s old head-coach stomping grounds, USC, the same day he tweeted his decommitment from the Tide. It was reportedly Town’s second unofficial visit to the Trojans in the past week.
That second unofficial visit also resulted in Town verbally completing his flip with a commitment to USC and new head coach Steve Sarkisian.
“I’m proud to be a part of the Trojan Family!” Town said in a text message to ESPN.com. “I’ve seen many of the top programs and what they have to offer. However, when I had the chance to get on the USC campus last week and spend time with Coach Sarkisian and his staff, I knew after those meetings that USC is where I want to be. The coaches are upbeat, focused and committed to winning and I completely believe in them. I chose USC because of the tradition, the academics and the incredible coaching staff. This is an amazing opportunity to be a part of something really special. Fight On!”
In fairness, Town’s decision also comes a couple of days after Jacob Coker was released from his Florida State scholarship and is expected to transfer to the Tide. Coker, who was in a competition for FSU’s starting job before Jameis Winston won both the battle and the Heisman (and the BCS title), would serve as a viable replacement for AJ McCarron and will have two years of eligibility left regardless of where he lands at the FBS level.
Also in fairness, there’s this…
Kiffin is a household name, and although he coached right in their backyard, Town met Kiffin only once in person for a brief meeting. They have talked a few times on the phone.
Jan. 10, Kiffin is hired by Saban. Jan. 24, a five-star, five-month UA quarterback commit decommits then immediately flips to Kiffin’s former school. The punchlines will just keep writing themselves, apparently.
(Photo credit: Rivals.com)