OGGOA Exclusive: Vols coach Kiffin not giving up on Gators five-star commit Elam

By Adam Silverstein
October 13, 2009

Last Tuesday, OGGOA broke the news that prized Florida Gators recruit, five-star safety/athlete Matt Elam of Dwyer, had reaffirmed his commitment to the University of Florida. This revelation came following a two hour conversation he had with head coach Urban Meyer, who reassured Elam of his ability to earn playing time as a freshman and be an impactful member of the Florida secondary from the day he steps foot on campus, regardless of how many other players UF signs at his position. “I talked to my coach [Meyer] a little,” Elam said. “We talked about the safety situation and our relationship. I committed for a reason. I’m not going to back down. It’s all Florida.”

Prior to OGGOA‘s report, Elam had spoken publicly about being impressed by two visits he had taken recently to the West Virginia Mountaineers and Tennessee Volunteers. “At first I just wanted to take a look,” Elam said about his Tennessee visit. “But I saw things and talked to [defensive coordinator] Monte [Kiffin]. I saw how they used their safeties and they put them in a position to make plays. They do have a chance [to sign me].” Elam would later say that, while both visits opened his eyes as to what else was out there aside from Florida, he was simply doing his due diligence.

Apparently, Elam showing a shred of interest in the Vols has gotten head coach Lane Kiffin smelling blood in the water. Kiffin visited Dwyer today, “pressing [Elam] pretty hard” to change his mind and decommit from the Gators, according to a source close to the player. This source also told OGGOA that it believes Elam’s commitment to Florida and Meyer is firm, but relinquishes that “Kiffin is a hell of a salesman.”

Elam plans to graduate in the fall and enroll at UF in the spring in order to get a leg up on the 2010 season. From now until then, anything can happen. “This is just part of what [Elam] has to go through until February,” the source said.

…and while we are on the subject, I just came across an Orlando Sentinel article about Elam keeping the memory of his murdered siblings close to him. Very touching story and a must-read for anyone following Elam or Gators recruiting.


  1. ReptilesRule says:

    Matt will stay the course. Kiffin won’t even be there after three years. Kiffin is also trying to swipe a few of UGA commitments taking advantage of the firestorm surrounding Mark Richt and the Georgia program. Kiffin is even trying to recruit Mack Brown, a highly touted Gator commit from Georgia and like Matt, a cornerstone to this recruiting class. He IS persistant, but so are alot of used car salemen, with my apologies to the used car salesmen for the Kiffin reference.

  2. There is no way he gets Mack Brown. He is as committed to UF as it comes. He couldn’t wait to commit. If ANYTHING, he would go to Georgia – not Tennessee.

  3. Daniel M. says:

    lmao @ apologies to used car salesman.

    Kiffin was making the rounds. He was at my sons high school not far from Dwyer. One can only imagine the snake oil he peddles to these kids.

  4. Jason says:

    Fellas fellas. Kiffin can recruit, as much as you might hate him, i could see him turning one of the 2. Even if he doesn’t it’s smart to try. I think TN will beat FLA and Georgia in recruiting the next 3 years, we’ll see if he can coach them after he gets them.

  5. UT will do well in recruiting, you are correct. Mostly because there are tons of spaces to fill with talent and they have a pro coaching staff. However, Kiffin is NOT going to turn Elam (whose brother Abram played for Urban at Notre Dame and whose families are close) or Brown (who has been avidly and actively recruiting for UF since committing. Brown is as firm as it gets. Elam’s wavering is worrying, but I think he is solid, too.

  6. Gatorbitt says:

    Can’t stand UT but respect them as a rival and one of the banner programs of this conference. In regard to Kiffin, I hate to admit it, but I have an uneasy feeling that he may be the real deal for those yahoo’s up in Kville. He is a top shelf recruiter and outside of the south, he is highly regarded as a coach. Outside of Al Davis, Oakland didn’t want to lose him, and coach Carroll hated to lose him as well. I actually welcome the return of a competitive program out of Tennessee. Makes things more interesting. I think most of us do, whether we hate to admit it or not. I was one of the those laughing at the Vols for this hire but if you look more closely, I think it’s a matter of time….sooner than later….that this one pony. east division show. that is known as Gators, returns to a battle between us vs. the vols. With that staff, the hype they are generating, and the class they are pulling, it’s inevitable. Keepn it real.

  7. Jason says:

    I like your attitude Gatorbitt. I’d feel the same way if i were in your shoes, I’d hate to be a Gator fan w/ no competition from TN or GA. It just wouldn’t be the same. As a TN fan i don’t want Georgia to fall off the map, i just want to beat them every year. The East is better when GA, TN, FLA are playing at a high level. As for Kiffin, i was skeptical at first but after seeing our players respond i’ve jumped on board. He can obviously recruit and i think he can coach. People that hold the Raiders gig against him aren’t being fair; they’ve got problems way beyond the head coach. I’ll judge his coaching abilities a little later on, but from what i’ve seen thus far he’s done well.