Fallout from Kiffin departure lands UF a recruit

By Adam Silverstein
January 13, 2010

Lane Kiffin heading west from Knoxville, TN, to Los Angeles, CA, will no doubt have its impact on the landscape of the Southeastern Conference and the immediate future of the Tennessee Volunteers. Because Kiffin dropped the Vols for the USC Trojans just three weeks before National Signing Day, some of Tennessee’s recruits may now be looking elsewhere while USC’s appear more likely to stay put.

Part of that immediate fallout may be three-star linebacker Michael Taylor (Atlanta, GA). Just hours after Kiffin’s announcement, speculation began to mount that Taylor will be joining the Florida Gators 2010 recruiting class. “Yeah, he is going to the University of Florida,” said Tony Jacobs, Taylor’s teammate at Atlanta Westlake High.

UPDATE: Sources other than the Sentinel are reporting that Taylor has not yet officially committed to Florida, though he likely will once he has some time to decide. Taylor actually paid a visit to Gainesville, FL, last weekend.

Considered one of the Volunteers’ top recruits and the MVP for his team in the 2010 Under Armour All-American Game, Taylor is not the only one upset at Kiffin and company. Fellow recruit four-star defensive end Brandon Willis told ESPN that he was dismayed at the fact that the former Tennessee tried to bring him along to their new gig. “They had the nerve to call me and ask me to come to Southern Cal,” Willis said. “And coach Ed Orgeron [who is going with Kiffin to USC] said that he was going to be my coach at Tennessee.”

Whether this decision came after Kiffin’s announcement or not, Gators four-star running back commitment Mack Brown (Lithonia, GA) has said that he no longer plans to take any official visits besides one to UF. Four-star defensive back commit Demar Dorsey (Lauderdale Lakes, FL) was planning on visiting Tennessee and Florida State but may no longer be making that first trip.

It is also important for Florida fans to keep an eye on recent five-star commitment Ronald Powell (Moreno Valley, CA), who will almost certainly be a top target for Orgeron, a recruiting mastermind and the Trojans’ new assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator.

VIDEO: Volunteers fans torch a Kiffin t-shirt
VIDEO: Tennessee supporters rush Neyland-Thompson Sports Center
VIDEO: Vols fan pulls an R. Kelly on a Kiffin t-shirt [Explicit]
PHOTOS: Campus scenes of Lane Kiffin’s last day
STORY: Kiffin’s departure sparks emotion in Knoxville
STORY: The meteoric rise of mediocre Kiffin


  1. Mr2Bits says:

    Thanks for the update Adam. This is only going to get juicier as time goes by. Taylor is going to be a great addition to LB which is much needed at this point. Now if we can land one more big WR and some good OL, I can sleep at night.

    If Carroll couldn’t recruit Powell, Kiffin has no chance. Stamp it that the Gators have nothing to worry about with Powell.

  2. Gatorfan33 says:

    I think Powell stays because our coaching staff will say look at what he did at UT (bailing on them after a year for a better job) not to mention potential NCAA sanctions against USC. Unless Powell is easily swayed or dumb as a box of cracked rocks he will stick with UF and not run to USC to play for Little Lane.

  3. Gatorfan33 says:

    I have also read that Orgeron was heard calling UT recruits on the office phones at UT to try and get them to come to USC. THAT is funny crap.

    Also Scout has the following recruits listed as having signed their LOI’s and being enrolled in school at UF already, Matt Elam, Robert Clark, Joshua Shaw, Neiron Ball, Solomon Patton, Gerald Christian, Jordan Haden, Jaylen Watkins, Leon Orr, Trey Burton and Ian Silberman.

    About 45% of our recruiting class already signed is outstanding for us.

  4. Yes, Powell will likely stay. Was not indicating he would leave, simply that USC will now go after him even harder.

    There are 11 recruits currently on campus. But they cannot officially sign their LOIs until Feb. 3.

  5. ReptilesRule says:

    If there is a recruit out there dumb enough now to believe Lane Kiffin and especially Orgeron, let them go…’cause they got no shot at learning the playbook…

  6. Denver Gator says:

    This has been a crazy, crazy off season. I think at a minimum USC is headed to an NCAA oversight where even small missteps could lead to bigger penalties so that is why I still cannot get my head around this hire. The only thing that I can come up with is that the AD knows he is on the way out and just wanted to throw some gasoline on the fire.

  7. npgator says:

    Adam – I was thinking the same thing last night about Kifin and his posse of snake oil salesmen trying to pursue Powell. The more i thought about it the more I agree with MR2Bits in that he turned down USC when Carroll and crew were still intact so what would be the sudden appeal of a coaching staff that was not even in the Powell sweepstakes. I get nervous up until Signing day and I hope we don’t lose Dorsey and Brown as they still are doing visits.

  8. Wayne says:


    Michale Taylor has not committed to UF. Please edit accordingly.

  9. Wayne-

    Stories both ways, but I have updated mine as I saw fit.

  10. npgator says:

    Wayne – I had read where he did commit as of 11am this morning so Adam is spot on.

  11. npgator says:

    Adam – what are your thougths on Henderson, Hicks, Prayter, Chaz Green, Christian Jones, Hendrix and Ivan McCartney? I know those are a lot of names but you seem plugged in. I am not sure how many spots we have especially with early departures.

  12. Gio Showtime says:

    Hendrix just confirmed his commitment to ND. Prater to USC.

  13. brlgator says:

    If early enrollees cant sign their LOI till NSD can they leave school without and consequences. I am asking because it really stinks for UT early enrollees who came to class on monday and kiffin leaves on tuesday

  14. O-town Gator says:

    Like I said in my blog post that I wrote today over at GE, I won’t be surprised if Kiffin does something questionable right off the bat at USC. Tonight at 7 there’ll be a presser from LA, and I’m waiting for that first gaffe to come out of his mouth.

    Nor will I be surprised to hear that he and Orgeron may be up to no good recruiting-wise.

  15. Mr2Bits says:

    BRLGator : No once enrolled you cannot leave that school. You have essentially signed your LOI but not yet. HOWEVER, school did not start in Knox until today so these recruits can back out so long as one class has not been attended

    Also, I love how Kiffin just got BLASTED on Outside the Lines. The media is saying,”what the hell has this guy done” to get these positions except lie and have a losing record

  16. Mr2Bits – Actually, I do not believe that is true. You can drop out of the semester, sign an LOI somewhere else and enroll in the Summer.

  17. O-town Gator says:

    Matt Patchan was spot-on when he called Lane Kiffin a “bozo”.

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