New Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin wasted no time getting in trouble on the recruiting trail, alienating other SEC coaches and earning claims of recruiting violations for simulated press conferences, let alone the claims he made against other SEC programs. Well, now he and his staff have decided to work outside the box by getting, well, weird. According to a report from the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, Kiffin’s staff tried to impress a crop of junior recruits last week by ripping off their shirts, Superman style. Crazier yet, the move may have actually worked.
(Can you imagine what they would have done if Layla Kiffin ripped off her shirt?)
Here’s how one recruit described the crazy scene:
“By now, three or four coaches had their shirts ripped off.” top defensive line prospect Garrison Smith said of a presentation by assistant coaches. Then, around 10 Tennessee players, including All-America defensive back Eric Berry of Atlanta and quarterback Jonathan Crompton, ran down from behind the recruits to meet the coaches on the floor. “Eric and the rest of the players were chanting ‘U-T, wild boys … U-T, wild boys … U-T wild boys.’”
Considering the fact that a full 100 top prospects were in attendance at the event, the ridiculous gamut may have actually been a stroke of brilliance from legendary recruiter turned Tennessee assisstant Ed Orgeron.
In fact, just listen to what the players who attended the Saturday event said about the scene, which started when a special teams coach ripped off his shirt a la Clark Kent’s alter ego.
“We were all jumping up and down together, it was cool,” defensive lineman Denzel McCoy said. After things appeared to calm down, Tennessee recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron gave a rousing pep talk, which caused the whole scene to repeat itself, only more intense. “The last time, everybody was hyped up and feeling it,” tailback Storm Johnson said. “People were jumping all over the place. It was rocking. You should’ve seen it. Even the podium got knocked over.”
In fairness to Kiffin, he allegedly never took off his own shirt. He also may have finally learned that the best thing he can do is stay out of the way and let his surprisingly adept staff do what they do best: Sell teenage kids on a program with no known track record by doing strange and excitable things.