By DARRYL MAXIE / firstname.lastname@example.org
So, you want to be Tennessee’s starting quarterback, do you?
Well, according to B.J. Coleman, the former Vol backup QB who transferred to Chattanooga, UT coach Lane Kiffin is leaving the job open because an apparent vacancy makes it more appealing to potential recruits.
And, according to Jonathan Crompton, the perceived front-runner, the position can come with a much more serious price: He says he received death threats as the Vols struggled to a 5-7 season, though he never alerted anybody at the school because, according to what he told the Knoxville News Sentinel, “You don’t say ‘Poor me.’ ”
Crompton has taken serious flak in his time at Tennessee. But whatever the fans thought, Crompton seemed like the job was his to lose. So much so that Coleman left the Vols in April after declaring he wasn’t getting “a fair shake” from the coaches.
On the surface, Coleman had the superior spring stats: He completed 41 of 60 for 425 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Crompton was 31 of 70 for 324 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. But Coleman’s work was mostly with the second team, Crompton’s with the first.
What does that have to do with recruiting? Just this: Though it did not quote the former Vol directly, the News Sentinel reported that “Coleman claimed that Crompton was given the inside track because the coaching staff wanted UT’s quarterback position to appear more vacant and, subsequently, more desirable to the high school prospects they are recruiting.”
That’s either good news or a cautionary tale for guys like Jake Heaps, Andrew Hendrix and Jesse Scroggins — quarterbacks from the Class of 2010 who have piqued the Vols’ interest.
Kiffin says the starting quarterback’s job is about one thing and one thing only.
“The quarterback will be the guy that we believe gives us the best chance to win,” Kiffin said in an e-mail to the News Sentinel.