Tennessee’s Lane Kiffin declares recruiting war on Georgia

As it turns out, erecting billboards in Atlanta was just Phase One of Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin's plans to lay seige to the city.

As it turns out, erecting billboards was just Phase One of Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin's plans to lay siege to Atlanta.

Here in Georgia, all the talk after this past Saturday’s 45-19 whipping at the hands of Tennessee centered around what’s wrong with the Bulldogs’ defense and whether a change of coordinators was the only way to fix it. But back up on Rocky Top the story of the game was what the Vols’ victory might do for their recruiting.

Tennessee, as most folks are aware, doesn’t produce much in the way of four- and five-star recruiting prospects. Georgia, as we all know, produces a lot. So shortly after Saturday’s game, the Vols’ brash young coach Lane Kiffin effectively declared our fair state a war zone.

“I know there are a lot of great teams in this conference,” Kiffin told reporters. “But I told [the team], to me, this is the biggest matchup, Georgia. Because of what we do recruiting, for this staff, this is the biggest matchup.”

That, my friends, is drawing a line in the Georgia red clay.

Kiffin was reportedly even more pointed with his players in the celebratory postgame locker room.

“He basically made a promise to us that we wouldn’t lose to them anymore, forever or until he leaves,” All-America safety and Atlanta native Eric Berry said. “He’s not going to let Georgia beat us.”

That certainly put a bug in the ear of the Tennessee media. John Adams, the respected veteran columnist of the Knoxville News-Sentinel, wrote about the potential recruiting impact of the win not just in Georgia but across to country. And ESPN’s SEC blogger Chris Low, who lives in Knoxville, weighed in on the recruiting theme in his Sunday column. And on and on it has been repeated.

Give Kiffin this: It is a proven formula for the Vols. Lest we forget, it was with considerable contributions from Atlantans Jamal Lewis, Cosey Coleman and Deon Grant that UT won the 1998 national championship.

Probably the most important thing Georgia has done in the past decade, between Jim Donnan, Rodney Garner and Mark Richt, is reestablish a recruiting stronghold in metro Atlanta and at least dam to a trickle the flow of talent 3 1/2 hours north to Knoxville. Kiffin was subtle at first, having billboards erected around Atlanta. Now he has publically declared he intends to blow up said dam.

To date, that hasn’t happened. Kiffin currently has commitments from two of our citizens: Super 11 wide receiver Markieth Ambles of McDonough-Henry County and middle linebacker Michael Taylor of Atlanta-Westlake. But the present prize the Vols are battling Georgia for is 6-foot-6, 300-pound offensive tackle JaWuan James of North Gwinnett High in Suwanee. The former Alabama commitment just happened to be in attendance as UT’s official guest at Saturday’s game in Knoxville. He spent the previous two weekends in Athens. James is about feel what it’s like to be the rope in a game of tug of war.

My old buddy Jimmy Hyams called me Monday and asked me come on his Knoxville radio show (WNML-AM) Monday afternoon to “talk about the fallout of Georgia’s loss to Tennessee.” I did and he asked if I thought one game like that one could turn the tide against the Bulldogs.

No, I told him, I thought Kiffin was a little premature planting his Big Orange flag atop Stone Mountain based on one victory. But string several together like Phil Fulmer and the Vols did in the 1990s and the Dogs could be in trouble.

211 comments Add your comment


October 13th, 2009
2:00 am

We also have a commitment from JC Copeland, a great DE prospect. Georgia is to be commended for the high level of HS football down here. It’s easy to see why this place is on Kiffin’s agenda. There are plenty of great prospects to go around. We’re just trying to get all the best ones we can…just like all the other schools that invade the state.


October 13th, 2009
3:13 am

Gee maw, I jus saw a billboard up th street with UT on it. I guess that’s where I want to get my eddycashun. S(tupid)EC is as S(tupid)EC does.

Saint Crompton

October 13th, 2009
3:16 am

(((( 45 19 )))) hahahahahahahahaha


October 13th, 2009
6:05 am

well we all know what a great person Jamal Lewis turned out to be…Bring it on Kiffin, since niether of us can beat Florida we might as well try to beat up on each other…to the winner goes the spoils, your mouth is gonna cost you recruits of character

The Ed

October 13th, 2009
6:05 am

Did your copy editor take the day off? Words are missing here and there.


October 13th, 2009
6:39 am

I guess Kiffin isn’t allowed to talk to his players anymore without Georgia people trying to gin up a phony controversy. Kiffin didn’t exactly go on Sports Center and say his team is never going to lose to Georgia again. He said it to his team in the locker room. In private. He said it as a motivational tool, and apparently it worked really, really well. Get over your phony outrage, Georgia fans.


October 13th, 2009
6:39 am

Georgia should not worry about boy blunder!! They need to keep a eye on Saban and company from Alabama!! RTR


October 13th, 2009
6:40 am

Correction – Deon Grant was from Augusta not Atlanta.


October 13th, 2009
6:43 am

Kiffin and friends will commit several NCAA recruiting violations over the next few years and will be in hot water with the administration over scholarship reductions and a ban on post season play (see $$ loss). Kiffin is a world class __________ (fill in the blank).

Swamp Dawg

October 13th, 2009
6:53 am

Kiffin needs to be concerned about closing Tenn’s borders before believing he is coming in an mop up in Ga. Maybe he has done forgot that the # 1 & 2 ranked players Brown, and Long out of Tenn is in Athens as we speak.

Bubba Da Ford Dealer

October 13th, 2009
7:10 am

Dis is just killing me. Can’t win a football game and dang sho can’t give away a Bulldawg Tough Ford Truck.

Change has gotta come.


October 13th, 2009
7:19 am

He can sign 20 + a year. Georgia produces about 100 “top notch” Div1 players a year and out out those, there are 15-20 that EVERY school wants. He will pick off one here and there, so will Auburn, Bama, Florida etc. We have 6 commits from Florida I believe for next year. Georgia may be loaded at one position, say WR, get one or two commits and let the other 4 or 5 prospects, who we don’t offer, go elsewhere. So, it’s RED MEAT for his fan base. That’s all.


October 13th, 2009
7:30 am

When are they going to start emphasizing over-preparation for teams that want to beat UGA so bad? Remember the UF defense doing extra pushups for every yard knowshon ran?


October 13th, 2009
7:41 am

I do believe that I have seen an Auburn sign in ATL also. Get over it! This is a free nation for now and every coach can recruite nationwide.


October 13th, 2009
7:43 am

Comp-Lane isn’t going to do anything but make two mediocre (UT and UGA) worse. He’s going to dilute the talent going to UGA and pickup just enough to win 8 games a year at UT. Either way, Florida is still kicking both your as*es. I don’t see a Florida loss to UT of UGA any time soon. Comp-Lane isn’t going to be singing Rotten Crotch all night long for a long time.


October 13th, 2009
7:46 am

Lane Kiffin is a goofball…he is Dabo Swinney’s long lost brother. I wish GaTech could get our offense on him in Knoxville and make his daddy’s head spin.

C. Q.

October 13th, 2009
7:57 am

While the loss to U.T. on Saturday sucked beyond description, both teams now sit at 3-3 with a lot of football left to be played. Let’s wait and see where each team stands at the end of the year, what kind of bowl bid (if any) they might get, and where they are to be found (if at all) in the final polls. I think that will weigh far more on the minds of potential recruits than the inexplicable come-apart that UGA suffered last Saturday. Most folks have caught on by now that CLK is good for a sound byte a day. This one just happend to come at our expense. GO DAWGS!!


October 13th, 2009
7:59 am

and I quote benadog” to the winner goes the spoils, your mouth is gonna cost you recruits of character” since when did UGA or UT claim to have those types of “athletes”???

Face It

October 13th, 2009
8:00 am

Face it mutts – Kiffin and co. whooped your tails on Saturday and the Vols have, once again, embarrassed your program to the state of sadness. You’re already calling for coaches to be fired. Vols win for the third time in four years, once again, in grand fashion and now Tennessee’s domination of your stale program begins. And if I were you, I wouldn’t be too worried about what Kiffin’s doing. You have no control over that. You should start trying to figure out why your football program has never EVER lived up to its potential.


October 13th, 2009
8:01 am

What a loud mouth. One win over an average UGA team and the UT coach goes crazy….. UGA will blow those guys away next year….. What a buffoon. Kiffin just SHUTUP!

Walter Miller

October 13th, 2009
8:10 am

You guys may need to get that cemetary away from your stadium. ;-)


UT ‘81


October 13th, 2009
8:15 am

Kiffin is accomplishing what he set out to do…get in people’s heads and get them talking. All of you who pretend to think Kiffin is irrelevant are on here whining about him. If he is nothing, why are you even spending time coming up with creative posts to mock him? Clearly the man is much smarter than you are because he got you spending your free time talking about him on a blog. UF, UA, and UGA fans are all on here whimpering and whining about Lane. And it is accomplishing what Lane wants – earned media (that means free attention for those native Georgians) that gets put on ESPN and talk in the blogosphere. Recruits are noticing and the team is rebuilding. A lousy team held UF to 23 points. A lousy QB put 4 touchdowns on UGA. When the rebuilding finishes, this little ol’ UT will retake the SEC.

As for UGA, how long does it take them to win a national title? Richt is the new Fulmer.

Starz 'N Barz

October 13th, 2009
8:20 am

Mark Richt and Lane Kiffin Both F E A R Coach Saban


TIDE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


October 13th, 2009
8:20 am

Does it matter? With all our great recuruits, we just got our butts handed to us on a platter. Not to mention, we are 9-6 in our last 15 games, and some of those wins were supposed to be “tune-ups”.


October 13th, 2009
8:20 am

Years ago Clempson, Awbarn, Tennysee, and others built strong programs off of Georgia recruits….Richt stemmed the tide for a few years, but I can see the cracks in the dam beginning to appear again.

The primary reason for the coming exodus of talent leaving the state will be the apparent decline of the football program at UGA.

It is a sad time to be a Georgia Bulldog.


October 13th, 2009
8:24 am

Bottomline, winning gets you ink. Ink helps you sign players. Win more games and Kniffin is a non-factor!


October 13th, 2009
8:25 am

3 of 4, 13 of the last 19- We are coming for your recruits and your women. We have owned the pups for years and will do so for years to come. Richt, Donnan or Goff it makes no difference, even Vince only won b/c someone bought a running back w/ many personalities. Its great to be a Tennessee Volunteer !!!!

Crompton for Heismanf

October 13th, 2009
8:26 am

Hunker down you hairy mutts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


October 13th, 2009
8:27 am

How do you get into the minds of 17 & 18 years old kids?
Maybe Kiffin will be successful with this approach.


October 13th, 2009
8:31 am

Respected columnist John Adams? Are you kidding? The guy is despised by anyone that reads his articles. He is the KNS version of the AJC’s Mark Bradley. Nothing to write about except for things about firing coaches.He’s a bum. Bothe of them are bums actually. Total hacks.


October 13th, 2009
8:38 am

And GT benefits from it.

Tech Fan

October 13th, 2009
8:50 am

GA has more important issues to deal with than the latest spew from Lame. Winning will solve the border wars.


October 13th, 2009
8:54 am


Palmetto State Dawg

October 13th, 2009
8:54 am

For Lane Kiffin to say that Tenn would never lose to GA while he is there is insane. What is he smoking? How can he make a statement like that? Sure, Tenn whipped us this year, but each year is different. For him to say something that dumb speaks volumes about his arrogance and ingnorance.

Dan Marino

October 13th, 2009
8:58 am

Wow, an SEC school is recruiting in the state of Georgia?

Say it ain’t so.

That is really a novel idea.

There will be 300+ D1 signees from the state this year. UGA can take 25, Gtu can take 14 or 15, so…the other 250+ have got to go somewhere.

King Gator

October 13th, 2009
9:05 am

Good luck in “Blue Turf Bowl” in Boise, Dawgs, not sure if it will help in recruiting against Tenn; but you might be able to beat out Wyoming for a few 2.5 star recruits in the Upper NW. This team could use a little toughness, so who knows.

Go Gators! 3 NC’s in 4 years – OWNED!

unbiased volfan

October 13th, 2009
9:22 am

Don’t forget Darren Myles Jr either….he’ll be a starter for us next yr as a sophmore. He was big “get” for Kiffin & Co last yr

unbiased volfan

October 13th, 2009
9:25 am

I do love the quote from Spurrier in 1991 when he was at UF- “I know Georgia has all that talent…..I’m just not sure what they do w/ it” It still rings trues almost 20 yrs later

Admit it, DAWGS….you do squander some talent


October 13th, 2009
9:31 am

You Dawgs need to stop acting like a bunch of babies. Of course UT is going to recruit in Georgia, just as your team recruits in Tennessee. It seems to me the number one high school player in Tennessee signed with Georgia last year. Georgia has a couple of hundred D-1 prospects every year. They can’t all go to Georgia. 45-19.


October 13th, 2009
9:35 am

On the upside, you guys are probably just about four dozen krispy kremes away from a coaching staff change. Historically speaking.


October 13th, 2009
9:42 am

So what else is new? Half of the people up here in Seattle think Auburn is in Georgia.

Vol in Suwanee

October 13th, 2009
9:42 am

The Dawgs have a problem with a coach that shows passion before, during and after a game? Richt looks like he is getting ready for the funeral of his best friend during the whole game. Not sure it is fair to put James in the cross hairs. Let him make his decision based on what he wants in a program.

The Real SugarHillDawg

October 13th, 2009
9:57 am

I’m not worried about Elane Kiffin. There presence (stench) is already down here and they will be just another school fighting over players


October 13th, 2009
10:01 am

He should have said they’ll beat Georgia “as long as my daddy is here to hold my hand and make me look like I can coach.”


October 13th, 2009
10:13 am

Who cares about the high schools in Georgia? Look at the folks Richt has verbals from for this year…Almost all of them are from Florida. That’s where we had decided is a must for us to reach the next level. The Georgia kids simply can’t win but apparently the Florida kids can (see the championships at UM, FSU and UF for reference).

Gen Neyland

October 13th, 2009
10:14 am

I was at the Tennessee walk-thru practice late Friday afternoon and heard the inspirational speeches given to the team by injured LB Nick Reveiz, former player and coaching asst Inky Johnson, and last but not least, Eric Berry. If JaWuan James was in attendance for that plus the game and the locker room postgame celebration, the Volunteers will be in the running for this guy. No doubt.


October 13th, 2009
10:21 am

I’ve been reading this “blawg” off and on over the past few months, and I cannot tell you what great satisfaction it was watching my Vols whip your sorry butts on Saturday. Mark Richt is a classy guy, so you will never hear me bash him (unlike all you so called UGA fans). All that Lame Kitten talk has to taste pretty bad in your mouths right now, heh? Remember Fulmer’s 9 in a row vs. UGA? That is going to pale in comparison to the Kiffin domination of your doggies. We will be glad to hire Richt as an assistant when you fire him.

Top Dawg

October 13th, 2009
10:26 am

Walt (8:10 a.m.) – And you need to learn how to spell “cemetery.”


October 13th, 2009
10:29 am

Bozo will pick up the scraps in Georgia like CMR does in Florida. Hell, Colorado St recruits Georgia, its who you get. Ambles? please UT got him because USCw, UF and UGA passed on that ego-maniac.

I saw this coming, the first SEC win and Bozo is all over them. No one wants to be that team, well mutts- you have a year of Bozo to listen to and shoving 45-19 in your face.


October 13th, 2009
10:34 am

Top recruits in the state of Georgia will be up for grabs for out of state power. But I suggest UT get in line. Fla. has far more of an allure than Kiffin. And then Alabama and after we pound the vols into the Bryant-Denny turf in 2 weeks you will be a distant thought on the minds of recruits. Congrats on your win over the dogs vols. Celebrate all you can while you can because when we get a hold of you in 2 weeks its gonna be a beatdown for the ages.