h/t to Rocky Top Talk
This ESPN article reinforces what I was discussing in my local recruiting post that I made a week ago.
Kiffin's recruiting acumen has already been demonstrated
Kiffin is already ruffling feathers. He'd better be. Without the ability to recruit Florida, Alabama, Northern Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and the Tidewater area in Virginia, Tennessee can't win. The state of Tennessee's natural base is weak and Memphis, the most talent rich area, has always been been sketchy in its support for the Vols.
- Tennessee now has the highest paid staff in college football ($3,625,000 this year). Aside from Kiffin's Daddy, Tampa 2 architect Monte - who is there purely as an X & O guy (but may impress recruits with his NFL gravitas) - every member of their staff is first and foremost a recruiter, several of them the former lead recruiter at other SEC schools.
- Kiffin hired South Carolina and Alabama's top recruiters and made a play for Georgia's top guy.
- Kiffin's primary recruiting pitch is clear:
You're getting Tampa's defense, and instead of waiting until you get to the NFL, you're going to get coached just like the best players in the NFL," he said. "And the offense is the same offense we ran when I was at Southern Cal, an offense that's been dynamic and has put a bunch of players in the NFL and gotten a number of players drafted higher than they would have been if they had gone somewhere else.
"We're going to put you in a position from a football standpoint that when you're done playing in three or four years that you'll be better prepared than you will if you had gone anywhere else in the country, and I'll argue that with anybody."