Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Kiffin Leaves Tennessee for USC; Impact on LSU Recruiting Class?

It was reported by several news outlets on Tuesday evening that Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin is leaving to become the head coach at USC.   Kiffin will immediately go to work trying to reassure USC commitments who have been a little uneasy over the last few days after it was reported that Pete Carroll was heading to the NFL.

More importantly to SEC fans, this leaves Tennessee without a head coach just a few weeks before national signing day.   The next week will be interesting as they scramble to find a new leader for their program.  The only guy that comes to mind with ties to the Tennessee program is David Cutcliffe, a former Vols' offensive coordinator who is now the head coach at Duke.  A few other candidates have started to emerge as a replacement.  One report on Wednesday had Mike Leaach and Air Force's Troy Calhoun as the leading candidates.  Many other reports claim that Tennessee offered the job toTexas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp but conflicting reports from Austin state that he turned down the job.   Boise State's Chris Peterson has also come up as a possibility. 
This shakeup for the Vols will certainly impact their recruiting class, which was shaping up to be a good one.  Other SEC coaches are not going to cut the Vols any slack, and it will be open season on all of the Vols' verbal commitments.  


LSU could stand to benefit from the coaching change on Rocky Top.  Remember that one of Tennessee's top recruiters for most of this recruiting season is now on LSU's staff....talking about Frank Wilson.  A lot of the Vols' commitments have a relationship built with Coach Wilson and will listen to him.  

So who are the possibilities?  Here are some names of Tennessee commitments to keep an eye on:

DE Jacques Smith - Smith is a defensive end prospect from Tennessee and is the state's top prospect.  He's 6'3" 225 pounds and highly thought of by most recruiting services.  Rivals rates him as the #67 player in the nation while rates him as a 5-star recruit.  One report Tuesday night said that Smith would de-commit from the Vols and commit to LSU.  This came as news to everyone because he wasn't ever on LSU's radar as far as recruiting goes.  We'll see if anything develops but there seems to be some smoke here. 

K Michael Palardy - Palardy is one of the nation's top kicker prospects.  He narrowed his choices down to LSU and Tennessee before picking the Vols.  Could the coaching change steer him to LSU?   LSU wanted to sign a kicker in this class but still doesn't have one committed. 

WR Markeith Anbles - Ambles is a reciever prospect from Georgia who impressed many at last week's US Army All-American Game.  He's rumored to have some discipline issues.  But he's also rumored to have expressed some interest in LSU recently.  We'll see if the coaching shake up has him looking our way. 

DE Delvin Jones - Jones is a highly rated DE prospect from Miami that was considering LSU before he committed to Tennessee. 

Getting away from the Tennessee stuff, here is some other recruiting news:

Florida wide receiver Kadron Boone is visiting LSU this weekend.  Boone is currently a Texas Tech commitment but is looking around after their coaching change.  Being from Florida, Boone is very familiar with LSU wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales.  Boone is 6'1" 190 pounds and has pretty impressive highlight films.  He is rated 4 stars by both Rivals and Scout.  It sounds like LSU has a very legitimate chance here. 

Belle Chase wide receiver James Wright was down to LSU, Texas Tech, and Alabama.  Texas Tech changed coaches and Alabama doesn't appear to have room for Wright.  So LSU is in a good place.  However, TCU is making a late push and is one to watch. 

South Carolina linebacker Justin Parker was scheduled to visit LSU this weekend.  However, his visit is now up in the air and he may not visit LSU at all.  In my opinion, LSU needs another linebacker in this class and Parker represents the last decent chance at signing one.  We'll see what happens, but LSU's chances with Parker may be slipping away. 

California safety Dietrich Riley is talking about taking a visit to LSU on January 23. 

We haven't done this in a while so here is a breakout of LSU's Class of 2010 with current commitments and remaining targets.  Commitments are in bold. 

Zach Lee TX

Spencer Ware  OH
Jahkari Gore  FL
Alfred Blue  LA
Lache Seastrunk  TX

Justin Hunter  VA
James Wright  LA
Jarrett Fobbs  LA
Trovon Reed  LA
Kadron Boone  FL

Travis Dickson  MS
Nick Jacobs LA

Elliott Porter  LA
Evan Washington  TX
Cameron Fordham  GA
Damien Robinson  MS

Dexter Blackmon  AL
Cassius Marsh  CA

Jordan Allen  LA
Justin Maclin  TN
Houston Bates  LA
J.R. Ferguson  VA
Geneo Grissom  KS
Jacques Smith  TN
Delvin Jones  TN

DJ Welter  LA
Luke Muncie  TX
Justin Parker  SC

Tyrann Mathieu  LA
Ronnie Vinson  LA

Sam Gibson  AL
Eric Reid  LA
Dietrich Riley  CA

Tharold Simon  LA  (DB or WR)

Brad Wing  LA

Michael Palardy  FL


Terrance Magee of Franklinton high school committed to LSU on Wednesday. Magee makes LSU's third running back for the Class of 2011 joining fellow Louisiana players Kenny Hilliard and Jeremy Hill. Magee makes LSU's seventh commitment for this class.


Anonymous said...

Sucks for them that Tuberville already commited to Texas Tech. But hey...aren't all three Bowdens out of work at the moment? Hmmm...

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