Kiffin watch: Recruiting trumps meritocracy.

You know, it drives you crazy to watch a coach deploy a player (or players) ahead of kids who’ve shown themselves to be the better contributors on the field.

No, I’m not talking about Willie Martinez and Bryan Evans.  I’m talking about Junior and prized recruit Bryce Brown.

And Tauren Poole.

In the end, Tauren Poole is the one still standing.

He knew he was in a no-win situation last season, buried behind a player who was going to play in front of him no matter what.

It didn’t matter that Poole had been better in practices and better in scrimmages, and it didn’t matter that many of his teammates were telling him privately that he should be Tennessee’s No. 2 tailback behind Montario Hardesty.

Bryce Brown came in as one of the most hyped prospects in the country, a walking advertisement for Lane Kiffin’s recruiting prowess, and he was going to play — regardless.

“I could have rushed for 100 yards every scrimmage, and the best I was going to do was third team, if that,” Poole said. “It was hard to take, especially with so many guys on the team telling me that wasn’t right…”

That’s spoken by someone who clearly doesn’t understand how important it is for a school to win the national recruiting rankings.

By the way, after reading this post about the dire straits Tennessee finds itself in with regards to the offensive line this season, I think I still feel for Poole.



Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Don't Mess With Lane Kiffin, Recruiting

4 responses to “Kiffin watch: Recruiting trumps meritocracy.

  1. RusDawg

    Honestly though, playing Bryce Brown made sense from the Kiffster perspective of things. It was the, “Look! If you are a highly touted recruit you will play right away!”

    What the heck was the reasoning behind Evans here? He is a senior? Woop-de-doo. I was a senior once and I can tell you right now….that was the year I did the least of amount of work!


  2. Dboy

    “Kiffin watch: Recruiting trumps meritocracy”

    I initially misread you title. I though is said: Recruiting trumps mediocrity.


  3. Vious

    The more I read about Kiffin, the more shocked I am that UT and their people accepted him and loved him the way they did

    He is going to fail miserably at USC


    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      I agree about Kiffin failing at USC but for perhaps a different reason. Locally, the series between USC and UCLA has historically favored the Trojans. However, that is not true all the time. There have been periods when UCLA had the upper hand which translates into a recruiting advantage. When USC slipped up and had less than stellar coaches the program slipped. Remember Ted Tollner and Paul Hackett? Conversely remember Dick Vemeil and Terry Donahue of UCLA? When UCLA has been well coached and USC has not been, UCLA has been on top in that series. Right now UCLA is on the comeback with Rick Neuheisel as HC and Norm Chow as OC. Kiffin is in trouble. Maybe he doesn’t know it yet, but he is. There is justice in the world and it will be in LA soon.