It’s one thing for a new coach to pull the rug out from under a kid who committed to his predecessor by saying he’s simply going in a different direction. Not that it’s good, but at least it’s relatively straightforward.
Then there’s the Lane Kiffin way.
Even amid upheaval in the FAU athletics department back in December, with football coach Charlie Partridge being fired and Kiffin being hired as the new guy in charge, Charles had done his due diligence. He had kept in touch with his recruiter, Terrance Jamison, who was retained from Partridge’s staff to help in the transition to the new coaching staff.
Jamison, however, was eventually let go as well and suddenly FAU went silent on Charles, the versatile defensive back/running back who was instrumental in getting the Panthers to this past season’s Class 8A state title game.
The silence ended last week. Charles had feared the worst when he was met with nothing but voicemails during his attempts to contact members of the coaching staff. Then he finally connected with Kiffin’s brother and new FAU defensive coordinator Chris Kiffin on Twitter last week.
“He actually had reached out to me. He followed me on Twitter, so I followed him back and then he hit me up on DM, saying, “Hey D.J., what’s up?” … and then he asked me, “Why did I decommit from FAU.”
Charles never decommitted and whether it was all a ruse to give FAU leverage to pull his scholarship, we’ll possibly never know, but that’s how it was presented to Charles.
Oh, puh-leeze. We know.
“I said, ‘I never posted anything saying I decommitted from FAU,’ and I told him, ‘I was just wondering why I hadn’t heard from anybody since the new coaching staff came in,’” Charles said. “And then he said he’d have to get with Coach Kiffin [the head coach] and have him watch my film and he’d get back to me soon. A couple days later I asked him [on Twitter] if there was any update, and he was like, ‘Let me find out today.’ So I guess he never got with Coach Kiffin and it was left at that.”
Lesson for today: Junior’s gonna Junior. Maybe you can get away with that kind of shit at USC and Alabama, but I suspect FAU is another story.