Fire Sale at Rocky Top: All Top Recruiting Talent Must Go!

Jonathan KelleyCorrespondent IJanuary 13, 2010

KNOXVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 12: Ed Orgeron, assistant head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers during warmups against the UCLA Bruins on September 12, 2009 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee. UCLA beat Tennessee 19-15. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

Remember this face Vol fans, he is the fangs of the snake known as Lane Kiffin. While he may seem like a fun energetic, shirt-shedding, chest-bumping, mean, lean, recruiting machine, but really he is a Judas.

While Lane Kiffin was making a cowardly exit, it was Ed who was doing the dirty work. When Kiffin was lying to the current players, Ed was calling recruits, some of whom were preparing to enroll today and start classes at Tennessee.

I am unaware if this is a recruiting violation, but regardless it is an immoral and character reveling act by the entire Kiffin coaching staff. To quote one player, Walls, "If they want to go, go. But we're a family here. You don't sign with no school for no coach. And just like they left us, they'll leave you all too. ... And we heard Coach O in the background calling enrollees and telling them that they got an offer to USC. He couldn't even address us. He couldn't even call us first."

"Freshmen put [Orgeron] on speakerphone. I called him five times, and he wouldn't pick up. But he's calling them. They put him on speakerphone and said all of them got offers to USC."

So far four four-star recruits have decommitted from Tennessee, and it appears many others are at least exploring options. The decommitments so far are Michael Taylor OLB, Brandon Willis DE, Delvin Jones DE, and AJ Johnson OLB. It should be noted that none of these players are from Tennessee, but then again, only one player on the current commitment list is from Tennessee. This could turn ugly, and it could happen very quickly. What was once looking like a potential top 10, maybe top five, recruiting class is now looking like a disaster.

It would be an understatement to say that Mike Hamilton is on the hot seat, but if he or Tennessee has any future in football, they must make a very good hire and fast. Now I am not saying that Tennessee will not go on to be fine and better off with another coach. However, we all know that one bad recruiting class can hurt a program for years to come.

With the whole college football watching, a fan base in turmoil, and a recruiting class abandoning ship, what Tennessee does now will define its program for the next five years.

It already made one critical mistake in hiring and trusting Lane Kiffin. For Tennessee's sake let’s hope that its next decision is not a terminal one.