- THE ORANGE SWARM IS COMING. And you thought I was kidding about oversigning coaches. (Chest bump to ChattVol for the observation.) Hamilton hires Lane Kiffin. Lane hires a few run-of-the-mill assistants then shakes Rocky Top by hiring Monte Kiffin, the best defensive coordinator in football, NFL, college, or otherwise. Then he does it again by out-competing and out-spending Les Miles and LSU for the services of Ed Orgeron, the best recruiter in sports period. Monte's and Orgeron's combined salaries will be nearly $300,000 less than what all of Tennessee's assistant coaches made last year. Okay, money mostly gone. Are we done yet? Hardly, because SWARM. Kiffin's now trying to out-compete and out-spend Georgia for the services of Rodney Garner, another A-list recruiter. Garner was to decide yesterday, but it's looking like it's going to be today instead. Is Garner's family willing to move to Tennessee? Is he willing to coach a different position? How much is Georgia willing to pay to keep him? If he comes, can all of these guys get along with each other? I don't know, I don't know, I don't know, and I have no idea, but I do know this: if Kiffin assembles a roster of players like he builds a staff, we're going to have players. Yes, indeed.
- Yeahbut . . . offense. Monte, Orgeron, and Garner are all defensive coaches. This just in: the defense wasn't broke. The offense? Shambles. Offensive recruits know this, including current commit Je'Ron Stokes who says what we're all thinking: "I heard a lot of great things about [Monte]. The defense will be straight. The biggest problem last year was the offense and I think all of the offensive guys will look at the offense staff members that are brought in." Stokes says he "remains committed to Tennessee," but also that he's "just going to let it all play out."
Yeahbut . . . talent. Talent cures all, right? See, e.g., Marlon Brown, who took the first play from scrimmage and turned it into a 71-yard touchdown in the Under Armour All-America Game last night on national television. Brown, 6'5" and 205, proclaims that he is "the best wide receiver in the nation." GVX grants him that distinction inside The Fence at least, and ESPN says he's almost right, the second-best WR nationally. Close enough. Yaw Yaw and Monte say he's their No. 1 target, and the Orange Swarm is currently staked out in the parking lot of Brown's school downing coffee and Red Bull waiting for him to arrive so that they can tell him just that. Resistance is futile, Mr. Brown. Welcome to the collective.
In other good news . . . Two of threee Florida prospects in the Under Armour Game last night chose Miami over Florida. Make no mistake, Miami and Florida State being good is good for Tennessee. Anything that might dilute the talent on the Florida Gator roster is good for us.
- And in still more good news . . . the Fiesta Bowl's tonight. Who do you like? The Texas Longhorns or the Ohio State Buckeyes?