Angst was the best vibe to describe the recruiting mood of Buckeye fans heading into the Army All-American Bowl last weekend. When Latwan Anderson went WVU and Sharrif Floyd declared for Florida during the game, the mood switched to downright sour. Floyd, possibly the nation's top defensive tackle, was long thought to be a strong Buckeye lean, while Anderson was a Tarblooder.
Rivals' 24th rated class was already the rare Buckeye crop in which three star commitments outnumber four and five stars combined1 and then rumors broke yesterday that the state's top player, Lakota West LB Jordan Hicks, had committed to Texas, and message boards are burning with recriminations.
Of course there's still The Great Hope, or as he's commonly known, Seantrel Henderson. The mammoth offensive tackle from Minnesota is good enough to be considered the nation's top recruit by both Scout and Rivals -- and better yet, he's high on Ohio State.
With offers from anyone he wants, Henderson has taken official visits to Florida, Ohio State, Notre Dame and USC, but it was presumed essentially a two team race, between the Buckeyes and Trojans. So when Petey bolted for Seattle ahead of a fast-approaching NCAA bitch-slap, it was only natural to assume Henderson would wind up in Columbus.
And then shockwaves.
After only one season at Tennessee, Lane Kiffin is heading back to LA and he's taking his coaching posse with him.
When it comes to the Kiffin effect, Doctor Saturday sums it up best:
Thirty-four-year-old Lane Kiffin, bearer of a career record of 12-21 as a head coach at two different jobs in three years -- one of which he left in midseason with his boss calling him a "flat-out liar" -- is officially in charge of the dominant college football program of the last decade. Embrace the chaos.
Kiffin, whatever he has, has a buzz to him. The sanctions are likely still coming, but if there's anyone that knows a thing or two about spinning infractions into getting name-dropped by Lil Wayne, it's Kiffin. Last year, he hit Knoxville late, caused a ruckus and wound up with a top 10 class that included the nation's number one recruit, Bryce Brown.
He faces an interesting dilemma during his transition as both the Vols and Trojans have stacked classes (both ranked in the top eight or so). Kiffin will certainly want to bring some of his prized commitments west with him, and he'd be a fool not to try to secure the talents of top USC commits like Dillon Baxter and Kyle Prater.
Which leads us back to Henderson. Though he didn't show any interest in Tennessee during his recruitment, the fact that one of his top two schools now has a big name coach (with an impressive support staff including the late addition Norm Chow) and everything that still comes with playing in LA, it's probably safe to say Henderson is a legitimate tossup again.
Kiffin is blowing up Henderson's phone this very moment and he'll have three more weeks to make his case before the flies to New York on signing day to announce his choice live on CBS College Sports.
Ohio High took on the gargantuan task of compiling an all-time Ohio high school football team. And it's as stunningly impressive as you would imagine it to be. When Roger Staubach and Archie Griffin only made it on to the second team, you're dealing with some talent. Also, spoiler alert: Bam Childress sighting. In case you missed it, the Rock at UT, representing the anger. Finally, is this the craziest coaching offseason ever or just in the last 2,000 years?
- 1 Yes, the average start rating is still pretty solid and the team is pushed down in the rankings because there are only 16 commitments, but recruits are like little lottery tickets. Sometimes you hit a Malcolm Jenkins, others, you roll a Louis Irizarry. The more you have, the better your odds.