High school prospects across the country grow up dreaming about playing in the league.
Not little league, not high school football and not even college football, we are talking about the big league and in football that’s the NFL.
I can’t tell you how many times I have had high school prospects tell me over the years and especially this spring and summer that one of the main factors in deciding where they go to college at is what school can prepare me best for the next level. That next level is playing on Sundays.
After spending two days at Lane Kiffin’s first inaugural camps at Rocky Top, it’s easy to figure out where this program is headed in the next few years.
Over 400 of the area, region and national recruits came from everywhere to be coached by some of the best.
Monte Kiffin is one of the best defensive minds in the country; there is no doubt about that. He could be seen all over the practice fields with a big smile on his face, he is happy about coaching with his son, he is absolutely thrilled about being a Tennessee Volunteer and it shows.
“We are going to do special things here,” the elder Kiffin said. “What a great place to be, it doesn’t get any better than this.”
Lane Kiffin became one of the youngest NFL head coaches in the country after earning the reputation as one of the brightest offensive minds in the country at USC.
Kiffin and his dad have assembled one of the best coaching staff’s in the nation and it shows.
There is no doubt that is in charge of recruiting and camps at the University of Tennessee, that person is Ed Orgeron. It’s also very obvious that this man has one goal and that’s to make the Volunteer Football program one of the best in the country, the easiest way to do that is to bring in the best athletes across the country to your school. Get them on campus and allow them to see first hand what your program is all about.
“For us to have this type of turnout at our first camp is incredible,” Kiffin said. “Its shows what a great group of coaches I have here, and how hard they have been working to get the word out about what’s happening here at Tennessee.”
Several prospects have told this writer over and over the same things.
“I want to play in the league, who better to get me there than Monte and Lane Kiffin,” several prospects have said. “Ed Orgeron is one of the best defensive line coaches in the country; he can get me to the league.”
Orgeron’s respect and love for the Kiffin family is obvious, his goal is to make UT the best football program in the country, and he has done this before at USC.
“We are building one of the best football programs in the country here at the University of Tennessee,” Orgeron told campers on both days. “No one is going to out work us. If you aren’t prepared to give us your all, 110 percent of energy and effort, this camp might not be for you.”
Kiffin told the excited and talented group of campers both days that they would see exactly how it would be and feel to be a Tennessee Volunteer.
“We are going to coach you today just like we do our players here at UT,” Kiffin told the group. “You are going to get to see first hand how our coaches teach and their knowledge of the game.”
I have been to a lot of camps over the years, but this coaching staff is one of highest energy groups I have seen in a long time, but it’s not just about energy.
This is a very knowledgeable coaching staff.
They are great recruiters but they are also great teachers. They know the game as good as or better than most.
“I have never seen a camp with so much energy,” one Tennessee High School coach said. “This is the fastest pace camp I have ever seen.”
One parent agreed.
“We have been to over 10 camps the last two years and we have never been as impressed as we are with this one,” said one father of a prospect. “This coaching staff is one of the best we have seen. They are great teachers, they take the time to teach, but everything is full speed. They are very easy to talk to.”
If this first camp is any indication of things to come, expect bigger things from the other camps this summer and things only to get better after this staff has been on campus for a full year.
“Recruiting is all about building relationships,” one high school coach said. “I have never seen so much excitement around UT Football like I have this spring. All my kids love UT and hope to get an opportunity to play for these coaches.”