Weeks ago, Vols faxed over a list of every JR & SR on USCs roster to the Trojans' compliance office to alert them of their recruiting plan.
Sure sounds like the Volunteers are not going to forget anytime soon what Hello Kiffin and Ogre did when they ran away from Knoxville. From Clay Travis on AOL's fanhouse:
College football's answer to Helen of Troy?
The Trojans spirited away Kiffin, his father Monte and recruiting coordinator Ed Orgeron, in the depths of last season's recruiting season. Immediately Lane of Troy went to work on Tennessee's proposed roster, snagging away several erstwhile Tennessee football commitments like five-star wide receiver Markeith Ambles and four-star linebacker Glen Stanley. All the while, Kiffin flashed his open palms in the direction of the Volunteer state, disclaiming all responsibility for dirty recruiting.
Across the length of the Volunteer state, tempers flared. Leaving was one thing, but leaving and attempting to take the recruiting lifeblood of the program with him?
And now, just more than five months after Lane of Troy's departure, new Tennessee coach Derek Dooley has struck in the wake of USC's probation, snagging a rising junior defensive end, Malik Johnson (pictured), and the nation's top punter and a former USC commit, Matt Darr.
Malik Jackson, who tallied 3 1/2 sacks for the Trojans, poured some gasoline on the fire by telling Rivals' USC site, "Yeah, I just decided to transfer to a better situation." A better situation that left the USC staff infuriated. Monte Kiffin, playing the role of King Priam in this ancient fable, steamed over the decision. Of course, Monte/Priam should know all about bad decisions. After all, it was Monte's rash decision to leave behind the NFL and join up with his unproven younger son that has led him on a peripatetic football journey from Tampa to Knoxville to Los Angeles all in the space of a year.
Word is that Malik Jackson might not be the only USC Trojan considering spurning the left coast for the SEC. We'll see whether more defections arise, but rest assured that Dooley and staff continue to gleefully work the back channels as the new season looms.