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Friday, June 5, 2020

Lane Kiffin

Lane Kiffin: Questions about Jalen Hurts are ‘ridiculous’

Jalen Hurts

Lane Kiffin may no longer be coaching Jalen Hurts, but he still has his former quarterback’s back.

Kiffin was quoted in a story published by The Athletic’s Jason Kersey on Monday regarding Oklahoma’s decision to name Hurts their starting quarterback for the season (Kiffin was Hurts’ offensive coordinator at Alabama in 2016).

The last two Heisman Trophy winners have come from the Sooners’ program, which means Hurts is walking into a great situation. However, there is a belief based on what he did at Alabama that Hurts is not as good of a passer as Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.

“Not to sound disrespectful, but I think those questions are ridiculous,” Kiffin told Kersey regarding questions about Hurts as a passer. “For people to ask if he can throw the ball well enough to be efficient … well, look at his freshman year. Coming out of high school, this was not a kid who they had in quarterback camps ever since he was little. This was an old-school quarterback that hadn’t had a ton of coaching. He wasn’t in all those camps and had quarterback coaches his whole life. As a freshman, he had a lot of explosive pass plays.”

Hurts passed for 2,780 yards, 23 touchdowns and 9 interceptions as a freshman in 2016. He led Alabama to the championship game, where they lost to Clemson. He threw for 17 touchdowns and just one interception the following season but was benched in the national title game for Tua Tagovailoa, who kept the starting job last year, leading to Hurts’ transfer.

Expecting Hurts to match what Murray and Mayfield did is unrealistic, but maybe there’s more to him than what he was able to show at Alabama the past three years. If anyone can bring the most out of him, it’s probably Oklahoma and Lincoln Riley.

Lane Kiffin’s music choices at Florida Atlantic fall camp are hilarious

Lane Kiffin

Lane Kiffin is one of the biggest trolls in all of sports, and he continues to prove it every chance he gets.

The Florida Atlantic coach opened Sunday’s session of fall camp with a pair of inspired music choices, both referencing his former employers. First, he broke out “Sweet Home, Alabama” as a reference to his time as the Crimson Tide offensive coordinator, and then he played “Rocky Top,” which is, of course, famously associated with Tennessee.

No sign of the USC fight song, unfortunately, to complete the trolling trifecta.

The Alabama reference might get a chuckle in Tuscaloosa, but given the mutual hostility between Kiffin and the Vols, this probably won’t go over well in Knoxville. For Kiffin, that’s almost certainly the point.

Lane Kiffin shows love for ‘GOAT’ Nick Saban on Twitter

Lane Kiffin FAU

Lane Kiffin and Nick Saban have had a complicated relationship over the years, but it’s fair to say that there’s some respect for the Alabama coach’s skills.

Kiffin, currently the head coach at Florida Atlantic, replied to a Twitter post Wednesday with the belief that Saban would outlast every other SEC coach — because the “GOAT” will never retire.

Kiffin served as Saban’s offensive coordinator for three years. For a lengthy period following his departure, Kiffin seemingly delighted in taking shots at his former boss, but seems to have been a bit warmer to him lately. This is further evidence of that — for their differing styles, Kiffin at least has some respect for Saban.

Lane Kiffin visits high school recruit in maternity ward

Lane Kiffin FAU

Lane Kiffin is back at work on the recruiting trail following a disappointing 5-7 second season at FAU, and it looks like he is pulling out all the stops in an attempt to land the players he wants.

On Wednesday, Lake Weir (Fla.) High School coach Knox Robinson shared a photo on Twitter of Kiffin visiting one of his players at a hospital maternity ward. The player, whom Robinson chose not to name, welcomed a child earlier this week, and Robinson says Kiffin talked to the young man about “real life stuff” rather than football.

We all know how Kiffin thinks his social media activity helps him attract recruits, but visiting a young man who just became a father probably resonates more. Kiffin’s looking to turn things around at FAU, and working that hard on recruiting should certainly help.

Lane Kiffin clowns ESPN for whiffing on Dabo Swinney prediction

Lane Kiffin

Lane Kiffin clowned ESPN on Twitter Friday for missing so badly on their Dabo Swinney prediction a decade ago.

Long before he built Clemson into a powerhouse, Swinney was just a wide receivers coach and recruiter for the Tigers. Midway through the 2008 season, Tommy Bowden was fired and Swinney was named the interim head coach. At the end of the regular season, Clemson named Swinney their head coach.

In a column on ESPN analyzing that year’s hires, Pat Forde thought the hire was a poor one and gave it a D+ grade. Kiffin screenshotted the column on Twitter and put a bunch of facepalm emojis in the tweet, while tagging ESPN.

The tweet goes to show that the instant reaction to a hire can be so wrong at times. Clemson couldn’t have gotten their hire any better; Swinney has matched Nick Saban over the past four years.

Of course, leave it to Kiffin to send such a tweet. He always loves to stir the pot.

Lane Kiffin says he has offered scholarship to Matt Leinart’s 11-year-old son

Lane Kiffin FAU

Lane Kiffin says that he has offered a scholarship to Matt Leinart’s 11-year-old son.

The talk of Leinart’s son Cole picked up steam on Tuesday after FOX college football reporter Bruce Feldman shared video of Cole throwing a great pass in a flag football game. Feldman joked that he was surprised Kiffin and FAU hadn’t already offered Cole a scholarship.

Kiffin saw the tweet and set the record straight, saying that he has.

Our guess is that Kiffin is joking, but you never know. Kiffin was on staff at USC when Leinart was the Trojans’ quarterback, so it’s possible he has a connection with the Leinarts. Plus, Kiffin infamously got then-13-year-old David Sills to commit to him in 2010. Sills is currently a star wide receiver at West Virginia.

Cole Leinart has a long way to go before college. The odds are probably against Kiffin still being at FAU by the time Cole is ready for university ball.

The story of how Lane Kiffin began his coaching career is incredible

Lane Kiffin FAU

The story of how Lane Kiffin began his coaching career is incredible and seems to fit in perfectly with his personality.

Kiffin, 43, was a backup quarterback at Fresno State from 1994-1996. Just when he thought he was going to get some action as a senior in 1997, David Carr came around. Carr, who eventually became a No. 1 pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, took Kiffin’s backup reps (both were behind Billy Volek on the depth chart).

Kiffin was frustrated by losing so many reps, so he showed up to practice one day with shorts and a T-shirt, telling quarterbacks coach Jeff Tedford that all his reps were going to Carr anyway. Carr, who told the story for Stadium, says that Kiffin was told to leave practice. Carr figures that some calls were made after that, because Kiffin returned to practice that day as an assistant wide receivers coach, officially beginning his coaching career.

Here’s the story via Carr:

Even though that was a bratty way to go about things, switching from playing to coaching was the best move Kiffin could have made. He quickly ascended the coaching ranks, making his way to USC’s staff as an assistant from 2001-2006. By 2007 he was the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, although we all know how that ended.

Kiffin has experiences his ups-and-downs in the coaching profession and now finds himself rebuilding his career at Florida Altantic.