So Long, Mr. Thigpen
It looks like another Fulmer recruit has gotten the axe.
Damien Thigpen, a 5’8 170-pound athlete from Manassas, Va., has been told by Lane Kiffin and his staff during his official visit on Sunday that he isn’t a great fit for where the program is headed. Basically, he was told, “If you come here, you’re not going to play.”
This is a dicey decision made by Kiffin, but not the first one. Kiffin has told two other Fulmer recruits, highly-touted quarterback Tajh Boyd and how-the-hell-did-he-get-a-scholarship quarterback Bryce Petty, that neither would fit his system either. Both are now looking elsewhere.
The difference between how Kiffin handled those two players and how he handled Thigpen is drastically different, however. Boyd and Petty were given the news weeks ago, allowing them time to schedule visits and hopefully secure scholarships.
Thigpen might not be that lucky.
With less than a week until National Signing Day, most schools are running low on scholarships, leaving Thigpen without much hope of receiving an offer from a school as prestigious as UT. Now, Kiffin hasn’t officially pulled Thigpen’s scholarship, as AD Mike Hamilton mandated upon Kiffin’s hiring that the new coach must honor all scholarships offered under previous head coach Phillip Fulmer.
I’m not angry with Coach Kiffin’s decision to tell Thigpen he doesn’t fit UT’s system, only the timing with which he made the decision. In today’s recruiting world, poor recruiting decisions can make the difference between a 10-2 season and a 5-7 season.
Honestly is always the best policy, but just do it in a more timely manner.