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.


~ by drewbd on 01.30.2009.

3 Responses to “So Long, Mr. Thigpen”

  1. […] elsewhere after being told he’s not right fit : Football… – Lane Kiffin, College Football So Long, Mr. Thigpen bleeding orange Goodbye Rocky Top? Thigpen to visit UCLA | I don’t know what has really happened […]

  2. Kiffin, staff and the so called ad did not do the kid right. Do they not have any CHARTER? You do not tell a kid 4 days before NSD he does not fit. Coach Fulmer would of never done that to any kid.
    They have lost or let 3 QB’s go, they have no one on roster that has shown they can get the job done. Are they recruiting any QB’s

    • Yea, Thigpen never deserved to be treated the way he was, especially with his sort of talent and the way he stuck with the Vols through everything. If he wasn’t going to play, Kiffin should have let him know well ahead of time. I don’t feel like a coach just decides on a whim to tell a commitment something like that. Fortunately, I think he’s talented enough to end up somewhere. I think Notre Dame and UCLA are top on his list.
      And as for QBs, I haven’t heard anything more than rumors about quarterbacks on Kiffin’s radar, but I would think he has either decided to stick with someone already on the team (Maybe he sees something in Coleman?), or has a huge surprise in store come Wednesday. Let’s hope its the latter.

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