(Source) Alshon Jeffery of the Chicago Bears made yet another highlight reel touchdown on Monday night and is quickly developing into one of the NFL’s best wide receivers in his second season. But at least one college coach didn’t see this coming. In 2009, Jeffery was a high school football player and was in the middle of a fierce recruiting battle that involved three of the biggest coaches in college football at the time, Steve Spurrier of the University of South Carolina, Pete Carroll of Southern Cal, and Lane Kiffin at Tennessee.
On the eve before Jeffery announced his decision to stay close to home and attend South Carolina, the coaches made their final pleas. When it became apparent that Jeffery would not attend Tennessee, Kiffin changed his tone as told by Chris Low for ESPN.com in 2009: “Kiffin was equally dogged. But when it was obvious that Jeffery wasn’t going to Tennessee, Kiffin took off the gloves…According to Jeffery and [Jeffery’s high school coach Walter] Wilson, Kiffin told Jeffery that if he chose the Gamecocks, he would end up pumping gas for the rest of his life like all the other players from that state who had gone to South Carolina.” Of course, Kiffin wouldn’t have been recruiting Jeffery if he didn’t think he was a good football player. But it says something that Kiffin had little confidence in Jeffery to make it no matter which school he chose and it says something that Kiffin was so quick to turn nasty.
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