Florida football had a good news day yesterday. Jonathan Phillips received his NCAA waiver which will allow him to return as placekicker for this season. Caleb Sturgis was ultra hyped coming out of high school and yet he was nowhere near ready for the job last season. Phillips isn't spectacular, but he was steady in his first season as the main guy and that's generally good enough with UF's offense. As for Carl Johnson, all charges against him have been dropped although he's still dealing with judicial affairs. It's always hard to know what truly happened in a situation like this, but the violation of the restraining order seems to have been inadvertent. As for WHY there was such an order, that's in the realm of "he said she said" and will likely never be further resolved than that.
Lane Kiffin is an immature idiot unfit to be the head coach of Tennessee. Not groundbreaking stuff at this point, but what other reaction can you have when ESPN.com's Chris Low exposes his behavior during one of his attempted last second recruiting steals? Kiffin wanted Alshon Jeffrey, a former USC commitment from South Carolina who had decided to stay home and play for the Gamecocks. When he realized he wasn't going to get him, here's what Kiffin trotted out as a closing argument...
"According to Jeffrey and Wilson, Kiffin told Jeffrey 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."
Remember, this is the same guy who thought it was a great idea to demean everyone in Pahokee while bragging about signing Nu'Keese Richardson. Now - WITH A COACH AND A HIGH PROFILE 2010 RECRUIT LISTENING ON THE PHONE - Kiffin decides it's a good idea to tell a kid that if you don't give me what I want you will amount to nothing. Tennessee people keep rationalizing that Kiffin is bringing back swagger to their program and it's good to upset other fanbases. Can't wait to hear how it's good to insult recruits and entire areas as well. Meanwhile, one of UT's returning QBs has a broken wrist and will miss lots of spring ball. That should make installing a new system loads of fun.
The Jaguars were feeling good about themselves for signing Tra Thomas to shore up their offensive line yesterday. That didn't last long, thanks to Matt Jones getting arrested again. Turns out when authorities tell you you're not allowed to drink as part of your plea deal for cocaine posession they actually mean it. Who could have guessed? Jacksonville probably won't make a move on Jones after he unexpectedly had a good year in 2008, but this doesn't bode well for the future.
I'm fortunate to have worked for good people the last few years, so I wouldn't want to take shots at any of them on a blog, message board or Facebook page. Others are not so happy with their employers, as was the case for Dan Leone, a stadium operations employee of the Philadelphia Eagles. The team letting safety Brian Dawkins sign with Denver upset Leone greatly, and he vented about it on Facebook. They fired him. Philly's not saying why, but hopefully it's for actually calling them "retarted". Bright guy, that Dan Leone.
How powerful is football at Alabama? Well, wide receiver Julio Jones was just elected to a student senate seat representing the College of Human Environmental Sciences. No big deal, you say? After all, guys like Terry Jackson and Brad Culpepper were involved with SG at UF too. That is true, but they actually ran for the office. Jones won as a write in candidate who wasn't running for the job. Normally only the Bear can achieve a feat like that in Tuscaloosa.