We all know that some college coaches will do anything they can to sway a high school player their way. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney told top high school recruit Jadeveon Clowney that if he signed with Clemson, “It’d be the happiest day of my life. I love you, Clowney” in his efforts to get the defensive end to lean his way.
Sometimes there is the promise of jobs for parents, vehicles or money (all NCAA no-nos), but former Southern Cal head coach Lane Kiffin tried a different tactic while recruiting Alshon Jeffery in his one season at Tennessee. He told the wide receiver in 2009 that if he chose South Carolina over Tennessee, he would end up pumping gas one day.
ESPN’s Chris Low broke the story about Kiffin’s gas pumping comments. According to the story, Kiffin said that if Jeffery “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.” That comment was laughable at the time, as the Gamecocks are known for sending players to the NFL.
So, why is a story from 2009 making headlines now? That has something to do with the state of Kiffin and Jeffery’s careers right now.
Fast forward four years later from the pumping gas story. Alshon Jeffery signed a contract for more than $4 million guaranteed out of college and is one of the better receivers in the NFL. He will become a free agent in 2016–if Jeffery’s current play continues, he is expected to reel in the big bucks. Kiffin, on the other hand, was recently fired from Southern Cal after losing 7 of his last 11 games there.
Alshon Jeffery is having an excellent season with the Chicago Bears, with more than 1,000 receiving yards so far. Just Monday night, the young receiver had five catches for 84 yards and one spectacular touchdown in the win over the Cowboys. With everything coming together for Jeffery, it looks like Bears fans, Gamecocks fans and Kiffin haters are all banding together to rub a little salt in Kiffin’s wound. Look no further than Twitter to see that people are still bringing up the gas pumping comment at every opportunity:
Hey Lane Kiffin I think Alshon will need someone to pump some gas for him soon.
— Kyle Bolton (@kylebolton4) December 10, 2013
Not a SCar fan… But every time I see Alshon Jeffrey do something like that I think of Lane Kiffin and snicker… Lane you can pump HIS GAS
— Chris Wall (@cwall027) December 10, 2013
Fire Monte Kiffin tonight. Leave him in Chicago and let him freeze. Lane can pick him up and maybe Alshon Jeffery can "pump his gas."
— M®. Mille® (@IowaHawkGuy) December 10, 2013
[Image via Chicago Bears]