UT hires another recruiter

New Tennessee football coach Lane Kiffin appears to be collecting ace recruiters the way some folks collect rare coins.

Multiple sources are reporting that the latest addition to the Vols' coaching/recruiting staff is Lance Thompson, outside linebackers coach at SEC rival Alabama the past two seasons.

According to publisher Kirk McNair of BamaMag.com, Thompson is "particularly well known for his recruiting ability." His most heralded signees include 5-star receiver Julio Jones (Foley, Ala.), 5-star athlete Burton Scott (Prichard, Ala.) and 4-star quarterback Star Jackson (Lake Worth, Fla.).

The hiring of Thompson should improve Tennessee's chances of swaying quarterback A.J. McCarron of Mobile St. Paul's, since Thompson was the recruiter who convinced McCarron to commit to the Tide. The Vols have no quarterbacks committed for their class of 2009, so McCarron is considered to be a prime target.

Kiffin's previous hires include recruiting coordinator David Reaves off the South Carolina Gamecocks staff, recognized recruiting ace Ed Orgeron off the staff of the New Orleans Saints and Jim Chaney off the St. Louis Rams' staff. Chaney was recruiting coordinator at Purdue from 1997-2001, during which the Boilermakers reeled in top-10 signing classes each year.

Oddly enough, Thompson and his wife have three daughters – one of whom is named Lane.

Born 44 years ago in Riverdale, Ga., Thompson lettered four years at The Citadel, graduating in 1987. After two years as a graduate assistant at Georgia Tech, he spent two more years with the program (1990-91) as a volunteer assistant.

Thompson was Tech's Director of Football Operations from 1992-94. He shifted to on-field coaching thereafter – serving as tight ends coach in '95, defensive ends coach in '96 and '97, then defensive line coach in '98. He doubled as the Yellow Jackets' recruiting coordinator from '95 to '98.

Thompson was defensive line coach at Alabama under Mike DuBose in 1999 and 2000, then returned to Georgia Tech in 2001. He was defensive line coach for LSU under head man Nick Saban in 2002, then served as the Tigers' assistant head coach for recruiting/tight ends coach during their 2003 BCS national title season.

After a three-year stint as defensive coordinator at Central Florida, Thompson reunited with Saban – this time at Bama – for the 2007 season.

Thompson reportedly was the lead recruiter on 10 members of the Tide's 2008 signing class that was rated No. 1 nationally.

If he recruits as well for Tennessee, Vol fans are sure to like Lance a lot.


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