Lane Kiffin shares how he beat out Tennessee, Alabama and LSU for 3rd grader in the fan transfer portal
Turns out it’s still flipmas season in Oxford.
If you missed it last week, third grade Tennessee native and lifelong Volunteer fan Landon Israel wrote Lane Kiffin a letter recently informing the Ole Miss coach that he had entered the fan transfer portal following the “recent allegations” levied against the Tennessee football program.
Not long after receiving the letter, Kiffin personally reached out to Israel and helped Ole Miss gain another fan.
During his most recent media availability, Kiffin was asked about the exchange and what made him reach out to the young man from Tennessee.
“We get a lot of letters over the years and we try to respond to them in some manner. I just thought his was a little bit different,” Kiffin shared. “And so, just kind of, you know, just said, all right, this was pretty neat for him to take that much time. Let’s see if we can do something that the kid will remember for the rest of his life.
“Instead of just sending something, just decided to call him, talk to his dad and then set up a call with him, so we could personally talk to him and find him a home. Really mature kid, think they don’t develop into a premier fan – a five-star fan. One that wouldn’t need to redshirt. I think he’ll be ready to go when he gets here.”
What was Kiffin’s recruiting pitch considering the big-time programs the Rebels were going up against here?
“Just like recruiting, you got to know your opponent,” Kiffin continued. “Know how invested they are and I think some people wrote letters, some people sent some sunglasses and stuff, but you know there’s nothing like personal touch.
“So, I think, you know, calling him myself and talking to him, I think was a big factor in this. And so, maybe those guys will learn next time.”
Without having to say it, Kiffin just let some fans know how highly he values their fandom while others coaches around the league may not be in the same boat.