TUSCALOOSA — Blue-chip commitment Trent Richardson spent much of Thursday trying to get in touch with Lance Thompson, the likeable assistant coach most responsible for recruiting him to the University of Alabama.
Thompson’s cell phone was off. And only a few hours earlier, so was Thompson.
“It’s just crazy to me,” Richardson said, “that all that stuff can just happen that quick.”
A University of Tennessee plane quietly touched down for a few minutes in Tuscaloosa on Thursday morning and took with it the most decorated recruiter on the Crimson Tide’s coaching staff less than three weeks before National Signing Day.
In a stunning move that instantly shakes up the recruiting landscape in Mobile and elsewhere, Thompson accepted an offer to join Lane Kiffin’s first coaching staff at Tennessee. He is the newest member of a defensive coaching staff that already included coordinator Monte Kiffin — Lane’s father — and former Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron.