Lane Kiffin comes with a reputation. That reputation isn’t the greatest. His years at Alabama helped him begin to rebuild that reputation. That rebuilt reputation landed him another chance at being a head coach at Florida Atlantic.

His new strategy for recruiting players is putting that rebuilt reputation on the line.

Chris Robison- Dismissed from Oklahoma after Public Intoxication Arrest

DeAndre Johnson- Dismissed from Florida St after Domestic Violence charge

DeAndre McNeal- Indefinitely suspended from Texas

Add that with transfers Jovon Durante, John Franklin III and Kain Daub and Lane Kiffin is getting the reputation for adding major talent to FAU. Major talent with backgrounds and baggage.

I for one think it is a great strategy for Kiffin while he’s at a mid-major college. Let’s face facts there is a definitive ceiling for Kiffin at FAU. He isn’t winning national championships. He can win and win big at FAU but it will take years to get this school into National prominence. If Kiffin wants to hang around long-term he could eventually turn FAU into a mid-major that crashes the BCS occasionally ala Boise St or TCU before they moved into the Big 12.

Think about it from Kiffin’s standpoint. If he pulls this off it accomplishes two things. The first is with the caliber of talent these guys are he will win and win big very fast at FAU. Those types of talent against mid-major caliber talent could make a dominant squad. The second thing it does is show the maturity of Kiffin as a coach, recruiter and most of all a motivator.

Think about it. Kiffin is recruiting these guys and giving them the pitch that this is their final chance to realize their talent. This is their final chance to realize their dream. If they don’t make the most of their chance at Florida Atlantic they will be forced to get a normal job and lead a normal life.

If he pulls this off it immediately jumps Kiffin onto the top of the list when the next major college job comes open. If Kiffin shows the backers of a school like Texas A&M who may be looking for a coach that he can recruit and motivate kids why wouldn’t you give him a shot?  Who knows this strategy could wind up landing him back up in the NFL one day as a head coach. I think we all know that managing egos and motivating athletes with issues is the hardest part of NFL head coaches job.

The Last Strike University strategy shows outside of the box thinking by Kiffin. It shows a coach who has a vision and a gameplan. Is that vision for long-term success at FAU? No it’s not. It’s for the long term success of Lane Kiffin as a head coach. Lane Kiffin is still Lane Kiffin make no mistake. He’s still cocky, He’s still arrogant but I think he’s smarter. He knows now what it takes to succeed as a head coach.

He’s taking a risk with this strategy but it’s a risk that I think is going to pay off with big rewards. If I’m wrong it might wind up leaving him as nothing more than a QB coach going forward. I’m not going to be wrong. This is going to work. Lane Kiffin is a lot smarter than most people give him credit for.


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