<
>
Insider

Morris favors USC over Vols

5/2/2012

Lane Kiffin has found yet another way to rile up Tennessee fans.

Southern California's often outspoken head coach employed Tennessee's former heroic quarterback, Tee Martin, to coach receivers and recruit in the Southeast. It didn't take long for Kiffin and Martin to have an impact.

Offensive tackle Christian Morris from Memphis (Tenn.) East told ESPN on Wednesday that Southern California holds the lead for his services over Tennessee after Martin delivered a scholarship offer this week.

Morris was duly impressed.

“I just like the California lifestyle,” said Morris, who said he's always wanted to play college football in California. “I'm looking forward to getting to know the (USC) coaches as well.”

Morris also picked up scholarship offers from Illinois, Louisville and Arkansas.

“I'm very happy,” the 6-foot-5, 280-pound offensive tackle prospect said. “Those are major schools.”

Morris said he was impressed that Martin said that he could be a top-five pick in the NFL Draft.

The Vols and Trojans figure to butt heads often in recruiting with Martin in the middle. Martin is recruiting Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic area. All are key recruiting areas for the Vols.

Perhaps the saving grace for Tennessee is that USC can only sign 15 scholarship players this season because of NCAA penalties. At this point, it seems like Morris could be one of them.

Kiffin coached one season at Tennessee and was largely credited with salvaging a once-struggling offense and helping the Vols to a 7-6 record. Kiffin then suddenly left Tennessee for USC, prompting hundreds of students to riot outside Tennessee's training facility.

Since, Tennessee is 11-14 under Derek Dooley, who was hired to replace Kiffin.