Lane Kiffin finished his initial recruiting class at Florida Atlantic with a flurry, launching the Owls to the top of the Conference USA recruiting standings, but he didn’t do so without hurting a few very important egos along the way.
According to South Florida ABC affiliate WPLG, Miami Booker T. Washington coach Tim “Ice” Harris has decided he will no longer discuss any of his players with FAU’s Lane Kiffin due to the way that Kiffin treated a Washington star who had been a longstanding FAU commit. Linebacker Isaac Readon reportedly remained committed to the Owls even after the firing of former coach Charlie Partridge, only for Kiffin to evade questions about his status and leave Harris and Readon fearing that the linebacker wouldn’t have a scholarship in the final throes of recruiting. The linebacker was also never welcomed for an official visit on campus, according to at least one Florida Atlantic blog.
Yet in the end, Readon did sign with the Owls on National Signing Day, which should ease some tension between Harris and Kiffin moving forward … right? Perhaps, though Harris was still holding a hard line on his future relationship with Kiffin on the eve of National Signing Day, when Readon’s situation was more or less sorted.
“Unfortunately, the coach that recruited us … ended up getting fired,” Harris told WPLG. “He gave up everything to go there. He’s hurt.”
Maybe Readon is less hurt now that his future in Boca Raton is secure, which may just pave the way for Kiffin and his staff to bring more Booker T. stars to Florida Atlantic in the years ahead.
That could prove critical for Kiffin moving forward to foster, as Harris isn’t just one of the Miami area’s most respected coaches, he’s also a leader among the unofficial South Florida coaching fraternity that continues to grow. Developing a relationship with Harris, and other leading coaches, will be essential for the Owls to continue to grow beyond the success of their 2017 class and continue to build both on the field and off.