Elam now ‘very high’ on Tennessee


If the confusing cases of Lynden Trail and Quinton Dunbar weren’t enough, committed safety Matt Elam also gave Florida’s staff something to think about. He decided to take an official visit to Tennessee over the weekend. He originally went just to check it out, but left with some unsettling things for Florida’s staff to read.

Here’s what he told Rivals about what he thinks of UT after seeing them up close and personal.

“They are very high in my decision,” Elam said. “Monte Kiffin’s background is a real plus. He’s been in the league and the defense he runs makes sure that his players get to the league. There is a connection there and they made a strong push for me.”

That can’t be comforting for UF’s staff.

But it was talking with safety Eric Berry that might be the selling point for the Vols. It’s perfect, really. Berry’s all but packed his bags for the NFL and Elam could just walk right in and take his spot. Safety depth at Florida isn’t too attractive and Elam has been quoted as saying that he wants to come in and play immediately.

“I was thinking that could be me,” Elam said of watching Berry. “He’s getting all that attention and fame and they promote him. He’ll be leaving and someone has to come in and be better than him and make plays.”


  1. Same old scam- you can come right in and start. What a crock. This is the SEC. There are very few high school kids, no matter how gifted who can start their first year. If they do, they will likely take a pounding. Yeah, you might start and watch the guys on the Gators holding up that Crystal trophy while you go to the Poulan Weedeater Bowl- but you’ll start. Ummm-hmmm. These guys get the new “Bubby Bowden Used Car Salesman- Worthless Pitch Award”.

  2. This recruting stuff is a joke, if you dont want to be a gator then hold your verbal jabs. We at florida only want true from the heart gators. if your good enough, you can play anywhere! tenns program is down so yea , you can play their.

  3. Matt must have doubts that he can compete with the other recruits that have committed for 2010, because Florida is going to lose a number of jumior and senior secondary starters to the NFL and if he’s good he will play.

  4. It’s cool. We’re stacked at safety. While it would be nice to have Elam who is an absolute beast, the tandem of Dorsey and Dowling is nothing to feel bad about anyway. Hill, Finley, Dorsey, Dowling. No sweat Gator fans, WE ARE THE BEST. Don’t forget that.

  5. I don’t believe the Forida Staff should think very long about this one. Elam has just shown to them that he lacks the “class” to be a Forida Gator. Obviously his intelligence quotient is a bit low as well as he cannot see a more prolific future as a Florida Graduate. I believe the academic requirements at Tennessee are below those of Florida. I am sure the academic awards reign higher at Florida. The staff should immediately notify Elam that they are no longer interested in him and say goodbye..

  6. That is just fine with me if he leaves to go to Tennessee. He will go to Tennessee just like Nukeese did and be a bench warmer just like Nukeese is. Besides he never really wanted to be a gator anyway. Gerald Christian is the real talent on his highschool team and he is the one we need. Goodbye.

  7. Here’s a suggestion… SEND him to Tennessee. We simply don’t need someone whose idea of benefiting a team includes “He’s getting all that attention and fame and they promote him”. If I remember correctly, Berry got run over by our quarterback. Literally run over. Goodbye Matt Elam.

  8. One thing Steve Spurrier once told me face to face….we want kids that want to be here and want to be GATORS,not the ones that we have to convince to be GATORS and then they are unhappy. He told me this in January of 1990 and it still holds true today. If you don’t want to be a GATOR then definitely we don’t want you…..

  9. aww come, Matt Elam is the bomb. Sure, I wish he had not gone to UT and liked his visit. But I think Gator Nation has gotten a little spoiled with these guys. Lets show them some love so they won’t want to leave!! UT wants to chant Matt Elam 4 heisman, lets do the same thing.

  10. We might not like his comments, but this kid IS a player. Hopefully he knows that he could be drafted by a 3-4 scheme team. Not to mention, that his brother can teach him plenty, just as our coaches can. Will Hill and Major Wright will be solid players in the NFL. At some point, if you have the talent it will show up (at UF, UT, or anywhere else). But how many games will you win?

  11. Don’t go thinking he is going to Tenn yet- Urban has a personal relationship with his family, and they trust each other- He will be a gator- Elam might grow into a linebacker anyways- plus all those other guys we have will be leaving for the NFL too- There is a BIG difference between Florida and Tenn- Florida teaches you how to be a man, how to be successful in life after school (cuz, sorry guys not all of you are going to the NFL), how to be responsible and give back to the community. Kiffin will get on his knees to get a recruit- Urban does it the right way, he makes every coach get to know each players friends, girlfriends, and family- Kiffin thinks it is all about him- its not – its about the players- urbs is the best coach in america not only on x’s and o’s- but on creating an atmosphere where honor, integrity, is built so that when he retires, and he will retire, those young men he coached will bring their children and let urbs know how much he taught them to do the right thing and instill in their kids the same lessons urbs taught them years ago. its just more than just football guys. at least here at Florida.

  12. Time will tell…if he goes to TN then I wish him the best…we can’t get every great player out there but yeah…we’re deep at Saftey and have another top recruit for 2010.

    We will be fine either way…the same can’t be said for him at TN…kind of like Reid going to FSU…some guys “have to play now” and maybe they wouldn’t play here either.

    No matter things will work out for us as long as Urban is at the helm! He’s a freaking machine. Go Gators!

  13. Hello Petey, pretty strong stuff you’re preaching here..wow..who made you the know it all ? You have no idea what you are talking about. You just feed off the media..please back up your comment with facts.

    Yikes !

  14. Let them leave. Competition isn’t for everyone. Where is Fayson playing now? Bet he doesn’t have a ring. These chumps want things easily. If they are afraid to compete, how can we trust them to compete. They are only concerned with themselves. That is the way Lane is recruiting. What he is too stupid to know is, if your team is all full of guys thinking of only themselves, you won’t have a team. For no other reason will Tennessee never contend for the NC. There is no “I” in team and that is all you hear any of the guys thinking about going to Tenn are saying. They will have talent, but absolutely NO CHARACTER–just like their coach.

    Sad when the head coach was only hired because of his daddy. All Lane has accomplished is nothing–on his own. He thinks he is the shit–when all he is is his daddy’s shit–with a big head.

  15. Makes sense that he goes to Tennessee. Florida is strong and very deep at safety. Kids who want to play right away and not want a challenge to “earn” the position will go elsewhere…like Knoxville. Players who don’t mind a challenge will become Gators, thrive in the Gstor defensive system, and then go to the NFL and become starters…like Nelson and soon to be Wright. Elam, go to Tennesse and prepare for the NFL. Or come to Florida, become a champion, and then go to the NFL. It is your choice to make. Also, if you are scared to compete, then the Gators don’t need you anyway.

  16. If Urban is smart, and we all know he is, he’ll just tell the kid “Hey man, how long do you think Lane Kiffin is going to be there if he continues losing, especially at home. He has way above avg players on defense, not to mention an exceptional d-coord and two RB’s that most SEC teams would kill for and he CAN’T WIN AT HOME??? When he goes Monte goes so if you wanna take your chances with that be my guest. But when you’re sitting in your dorm room evry December watching the SEC Champshp remember…you could have been wearing orange and blue playing in that game.

  17. I did back up my words if, with all due respect, you were paying attention. “Meyer makes it a point to get to know every single player, and personally gets involved in their lives. All the coaches are required to know what classes they take and who they hang out with, know their family members etc.” This is common knowledge if you follow Florida football. Its just not about football with urban, its about building integrity and doing things the right way, DESPITE the fact that other coaches, uh, Mr. Kiffin, need to lie and defame other coaches to get recruits and “hype” up their program. Meyer is a class act also evidenced by how he doesnt talk crap or showboat or even teach his players to showboat. When have you ever heard Meyer talk crap about other programs? Even at boosters he tries to keep it classy. Some may say he talked crap about Kiffin not playing to win, but, honestly, that was the truth- not crap. He merely said they werent passing the ball. So other than that maybe you should point out some examples of how my comments were not true, instead of asking me to do the thinking for you. Even when Georgia played that crap a couple years ago you never heard Urban say anything negative publicly. So Davy Crockett, I mean, uh, Daniel, watch it or ill be forced to call 2 time outs on you. School has now been concluded for the day kids. Take notes and learn. Yikes?

  18. We will see how high he is on UT after they finish with a losing record. When it comes down to it players want to win, and once Florida is on a huge National spotlight and UT is sitting at home bowl-less the decision should be easy. Sure Eric Berry is a great player. But he has won nothing in his tenure at UT. Only making it to a bowl game one time is not what I would want if I was Elam. GO Gators!!!

  19. UT is 2-3 with MAYBE two or three games they can win. They look to finish the year at 4-8 and Next Year isn’t going to be that much better. UT’s great coaching staff isn’t producing on the O. Thier D is okay, but nothing special. I heard the ESPN announcer say something about how they held us on the run, so I checked the stats and we had 208 yards rushing, and that with Tebow going out of the game. They held us? If Elam wants to be a star on a losing team, see Spiller/Clemson, he sure does have that opportunity. If he’s as good as advertized he can play right away at UF and will and it will mean a lot more than playing on UT’s crummy team. Course occasionally a guy from Vandy will go to the NFL also, so…..


  21. Hey, Elam, set the glass of Kiffin Kool-Aid down. However, if you don’t think you are good enough to compete with the big boys, then take your game to UT. Get your playing time, play in your little mid-December bowl game (maybe), then sit back and watch TV like the rest of us as UF plays for the real hardware…

  22. If i’m not mistaken the class act that urban meyer is called out ron zook!?! Lets not forget how classy is was when he called the timeouts against GA! Oh, and wasn’t it him that also lied to Jevean Sneed??? How many drug tests did Percy Harvin fail? Semiautomatic weapon toten players! He runs an outstanding program.

  23. Matt Elam has to decide what is more important to him. Immediate playing time or winning championships. Meanwhile, the college football world continues to wonder when Lane Kiffin will get his first SEC win. This ain’t the AFC West!

  24. I feel terrible for these talented boys that are buying Lane Kiffin’s lies. Al Davis said that Lane Kiffin was the biggest liar he had encountered and fired him not because of his losing record, but because he could not trust Kiffin. This is Elam’s future and I hope his family and friends guide him to the right decision for him. Kiffin’s record of 6-18 will continue at Tennesse and many believe will result in his dismissal due to NCAA violations, then where is Elam? Perhaps he should visit Nebraska next!

  25. As much as I would like to see Elam play LB for the Gators, the kid has to do what he thinks is best. He will be a big part of a UT defense and may fit nicely as a Berry replacement. However, the chances of UT going to the NC during the next 4 years is slime to none given the holes they have, depth yet to be filled, and player development. Gators are in good shape eiher way.

  26. I hope Matt stops to carefully think about his situation. Tennessee has sunk down to a second rate SEC team lead by a very inexperienced/childish head coach. If Matt is concerned that he won’t get PT right away then the Kiffins already have him doubting his own abilities. Five stars like Elam (Percy Harvin, Janoris Jenkins, Joe Haden) all STARTED as true freshman at UF, not just received frosh PT. The Kiffins’ tactics are to scare 4&5 star top notch recruits into thinking that their best option is to retreat to a bottom-of-the-barrel team. BTW UT won’t stand for all the losing that the Kiffins will continue to bring. In 3-4 years when they leave, the Kiffins will be known mostly having the guile to talk “winning” H.S. atheletes to commit into a “losing” situation. Sad but true … mark my words.

  27. If Elam is in fact as talented as Berry, then he should have nothing to worry about as far as early playing time is concerned… guys that talented would play anywhere they go, including UF. So, if Monte is trying to sell UT by telling Elam he’s as good as Eric Berry, then he’s really selling UF over UT, because at UF he’d get the PT, the coaching, the winning, and the national exposure… at UT he’d just get the PT. We have a long history of putting DB’s in the league; we don’t have to talk about just 1 recent guy. Personally, I can’t wait to see Elam in Orange and Blue, and getting coached up by the guys who REALLY send players on to the next level. Since Meyer’s been here, 20 Gators have been drafted by the NFL, and at least another 5 have signed free agent contracts. This year, we’ve got 4 or 5 guys listed as possibly going in the 1st ROUND, and another 2-3 getting drafted. Wait and see how many players UT sends up to the NFL this year, and what rounds they go in… there won’t be any comparison.

  28. Recruiting against Kiffin and the Vols should be easy for the Gators. All you have to say to the recruit is, “You can come to Florida and play for a coach who will be remembered in time as a legend, and a program that will be remembered as a dynasty or you can go play for a coach in Tennessee that might not be there in two years…..”

  29. Boy wouldn’t it be great if poster “Lane” were really Lane Kiffin! Lane Kiffin: silver tongue but otherwise dumb. I would luv ask him how he is able to “smoke and mirror” these recruits into not noticing that Lane’s past record is nothing but FAILURE, and currently FAILING again at Tennessee. Lane reminds me of someone selling knockoffs on the street or a really cheesy used car salesman … after you walk a few blocks you realize how badly you got ripped off.

    Although I must admit Kiffin is right about one thing … UT starting defenders do and will get a lot of playing time. How embarrassing for the home crowd to watch their defense get absolutely gassed last Saturday by Auburn? Kiffin will take UT right down the path that FSU is currently in (look at how much talent has been wasted there) uhh except when Lane leaves there won’t exactly be a statue of him outside the stadium.

  30. The way I hear it from Coach K is “Gee, Matt…Florida already has players better than you but we don’t. What I really want is those other players already at Florida but, since I can’t have that, I want you! You’re as good as anyone on our team so, come here and you can play right away. I’ll even let you take a shot at winning our starting QB position because even though we’re not real good on defense, we are absolutely lousing on offense. You ever put your hands under a center’s sweaty…I digress”

  31. Let Elam go to UT…since when does UF sweat over losing out on a recruit. Let UT have their recruiting “victory” with Elam if that’s where he chooses to go. Based on his comments, he is more interested in getting to the pros than playing college football. Besides, he could turn out to be a recruiting bust anyway. Remember Sablehouse with UF and Kendra with FSU??? Can’t miss QB’s who FLOPPED!!!!

    We’ve lost out on recruits to UT in the past…last count…we’ve held a sizable winning edge vs. UT over the past 20 yaers. We are the GATORS! Kids WANT to come to UF and play for Meyer and Co. Let Elam take a hike!!!!

  32. Whatever it is their selling recruits in Knoxville is not going to last. They’ve already had a number of defections and they have yet to win an SEC game. (the defections were not recruits but UT players who got to watch up close what the new staff is all about then opted out.) I’d rather see an honest recruiting job like Meyer does and recruits be happily surprised when they get here; i.e. they actually graduate and win ball games and the University rewards them for giving their best by giving them their best as well. This is what coach Meyer is talking about when he talks about building a national championship PROGRAM rather than just having a team that can win a championship. This is what made ‘Bama and the fightin’ irish famous and what will make the Florida Gators a team for the ages.

  33. Thank you Jim and Dr. Stellmacher for the support. True gator fans understand and truly appreciate what Meyer has been able to accomplish at Bowling Green, Utah, and now here. Wow, 2 national titles in 3 years. Amazing really, especially in the ulta-competitive, mini-nfl called the SEC. (Just think of how many great coaches don’t even have a single one, ahem, Mark Richt, even with all his talent) Personally, I used to have to stay up until midnite to see the Gator replay games and then used to try my best to stay up. Considering I was still in middle school, and it was a Friday, it wasn’t easy. But the bond was formed, the blue and orange was now my colors. It used to break my heart to see what Georgia did to us every year. Thanks to Spurrier, and we owe him a bunch, he turned us into winners and not the laughing stock or perennial underachievers of the league. So it does bother me to see other “fans” tell a recruit that we didnt want them anyways, when the truth is we would love to have Elam in the orange and blue, because we true fans understand that, again, with Urban, its NOT just about football, its about being the best, being selfless (where its not just about how much playing time you get, but how much playing time you EARN) by simply doing things the one way Urbs preaches, the RIGHT way. So to all recruits, youre not just coming to Florida to play Football, youre coming here to be part of something special. Lastly, Urbs probably doesnt get enough credit for holding a special ceremony and putting an opposing divisional coach’s name, Steve Orr Spurrier, on the stadium walls during his tenure. Class act. Period.

  34. Tennessee has basically come out and said they approve of Kiffens tactics because any publicity (good or bad) is good publicity. Then later Bruce Peal was in the news for questionable comments. I am sure school supports that publicity as well. As a Gator fan I dont like the kind of message that sends about their athletic department or school in general which is why I like UF in the first place. Elam can do whatever he wants as long as he knows what he is getting into best of luck to him.

    Sometimes a player needs to go to a school where he can start immediately. Look at Snead at Ole Miss and more famously Peyton Manning who was a Florida recruit but went to UT to start immediately because Spurrier would not commit to him over Danny. In that case it worked out. Peyton got to be all that he can be in college. He never won anything and even stayed an extra year to stick it to the Gators….he didnt. As for the Gators? Danny went on to be one of the best college QB’s ever and UF won a title.

    Elam can do what he wants and if we get another title in the process without his help I can live with that.

  35. I was reading the posts and all the bashing of UT makes it seem that UF fans are really scared about recruiting!!!!! You only talk “BS” when you have to make yourself look more appealing!!!!
    Time will tell and things ARE changing. I do like UF and wish you the best, but you are going to have POST-TEBOW SYNDROME and it will hurt!