Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is having a big season. He has caught 75 passes for 1,193 yards in his sophomore season, including some remarkable touchdown catches in the past few weeks.
It might come as a suprise to former USC Trojans and Tennessee Volunteers head coach Lane Kiffin. The coach told Jeffery when trying to recruit him to Tennessee, that if he chose South Carolina he’d wind up pumping gas.
From a a 2009 ESPN report from Chris Low:
To make a long story short, Jeffery took his visits to South Carolina and Tennessee, and the Trojans never quit recruiting him.
“He tried his best to talk me out of it, but my mind was made up,” said Jeffery, who still refers to Carroll as “Pete.”
Kiffin was equally dogged. But when it was obvious that Jeffery wasn’t going to Tennessee, Kiffin took off the gloves.
According to Jeffrey and (Walter) Wilson, Kiffin told Jeffery that if he chose the Gamecocks, he would end up pumping gas for the rest of his life like all the other players from that state who had gone to South Carolina.
Jeffery was doing his best to stay awake at that point, but that comment from Kiffin woke him up. He clearly hasn’t forgotten it, either.
“He said it, but it’s not worth talking about,” Jeffery said.
Of course now Jeffery is making Kiffin eat his words on a weekly basis. His impressive breakout season was punctuated with an incredible catch in the corner of the end zone for a touchdown on Monday Night Football.