Kiffin steals one from Vols, Wildcats

The thinking in SEC Country was that Kentucky and Tennessee would battle it out for linebacker Lamar Dawson of Danville, Ky.

Lane Kiffin, who once had a cup of coffee in the SEC, had other ideas.

Dawson, one of the top-rated prospects in the state of Kentucky, announced Wednesday morning that he was signing with Southern California.

The Vols had recruited Dawson hard, and it was a big blow to lose him, although that blow was lessened by getting linebacker Curt Maggitt of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., on Tuesday night. Maggitt was the Vols' fifth ESPNU 150 selection.

For the Wildcats, losing Dawson was a real killer. With so few marquee prospects coming out of the state of Kentucky compared to the other SEC states, it's imperative that the Wildcats keep those top guys at home. Dawson was one of the most highly recruited players in years to come out of Kentucky.

The key now for Kentucky is holding onto tight end Jon Davis of Louisville. He's been committed to the Wildcats for some time, but will announce at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday if he's staying with that commitment or switching to Louisville or Illinois.