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Yomanser's Recruiting Roundup - 2/6/19 First Edition Analysis

Discussion in 'Georgia Tech Football' started by Yomanser, Feb 6, 2019.

  1. Yomanser

    Yomanser Recruiting Insider Staff Member

    Hi all, and welcome to another edition of Yomanser's Recruiting Roundup. It's been a long time coming, and I'm excited to get back into the swing of things. This edition will include coaching changes, thoughts on the past season, what to expect moving forward, and grades for the staff. The next edition, which will be released Friday, will have in-depth analysis on all of our commits and signees, as well as rankings and thoughts on the signing class. For now, let's dive right in

    First of all, let me just say that Todd Stansbury hired the perfect candidate for the Georgia Tech job. Out of a lot of fan favorites (Tony Elliott, Scott Satterfield, and Ken Whisenhunt[/s]), Geoff Collins pushed for the job the most, and it paid off. He understands the Institute, he knows what he needs to do to push Tech to the next level through branding and recruiting, he is a dynamic coach, and most importantly, he wants to be here. I've heard from some that are worried that he will move onto a bigger and better job in a few years if he is successful. That is a legitimate concern. But I will counter with this: he has stated over and over and over again that Georgia Tech is his "dream job". That is not something to take lightly - he means it. I've also heard that he said the same thing when taking the Temple job - that is factually incorrect and not true. He said he was excited for the opportunity and wanted to do good things, but I cannot find a single instance where he said Temple was his dream job. He has been gunning for Georgia Tech all along. I truly believe he is here for the long run

    I want to address that this past season was hard. We all expected some better results (Pitt and specifically USF come to mind). We ended on a very poor note. It's a shame. But the future looks bright. I will say I was never a fan of getting rid of Coach Ted Roof - I think his recruiting work is excellent (he and his Georgia connections were a large part of the reason Jamious Griffin initially committed to NC State), and a lot of criticism for him was undeserved at many times. Coach Nate Woody struggled here, and was plagued with a lot of the same problems Coach Ted Roof had. That part I believe is systemic and indicative of what Coach Paul Johnson wanted to see from the defense. Still, I think up until he retired, I figured we would have a very special year here next season. But I am excited to see what the future holds for us now

    Moving forward, I expect to see a dip in offensive efficiency (even if we score more points, it will likely be due to number of possessions rather than efficiency), but a steep increase in every defensive category. Coach Geoff Collins and the scheme he runs means we will see a LOT of press coverage, something I have been hoping to see for a long, long time. Coach Dave Patenaude knows his stuff, and he will have a much better time with Georgia Tech's personnel than Temple's, as the personnel fit his spread scheme better (Temple's players were recruited for a more traditional pro style). While I would have liked to see a truly dynamic offensive system designed by a great playcaller (I personally thought Kenny Dillingham would have been excellent here at Tech, but he was unfortunately picked up by Auburn), I think he'll be fine and do a decent job here at Tech. But the staple of the team going forward will truly be the defense

    With that all said, here are my grades for the new hires for the Georgia Tech staff:

    Head Coach: Geoff Collins
    Grade: A+
    Analysis: I've said most of it above already, but I want to elaborate in a couple different areas a little more. I am irrationally excited for Coach Collins. He fits the attitude and culture here perfectly. He's a self-proclaimed nerd (loves Star Wars and who quotes Samwise Gamgee from The Lord of the Rings when taking Temple co-workers to Waffle House) and at the same time understands young culture better than just about every other head coach, and understands how to connect Tech to the youth in Atlanta. Brand and image have become far more synonymous with recruiting, and he's improving every area that those facets. I can't wait for when his image for how this place should look starts to come together
    Pluses: Scheme; Recruiting; Enthusiasm & Passion; Player Connections & Motivation; Area Connections

    Offensive Coordinator: Dave Patenaude
    Grade: C+
    Analysis: Coach Patenaude definitely tries to fits his scheme to his players, but sometimes stalls against finding out the best way to win in a particular game. He overthinks at times and deviates from running what works and tries to change it up, basically just for the sake of changing it up. If he can find what works and then stick to it, he could produce some very good offensive games for Tech, but he'll need to stay out of his own way a little bit. I have faith and confidence that he will end up better here at Tech than he was at Temple, however. His recruiting is subpar, but one thing I will give him is player development. I think he is very good at developing quarterbacks and maximizing their potential. If he plays the right ones, then we could see very good quarterback play here on the Flats
    Pluses: Player Development & Personnel Coaching

    Offensive Line Coach: Brent Key
    Grade: A+
    Analysis: A lot has been said about Coach Key, but there are two things that should excite every fan about his hire: Nick Saban changed up his staff specifically to get him, and his name is not Mike Sewak. Coach Key is one of the best recruiters in the country, and is one of the best developers of talent in the country as well. As far as offensive line coaches go, the best three in the country are Brent Key, Sam Pittman (Georgia), and Bill Bedenbaugh (Oklahoma). To land one of those three is a coup of the highest magnitude. While he had a very rough go as an offensive coordinator (frankly, he was terrible), he has excelled as an offensive line coach at every stop
    Pluses: Recruiting; Player Development & Personnel Coaching; Area Connections; Alum

    Running Backs Coach: Tashard Choice
    Grade: B+
    Analysis: While he's still a little young and unproven, Coach Choice was an excellent decision for running backs coach. He connects extremely well with his players, and gets the best out of them. He has had high success when he played himself, and can attest to what it takes to succeed in that regard. He still has to prove himself a little bit on the recruiting trail, but so far, he has also been the single hardest worker outside of Coach Collins in that regard, and I think he will end up a truly dynamic recruiter, especially learning from the head ball coach. I love the hire, and can't wait to see more from him
    Pluses: Player Connections & Motivation; Enthusiasm & Passion; Area Connections; High Success as a Player; Alum

    Wide Receivers Coach: Kerry Dixon
    Grade: C
    Analysis: Mostly a running backs coach for his career, Coach Dixon has only coached wide receivers during his stop at Florida when Coach Collins was the defensive coordinator there. I'm not sure how great of a developer of talent he is when working with receivers, but he can recruit and brings enthusiasm and passion to the coaching staff
    Pluses: Enthusiasm & Passion; Recruiting

    Tight Ends Coach: Chris Wiesehan
    Grade: A
    Analysis: Coach Wiesehan is an absolute steal for Georgia Tech. He is an incredible developer of talent, and I'm fully surprised he was not picked up as an offensive line coach for somewhere else. To add him in tandem with Coach Key excites me to no end, and I think our offensive line and our blocking is going to be beautiful
    Pluses: Player Development & Personnel Coaching
  2. Yomanser

    Yomanser Recruiting Insider Staff Member

    Defensive Coordinator: Andrew Thacker
    Grade: B
    Analysis: Very pleased to see Coach Thacker being brought from Temple to Tech. He did a great job at Kennesaw State as linebackers coach, and continued that success at Temple. He brings a ton of energy and fire, and his scheme (derived from Coach Collins') is aggressive and fun. I really look forward to what he brings
    Pluses: Player Development & Personnel Coaching; Area Connections; Enthusiasm & Passion; Player Connections & Motivation

    Defensive Line Coach: Jim Panagos (formerly)
    Grade: C-
    Analysis: Coach Panagos is very good at developing players, but never felt like he would fit here at Tech. He's a Northern guy who embodies that personality, and his subsequent hire at Minnesota feels like a far more natural fit (and in fact, is what I think a very good hire for them). He's not a good recruiter (was just about dead last of all FBS coaches in 247's rankings), but his development makes up for that and he knows what he's doing. Still, as a replacement to Coach Riase, he was underwhelming to me, and his connections are just about all up in the Northeast
    Pluses: Player Development & Personnel Coaching

    Defensive Line Coach: Marco Coleman
    Grade: D
    Analysis: I am likely in the minority here, but I don't think this was a particularly great hire. That doesn't mean he won't pan out, but the jury is still very out for me, and here's why I think that. He has had excellent success as a player, but sometimes, the best at a particular sport are not good coaches for that sport (I particularly remember a very good skier who was a ski instructor but couldn't teach others how to do it, and would get frustrated when other people couldn't even figure out how to turn because it just came naturally to him, and he would say "just do it, it's easy" without going into particulars). So just having success does not equate to good coaching. In that same vein, he has little experience and no on-field experience as the position coach for his group, and has not been a college coach ever, so has little to no experience recruiting. As a coach, I think he has a long way to go and a lot to prove, but he could end up being very good in several years. It will be a work in progress, though
    Pluses: High Success as a Player; Enthusiasm & Passion; Player Connections & Motivation; Alum

    Linebackers Coach: Larry Knight
    Grade: B
    Analysis: Very nice to see Coach Knight make his way back to Atlanta as well. His recruiting acumen is excellent, and does a decent job with developing his players too. More than anything, he brings a big recruiting boost, and considering the coach he is replacing in Coach McCollum, that boost is needed
    Pluses: Recruiting; Enthusiasm & Passion; Player Connections & Motivation; Area Connections

    Safeties Coach: Nate Burton
    Grade: B+
    Analysis: Coach Burton embodies hard work and determination, but as a coach, his scheme stands out. He did an excellent job at Shorter University and West Alabama when he was the defensive coordinator there, and the defensive backs under him have all been solid. I'm very happy to see him back here, and he'll succeed in whatever capacity he is in
    Pluses: Scheme; Area Connections; Player Development & Personnel Coaching; Alum

    Cornerbacks Coach: Jeff Popovich
    Grade: B-
    Analysis: If he was simply the cornerbacks coach, I would give Coach Popovich a C-. However, what he brings to the table is huge as far as special teams goes. That's the real reason he's here. He knows his special teams inside and out, and we should see drastic and dramatic improvement in that department
    Pluses: Scheme

    Strength and Conditioning Coach: Lewis Caralla
    Grade: A-
    Analysis: I love Coach Caralla. The only reason he doesn't get a higher grade is because of who he replaces: John Sisk is in his own right also an excellent strength and conditioning coach. I love the fire, energy, and enthusiasm Coach Caralla brings. The strength and conditioning coach is one of the most important hires for a program - he should embody what the head coach wants the program to be. Coach Collins wants energy, fire, and passion (or "juice", as he loves to call it), and Coach Caralla is the literal embodiment of it
    Pluses: Player Development & Personnel Coaching; Enthusiasm & Passion; Player Connections & Motivation; Area Connections

    Behind the Scenes Staff: A+
    Analysis: A much-needed investment into Georgia Tech's staff will pay out dividends in branding and on-field product. Coach Collins hit a home run with a lot of this. The jewel, however, is Patrick Suddes - incredible hire and very excited for him to be here
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  3. Yomanser

    Yomanser Recruiting Insider Staff Member

    Finally, I wanted to go over one thing more, this video that was posted by the Georgia Tech Football Twitter account:

    I cannot begin to tell you just how much I love this video. Literally everything about it. I love the fact that they are showing the staff getting excited in this capacity. I love how they showed this publicly. I love that Brent Key is just clapping because to him, a 4-star is standard. I love the enthusiasm Tashard Choice shows when he lands him. I love the 'frozen-in-place' posture that Dave Patenaude gets when he realizes just how many weapons he will have offensively next year. I love the little personal handshake thing between co-defensive coordinators Andrew Thacker and Nate Burton. I love that Coach Collins got his staff together to watch this and be excited over it. I love the unity and camaraderie the staff already has, as it will seep down into the team and everyone will be better because of it. This video is the greatest video I have seen Georgia Tech Football put out, and I need so much more of it. It already has me pumped up, and I can't wait for next season to start

    That is all for this edition. I wanted to split up the signing day editions because how just how much info and how long they will be, so look for the next installment in a few days. As always, I appreciate any and all feedback, and I am more than happy to welcome comments and thoughts on the above. Let me know if you have any more questions or need clarification on anything
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
    Kmur5, AlaGTech, Lexjacket and 47 others like this.
  4. ATL1

    ATL1 Helluva Engineer


    This is great. I like the Coleman hire personally and he brings NFL experience.

    Will there be a breakdown of the recruits?
  5. Yomanser

    Yomanser Recruiting Insider Staff Member

    There will be a breakdown of the recruits. That is coming in a couple of days. Just a ton of info to digest, so wanted to split it up into two threads to make it easier for folks
    GTonTop88 and gtjackets930 like this.
  6. bwelbo

    bwelbo Helluva Engineer

    With regards to the coaches, I feel like we've had actually pretty good coaches here and there, but haven't broken through. I think the reason is because of recruiting. So if some of these guys you graded pretty low can help move the needle on recruiting, I am willing to give them a chance.
    Yomanser likes this.
  7. Buzzbomb

    Buzzbomb Helluva Engineer

    Can you go over the supposed rule that Tom Lugginbill referred to, that new head coaches get one year from the hire date on adjusting the 85 man roster?
  8. bwelbo

    bwelbo Helluva Engineer

    Also, I posted this elsewhere, but this is probably a better thread fit:
    * Georgia Tech is currently ranked #45 nationally and #8 in the ACC with 1365 points per Rivals.
    * Note that Ezzard doesn't count, as he is transferring in. If he did count, we'd have 1470 points, which would rank us 39th.
    * And repeat if we counted Southers, etc.

    Other teams can't count their transfers either, so its not really fair to move ourselves up that way, but hopefully you get the point.

    Per Rivals, we have 7 guys in this class rated 5.7 or higher, which is the most since the 2010 class. Ezzard would be guy #8 if we included him.

    The final 11 guys that signed after Collins was hired average out at 5.6 (8 2019 guys plus 3 transfers (Southers, Davis, Ezzard). That compares favorably to previous classes. I will add also that Collins had to work hard to scrounge up some folks (like TEs) late which negatively impacted the ratings. It also had to be pretty challenging to be the only coach on staff until after the bowl game and to fight all the uncertainty and negative recruiting. I also would say he and the staff deserve credit for their only currently being 1 transfer.

    Things to me look good so far.
  9. YellowJacketFan2018

    YellowJacketFan2018 Helluva Engineer

    I'm very pleased with the job Geoff Collins and his coaching staff have done on the recruiting trail and i think it will only get better in the years to come
    jayparr and iceeater1969 like this.
  10. takethepoints

    takethepoints Helluva Engineer

    This is about where VT usually ends up in an average year (not this year, however; they did extremely well). And that's about where I hoped we'd end up. Good work for a first year.
    YellowJacketFan2018 likes this.
  11. gtwcf

    gtwcf Helluva Engineer

    Just my opinion, if you're taking risks on staff, RB and DL are the places to do it (a little less mental and more talent and minor technique teaching). I think Tashard is going to tear up in South ATL.

    Coleman is a little light on resume, but had a successful NFL career and has also helped in total development (finances primarily). Whether he would've been offered the job if he wasnt a Tech alum probably has some merit.

    Caralla seems like a home run hire. At least from the motivation side.

    My lingering question is did the whole staff need to be replaced? I think McCollum and Riase could've fit with the new culture, but sometimes you just need to make your mark.

    I also kind of would have liked someone with HC experience. From my understanding, CGC does have some game management issues, but he'll learn those with time.
  12. H-Wade

    H-Wade Helluva Engineer

    Thanks for the recap! Can you go into specifics for what the job duties are for Suddes? He got a big shout out from CGC in the press conference today so I wonder what all he does to be held in such high regard. Being able to take Malzahn's right hand man sounds like it was HUGE!
  13. CuseJacket

    CuseJacket Administrator Staff Member

    As today's @Yomanser roundup isn't entirely focused on recruiting, we decided to move this one to the main football forum.

    If you're interested in a dedicated recruiting round-up covering our 2019 class, take note of his teasers above that it's coming on Friday(ish). You'll be able to find that in the Recruiting forum here: Georgia Tech Recruiting: Football
    Yomanser likes this.
  14. GTRock

    GTRock Helluva Engineer

    Change title to Staff Roundup
    awbuzz likes this.
  15. 00Burdell

    00Burdell Helluva Engineer

    My $0.02 on Coleman is that The Raiders thought he was good enough to hire and it was a much riskier hire for them.
  16. FightWinDrink

    FightWinDrink Helluva Engineer

    Devil’s Advocate: the raiders have been one of the worst run organizations in the NFL for close to 15 years
  17. GTNavyNuke

    GTNavyNuke Helluva Engineer Featured Member

    Thanks for the summary!! Any other details on why you think Popovich is so good for ST? I assume you mean ST coverages and returns. Or does that include kicker development?
    Yomanser likes this.
  18. iceeater1969

    iceeater1969 Helluva Engineer

    On his own nickel Griffin went to the ga tech basketball game with Choice and Coleman - both NFL and gt stars.

    This could be a dynamic recruiting combination.

    In year 3 what a 5 star dt would do for us would be epic.

    Agree completely that Andy and rice would be great addition. Iiwii
  19. tmhunter52

    tmhunter52 Helluva Engineer

    Eric, is that you...?
  20. crut

    crut Helluva Engineer

    I am on board with this analysis from my own (much less-worthy) observations as well!

    I agree Coleman is the biggest reach, but he is a noobie so really he is just more of an unknown than a below average coach at this point. And I think you see this reflected by his responsibilities. He is only responsible for DEs and OLBs, that's it.

    If I were to fight for any of the coaches to get a higher grade than you gave, it would be Kerry Dixon. I think his recruiting prowess has the potential to end up being as strong, dare I say possibly even stronger, than Brent Key's. His ties are also to Ohio, Florida, and Texas which are 3 huge recruiting areas. He seems like a really smooth operator that will be able to win over recruits and their families.

    To your point on his unknown status as a WRs coach, it was good to hear CGC today say he is "one of the best WR coaches in the country." Obviously Collins loves to pump the positivity but I haven't heard him bend the truth in statements like that too much, so maybe he sees something.

    Overall thanks for doing this! Lots of awesome insight that just has me more pumped for the future!
    Yomanser likes this.

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