Is Georgia Tech getting serious about recruiting?

I used to tell my brother, the Tech fan, that Tech could do a lot worse than to bring Lance Thompson back.  Thompson coached under Saban and has a reputation as a great recruiter.

Well, Thompson’s at South Carolina.  That being said, Geoff Collins may have done better than Thompson, if this news is true.

Alabama offensive line coach Brent Key, a Georgia Tech grad, is expected to join coach Geoff Collins’ staff, according to two people familiar with the situation. Key has been at Alabama for the past three seasons after coaching 11 seasons for Central Florida.

Key was a four-year starter at right guard for the Yellow Jackets (1997-2000), playing for coach George O’Leary, for whom Key coached at UCF. He was there with Collins for two seasons (2008-09).

It appears that Key will continue to coach the offensive line. It’s possible that he could be granted an additional title, such as associate head coach.

At Alabama, Key has contributed to the Crimson Tide’s dominance of college football, helping Alabama win a national championship, two SEC championships and reach the College Football Playoff championship game three times, including this Monday’s game against Clemson.

Alabama offensive linemen have been named All-SEC (coaches) six times in his three seasons. At UCF, he was named a national nominee for the Broyles Award, given to the top assistant coach in the country, from 2012-14.

Further, Key has a reputation as an excellent recruiter. He is No. 2 in 247Sports’ rankings of recruiters for the 2019 class.

I say better, because not only is Key a very solid recruiter, he’s an excellent position coach.  For Georgia Tech, his hire would be something of a real coup and perhaps a sign of things to come.  After all, the Jackets have left a lot of money on the recruiting table since Paul Johnson took over, especially after he lost Giff Smith to the NFL.

I wouldn’t say this presages Georgia Tech becoming a top ten recruiting program.  Nor will Collins surpass Smart on the recruiting trail.  Tech still has and will continue to have too many limitations as a program for that to happen.  Key ain’t in Tuscaloosa anymore, that’s for sure.

But I can easily see a committed GT football program cleaning up enough in state — even if the genius ignored it, let’s not forget there’s a ridiculous amount of in-state talent even after Georgia signs its kids — to raise its national recruiting rankings from the high forties/low fifties where it’s languished to the mid-20s.  Given the current state of the ACC, there’s a lot of hay to be made with that kind of talent base.

If Collins is good with roster management, and don’t forget he spent time with Dan Mullen at Mississippi State, he could field a competitive team that jumps up into the national picture every so often.

Sure, it’s too early to say anything definitive, but things could be getting a little interesting on the Flats.

20 Comments

Filed under Georgia Tech Football, Recruiting

20 responses to “Is Georgia Tech getting serious about recruiting?

  1. Derek

    I’ll believe it when I see it. You can do whatever no one else does with really bad players and win 7 to 10 or do what everyone else is doing with slightly better players and win 6 to 8, and that’s once/if they get to full speed. I just don’t see that a slight upgrade in talent moves the needle for them and I don’t see how they win enough recruiting battles to win at the same game Georgia and Clemson are playing.

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  2. UGA '97

    Yep and hea likely telling a few recruits they start immediately so keep an eye on this over next month. Pittman should have a few more in state battles on his hands he wasn’t expecting. Have they announced the Dline coach yet?

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  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    Let’s see if Tech offensive linemen get away with as much holding as Bama’s.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Go Dawgs!

    I would have preferred that they kept Paul Johnson.

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  5. They are making a big deal about Key’s standing in the national recruiter of the year race, but one of his big hauls in his class of 9 is Tua’s little brother, along with some defensive position guys, so I’m not sure it is Key as much as it is the giant Crimson A by his name. The facilities, the pro pipeline, the national dominance, Tech has none of that. They will still do better than Johnson, but we need to ask ourselves this: how will the current Georgia staff translate three consecutive top 2 classes into the same level of dominance that Saban did at Alabama? Sadly, after the Sugar Bowl and the mishandling of the Fields situation, along with high schoolers (Haselwood) starting to call the staff out on under utilizing perhaps the best crop of offensive talent we’ve ever seen, I’m somewhat skeptical that we have fully broken out of the “Georgia Way”. The Sugar Bowl, the SECCG, and the LSU were classic “Clemsoning” that kept occurring until Dabo broke the curse. Can Kirbs do the same?

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    • Go Dawgs!

      Did we mishandle the Fields situation? Or is Fields a player who wasn’t going to stay if he failed to earn the starting job (which he indeed did fail to do)? Physical gifts aren’t a guarantee of results. In an admittedly limited sample size, I never saw Fields look like the better option than Fromm this year. It’s possible that he would have developed in future years, but this year he wasn’t ready to supplant Fromm and a team with championship aspirations must play the players that have the best chance to lead the team to wins.

      This coaching staff has proven that they aren’t afraid to sit a player with more experience in favor of the better player if the more experienced player is being beaten in practice. We all saw the arm. But we weren’t at practice. If Fields wasn’t playing, folks, it’s because the coaches didn’t like what they saw in practice.

      The only thing that got mishandled was Kirby pumping the kid up in press conferences to keep him happy and keep him on campus to the point that everyone reading the quotes thought that Fields was going to come into the game and blow Fromm off of the field.

      Liked by 2 people

      • For a person who comes from the school of public relations and controlled comms, it surprised me the way Kirby flubbed a lot of it. From the “plan is we have no plan” to the leaking of the transfer (which could be argued was controlled to reel in some QB prospects) it just feels it could’ve been managed better, but I get your point. If he goes somewhere and is successful, I can’t help but wonder how much the Watson/Lawrence/Fields debate would go towards lack of effective recruiting/development at UGA.

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        • spottieottie

          “If he goes somewhere and is successful, I can’t help but wonder how much the Watson/Lawrence/Fields debate would go towards lack of effective recruiting/development at UGA”

          I think that narrative is a little overblown. Fields isn’t going elsewhere because of a lack of effective development, he’s transferring because he couldn’t beat out Fromm, a QB this staff recruited and developed.

          Per 247 19 QBs have earned a 5-star rating since 2010, 11 of them have transferred (a figure that now includes Fields). You can rotate receivers, linebackers, running backs, etc. QB is the only skill position where there’s one clear-cut starter getting the vast majority of the playing time. Fields leaving (and Eason before him) is just the reality of roster crunch.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Bright Idea

        Exactly, Kirby is so into recruiting that he’s always trying to build future teams and his patronizing of Fields cost him. Marcus Spears called it weeks ago. I’m not sure Haselwood is a fit in more ways than one.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Castleberry

    I’d love to be a fly on the wall as he transitions from Bama to Tech.

    “Hey Geoff – Where does the support staff sit? I have some research for them to get started immediately. After I see them, I need to visit the recruiting coordinators to line up all my in home visits until National Signing Day.”

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  7. If we show up to any Tech game dialed in, we win double digits. That was true under Johnson with his funky offense and will be true under Geoff Collins with a talent upgrade. I equate Tech’s best case scenario is to build something equal to Kentucky this year and look what happened in our game.

    If we have a shitty approach, then we can lose that game.

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  8. The Dawg abides

    Damn. What actually worries me about that is who Saban will come after to replace him. Just stay out of Athens Nick.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. JasonC

    Even being an alum, you would figure he would have to get a title promotion or a big pay raise- which seems odd to think Tech would/could outspend Bama- in order to leave the very good situation he has at Bama.

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  10. Bulldog Joe

    “Geoff, where are the linemen and why are these guys diving at my knees?”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mayor

    Forget the Bama connection, Key used to coach at that powerhouse UCF! 😉

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  12. Bulldog Joe

    Short term, it’s another distraction for Alabama. Good news for Clemson.

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  13. 4th and Kirby

    Maybe Key will be like Saban proteges, Muschamp & Son of Dooley.

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  14. PTC DAWG

    Y’all think Alabama even knows he’s gone?

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  15. Rude shock indeed, coming from Bama. First of all, where are my bag men and football does not run the school. What the hell.
    You mean if one of my players at Tech makes it to the pros, they will not be taking a pay cut, as they do at Bama.

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