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.