A Chris Wilson DL puts pressure on an Auburn QB. Yeah, we can get used to that. - Butch Dill
As chuck has already informed you, Chris Wilson will be replacing Rodney Garner in coaching up our defensive big uglies. We'll go a little deeper on the hire here.
With Dan Mullen promoting Geoff Collins to defensive coordinator, reducing Wilson's duties, it shouldn't be a surprise he chose this time to jump ship. And Marc Weiszer has some of the interesting connections between Wilson, and our staff, noting how the former Oklahaoma LB acceted a job as Sooner DE coach when Fabris played the I'm going, no I'm staying game several years back, and how for timing issues we shouldn't expect any announcement before the middle of next week.
To get to know Wilson better, he was, as said above, a LB for Oklahoma coming out of Dallas, TX. He began his coaching career soon after his playing career ended, joining the Indiana State (Go Sycamores!) staff as a grad assistant in 93, and promoted to LB coach there the following year. He bounced around for a while, spending 1995 coaching LBs for Northern Illinois, '96 as DC/DL coach for Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, '97 back at Indiana St as LB coach and recruiting coordinator. Two years at Illinois St working with their DL was followed by a spring at Army, before settling down for a few years on Gary Barnett's Colorado staff. He then spent 2005-2009 back at his alma mater, first as DE coach, then as DE coach and special teams coordinator. He's spent the last three seasons honing his craft in Starkville, first as DL coach, then being promoted to defensive coordinator (in addition to DL duties) once Manny Diaz left for Texas.
Wilson has noted pupils like Fletcher Cox and Jeremy Beal, and is said to be one of the Bizarro Bulldogs best recruiters. And that should help, as he has just a few weeks to build relationships with Montravius Adams, JUCO Toby Johnson, and also junior Nose Kwame Geathers, who may or may not decide to head to the NFL instead of headlining our 2013 DL. Getting this hire in quickly, so he can hit the trails hard between now and that first Wednesday in February is a key move. And while he doesn't seem to have much experience with a 3-4, or recruiting the Peach State, he does have plenty of other positives. And in-state recruiting is something we can build over time, since Bobo, McClendon, Grantham, Ball, etc already do that pretty well, and the kids in state are all pretty well recruited by now, so he has plenty of time to work the 2014 class.
The key question is how well his unit does on the field. Mississippi St finished one spot ahead of Georgia, at 11th in rushing defense among SEC teams. They were 13th in sacks, and in stopping opponents 3rd downs. Hopefully, those numbers improve in Athens, as they were better a year before in Starkville. But time will tell how good of a hire this ultimately proves to be.