The plan is starting to come together defensively. After Kevin Sherrer, formerly the defensive coordinator for South Alabama, became official over the past week we started to get an idea of what Jeremy Pruitt was looking for on his defensive staff. And now, with reports that Atlanta native and College Football Hall of Famer Tracy Rocker is joining the Dawgs as well, things are starting to come into focus. Rocker is slated to coach DL, with Sherrer either inside or outside linebackers. We can assume, since neither Rocker nor Sherrer have much special teams experience, that the remaining LB coach hire will have that on their resume.
Georgia will also likely be able to take their time on this one. Recruiting doesn't have too much left to do, and with Pruitt hitting the ground running there, along with established recruiters Bobo, McClendon, Lily, and others able to help out, we don't need help in that regard. Plus with Sherrer being at Alabama as Director of Player Development until this past season, and with Rocker being a well known name in Atlanta circles due to his playing career and long history coaching at Arkansas, Ole Miss, and Auburn among other southern schools, they will also be quickly able to help close out the 2014 class and get things started with 2015 kids.
Looking deeper at the hires, Sherrer is a familiar face for Pruitt and should be very familiar with his schemes and how our new defensive coordinator likes to do things. Both coached under Colquitt County's Rush Propst at Hoover High in Alabama, with Sherrer replacing Pruitt as defensive coordinator when the new DC moved on to Alabama. When Pruitt moved from Director of Player Development to DB coach under Nick Saban, Sherrer again followed right in his footsteps. The Oneonta, Alabama native left for South Alabama just last season to take over as defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach, so this will be just his second season as a full fledged college assistant football coach, and his first season coaching LBs collegiately.
Sherrer has worked with Pruitt before, and helped him teach and install his schemes before, at multiple levels assuming they worked closely in Tuscaloosa on the field as well as at Hoover. That level of familiarity will be invaluable to the new defensive staff as they get to work with players. His recent experience as a high school coach also should help him relate to players and coaches on the recruiting trails.
Rocker seems a lot older than his 46 years, if just because he's been a big name around the state and the sport for so long. Rocker was a prep star at Fulton High School, and both he and his younger brother David became stars at Auburn after high school (David is now head coach at NAIA's Point University in Atlanta). Tracy has spent pretty much the last decade coaching defensive lineman in the SEC or NFL, having been with the Titans for the past 3 seasons. And he's been doing it extremely well. He has recruited at a high level, and coached at the highest levels, and it's hard to imagine a better hire for DL coach for the University of Georgia. We can expect him to make an instant impact both on the field, and in recruiting.