It appears that Kirby Smart has moved quickly to replace the recently departed Tracy Rocker. While there’s been no official confirmation out of Athens, FootballScoop.com is reporting that Ole Miss defensive line coach Tray Scott will be joining the Bulldog staff in the same capacity. Neal McCready of Ole Miss Rivals affiliate RebelGrove.com has also reported the move.
Ole Miss DL coach Tray Scott has accepted the same position at Georgia, per Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze.— Neal McCready (@NealMcCready) February 8, 2017
Scott hasn’t actually coached a game for the Rebels, having only recently been hired after two seasons as the defensive line coach at North Carolina under Larry Fedora. With Scott on the team in Chapel Hill the Tar Heel defense showed significant progress in year one, allowing over two touchdowns per game fewer points. The 2016 Tar Heels finished 43rd in scoring defense.
One expects that Smart must have seen something in the Bulldogs’ season-opening victory over the Tar Heels that made him think Scott is the man for the job. Another check mark in Scott’s favor is that he has already been recruiting many of the defensive line prospects on Georgia’s recruiting board, albeit for another school. So building relationships will be less of an issue than it would have been with some other hires, from the NFL ranks for example.
Prior to his time at North Carolina Scott served as the defensive line coach at UT-Martin in 2013 and 2014. He was a graduate assistant at Arkansas State in 2010 and 2011 then at Ole Miss in 2012 (the latter two years served under head coach Hugh Freeze).