UGA has moved quickly to replace Tracy Rocker by poaching Ole Miss DL coach Tray Scott.
It took Kirby Smart and UGA less than 24 hours to find a replacement for Tracy Rocker. Tray Scott was only hired by Ole Miss a few months ago from UNC but instead of heading to Oxford, he’ll be moving to Athens instead. Scott spent 2 years at North Carolina and was seen as an up and coming coach when Hugh Freeze picked him up.
"“I’ve spent a lot of time watching him and the kids love him. He’s really hands-on, he’s involved and he gets as sweaty as the kids are,” Jones said. “He looks like a player. He gets down in there, he does drills with them and he shows them stuff. He’ll get down in a four-point stance and he’ll hit the dummy like he’s competing for a starting job.”"
Scott spent the past 2 years changing the scheme within the UNC front. In doing so, he spent a lot of time teaching his players about how to correctly use their technique.
"“He wasn’t dealt a great hand to work with because they were transitioning from a 4-2-5 to a 4-3 base and their 4-2-5 was really small,” Jones said. “But they did improve a lot. Their run defense, as much maligned as it has been, has really made a lot of progress. I know that Nazair Jones (former UNC defensive lineman who is leaving early for the NFL Draft) spoke very highly about Coach Scott teaching him to play lower and more aggressive and I would say that’s where they probably made their most strides, that and handling their gap responsibilities better.”"
It’s certainly interesting to see UGA swoop in and poach an assistant coach that another SEC school had only just hired. Scott does not have the recruiting reputation of some of the bigger names that were linked with the job, but he was the youngest coach at UNC and brought in several impact players this past year. He was very involved in bringing in Jake Lawler last year but expectations will be much higher at UGA.
Having only been a position coach for 2 years, Scott has not had much time to build a resume for himself, but the above quotes show why he is so highly thought after. Smart will be hoping to buy in early on an up and coming young coach. If he approaches recruiting the way that he seems to approach practice, chances are that he could be a real force in the future.