This is the first in an occasional series of interviews with the new assistant coaches that will work with new coach Trent Miles at Georgia State.
First up is defensive coordinator Jesse Minter:
Q: What is your defensive philosophy?
A: We want to be attacking. We want to put our players in the best position to be successful. The No. 1 thing is take away what an offense does best.
If we play a team that relies heavily on the run then we will do what we have to do to stop the run. If there’s one player that can beat you let’s not let that one player beat us.
I think now in college football you have to be multiple. One week you might play a team that’s going to line up with two backs and two tight ends and try to run it down your throat. Then you might play a team that’s four and five wides.
From a system standpoint you have to have something that’s flexible enough to try to defend all those things. That’s kind of the overview.
Q: What’s the most important position group in your scheme?
A: They are all important. But I think that great defenses start up front and getting guys up front who are physical and can control the line of scrimmage. A lot of the times the best pass coverage is a great pass rush, the guys that can get to the quarterback. You need a man in the middle that can drive the ship and make calls for you and get the guys lined up.
In the back end, it’s more about the skill and putting those guys in position to use the skills they have.
But it starts up front in our defense.
Q: With your dad Rick being a well-known coach, when did you start breaking down film? How old were you?
A: As long as I can remember. I’ve been talking Xs and Os on defense for a long, long time. Probably junior high is when I started really getting into it as far as trying to learn.
I was a football nerd. That’s all I’ve ever cared about it. I don’t have any other hobbies. It’s all football. It probably drives my wife crazy. It’s all football and she takes care of everything else.
Q: How has he influenced you as a coach and as a father?
A: He’s had the biggest influence on me from a character standpoint, from a professional standpoint, how to go about my business.
Probably the No. 1 thing I’ve learned from him outside of Xs and Os is that kids are going to do what you demand of them. Especially dealing with 18- to 22-year-olds, they are going to do what you demand. Some need more than others. Some need less than others. Ultimately, they want to be successful. Eventually, they are going to do what you want them to do; as long as you are consistent with your approach and message you have a chance to be successful.
Q: What’s the good and bad you’ve seen from last year’s Georgia State team?
A: I haven’t spent much time watching it. I probably won’t. I’ve talked to some guys around that are still here. I watched the last game to get a feel for what we needed in recruiting. I think there’s enough there to have a chance, just looking at the classes and things like that. But I’m looking forward to working with those guys.
Q: What do you need, recruiting-wise?
A: We just need a little bit of everything. We’re making a jump up so we have to recruit at a level now that we can win championships in the Sun Belt. That’s our goal. We have to recruit at that level. Certainly, every position could use an upgrade.
Q: You are a young coordinator (29 years old). What’s your best story about someone saying, “You aren’t a coach?”
A: I go into high schools and get, “What class are you supposed to be in?”
I think that as long as you carry yourself and present yourself in a professional manner, and get the players to understand that everything we do is for their best interest.
Everything I ask the players to do is win as many games as possible and for them to get a great education so that they are ready to go into the real world at the end of the day.
Just being young, I try to work around it.
Q: Do you feel like a 29-year-old defensive coordinator? Or, because of your background, do feel much older?
A: I feel like I probably have more experience than that. But I’ve called defenses for two years now. The first year I probably felt a little different. But having done it for two years in a very strong conference on the FCS level and just being around it for so long and talking about it so much and studying different conferences and different schemes, I feel well prepared to be where I’m at.
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu