Andy McCollum knows Georgia: Born at Kennestone Hospital long before it became Wellstar Kennestone; grew up off the Marietta square; played at Marietta High in Northcutt Stadium under the famed Ray Broadaway.
“I was a quarterback,” McCollum said, laughing. “Eric Zeier broke every record I had in about five games.”
Mentioning his roots isn’t just a way for McCollum to make conversation. Those roots are essential to his new job. McCollum is Georgia Tech’s recruiting coordinator, hired from North Carolina State to replace Giff Smith, whom Chan Gailey — hey, didn’t he used to coach at Tech? — hired to coach linebackers for the Buffalo Bills.
The consensus throughout college football is that Smith will be missed. He knew Georgia, too, hailing from Cobb County — he played at Pebblebrook — and working at Georgia Southern before arriving at Tech. Smith was the driving force behind the signing class of 2007, which was ranked No. 18 at the time by Rivals.com but has just been re-rated