With Smith gone, Tech has to recalibrate recruiting logistics

The timing left a little to be desired, but otherwise it appears the sudden departure of Giff Smith is not going to undo any of Georgia Tech’s good recruiting work.

Smith, the Yellow Jackets’ defensive line coach and well-respected recruiting coordinator, resigned Tuesday in order to accept a position as outside linebackers coach for Chan Gailey’s Buffalo Bills. Smith was actually in Buffalo, N.Y., late Tuesday afternoon as he called the many Tech recruits and players with whom he had a relationship.

“I had actually heard it before I talked to him,” said Denzel McCoy, a committed defensive tackle from Duluth’s Northview High School. “But I wasn’t going to believe it until I heard it from him. Coach Smith is a very goal-oriented person and one of his goals was to coach on the next level. So I told him congratulations. He just said thank you and that he hated that he wasn’t going to get to coach me.”

Defensive tackle Shawn Green of Grayson is the only other current commitment for whom Smith would have been a position coach.

“I first heard it from Coach Johnson,” Green said. “I was like, ‘for real?’ I was shocked. I didn’t see that coming. I liked Coach Smith. He was a good D-line coach and I wish him the best. But it doesn’t change anything at all. I’m still committed to Georgia Tech. The only thing running through my mind is who is going to be coaching me now?”

In the meantime, the Yellow Jackets are having to figure out  how to handle the remainder of its recruiting a week before signing day. The good news is there is not much left to do. Tech currently has 16 commitments and is not expected to sign more than 19 or 20, if that.

Tech’s first move was to divide up the remaining players on their board among the remaining coaches. They’re probably dealing with fewer than a dozen remaining targets for 2010. But dozens of 2011 recruits will be on campus for junior day later this week.

As for logistics, the way Tech ran its operation was Smith oversaw all of the off-campus recruiting while Liam Klein, the director of player personnel, handled all the on-campus dealings such as official visits, unofficial visits, junior days and clinics. Klein will probably absorb a lot of Smith’s administrative duties in the interim along with operations director Jason Snider and assistant operations director Topher Roberts.

What effect it will have going forward is uncertain. As one of the uncommitted prospects the Yellow Jackets continue to pursue, Stephenson defensive tackle Mike Thornton said Smith’s departure did not set them back with him.

“Not at all,” he said. “B.J. [Brian Jean-Mary] is my recruiter but I talked to Coach Smith a lot, too. It doesn’t matter. You don’t go to the school for the coach. You go to the school for the school. So it doesn’t change anything.”

124 comments Add your comment

Cuttysark

January 27th, 2010
5:26 am

Thanks for being right on top of this story as it unfolded Chip. Do the Jackets have a chance with Thornton? Also is Justin Parker still coming in for a visit this weekend? I wish Giff the best as everyone in this profession moves around in order to move up in the coaching circles. Much like military families always moving to a new base every other year. Not sure what the Buffalo Bills will be doing as they are in a very tough division. Time will tell.

Go to http://isportsweb.com for more articles on Georgia Tech football. Go Jackets!

Ron

January 27th, 2010
6:22 am

Believe me, between Johnson and Groh, they will find a great recruiting coordinator and the right guy to be the DL coach. Good luck to coach Giff, but somehow, maybe just the timing of it, this reeks of Chan trying to get back at Tech.

Bubba

January 27th, 2010
6:22 am

The bigger problem for Tech, and its recruits, is that calculus is about to get a whole lot tougher for athletes. The double standard is about to disappear.

Jamie Newberg

January 27th, 2010
6:23 am

Thornton? No Cuttysark. Their chances are 0.

GooberDawG

January 27th, 2010
6:29 am

THey aint gonna git no more guud recroots cuz they aint never got none in the firs place. Tech Nevr been NUTHin!! Dawgs gonna be recrootin champs agin!!!

Tokyo jacket

January 27th, 2010
6:33 am

Cutty, you’re up way too early!

Tokyo jacket

January 27th, 2010
6:35 am

Word on the street is that both Parker and Thornton canceled visits prior to Smith’s departure. Really, at this point, the biggest guy left on our board is Brown. He will be a huge pickup. Also, if we can get Boyd, that will be a big help. A year in a college weight room and we’d be looking at 6′5″ 220 lb 4.4 WR. Does that sound like anyone you know?

those games meant nothing to tech

January 27th, 2010
6:47 am

7366,2414,3024,,,”what has a good recruiter done lately at tech” “what has Georgia done since 1980?” coach paul Johnson…hey i know coach” if those Georgia fans make fun of you yeller jackets, you just punch em in the mouth”, don’t do that with your recruits tho coach if they don’t come to Grant Stadium to play for you…you’ll be tabbed as Woody hayes’s Johnson then…lotta class at the Flagboy technical school these days..course Al will help u groh some nads and recruit more good flagboys

Tokyo jacket

January 27th, 2010
6:52 am

Why are you on a Tech blog at 6:45 AM? Don’t you have a job or a life?

GT fan

January 27th, 2010
7:10 am

Tokyo Jacket- The QB is of Tech’s radar. This is what GT insider said last night.

Bubba

January 27th, 2010
7:14 am

Hey Tokyo, this isn’t the Tech blog. It’s the recruiting blog. The Tech blog will be the one with about three comments on it over a two-week period.

Plain Truth

January 27th, 2010
7:18 am

Where’s all the HUGE linemen that all the armchair coaches tell Tech it needs to compete with the BIG BOY teams? Last look there were none on the recruiting list !! A new recruiter would have to do better than what has been done!

lanier

January 27th, 2010
7:33 am

dont think Giffs departure will affect anything except the hours the remaining guys will have to work.
good thing he went to the pro’s though, cant loose a recurit to them.

r

January 27th, 2010
7:38 am

It is generally not too difficult to keep the 45th ranked recruiting class togther, is it?

Bubba

January 27th, 2010
7:42 am

Actually, every time Tech loses a recruit from this class, it’s ranking goes up.

Vandy Fan

January 27th, 2010
7:59 am

Toyko, Boyd is looking at immediate playing time at VU, he’ll be a Commodore come NSD! He’s visiting GT out of respect, at least I hope that’s all it is.

Weed Killa

January 27th, 2010
8:06 am

r – you are right. It’s also obviously very easy to take 4 and 5 star recruits and turn them into 2’s. Or take a top 10 class and go 8-5.

Reality

January 27th, 2010
8:15 am

Why is it that every Tech blog – recruiting or otherwise – has some ugag goober on it? You would THINK that they have enough to worry about with their pitiful success on the field last season without worrying about other teams.

GA Tech will be fine without Smith. Good luck to him in the future. He assured current recruits that they still made the right decision, and that’s good enough for me. Tech wants recruits to commit to the school, not to some recruiting person, anyway.

In the future, I do agree with a previous poster that we need to recruit the large linemen, especially on defense. The smaller, faster guys may work with some of the ACC or SEC teams, but to beat the large players in the other conferences, we need to match up better.

no dog

January 27th, 2010
8:19 am

Did I miss something? I didn’t see one word in this article about georgy football. So why are these georgy pukes popping off? Georgy bloggers are absolutely the stupidest tools you can find anywhere in the country. Guess we should feel sorry for these losers.

GTMike

January 27th, 2010
8:21 am

The world is aligned properly….even when UGa beats GT these days, it is an upset.

Chew on that a bit, Dawg fans!

What matters is the overall picture. GT finished ranked ahead of you. GT played in a BCS bowl, you played in Shreveport. GT will start next season ranked ahead of you.

Kindly take your trash talking ignorance back to the Dawggie boards where it fits.

SuperB

January 27th, 2010
8:22 am

Of GT’s recruiting coordinator leaving: It’s not like Tech was picking the fruit off the top of the tree!
Most of the guys they have commits from were in the middle of Georgia’s, Alabama’s, and Auburn’s wish lis– if on it at all.

Tech4Life

January 27th, 2010
8:23 am

This is a huge blow for us, but I trust that CPJ will find the right replacement. As for Giff, I cant believe he would go to the Bills under Chan Galey….he must not be concerned with job security.

I wish you luck Giff, I appreciate what you did here and hope that you and Chan can prove me wrong, but I just dont see anything good happening with the Bills

SuperB

January 27th, 2010
8:27 am

Hey loudmouth– yeh you “GT Mike:” Having lost your four best players, having Al Groh try to recruit for you, and having also lost to– let’s see…. Georgia and Iowa in your last two games– keep running that mouth. You– and everybody else– knows 2010 is looking tough. The guy who picked GT so high a couple of weeks ago hadn’t figured on all of this happening.

Tokyo jacket

January 27th, 2010
8:27 am

I don’t think Smith is concerned with job security. It only takes one or two years in the NFL as a position coach to get a coordinator position. He’s doing the right thing for him. If he called all our recruits on his way out and told them they were making the right decision to come to Tech, without him, he’s one of the classiest guys in coaching. Maybe Lane Kiffin should sign up for lessons.

Tokyo jacket

January 27th, 2010
8:31 am

Sorry, meant to say a college coordinator position.

SuperB, we’re 1-1 in our last two games. We won our conference championship. We’ll see what happens in spring practice. Good night all.

The Grinch

January 27th, 2010
8:35 am

GTMike

January 27th, 2010
8:21 am

Yes, the world IS aligned properly. UGA beat tech in football and basketball.

Now about those bowl games:

UGA wins a bowl game with temperatures in the 40s.

tech LOSES a bowl game with temperatures in the 40s.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

dc

January 27th, 2010
8:37 am

What powerhouse did UGA win that great bowl game against?

The Grinch

January 27th, 2010
8:39 am

I have nothing left to do now because the Girls Gone Wild infomercial is over.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

ghost of UGA VII

January 27th, 2010
8:39 am

I keep telling yall, these Georgia fans are idiots, they are the biggest bunch of rednecks this side of Mississippi State, better here than in Shreveport.

brick

January 27th, 2010
8:40 am

Players and coaches bailing as soon as an opportunity comes. Nesbit would be gone too, but playing in that offense has effectively ended his playing career, to bad too he is a pretty decent kid.

wiley

January 27th, 2010
8:41 am

Good to see we have kids committed to the school, and Paul Johnson.

The Grinch

January 27th, 2010
8:42 am

I am the only one that laughs at my posts.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

The Grinch

January 27th, 2010
8:44 am

dc

January 27th, 2010
8:37 am

Who said the bowl was great? I have posted that I didn’t think UGA should go to a bowl. Before my bulldog brethren take me to the woodshed, I’m an old fashioned type who believes there should be roughly half the bowls that are presently played. Maybe back when seasons covered 10 games a 6 or 7 win team deserved a bowl (though I’m not totally convinced), but winning 6 or 7 games in a 12 game season should not qualify you for a bowl. I think it’s absurd that a 6-6 team goes to a bowl. If they lose the bowl game they finish the season with a losing record. I could go on and on, but I’ll stop it here.

Anyway, a few weeks before UGA headed to Shreveport they WERE capable of beating the A She She champ. Is that good enough for you?

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

The Grinch

January 27th, 2010
8:44 am

Todd Grantham held secret meetings believing that Romeo Crennell would be fired and he would take over as Browns head coach. Crennell coached another year and Grantham was later fired because his defense was pitiful.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Bubba

January 27th, 2010
8:46 am

GTMike wrote: ‘The world is aligned properly….even when UGa beats GT these days, it is an upset.’

Wow! Eight upsets in the last nine seasons–amazing!

The Grinch

January 27th, 2010
8:47 am

brick

January 27th, 2010
8:40 am

I really admire Nesbitt. Here is a kid who was considered a passing QB in high school, signs with Auburn, tranfers to tech, and then tech makes a coaching change (an upgrade), but the new coach’s offense is anything but a pro set or passing attack. Josh adapted to many changes and has become a very effective option QB. I believe he as a future in the NFL, just not as a QB.

The Grinch

January 27th, 2010
8:48 am

The Grinch

January 27th, 2010
8:44 am

Come on, imposter, you can do better than that can’t you? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Vick=Dog killing thug

January 27th, 2010
8:49 am

Tech had their 15 minutes of fame. The gimmick offense fooled a few people right out of the gate but now everyone has plenty of film on it.

When the bugs win a bowl game, Any bowl game then maybe they can rub their little insect legs together and make some noise.

wiley

January 27th, 2010
8:52 am

8 of our commitments have offers from UGA….you guys do realize they base the stars on who they are recruited by. For example if Alabama recruits a kid, he automatically gets 4 stars…if tech or uga offers a kid they get three stars. The star system is flawed, but if it makes you feel good about your team…then go right ahead and blindly accept it as the truth.

juvenal

January 27th, 2010
8:55 am

where is boise state’s class ranked?

Steve Spurrier

January 27th, 2010
8:57 am

“Georgia always gets a lot of great recruits…now, what happens to them once they get there, I don’t know…”

collegeballfan

January 27th, 2010
8:59 am

“You don’t go to the school for the coach. You go to the school for the school.”

That is the quote Chip attributed to Mike Thornton. Finally a kid with brains. I have been reading quotes from kids all year and this is the first who knows what recruiting is about. I do not know where he will sign, but someone will get a kid with his feet on the ground. Good for you Mike.

We would love to have him at Tech, instant starter, but my reading is that just will not happen. Too bad.

The Grinch

January 27th, 2010
8:59 am

Steve Spurrier

January 27th, 2010
8:57 am

The thing that burned UGA fans about that quote was the fact that we couldn’t refute it. If happened during the Ray Goof (Spurrier’s words) experiment. It was one of those “painful but true” moments.

RambleOn84

January 27th, 2010
9:00 am

Tech will be fine. Johnson doesn’t need a boatload of 4 and 5 star recruits to win games. It’s not like Giff was consistently pulling those guys in anyway. And as someone else said, he didn’t seem to be doing a great job of coaching up the D-linemen we had either. CPJ and Groh will get someone else who will be good.

collegeballfan

January 27th, 2010
9:01 am

Defensive line coach at GT? How about the guy Al Groh had at UVA? Pretty good defensive line and he put a bunch of guys in the NFL.

ckgator

January 27th, 2010
9:05 am

I miss Lane Kiffin. But not so much….

ckgator

January 27th, 2010
9:07 am

Is anyone selling a Lane Kiffin “It’s Time” t-shirt? I want to wear it up to Knoxville this year for the FL-UT game. Will go nicely with my Gator hat.

Go Gators!

Coach Paul Johnson

January 27th, 2010
9:09 am

We will be fine. We will continue to roll over the Jacksonville State, Duke & Wake Forrests of the world and stomp through the ACC. I implore of our fans to realize we will lose to the bigger fish to fry like UGA, Miami and any bowl opponent we may face. Stop worrying about those bigger fish.

Paddy

January 27th, 2010
9:10 am

What an idea Mr Thornton had. I am going to a school because of the school not the football coaches. Mr Thornton might want to “share” with Mr Robey about the real world and how to aply everyday logic.in decision making. Are there not guidence teachers in schools these days that spend time with players about making wise decisions?

Coach Al Groh

January 27th, 2010
9:11 am

I am hard at work on the recruiting trail trying to bring in a few more flag boys, we had a few last year that quit after sobbing uncontrollably over our 30-24 loss to UGA.