Our Georgia Tech beat writer Doug Roberson had a chance to talk to the Yellow Jackets’ new recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach Andy McCollum yesterday as McCollum made the long drive down from Raleigh to Atlanta. Doug had a write-up on McCollum in today’s paper but saved McCollum’s recruiting commentary for us.
McCollum is leaving N.C. State to take over for former Tech assistant Giff Smith, who left to join Chan Gailey with the Buffalo Bills. Those of us who have known McCollum since he was head coach at Middle Tennessee State University know the Marietta native for his down-home sense of humor and sharp wit. He’s long been known in college football circles for his bright football mind and recruiting acumen. He has always recruited the Greater Atlanta area, especially at MTSU when he brought Atlantans up to Murfreesboro by the bus load.
Being able to recruit the area now for Georgia Tech rather than for MTSU or N.C. State has McCollum fired up.
“I’ve walked into high schools with different logos on my shirt and knew it was going to be a fight,” McCollum said. “When I walk in high schools with GT on my shirt, in your own state, that’s exciting.”
McCollum believes he has a much better product to sell with the Jackets.
“Georgia Tech sells itself for a kid who wants a great education and play the top football in the country,” he said. “That all starts with the head coach. The great thing about coming to Georgia Tech is No. 1, the state that you are in. As good of high school football as there is in the country, as good of high school coaches in the country. You ain’t got to go far.
“Then you find the kids that are serious about going to school, serious about an education and serious about football. You want character.”
In terms of the actual recruiting process, McCollum said he approaches prospects on a personal level.
“Recruiting is all about relationships and all about caring,” he said.
Interestingly, N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien on Thursday replaced McCollum with another coach with Georgia Tech ties. Jon Tenuta, who a defensive coordinator at Tech before joining Charlie Weis at Notre Dame, takes over McCollum’s job as linebackers coach for the Wolfpack.