Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

North Avenue Buzz

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

Georgia Tech is a great academic institution that has also been known for having strong athletic programs.

They are a program that has multiple national championships on their resume in football and they have played in several bowl games.

Brent Key had his first full season as head coach for the Yellow Jackets last year. Key took over after the 2022 season and he went 4 – 4. He looked like he might find success and he delivered.

Tech went 7–6 overall and 5–3 in the ACC in 2023. On the surface that does not sound impressive, because it’s just one game over .500. This was their first bowl appearance since 2018, which was Paul Johnson’s final season.

They started the season 2 – 3 with an embarrassing home loss to Bowling Green. The highlights of their season were two upsets over North Carolina and Miami, both were ranked 17th at the time of the game.

They played in the Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa, Florida and they beat UCF 30-17. Now the question is can they build on that in 2024?

The transfer portal is huge in college football and unfortunately, the Yellow Jackets are dealing with that. They had 32 players enter the portal ahead of the 2024 season.

Some of the key players leaving are corner back KJ Wallace (UCLA), defensive lineman D’Quan Douse (Michigan State), corner back Kenan Johnson (Utah), defensive end Kyle Kennard (South Carolina), quarterback Zach Wilson (Georgia State), wide receiver Juju Lewis (FIU) and defensive end Malcolm Pugh (Louisiana Tech).

They also acquired players in the transfer portal. They added a few more from the spring. Tight end Josh Beetham (Michigan), safety Jayden Davis (Cincinnati), defensive lineman Thomas Gore (Miami), defensive end Romello Height (USC), cornerback Zachary Tobe (Illinois), linebacker E.J. Lightsey (Georgia), corner back Warren Burrell (Tennessee), defensive lineman Ayobami Tifase (Florida State) and defensive lineman Jordan van den Berg (Penn State).

The Yellow Jackets ranked 120th in total defense last season out of 130 FBS teams. It’s good to see them addressing that side of the ball because they were awful.

Quarterback Haynes King transferred in from Texas A&M. He passed for 2,842 yards, 27 touchdowns and he rushed for 737 yards and 10 TD’s. He did lead the ACC with interceptions so he will need to improve his decision making and cut down on his turnovers. He is one of the best quarterbacks in the conference.

Georgia Tech has a total of 17 starters returning, which is tied for 7th with Cal. They have eight on offense and seven on defense.

That includes most of their offensive line, leading rusher Jamal Haynes and top-two receivers Malik Rutherford and Eric Singleton Jr. Haynes rushed for 931 yards, 7 scores and averaged 6 yards per carry. He had 1,129 all-purpose yards. I think he could have a breakout year in 2024.

The season opens August 24th against Florida State in Dublin, Ireland. FSU will be favored to win this game.

The other games where they will be underdogs are against Notre Dame at Mercedes Benz Stadium and at Georgia.

The games I expect them to win are Georgia State, Syracuse, VMI and Duke.

The other games that are too close to call are Louisville, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Miami and NC State.

I think they are capable of winning six games again, if they stay healthy.

As of now their 2025 recruiting class is ranked 22nd in the country and that could improve with another good season.



Fixed Wreck?

By: Colin Lacy news services

The past calendar year in mid-town Atlanta has been encouraging for Georgia Tech with Coach Brent Key having the interim tag removed and being named the full-time head coach.

He is capping off a 7-6 2024 season with a Gasparilla Bowl championship for the first bowl victory since 2016.

Even with so much positivity including their first winning season since 2018, everyone hopes it’s just the beginning of what is to come for the Ramblin’ Wreck.

Less than a month into the off-season, changes have already been made by Coach Brent Key on the defensive side of the ball, especially. Key announced earlier in the week the additions of former Duke & Miami assistant, Jess Simpson, and former Memphis defensive line coach Kyle Pope to the defensive staff. The Jackets plan to wrap up the additions to the defensive staff by month’s end.

Like everyone in the “new age” of College Football, Georgia Tech has made the most out of the transfer portal. Still 7 months away from the start of the 2024 season, Tech has added 23 new players with 10 of those being transfer portal additions.

Of the 13 high school players added to the White and Gold, the Wreck added one of the highest rated recruits in Tech history in wide receiver Isiah Canion out of Warner Robins.

In addition to the new blood, the Jackets have an impressive core returning, including quarterback Haynes King. King threw for over 2,800 yards and twenty-seven touchdowns while running for over 700 yards and ten more scores.

King transferred to Atlanta from Texas A&M and was a huge addition to the 2023 Jackets club setting the Georgia Tech single season record for touchdowns responsible for (37), which snapped the previous record of 35 set by Joe Hamilton in 1999.

Along with King, GT also will see how Jamal Haynes follows up the 128-yard performance in the Gasparilla Bowl and Gasparilla Bowl MVP in 2024.

The Jackets also return four of the five starting offensive line that helped GT average 204 yards per game on the ground and only allowed fifteen sacks on the 13-game season.

Jordan Williams, Weston Franklin, Ethan Mackenny and Joe Fusile all return to anchor the offensive front for offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner.

While the defensive staff is being re-tooled, Tech will retain their leading tackler from the 2023 campaign as Kyle Efford returns for the 2024 season to anchor the linebacking core.

Ahmari Harvey, Clayton Powell-Lee, and Rodney Shelley all played vital roles in the secondary for Brent Key and return along with veteran safety LaMiles Brooks.

The Jackets will retain the majority of the defensive front as well along with the boost in the return of Sylvain Yondjouen after missing most of the past year with a knee injury.

While the last year and some change since Brent Key took over on the Flats have been an incredible rejuvenation of the Jackets program, I still think the best days are ahead.

Between the emergence of young blood in the program (on and off the field) and the sheer passion that Brent Key exudes for college football and especially Georgia Tech football, the 2023 season was a year of gaining confidence.

Boy, did it grow with each passing game and may have been sparked by a last second touchdown at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami after the Hurricanes didn’t kneel the clock out; Tech forced a fumble and Haynes King drove the length of the field to give the Jackets an unimaginable comeback win.

While Miami Coach Mario Cristobal would like to forget that game, that’s a game that the White and Gold will never forget and showed many people that the Wreck was back on the tracks.

Fixed Wreck?

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

This is the first full season for Georgia Tech head coach Brent Key.

He took over as the interim head coach last season after Geoff Collins was fired. The Yellow Jackets started the 2022 season 1 – 3 before Collins was relieved of his duties. Once Key took over he went 4 – 4.

It looks like that momentum has carried over to this season. Tech is bowl eligible for the first time since 2018, which was Paul Johnson’s final season.

Key is a Georgia Tech alumnus and football letter winner. It is impressive that he lead this team to a bowl game because it did not look possible about halfway through the season.

They were 2 – 3 at the end of September. They suffered an embarrassing home loss to Bowling Green and it looks like that was the turning point.

The next game was at No. 17 Miami and they pulled off an improbable win that turned the season around. The Hurricanes should have taken a knee in the final minute of the game but they ran a play and fumbled. Tech recovered and Haynes King threw a 44-yard touchdown pass to Christian Leary with two seconds remaining to win, 23 – 20.

“We should have taken a knee,” Miami coach Mario Cristobal said.

Said coach Key: “We kind of thought they were taking a knee.”

Miami outgained GT 454-250 and had 23 first downs to the Yellow Jackets’ 12 but it did not matter.

They beat Syracuse 31 – 22 at Bobby Dodd Stadium to become bowl eligible. As a result, Orangeman head coach Dino Babers was fired after coaching there for 8 years.

The defense played well and held Syracuse to 94 yards at halftime.

“With them coming out in that Wildcat offense and running the ball a bit more it kind of allowed us to showcase our talents as a linebacker group and show that we can actually stop the run,” linebacker Paul Moala said.

Syracuse ran for almost 400 yards the previous week in a win over Pittsburgh. The Jackets contained the Orange to half that total.

“We really simplified things in this game, ran some simplified things within the plan, allowed the big guys up front to be able to do what they do,” Key said. “Good plan put together by the defensive guys in being able to do that and came up with some key turnovers at some key times.”

Quarterback Haynes King has played better than expected. He was at Texas A&M for 3 seasons and he did not do much before transferring to Georgia Tech. King has passed for 2,597 yards, 26 touchdowns, 15 interceptions and he’s completing 62% of his passes. He’s also the second leading rusher with 624 yards, 7 TD’s and he averages 6.4 yards per carry.

Running back Jamal Haynes is the leading rusher with 850 yards, 7 scores and he averages 6 YPC.

I think the program is taking a step in the right direction to be a solid winning program that can expect to play in a bowl game each season.

Old Familiar Sting?

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

Georgia Tech has a great athletic tradition. When I was growing up they were one of the few programs where the football team went to bowl games and the men’s basketball team made the NCAA tournament consistently.

From 1997 to 2014 there was just one losing season, and even then it was because the 2010 team lost the Independence Bowl. Over the last few years that has completely changed.

The last winning season for the Yellow Jackets was in 2018. That was also Paul Johnson’s final season in Atlanta.

The Geoff Collins era began after that. Collins was flashy and seemed to be more concerned with establishing a social media presence than focusing on coaching. He was fired after the team started the 2022 season 1 – 3. His overall record at Tech was 10 – 28.

Assistant head coach/offensive line coach Brent Key was named the interim head coach. He led them to a 4 – 4 record and the interim tag was taken off on November 29 as Key was named Georgia Tech’s 21st head football coach.

This seems like a perfect fit to lead the program in the right direction. Key played guard at Tech from 1997 – 2000, starting all four years. The team showed significant improvement when he took over and they hope that momentum will carry over into the 2023 season.

Quarterback Jeff Simms transferred to Nebraska. He was the starter for the last three seasons. Haynes King has transferred in from Texas A&M and he is battling Zach Pyron for the starting job. King has a 3 – 4 record as a starter for the Aggies.

Wide receiver Dominick Blaylok has also transferred in from UGA. He’s a former four-star recruit that has battled injuries. He tore his ACL as a freshman in 2019 and later re-injured it in 2020. Last season he caught 15 passes for 227 yards and a touchdown.

This season the Atlantic and Coastal Divisions have been eliminated. With the two-division setup gone, the top two teams will now play for the ACC Championship.

The offense should be better this season. In 2022, the Yellow Jackets had the worst passing offense in the ACC, were dead last in third down conversions, downfield passing, and tackles for loss allowed. The team scored more than 16 points just five times – those were the five wins, by the way.

The offensive line has to step up. They have four starters returning so that experience should help.

Transfer linebackers Braelen Oliver (Minnesota) and Andre White, Jr. (Texas A&M) are hard hitters that played roles for their former teams. They have a chance to be stars this season. Defensive lineman Etinosa Reuben transferred from Clemson and he will bring a physical presence to the D line.

Junior LaMiles Brooks is one of the best safeties in the ACC. Last season he had 52 tackles, three interceptions and he earned third-team all-ACC recognition in his first season as a starter.

Let’s take a look at the schedule and see how this season should play out.

Wins: SC State, Bowling Green, Boston College, at Virginia

Losses: Louisville, at Ole Miss, at Wake Forest, at Miami, North Carolina, at Clemson, Syracuse, Georgia

I picked the games that should be wins for the Yellow Jackets. I think they have a chance against Louisville, Wake Forest and North Carolina. If they can win two of those games they will play in a bowl game.

Spring Buzz

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

Georgia Tech played their 2023 Spring Game on April 15.

This was the first spring game for head coach Brent Key. He took over as interim head coach last season after Geoff Collins was fired.

The Yellow Jackets started the 2022 season 1 – 3. Key went 4 – 4, which led to Tech removing the interim tag.

The program has been in disarray since Paul Johnson retired after the 2018 season. That was also the last time they played in a bowl game.

They look to get back on track in 2023. Let’s take a look at the White and Gold Spring Game.

The White and Gold teams were divided with offensive and defensive players on each team, rather than one team with all offense and another with all defensive players. It gave the players a chance to play in a different format than they had in practice.

Key was looking for the players to focus all their energy on themselves and to execute the plays. “I thought we did a good job of that,” Key said.

Freshman quarterback Zach Pyron was the first quarterback on the field. He operated out of the shotgun for much of the drive. There were a lot of two tight end sets and UGA transfer Brett Seither was splitting out wide often.

Pyron got the team down to the eight-yard line and running back Dontae Smith carried it in to give ‘Team Wreck’Em’ an early lead.

After that, Texas A&M transfer Haynes King took the field as QB for ‘Team Swarm’. He is a former four-star recruit and he showed flashes of that. He led the team down to the goal line but the defense stepped up and forced a 4th and goal. King hit Avery Boyd for a touchdown and tied the game.

Pyron finished the game 11 for 16, 153 yards and one touchdown.

King was 4-11 for 94 yards on Team Swarm, 9-11 185 yards and two touchdowns on Team Wreck’Em. Zach Gibson was 5 for 7 with 64 yards.

Junior running back Trey Cooley led all rushers with 59 yards on eight carries. Jamie Felix had seven carries for 29 yards, Smith had five carries for 27 yards, Evan Dickens had six carries for 24 yards.

Malik Rutherford led all receivers with seven catches for 154 yards. D.J. Moore had four catches for 92 yards, Boyd had two catches for 66 yards, Dylan Leonard had four catches for 43 yards, and Christian Leary finished with three catches for 35 yards.

Both Sirad Bryant and Ahmari Harvey finished with six tackles.

Team Wreck ‘Em won the game 42 – 24.

Were there good things in the scrimmage? Key answered that by saying, “yeah there were good things, and we made some plays on both sides of the football.” Key laughingly noted that there were calls that the referees could have made that they missed. “No penalties, that’s huge,” Key said with a smile. “I don’t know how that happened today.”

The offense looked good in the scrimmage. Only time will tell if that will be the case when they play other teams. The season kicks off Friday, September 1st against Louisville.

At The End Of The Rainbow

By: Garrison Ryfun news services

Just before Saint Patrick’s Day, Florida State and Georgia Tech announced they would play their 2024 season opener in Ireland as a part of the Aer Lingus College Football Classic.

This will be the 9th college football game played in Ireland, and one of the few times neither school playing in Ireland has had an Irish/catholic connection.

The Aer Lingus College Football Classic started in 2016 with a contest between Georgia Tech and Boston College, where the Yellow Jackets prevailed 17-14.

The Classic then took a five-season break and finally returned in Fall of 2022, with a matchup between Nebraska and Northwestern last season.

Now, The Classic seems serious about bringing a week 0 college football game to Ireland, with games set up to begin the 2023 and 2024 seasons.

Notre Dame, a more fitting brand for Ireland, is set to take on Navy to start the 2023 season at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland for The Classic.

There are pros and cons to the more increasingly common, neutral-site season openers – even ones that take place outside of the United States.

The biggest pros are for the student athletes and brand of college football in general.

The student athletes get to go and experience a different country and different culture, something many of which likely have never done in their lives.

The brand of college football also gets to be put onto display for Irish citizens, who have likely never experienced American college football in their lives.

The cons for a college football brand is losing a home game and the revenue that the local businesses around your school usually get with a home game.

In this case, the home team would have been Georgia Tech, and the game would have been played in Atlanta, Georgia.

This is one case where I do not think local businesses will be as hurt with a neutral-site game. Though there is said to be a large alumni base of Florida State graduates in the Atlanta area.

This kind of classic abroad is also done in the National Football League with five games already set to be played out of the United States in the 2023 season: with the Bills, Titans, and Jaguars playing in London and the Chiefs and Patriots both hosting games in Germany.

This is all done in an attempt to grow the brand of American Football abroad.

Something that may wind up failing, but as long as the governments of these countries continue to advocate for it – American football will be there to show off in all its glory.

The Next King Bee?

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

Georgia Tech fired head coach Geoff Collins after starting the season 1 – 3. Collins never won back-to-back games at Georgia Tech. He was outscored 210-20 over the final 5 games of his tenure against FBS opponents.

Offensive line coach and run game coordinator Brent Key filled in as interim head coach.

Key went 4 – 4 and led the Yellow Jackets to some upset wins. They beat #24 Pitt and #13 North Carolina. He has interviewed for the position but I don’t believe Tech is going hire him.

Athletic director, Todd Stansbury was also fired with Collins. J Batt was hired as the new AD after working at Alabama for five years as its executive deputy AD, chief operating officer and chief revenue officer. He’s also made stops at East Carolina as the senior associate athletics director and at Maryland as the associate AD.

We are going to take a look at the finalists for the position. Bill O’Brien is one of the names that has been mentioned. The 53-year-old was an assistant for the New England Patriots from 2007 to 2011. He also replaced Joe Paterno as head coach at Penn State from 2012-13. O’Brien became the head coach of the Houston Texans in 2014 and stayed until 2020.

He was hired as the offensive coordinator at Alabama in 2021. He helped the Crimson Tide to a Southeastern Conference Championship in 2021 while assisting Nick Saban in crowning his first Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback (Bryce Young). O’Brien coached Alabama’s offense to 40.8 points per game this season.

Tulane head coach Willie Fritz is also one of the four coaches interviewed for the position. He led the Green Wave to a 10 – 2 record and they are ranked No. 18 in the nation. He’s been at Tulane since 2016 and his overall record is 41 -45.

Fritz met with the media today ahead of Tulane’s conference championship matchup and he was asked about the reports that have linked him to the Georgia Tech head coaching job. Here is what Fritz had to say:

“I talked to the team about it and obviously the initial report gets more traction than the secondary report but I am the head football coach of Tulane, I am extremely proud to be the head coach at Tulane and we are looking forward to the ballgame on Saturday and that is what I told our guys when I visited with them this morning. So… I don’t want to talk about those kinds of things, I want to talk about the ballgame.”

Tulane plays UCF in the AAC Championship Game this weekend and the winner of that game is likely heading to represent the group of five conferences in the New Year’s Six Bowl Game, which would be the Cotton Bowl this season.

Fritz was the HC at Georgia Southern in 2014-15 and led the Eagles to a 17 – 7 record. This stop also means he has experience recruiting in the state of Georgia.

Coastal Carolina head ball coach Jamey Chadwell is also in consideration for the job. He has led the Chanticleers to a 39 – 21 record since taking over in 2017.

Georgia Tech has to hire a good coach that can make the program relevant again.

Buzz Kill

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

The Geoff Collins era at Georgia Tech has ended. Athletic director Todd Stansbury was also fired.

Collins was in his fourth season as the head coach in Atlanta. He has a record of 10 – 28, with no better than three wins in the previous seasons. This is the lowest winning percentage (.263) of the team’s 13 full-time coaches. Stansbury’s tenure as the department’s ninth athletic director is complete after six years.

The Yellow Jackets are off to a 1 – 3 start this season. They lost Saturday at Central Florida, 27 – 10. Tech played well enough to win but made enough mistakes to lose.

“I just think that critical situations, have to make sure we’re getting points on the board, and we’re not doing it, and obviously that falls on me as the head football coach,” Collins said.

They got in the red zone five times and did not score on any of those possessions. Tech missed two field-goal attempts, fumbled the ball away twice and turned it over once on downs.

The Yellow Jackets averaged 7.2 yards per play against UCF. Since the start of the 2000 season, before Saturday, ACC teams had averaged at least 7.2 yards per play 438 times, according to None had ever scored fewer than 17 points.

“Outgained them by over 100 yards, but when the other series of events happen, it’s hard to win games against a really good football team. Obviously, credit to UCF, but not the result we wanted,” Collins said.

The head football coach and the athletic director being relieved of their duties on the same day with more than half the season remaining is a highly unusual scenario for Tech.

Collins had several shortcomings that caught up with him. In his 38-game tenure, the Jackets lost six games by 40 points or more. Previously, Georgia Tech had lost by 40 points or more six times over 42 seasons.

Tech allowed four blocked punts in the first four games, all of which led to touchdowns. Ironically for Collins, he oversaw the punt unit and was not able to fix the issue.

Stansbury is a Tech grad that also played football for the Yellow Jackets. He’s the first Tech AD to not leave the post on his own accord. He was hired in 2016 from Oregon State. He hired Collins in December 2018 from Temple to succeed Paul Johnson.

I thought Collins was a bad hire from the beginning. He was only 15 – 10 in his two seasons at Temple. He pitched his idea to Stansbury that he would use branding and culture to land top recruits. He’s from Rockdale County and he worked under former coaches George O’Leary and Chan Gaily.

Collins is contractually due the full amount remaining on his final three years, $10.5 million.

I saw some of the candidates for the job and honestly, I do not think they can land them. Deion Sanders is at the top of the list. Coach Prime is at FCS Jackson State and he has landed several four and five star recruits. That includes the top recruit in the class of 2022, Travis Hunter, who is from Metro Atlanta.

Sanders played for the Falcons and Braves. After a 4-3 record in his first COVID-19 shortened season with the Tigers, he led JSU to an 11-2 record (9-0 SWAC) in his second campaign. The Tigers are 4-0 to start 2022 while outscoring opponents 190-37.

Shawn Clark, Appalachian State’s head coach is also a candidate. Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken should also be considered.


Ramblin’ Wreck

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

Geoff Collins is in his fourth season as the head coach in Atlanta.

He’s won three games each season at Georgia Tech, making his overall record 9 – 25. To call that not good is an understatement. The fan base was sick of Paul Johnson, but they regularly went to bowl games.

Collins seems too focused on social media posts and branding over actually coaching football. He shared some insight at ACC Media Days about what we can expect in 2022. He was asked what would give the fan base optimism.

“Just excited about the guys that we have been able to add to the organization, whether that means coaches or players. In the last couple of years, we have been able to develop depth on the roster and a lot of leadership, and the way the guys are working. The big focus since the end of last season is how can we play the best brand of Georgia Tech Football on college football Saturdays and that has been the focus of everything that we have done and all the changes that we have made, deep introspection on how we do things, and why we do things. We are excited to keep building and getting to that point.”

Collins was asked about NIL and where Tech stands in terms of offering it compared to the rest of the conference and the Southeast.

“I think one of the biggest pieces is our location. Being in the heart of the city of Atlanta where there are a lot of opportunities for our guys to benefit from the name, image, and likeness. We fully support it as a coaching staff, as an institution, as an administration and we’ve got the system set up with the different collectives. I think all of the opportunities are there in the city of Atlanta and the support that we give our guys is there”

He says the right things but let’s take a look at the schedule and see what games they can win.

The season kicks off Labor Day at Mercedes-Benz Stadium against Clemson. Last season the game in Death Valley was close, with the Tigers winning 14-8. I think they’ll be better this season and they will win this game.

The home opener is against an FCS team, Western Carolina. Tech will win big.

Week 3 is home against Ole Miss. The Rebels lost a lot of starters from last season, including quarterback Matt Corral. They will still have more talent than the Yellow Jackets and win.

The first road game is at Central Florida. UCF was 9 – 4 last season in Gus Malzahn’s first season. The offense should be more explosive in his second season and they will score a lot of points.

They travel to Heinz Field to start October on the road. Pitt lost QB Kenny Pickett, who was drafted in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. This game could be close but I like the Panthers.

Tech returns home to face Duke and I think they’ll beat the Blue Devils.

After Duke they have a bye week. The next four games are against Virginia, Florida State, Virginia Tech and Miami. I think we can mark these all off as loses.

The final two games are in the road at North Carolina and Georgia. They did beat UNC handily last year, so they have a chance. Unfortunately, they’ll get pummeled by UGA again.

The best-case scenario is three wins, but I think they’ll win two games. This should be Collins final season before he gets terminated.

Wreck In Atlanta

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

William Geoffrey Collins has finished his third season as the head coach at Georgia Tech.

So far Geoff Collins hasn’t had much success in Atlanta, but should we be surprised? Collins only has head coaching experience at one school prior to Tech, which is Temple. In his two seasons in Philadelphia coaching the Owls his record was 15–10. Not very impressive but he’s looked at as more of a recruiter.

So far three is his magic number in Atlanta because that’s how many games they win each season. They lost the season opener by one point to Northern Illinois. The Huskies did win nine games, but they aren’t from a major conference. This should have been an easy win.

They were fairly competitive in most games, losing three games by one-score. They lost to Clemson 14–8, Virginia 48–40 and Miami 33–30. If they can figure out how to focus and have better attention to detail, they should have better success in close games.

They finished the season with two consecutive shutout loses. Notre Dame won 55 – 0 and Georgia 45 – 0. Both teams are drastically better but that’s embarrassing.

Once the season ended Collins fired several assistant coaches. He gave pink slips to offensive coordinator Dave Patenaude, co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Nathan Burton and cornerbacks coach Jeff Popovich. Collins gave insight into how he plans on turning things around.

“As I began the deep dive into everything we need to fix to take the next steps to get the product on the field and the results on the field at the highest level possible,” Collins said, “the things that I’ve realized is, less branding, more coaching. Less worrying about culture, more worried about ball.”

That strikes me as interesting because that’s what it looks like from the outside. I always see social media posts of pregame outfits, uniforms and doing things for the 404 (an Atlanta area code). I kept thinking is he coaching or making social media posts? The fact he had to address plans to focus on coaching now, three years into being at Tech is frightening. That should have been the only focus.

“We’re to the point now where it’s time to work,” Collins said. “The brand is set, the culture is set, all of those things. Now it’s time to coach. Now it’s time to work.”

Collins needs to get to work with the defense that finished tied for 111th in scoring defense, 117th in total defense, 117th in third-down conversion rate and tied for 112th in plays allowed of 20 yards or more.

He was asked if they should change the defensive formation or fire defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker and he did not directly answer those questions.

“I know Andrew Thacker would be the first person to say that we didn’t play to the standard that we’ve had playing defense wherever we’ve been,” Collins said. “His main focus is to do everything in his power to make sure we’re doing that.”

Chip Long has been hired as offensive coordinator and Travares Tillman as defensive backs coach and defensive pass-game coordinator.

Collins was defensive coordinator at Florida from 2015-16 and he led the Gators to consecutive top-10 finishes in total defense.

So far, the Yellow Jackets have the No. 40 recruiting class in 2022. They are getting better players than Paul Johnson did but not winning.

Next season they have non-conference games against Ole Miss and UCF so things won’t be easy. I don’t expect Tech to get drastically better next year and not make a bowl game.