Gators hire Mississippi State’s Geoff Collins as defensive coordinator

The Gators may not have snatched the Mississippi State head coach away from Starkville, but they did get his top assistant.

Jim McElwain has hired Geoff Collins, the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator, as the Gators’ defensive coordinator. Collins, who was a finalist for the Broyles Award (nation’s best assistant) won’t even coach the MSU defense in the Orange Bowl; he’ll head straight to Gainesville and get to work for Florida.

The Bulldogs’ defense has been generally outstanding this year, particularly in the front seven, and the few problems they’ve had in the secondary have been blown out of proportion due to giving up a few big plays here and there. Mississippi State’s defense ranked tenth in the nation with 19.4 points allowed per game, and was especially dominant in the red zone, allowing points on just 24 of opponents’ 40 red zone trips.

Collins runs a defense that could be quite effective at Florida. He lets his corners play lots of man coverage while dominating the line of scrimmage by sending seven or eight guys. This was a problem at MSU because the Bulldogs don’t have All-American caliber cornerbacks, but luckily, the Gators do. Collins will be relying on Vernon Hargreaves and Jalen Tabor to lock down on their receivers, and will unleash a front seven that should still be outstanding to terrorize the opposing offensive line on every play. Florida’s secondary was a problem this year, but next year, they’ll be a year older, and better. Plus, Collins doesn’t recklessly play around with safeties like Muschamp did, so I feel confident that the busted coverages will be minimized.

So yes, personally, I think it’s a great hire. The “Minister of Mayhem,” as he’s called, is a fantastic recruiter in addition to being a great x’s and o’s coach. He’s a sure bet to be a head coach at some time in the near future, and since Dan Mullen clearly didn’t appreciate him, it showed that McElwain is able to strike quickly and effectively when going after highly touted assistants.

Now let’s see how quickly and effectively McElwain (and Collins) can strike in recruiting. National Signing Day is only two months away, and it’s up to Collins to help save the class. That’s his first test.

8 thoughts on “Gators hire Mississippi State’s Geoff Collins as defensive coordinator

  1. Mullen is a dumbass. You never, ever rip your assistants in public unless you want to get rid of them. Either he wanted to get rid of Collins (dumbass move) or he tore into him without thinking that maybe he might not be willing to take it (dumbass move). And I believe it’s the latter. After seeing that, I’m kind of glad we didn’t get him.

  2. Ticket Boy should be fired for his incompetence in hiring football coaches (Meyer was hired by his Utah pal President Machen). Ticket Boy hires Zook, Muschamp, and now McElwain, but not Spurrier! Anyone get the feeling that top “name” football coaches simply don’t like Ticket Boy?

    Fire Ticket Boy!

    Hire Spurrier!

          1. Spurrier’s performance hasn’t fallen, in fact by all accounts he just had what could be his best year ever calling plays. Haters like you have been saying he’s too old for the past 10 years, meanwhile he’s won more at SC than any coach in history. But, hey, never let facts get in the way of your opinions, right?

            1. I didn’t say his performance his fallen; I said the other other two 70+ coaches you listed suffered drops on performance. There’s a saying about facts that comes to mind….

              In actuality, Foley should have been driven out before Spurrier, and McElwain should only be getting hired because Spurrier retired. Alas, that is a reality from another dimension.

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