Two days ago, it was announced that defensive coordinator Geoff Collins would leave his post as Florida’s defensive coordinator to take the head job at Temple (nod goes to Steve Addazio.) Of course, the grumbling about the recruiting impact started almost immediately. But while Collins’s departure may look like a significant loss on paper, an objective look into the matter shows he’ll be replaceable.
Possibly in a seamless matter, too.
In each of his two seasons at Florida, the Gators’ defense finished sixth in the country in yards per game: 299 this year, and 295 last year. Those numbers certainly are impressive, but Collins’ scheme relied heavily on front seven aggression and defensive backs erring more on the side of caution as opposed to the inverse. (If you’re wondering what that inverse looks like, Google “Muschamp secondary busts” to see all the big plays his defense gave up in third and fourth and long.) That scheme isn’t particularly hard to implement, and even easier to take over and continue for whoever the new DC is.
The other side of this whole “new coordinator” thing is the recruiting outlook. And in this case, the transition shouldn’t be too noticeable, either; coordinators are rarely, if ever, the primary recruiter. Many of those who follow recruiting were concerned about how Collins’ departure would affect the status of four star safety Tray Bishop. But as he told SEC Country, it was Torrian Gray who recruited him and therefore the move didn’t effect him. The other recruits on the defensive side of the ball remain unswayed, too: Marco Wilson, Zach Carter, Kyree Campbell, Shawn Davis, James Houston and Elijah Blades have all reaffirmed their strong verbal commitments to Florida.
So there really won’t be too noticeable of an impact at Collins leaving, however you want to look at it. It’s a little sad to see him go from a personal standpoint, and of course, I wish Collins nothing but the best and sincerely thank him for his two years of service in Gainesville. But Jim McElwain’s program will be just fine without him.