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Georgia DC Mel Tucker would be a great hire for Colorado

Would the recruiting guru jumpstart the Buffs?

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Game-Alabama vs Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Buffaloes are in the midst of finding their next head football coach. We’re here to break down the top candidates and grade them based on how they would fit in at Colorado.


Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker might be everything Colorado wants. He’s a young and energetic up-and-comer. He has a big-time resume that includes extensive work as a defensive coordinator in the SEC and NFL. He’s coached in two National Championships with Alabama (2015) and Georgia (2018). He even has NFL head coaching experience having been named the Jaguars’ interim head coach in 2011 after Jack Del Rio was fired (Tucker went 2-3 in five games); apparently he was a strong candidate to retain that position full-time. Considering his experience and resume — he was also a DC with Ohio State, the Browns and the Bears, though with poor results in Chicago — it’s odd he hasn’t had a head coaching gig yet. Maybe he wants that now.

Grade: A


Tucker has been calling plays on the defensive side for a long time now. He’s terrific on that side, which is what you would expect from someone from Nick Saban and Kirby Smart’s tutelage. It’s to be seen what he would do on offense, but if his hire is simultaneous with a promising new OC, the Buffs would be ecstatic. You also have to credit Tucker for keeping Georgia at an elite level after losing Roquan Smith and Lorenzo Carter (among others) from what was the best defense in the country. Just don’t ask Tucker why he couldn’t adjust to Tua Tagovailoa in the title game.

Grade: B+

Recruiting & Player Development

Tucker is one of the best recruiters in the nation, plain and simple. Sure, it’s easy to recruit to Alabama and Georgia, but even with those circumstances, he far outshines other candidates like Ryan Day, Jim Leavitt and Derek Mason.

Tucker has a background as defensive backs coach and has been personally responsible for the growth of Deandre Baker, among others. His scheme is smart and has blue chip recruits, and it’s been his developmental coaching that has been crucial in realizing the Bulldogs’ potential year after year.

Grade: A


Tucker has the personality you would expect from someone who’s revered as a recruiter and defensive coach. He’s energetic, focused and is able to get his players into similar mindsets. He does this all without being too much, which is a good plus.

Grade: B+

Interest in Colorado

He doesn’t have ties outside the Big Ten or SEC, so this is likely about him getting his first head coaching position. If he isn’t Colorado-linked, he might not stick around for that long. But unlike Day with Ohio State, for example, there’s no obvious place Tucker would bolt to in a few years time.

Grade: C+

Cumulative GPA: 3.38