Mel Tucker is not looking far to build his new coaching staff. Whether this is a positive sign because of his familiarity with the quality of their work or a negative sign because it may signal a lack of a coaching tree is up for debate. Jay Johnson, a former Georgia QC coach and the new Buffs OC, is an experienced P5 coordinator and proven offensive mind. Tyson Summers, a former QC coach and the new Buffs DC, had aggressive, successful defenses at UCF and a disastrous stint as Georgia Southern’s head coach. The newest QC coach from Georgia to join the Buffs staff is Travares Tillman, but much less is known about him.
The hire has not been announced yet, but Tillman’s twitter pic and bio reflect his promotion, so we’re running with it. Tillman is 41, but he is a newbie to the coaching profession due to a long playing career in the NFL. The former Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket played in the league until 2007 after being picked in the 2nd round. He started coaching 2012, coaching DBs at a high school in Georgia before being picked for the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship (which also picked Chidera Uzo-Diribe last year). He was hired in 2016 as a Georgia grad assistant and got promoted to QC before this past year.
So, because of his scant coaching background, we don’t really know anything about Tillman. He has never been able to recruit off-campus, so that part of his job is a total unknown (to us, at least). His promotion at UGA, presumably OK’d by Coach Tucker, is telling of his on-field capabilities, but it’s hard for us as observers to be excited about this hire because we know next to nothing. There are two large factors going his way: Mel Tucker has worked with him for three years and he’s seen enough to hire him based of that experience, and because he’s never been on the recruiting trail, he could be a monster there hiding in plain sight. His hire leaves two open positions on staff, presumably TEs and OLBs.