New Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Randy Edsall wants to get guys with speed, athleticism and that can hit for the type of aggressive defense that he plans to play.
Edsall feels he has two guys who have the tools and the abilities to help him implement his plan in former Josey star Troy Tolbert and former Washington County linebacker Chris Edwards. The new coach was in town as Georgia Tech held a football coaching clinic for the area prep coaches at the Sheraton Hotel off Wheeler Road.
Edsall was with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars for four seasons, including three seasons as the team's secondary coach, before coming to Georgia Tech.
"I've talked to Chris and I told him that he needs to step up and become more aggressive," Edsall said. "He just needs to utilize his God-given abilities. Troy is a great kid. Troy has the size, speed and the athleticism that I want in our defensive backs. My job is to get him on the field and to be productive."
Former Washington-Wilkes coach Butch Brooks, who will become Georgia Tech's Director of High School Relations effective July 1, said this clinic was a great way for the Yellow Jackets' coaches to become more familiar with the area and also, a chance for coaches to come to a productive clinic at a cheap rate.
Registration was only $5 whereas as an out-of-town event may cause $40 and up, not counting hotels and other expenses.
"A lot of people can't afford to go to clinics; clinics can be expensive," said Brooks, who compiled a 155-44 record in 17 seasons at Washington-Wilkes. "This gives area coaches a chance to see what's going on at Division I schools and it's good PR for Georgia Tech. We feel like we need to go to coaches instead of coaches coming to us all the time."
Yellow Jacket head coach George O'Leary had a prior engagement and was unable to attend. Other Yellow Jacket assistant coaches included Stan Hixon, who gave instruction on offensive skilled players; Doug Marrone, offensive line; Ted Roof, linebackers; and Bob Casullo, who is the team's special teams and defensive end coach.
Brooks said more midweek clinics may be planned in the future for Augusta as well as the Valdosta, Albany, Macon and Columbus areas.
Thomson coach Butch Jacobs liked the event and said it was good to see what a program like Georgia Tech is doing, offensively and defensively, that he might be able to implement.
"Sometimes you might pick up a drill that you can use and if you are doing something right, it's nice to hear the reinforcement," Jacobs said.
New Richmond Academy coach Jim Turner said he was trying to learn as much as possible before spring practice starts.
Other area coaches in attendance included Greenbrier coach Terry Holder, Washington County coach Rick Tomberlin, Burke County coach Mike Falleur, Laney coach Eric Parker and Hephzibah coach Ivory Hugee. Several assistant coaches from various schools were also in attendance.
"I think Georgia Tech is doing a great thing for the local coaches," Turner said.