Gus Malzahn and the Auburn Tigers have pulled off a coaching move of epic proportions by getting Rodney Garner to leave Georgia and join the new era of Auburn football.
Garner is famous for his abilities as a recruiter while serving as recruiting coordinator, defensive line coach and assistant head coach with Georgia.
David Ching of ESPN.com's DawgNation reports on Garner's decision to go to Auburn:
Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs confirmed Thursday night on Twitter that longtime Bulldogs assistant Rodney Garner -- his onetime co-worker at Auburn -- has accepted a position as assistant head coach/defensive line coach on Gus Malzahn's new Tigers staff.
The importance of Garner's addition to the Tigers staff can't be overstated.
He's a big-time name in the recruiting world and he has a ton of experience on the recruiting trail. Ching's report states that Garner has been Georgia's recruiting coordinator since 1998—which goes to show you how long he's been doing this.
Right off the bat, that experience is going to be incredibly valuable for Auburn. He obviously knows how to recruit and he's been doing it for a long time. He has an established name within the recruiting world and he's well-respected.
Having an established coach like Garner on his staff will be a huge advantage for Malzahn in his first few years as head coach at Auburn.
Most important will be the recruiting ties that Garner established during his time with the Bulldogs.
All the pipelines and connections that he established during his time with Georgia will now transfer over to Auburn. That's especially advantageous for the Tigers when considering the recruiting foothold they'll now hold in the state of Georgia.
Georgia has been known for producing some quality football recruits, so bringing in a coach who knows the recruiting ropes of the state is invaluable for Auburn.
Hiring Garner will pay dividends in the long term for Auburn, but he'll also have an impact in this 2013 recruiting cycle. Georgia and Auburn have been competing for some of the same recruits, and now that Garner is on Auburn's side, that could sway some minds.
The most important of these recruits and one who may be swayed the most is 5-star defensive tackle Montravius Adams, who is considering the impact of the move, according to Michael Carvell of ajc.com:
“I just found out,” Adams told the AJC on Thursday night. “Yes, it affects how I feel about Georgia, but I’m not sure how much. I’m still trying to take it all in.”
Rather than have a negative impact on UGA, it will probably be more of a positive for Auburn. Adams said he may take his fifth official visit with the Tigers, now that Garner is hired. “Yes, that will probably be it,” he said.
If hiring Garner is the factor that can help Auburn land Adams, who projects to be a defensive superstar, that commitment alone would be worth his hire. Auburn is in Adams' (unofficial) top five according to 247Sports, along with Clemson, Florida, Georgia and Alabama.
Garner's presence as the new defensive line coach could also help keep 5-star defensive end Carl Lawson committed to the Tigers, as his commitment has been somewhat questionable since Auburn fired Gene Chizik. Things were starting to look a bit better after a visit from new defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, so perhaps Garner's hiring could be the factor that seals the deal for Lawson.
It's evident that this is already a top-notch hire for Auburn recruiting.
That said, don't underestimate the long-term benefits, because that's where Garner will make his greatest impact with his abilities on the recruiting trail and his established connections.
Considering Malzahn's exciting brand of offense, Johnson's ability as a defensive coordinator and the addition of Garner, Auburn recruiting is set up to be very effective both now and in the future.
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