Georgia Hires Former Alabama Analyst as New Director of Player Personnel

Brian LeighFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2014

Apr 12, 2014; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt watches his team from the field during the first half of the Georgia Spring Game at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The Georgia Bulldogs have hired Ronnie Letson, a former Ole Miss receiver who served as an offensive analyst on Nick Saban's Alabama staff last season, as their new director of player personnel.

"Ronnie has a vast wealth of knowledge in both on-field coaching and organizational skills that will be a great asset to our program," said head coach Mark Richt, according to a statement released by the university. "His career has been spent in the southeast and he knows the landscape of college football."

Position titles such as "director of player personnel" can be a little bit nebulous sometimes. What's clear is that this role has more to do with recruiting than with coaching. The Athens Banner-Herald passed along some information from the job's official listing, which sheds light on certain specifics of the position:

The position opened up earlier this month after Daryl Jones left his job as Director of On-Campus Recruiting. According to the Director of Player Personnel job posting, Letson will be “responsible for the organization of the recruiting department and its day to day functions. ... (Letson) will work to support the vision of the Football Recruiting Coordinator (Bryan McClendon).” The job also includes overseeing the walk-on program.

Letson was hired as the wide receivers coach at Samford in February, but he is leaving that post before his first season.

Before Alabama, he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at FCS Jacksonville State from 2004 to 2012, working under former Arkansas head coach (from way back in the early 1990s) Jack Crowe. The Gamecocks never had a losing record during his tenure.

It is difficult to analyze what Letson did as an "offensive analyst"—another nebulous position title—at Alabama last season, but getting to learn under Saban is never a bad thing. Especially in matters of recruiting, there is no better mentor to study under.

But that doesn't necessarily mean Letson was the first choice for this job. Bruce Feldman of played coy with his Twitter followers soon after this announcement, reporting that UGA had its eyes on a bigger name when this position opened up:

Letson is definitely plugged in enough to recruit the Southeast.

In addition to learning under Saban and playing at Ole Miss, he went to Norcross High School in Georgia—one of the best talent-producing high schools in the state—and starred on the football team.

Georgia snagged a commitment from Norcross' best player, 5-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter, this past cycle and would ostensibly like to continue doing that.

Having an alumnus such as Letson on the staff does not hurt.

He should do just fine in this position.