Al Groh Hire Means Georgia Tech All About the System...Again

Zachary OstermanCorrespondent IJanuary 26, 2010

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - NOVEMBER 24:  Head coach Al Groh of the Virginia Cavaliers looks on during the second half against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Scott Stadium on November 24, 2007 in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Virginia Tech defeated Virginia 33-21.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

(How much does Al Groh's 3-4 change Georgia Tech's recruiting strategy?)

So the coup of the ACC's early offseason was for real: Al Groh's 3-4 defense will be taking up station in Atlanta next fall. And with him, Groh has also brought a new heavy to Georgia Tech's recruiting efforts as the recruiting season closes out.

He's already picked up a commitment from Jeremiah Attaochu, a D.C. linebacker with whom he had a strong relationship at Virginia. Attaochu, listed at three stars by Rivals, also had offers from Illinois, Kansas State, Louisville, Maryland, and Minnesota.

In this interview with the AJC's Chip Towers, Attaochu talks about what Groh wants from him and outside linebackers in general, another reminder that the 3-4 Georgia Tech now runs is a whole different way of doing things.

No, the 3-4 isn't quite the triple-option in terms of novelty in the college game, but it isn't a common sight on college game-plans either. The scheme requires different types of players at positions like linebacker and nose tackle, and it requires those players to do different things. So expect Georgia Tech's recruiting efforts to adjust accordingly.

That's not to say obvious defensive talent shouldn't be targeted. It probably says something that, of the 16 commitments in the 2010 class, 11 are defensive players, and the class is defensive-back-heavy after a season in which Tech's pass defense was often spotty.

Two strong local defensive tackles—Denzel McCoy and Shawn Green—could be potential future anchors on the defensive line, though both are on the small side for the 3-4 right now.

At this point in the recruiting season (and working with the scholarship restrictions Tech has), the victories are going to have to be selective as Signing Day approaches. Given this, it is all the more impressive that Groh has already made his mark, not on Georgia Tech recruiting, but for Georgia Tech recruiting. The difference isn't nearly as subtle as it sounds.