Raise for defensive line coach Tray Scott shows why continuity matters for Georgia football
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Big raise may only be the beginning for Tray Scott, Georgia defensive line
Tray Scott is not one of the more lauded Georgia assistants. He’s not frequently posting on social media, nor do you see him jumping around on the sideline on game day. He’ll often just walk the sidelines by himself in pregame.
Yet Georgia’s defensive line coach is a name worth knowing. His recent raise reflects that, as a FOIA request revealed that Scott’s salary will go from $600,000 to $750,000. Only Glenn Schumann and Will Muschamp earned larger raises, and those two will be calling the Georgia defense next season.
Scott did not receive a title bump as of this writing. He will still be the defensive line coach for Georgia in 2022. But based on what he has done since taking the post before the 2017 season, that should be a very good thing for Georgia.
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What Scott will have to do next season will be his hardest task to date. He must replace Jordan Davis, Travon Walker and Devonte Wyatt. The trio combined to start 43 games for Georgia last season, holding opposing offenses to 78 rushing yards per game on the ground, while finishing with a combined 10.5 sacks and 20 tackles for loss.
Walker was the only 5-star prospect of the group, with Davis’ and Wyatt’s path to stardom a direct testament to Scott’s ability to develop and connect with players. That ability is part of the reason why Davis, Wyatt and Walker are all currently projected as first-round picks in the upcoming NFL draft. ESPN’s Todd McShay recent mock draft had Walker being taken with the No. 16 pick, Davis being taken at No. 20 and Wyatt landing with the Green Bay Packers at no. 28.
For context, Georgia hasn’t had a defensive lineman drafted since 2003. It took some time, but Scott has developed a great crop of players.
“If they getting coached by Tray Scott, they in good hands,” Davis said before Georgia’s game against Michigan. “He’s not only going to develop you as a player, he’s going to develop you as a man. He’s dropped so many gems in just life stuff. I really appreciate that man. Love him to death. I love him like he’s family. If Coach Scott is still here, they getting coached by Tray Scott, they’re going to be in good hands, definitely.”
Making things easier for Scott will be Jalen Carter. He returns for his junior season and may have a higher ceiling than any of the departing defensive linemen. In addition to blocking field goals in the national championship game and playing fullback, he added 8.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks.
It’s worth noting as well that Scott isn’t completely starting over on the defensive line because of how many guys get snaps on Georgia’s defensive line. Zion Logue, Nazir Stackhouse, Warren Brinson and Tramel Walthour all played for Georgia during the national championship game against Alabama. That experience will prove valuable as they see more snaps in 2022.
Another reason for optimism is Scott’s success on the recruiting trail. In his first three cycles as Georgia’s defensive line coach, Walker and Carter were the only top-150 overall prospects in their respective recruiting cycles that Scott signed.
In the 2021 cycle, Scott signed Jonathan Jefferson, the No. 128 overall player, and Tyrion Ingram-Dawkins, the No. 148 overall player. Then in 2022, Georgia went out and signed the best defensive line class for the program in recent memory. There’s Mykel Williams, the No. 4 overall player in the class. Then there is Bear Alexander, the No. 50 overall player who picked Georgia over Texas A&M.
On National Signing Day, Scott topped it all off by signing the No. 103 overall player.
“We, Tray Scott and Staff, were extremely consistent with Christen Miller and it paid off,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “The message didn’t change. The consistency didn’t change. He valued relationships and he saw in December, what happens when guys move all over the place. When you have a little bit on continuity in a kids eyes, and we’ve been able to have that and sustain winning success. You tend to attract people that have the same mindset that you do, and I think Christen and Tray have a lot of the same mindset.”
Related: WATCH: New UGA signee Christen Miller breaks down why he’s ‘stamped’ as a Bulldog
Scott is entering his sixth year in the program now. Only running backs coach Dell McGee and inside linebackers coach Glenn Schumann have been assistants on Smart’s staff for longer.
That continuity, along with the potential to see three former pupils hug Roger Goodell on the opening night of the 2022 NFL Draft, explains why Scott received a large raise. The 2021 season was a great one for a number of assistants, Scott included.
But the year also furthered offered proof of concept for how Scott is able to present himself. And if this past season is any indication, it’s a very, very strong presentation for future Bulldogs.
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“He is a tremendous teacher,” Smart said. “I mean Tray is a technician, he sells himself on not a lot of flash but a lot of work, developing young men into good defensive linemen but even better people.”
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