Kevin Sherrer, the only holdover from Mark Richt’s final coaching staff at Georgia, is set to leave and re-join the man that brought him to Athens.
Sherrer will leave UGA to become the defensive coordinator for Jeremy Pruitt at Tennessee, according to Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman. The news has not been immediately confirmed by head coach Kirby Smart or the team.
There was also no indication whether Sherrer will stay with the team through Georgia’s run in the playoffs. UGA plays Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1, with the winner advancing to the national championship a week later. For what it’s worth, Pruitt will continue coaching the Alabama defense, which plays in the other national semifinal.
There could end up being recruiting implications for Georgia: Sherrer is the lead recruiter on five-star outside linebacker commit Adam Anderson, four-star OLB commit Azeez Ojulari and five-star defensive end target Benton Cox.
Anderson said “not really” on Thursday night when asked if Sherrer’s departure would have an effect on his status.
Sherrer was the lead recruiter for current Georgia players such as defensive lineman Tyler Clark and Julian Rochester and outside linebacker Robert Beal.
Sherrer’s move makes sense, as it’s an upward move for Sherrer professionally, after four years at Georgia as outside linebackers coach. It also reunites him with Pruitt, named as Tennessee’s head coach on Thursday.
Pruitt, when he came to Georgia as defensive coordinator, recommended that Richt hire Sherrer, who had worked with Pruitt on Alabama’s staff in quality control roles. Pruitt left two years ago for Alabama after Richt was fired and replaced by Smart.
But Sherrer was one of two Richt assistants retained by Smart. The other one was defensive line coach Tracy Rocker, who was fired just after National Signing day this past February.
Smart will now have at least two positions to fill on his staff. The other one is for the newly-approved 10th assistant coaching position, though the NCAA won’t allow teams to officially make that hire until January.
Sherrer was earning $375,000 this season. He will leave along with both starting outside linebackers, Lorenzo Carter and Davin Bellamy, who are seniors. Junior D’Andre Walker and freshman Walter Grant have played well in reserve roles, seeing lots of snaps, and both would seem in line to start next year. Robert Beal, a redshirt freshman, could also be in the mix along with others.
A name that could be in the mix for one of the open jobs would be Tyson Summers, the former Georgia Southern head coach and a longtime friend of Smart. Summers, who was fired this past season, his second year as the coach, is from Tifton and was the defensive coordinator at Colorado State before taking the Georgia Southern job. Summers has coached linebackers in the past as well.