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Arkansas Defensive Coordinator Hot Board 4.0

NCAA Football: Southeastern Louisiana at Oklahoma State Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

Another new development has taken place as former Baylor defensive coordinator, Ron Roberts, is now in play as a candidate for the same position at Arkansas.

With a solid first two seasons at the helm of the Bears’ defense, there was a slight fall off in several defensive categories this year. Baylor allowed 26.6 points per game in 2022 which was good enough for 65th in the country.

Roberts’ defense in 2021 was significantly better finishing 10th in scoring defense at 18.3 points per game. Baylor led the Big 12 in turnovers forced, turnover margin, and defensive touchdowns.

He is also considered an “innovative blitzer” among the coaching world. His defenses were consistently in the top

2022: 24 sacks (79th)

2021: 44 sacks (5th)

2022: 19 sacks (60th)

Geoff Collins
The former Georgia Tech head coach had a terrific career as a defensive coordinator at Florida, Mississippi State and FIU.

His name has cooled off some since Friday afternoon. I’ll leave his name on the board for now. Collins’ defense at his first three stops as a DC were very productive, physical at the point of attack, full high IQ ballers and sure tacklers.

While in his one season at FIU the Panthers led their conference in total defense, scoring defense and turnovers.

Collins moved on to Starkville during the 2011 season as co-defensive coordinator. During that time, Collins coached All-American Fletcher Cox, who was drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Upon being promoted to the sole defensive coordinator in 2013, Collins led Bulldogs’ defense to a SEC top five finish in total defense, rushing defense and passing defense.

The Bulldogs would again have a stout defense in 2014, leading the SEC in sacks and had the conference’s best redzone defense.

Before landing the head coaching position at Temple, Collins had one last coordinator role in Gainesville with the Gators. His defenses ranked in the top 10 both seasons in points allowed and total yards.

While coordinating the Florida defense, he helped produce a consensus All-American in Vernon Hargreaves and safety Keanu Neal. Both of them were drafted in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

Tray Scott

Although there seemed to be heat when it came to the Georgia defensive line coach being courted for the defensive coordinator position at Arkansas the talk did cool. It is still believed that Tray Scott is a target for the open position.

If you read in the first edition of the DC hot board you would remember Scott. A Crossett, (Ark.) native who graduated and played college football at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville.

Per a report from Jackson Collier of Rivals, the smoke around Scott’s name has turned into a fire.

Although, there have been conflicting reports about Scott and Arkansas, I still feel confident to keep him on the board of candidates.

Here is a short piece I wrote about Scott on Tuesday:

For a long time Scott’s name has been on everyone’s short list around Arkansas to bring the Natural State native home. The Crossett native has been with Georgia since the 2017 season coaching the defensive line which has been arguably the best position group in America during that time.

Under Scott, Georgia’s defense led the nation in rushing defense in both 2019 (74.6 ypg) and 2020 (72.3 ypg), in scoring defense in 2019 (12.6 ppg), and in rushing TDs allowed (2, UGA record) in 2019. The Bulldogs ranked 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in total defense in the 2020 and 2019 seasons.

Since his arrival at Georgia, Scott has coached 2018 freshman All-America and 2020 second team All-American DL Jordan Davis, 2020 freshman All-American Jalen Carter, 2018 second team All-SEC DE Jonathan Ledbetter and second-team All-SEC tackle Tyler Clark.

We can possibly take one name off the list, too.

Per a report from Bruce Feldman, Michael Scherer has an opportunity to rejoin Barry Odom in some capacity on his staff at UNLV. Scherer could possibly be a coordinator on the Runnin’ Rebels staff.