Rodney Garner Brings Three Decades of SEC Experience to Vols Defensive Line Coaching Position
It’s a homecoming of sorts with the return of Rodney Garner as Tennessee’s defensive line coach. Garner was on the UT staff for a couple of seasons in the mid-90’s when the Vols had it rockin’ and rollin’. Now Garner returns with a wealth of SEC experience from his time at Georgia and Auburn.
Said Garner:”It’s good to be back on Rocky Top. It’s sort of like life is coming full circle.”
And nobody knows life in the SEC like Rodney Garner. He has only been coaching in the league for 30 years. That’s why Vols head coach Josh Heupel wanted him on his staff.
Said Heupel:”I think he has got over 10 first round draft picks at the D-line position. Known and is a great recruiter just because he’s genuine. He is who he is. Does a great job of developing relationships.”
Said Garner:”I look at this as my ministry. This is what I want to pour into these young men. The thing we seel to these families. They’re going to give me a young man, and I want to give them a man back.”
Garner admits it takes a special kind of man to be an SEC defensive lineman, given how the league is now so up-tempo on offense.
Said Garner:”What type of body types that you’re looking for because everybody is in the hurry-up or up-tempo. It’s hard to sub guys in and out. So now you’re really starting to target your recruiting. You’re looking for guys that have that third down value because you may not be able to get guys in and out after second down.”
Reporter:”How would you like to see your guys play?”
Said Garner:”Well obviously you want to play violent. It’s a violent game. We want to strike and just be very disruptive.”
Now it’s Garner’s job to help make Tennessee disruptive once again in the SEC.
Said Garner:”UT is a destination spot. It’s definitely a spot that I’m excited to be back at. I’m excited to help it get back to the elite status that it deserves.”