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Potential CPJ Replacements: Clemson Co-OC Tony Elliott

He’s the frontrunner, so we’ll talk about him first!

NCAA Football: Clemson Practice Anderson Independent Mail-USA TO

As we reported yesterday, Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott looks to be the frontrunner to be Georgia Tech’s next head coach, following the retirement of 11-year coach Paul Johnson.

So...who is he?

In addition to being the co-offensive coordinator, Elliott also coaches the running backs for Clemson, and well...I’d say that unit was pretty solid. Clemson’s rushing attack featured a lot of talented running backs, but was spearheaded by Travis Etienne, who was an absolute game-changer for the Tigers. He finished the season with 1,307 yards and 19 touchdowns, while averaging eight yards per carry.

In addition to Etienne, the Tigers had three other running backs with at least 50 carries, and each of them had at least four touchdowns.

Clemson currently has the sixth-highest S&P+ ranking in the country and the eighth-highest OFEI rankings, so it’s safe to say he knows a little bit about offense.

On a bit more of a historical note, Elliott walked on with Clemson and graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering. He had a team-high GPA of 3.55 and went on to work as an engineer for a couple years before getting into coaching.

Elliott got his start in coaching as a wide receivers coach (the position he played at Clemson) at South Carolina State. From there, he went onto take the same position with Furman, where he stayed until 2010. In 2011, Elliott was hired as the running backs coach by Clemson. The co-offensive coordinator tag was added on in 2015. Also important to note is that he was the Broyles Award Winner (Best Assistant Coach) in 2017.

But can he recruit?

Just take a look at some of the players he recruited while at Clemson. Yeah, the man can recruit.

There are a lot of things that really intrigue me about Elliott as the future coach of the Yellow Jackets. First and foremost, we would be bringing in a young, offensive-minded head coach that has a good recruiting background. Having that kind of presence would be very nice at Georgia Tech. While there are some limitations with recruiting at Tech, the campus still lies in the middle of some of the most fertile recruiting territory in the country.

I also like that we’ll see some different things in the offense. Don’t get me wrong. I love option football and what Tech was doing under Johnson, but I also know that not everybody does. I think this would be a welcome offensive shift that could be a lot of fun to watch.

There are some obvious precautions here. Elliott has no experience as a head coach, and Georgia Tech isn’t exactly the easiest college to start coaching at. With Elliott being as young as he is, there’s also a chance that he could leave should greener pastures present themselves. Despite all that, Elliott has a chance to be a successful coach on the Flats.

What do you think about the possibility of Tony Elliott as the new head coach?