Georgia hiring Rocker as defensive line coach

Georgia is adding a coach to its football staff with plenty of experience coaching the defensive line in the SEC after making a name for himself playing the position.

Former Outland Trophy winner Tracy Rocker, who spent the past three years coaching the defensive line for the Tennessee Titans, will join the Bulldogs’ staff, a source said.

Georgia defensive line commitment Lamont Gaillard, who met with Georgia coach Mark Richt on Friday in Fayetteville, N.C., told the Athens Banner-Herald Saturday that Richt talked to him about a coach who worked previously with the Titans.

Asked if it was Rocker, Gaillard said: “Yeah, Tracy Rocker. There you go. I guess he’s going to be bringing him in for the defensive line job. I’m just looking forward to that. Whoever he brings in that’s who I have to work with and hopefully we have a good chemistry.”

Fox Sports NFL writer Alex Marvez first reported the Rocker hire. Rocker later told the Macon Telegraph he will be Georgia’s defensive line coach: “I’m excited. Go Dawgs.”

Rocker was a two-time All-American at Auburn in 1987-88. He won the Lombardi Trophy as a player and coached Nick Fairley to the Lombardi Trophy in 2010 at Auburn but left his alma mater after two seasons for the Titans.

He also coached at Ole Miss in 2008 and Arkansas in 2003-07 and had previous stops at Cincinnati, Troy State and West Alabama.

He wasn’t retained by new Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt, but then Tennessee coach Mike Munchak said when he hired Rocker: “He has shown the ability to develop players at all of his stops, which is a testament to him being a great teacher. He is a rare combination of a great player who becomes a great teacher. He has a passion for the game and has shown the ability to relate to his players.”

Rocker is an Atlanta native and a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

Rocker is joining a Georgia defensive staff that now has coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, expected to coach the secondary, and Kevin Pruitt, who is likely to coach linebackers. Rocker replaces Chris Wilson, who left to coach the defensive line at Southern California.

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