I’m not a huge fan of bringing back a coach just because he knows his way around town. All too often a tie to a school is overrated.
However, Butch Jones’ first phone call when he heard Mark Elder was leaving should have been to Southern California’s Tee Martin. The former Tennessee quarterback is a natural fit to replace Elder, who was hired as the head coach at Eastern Kentucky on Tuesday. Martin and Jones have talked before, but that never resulted in anything.
Forget about the feel-good factor. Think pragmatically. Here are three reasons why Tennessee’s former national championship winning quarterback should be the top candidate to join Tennessee’s staff, even though he has reportedly been retained by coach Clay Helton at Southern California, according to WBIR.
Martin is a really good recruiter
Martin is still a high-school legend in Alabama. He also has vast ties across the southeast, including Atlanta. Thanks to his four seasons at Southern California, Martin also now has strong ties to California. Martin can fortify an already strong staff of recruiters and help add the west coast to the mix. Moreover, hiring Martin would keep him from pulling recruits from the south that Tennessee is pursuing.
Martin can help with receivers
Despite his playing history as a quarterback, Martin has coached receivers for five seasons at Kentucky and Southern California. Injuries have hampered Tennessee’s receivers but the group should still have been more productive. Martin could help with that. He’s been a passing game and offensive coordinator so he understands passing-tree philosophies.
Martin can help with quarterbacks
Martin’s playing history can help the Vols continue to develop junior quarterback Joshua Dobbs. Like most schools, the Vols don’t have a coach on staff to focus on quarterbacks. Martin could do that, which would allow other coaches to focus on other areas. Martin can be a jack-of-all-trades that could elevate the entire passing game. There are also plenty of similarities between Martin and Dobbs. Both are great runners with strong arms that can be inconsistent passers.