Seems likely Leeds native coaching at Tennessee will garner Auburn football interest

Tennessee defensive line coach Rodney Garner during  football practice on Thursday, April 22,
Tennessee defensive line coach Rodney Garner during football practice on Thursday, April 22, / Saul Young/News Sentinel via Imagn

it "seems likely" that Tennessee defensive line coach and Leeds, Alabama native Rodney Garner will garner interest from Hugh Freeze's Auburn football program; despite the lack of a connection to the head coach himself. As A to Z Sports' Zach Ragan points out, Garner's reputation and his connection to his prospective direct report should have AU interested in a reunion.

"There are no obvious connections between Garner and Auburn head coach Hugh Freeze or Tigers defensive coordinator DJ Durkin," Ragan prefaced before saying, "However, Garner was teammates in college at Auburn with Tigers co-defensive coordinator Charles Kelly. 

"It seems likely that Auburn will have some interest in Garner -- he's one of the best defensive line coaches in football, after all."

Auburn football bringing back Rodney Garner is a home run

It may seem like Auburn is moving away from having former fan-favorites, but the coaching talent pool of former Tigers players-turned-sideline leaders is vast. Charles Kelly is a former Auburn man, and Marcus Davis -- whose presence has led to one of the great receiving hauls in post-NIL recruiting history -- is also on staff.

Not only would adding Garner show that the trend of ex-Tigers inspiring the current generation isn't done, but it'd be a total home run from a results perspective. Not only has Garner sent studs like Derrick Brown and Marlon Davidson to the NFL, but also Richard Seymour, Marcus Stroud, David Pollack, Charles Grant, and Johnathan Sullivan while he coached at Georgia.

Garner joining the staff would beef up an AU staff that was light on big names last year but is bringing on both highly polarizing and successful coaches to move the needle forward. Freeze has little reason not to consider it in order to weaken a Vols program that the Tigers will run into on the schedule more frequently in the new division-less SEC.