Less than 24 hours after news broke Monday that Georgia was hiring longtime Alabama strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran as its special-teams coordinator, Alabama’s past two starting quarterbacks offered their take on Cochran’s departure.
Speaking Tuesday at the NFL combine in Indianapolis, Tua Tagovailoa called Cochran a “special guy” during his 13 seasons (2007-19) at Alabama.
“I think he doesn’t get as much credit as people [should] give him,” Tagovailoa said. “You want to talk about someone who has developed very deep and personal relationships with players — he’s been the backbone for the organization there at Alabama.
“It’s gonna be hard. Alabama’s definitely gonna miss him.”
Former Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts spent three seasons witnessing Cochran’s motivational tactics that made him a folk hero among Alabama fans.
“He was always a person I could talk to,” Hurts said. “He’s a great guy, great coach. Pivotal for Alabama, so that should be interesting.”
Tagovailoa noted that Cochran would invite players over his house and cook meals for those who could not make it home for holidays.
“Coach Cochran is a person if you’re having problems, you can go to him and talk to him. He’s a people person,” wide receiver Jerry Jeudy said. “It was very surprising. Coach Cochran is a big part of the organization.”
Added Hurts: “He’s a players’ coach. He’s there for the players. I can’t stress that enough. He’s very close to me and I’m very close to him. I’ve got a lot of respect for him and I wish him nothing but the best.”
Cochran will join Kirby Smart’s staff in an on-field role that he desired, and will not need to wait long to return to Bryant-Denny Stadium, as the Bulldogs visit Tuscaloosa on Sept. 19.
“I hope he has a wonderful career at Georgia,” Jeudy said.