Youngblood’s staff will include Bruce Adrine, Terry Jones and Corey Robinson, all of whom spent time at Tucker, a perennial power in the northeast corner of Atlanta.
Jones was part of Tucker’s 2008 and 2011 state championship teams, while Robinson and Adrine also learned what it was like to work in the atmosphere of success. And Youngblood himself was a part of the 2008 Tucker title team, as well as Burke County’s championship team of 2011.
“We want to lay a good foundation,” said Youngblood, who was Burke County’s defensive coordinator last season before being hired to replace Ed Koester at South Cobb. “I want some guys that understand what it takes to get to a championship level. There are some things you really have to do different. These guys are going to be a huge plus.”
Youngblood, who won two national titles as a player at Georgia Southern, knows about being at a successful level, and his assistants have the background as well.
Adrine, a former defensive end at Georgia, will be South Cobb’s strength and conditioning coach. Jones, who played at Alabama and then in the NFL as a tight end for the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, will be the offensive coordinator and Robinson will be the defensive coordinator.
Youngblood said he wants to ultimately build a staff of 14 to 16 assistants who will combine to handle the freshman, JV and varsity teams.
When the new assistants arrive to complete Youngblood’s staff, it will be nice for him to have somebody he knows to talk to. Right now, he said it has been a whirlwind of trying to teach new offensive and defensive schemes to the players, and he just knows most of them by last name.
Still, some of those players have made an impact on the new coach.
Kylil Carter will assume the quarterbacking duties with the graduation of two-year starter Stephon Masha. And 5-foot-6, 140-pound sophomore running back Tyreik Fitzpatrick will try to handle some of the rushing duties left behind by Chauncey Ingram.
“We need him to get a little stronger in the weight room,” Youngblood said of Fitzpatrick. “We hope to get him where he can carry (the ball) 12 or 14 times a game.”
Carter and Fitzpatrick are just two pieces that will help Youngblood rebuild the South Cobb offense, which lost all of its skill players — including receivers J. T. Alphabet, Chris Simon and Ryan Sumner, along with all-state offensive lineman Niles Hamilton — to graduation.
“We’ve had a pretty good spring,” Youngblood said. “We got some of the offensive stuff installed, and it’s going to change a little from what they’ve been doing, but we’ve got some kids. You hate to lose those kinds of athletes to graduation, but the biggest thing now is to help (the new players) build some toughness.”
Defensively, Youngblood said they also concentrated on teaching the players new schemes and terminology. But he expects to lean on defensive end Justin Jones as the leader of the Eagles’ defense. The 6-3, 260-pound senior enters the summer with 11 scholarship offers from Football Bowl Subdivision programs, including Mississippi State, Mississippi, Louisville, Miami (Fla.), Michigan State and Central Florida.