As he provided analysis for Georgia Tech baseball and softball games on ESPN3, former Tech A-back Roddy Jones had an eye on someday becoming the Yellow Jackets’ radio analyst for football.
“It was on the radar just in terms of, that would be a really cool thing to do,” Jones said.
It was something of an idle dream, though, since former Tech quarterback Rick Strom held the position. However, Strom stepped down from the job in May after six seasons in order to spend more time watching his children’s sports activities. Jones made clear his interest in the job and was an obvious choice for the job. Insightful, funny and a gifted communicator, Jones was named Tech’s new color analyst last week. He’ll join Brandon Gaudin starting this fall.
"Luring Roddy to the booth is a win on all fronts," Gaudin said in a statement. "He was a star at Tech, is already a proven on-air talent, and has an outstanding reputation in the community. It doesn't hurt that he's also one of the nicest, most upbeat people I've ever been around. We're lucky to have him back in the Yellow Jacket family."
One particular strength Jones will bring to the role is his intimate knowledge of coach Paul Johnson’s offense, having started a school-record 52 games for the Jackets 2008-11.
At Gaudin’s suggestion, Jones spoke with Strom even before getting the job and has a plan for how to handle the role. Jones works as a retail store manager for AT&T and manages a store at the Forum in Norcross.
“I think it’s going to be a trial-by-fire thing for me,” Jones said. “Having played, I liked to watch film, I like to watch games. I’ll definitely watch at least a couple games a week and then learn names and tendencies and stats and stuff like that all during the week. … I’ll probably use my DVR a lot.”
On if he has thought about broadcasting aspirations beyond the Tech job:
“That’s the million dollar question. Yes, it has. I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t. I’m still trying to figure that out. But just in terms of what it would look like, the best way to go about it, I’m not sure. This season will give me a really good sense of what it’s like to do it. I think I’ll have a much better idea after this season.”
On favorite analysts:
“I think one guy locally that I enjoy listening to is Dave Archer. He’s a guy who I have spoken with in the past just over the course of his career at 790. I think he really brings really good insights to the game.”
On how he’ll approach being critical of players:
“I think the best thing that I can do is kind of just tell it like it is, just be as clear as I can, if you will. … Ultimately, that’s part of the job, but I’ve thought about it, and we’ll kind of cross that when we get there.”
On if he’s thought about what he’ll do if he disagrees with a play call:
“I haven’t, not that I ever disagree with Coach Johnson’s play calls. (Laughs) I think, from my perspective, there’s always going to be questions about play calls. In my mind, it’s more about execution than anything else.”
On how long he plans to do the job:
“I certainly have intentions of doing it for longer than one season, but we’re going to do the season (and talk afterwards). That’s kind of how I like it.”