Now it’s up to Bohannon to convince players who are familiar with the triple option to choose the Owls over the two already-established football programs in Georgia that run that offense — Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern. He knows one sales pitch that will work — guaranteed playing time — and he plans on using it because the Owls don’t have any players yet.
“What (Kennesaw State) does for the young man is that he knows he’s going to get an opportunity to compete and play,” Bohannon said. “If you’re going to a program where there are starters, heck, you might have to wait your turn. But if you’re going to a new program, hey man, I’m going to give you a chance to play on Day 1 because you’ll be the only ones there. There’s a great sales pitch.”
Bohannon said during his introductory press conference Wednesday at Fifth Third Bank Stadium that as a candidate, he was attracted by the location of Kennesaw State as well as its stadium, the student body and the spirit of the community.
That could be more than enough for him to convince players to come his way.
“When a stadium is packed and people are excited about football, kids want to be a part of that,” Bohannon said. “In this day and age with young men, things like that are cool. It’s cool for people to love what they’re doing and have the people around them love it.
Bohannon has another advantage, and that’s being familiar with the northern metro-Atlanta area. He lives in Woodstock and has actively recruited in Cobb County over the past five years when he was the quarterbacks and B-backs coach for Paul Johnson at Georgia Tech. And he will continue to heavily recruit the area he knows best.
“Cobb, Cherokee and Paulding County are the cradle of the KSU community,” Bohannon said. “We will have a high emphasis there. When you have 5.1 million people in the Atlanta-metro area you need to make it a top priority.
“If we could, we’d like to put a net around our neighboring counties and bring every recruit here.”
While Bohannon and his staff will be heavily involved around Cobb County, the first-time head coach said recruiting the entire state of Georgia will be another high priority.
Among the Bohannon recruits from Cobb County that he brought to Georgia Tech are former Hillgrove standouts quarterback Synjyn Days, linebacker Jabari Hunt-Days, former Harrison star and A-back Robbie Godhigh, North Cobb’s Darren Waller at receiver, former Kennesaw Mountain offensive lineman Jay Finch and former Harrison linebacker Ryan Sparlin. Days said Bohannon is the kind of coach that players will want to play for.
“As a coach, he was always concerned about your personal being,” Days said of Bohannon. “He would call to make sure I was doing good and that my family was doing good. When he was on the headset, he would make sure I was calm during games and not too energized.”
Former Pope quarterback Holland Frost is a walk-on who redshirted last season, but worked closely with Bohannon.
“I’m happy for (Bohannon) getting the job at KSU,” Frost said. “I think he’ll do a good job over there. He’s a good teacher with the triple option. He’s energetic, especially on the field. He’s always around people, getting them fired up and getting them to go 110 percent, stuff like that.”
When Bohannon arrived with Johnson at Georgia Tech in 2008, the Yellow Jackets have finished in the top four nationally in rushing yards. He’s also worked with former Kell standout running back Jonathan Dwyer who will be entering his fourth year with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Baltimore Ravens running back Anthony Allen.