Will John Chavis turn out to be Georgia’s next defensive coordinator after all? What about Kirby Smart, still any chance of that? Is Mark Richt really planning on getting his next DC from the NFL ranks?
Depends on which rumor you’re hearing, as the talk about who’ll replace Willie Martinez continues to generate conflicting stories. Are any of them based on real leaks of information out of Butts-Mehre in Athens? Or are they generated by agents looking to get their clients better deals from their current employers, or just sheer speculation? Only Mark Richt and Co. know for sure at this point.
It seemed a couple of days ago as if Chavis, the former Tennessee DC now running the defense for LSU, was off the board, after a Baton Rouge TV station quoted an LSU player as saying Chavis assured him at practice that he wasn’t going anywhere.
But ESPN.com’s Chris Low reports today: “In talking to several people close to the situation, Richt has serious interest in Chavis and is prepared to throw some serious money at the veteran defensive coordinator, who headed up Tennessee’s defense for 14 seasons prior to joining Les Miles’ staff at LSU for this past season.”
Low adds: ” LSU coach Les Miles has acknowledged that he’s aware that Georgia may have an interest in Chavis, whose salary was $450,000 this season. … The word out of Georgia, though, is that the Bulldogs may go to $600,000-plus annually and offer a three-year contract.”
Also, Gannett’s Bayou Bengals Blog reports that as of late Tuesday night, Chavis “had not completely ruled out a lucrative offer to be Georgia’s defensive coordinator after just one season with the Tigers.”
We may find out more later today when Chavis is scheduled to meet the media in Orlando as part of the Capital One Bowl coordinator’s news conference.
Low also notes that Richt has made a pitch to Alabama’s Kirby Smart (everything’s been very quiet on that front lately) and also mentions Todd Grantham of the Dallas Cowboys and Bob Sanders of the Buffalo Bills as “two NFL assistants to keep an eye on.”
The Bayou Bengals Blog noted that while Chavis may well have told LSU linebacker Kelvin Sheppard that he was staying at LSU, things could have changed since then. Richt may have upped his offer.
That is, of course, assuming there’s even been an offer. There’s been no confirmation either way.
Meanwhile, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach said on local radio and in an ESPN online chat: “I think Richt makes one more run at Kirby Smart. If Smart doesn’t take it, I think Dallas Cowboys DL coach Todd Grantham might be the front runner.”
Whether Chavis or Smart would consider a move to UGA is very much the subject of debate among college football observers. An NFL assistant might be more inclined to look on a coordinator’s job in the SEC as a step up.
What do you think? Feel free to offer your own speculation and rumors to the mix. …