Are we there yet?
Yes, at last. This morning Mark Richt has confirmed Rivals.com’s Tom Dienhart’s report that he’s hiring Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Todd Grantham as defensive coordinator. No details on the terms of the deal yet from Richt but Dienhart Tweeted that it is for three years and will make Grantham “third highest paid DC in the nation.”
I think Richt has made a good hire. Not a hire that will leave Bulldogs fans with stars in their eyes, but one that probably would have been hailed as a fine move if it had come more quickly and if it hadn’t been preceded by the Georgia coach going after bigger college names who were long-shots to start with and eventually turned him down.
Grantham, who formerly was defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, seems like the best of the “realistic” candidates for the Georgia job.
He’s another Nick Saban disciple and reportedly came highly recommended to Richt by Virginia Tech’s Bud Foster, one of the earlier candidates for the UGA job. If that means he brings a more aggressive brand of defense to Athens, I’m all for it.
It’s true Grantham has been out of college ball (and its recruiting wars) for a decade, after working with Saban at Michigan State, but his NFL experience ought to be enough of a selling point to young players to balance that out.
It will be interesting to see whether Grantham will leave Dallas before their season is over.
How do you feel about how all this has played out? Should Richt have reached for the stars even though he was bucking the odds or should he have gone the NFL assistant route from the start and just gotten it over with? And if the report about Grantham’s pay is accurate, is that just the reality of where the Georgia DC job should rank pay-wise, or is UGA paying more than it ought to for a guy who wasn’t first choice? (Update: Grantham got a three-year deal worth $750,000 per year.)
Of course, we won’t really know how good a hire this is until we see how Georgia’s defense plays.
But at least we now know Grantham is indeed the guy.
WAY TO GO, YATA!
If you haven’t yet seen former Bulldog Sundiata Gaines’ buzzer-beating winning three-pointer to give the Utah a win over Cleveland, take a look. Gaines, playing in only his fifth NBA game, has been trying out with the Jazz on a short-term deal, but hopefully that will get him signed at least for the remainder of the season.
ANOTHER HONOR FOR BUTLER
Congratulations again to Georgia punter Drew Butler, who has made the ESPN.com All-America team.