Who will UGA hire as its next recruiting coordinator?

UGA’s recruiting coordinator, Rodney Garner, was hired by Auburn on Thursday night.

How much will Garner’s departure affect the Bulldogs with recruiting?

It’s too soon to tell — but probably not as much as one would think.

Garner was considered one of the best recruiters in the business 10 years ago, but his impact with the team’s current recruiting class was limited, especially after the Bulldogs hired Daryl Jones as Director of On-Campus Recruiting. Mike Bobo and Todd Grantham are considered the team’s premier recruiters. Garner’s loss will likely be felt more as the team’s defensive line coach as he guided a steady flow of Bulldogs into prosperous NFL careers.

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If there is any impact with loss of Garner, it will be with UGA’s defensive line targets – since Garner coached the position with the Bulldogs.

Georgia has one DL prospect signed, Chris Mayes of Mississippi Gulf Coast junior college, so no worries there. They have another one committed, John Atkins of Fork Union prep school, and Atkins is unlikely to go anywhere else because of academic concerns.

Where it may hurt Georgia – but still is unknown – is with a pair of uncommitted targets, 5-star Montravius Adams of Dooly County High School and Toby Johnson of Hutchinson junior college.

“I just found out,” Adams told the AJC on Thursday night. “Yes, it affects how I feel about Georgia, but I’m not sure how much. I’m still trying to take it all in.”

Rather than have a negative impact on UGA, it will probably be more of a positive for Auburn. Adams said he may take his fifth official visit with the Tigers, now that Garner is hired. “Yes, that will probably be it,” he said.

Rodney Garner was at UGA for 14 seasons (AJC)

Rodney Garner was at UGA for 14 seasons (AJC)

What about Toby Johnson? “I like Coach Garner but Georgia is still my leader. As long as I have a good relationship with new defensive line coach, I think everything will be OK.”

However, Johnson said he was considering taking an official visit to Auburn after his recruiting trip to Mississippi State on Jan. 11.

The bigger question is this: Who wil UGA hire as its recruiting coordinator? The most popular choice would be Mike Bobo, who has recruited strongly in South Georgia. He’d probably have to give up his duties as offensive coordinator (probably back to Richt), something that Bobo might not be willing to do if he truly aspires to be a head coach one day.

There’s also running backs coach Bryan McClendon, who is young and popular among the kids. But he was the UGA position coach for Isaiah Crowell, Washuan Ealey, and Caleb King, among others. However, McClendon also oversaw the dynamic duo of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.

UGA tight ends coach John Lilly was the former recruiting coordinator at Florida State.

RELATED: As discussed by many on Twitter, from an Auburn perspective, it is really going to be interesting to see how the conversations go between Rodney Garner and Carl Lawson, the ESPN No. 2 overall prospect who is committed to the Tigers. While at UGA, Garner famously passed on offering Lawson — with the Bulldogs waiting until two months after Lawson committed to Auburn to show any serious interest. By then, it was much too late for UGA with Lawson, who grew up a fan of the Bulldogs. Now that Garner is at Auburn, his top recruit is … Lawson.

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290 comments Add your comment

RiverDawg

December 20th, 2012
11:30 pm

This makes me happy. Rodney Garner did a good job years ago, but it was time for a change and he knew it. Thanks for all you did for Georgia, Rodney, and good luck in Auburn.

I hope Richt promotes Bobo.

Bubba J.

December 20th, 2012
11:33 pm

We’ll be ok. I know Garner did a good job, but listening to these kids, a lot of the ones we missed say UGA offered me too late or I didn’t hear enough from them. Maybe now we can get someone who will stay on these Georgia kids and let them know how much UGA wants them and how much representing Georgia is an honor. And now maybe we can get some homegrown, nasty linemen! Good luck Garner, but I’m not too worried about the loss.

Elf

December 20th, 2012
11:34 pm

CAN WE PRETTY PLEASE HIRE TROOPER TAYLOR TO GET REUBEN FOSTER? TROOPER IS WORTH IT, JUST FOR THAT ONE SUPERSTAR. AGREE??

Dawg MD

December 20th, 2012
11:36 pm

This was a good move for both sides. We need some fresh energy and fresh blood. Garner, like MC said, was great 10 years ago, but he needed a change of scenery. He pretty much mailed it in the last few years. Anybody could do decent because you’re UGA in the state of Georgia. We need a big name to replace him. Somebody who wants to work hard. Good luck Auburn, Rodney.

boots

December 20th, 2012
11:36 pm

Would be interesting for Bobo to move over and get a new, outside Offensive coach. Hmmm…

Bubba J.

December 20th, 2012
11:43 pm

I say there is 0% chance Bobo gives up play calling to be recruiting coordinator. He is a good recruiter but he’s not going to relinquish play calling. All the recruits talk positively about Grantham too. I know Garner’s been at UGA a long time but I don’t think it’s as big of a loss as you’d think. Sometimes getting some new blood in there is a good thing.

NYC Dawg

December 20th, 2012
11:47 pm

Now that Rodney Garner is gone, we won’t have to hear about Georgia being “too late to offer” hometown prospects such as …

JaQuay Williams (still can’t get over this one)
Dillon Lee (his #&@ brother played for Georgia)
Jordan Jenkins (Todd Grantham to the rescue, thank god)
Josh Holsey
Steven Nelson (We never called him back after he committed)
Carl Lawson (Passed on offering him? And your his position coach, area recruiter and the overall recruiting coordinator? Are you kidding me?)

Excited to get some new people leading our recruiting

RedandBlackDAWG

December 20th, 2012
11:52 pm

Is it possible to hire a new Defensive line coach and also hire a recruiting coordinator, or does this position count strictly as a coach hire and therefore would exceed the amount of coaches an SEC team can have? Maybe they could hire the coordinator as as a administrative assistant. I don’t think UGA has too many of those right now.
I think Bobo has enough on his plate, just recruiting South Georgia, without giving him the whole ball of wax. Being the offensive coordinator of a team is a lot of responsibility.

hamm

December 20th, 2012
11:58 pm

Ummmm Gardner isn’t the reason for recent big name recruits. Bobo, CTG, and Lilly are

Spike 80DF

December 20th, 2012
11:59 pm

Promote Lilly to RC like he did at FSU and let Grantham hire HIS guy to coach the DL…….

hamm

December 21st, 2012
12:00 am

Gardner isn’t the reason for a lot of the latest big recruits in recent years. Bobo, CTG, and Lilly are

GODAWG

December 21st, 2012
12:01 am

Billy Napier. Former RC/OC at Clemson and from the state of Georgia. Very good recruiter. Will need to adjust coaching staff duties however.

Columbus

December 21st, 2012
12:09 am

Wouldnt the BIGGER question be: who is going to be the NEW DL coach?! Recruiting coordinator can be dealt with later. The new DL coach will likely determine if we get some VERY good players we are recruiting….

Auburn sucks. Will continue to suck for selling their soul for getting Cam Newton….

Garner can recruit. Now he can pay to play with big money at AU. But their fate is sealed…cheaters. Only way I would go to Auburn is no other SEC school wanted me. Auburn sucked so bad this year and will likely suck again BIG time the next couple of years. Auburn is a hole in the wall. Not much to do or visit. BOOOOORING.

I know Daryl “DJ” Jones. Played on 1980 NC team and in the NFL for Pack and Broncos. Good dude. ..from my hometown matter of fact. I say Bobo is new recruiting coordinator. Suclk Garner has so many Ga ties e can now use to try and get GA kids….Auburn still sucks and will continue to suck. They got to pay the piper though and ANY recruit ho goes there the next couple years will get wat they deserve…..LOSING….

Smitty

December 21st, 2012
12:20 am

Columbus….good question…d line is so important in the 3-4 defense

78dawg

December 21st, 2012
12:31 am

Good luck Rodney….but why would you leave and go to the WORST program in the SEC? My guess is Auburn dipped into their player money,,,,

7576DAWG

December 21st, 2012
12:33 am

I wonder if Richard Seymour is still playing Pro. ball . He was a great lineman when he was at Georgia and he could bring his son with him. That just an idea , not a suggestion. I would let Grantham find his own guy to coach the Defensive line.
Bobo has earned the Recruiting Coordinator job.

Bali

December 21st, 2012
12:38 am

I think Rodney was ready for a change. How many of you guys would go to a rival company for a substantial step up in pay? It is what it is. Richt will bring in a good recruiter….what’s confusing is will that recruiter also have to coach the D-Line? Speaking of change, I’d love to see bobo moved to recruiter and bring someone in who’s full of pi$$ and vinegar to coach the d-line. Please Coach Richt, whoever your recruiter is…..shore up the lines. Dam the skill players right now…..we’re getting beat in the trenches. Ask Saban how important both lines are.

7576DAWG

December 21st, 2012
12:44 am

Gardner had become lazy the last few years , with very little energy. That is why Spurrier and Saban were able to get so many good recruit’s out of the State of Georgia. I think Gardner was being shown the door if he didn’t pick things up and Malzahn is desperate. Gardner probably contact Malzahn after Richt’s latest evaluation.
Finally Richt is starting to act like a Head Coach. Calling his coaches out for not doing there job in having the players ready and or expecting them to recruit players who can provide the depth needed to go all the way. This will be a good thing.

Zanderyahoodawg

December 21st, 2012
12:48 am

As article reads his worth was mighty 6 plus yrs ago but it was time for him to look for a fresh start. As well as the Dawgs..

myers park dawg

December 21st, 2012
12:53 am

7576: Can you justify your 1st 2 sentences please?

Flo - Ri - Duh

December 21st, 2012
12:56 am

Garner felt passed over for the DC job by Grantham….. that and the increased pay are the reasons for Garner leaving. Van Gorder wasn’t at Auburn long enough to get anything done and now they will be changing again. I expect Auburn will be losing 5 star Lawson now – probably to Bama- because Lawson was not impressed with Garner. Dee Liner another 5 star is also unhappy with the changes at Auburn.

Merciless

December 21st, 2012
12:59 am

“John Atkins of Fork Union prep school, and Atkins is unlikely to go anywhere else because of academic concerns.” Really? That’s sad.
The key to Rubin Foster is having day care. And that’s pathetic, too.

myers park dawg

December 21st, 2012
12:59 am

FLO..We both know Garner hasn’t been “in line” for DC for years…Don’t know the pay but $ talks!

jeffBurger

December 21st, 2012
1:01 am

Chizik wasnt at our school long enough either…

tigger

December 21st, 2012
1:04 am

key to Foster id daycare.Howso?

RC Cola

December 21st, 2012
1:09 am

Thanks Rodney Gardner for 14 years! He was a powerful influence on many young men lives! Now it’s time to turn that page, and beat Auburn’s A&&! Ed Orgeron, anyone?

tigger

December 21st, 2012
1:11 am

ORGERON>>>>LMAO with USC

Smitty

December 21st, 2012
1:14 am

late night bloggers….drinking to much….like me or not

7576DAWG

December 21st, 2012
1:14 am

myers park
Just my personal observation with Georgia not having the line depth to compete with teams like Alabama and L.S.U. Alabama ran the ball for 350 yards.this year , right up the middle. Our Defensive line could not handle Alabama’s Offensive Line and we needed our Defensive back’s to make all the tackles.
Also, Garner was Recruiting Coordinator for the entire team for years now. I don’t care if each coach had recruiting responsibilities for certain positions , it was Garners responsibility to Coordinate all efforts and to be the one to go in and close the deal. The reason Georgia can sign 35 players this year is because of the very poor job done Recruiting the last two years. Richt can’t do everything and needed Garner to step up and act like a Coordinator , which in my opinion he did not do and he certainly didn’t distinguish himself as an Assistant Head Coach.
When I call him lazy , that doesn’t mean that I didn’t appreciate his effort the first 10 years. It’s just been in the last 4 years that I question and the only thing to go by is Georgia’d record the last for years and especially against ranked opponents and coming up way short on signing recruits.

myers park dawg

December 21st, 2012
1:18 am

Points well taken 7576. But remember the buck lies with Coach on recruiting decisions…

hoobastank

December 21st, 2012
1:23 am

Rodney hasnt really been doin too much lately….Coach Richt will just keep honing his staff! Good luck Garner!

Wilddawg83

December 21st, 2012
1:35 am

I’ve said this on another blog but the obvious choice to replace RG is Travis Jones former captain at UGA, defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator with LSU when they won the MNC under Sabin also followed Sabin to become the dline coach with the Dolphins and is now an assistant dl coach with the saints. He is young energetic and has also stated on several ocassions he would like to get back to his alma mater . The man has 8yrs NFL experience (recruits love that) he has a MNC and a Super Bowl ring. His name was mentioned during the DC search . So getting him would take care of 3 things , a dline coach, recruiting coordinator , and a DC whenever CTG decides to take a head coaching job. No Brainer !!!!!

hoobastank

December 21st, 2012
1:41 am

Dilfer has a Super Bowl ring! Sign him up!

jankemp

December 21st, 2012
1:44 am

Meaningless position.go dogs!

J. james

December 21st, 2012
1:50 am

you have a good guy know Grantham real good work together other places, but got to pay him. Such he is there.Coach Grantham know him great access to the Georgia Nation.Very well known in Georgia.

Fidlin1

December 21st, 2012
1:51 am

Hines Ward available?

Wilddawg83

December 21st, 2012
1:54 am

@hoobastank….. Don’t skim read . Dilfer wasn’t a dline coach for LSU or a dline coach for the Super Bowl Saints and he definetly wasn’t a Captain for the University Of Georgia ! So to post something so asinine U obviously are not a Dawg Fan

Fidlin1

December 21st, 2012
2:06 am

I can see Hines walking into Pub 34 to have lunch with a recruit. That would be something, all the Herschel posters and video highlights playing while you talk UGA tradition. After his visit here last summer and showing interest in being hired at some capacity Hines Ward would be a catch.

Columbus

December 21st, 2012
2:14 am

On Tuesday, a longtime source was insistent that rumors about Saban leaving Alabama to return to the NFL are off-base.

“That’s not happening,” the source said, emphatically.

As I posted on Twitter, take the adamant denial for what it’s worth, particularly when another source I spoke with on Thursday claimed that Saban has already begun interviewing potential assistants he would take to the Cleveland Browns with him. The source laid out the timing of how current Browns coach Pat Shurmur will be fired after the season, one or two candidates will be interviewed (complete with the name of a minority candidate) and that Saban will be hired on Jan. 8, the day after Alabama’s BCS title game tilt vs. Notre Dame.

That bit of information advances an earlier report by Boston Globe ace NFL writer Greg Bedard about Saban wanting to return to the NFL and that Saban would work with current NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi. Lombardi is a former personnel man with several teams, including Cleveland, Oakland and Denver.

So exactly what should anyone believe about Saban?

Sadly, everything and nothing.

Anyone who knows the 61-year-old Saban understands his anxious side. He is not a man who puts down roots. He’s a man who pulls them up and then heads for the next job. He has told his own players (as he did at Michigan State) that he was staying one day, then left for LSU the next.

Until he got to Alabama, he had not been at a place longer than five years. He’s in his sixth season with Alabama, and as much as you’d think he could coach the Crimson Tide for the remainder of his career, that’s not his style.

Saban likes challenges. He has succeeded in turning around programs, winning national titles at LSU and Alabama.

Another telling trait is that Saban likes to live in denial just as he’s about to go from one place to another. There was the move from Michigan State to LSU. When he left the Miami Dolphins for Alabama, he lied time after time about how he wouldn’t be the Crimson Tide’s next coach.

Then there was Saban’s interview with Miami radio host Dan Le Batard on Monday in which Saban talked about leaving the Dolphins. Saban, not surprisingly, downplayed the idea of leaving Alabama.

7576DAWG

December 21st, 2012
2:36 am

Columbus
I could see Saban leaving. Smart has turned down a lot of great job opportunities in the last few years to stay with Alabama. The only feasible reason would be Smart knows that the Alabama job is coming open and the best way to minimize the impact on the Alabama team and recruits would be for Smart to be named Head Coach.

Bama Fan #2

December 21st, 2012
3:53 am

Saban is not going back to the NFL so dawg fans get a life
and enjoy the SEC East titles!!!!! RTR

Left Coast Dawg

December 21st, 2012
4:48 am

Rodney Garner coached 10 Current NFL Defensive Linemen at UGA, this loss is gonna hurt more than the game against Bama.
http://sports.yahoo.com/news/complete-list-georgia-football-players-nfl-200500434–ncaaf.html

slydog

December 21st, 2012
5:17 am

Regardless of his past failures, McClendon should be the choice. He can appeal to a more diverse, bigger group of kids. Let’s not also forget, CMR and BoBo had to sign off on all of those running backs who eventually fluked their way out of stardom. People, including myself..lol, are always calling for BoBo’s job and it would not be a good thing. However, I do like the thought of him returning to QB’s coach and Richt taking back over play-calling., something they both are better at. If Lane Kiffin can get 3 major jobs and he was never anything above a QB coach, surely BoBo can get a job like Southern Miss or something else along those lines.

Dawgie Doo Doo

December 21st, 2012
5:17 am

Hire another redneck as recruiting coordinator.

its sad

December 21st, 2012
5:26 am

Good enough to play but not to coach??? Uga’s roster is over 85% African American but only has one African American position Coach. You want me to send my son to this school with a glass ceiling…. Not Happening. And you wonder why you can’t recruit againts or beat Lsu or Alabama. ATLEAST hire one black coordinator in the schools 100 + year history..

BamaDAWG

December 21st, 2012
5:40 am

This would be GREAT time for CMR to man up and hire HInes Ward to the staff, if he still even wants to coach at UGA. I think he would also be a great recruiter, with his football knowledge and experience, he could really relate to the players!!!

BamaDAWG

December 21st, 2012
5:50 am

OR what not go after Kirby Smart and make him Asst. HC and pay him the money? Hopefully, CMR will be GONE after next year, because he doesn’t have the soft schedule to save him like he did the last two years!!! Then, Kirby could step right in and hopefully, clean house and rebuild this coaching staff into one that plays smart defense, can adjust if we are getting run over for 300+ yards a game, teaches mental toughness and get rid of the STUPID penalties, hires a ST Coach and gets an OC or play caller that isn’t so dang predictable!!!

Buddy Landel

December 21st, 2012
5:51 am

They have another one committed, John Atkins of Fork Union prep school, and Atkins is unlikely to go anywhere else because of academic concerns
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gomdawg

December 21st, 2012
6:04 am

DAVID POLLACK DL COACH ( I KNOW HE WANT LEAVE ESPN )

M

December 21st, 2012
6:32 am

NOW go out and get Hines Ward!!!!