ATHENS — Todd Grantham might have been the happiest guy in Stegeman Coliseum for Saturday’s Georgia-Auburn basketball game.
The Georgia football team’s defensive coordinator found out for sure Saturday afternoon that he will have 6-foot-4, 340-pound junior-college star John Jenkins at nose guard next season.
“I think he’ll make an immediate impact,” Grantham said in an interview at halftime of the basketball game.
Grantham wasn’t surprised that Jenkins chose Georgia, but “you never really know until it’s official. We knew he liked us a lot. We knew he felt like this was home. We thought we [showed] him he was needed and how he could fit in.”
Jenkins, who starred the past two seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, announced his decision to sign with Georgia at a news conference at his former high school in Connecticut. UGA confirmed that it has, indeed, received Jenkins’ signed letter of intent.
Grantham said the addition of Jenkins will allow the Bulldogs to move DeAngelo Tyson from nose to defensive end, his preferred position in the 3-4 defense.
“What it does is, [it] allows us to add a bigger man to the front,” Grantham said. “Because size does matter, and I think he’ll help fill a need for us.”
While the need is for a nose, Grantham didn’t rule out the possibility of Jenkins also getting a bit of action on . . . offense.
“There might be a play or two for him,” a grinning Grantham said. “If you look back, there have been some big guys that have lined up in the backfield before.”
On Jenkins’ reported desire to wear jersey No. 6, a still-grinning Grantham said: “If you’re gonna play in the backfield, you’ve gotta have an eligible number, right?”
On another topic, Grantham said Georgia “obviously could go a couple different ways” in filling the defensive coaching position vacated by the departure this week of inside linebackers coach Warren Belin to the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.
“We’re basically in the process of looking at it right now,” Grantham said. “We’re going to hire the best person for Georgia and the best fit for Georgia.”
Although Belin coached inside linebackers, the job posting placed Friday on UGA’s employment website identifies the open position as a defensive-ends coach. That would seem to suggest a shuffling of defensive coaching responsibilities is at least being contemplated, but Grantham said: “I wouldn’t put any stock in that. We’re going to hire the best person for Georgia.”
– Tim Tucker, The UGA Blog