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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Grantham settles into recruiting, targeting Gators, skinny reporters

As Todd Grantham gets re-acquainted with the recruiting trail, he has developed a pretty central philosophy:

“The first thing I ask is: Can the guy help us beat Florida,” Grantham, the Georgia defensive coordinator, said on Wednesday. “I mean truthfully, because that’s who we have to beat to win the SEC. And off the guys that I feel like we’re recruiting and have committed to us, I can say yes off of that. So I’m really excited off those guys.”

But what about South Carolina – which won the division this year and might be the favorite next year?

“I’m playing percentages,” Grantham said.

(Or perhaps Grantham is still riled that Steve Spurrier took a dig at him earlier this year. But I’ll take him at his word.)

Grantham is officially six weeks away from his second Signing Day since he returned to the college game, after 11 years as an NFL assistant. But as he points out, he came in so late last time, in mid-January, “it was over with, truthfully.”

The 11 months since then have allowed Grantham to watch more recruiting film, and make evaluations on what kind of fit they are: inside or outside linebacker, end or tackle, or whether they can play in the 3-4 at all.

It’s also been an adjustment from his previous life, when Grantham had to depend on general managers to make draft picks or sign free agents. And even then, it was limited.

“Here you have to go out and recruit, but you can go get more than one dynamic player,” Grantham said. “Whereas in pro ball, truthfully, from a defensive perspective, after the first few guys at a certain position, after that you’re just kind of grabbing.”

Grantham can’t get into specifics, but Georgia is believed to be looking hard at a core of key defensive players. The ones often mentioned are junior college nose tackle John Jenkins, Thomasville defensive end Ray Drew and Atlanta cornerback Damian Swann.

“I’m convinced more than ever than if we just keep the guys in the state of Georgia home, we’re gonna be pretty good,” Grantham said.

Grantham is also thinking creatively. Near the end of an interview session on Wednesday, when discussing the need for a nose guard, Grantham began scraping the bottom off the barrel.

“Can you play?” he asked, looking at me.

“Me? Well I have four years eligibility,” I answered, rather meekly.

“Do you?” Grantham said, smiling. “We could start beefing you up now, and you might be ready by spring.”

“Yeah …,” I answered, slowly. “It’d take a lot of lift work. I lift and lift and nothing happens.”

“I wish I had that problem,” said Grantham, who doesn’t have time to lift anymore.

For the record, I’d be happy to help. But Joe Tereshinski will have to be the real deal in the weight room if he can get this 6-2, 175-pounder ready to play nose tackle.

So yeah, I’ll let you know what happens with Jenkins.


Anonymous said...

Ray Drew plays for Thomas County Central

Anonymous said...

6'2, 175? You don't have the right body type to be a sportswriter!

Ubiquitous GA Alum said...

Would "Mr. Blog Man" fit on the back of a jersey?

Anonymous said...

Question, Seth....
What are your impressions of Grantham as a communicator? When speaking with him, is he the kind of man who, in your estimation, is persuasive? Could he sell ice to an Eskimo?

Seth Emerson said...

Thanks, fixed the Thomasville reference.

Anonymous said...

175 lbs! You need to eat! At that weight, you'r elighter than most kickers.