Georgia's already-impressive Signing Day haul got even more impressive over the weekend as 6'4", 340-pound JUCO defensive tackle-slash-colossus Johnathan Jenkins signed with the Bulldogs. Now there's just one question: who's going to coach him?
You'd expect that to be longtime Bulldog defensive line coach (and recruiting ace) Rodney Garner, but the departure of inside linebackers coach Warren Belin for a position with the Carolina Panthers last week has muddied the waters. But the mandatory ad posting to fill Belin's position didn't ask for a linebackers coach , reading instead:
This position serves as Assistant Coach in the area of Defensive Ends. Responsibilities include recruiting talented athletes to play the sport of football as well as guiding and encouraging student-athletes toward graduation at the University of Georgia.This would be a strange allocation of coaching resources on Mark Richt's part, since the Dawgs run a 3-4 defense in which only one player not a "defensive end" sees the field at a time. Tackles and ends are routinely coached by two different coaches in a 4-3, but the move in a 3-4 would seem to be nearly unprecedented at the college level. If Garner was seriously being asked to coach only nose tackles like Jenkins, wouldn't that be something of a slap in the face?
Which is why the odds that Georgia's actually looking for an out-and-out ends coach seem low. Athletic director Greg McGarity said there was simply a mixup in the language between the athletic department and human resources. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham said he "wouldn't put any stock " in the wording of the posting. The Bulldogs could also be looking for someone to coach the outside linebackers in their 3-4 -- the players that would, of course, correlate to DEs in a 4-3 -- while Grantham occupies Belin's role as the inside 'backers coach.
So it's likely the only real news regarding Georgia's coaching staff to come out of this past weekend is the hiring of UAB's Will Friend , a former Georgia graduate assistant, to replace Stacy Searels as the Bulldogs' offensive line coach. But until a new face is officially unveiled on the defensive side of the ball, some level of intrigue is going to remain.