Title Game Means Payday for Coaches

ATHENS – Georgia's assistant football coaches, who had reason to wonder about their job security after the Bulldogs' started the season 0-2, will be rewarded for reaching the SEC championship game.

Mark Richt's nine assistants will receive bonuses worth a combined $191,500 for Georgia playing in the game, under the Athletic Association's bonus structure.

The SEC championship game bonus—win or lose--is worth 10 percent of a coach's base salary except for defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. He receives a bonus of six percent ($18,000) of his base salary for reaching the title game or 13 percent ($39,000) if Georgia wins under the three-year, $750,000 contract he signed in 2010.

Inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti, hired from the NFL's Washington Redskins, gets a $25,000 bonus and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner get $24,250.

The other five assistants on staff get $20,000 bonuses.

Secondary coach Scott Lakatos and tight ends coach John Lilly each signed one-year contracts before this season that upped their salaries to $200,000 a year. Lakatos was at $180,000 and Lilly at $165,480.

That brought them in line with three other assistants making $200,000—receivers coach Tony Ball, offensive line coach Will Friend and running backs coach Bryan McClendon.

As previously reported, Richt gets a $75,000 bonus for getting the Bulldogs to the SEC title game. He will get another $25,000 for winning the game.

Storm helped Bulldogs get Boykin back

Remember that winter storm that dumped 8.8 inches of snow on Athens last January and closed the university for three days?

It may have helped Georgia get cornerback Brandon Boykin back for his senior season.

Boykin said he nearly joined teammates A.J. Green and Justin Houston in making the jump.

"I honestly was going to go to the NFL," Boykin said Monday. "I kind of had my mind made up at one point. And then I talked to coach Richt, and it's funny, what happened was I actually came to the team meeting, me along with A.J. and Justin. It actually was like a snowstorm in Athens, a blizzard, and I got stuck here for a couple days. Just over the course of those days, I started talking to coach and all the coaches and just thinking about things. I felt like it was kind of a sign from God."

Mums the word at tailback

Isaiah Crowell won't be giving any updates this week on how he's doing as he's expected to return from a sprained left ankle.

Georgia isn't making Crowell or any other of its tailbacks available to the media before Saturday's game.

Crowell practiced Monday night.

"He was moving around," receiver Malcolm Mitchell said. "I really don't know how he is as far as how his ankle feels, but I think he'll be fine."

Junior Richard Samuel, who hasn't played since the Florida game after undergoing ankle surgery, also could return.

Quarterback Aaron Murray said "it's huge for us," if Georgia could have a healthy tailback group.

"We like to keep things balanced," Murray said. "We want to be able to run the ball.We want to be able to chew up clock to keep our defense on the sidelines. I think we've been able to do that all year. …I think we need to be able to run the ball against LSU in order to get the victory and put some points on the board."

Defense vs. defense

They are top five in total defense and pass efficiency defense and top 10 in scoring defense and run defense.

LSU can say that. So can Georgia.

"I mean, everybody praises LSU defense, but I think--I know we've got a pretty good defense," outside linebacker Jarvis Jones said. "We're not cocky at all. We're just going to play. We do our job and get out on the field. We like having fun. We love playing football. We're aggressive. We play just as well as them. A lot of people don't give us credit of how they play and how we play. I think we play two different styles. I think our defense is just as good as theirs if not better."

This and that

Sophomore Garrison Smith was named SEC co-defensive lineman of the week after having a career-high seven tackles, including 1 ½ for loss against Georgia Tech. …. …LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis was named Monday one of five finalists for the Broyles Award for nation's top assistant. Grantham was among nominees announced last week. …Georgia will be the visiting team and wear red jerseys Saturday. LSU is the home team and will wear white jerseys. …The Bulldogs practiced for about an hour in steady rain Monday night with temperatures in the 40s. …SEC championship game captains: Boykin, Jones, offensive tackle Cordy Glenn and tight end Orson Charles.

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