As we've seen in the past with Grantham's hirings of defensive backs coach Scott Lakatos from Connecticut and inside backers coach Kirk Olividatti from the Washington Redskins, Grantham's reach is far and wide when it comes to reeling in other assistants.
That said, it is hard to rule out anyone or everyone for the Bulldogs' current vacancy, but here are a list of names that Grantham could have on his radar. Expect names to be added/dropped throughout the bowl season based on reports and what we hear at Dawg Post.
Odell Haggins, Florida State, defensive tackles coach – Haggins, a Florida State alum, is the longest-tenured coach on the Seminoles staff. He just completed his 19th season on the staff in Tallahassee, sharing the sidelines with Mark Richt from 1994-2000. Considered one of the best in the business, Haggins has coached several first-round draft picks as the defensive tackles coach and has had even greater impact as a recruiter through the years for the Seminoles, including picking up five-star DT Eddie Goldman in this year's class.
Travis Jones, New Orleans Saints, assistant defensive line coach – Jones is a name familiar to Georgia fans from his playing days between the hedges from 1990-94. Since then, Jones has found success in the coaching ranks. He began as a grad assistant in 1997, working with freshmen Richard Seymour and Marcus Stroud, and later worked as defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator for LSU in 2003 under Nick Saban. He is in his eighth season in the NFL and his fifth with the Saints. The major drawback to Jones is his involvement in a real estate scam a few years ago. Jones entered a plea deal and served a suspension from the Saints. His resume is stellar, but with his checkered past, he may be an unlikely candidate for Georgia.
Tracy Rocker, Tennessee Titans, defensive line coach – Rocker is in his second season with the Titans, where he has been since leaving Auburn in 2010. At Auburn, Rocker coached Nick Fairley and recruited the state of Georgia for the Tigers, pulling prospects like Jeff Whitaker. A native of Atlanta, he is well known around the SEC having played at Auburn and coached under Huston Nutt at Arkansas and Ole Miss from 2003-2008.
Giff Smith, Buffalo Bills, defensive line coach – A native of Mableton, Ga., Smith spent more than half a decade as Georgia Tech's defensive line coach, serving as recruiting coordinator from 2006 to 2009. With the Bills since 2010, he has coached pro-bowler Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus. Smith is a known commodity around the southeast and worked at Georgia as a graduate assistant from 1994-95.
Eric Washington, Carolina Panthers, defensive line coach – Washington has made a name for himself for nearly half a decade in the NFL. He served as assistant defensive line coach from 2008-09 with the Chicago Bears before being promoted to defensive line coach in 2010, coaching a unit led by Julius Peppers. From there, he moved to the Panthers, where he's coached All-Pro Charles Johnson and the Carolina defensive line for the last two seasons. Prior to his NFL days, Washington worked at Northwestern (2004-07), at Ohio (2001-03), and at Texas A&M as a grad assistant in 1997.
Jody Allen, West Georgia, associate head coach/defensive coordinator – After a decade at Florida State, Allen has spent the previous three seasons as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at West Georgia in Carrolton. While at FSU, Allen coached defensive ends from 2002-09 and doubled as special teams coordinator for his last three years in Tallahassee. At FSU, Allen coached first-round picks like Everette Brown and Kamerion Wimbley. The Fayetteville, Ga. native graduated from Valdosta State, once coached at Griffin High, spent five seasons as an assistant at Ole Miss and played a heavy hand in recruiting Georgia for Florida State. Allen is also good friends with current Georgia tight ends coach John Lilly.
Other possible candidates: Randy Shannon (former Miami head coach, current TCU linebackers coach), Chris Rumph (Alabama defensive line coach), Leon Lett (former Pro Bowler, current Dallas Cowboys assistant defensive line coach), Tony Grantham (Todd's brother is an assistant coach/OLB coach at Navy)