Richt Moves on to New Target

ATHENS – Mark Richt's search for a new defensive coordinator has turned to a name that has been bantered around for a few weeks.

Richt's attempt to lure Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart to Athens ended Monday after Smart turned down the generous offer laid forth by the Dawgs' head man.

Dawg Post reported on January 6th that Richt and Georgia would make "make one last run at Smart, but that they will move forward quickly if Smart is not interested." That happened earlier today.

Today multiple sources inside of Georgia's athletic program have confirmed that Richt has zeroed in on Dallas Cowboys' defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. Dawg Post has been able to confirm Richt's interest in Grantham, but has been unable to confirm the Grantham's interest in Georgia. However, Chris Low (ESPN) has a report stating that: "Several people close to the situation say Grantham is very interested, but doesn't want to do anything that would serve as a distraction for the Cowboys during their playoff run." Dallas will travel to Minnesota this weekend in the divisional round of the NFC Playoffs.

Dawg Post also reported on January 6th: "It is very unclear if Grantham, if he became or has already become the defensive coordinator, would be named as such until the Playoffs are over."

Grantham, it turns out, was a name Richt was given after talking with Virginia Tech's Bud Foster about the Georgia job. Grantham played at Virginia Tech and then was a coach there from 1990-95 under Foster. Grantham then worked for Nick Saban at Michigan State before leaving to coach in the NFL. Grantham was the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns from 2005-07, before heading to the Cowboys two years ago after being let go in Cleveland.

According to published reports in the Houston Chronicle and South Florida Sun Sentinel, Saban "persuaded" Grantham for the defensive coordinator job while he was the head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

According to a report in the Dallas Morning News, Grantham was "approached" about the job at least a day if not a week before Alabama's win the BCS Championship last Thursday. Dallas was getting ready for their first round playoff game with the Eagles, but Georgia is not bound by NFL regulations, which prevent other NFL franchises from contacting coaches about coaching vacancies.

Grantham is considered by some a 3-4 defense expert. If hired, Grantham's 3-4 would be a departure from the 4-3 base the Bulldogs ran under both of Richt's past two defensive coordinators.

Grantham has not commented publically about any interest in the Georgia job.

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