I know it’s waaay too early to start etching any conclusions in stone and that talk is cheap, but still, if you’re a Georgia fan, you’ve got to be impressed with what Todd Grantham’s said this past week.
There’s been a little red meat tossed out to a fan base that’s clearly in need of it:
“I looked at this as a chance to come to a program that has won, that is hungry and that has been successful, and you can help bridge that back to the way it was,” Grantham said. “So that’s what excited me about this job.”
He gave a nod to the hope that the Bacarri Rambos of the world get their fair shots:
… That evaluation will continue all the way through the start of the season, Grantham said, and he’s planning to encourage plenty of competition by opening up all jobs and asking his players to earn their playing time.
“I think competition makes everybody better, and I think you have to work to win a position before you can help us win a game,” Grantham said. “So what you do is you coach each player, and the bottom line is you’re going to put the players out there that are going to be the most productive.”
He threw down the recruiting gauntlet.
But make no mistake, Grantham plans to hit the recruiting trail hard in the final two weeks before signing day, and long term, his goal is to build a wall around the state of Georgia.
“If we took the best players in the state of Georgia and within a five-hour radius of our school, and they come to University of Georgia, we can win the SEC championship and compete for a national title,” Grantham said. “And I think you can be better than Florida, you can be better than Texas and you can be better than Southern Cal if those players came to the University of Georgia.”
And it sounds like he knows what he wants to emphasize to recruits.
“I always had an aspiration to coach in pro football, and the reason is that it is the graduate school of coaching. It’s the best players, it’s the best systems, and it is the best coaches to a point -– not that there aren’t great coaches in college. But you do get challenged up there. So I looked forward to that challenge. But, really, I wanted to do that to enhance my career in college. I have always had aspirations of being a coordinator and a head coach one day, and I felt like, what better [than the NFL] on your resume when you to into a home [recruiting]? . . . That way when I walk into a home, my resume could speak for where I could help the kid go. And that’s really one of the reasons I went to pro football. Over the past 11 years, there have been some opportunities to come back to college, but the timing was never right and I never felt as strongly as I did about this job.”
… Grantham’s travels already have taken him up close and personal with recruits who committed to Georgia and players that the Bulldogs are hoping to close with in the home stretch before national signing day Feb. 3.
“I had the pleasure of meeting him (Thursday) morning,” said Warner Robins defensive tackle Jeff Whitaker, one of the top targets remaining for Georgia. “I met with him and talked to him and he’s a guy that sounds like he knows what he’s talking about. He’s pretty impressive.”
It’s important not to get too far ahead of ourselves here, though. A new scheme to install and a need to adjust to personnel who may not all be a good match for the new system are pretty big things to bite off and chew in a matter of a few months. What I like is that it’s clear from Grantham’s remarks that he knows what he’s in for and sounds ready to handle that. The part about teaching being critical to the success of the defensive staff is music to my ears.
In other words, I think it’s okay to get a little excited at this point.