Kirby Smart had no doubts whatsoever about his latest coaching hire.
“Dan was a guy that I actually considered when I got the job. I wanted to bring him in with Coach Schumann. Dan does a tremendous job. I got to watch him work and be around him when I was with the University of Alabama.”
Lanning’s arrival provides a bit of a reunion, giving Georgia four former Alabama assistants, three now coaching together on the Bulldogs’ defense. Lanning was a graduate assistant on the Alabama staff during the 2015 season, working alongside Kirby Smart, Mel Tucker, and Glenn Schumann.
“He had a really good resume coming into Alabama,” Smart said. “He had been a full-time coach, had worked at several different places. He worked with outside backers, inside backers, safeties, special teams.”
The last two seasons saw Lanning on staff at Memphis.
“When he went to Memphis, he was able to sign the best non-Power 5 recruiting class in the country as the recruiting coordinator at Memphis,” Smart said. “He had a linebacker that led the country at inside linebacker with sacks and pressures last year at Memphis and broke Memphis records.”
Smart pointed out that Lanning was hired without an interview.
“I just know what kind of coach he is,” Smart said. “I knew that from being with him. I was 100 percent confident in who I wanted to hire. I did not have to interview him. He has a lot of energy on the field and I am really excited to see what he is going to do with a really talented D’Andre Walker and some freshmen at outside backer.”
Three takeaways there:
- A no-interview hire, eh? Sounds like somebody knows exactly what he’s getting.
- One thing Smart believes he’s getting is another great recruiter.
- It seems D’Andre Walker is already penciled in the 2017 starting defensive eleven. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.