“It was really a no-brainer for me.”

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 SmartMel 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.


Filed under Georgia Football

18 responses to ““It was really a no-brainer for me.”

  1. Jim

    No interview, eh? Greg McGarity approves…


  2. I love Bellamy and Carter, both DGD’s, but I’m pretty excited about Walker being on the field more. He may not be as strong against the run, but he’s one of those guys that you don’t need to blitz when he’s on the field, he’ll find a way to pressure the QB.


  3. Turd Ferguson

    Not predicting anything, but I really won’t be surprised if Walker outperforms Carter and Bellamy. When he’s in the right position, he seems to be faster and more disruptive than anyone else at the position.


  4. Dawg19

    Walker and Grant are going to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.


  5. Macallanlover

    You have worked with the guy, know his strengths and weaknesses well, saw how he performed in a similar environment at another school, so why would you need an interview? I am sure he looked around and considered the other candidates before making a decision. Very good sign of a strong leader to me, screw the bureaucracy, keep your eye on the goal.


  6. hailtogeorgia

    I wonder if Kirby specifically calling D’Andre by name like that isn’t a little bit of an attempt at getting him to step up and be the leader of the defense going into the offseason and preparing for 2018. With Roquan and Thompson leaving early, Walker seems like the obvious candidate (either by default or otherwise) to step into that vacated leadership role and it wouldn’t surprise me if that’s Kirby’s goal here with a bit positively-charged motivation.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. dawgired

    I’m glad the details of the hiring story were told. I knew Kirby was familiar with him but I wondered about his experience. His youth may serve as a connection to recruits.

    I feel we have the talent to replace talent. We’ll have to wait to see if the leadership is equally replaced.


  8. One thing we’ll definitely have on defense is more speed. Grant and Walker and Anderson are going to be giving offenses fits.

    If there’s a concern it would be teams that can play power football, but since those hardly exist anymore, we should be ok.

    I wouldn’t want to be whoever yech is going to put at QB next year.


  9. Otto

    He was hired without an interview, and was considered when he was putting his initial staff together. It almost sounds like Smart wanted to make this change.


  10. Tim B

    Everyone will know D’Andre Walker’s name by the end of November next year. He will have ten plus sacks easily and a huge number of tfl’s. He will be the star of the defense. Lecounte will also be turning heads. We just need a Dt like bama’s that tore through our ol all day and then we’ll have something.


  11. DawgPhan

    Georgia still needs to hire their 10th coach, right? This is just filling an opening and not new head count?

    Any hints on the direction Georgia is thinking on the 10th coach?


    • Dog in Fla

      Someone to replace Scott Fountain who passed the Moorhead test to be hired as Special Teams Coordinator for Mississippi State?


  12. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    I would not say there was no interview. I would say there was a season-long interview when they worked together. Those are the best kind, imo.


    • dawgtired

      Exactly how I see it. It would be awkward talking qualifications with someone you had worked with many hours. “So Dan, are you still doing a good job coaching like you did when we were together at Bama?” I’m sure these coaches have conversations with each other about the ‘coaching team’ they would put together if they ever become head coach.


  13. W Cobb Dawg

    Agree with others that Walker has shown flashes of being something special. Nobody got into the opposing backfield faster or more consistently than Walker – when he was on the field.

    Gonna see a lot of new faces on D this year. We’re fortunate that several of the young’uns got playing time in 2017. I think we have some potential defensive leaders returning in Baker, Walker, Reed, McGhee, Clark, Ledbetter, Rochester, Marshall, etc. Not a bad nucleus to reload with.