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Q&A: Is it wrong for Grantham to interview with the NFL after convincing recruits to attend UGA?

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Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity has been informed that Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will interview with the Saints for the same position. Grantham has more or less dodged reports leading up to National Signing Day about interviewing with the NFL and was said to have refuted reports to one recruit and his mother.

McGarity released a statement that he had been informed of the Saints’ interest.

“In accordance with his contractual obligation, Todd Grantham notified me Wednesday night of the New Orleans Saints’ interest in interviewing him for the defensive coordinator position.”

It was reported on Tuesday that the Saints would hire former Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. That report turned out to be false.

Todd Grantham’s name started emerging, and it was reported that he would at least interview with Sean Payton today. Grantham was asked about the report yesterday after signing day ended, and he remained coy.

“I told guys (recruits) that I love it, my family loves it and I fully expect to be here,” Grantham said. “But I told those guys as coaches if things come up you’re always going to do what’s best for your family and see what happens. But nothing’s come up for me from that standpoint where I feel I’ve got to contractually say something. So I’m in a good place, I’ve got a good job and I look forward to coaching here.”

This is the second time Grantham has been linked to an NFL coordinator vacancy in the last few weeks. New Eagles head coach Chip Kelly was said to be targeting Grantham, too.

Georgia fans, however, are up in arms about Grantham even interviewing, leaning on what he told new Georgia signee Davin Bellamy and his mother. Bellamy’s mother said she spoke to Grantham and Bryan McClendon before her son signed, and he told her there was no truth to the report. She spoke to the AJC before signing day.

“We spoke with Grantham, we spoke with (Bryan) McClendon, we’ve spoken with Mark Richt,” she said. “There is no truth to that and it will not affect Davin’s decision today.”

Bellamy signed with Georgia over Oregon, FSU and Tennessee.

But the reports are in fact true, and Grantham is set to interview with the Saints.

As it turns out, Grantham looks like he knowingly mislead recruits and their families. But what do you want him to do? Recruits sign with schools knowing coaching tenures are short, and in order to get promoted, it’s likely the coach will have to jump to another program. And taking an NFL coordinator job is most often better than a college coordinator job, depending on the goals of the particular coach.

The Grantham rumors may have already impacted Georgia in a big way. Other than Bellamy, Georgia missed on several top defensive prospects in the last few weeks.

Should we blame Grantham or Mark Richt for knowingly misleading recruits about the interview?

Recruits are told all the time to sign with a school that you will be happy at if the coaching staff leaves or gets fired. It happens every year at different programs.

It is deceiving, and it makes you appreciate the way Florida and Will Muschamp handled the same matter with Dan Quinn when he left for the Seahawks. It had little to no effect on Florida’s recruiting or signing day at all.

Photo Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports





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Comments 5

  1. Don’t think it’s fair to criticize anyone for this. For one, no one really knows what Grantham told these kids or didn’t…and when it comes down to it it’s his business and no one else’s. As of now he’s a Dawg…he has to do his job accordingly…I don’t think he’s promising these kids anything…besides a chance to wear the red and black on Saturdays. And that’s what they’ll get. If empty promises were He and CMRs style Im sure we could have landed those bigger names.

  2. Perhaps signees should be able to get out of their LOI if coaches pull this after NSD?

  3. As I understood it, Grantham had a private conversation with Bellamy and his mother that left them believing he would ultimately remain at UGA but would still be interviewing. I wasn’t part of that conversation and I know there weren’t any journalists there to report what exactly was said. There certainly wasn’t a quote from him saying “I will not interview nor accept any other job.” Making the jump to “…knowingly mislead recruits…” is pretty broad at best, intentionally deceptive at worst.

    • This is true. Great point. We don’t know what was said, and we can only go off of what the mother said. But I have a strong suspicion that if Grantham had mentioned it could happen, Bellamy probably would have signed elsewhere. This is going to get more interesting as it develops.

      • I still think this is just generating a story instead of reporting it. If their conversation included that he’s interviewing for the job, as I thought was implied with her “we got to the bottom of it” statement, then there is no cause for alarm at all.

        Adam Schefter reports that the Saints will hire Ryan, whom they’re still interviewing on Friday. If Grantham told the Bellamys that he’s interviewing but the Saints already have their man lined-up, as was reported, I don’t see how he could be more forth coming. Again, this is consistent with the statements made by Bellamy and his mother.

        Now, if he ends up being offered and accepting the job, that would be a story and I would agree that he had misled recruits, or at least this one recruit. Assuming he does not, then everything else is just twisting words to sound like worse than they are.