ESPN's Chris Low is reporting that LSU defensive coordinator, John Chavis, is on Mark Richt's "radar" for the still vacant Georgia job of the same name.
If that is the case, Chavis will be the fourth such candidate within the SEC that coach Richt's search has been linked to so far—Ellis Johnson (SC), Tyrone Nix (Ole Miss), and Kirby Smart (Bama) are others.
So far, there is little in the way of proof to say that Chavis would be willing to move away from Baton Rouge after just one season with the Tigers, but given his ties to both Athens and Knoxville, it wouldn't be that far-fetched to find that Chavis has accepted the job and is on his way following LSU's bowl game against Penn State.
Even still, as recently as yesterday, LSU linebacker Kelvin Sheppard was laying the Chavis to Georgia rumor to rest , telling the press that Chavis said "I'm here with you all, I love it here, I'm not going anywhere."
That said, coaches have been known to tell a little fib every now and then to maintain focus amongst their players. Just ask Cincinnati wide receiver Mardy Gilyard what former coach Brian Kelly told him just days before bolting to Notre Dame.
I would venture a guess that John Chavis is a bit more honest in his dealings with players than Kelly was in that instance, but where money, family, and overall convenience is concerned, loyalty to the program has been known to take a backseat to loyalty to one's family—just putting that out there.
If Chavis is willing to bolt, the Dawgs are definitely willing to pay the price for his allegiances. According to at least one report, Georgia would offer Chavis $600,000 per year for three years, which would trump his current haul of $450,000 per with the Tigers even with the additional $115,000 offered in bonus pay.
However, who's to say that LSU wouldn't sweeten his deal too? If nothing else, the current hubbub around his possible departure could net him a raise, a la Bud Foster of Virginia Tech and Tyrone Nix of Ole Miss.
Either way, Georgia is continuing to tap into the best that Division I has to offer in terms of defensive coaching talent, and they aren't shying away from the NFL level either. ESPN's Mark Schlabach's dropped this little nugget during a segment on ESPN Radio:
"I think Richt makes one more run at Kirby Smart. If Smart doesn't take it, I think Dallas Cowboys DL coach Todd Grantham might be the front runner."
Grantham was a defensive line coach at Virginia Tech from 1990-1995.
Georgia is looking for the best man for the job, and they will continue to aggressively lock in on that talent no matter what, which should speak volumes about Mark Richt's "nice guy" approach to running the Georgia football program.
The Dawgs are serious about getting their guy, whoever that may be, and whether he is tethered to another program or not, the package that is being offered is still lucrative enough to sway even the most dedicated of men. Bud Foster was a near "get" before Tech countered with something much more substantial .
Kirby Smart is also still within reach, despite what you may have heard or read elsewhere. Until he outright says "I'm not going to Georgia," he's a candidate that fans are going to see as still open to discussion.
Bob Sanders, defensive line coach of the Buffalo Bills, is yet another name that has been kicked around the room a few times. He knows his way around the SEC, having coached at Florida during the '90s. He was their assistant defensive coordinator from 1991-1998.
As usual, all of this is unsubstantiated speculation, as neither Coach Richt, nor anyone else associated with the University of Georgia, is willing to confirm conversations with potential candidates.
But with the end of bowl season nearing, and National Signing Day right around the corner, it is to be expected that an announcement of our new coordinator has to be coming soon.
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