Is Georgia's Search for a Defensive Coordinator Coming to an End?

Bill HoneycuttContributor IIJanuary 14, 2010

IRVING, TX - 2008:  Todd Grantham of the Dallas Cowboys poses for his 2008 NFL headshot at photo day in Irving, Texas.  (Photo by Getty Images)
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As National Signing Day edges closer, the University of Georgia (UGA) still has a hole to fill in its coaching staff.

Forty-two days ago, a sigh of relief was heard through Bulldog nation as Willie Martinez was fired and was thought to be the end of the defensive struggles.

But now as we sit and wait in mid-January, no hire has been made so far, which is causing many fans to worry.

UGA has aimed high in their search so far by looking into the likes of Bud Foster, John Chavis, and Georgia born and bred Kirby Smart, but were turned down each time. The only thing that came from offering all three of them big money was getting them even more money from the schools they were already at.

Looks like in these tough economic times, the Mark Richt stimulus package is working.

So where does Georgia look to now?

As you may know, the next man said to be at the top of the list is Cowboy's defensive line coach Todd Grantham. Grantham has worked under Nick Saban and Frank Beamer, but has not worked in the college game since 1998.

He has spent the last 11 years in the NFL (two of those seasons he spent as the defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns). Grantham would run a 3-4 defensive scheme if hired.

Another note: Grantham is in the middle of the playoffs with the Cowboys, so if he were hired, expect him to stay with Dallas for the remainder of the playoffs.

Also something to point out: A source close to former UGA assistant Brian Van Gorder said Monday night that Van Gorder would be interested in speaking about the opening if he were contacted by Richt. Richt is also believed to know about Van Gorder's interest.

Air Force defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter has also been linked to the job, but it is not known if he has been contacted.

The search is supposedly coming to a close soon, but who will be Richt's "right guy" in the end?

Who do you think it will be?