Richt wants Grantham replaced ‘as quickly as possible’

It took more than six weeks for Georgia football coach Mark Richt to land his defensive coordinator the last time he went looking.

This time it might not even take him six days.

Richt wants Todd Grantham’s replacement on board “as quickly as possible,” and with a recruiting contact period starting Thursday, time isn’t as much on Richt’s side as it was when he last had an opening for the position starting on Dec. 2, 2009.

With an important hire to make, Richt returned to Athens Monday early from the American Football Coaches Association Convention in Indianapolis as he works to hire his fourth defensive coordinator in his time in Athens after Brian VanGorder, Willie Martinez and Grantham.

Georgia announced Sunday night that Grantham had left to become defensive coordinator at Louisville, but new coach Bobby Petrino on Monday only announced former UAB coach Garrick McGeee as offensive coordinator at a lunchtime news conference.

He said he was waiting for clearance from human resources before he could announce any other hires.

Official visits for recruits get will cranked up again for schools starting this weekend.

Recruits want to know who will run Georgia’s defense.

“If I was Georgia all 3 of these guys would be at the top of my list: Kirby Smart, Bud Foster and Pat Narduzzi,” former Georgia All-American defensive end David Pollack, now with ESPN, tweeted Monday

Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton, the former Bulldog, tweeted: “Kirby Smart, it’s time for you to come home to #Athens. We need you….”

Smart, the former Georgia defensive back, who turned down Georgia’s pursuit of him in 2010, currently makes about $1.15 million, according to reports. Richt also talked to Foster ($536,000) four years ago. Narduzzi ($557,000) is the defensive coordinator at Michigan State..

Grantham is in line to make $1 million a year over five years, according to ESPN.

Grantham will owe Georgia virtually nothing in a buyout.

Well, at least nothing for someone earning $850,000 per year in salary.

Grantham’s buyout from his three-year contract that had a year remaining is $4,999.99, according to Georgia. That contract was last amended in 2013.

Georgia defensive line coach Chris Wilson, one of two remaining defensive staff members along with inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti, reportedly interviewed Monday to be defensive line coach at Alabama.

That was according to 247Sports, but Alabama ended up hiring Bo Davis from Southern California for the job, USC announced.

Alabama coach Nick Saban was a featured speaker on Monday at the coaches’ convention, where Wilson was also attending.

Wilson did not return messages left for him, but spoke with four-star defensive lineman commitment Lamont Gaillard from Fayeteville, N.C. on Sunday.

“He wanted to know if I’m still solid with them, just making sure,” said Gaillard, who told Wilson he is.

Gailliard said Grantham leaving for Louisville didn’t impact him much because he said he may have talked to Grantham only one time on a visit to Athens.

Meanwhile, Scout.com recruiting analyst Chad Simmons who thought others were chasing Georgia for uncommitted Norcross five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter isn’t sure now.

“Hard to say if all are still chasing Georgia after this move, but I still think Georgia has a good chance here,” Simmons said.

Carter liked how Grantham used his outside linebackers, Simmons said, but Richt and the proximity to home still could weigh heavily for Carter.

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