Todd Grantham

Grantham to stay at UGA after Saints interview


After a handful of days of will he/won’t he drama, Todd Grantham will (for now) continue on at his defensive spot between the hedges.

One day after interviewing for the defensive coordinator position with the New Orleans Saints, Grantham announced through the school Friday that he will return as Georgia’s defensive coordinator in 2013.  While Grantham’s statement says that he had “withdrawn my name from consideration” for the NFL job, it’s unknown at this point whether he was offered the job and turned it down or if he received a “thanks, but no thanks” response from the Saints.

Regardless of the particulars, Grantham is back to being all-in with the Bulldogs.

“I want to thank Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints organization for the opportunity to interview and get to know them. They are a first class organization in every respect,” Grantham’s statement began. “As I said Wednesday, Georgia is a great place, my family loves it here, and I do as well. This is where our heart is and today I have withdrawn my name from consideration for the position with the Saints.

“I’m excited to start preparations for another season and along with the rest of our defensive staff look forward to coaching some really good returning players as well as developing some very talented newcomers.”

Thursday, athletic director Greg McGarity confirmed Grantham had informed him that, as stipulated in his contract, he would be interviewing with New Orleans.  In addition to the Saints, Grantham’s name had been connected to the coordinator job with the Philadelphia Eagles as well.

While Grantham has spent the past three seasons with the Bulldogs, his previous 11 years of coaching have been spent at the NFL level.  It’s long been assumed Grantham will ultimately return to that level, in large part because of the fact that’s he’s a highly-regarded commodity in several corners of that league.

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.