Meanwhile, Georgia defensive coordinator Glenn Schumann’s name was being circulated for the A&M opening and others. However, the Aggies are expected to want an experienced head coach, though few things are more unpredictable than a coaching search.
Georgia’s Kirby Smart was asked what advice he shares with young assistants who are in the market for their first head coaching positions.
“Pick the right one,” Smart said Tuesday night after the Bulldogs’ second practice for Saturday’s game against Tennessee. “Be where your feet are. You’ve got a good job. Do a good job at your job, and you’ll get more opportunities. A lot of jobs out there aren’t better than the one you’ve got.”
Smart was that young, sought-after assistant for a long time as Alabama’s defensive coordinator. He passed on several middling opportunities before the Bulldogs came calling in December 2015.
It was worth the wait for both parties. Eight years later, Georgia is 91-15 under Smart’s leadership with two national championships, two SEC championships and in the midst of a 27-game win streak. Smart is one of the highest-paid coaches in college football. He’s in the second year of a 10-year contract that will pay him at least $112.5 million over that span.
Other experienced assistants on Smart’s staff who still await an opportunity to become a head coach include receivers coach/passing game coordinator Bryan McClendon, running backs coach/run-game coordinator Dell McGee and tight ends coach/assistant head coach Todd Hartley. Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and co-defensive coordinator Will Muschamp both of been Power 5 head coaches.
Nasir Johnson flip
The Bulldogs flipped another Florida Gators commitment Wednesday when defensive tackle Nasir Johnson of Dublin announced plans to attend UGA instead. Johnson, a 4-star prospect who’s listed at 6-foot-4.5 and 300 pounds, visited Georgia for Saturday’s game against No. 9 Ole Miss. The top-ranked Bulldogs won 52-17.
Johnson grew up a Georgia fan but committed to the Gators this past summer after they expressed much more interest in him than the Bulldogs. Georgia cranked up their recruitment of Johnson this fall.
Johnson is the Bulldogs’ 28th commitment for the Class of 2024 and further tightens their stranglehold on the No. 1 spot in the 247Sports Composite’s national rankings. Johnson is Georgia’s fifth defensive lineman in the class.
The Bulldogs also flipped running back Chauncy Bowens from Florida 2024′s class earlier this year.
More Joe Moore
The Bulldogs’ offensive line again made the semifinalist cut for the Joe Moore Trophy, which goes annually to the unit deemed the best in the nation. The news reached UGA’s camp with a thud.
Michigan has won the award the past two seasons, despite losing head-to-head versus Georgia in 2021 and the Bulldogs winning the past two national championships.
“They should be a three-time Joe Moore Award winner; I’m just going to throw that out there,” Georgia senior defensive tackle Zion Logue said. “Those guys pride themselves on being the best O-line in the country, which I believe they are. They’re a very tight-knit group that’s just going to work their tails off every day and give you everything they’ve got.”
Michigan’s line was named a semifinalist again this season. The other semifinalists are Florida State, LSU, Missouri, Notre Dame, Oregon, Oregon State, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.
Other award finalists
Georgia tight end Brock Bowers was named one of four finalists for the Lombardi Award this week. The Lombardi goes annually to the player deemed the best lineman, on offense or defense, in the country. The other three finalists were Notre Dame offensive tackle Joe Alt, Utah defensive end Jonah Elliss and UCLA defensive end Laiatu Latu.
Also Wednesday, Georgia safety Malaki Starks was named a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy. That is given annually to the nation’s top defensive player, according to a vote of Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte (N.C.) Touchdown Club. Starks, a sophomore from Jefferson, has 33 tackles and two interceptions during his second season as a full-time starter for the Bulldogs. The other four Nagurski finalists are Iowa cornerback Cooper DeJean, Illinois defensive tackle Jer’Zahn Newton, Notre Dame safety Xavier Watts and N.C. State linebacker Payton Wilson.