Richt hopes to hire OL coach soon

With Wednesday's national signing day in his rear-view mirror, Georgia coach Mark Richt's focus now turns to hiring a new offensive line coach.

Stacy Searels left Georgia for Texas earlier this month, and Richt told reporters in Athens on Wednesday that he hopes to have a new offensive line coach hired by the end of next week.

Sources close to the situation told ESPN.com that former Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen, who owns a summer lake home in Greensboro, Ga., is not among the candidates for the job.

Georgia's offensive line was a disappointment in each of the past few seasons. The Bulldogs are expected to bring back four starters this coming season, including three seniors. Tackle Clint Boling is the only starter who will have to be replaced.

Some of the candidates who are being considered for the job are familiar names for Georgia football fans. They include:

  • Greg Adkins: Adkins, who just finished his second season as Syracuse's offensive line coach, was a member of former Georgia coach Jim Donnan's staff from 1996 to 2000. Adkins also coached offensive lines at Marshall, Troy and Tennessee. He is regarded among the best recruiters in the country, helping sign future NFL players DeMarcus Ware at Troy, Boss and Champ Bailey and Will Witherspoon at Georgia and Erik Ainge at Tennessee.

  • Will Friend: Friend, a four-year starting guard at Alabama from 1993-96, just finished his fourth season as UAB's offensive line coach. Friend was hired at UAB by former Georgia offensive line coach Neil Callaway. A native of Philadelphia, Miss., Friend also coached the offensive line at Gardner-Webb in North Carolina. Under Friend's direction, the Blazers ranked 15th nationally in sacks allowed, giving up only 12 in 12 games.

  • Brent Key: Key, a former starting guard at Georgia Tech from 1997-2000, has worked the past six seasons for George O'Leary at Central Florida. A native of Trussville, Ala., Key worked the past two seasons as the Knights' offensive line coach and the previous four as tight ends coach and special teams coordinator. UCF finished 10-3 in 2010, beating Georgia 10-6 in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

  • Mac McWhorter: A 1974 graduate of Georgia, McWhorter spent the past nine seasons as Texas' offensive line coach. He was one of four assistants not retained by Texas coach Mack Brown after the Longhorns finished 5-7 in 2010. McWhorter worked on Ray Goff's UGA staff from 1991-95 and also was interim head coach at Georgia Tech in 2001. McWhorter has more than 35 years of coaching experience and also worked at Memphis, Clemson, Duke and Alabama.