Grantham hired to run Georgia's defense

Mark Richt has his man ... finally.

Georgia announced Friday that Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Todd Grantham has been hired as defensive coordinator.

Grantham is in his second season with the Dallas Cowboys after spending three seasons as defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns (2005-07) and six years as defensive line coach for both the Houston Texans (2002-04) and Indianapolis Colts (1999-01).

"I'm excited the search is over, we have our man, and look forward to what Todd will bring to our defense, our team, and our university," Richt said. "I think it is particularly valuable that he has a wealth of experience on the defensive side of the ball at both the NFL and collegiate levels. Now we look forward to moving ahead with the home stretch of recruiting, finishing out the defensive staff and getting ready for spring practice."

It's no secret that Grantham wasn't the first guy Richt tried to hire as his defensive coordinator. He made runs at Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster, LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis and most recently Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart.

But in the long run, Grantham may well wind up being the best fit. He's a 3-4 guy who's been a defensive coordinator in the NFL and has worked under both Nick Saban and Frank Beamer at the college level.

It goes without saying that this is a key hire for Richt. The Bulldogs gave up far too many points the last two seasons, and if they're going to get back to winning SEC championships, they have to be more consistent on defense.