As expected, Florida has named Todd Grantham as its new defensive coordinator. Grantham had held the same position at Mississippi State under new Gators coach Dan Mullen.
Mullen has hired three of his assistants from Mississippi State: Grantham, offensive line coach John Hevesy and wide receiver coach Billy Gonzales. Hevesy and Gonzales are former UF assistants under Urban Meyer; they held co-coordinator titles at Mississippi State, with Hevesy overseeing the running game and Gonzales the passing attack. Mullen is his own play-caller.
It’s expected that UF running backs coach JaJuan Seider will be retained, both for his coaching acumen and his recruiting ability. Seider, who is a native of Belle Glade, Fla., is considered a top-notch recruiter, especially in south Florida.
Grantham, 51, was in his first season at Mississippi State. He also has been a coordinator at Louisville (2014-16) and Georgia (2010-13), as well as with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns (2005-07).
He also is a former Nick Saban assistant, having been the defensive line coach at Michigan State for three seasons (1996-98) under Saban.
Mississippi State’s defense made a vast improvement this season. The Bulldogs are 10th nationally in total defense and 24th in scoring defense; they ranked 110th and 93rd, respectively, in 2016. The Bulldogs had a league-leading four defensive scores this season, one more than Florida.
His first unit at Louisville was sixth in total defense in 2014, which was its high-water mark under Grantham. At Georgia, his unit bounced around, from 23rd in total defense in 2010 to fifth in 2011 to 32nd in 2012 to 45th in 2013.
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