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The Grantham Question

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Well, the Decision has been MADE, so it would SEEM that for the moment at least, we are just gonna have to just SEE the results—and for the moment, LIVE with them.
Mullen chose to more or less just make a wholesale change at the next level DOWN from DC, and we are left to hope and pray that he’s right, that whatever HE saw was missing will now be addressed and improved and we’ll begin to see positive results IMMEDIATELY—‘cause if not, we are gonna be in trouble, continue our slide back towards overall mediocrity, if anything seeing it accelerate from here, into and through the 2021 Season...
And that’s exactly what I am now afraid we are heading into. A look at Grantham’s statistical effect overall on the various progams’ defenses he has been put in charge over the course of his recent career is neither impressive nor particularly encouraging. In short, by whatever metric you employ (ppg, recruiting, etc), his overall impact from “year before” to “year after he got there” has been “little improvement”, or “NONE”. And so it goes here at UF: more of the same.
By all accounts our Head Coach is a loyal Coach, friend and boss. One can’t help but at least consider that such may be a factor HERE...
I mean, things have “failed to improve“ elsewhere on Grantham’s previous watches, and outright “fell off the table” here at UF—drastically so this latest season—and in replacing several coaches at the next level UNDER his DC would seem to acknowledge Mullen’s realization that SOMETHING IN THE COACHING was affecting our progress on Defense, keeping it down. Recruiting, training, technique and overall growth have all been left to stagnate, DEvolve it would seem—and given all THAT, JUST changing out some mid-level coaches does NOT move me to confidence in a dramatic CORNER having been turned here.
How bout y’all? Was this the move YOU hoped for, thought or THINK will be enough to, with hard work over the next couple/few months GET US “THERE”? On track at least towards a Defense that holds its own beside what WILL soon, certainly eventually be a Championship Offense?
 

Leakfan12

VIP Member
How was the defense in 2018 and 2019? Surprise Florida hired him to begin with because I was looking at Wikipedia, he gave Chas Henry to choke sign while he was the UGA DC. Also, the Bengals wanted him prior to the 2019 season.
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
How was the defense in 2018 and 2019? Surprise Florida hired him to begin with because I was looking at Wikipedia, he gave Chas Henry to choke sign while he was the UGA DC. Also, the Bengals wanted him prior to the 2019 season.
I’m just afraid our Head Coach’s loyalty is gonna turn out to be his Achille’s Heal. He has so many fine, even superior positive traits, maybe it took until now for whatever consequences there are and will be for his very few in this case to begin so drastically manifesting themselves—but if our eventual decline this past season is any indication that could only be the START of our problem; only a drastic solution, and SOON, may head off full on disaster (maybe even the end of Mullen’s promising stint here after ALL!).
That WOULD be tragic—and, I think, a stupid, avoidable waste...Trouble is, our Head Coach has made his decision—and if it doesn’t at least PARTIALLY work, he may not have the time left at that point to fix it here.
I have gone from such optimism, thorough confidence and hope in him AND our future with him at the helm, to crashing worry in so short a time: It is SHOCKING! It really may be that if he is as wrong about this as I fear, the results will be a continuation of what we’ve seen on defense for at least the last season of so—and if anything may continue to deteriorate...The question THEN will be, “Will he be given further CHANCES to fix it, get us back on the more-than-promising track we were on?”
I sure hope Coach IS right, and my fears are unwarranted—but that’s the “knife’s edge” we’re balanced on now.
How did it come to this so fast?
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
I meant to post this earlier:

Is Todd Grantham to blame in 2020? Is he worth $1.4M salary?
Overall the Gator defense was disappointing and gets a D in 2020, but whom should we blame? The automatic answer is obviously Todd Grantham. This defense was historically bad, even though it was stacked with talent. What went wrong? Could Dan Mullen fix the defense simply by firing Todd Grantham and bringing in someone else? First, let us look at how he earned (or failed to earn) his $1.4M salary managing the talent on the 2020 roster, regardless if Grantham recruited the athlete or not. Players recruited by Grantham and this staff from 2018 to the present will be highlighted in blue for clarity.

WDE/OLB EDGE (5 technique) - The Gator defense did end up leading the SEC in sacks by the end of the year when Cox was healthy, and they did so with a very slow start. Grantham gets an A- here. He has also overloaded this position in terms of recruiting for the future, which is a good problem to have.
  1. TR-RSO OLB Brenton Cox 6-4 245 of University of Georgia by way of Stockbridge High School, Stockbridge, GA. 5-star.
  2. RSO Andrew Chatfield, Jr. 6-2 248. American Heritage HS. Plantation, FL. 4-star.
  3. RFR DL Lloyd Summerall. 6-5 220. Lakeland HS. Lakeland, FL 4-star.
  4. FR WDE Antwaun Powell 6-3 235 I.C. Norcrom, Portsmouth, Virginia. 4-star.

WDE Jeremiah "Scooby" Williams 6-3 224, Ramsay, Birmingham, AL, 4-star.
DE Tyreak Sapp 6-2 255. St. Thomas Aquinas High School. Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 4-star.
DE Justus Boone 6-5 250. Sumter High School. Sumter, South Carolina. 3-star.


NT (0/1 technique) - The 0/1-technique was filled by veterans who predate Grantham's first recruiting class. Kyree Campbell was injured early in the year, and Slaton was forced out of position while Cox was injured. By the end of the year, this unit was clicking and it did contribute to the Gators leading the SEC in sacks. Grantham again gets an A-. He does have some flexibility to move athletes around into this position once Slaton and Campbell leave, assuming these athletes get an offseason to bulk up.
  1. SR Tedarrell Slaton 6-5 340 American Heritage. Fort Lauderdale, FL. 4-star.
  2. SR Kyree Campbell 6-4 320 Woodbridge HS. Woodbridge, VA. 3-star.
  3. RSR Marlon Dunlap 6-3 285. West Charlotte HS. Charlotte, NC. 3-star.
  4. SR WDE Antwaun Powell 6-3 235 I.C. Norcrom, Portsmouth, Virginia. 4-star.
  5. RFR DT Jaelin Humphries 6-3 303. Mountainview HS. Lawrenceville, GA. 4-star.
DT Desmond Watson 6-5 350 of Armwood High School. Seffner, Florida. 3-star.

DT/BUCK (3 technique DT/ LB hybrid) - Jeremiah Moon started off the season well, Zachary Carter filled in the void. Khris Bogle and David Reese need to figure out which end of the DT/LB hybrid they want to be on. This position group gets a C for Grantham's failure to develop veterans and bring his young recruits into the right side of the DT/LB hybrid mix. Grantham's success in recruiting new athletes will hinge on the success of transfer DT Antonio Shelton. At face value his critics will lambast Grantham for not grabbing a blue chip athlete out of high school and instead grabbing former 3-star athletes from other schools.
  1. RSR OLB Jeremiah Moon 6-4 205 Hoover HS, Birmingham AL. 4-star.
  2. RJR Zachary Carter 6-4 290. Hillsborough HS. Tampa, FL. 4-star.
  3. SO Khris Bogle 6-4 240. Cardinal Gibbons. Fort Lauderdale, FL. 4-star.
  4. RSO David Reese 6-2 240. Vero Beach HS. Fort Pierce, FL. 3-star.
  5. SR DT Jaelin Humphries 6-3 303. Mountainview HS. Lawrenceville, GA. 4-star.
  6. FR DT Lamar Goods 6-4 290 St Thomas Moore HS, Oakdale, Connecticut. 4-star.

DT Antonio Shelton 6-3 280. Penn State University by way of Westerville North HS, Westerville, OH. 3-star.
DT Christopher Thomas 6-5 280. Dunbar High School. Fort Myers, Florida. 3-star.


WILL/ MONEY - Garbage. Next year has to be better. Chief Borders or Diwun Black might see action early next year behind Mohamoud Diabate. Amari Burney and Mohamoud Diabate were disappointing in 2020, and that blame lands squarely with the defensive coordinator. Grantham gets a D for this position group, but the future does look bright here with Tyron Hopper and Chief Borders.
  1. JR LB Amari Burney 6-2 230. Calvary Christian HS. St. Petersburg, FL. 3-star.
  2. SO OLB Mohamoud Diabate 6-4 215. Auburn HS. Auburn, Alabama. 4-star.
  3. RJR DT Lamar Goods 6-4 290 St Thomas Moore HS, Oakdale, Connecticut. 4-star.
  4. RFR OLB Tyron Hopper 6-2 205. Roswell HS. Roswell, GA. 4-star.
  5. TR RSO SDE/OLB Noah Keeter 6-5 225 of University of California Los Angeles by way of Buchholz HS, Gainesville, FL, 3-star. (preferred walk-on)
OLB Chief Borders 6-3 231. McEachern High School. Powder Springs, Georgia. 4-star.

MIKE - Garbage. Next year has to be better. Diwun Black and Chief Borders might be cross-training between WILL/MONEY and MIKE. Grantham gets a D here, but the future looks bright depending on the direction that Hopper, Borders, and Black take in developing into the correct positions.
  1. RJR Ventrell Miller 6-1 230. Kathleen HS. Lakeland, FL. 3-star.
  2. RJR James Houston IV 6-1 240. American Heritage HS. Fort Lauderdale, FL. 3-star.
  3. RSO TE Dante Lang 6-5 220 Boca Raton HS, Boca Raton FL. 3-star
  4. RJR OLB Tyron Hopper 6-2 205. Roswell HS. Roswell, GA. 4-star.
  5. RJR Lacedrick Brunson LB 6'2" 210 Jackson Miami, FL. 2-star.
  6. RFR OLB Jesiah Pierre 6-2 220. Christian Home Bible School. Mount Dora, FL 3-star.

OLB Diwun Black 6-4 226. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College by way of Osceola High School, Kissimmee, Florida. Perkinson, Mississippi. 4-star.


FCB - Hot garbage. The future looks bright, but Grantham gets a D here. Mullen elected to take out the blame on Torrian Gray and Ron English, and rightfully so. Armchair QBs will say that the DC ultimately deserves the blame, and that Mullen derivatively deserves blame for not firing Grantham, but objectively it makes sense to fire the position coaches who performed the worst and those position coaches are Gray and English. Grantham does not get a pass, but his leash over new hires Wesley McGriff and Jules Polinar is rather short in 2021.
  1. RJR CB Marco Wilson CB 6'0" 180 American Heritage Plantation FL. 4-star.
  2. FR CB Ethan Pouncey 6-1 160 Winter Park HS, Winter Park, FL 4-star.

ATH Charles Montgomery 5-10 185. Armwood High School. Seffner, Florida. 4-star.


BCB - Garbage. See above.
  1. SO CB Kaiir Elam 6-1 185. The Benjamin School. North Palm Beach, FL 4-star.
  2. SO CB Jaydon Hill 6-0 174. Bob Jones HS. Madison, AL. 4-star.
  3. FR CB Jahari Rodgers 6-0 170 Arlington HS, Arlington, TX. 4-star.
STAR/ NB - Garbage. See above. The future looks bright, and the coaches that directly recruited Kimbrough, Marshall, Wilcoxson, and Mitchell are gone.
  1. JR CB Jahari Rodgers 6-0 170 Arlington HS, Arlington, TX. 4-star.
  2. SO CB Chester Kimbrough 5-11 170. Warren Easton HS. New Orleans, LA. 4-star.
  3. RSR CB Christopher McWilliams 6-0 170 Southwest Miami Senior HS, Miami FL. 3-star.

CB Jason Marshall 6-2 180 of Palmetto High School. Miami, FL. 5-star.
ATH Kamar Wilcoxson 6-2 185 of IMG Academy. Bradenton, Florida. 4-star.


SS - Garbage. See above.
  1. SR CB Brad Stewart 6'0" 194 McDonogh New Orleans, LA. 4-star.
  2. JR DB Trey Dean 6-2 180 Dutchtown HS, Hampton, GA. 4-star.
  3. RSR DB Quincy Lenton 6-0 195 Meridan HS, Meridian MS. 3-star.

S Dakota Mitchell 6-0 184. Winter Park High School. Winter Park, Florida. 3-star.


FS - Garbage. See above.
  1. SR DB Shawn Davis 6'0" 185 Southridge Miami FL. 4-star.
  2. SR DB Donovan Stiner 6'2" 185 Bellaire Bellaire, TX. 3-star.
  3. FR S Rashad Torrence 6-1 195. Marietta HS. Marietta, GA. 4-star.

S Corey Collier 6-2 170 of Palmetto High School. Miami, FL. 4-star.


Just based on the recruits on this roster, it looks like Grantham failed to develop the veterans. Then again, those veterans from the McElwain/ Randy Shannon were not as highly rated as the athletes brought in by Mullen/ Grantham. Grantham and the other defensive coaches deserve some of the blame for not developing the more talented youngsters, but overall it appears that Grantham is improving the defensive recruiting to levels approaching but just below those attained by Will Muschamp years ago. Based on the criteria above I would say that it was a good decision to keep Todd Grantham at $1.4M, but let go of Ron English and Torrian Gray.
 
Last edited:

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
Are there better defensive coordinators?
Depending on whom you ask, the following are the top defensive coordinators in college football with their salaries and overall defensive rankings in 2020 and 2019:
  • Brent Venables, Clemson $2.1M #3/#1
  • Todd Grantham, Florida $1.4M ($1.8M) #54/ #19
  • Mike Elko, Texas A&M $2.1M #34/ #31
  • Andy Avalos, Oregon $1.4M #70/ #6
  • Alex Grinch, Oklahoma $1.7M #7/ #69
  • Barry Odom, Arkansas $1.3M #67/ #110
  • Dan Lanning, Georgia $1.3M #12/ #3
  • Pete Golding, Alabama $1.2M #20/ #10
  • Travaris Robinson, South Carolina $1.2M #109/ #28
  • Jim Leonard, Wisconsin $1.0M #4/ #9
  • Phil Parker, Iowa $800k #8/ #7
It is a rather subjective debate as to whether the ranking of salaries is commensurate with the ranking of skill. Other than Travaris Robinson, who was recently fired, all of these coaches have averaged top-30 defenses in 2020 and 2019. Todd Grantham's #54 ranking in 2020 is perceived to be an anomaly, which is likely why Dan Mullen elected to retain him despite a #54-ranked defense.

Other coaches to consider:
  • Charlie Strong, quality control analyst, Alabama
  • Chuck Heater, DC, Colorado State
  • Clark Lea, DC, Notre Dame
  • Ryan Walters, DC, Missouri
  • Bo Pelini, DC, LSU
  • Marcus Freeman, DC, Cincinnati
  • Terry Joseph, DB coach, Notre Dame
  • Mike Elston, DL coach, Notre Dame
  • Travis Williams, DC, Auburn/ Miami/ UCF
Realistically, the only coaches available are firmly ensconced on other coaching staffs, or otherwise not realistic candidates for the position at UF. Gator fans probably would point to Charlie Strong as the best candidate, but former Gator head coach and new Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer already grabbed him. Chuck Heater retired. The other coaches are not going to leave their positions. Whether this is due to the COVID pandemic or a stagnation in defensive coordinator talent, there simply are few realistic options here. The other go-to choices that Mullen would have asked--Manny Diaz and Geoff Collins--are already head coaches at their own programs. Face it, Gator Nation, Todd Grantham is the best option on the table for the Gators DC position in 2021.
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
@Escambia94,
So: “Garbage”, on balance? But still perhaps NOT a slam-dunk “get rid of him!”, either...Certainly, the contrast between the talent brought in before he got here and that coming in since would seem to suggest at least the possibility that perhaps the future is not without promise. But is Grantham the guy who can do anything with it? Our Head Coach has doubled down on the idea, let’s face it. He’s a clever guy, and must be aware of that. So if one still believes and trusts in him, well, guess for now WE’RE “all in” with him too.
 

Escambia94

Aerospace Cubicle Engineer (ACE)
Moderator
@Escambia94,
So: “Garbage”, on balance? But still perhaps NOT a slam-dunk “get rid of him!”, either...Certainly, the contrast between the talent brought in before he got here and that coming in since would seem to suggest at least the possibility that perhaps the future is not without promise. But is Grantham the guy who can do anything with it? Our Head Coach has doubled down on the idea, let’s face it. He’s a clever guy, and must be aware of that. So if one still believes and trusts in him, well, guess for now WE’RE “all in” with him too.

I think Grantham will recover the defense. If he does not, then we have two years of data showing he did not earn his salary. It would not have been a wise decision for any coach to be fired for one bad year--especially during a global pandemic. It is usually a bad idea to blatantly fire coaches without a replacement in mind, unless that coach violated the law, broke NCAA's silly rules, or is an overall piece of crap like James Frank McElwain.

Is Dan Mullen stubborn? Sure. Is he clever? Sure. Should we trust his judgement? Well, we are the Gator Nation. Nobody suffers from winning like the Gator Nation. I might have to take a break from Gator forums.
 

DRU2012

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
I think Grantham will recover the defense. If he does not, then we have two years of data showing he did not earn his salary. It would not have been a wise decision for any coach to be fired for one bad year--especially during a global pandemic. It is usually a bad idea to blatantly fire coaches without a replacement in mind, unless that coach violated the law, broke NCAA's silly rules, or is an overall piece of crap like James Frank McElwain.

Is Dan Mullen stubborn? Sure. Is he clever? Sure. Should we trust his judgement? Well, we are the Gator Nation. Nobody suffers from winning like the Gator Nation. I might have to take a break from Gator forums.
Well—a bit of a non-sequiter, but there it is.
Especially that last part:Been found myself thinking exactly the same thing.
Self-protection in my own “time of isolation”, after all (and the way we in Gator Nation “suffer from winning”, indeed! (Very clever line AND summation, that.)
But things MAY about to finally break, turn to a new “jazz age” as the pandemic lifts, IF it “lifts”—and how joyful would it be if that were ADDITIONALLY SO for Gator Nation??!
One can hope...Or, put another way (a la “Godfather 3”), “Every time I think I’m finally free, they reach out and YANK ME BACK IN!!!”
Lol
 

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