At this point, the entire college football world knows that USC and Clay Helton have parted ways. With another coaching search underway, hopefully, USC doesn’t know that Georgia’s defensive coordinator Dan Lanning would make a great head coach and leaves him alone.
Since arriving in Athens in 2018 as the outside linebackers coach, Lanning has put his stamp on the Georgia football team. He took over as the defensive coordinator a year later after Mel Tucker left for a head coaching position.
When Lanning took over for the Dawgs, he helped improved Georgia from the No.14 scoring, No. 31 rush, No. 12 pass and No. 25 total defense to one of the toughest in the country.
Lanning improved the Dawgs to the No. 1 rushing defense nationally in back-to-back years in 2019 and 2020. That 2019 squad was No. 3 in total defense and No. 1 in scoring defense at 12.6 points a game. Georgia only gave up two rushing touchdowns in the entire 2019 season.
The defense drastically got better in three of the four categories — by 6.6 points, 59.36 yards on the ground, and 38.6 yards overall.
However, more impressive than those improvements is that the Dawgs went from allowing 4.94 yards a play and 4.02 yards a rush in 2018 to 2.62 yards a carry and 4.29 a play in 2019.
The Lanning effect is what I like to call it, and now through two games in 2021, Georgia is on the right track to make it possibly three years straight with one of the country’s top defenses.
Lanning and head coach Kirby Smart get each other and seem almost like long-lost brothers. They work on the same wavelength and love Georgia football more than anyone knows.
That passion they both have is one of the reasons this defense continues to get better each year. Georgia cannot lose the man who understands their head coach’s mind and produces the best defense the Dawgs have seen in years, if not ever.
Lanning would make a great head coach the way he leans into his coaching and loves his players. Not to mention everyone else in college football wishes they had Georgia’s defense. He is also one of the best recruiters on staff for the Dawgs,
Athletic Director Josh Brooks needs to make sure he has a contract ready for Lanning if someone like USC or even another school decides they want to poach him.
Georgia needs to pay this man more than he is worth and then add about 20% to that because if they want to stay at the elite level, they currently are at, then Lanning needs to stay in Athens.
USC isn’t likely going to steal Lanning, at least we hope not, but still, this is a great opportunity to offer the man more money to stick around and create a dynasty at Georgia.