Grantham's Cast of Characters
Todd Grantham
Dawg Post
Posted Jun 15, 2012


ATHENS – It’s become quite clear what type of outside linebacker defensive coordinator Todd Grantham can work with at Georgia.

Actually, it’s not a type – it’s a requirement that a high-level outside linebacker prospect only need to be breathing for Grantham to see a use for him in his 3-4 defense.

In his two seasons with the Bulldogs, Grantham has had success with the strong and big-bodied Justin Houston and the athletic and fluid-moving Jarvis Jones.

He’s recruited players at the position that seem best suited for pass-rushing: Ray Drew (who eventually moved to defensive end), Jordan Jenkins, Josh Dawson and James Deloach.

He’s also scooped up versatile, athletic-types that possess coverage skills and don’t necessarily fit a certain mold: Ramik Wilson, Josh Harvey-Clemons and Leonard Floyd.

Targeting contrasting types, obviously, makes sense because Georgia uses two outside linebackers in its scheme. But Grantham’s message is resonating with any and all, a feat that is key for the best college recruiters.

The sales pitch has been simple – yet masterfully calculated. If you can play, no matter your strength, Grantham will find a way to employ you. And he’s been hitting it off with recruits in the film room by being both optimistic and brutally honest.

His recent film study partner – Chamblee High senior Davin Bellamy, who visited Athens Thursday – was impressed with the approach.

“Coach Grantham had my film cut up with some of the things I did best,” Bellamy said. “Then it would go into things I needed to work on – like using my hands more.

“We spent about an hour and 15 minutes just watching film on Jarvis Jones and (Dallas Cowboy’s linebacker) DeMarcus Ware. He had the red laser pointing at the screen. I really felt like we bonded in a big way – Coach Grantham and me.”

Wowing Bellamy was, and is, important. Georgia’s current roster is loaded at outside linebacker, mostly with younger players. That means space available in the 2013 class is limited. Alpharetta High standout Naim Mustafaa committed June 9. He’s a 6-3, 235-pound player with above-average speed (4.71 in the 40) and is good moving sideline-to-sideline.

Mustafaa’s commitment left only one or two spots at the position. The attention and intensity regarding Bellamy’s recruitment has picked up, indicating he’s Georgia’s top prospect on the board.

He’s (and you guessed it) an athletic player, measuring 6-4 and 225 pounds with great speed and range of pursuit.

“(Grantham) told me that I could rush the passer, drop back in coverage or play up on the line,” Bellamy said. “He told me I could be diverse in their defensive scheme. To me that told me that I could play early, especially with my skill set.”

Bellamy will visit Florida State this weekend and could commit soon thereafter. Should he choose Georgia, the Bulldogs could be finished at the position before June is over. Call that a superb and efficient job well done by Grantham.

“Mustafaa already is a member of the Scout300 and Bellamy has a chance to join him later this year,” said Fox Sports recruiting analyst Chad Simmons. “There are not many prospects at this position UGA would take right now, but Bellamy is one I believe could call and commit to them today if he wanted to.”

Look for outside linebacker recruiting to flourish as long as Grantham is in Athens. He’s got NFL experience, a fresh, candid method in the film room and the enthusiasm to mix and match the abilities of an individual player. That blend won’t go bad anytime soon.

“Of all of the schools I've visited, the Georgia scheme and the use of their outside linebackers speaks to me the most,” Bellamy said.


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