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Rodney Garner denies rift with Todd Grantham

Garner is headed to Auburn, but he claims none of the reasoning has to do with the supposed issues he had with Grantham.

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

The Georgia Bulldogs watched a valued coach leave their staff and join a rival SEC team when Rodney Garner decided to take the job as defensive line/assistant head coach with the Auburn Tigers.

There has been much speculation about whether Garner was leaving in part because of a rift between he and Todd Grantham, the defensive coordinator of Georgia. However, Garner says his decision had absolutely nothing to do with that, even stating that he had no problems with Grantham, per The Telegram:

"There are no rifts on our staff. I have the most respect for Coach Grantham. We sat down and we were hugging and talking, not that we are touchy feely people now, we are not that, but he was just like ‘Hey G, I really enjoyed working with you.’ I said, ‘Coach, I loved working with you. He said if I ever have the opportunity I will hire you again. I said, ‘Coach, I will work for you again in a heartbeat.’"

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The loss of Garner will certainly be something to monitor as Georgia gets ready for the Capital One Bowl. The defense has obviously been the strength of the team all year, and is expected to be fine. That said, it's never easy to have upheaval of any sort at such a critical time.

Grantham will take over Garner's duties leading up to the contest, coaching the defensive line and linebackers.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.