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Reaction: Will Smart Choose a Former Bulldog to Replace Hankton?

With Cortez Hankton heading to LSU, Smart will have plenty of options for a replacement.

The defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs are now up to two coaching vacancies after the report from ON3 that Georgia wide receiver coach Cortez Hankton is leaving Athens to become the wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator at LSU under new head coach Brian Kelly. 

A former NFL wide receiver leaves Georgia after serving three seasons in the same position he is now taking in Baton Rouge. Hankton is a Louisiana native, serving as Georgia’s lead recruiter for the state of Louisiana, helping the Bulldogs transform their receiver room with top talent out of the high school ranks despite still running a run-first offense.

Replacing is not idle after the mass amounts of talent he’s signed in time at Georgia. Still, Smart will have a plethora of options for replacements, many of which are former Georgia alumni. 

Hines Ward is a name that fans will throw around as a potential option for Georgia. Ward currently serves as a special assistant to the head coach at Florida Atlantic, and as of Saturday, Ward is now drawing attention from the NFL. 

According to reports, the former two-time Super Bowl champion interviewed for the Houston Texans head coaching position. Before his time at Florida Atlantic, Ward served two seasons as an offensive assistant for the New York Jets. 

A lack of college coaching experience may have hindered Ward’s chances in the past of getting the job back when he was heavily linked with the job after Smart was first hired in December of 2015. 

The list does not stop there; fans would also love to see Terrence Edwards get the job. Edwards still holds Georgia’s record for most receiving yards in a season of 1,004 yards set back in 2002. In addition, Edwards currently has a reputation for helping develop some of the best wide receivers in the Atlanta area, thanks to his TE Academy. 

Edwards has even worked with some current Georgia players, Arik Gilbert and Jermaine Burton. However, a lack of college coaching experience may hinder Edwards’ chances if he attempts to pursue a coaching job. 

Mike Bobo will also be a name associated with almost any opening on Georgia’s offensive staff this season. Auburn recently fired Smart’s former college teammate at Georgia after the Tigers finished the regular season with a 6-6 record. The former Georgia offensive coordinator didn’t even coach in the bowl game as Bryan Harsin decided to let Bobo go after the Iron Bowl loss. 

Bobo has never coached receivers at the college level, always being a quarterback coach and offensive coordinator throughout his time in the college ranks. Still, his ties to Georgia and Kirby Smart specifically run deep. After all, Kirby Smart did bring back another former teammate Will Muschamp this past offseason. 

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