Georgia set to hire Garner's replacement

semerson@macon.comJanuary 5, 2013 

ATHENS - Georgia is on the verge of hiring a new defensive line coach away from another SEC school.

Chris Wilson, who spent the past three years at Mississippi State, is set to be named the replacement for Rodney Garner, according to a source close to another candidate. That confirmed initial reports from Friday night by ESPN.com and Dawgs247.com.

Wilson emerged as one of two leading candidates during the week, along with David Turner, who was the defensive line coach at Kentucky under Joker Phillips. (Wilson actually replaced Turner at Mississippi State, when Turner left to join Phillips' staff in 2010).

Any hire will not be announced by Georgia until next week, according to a team spokesman. The reason for that is almost certainly procedural: The job posting has to run until at least Tuesday.

Wilson's departure is not unexpected at Mississippi State, after what was viewed as a demotion: He carried the title of defensive coordinator the past two seasons, but head coach Dan Mullen last week gave another assistant coach, Geoff Collins, the defensive play-calling duties. Collins was then named the defensive coordinator on Friday, and Wilson was that much more available to Georgia.

While head coach Mark Richt has said he doesn't plan to hire a special teams coordinator, Wilson does have experience there: He was the special teams coordinator for three years at Oklahoma, his alma mater, before coming to Starkville.

Wilson's son Caleb is also a quarterback prospect for the 2015 class.

Prior to MSU, Wilson spent five seasons at Oklahoma, coaching defensive ends and special teams. He was at Colorado for five years as the defensive line coach, and has also worked at Illinois State, Indiana State, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and Northern Illinois.

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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