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Chip Towers

Ekeler, other candidates patiently wait to hear back from Richt

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Mike Ekeler doesn’t expect to hear back from Georgia until after national signing day. He can only hope it’s good news when he does.

Ekeler’s name has been bandied about a lot publicly with regard to the Bulldogs’ fourth and final defensive assistant’s position. But he has no idea whether he’s a favorie or a longshot to fill the spot. After interviewing with Georgia coach Mark Richt and defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt this past Friday, the former Southern Cal linebackers coach remains at his home in beautiful Rancho Palos Verdes on the California coast awaiting word on whether he could be moving to Athens.

“Coach (Richt) is going to talk to a couple of other people,” Ekeler said Monday. “It’s certainly not a done deal. I’m just holding tight here, waiting to see what happens and keeping my fingers crossed.”

Ekeler, 42, followed Bo Pelini from LSU to Nebraska before trying to strike out on his own first as co-defensive coordinator at Indiana, then by joining Lane Kiffin’s staff at USC last year. He was not retained by new Trojan’s coach Steve Sarkisian.

The former Kansas State player also has  “a few other things in the works,” but is adamant that landing at Georgia is his No. 1 goal.

“I have a ton of respect for the Georgia program and Coach Richt and Coach Pruitt and the whole staff,” Ekeler said. “I know Coach Richt is making sure he gets the perfect fit for everybody. He’s unbelievable guy. Jeremy Pruitt is big time. The fact is, he’s not in a hurry and shouldn’t be. He’s not rushing into anything and I don’t have a time frame. That’s the extent of it.”

Ekeler does expect it to be sometime after National Signing Day on Wednesday. “Right now they’re sprinting to the finish line (in recruiting),” he said.

Ekeler said he’s not certain what responsibilities the final assistant will have, though it appears to be “pass-rush specialists and outside ‘backer types.” Ekeler insisted he does not know who the other candidates are and doesn’t care.

“Your resume is your players and what they put on film,” Ekeler said. “I’m proud of all my guys at Nebraska and at USC and what they did.”

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