Is Todd Monken a $3 million man? Money not expected to be an issue for Georgia
ATHENS — Georgia coordinator Todd Monken has never been in greater demand and will be in line for a pay raise wherever he ends up next season.
DawgNation has learned that UGA is committed to keeping Monken to the extent that money will not be the overriding factor in Monken’s decision.
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Monken was believed to be the highest paid assistant coach in college football last season at $2.01 million, receiving a raise last year of more than 80 percent over what he was making when first hired at UGA in 2020.
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Just how much is a two-time national championship assistant coach worth that turned a former walk-on quarterback -- that no other power 5 schools offered a scholarship to coming out of high school in 2017 or junior college in 2019 -- into a 4,000-yard passer and Heisman Trophy finalist?
If Kirby Smart is a $10 million head coach, the opinion here is that Monken is a $2.75 million assistant coach — and maybe more ($3 million) if the NFL pushes hard enough.
Worth noting, in 2021, Clemson paid then-defensive coordinator Brent Venables (now the head coach at Oklahoma) $2.5 million.
Former LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda -- now the Baylor head coach made $2.5 million in 2018, too.
Kevin Steele, recently hired as Alabama’s defensive coordinator, was making $2.5 million while working as Auburn’s defensive coordinator in 2020. The terms of Steele’s current deal have yet to be announced.
The immediate future of Georgia football is in the balance, as the program is the early pick for preseason No. 1 and appears on the verge of a dynasty.
RELATED: TCU captain says Monken’s shifty schemes kept Horned Frogs off balance
It’s not a coincidence the two primary quarterbacks Monken coached at Georgia these past three seasons, J.T. Daniels and Stetson Bennett, have the two highest single-season passer ratings in school history.
Of course, the Bulldogs have provided an embarrassment of riches for their quarterbacks to work with.
WATCH: Kenny McIntosh makes request of Todd Monken at Senior Bowl
The offensive line is loaded with 5-star prospects -- included projected first-round left tackle Broderick Jones -- and surrendered the fewest sacks per game in college football, only nine in 15 games.
Brock Bowers is a two-time All-American and a likely future College Football Hall of Fame member and on-campus statue. Has there been a more dangerous, reliable and effective tight end in recent college football history?
Kenny McIntosh, meanwhile, joined Percy Harvin and Dexter McCluster among the three most versatile players in the SEC since 2000. They are the only players with more than 800 yards rushing, 500 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns in a single season.
Ladd McConkey brought elite (and underrated) speed to the perimeter, another target who took advantage of Monken’s brilliant spacing and ability to create mismatches, breaking wide open on some occasions while ripping off several yards after catches on others.
Bennett, himself, improved greatly from 2021 to 2022, showing better footwork and greater accuracy, making the most of Monken adjusting the NFL Pro Style offense to maximize his strengths and minimize his weaknesses.
Monken has trained three current elite quarterback prospects on the Georgia roster in the form of Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff and Gunner Stockton.
It’s not a stretch to suggest any of the three are capable of leading the Bulldogs to yet another undefeated season in 2023.
The UGA schedule for 2023 appears to be a walk in the park compared to most, back-loaded with road trips to Tennessee and Georgia Tech that could prove tricky.
There will be plenty at stake, for sure, as Georgia looks to become the first three-peat champion since college football went to a unified championship in 1998.
Is that enough of a challenge for Monken? Does loyalty to the three quarterbacks who chose UGA -- and chose to stay with the program -- mean anything to a grizzled veteran like Monken?
Or, does Monken feel like he has something still to prove in the NFL?
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- Quarterbacks adjusting to Mike Bobo, Brock Bowers a machine, ‘everybody practices at Georgia’
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