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Adam Schiff’s opening statement: There is ‘direct evidence of deception' between Trump’s campaign and Russia

Adam Schiff’s opening statement: There is ‘direct evidence of deception' between Trump’s campaign and Russia

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File
FILE - In this Tuesday, March 7, 2017, file photo, House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff, D-Calif., speaks with reporters about the committee's investigation into Russia's involvement in the recent U.S. presidential election, on Capitol Hill in Washington. On Sunday, March 19, 2017, Schiff and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., were among a number of lawmakers who said on news shows they had seen no evidence that the Obama administration ordered wiretaps on Donald Trump during the campaign.

Adam Schiff’s opening statement: There is ‘direct evidence of deception' between Trump’s campaign and Russia

Rep. Adam Schiff, (D-Calif.), laid out a case against Donald Trump and his associates Monday during the House Intelligence Committee’s hearing on Russian interference in the presidential election. 

Here is Schiff’s opening statement:

 “Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I want to thank Director Comey and Admiral Rogers for appearing before us today as the committee holds this first open hearing into the interference campaign waged against our 2016 Presidential election.

Last summer, at the height of a bitterly contested and hugely consequential Presidential campaign, a foreign, adversarial power intervened in an effort to weaken our democracy, and to influence the outcome for one candidate and against the other. That foreign adversary was, of course, Russia, and it acted through its intelligence agencies and upon the direct instructions of its autocratic ruler, Vladimir Putin, in order to help Donald J. Trump become the 45th President of the United States.

The Russian “active measures” campaign may have begun as early as 2015, when Russian intelligence services launched a series of spearphishing attacks designed to penetrate the computers of a broad array of Washington-based Democratic and Republican party organizations, think tanks and other entities. This continued at least through winter of 2016.

While at first, the hacking may have been intended solely for the collection of foreign intelligence, in mid-2016, the Russians “weaponized” the stolen data and used platforms established by their intel services, such as DC Leaks and existing third party channels like Wikileaks, to dump the documents.

The stolen documents were almost uniformly damaging to the candidate Putin despised, Hillary Clinton and, by forcing her campaign to constantly respond to the daily drip of disclosures, the releases greatly benefited Donald Trump’s campaign.

None of these facts is seriously in question and they are reflected in the consensus conclusions of all our intelligence agencies.

We will never know whether the Russian intervention was determinative in such a close election. Indeed, it is unknowable in a campaign in which so many small changes could have dictated a different result. More importantly, and for the purposes of our investigation, it simply does not matter. What does matter is this: the Russians successfully meddled in our democracy, and our intelligence agencies have concluded that they will do so again.

Ours is not the first democracy to be attacked by the Russians in this way. Russian intelligence has been similarly interfering in the internal and political affairs of our European and other allies for decades. What is striking here is the degree to which the Russians were willing to undertake such an audacious and risky action against the most powerful nation on earth. That ought to be a warning to us, that if we thought that the Russians would not dare to so blatantly interfere in our affairs, we were wrong. And if we do not do our very best to understand how the Russians accomplished this unprecedented attack on our democracy and what we need to do to protect ourselves in the future, we will have only ourselves to blame.

We know a lot about the Russian operation, about the way they amplified the damage their hacking and dumping of stolen documents was causing through the use of slick propaganda like RT, the Kremlin’s media arm. But there is also a lot we do not know.

Most important, we do not yet know whether the Russians had the help of U.S. citizens, including people associated with the Trump campaign. Many of Trump’s campaign personnel, including the President himself, have ties to Russia and Russian interests. This is, of course, no crime. On the other hand, if the Trump campaign, or anybody associated with it, aided or abetted the Russians, it would not only be a serious crime, it would also represent one of the most shocking betrayals of our democracy in history.

In Europe, where the Russians have a much longer history of political interference, they have used a variety of techniques to undermine democracy. They have employed the hacking and dumping of documents and slick propaganda as they clearly did here, but they have also used bribery, blackmail, compromising material, and financial entanglement to secure needed cooperation from individual citizens of targeted countries.

The issue of U.S. person involvement is only one of the important matters that the Chairman and I have agreed to investigate and which is memorialized in the detailed and bipartisan scope of investigation we have signed. We will also examine whether the intelligence community’s public assessment of the Russian operation is supported by the raw intelligence, whether the U.S. Government responded properly or missed the opportunity to stop this Russian attack much earlier, and whether the leak of information about Michael Flynn or others is indicative of a systemic problem. We have also reviewed whether there was any evidence to support President Trump’s claim that he was wiretapped by President Obama in Trump Tower – and found no evidence whatsoever to support that slanderous accusation – and we hope that Director Comey can now put that matter permanently to rest.

Today, most of my Democratic colleagues will be exploring with you the potential involvement of U.S. persons in the Russian attack on our democracy. It is not that we feel the other issues are not important – they are very important – but rather because this issue is least understood by the public. We realize, of course, that you may not be able to answer many of our questions in open session. You may or may not be willing to disclose even whether there is any investigation. But we hope to present to you and the public why we believe this matter is of such gravity that it demands a thorough investigation, not only by us, as we intend to do, but by the FBI as well.

Let me give you a little preview of what I expect you will be asked by our members.

Whether the Russian active measures campaign began as nothing more than an attempt to gather intelligence, or was always intended to be more than that, we do not know, and is one of the questions we hope to answer. But we do know this: the months of July and August 2016 appear to have been pivotal. It was at this time that the Russians began using the information they had stolen to help Donald Trump and harm Hillary Clinton. And so the question is why? What was happening in July/August of last year? And were U.S. persons involved?

Here are some of the matters, drawn from public sources alone, since that is all we can discuss in this setting, that concern us and should concern all Americans.

In early July, Carter Page, someone candidate Trump identified as one of his national security advisors, travels to Moscow on a trip approved by the Trump campaign. While in Moscow, he gives a speech critical of the United States and other western countries for what he believes is a hypocritical focus on democratization and efforts to fight corruption.

According to Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who is reportedly held in high regard by U.S. Intelligence, Russian sources tell him that Page has also had a secret meeting with Igor Sechin (SEH-CHIN), CEO of Russian gas giant Rosneft. Sechin is reported to be a former KGB agent and close friend of Putin’s. According to Steele’s Russian sources, Page is offered brokerage fees by Sechin on a deal involving a 19 percent share of the company. According to Reuters, the sale of a 19.5 percent share in Rosneft later takes place, with unknown purchasers and unknown brokerage fees.

Also, according to Steele’s Russian sources, the Trump campaign is offered documents damaging to Hillary Clinton, which the Russians would publish through an outlet that gives them deniability, like Wikileaks. The hacked documents would be in exchange for a Trump Administration policy that de-emphasizes Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and instead focuses on criticizing NATO countries for not paying their fare share – policies which, even as recently as the President’s meeting last week with Angela Merkel, have now presciently come to pass.

In the middle of July, Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign manager and someone who was long on the payroll of Pro-Russian Ukrainian interests, attends the Republican Party convention. Carter Page, back from Moscow, also attends the convention. According to Steele, it was Manafort who chose Page to serve as a go-between for the Trump campaign and Russian interests. Ambassador Kislyak, who presides over a Russian embassy in which diplomatic personnel would later be expelled as likely spies, also attends the Republican Party convention and meets with Carter Page and additional Trump Advisors JD Gordon and Walid Phares. It was JD Gordon who approved Page’s trip to Moscow. Ambassador Kislyak also meets with Trump campaign national security chair and now Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sessions would later deny meeting with Russian officials during his Senate confirmation hearing.

Just prior to the convention, the Republican Party platform is changed, removing a section that supports the provision of “lethal defensive weapons” to Ukraine, an action that would be contrary to Russian interests. Manafort categorically denies involvement by the Trump campaign in altering the platform. But the Republican Party delegate who offered the language in support of providing defensive weapons to Ukraine states that it was removed at the insistence of the Trump campaign. Later, JD Gordon admits opposing the inclusion of the provision at the time it was being debated and prior to its being removed.

Later in July, and after the convention, the first stolen emails detrimental to Hillary Clinton appear on Wikileaks. A hacker who goes by the moniker Guccifer 2.0 claims responsibility for hacking the DNC and giving the documents to Wikileaks. But leading private cyber security firms including CrowdStrike, Mandiant, and ThreatConnect review the evidence of the hack and conclude with high certainty that it was the work of APT28 and APT29, who were known to be Russian intelligence services. The U.S. Intelligence community also later confirms that the documents were in fact stolen by Russian intelligence and Guccifer 2.0 acted as a front. Also in late July, candidate Trump praises Wikileaks, says he loves them, and openly appeals to the Russians to hack his opponents’ emails, telling them that they will be richly rewarded by the press.

On August 8th, Roger Stone, a longtime Trump political advisor and self-proclaimed political dirty trickster, boasts in a speech that he “has communicated with Assange,” and that more documents would be coming, including an “October surprise.” In the middle of August, he also communicates with the Russian cutout Guccifer 2.0, and authors a Breitbart piece denying Guccifer’s links to Russian intelligence. Then, later in August, Stone does something truly remarkable, when he predicts that John Podesta’s personal emails will soon be published. “Trust me, it will soon be Podesta’s time in the barrel. #Crooked Hillary.”

In the weeks that follow, Stone shows a remarkable prescience: “I have total confidence that @wikileaks and my hero Julian Assange will educate the American people soon. #Lockherup. “Payload coming,” he predicts, and two days later, it does. Wikileaks releases its first batch of Podesta emails. The release of John Podesta’s emails would then continue on a daily basis up to election day.

On Election Day in November, Donald Trump wins. Donald Trump appoints one of his high profile surrogates, Michael Flynn, to be his national security advisor. Michael Flynn has been paid by the Kremlin’s propaganda outfit, RT, and other Russian entities in the past. In December, Michael Flynn has a secret conversation with Ambassador Kislyak about sanctions imposed by President Obama on Russia over its hacking designed to help the Trump campaign. Michael Flynn lies about this secret conversation. The Vice President, unknowingly, then assures the country that no such conversation ever happened. The President is informed Flynn has lied, and Pence has misled the country. The President does nothing. Two weeks later, the press reveals that Flynn has lied and the President is forced to fire Mr. Flynn. The President then praises the man who lied, Flynn, and castigates the press for exposing the lie.

Now, is it possible that the removal of the Ukraine provision from the GOP platform was a coincidence? Is it a coincidence that Jeff Sessions failed to tell the Senate about his meetings with the Russian Ambassador, not only at the convention, but a more private meeting in his office and at a time when the U.S. election was under attack by the Russians? Is it a coincidence that Michael Flynn would lie about a conversation he had with the same Russian Ambassador Kislyak about the most pressing issue facing both countries at the time they spoke – the U.S. imposition of sanctions over Russian hacking of our election designed to help Donald Trump? Is it a coincidence that the Russian gas company Rosneft sold a 19 percent share after former British Intelligence Officer Steele was told by Russian sources that Carter Page was offered fees on a deal of just that size? Is it a coincidence that Steele’s Russian sources also affirmed that Russia had stolen documents hurtful to Secretary Clinton that it would utilize in exchange for pro-Russian policies that would later come to pass? Is it a coincidence that Roger Stone predicted that John Podesta would be the victim of a Russian hack and have his private emails published, and did so even before Mr. Podesta himself was fully aware that his private emails would be exposed?

Is it possible that all of these events and reports are completely unrelated, and nothing more than an entirely unhappy coincidence? Yes, it is possible. But it is also possible, maybe more than possible, that they are not coincidental, not disconnected and not unrelated, and that the Russians used the same techniques to corrupt U.S. persons that they have employed in Europe and elsewhere. We simply don’t know, not yet, and we owe it to the country to find out.

Director Comey, what you see on the dais in front of you, in the form of this small number of members and staff is all we have to commit to this investigation. This is it. We are not supported by hundreds or thousands of agents and investigators, with offices around the world. It is just us and our Senate counterparts. And in addition to this investigation, we still have our day job, which involves overseeing some of the largest and most important agencies in the country, agencies, which, by the way, are trained to keep secrets.

I point this out for two reasons: First, because we cannot do this work alone. Nor should we. We believe these issues are so important that the FBI must devote its resources to investigating each of them thoroughly; to do any less would be negligent in the protection of our country. We also need your full cooperation with our own investigation, so that we have the benefit of what you may know, and so that we may coordinate our efforts in the discharge of both our responsibilities. And second, I raise this because I believe that we would benefit from the work of an independent commission that can devote the staff and resources to this investigation that we do not have, and that can be completely removed from any political considerations. This should not be a substitute for the work that we, in the intelligence committees should and must do, but as an important complement to our efforts, just as was the case after 9/11.

The stakes are nothing less than the future of liberal democracy.

We are engaged in a new war of ideas, not communism versus capitalism, but authoritarianism versus democracy and representative government. And in this struggle, our adversary sees our political process as a legitimate field of battle.

Only by understanding what the Russians did can we inoculate ourselves from the further Russian interference we know is coming. Only then can we help protect our European allies who are, as we speak, enduring similar Russian interference in their own elections.

Finally, I want to say a word about our own committee investigation. You will undoubtedly observe in the questions and comments that our members make during today's hearing, that the members of both parties share a common concern over the Russian attack on our democracy, but bring a different perspective on the significance of certain issues, or the quantum of evidence we have seen in the earliest stages of this investigation. That is to be expected. The question most people have is whether we can really conduct this investigation in the kind of thorough and nonpartisan manner that the seriousness of the issues merit, or whether the enormous political consequences of our work will make that impossible. The truth is, I don’t know the answer. But I do know this: If this committee can do its work properly, if we can pursue the facts wherever they lead, unafraid to compel witnesses to testify, to hear what they have to say, to learn what we will and, after exhaustive work, reach a common conclusion, it would be a tremendous public service and one that is very much in the national interest.

So let us try. Thank you Mr. Chairman, I yield back.”


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Georgia Sports News

  • ATHENS, Ga. – It began when Bill Belichick walked to a corner of the Georgia indoor facility. The area cleared, and the four players gathered around him. At first, it looked like it would just be a nice brief opportunity to meet the New England Patriots coach. But then it kept going. Over the next 20 minutes the coach considered by many to be the most accomplished coach in NFL history personally ran drills with the four Georgia starting linebackers during its playoff run: Roquan Smith, Lorenzo Carter, Davin Bellamy and Reggie Carter. “Control the block. Don’t get off it. Control it,” Belichick said, calmly but firmly guiding the four linebackers through one drill. “Knock it out. Finish. Finish!” Belichick said at another point. Belichick’s aide during the drill: Matt Patricia, the new Detroit Lions coach who had been the New England Patriots’ defensive coordinator. The occasion was UGA’s pro day, which turned into a public mini-tryout for Georgia’s now-former linebackers with the most recognizable, and accomplished, coach in the NFL. “It’s crazy. It’s kind of surreal,” Lorenzo Carter said. “Growing up I was a Pats fan. So seeing Bill, having Coach Belichick work us through drills it’s cool. But it’s what we work for.” It wasn’t a surprise that Belichick, who politely declined an interview request afterward, was in attendance. He’s come before; he personally worked out offensive lineman David Andrews in preparation for the 2014 draft. Andrews went undrafted, the Patriots signed him as a free agent, and Andrews just started a second straight Super Bowl. This time the star power at UGA was quite evident: Smith headlines a draft class that could be the best in Georgia history, with as many as five players projected to be selected in the first four rounds, including three who could go in the first round. Four NFL coaches attended: Belichick, Patricia, Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis and Atlanta’s Dan Quinn. So did personnel people, including Falcons’ general manager Tom Dimitroff, who lauded the four Georgia linebackers. “It’s such a talented group,” Dimitroff said. “They’re big guys who have range. When you talk about Lo Carter or you talk about Roquan, those guys can fly. Their range is so important for our defense.” “It’s an honor to say we coached them, but it’s even better to see them do what they want to do,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “And to do it in front of a wonderful audience. I mean, who gets to do linebacker drills with Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia?” The somewhat-impromptu session happened near the end of the pro day. When Belichick has attended in the past he has mostly watched. The NFL draft process is so cloak and dagger, with teams not wanting other teams to know who they’re working out or what they’re thinking. This, however, was in full view of everybody. Which doesn’t mean the Patriots are about to select one of those four. (They’d have to trade up from their No. 31 overall pick to get Smith.) Smart opined it was just about Belichick wanting to be involved. “I know he’s got a passion, he loves the game, he loves coaching,” Smart said. “So it’s a chance for him to get out there and coach guys and make them better – and evaluate talent.” It led to one accidental moment: Smith knocked over Lions defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni, who was assisting in a drill in which linebackers are asked to jump from a stance and push off. Bellamy and Carter had done so without incident, but when it was Smith’s turn, he knocked the 68-year-old Pasqualoni to the ground. “I don’t know what I did, if I hit it a little awkward or anything to make him flip like that,” Smith said. “But I was just trying to get a work in.” Smith was asked if he apologized. “No I didn’t apologize,” Smith said with an incredulous smile. The day wasn’t all about those four starting linebackers and their very public tryout. Georgia had 22 players working out. A few other notables: Javon Wims, the team’s leading receiver last year, said he improved his time in the 40-yard dash, from 4.53 at the NFL combine last month to 4.47 on Wednesday. Punter Cameron Nizialek boomed some punts into the roof at the indoor facility. Tailbacks Sony Michel and Nick Chubb caught some passes but didn’t run or lift. Aaron Davis, the four-year starter in the secondary who was snubbed for an invite to the NFL combine, tried to make up for it, showing scouts his speed and catching ability. But the highlight was the four linebackers working with the legendary head coach. They were what Smart called “recognition drills” that are more standard for a team practice, and typically aren’t done at the combine. Belichick was very hands on, running with the players during part of the drills. When it ended, the four linebackers gathered around, and Belichick extended his hand. “Thank you. Thank you,” Belichick said, shaking each of their hands. Smith later played the session off as no big deal. (“My job is to get the work done, and that’s end of it,” he said.) And so did Bellamy. “Everybody’s going to be like, ‘Whoa, that’s Bill Belichick.’ But at the end of the day he’s here to work me out,” Bellamy said. “And any coach here that’s here to work me out I’m going to give 110 [percent] for. So I was just locked in and giving it all I had.” The post The day Bill Belichick personally worked out 4 Georgia linebackers appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Isaiah Wynn was the anchor of the Georgia football team’s offensive line as it won an SEC championship, the Rose Bowl and came within a play of winning the national championship. And he did it while not fully healthy. Wynn tore his labrum on Nov. 18 against Kentucky, and put off surgery until the end of the season. “Yeah it was (limiting). But shoot we had a heck of a season so why let that stop us from getting to where we needed to go,” Wynn said on Wednesday. Wynn estimated he played the rest of the season at 85 percent. It’s common for players to play through a labrum tear, which sounds worse than it seems: The labrum is a piece of cartilage attached to the edge of the shoulder. “It’s kind of harder to block with that because you’re always getting it jammed back,” Wynn said. “But it’s good.” Wynn and Georgia kept the injury under wraps until the end of the season. He played four full games with it: The wins over Georgia Tech, Auburn in the SEC championship and Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, and the overtime loss to Alabama in the national championship. “He’s got a great toughness,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said. “I don’t want to make a big deal about it for Isaiah, there’s a lot of guys on our team, Trent (Thompson) dealt with labrums. We’ve got a lot of guys with labrums. It’s an injury that’s very common in football. We see it more in high school where guys are coming in and having the surgery done before they even get here. I had it done. “But it’s one of those things where Isaiah being an offensive lineman he’s constantly got his hands outside his framework when a guy gets away, and it makes you vulnerable to that injury. But it’s also something that sometimes you can’t make worse, you’ve just got to push through, and boy he’s a tough guy. Because I would see it come out, see it slip, and he would keep right on playing.” Wynn said he heard from teams at both tackle and guard. He started at guard for most of his sophomore and junior seasons, then moved permanently to left tackle for his final season. Things went better for Georgia when he was at one position: The Bulldogs were 19-2 with Wynn at left tackle. Some projections have Wynn going in the first round of the NFL draft next month.   The post Isaiah Wynn played hurt during Georgia playoff run appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Jake Fromm was captured beyond the lights first. Justin Fields was the next man up the following season. That was a pair of 5-star QBs. Both on their way to UGA. Both starring in a documentary series that chronicles their final season of high school football. “The great difference between QB1 and Friday Night Lights? This is REAL”- Peter Berg talks QB1 ahead of Wednesday's season 2 premiere. pic.twitter.com/Fezg5WCjB1 — QB1 (@QB1show) February 26, 2018 Sound like DawgNation deja vu? Imagine how Brett Whitcomb feels. He spent the last two football seasons working with the next great Georgia QB. The local producer for the streaming “QB1: Beyond the Lights” program embedded himself into Jake Fromm’s world in 2016. He then did the same for 10 full weeks with Justin Fields in 2017. Who said football season has to end? Season 2 of #QB1 begins 2/28 on @realratedred pic.twitter.com/kquu26eD4V — QB1 (@QB1show) February 7, 2018 He had a funny line when considering the odds of working with another 5-star QB on the way to UGA in the fall of 2018. “It is going to get so weird,” Whitcomb said while holding back an eventual chuckle. “I won’t mind again if it is again close to my house. I will like it. But if it happens again (another UGA recruit) I might get investigated for some kind of weirdness going on. I don’t want that.” The series offers the chance for UGA fans to relive it. But they know this time it ends with Fields in red and black. 'Stay home brother, stay home” Catch up on Season 2 here ➡️ https://t.co/Hf9JLUvPjc pic.twitter.com/LFXPmMf30N — QB1 (@QB1show) March 17, 2018 Fields is one of three major character arcs in Season 2 of the docu-series. It i s available for streaming on Verizon’s portfolio of media brands including go90, Complex, Complex Networks’ Rated Red channel, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo View, Rivals.com, Fios On Demand and Fios1. The series drops a new episode every Wednesday right here . 10-star work: Filming Jake Fromm and Justin Fields  Justin Fields, now a UGA freshman, was rated as the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat QB for 2018. (Complex Networks) It is a unique alignment of the stars. A pair of 5-stars, at that. Whitman saw both up close in moments when the red light was off and on. He was there for major injuries to both. The Rated Red cameras were there if things went south. Fields was assigned some late-night lawn care by his father when he wasn’t where he was supposed to be after one practice. “Right off just the similarities would be incredible family structure and just the best kind of parents you could ask for,” Whitman said. “Justin’s parents were just the most fantastic people and the same with Emerson and Lee (Fromm) and Jake’s parents. They were both incredibly hospitable. They got the show and understood what we were doing. That was exactly how it was when we first started with Justin.” There are differences in those players, though. That’s even evident when following their careers. “Justin is a little more reserved,” Whitman said. “He’s a little more quiet than Jake. Jake is a tad bit more outgoing and just kind of says things whenever he wants. He’s very energetic. Justin was a little more reserved but that was the only kind of difference.” “But you could tell if you met them together, that you would kind of get that vibe. But both (are) highly intelligent kids. They prove it with their GPAs and when you are talking to them.” The QB1 series also followed Jake Fromm along his senior year of high school ball at Houston County in 2016. (Rob Saye/Special to DawgNation) He said both only needed about 15 minutes of prep. They were good to go with all the hours and hours of shooting after that. Whitman said he would shoot all day at Harrison. The goal was to come away with just a couple of minutes every day that might work for the show. “Those two kids really got it and they never looked back,” he said. “Once I told them what we were doing, they just put their head down and went about their high school life.” He felt the production was a “dream come true” from a creative standpoint. “They ignored me,” Whitman said. “It was kind of a dream when Matt gave me the access to go in there and we had access to go to the school. Everyone was nice and welcoming and nice. Then they just did their job and kind of ignored us. Which is really kind of the best thing you can ask for when trying to do a documentary.” How Harrison managed the film crews all season long Harrison coach Matt Dickmann gives credit to Fields and his family. He thanked his father for providing the structure for his program to flourish under some intense media spotlight. The family basically shut down all media access to Fromm. Except for that documentary crew. “The one thing that Justin’s Dad, Pablo, did well was once the season started there were no more interviews,” Harrison coach Matt Dickmann said. “Which really made it much easier for me. Because I was getting one phone call or email request on the average of one to two per day. People would want to come to practice and you really don’t have time.” Dickmann has lived those hours. The school day begins at 7 a.m. and the football practice wraps about 12 hours later. Now multiply that by the fact that Field was the nation’s top-rated recruit for his entire senior season. He also remained uncommitted until the first week of October. “(Those requests) takes away from preparing for football and I don’t think the average person or fan understands that,” Dickmann said. “… If we would have done every request, I don’t know that we would have ever got anything done.” The many layers to Justin Fields The head coach feels that the crew has captured the essence of the young man he’s gotten to know so well over the last few years. “I think for the most part they have shown how competitive he is,” Dickmann said. “They’ve shown his sense of humor. They have shown how serious he can be when it is game time because Justin is very intelligent but he also likes to have fun with his teammates. He also likes to compete and challenge people, too. I think they’ve done a good job of bringing that side out and showing that part of his personality, too.” There’s one moment in the series where Fields tries to hit a teammate in the head during a lull in practice. His buddy is wearing a helmet and he’s attempting to cover about 20-30 yards with that heave. It was a loft. Not a toss with the same amount of mustard on it that he used during the first day of spring practice at UGA on Tuesday. “I would kid with him and tell him ‘Don’t do that’ because I know he was kidding around,” Dickmann said. “But I wanted him to know that is not him being a really good teammate when he is doing that. But that’s just him being a kid.” That was the fun side he sometimes would show. That would be a counter to the cerebral and calculating presence he shifted into when surrounded by about 10 reporters at the Nike Opening out in Oregon. “He would like to have fun with me,” Dickmann said. “He would say sometimes that ‘Coach, I can’t go today because I strained my hamstring’ but he was kidding with me. I wouldn’t know if he was kidding or not with me some days.” So the ol’ coach would give as good as he got. “I would kid him back and tell him that  I was having chest pains that day and would have to go to the hospital,” Dickmann said. “I would tell him I wouldn’t be able to coach.” RELATED: Harrison’s Matt Dickmann knows what UGA fans should expect out of Justin Fields this spring at UGA The post WATCH: Stream the Complex Networks weekly series with UGA freshman Justin Fields appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS -- Former University of Georgia four-year football letterman and assistant coach John Donaldson died Tuesday in Jesup at the age of 92. Donaldson coached at Jesup High School and Wayne County High at different times in his career around assistant coaching positions at both Florida and Georgia. During his tenures Jesup won state AA championships in 1954 and 59 and Georgia won the 1966 and '68 Southeastern Conference titles.As a player, Donaldson was a mainspring at halfback on Georgia's four straight bowl teams of 1945-46-47-48. A native of Jesup where he was All-State in high school, Donaldson came to Georgia in 1945 after starring with the Jacksonville Navy in 1944. In the Georgia-Tulsa Oil Bowl game on New Year's Day, 1946, he caught a 65-yard TD pass from Charley Trippi. He played with the old Chicago Hornets of the All-American Conference in 1949, then began a coaching career at Jesup High. In eight seasons there his teams won the division title each year and in 1954 they ended a 44-game winning streak by the Valdosta Wildcats. Jesup won the state AA championship in 1954 and 1959. Donaldson joined head coach Ray Graves' Florida staff as defensive backfield coach in 1960 and served in that capacity for three years. He was head freshman coach in 1963 and his Baby Gators were 3-1. Donaldson left Florida in 1964 to coach at the University of Georgia under new head coach Vince Dooley. He coached the offensive backfield for five years (1964-1968) at UGA and also coordinated Georgia's running game from 1967-1968. The Bulldogs were second in the SEC in rushing in 1967 and in 1968, Georgia led the SEC in rushing and scoring en route to the SEC championship. He also was the coordinator of Georgia's off-season weight and running programs. In addition, Donaldson served as the main recruiter for the South Georgia and the Jacksonville areas. Donaldson retired from coaching and entered private business in Jesup until 1971 when he rejoined the Georgia coaching staff as head freshman coach. In 1973, Donaldson became head coach at Wayne County High before retiring in 1982. He was married to the former Ann Coppelman of Jesup. Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Saturday at the Howard-Jones Funeral Home in Jesup, 777 South First Street. Funeral services will be Sunday at 3 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 745 South Palm Street.
  • The Georgia Bulldogs will have plenty of representation throughout the NFL Draft next month, but they’ll be front and center on night one. According to Jason Butt of the Macon Telegraph, Smith received and invite to the draft and will attend. Roquan Smith said he has received an invitation to the NFL draft and will attend. He’s a projected top-15 pick. — Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) March 21, 2018 RELATED: SEC Country NFL Mock Draft Smith will almost certainly be the first Georgia player to be selected in the draft, as he’s projected to go within the first 10-15 picks. As an attendee, he’ll get to walk across the stage when his name is called, which will surely be a special moment for him and his family. The 2018 NFL Draft will be held at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys. The first round will be on Thursday, April 26, with rounds two through seven split over the following two days. It’s the first time the draft will be at the a stadium where an NFL team plays. In other Dawgs in the NFL news, running back Nick Chubb told ESPN that he currently has one pre-draft visit scheduled, with a team familiar to the SEC area. Chubb will meet with the Carolina Panthers of the NFC South. He’ll likely have a handful of similar meetings with teams over the course of the next month. Georgia RB Nick Chubb told me he has one team visit lined up so far, to the Carolina Panthers next week. https://t.co/Hp7lrmTheH — vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) March 21, 2018 Georgia is holding its Pro Day in Athens on Wednesday. Patriots coach Bill Belichick spent a lot of time working with Smith and the other Bulldogs linebackers. The post Report: Roquan Smith will attend NFL Draft appeared first on DawgNation.