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Latest from Tim Bryant

    The University of Georgia says the 513 student-athletes taking classes at UGA racked up an average GPA of 3.09. The University says that makes nine years in a row for athletes’ grade point averages of 3.0 or better. From UGA Sports Communications… The 513 student-athletes enrolled at the University of Georgia earned a grade point average of 3.09 or better during the 2018 spring semester.    This is the ninth year in a row that Georgia student-athletes have combined for a GPA of 3.0 or better during the spring semester.    On the men’s side, the cross country team claimed the honor for the highest GPA with a 3.27 average, while the track and field team led the women’s teams with a GPA of 3.44.    Among the men’s sports, the golf team came in second with a combined GPA of 3.24 followed by tennis at 3.21, swimming and diving with a GPA of 3.07, and track and field at 3.06.    Cross country came in a close second from the women with a GPA of 3.41 followed by equestrian at 3.39, tennis at 3.38, soccer with a GPA of 3.37, and swimming and diving at 3.30. 
  • Andy Johnson will be laid to rest after a weekend service at Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens. The graveside service is set for 3:30 Sunday afternoon. Johnson died earlier this week at the age of 65. He was a star quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs in the early 1970s. He went on to play as a running back for the NFL’s New England Patriots. From UGA…   Born Oct. 18, 1952, in Athens Johnson was an All-American quarterback on an Athens High team that was state-champions in class AAA. He also was All-Region in basketball, baseball, and a sprinter on the track team. Johnson was drafted by the Atlanta Braves as a shortstop but decided to continue his education at the University of Georgia on a football scholarship. Johnson was the starting quarterback on the Bulldog freshman squad in 1970, setting the total offense record of 1,078 yards in five games. In 1971, his sophomore season, Johnson became the varsity's starting signal caller and led the Bulldogs to an 11-1 campaign which included a 7-3 victory over North Carolina in the Gator Bowl. During that season, Johnson set the SEC sophomore rushing record and was second in the conference in rushing. He set the SEC record for touchdowns scored rushing by a sophomore with 13. Football News named him the nation's most outstanding sophomore player and the Jacksonville Journal awarded him the SEC's outstanding sophomore player trophy. Johnson was plagued by injuries throughout his junior season but still managed to be the Bulldogs third leading rusher and second leading passer in the 7-4 season. In his senior season, Johnson was second on the team in rushing, led the team in passing, and commanded the Bulldogs to a 7-4-1 record with a 17-16 victory over Maryland in the Peach Bowl. After his three year tenure was complete, Johnson captured the SEC record for the most yards rushing by a quarterback with 1,799. While at Georgia, Johnson also competed on the Bulldogs baseball team for three years, compiling a .281 career average. Johnson was drafted in the fifth round by the New England Patriots of the NFL. Johnson played for the Patriots for nine seasons before signing with the Boston Breakers of the USFL in 1983. He was inducted into the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.He is survived by his wife Charlotte (Chot) and children, Kristy, Brent and Brooke. Visitation is scheduled for Saturday, May 19, from 3-5 p.m. at Bernstein Funeral Home in Athens. A graveside service will be held Sunday, May 20, at 3:30 p.m. at the Oconee Hill Cemetery in Athens.
  • Athens-Clarke County Police release the name of the suspect accused of breaking into the car of former Georgia Bulldog linebacker Roquan Smith and stealing items that included game jerseys worn by the Bulldog All-American and first round draft pick of the Chicago Bears.  From the Athens-Clarke County Police Dept... Landyn Shane Durham, 20-year-old W/M was identified as the suspect in the Roquan Smith Entering Auto case. Warrants for felony Entering Auto were signed yesterday, and Durham turned himself into the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office soon after. Also, detectives learned of second entering auto. The second incident was from the same morning at The Mark apartment parking deck case# 2018-05100058. That vehicle was also an unlocked vehicle but belonged to a UGA lacrosse player, Austin Eiseman. Austin had several things taken including his UGA lacrosse jersey. The jersey was recovered during the search at 1030 #5 MLK Parkway, Athens. A booking photo of Durham can be obtained at the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office.
  • There is NCAA tournament basketball tonight in Athens: coach Joni Taylor’s University of Georgia Lady Dogs host the Duke Blue Devils in the second round of the women’s tournament. The game tips at 7; the winner advances to the Sweet 16.  From UGA Sports Communications... Georgia won its first NCAA tournament game since 2013 with a 68-63 win against No. 13 seed Mercer on Saturday. The victory was also the first NCAA tourney victory for Georgia under head coach Joni Taylor.    » The Lady Bulldogs’ veteran frontcourt of Caliya Robinson and Mackenzie Engram combined for 44 points and 26 rebounds against Mercer. Freshman Que Morrison added 10 points and nine rebounds in her first NCAA tournament game.    » Robinson’s 23 points on Saturday were the most for a Georgia player in a non-overtime NCAA tournament game since Tasha Humphrey scored 27 against Connecticut in 2006. Her 16 rebounds are the third-most by a Georgia player in a NCAA tournament game.    » Georgia notched its 26th victory of the season on Saturday. This marks the team’s most wins in a single season since the 2006-07 campaign.    » The Lady Bulldogs are in search of their first NCAA Sweet 16 appearance since 2013 and 21st appearance overall.    » Georgia and Duke have met three times prior in the NCAA tournament, with the Blue Devils taking wins in all three contests. The last meeting came in 2005, when Duke beat Georgia, 63-57, in the Sweet 16.    » Georgia’s defense held Mercer to just 31.8 percent shooting from the floor, marking the 25th time in 32 games this season the Lady Bulldogs have held an opponent to 40-percent or lower from the floor. It is also the eighth time in the last nine games Georgia has accomplished that feat.    » Duke represents the fourth-straight ranked opponent Georgia has faced this season. The Lady Bulldogs are 2-1 against the previous three.    » The Lady Bulldogs are hosting the first and second rounds for the 18th time in Athens and for the first time since 2003. Georgia’s No. 4 seed marks its highest seeding since 2013, when the team advanced all the way to the NCAA Elite Eight. » Georgia has now been to 33 of 37 NCAA tournaments, a total that is second nationally to Tennessee for most NCAA tournament appearances. This is the second time in three years the team has made the tournament under head coach Joni Taylor. » The Lady Bulldogs finished the regular season in a tie for second place with South Carolina in the SEC standings. It marks Georgia’s best finish in the league since the 2006-07 campaign. The Lady Bulldogs advanced to the semifinals of the SEC Tournament before falling to the Gamecocks. » Georgia earned a second-place finish after being picked eighth in the conference’s preseason poll. The turnaround from 16-15 a year ago to 24-5 during the 2017-18 season is the second largest in program history. Georgia went 16-12 in Hall of Fame Coach Andy Landers’ first year in 1979-80 after the team went just 6-19 the season before. » All six of Georgia’s losses have come against teams ranked in the top-25, with four of those coming to top-10 teams. Georgia Sunday Press Conference Quotes Head coach Joni Taylor Opening comments… “Obviously great win for us yesterday against Mercer. We’ve had a chance to watch film and prepare for a Duke team that’s really good. We’re just excited to get out here and practice in a few minutes and get ready to go. We know this is a tremendous challenge for us. Duke has a great program, has a lot of tradition and we’re excited about the opportunity to play at home again and test ourselves against a really good Duke team.”   On Duke forward Leaonna Odom and Duke’s size… “Leaonna Odom is a really good player. She provides great size, great athletic ability, and she’s an X-factor in my opinion for that team. Rebecca Greenwell is who she is. Lexi Brown is who she is. With Odom coming along with them, they are really tough. I think what you saw yesterday was her showing up and doing what she’s capable of doing. We have to do our best, so that doesn’t happen tomorrow. As for their size, they are bigger than us at every position. That’s no secret. If you look at the roster, you figure that out pretty quickly. I think we’ve been in that position this year already. It’s not anything that we really pay attention to.”   On managing the team with a short turnaround… “That’s the beauty of this team. Our seniors and our experienced players understand that. They’ve been in that situation before, so they start by managing it themselves, and managing the other players. So when we come in and talk about it, it’s just secondary at that point. I think they understand how important getting rest is, getting in the bed, getting in the hot tub or cold tub, and hydrating properly after games. All of that stuff is what we talk about all the time, so it’s just second nature at this point. Also, you’re in the tournament, and it just comes along with it. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing.”   #0 | Taja Cole | R-Soph. | G On working together with Gabby Connelly… “I’m always in Gabby’s ear whether I’m in the game, on the bench, or during a timeout. I’m just talking to her or just seeing her point of view and telling her what I think. [I’m] always encouraging her. We play on the same team but I think we have our own team, our little point guard team. We just try to stay on the same page, I pick her brain and she picks mine.”   On Lexie Brown, Rebecca Greenwell, and Duke… “We got a chance to watch the game before our game and I think Duke has a really good point guard, Lexie Brown, she knows how to get her teammates the ball. She can drive [and] she can shoot. Then you have [Rebecca] Greenwell who spreads the defense out with her deep range. We’re excited to play against them and right now we’re focusing on the plan that our coaches set up for us and we’re looking forward to playing tomorrow.”   #2 | Gabby Connally | Fr. | G On working with Taja Cole… “She’s constantly in my ear especially when I come in off the bench especially when I have a mistake or two. She just constantly picks me up and uses encouraging words. If I see something on the bench that she may not see on the floor, I try to tell her what I see so we can help each other and that in turn helps the team.”   On having Taja Cole as a role model… “I think its really important and I’m glad I have Taja [Cole] with me. Just being able to watch her on the bench at first so I could get a feel for the game, see what defense the team we’re playing is [using on] us. Seeing what sets what first on the offensive end and making sure I keep the same energy, [and] make sure we’re moving in transition.”
  • Georgia Bulldog football coach Kirby Smart claims another postseason honor: Smart, in his second season in Athens, has been named Coach of the Year by Sporting News magazine. Smart and his SEC champion Bulldogs are twenty days away from a New Year’s Day Rose Bowl playoff game against the Oklahoma Sooners.    From UGA Sports Communications… Georgia coach Kirby Smart had an unexpected visitor before the SEC championship game against Auburn on Dec. 2.   'I thought it was hilarious Bo Jackson came up to me before the game,' Smart said after the Bulldogs beat the Tigers 28-7. 'He's my childhood idol. I worshipped Bo Jackson. I had Bo Jackson posters, baseball cards. I had over 300 baseball cards of Bo Jackson. He comes up to me before the game and said, ‘A lot of pressure in this job, isn't it?''   Smart's reply?    'Hell yeah, it is.'    Smart handled that pressure. He guided the Bulldogs to a 12-1 record, their first SEC championship since 2005 and their first College Football Playoff berth. For those efforts, Smart is Sporting News' 2017 Coach of the Year.   Georgia became the first SEC East school to win the conference championship since 2008. It was a turnaround from the former Alabama defensive coordinator's first season, when the Bulldogs finished 8-5. This year, Georgia swept rivals Florida, Tennessee and Georgia Tech, won a marquee nonconference game at Notre Dame and avenged its only loss of the season in the SEC championship rematch against the Tigers.    'All those ones I won at Alabama and here, they felt awesome too because it's hard to do,' Smart said of his latest conference title. 'This one feels the same way. 'You know, it's just the psychological stamina it takes to win an SEC Championship. I don't think people really realize what you go through the entire year — going on the road, playing these intense games.'   Smart repeatedly praised a senior class that featured players such as Nick Chubb and Roquan Smith, who opted to stay in school for one more season. What was the first day like when Smart took over for Mark Richt?    'Yeah, I remember,' Chubb said. 'Happy the first day he came and spoke to us. He was busy with Alabama winning the championship, and he came in, and he just looked exhausted. We're like, 'Man, what's this man been up to?'   'Just the things he says, and he actually backs it up with his actions,' Smith added. 'It is what it is. He's an awesome guy, as you guys can see, and he knows what he's doing.'    Georgia hasn't won a national championship since 1980. That's the next challenge for Smart, who will get to take it at the Rose Bowl Game. Smart faces that pressure every day, but he clearly enjoys it. So do the players.    'That's why we do it for moments like this,' Smart said. 'All that work for moments like this for these guys to enjoy.
  • The University of Georgia says it will make the largest screen on campus available for viewing in a Saturday afternoon SEC Championship Game watch party: the party begins at 3 o’clock at the Tate Student Center. The Georgia Bulldogs kick off against the Auburn Tigers an hour later: 4 o’clock at Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.  From Gabriel Burns, AJC... Auburn had few problems in a 40-17 blowout win over Georgia three weeks ago. The rematch could be closer, but the Tigers remained favored. Georgia is a 2.5-point underdog in the SEC championship, per OddShark.com. The Bulldogs were favored by that same amount prior to the first Auburn game. The Bulldogs won the SEC East in a landslide, sweeping the division for the first time by an average score of 41-12. Their lone bad day came in Auburn Nov. 11, when the Bulldogs distanced themselves from their previous clean, disciplined play that made them the No. 1 team in football. The total points is set at 49 for Saturday. Unless Auburn’s defense repeats its last performance, a shootout could be looming.
  • We are on the eve of the final home football game of the Georgia Bulldog season: the seventh-ranked Dogs host the Kentucky Wildcats in tomorrow’s SEC finale. Kickoff for UGA Senior Day is set for 3:30 in Sanford Stadium, with national television on CBS.   The senior ceremony will begin at 3:16 p.m. ET at Sanford Stadium. Kickoff for the Bulldogs’ final home game of the season is set for 3:30 p.m., with the contest nationally televised on the CBS.  The 31 seniors to be recognized are John Atkins, DL, Thomson, Ga.; Davin Bellamy, LB, Stone Mountain, Ga.; Jeb Blazevich, TE, Charlotte, N.C.; Aulden Bynum, OL, Valdosta, Ga.; Lorenzo Carter, LB, Norcross, Ga.; Reggie Carter, LB, Stone Mountain, Ga.; Nick Chubb, RB, Cedartown, Ga.; John Courson, LS, Athens, Ga.; Aaron Davis, DB, Locust Grove, Ga.; Jordan Davis, TE, Thomson, Ga.; Alex Essex, DL, Richmond, Va.; Turner Fortin, RB, Johns Creek, Ga.; Trent Frix, LS, Calhoun, Ga.; Jacob Gross, RB, Thomaston, Ga.; Carson Hall, OL, Dallas, Ga.; Daniel Harper, LB, Atlanta, Ga.; Matthew Herzwurm, LS, Augusta, Ga.; Tim Hill, DB, Atlanta, Ga.; David Marvin, K, Charlotte, N.C.; Miles McGinty, TE, Savannah, Ga.; Sony Michel, RB, Hollywood, Fla.; Cameron Nizialek, P, Chantilly, Va.; Malkom Parrish, DB, Quitman, Ga.; Christian Payne, RB, Athens, Ga.; Brice Ramsey, QB, Kingsland, Ga.; Dominick Sanders, DB, Tucker, Ga.; Dyshon Sims, OL, Valdosta, Ga.;Thomas Swilley, OL, Athens, Ga.; Shakenneth Williams, WR, Macon, Ga.; Javon Wims, WR, Miami, Fla.; Isaiah Wynn, OL, St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • The Georgia Bulldogs tumble to number seven in the latest college football playoff rankings. The previously top-ranked Dogs lost this past Saturday at Auburn; they are gearing up for this coming Saturday’s home finale, a 3:30 kickoff against the Kentucky Wildcats. This week’s top four playoff teams are Alabama, Clemson, Miami, and Oklahoma.  Former Georgia coach Mark Richt leads undefeated Miami.
  • The Georgia Bulldogs hold on to the top spot in the college football playoff rankings: it’s the second week in a row for the Dogs, with Alabama, Notre Dame, and Clemson rounding out the top four. The Bulldogs play the Auburn Tigers this coming Saturday at Auburn: 3:30 kickoff, television on CBS.  The Tigers are ranked 10th in the playoff poll. There was more movement in the bottom half of the playoff top 10, with one-loss TCU climbing to No. 6, undefeated Miami to No. 7 and undefeated Wisconsin to No. 8.
  • The first college football playoff rankings come out today, and the second-ranked Georgia Bulldogs figure to be among the top four teams. It’s those top four who will complete in the college football playoffs at the end of the season. The season continues for the Bulldogs with a Saturday home game against the South Carolina Gamecocks. The ninth game of the year kicks off at 3:30 in Sanford Stadium.  We will have to wait until this coming Sunday to learn the kick time for the Georgia Bulldogs November 11 football game at Auburn. It will either be a 3:30 game on CBS or a 7 o’clock game on ESPN.  Athens-Clarke County Police are dealing with what has become something of a dubious tradition, investigating reports of home break-ins and burglaries committed while football fans are away for the annual Georgia-Florida football game, a game that Bulldogs won 42-7. 
  • Tim  Bryant

    News Director

    Tim Bryant is News Director for Cox Media Group Athens and also works as an anchor and reporter for WSB Radio in Atlanta. Previous stops on the dial include Augusta and Tallahassee. Tim has reported for ABC, CBS, and the Associated Press, and has provided guest commentary and analysis on stations across the US, the U.K., and New Zealand. Tim hosts Classic City Today, 6-10 weekday mornings on 98.7FM & AM 1340 WGAU in Athens. 

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  • Welcome to a feature on DawgNation where our writers answer (or try to answer) the best questions submitted by Georgia fans. If you’d like to submit a question, please email us at ugaquestionoftheday@gmail.com. Or you can tweet us here or here. Look for the Question of the Day every Monday through Friday. Previous QODs can be found on our question of the day archives page . What is draft projection for Yante? Sure did hate seeing him leave.  Thank you, John Vaughn, Newnan The fact that your question was submitted using only his first name speaks volumes about how Yante Maten is thought of within the Dawg Nation. He achieved one-name status at UGA, like Herschel or Dominique. It was well-earned as Maten was named 2018 SEC Player of the Year, joining Dominique Wilkins (1981) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (2013) as the third Georgia player to earn the honor. He left the Bulldogs as Georgia’s first three-time All-SEC honoree in more than 25 years and just the sixth in program history. So he did some incredible work at UGA, and it was recognized locally and regionally. Nationally, however, Maten is not as well known. Nonetheless, he certainly has generated a lot of interest from the NBA. That’s not to say he is in line to become a lottery pick come Thursday at the Barclays Center in New York; he definitely won’t be in that group. But there has, and continues to be, considerable intrigue surrounding Georgia’s star power forward. 'I love Atlanta. I went to the University of Georgia. So…this is my backyard.' – @UGABasketball's @YoungMoney__11 pic.twitter.com/GWVxeZ0V5B — Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 8, 2018 To answer your question, I reached out to Austin Walton, Maten’s Atlanta-based sports agent. Walton told me that Maten has been invited to work out for 14 NBA teams. Among them, he worked out for the Atlanta Hawks and the Los Angeles Lakers last week. Maten also worked out for 21 teams at his pro day. And that’s on top of his appearance at the NBA combine and at the all the teams that saw him at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament. In summary, every NBA team has gotten a good long look at Maten. “He’s had a lot of exposure,” Walton said. “We had to turn down some things just because we haven’t had enough time. He was seen by every team at least three times and 14 of them much more than that. High exposure, for sure.” And apparently they like what they’re seeing. Maten certainly did his part. Maten led all prospects at the combine with 18 reps of 185 pounds in the bench press. He also had the No. 2 time among big men in the three-quarter sprint and finished in the top 3 in shuttle and lane agility drills. Meanwhile, he measured at 6-foot-8½ and 246 pounds with a 7-1 wingspan and only 8 percent body fat. “He tested well,” Walton said. “He showed them he’s agile enough to play with guards and forwards and strong enough and long enough to play some 4 and maybe small-ball 5. His numbers bear that out. He’s one of the most polished offensive players in the draft. The biggest thing is he can bring that type of effort defensively.” Looking at the many mock drafts that are out there, most are projecting Maten as a second-round selection. Walton guesses his client might go “40 to 60.” “There’s probably some possibility he goes undrafted,” Walton said. “But he’ll sign an NBA contract no matter what, whether he’s drafted or not.” Maten, who hails from Pontiac, Mich., finished his career ranked all over the Georgia record book: No. 2 in points (1,886), No. 4 in rebounds (889), No. 3 in blocks (198), No. 4 in free throws made (518), No. 4 in free throws attempted (686), No. 5 in field goals attempted (1345), No. 6 in field goals made (655), No. 13 in free throw percentage (.755) and No. 15 in field goal percentage (.483). If he is drafted, Maten will become only the fourth Georgia player since 2011 to do so. Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie were each second-round picks in 2011 and Caldwell-Pope was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2013 draft, by the Detroit Pistons. KCP, now with the Lakers, is the only Bulldog currently playing in the NBA. Which is not to say there’s not a lot of Bulldogs playing pro ball. Leslie is playing in Paris, J.J. Frazier played in France and Italy last season, Charles Mann is balling in Luxembourg, Gerald Robinson is in Monaco and Thompkins just won the European championship with Real Madrid in Spain. But most folks are betting that Maten will be able to make a living in the NBA, and maybe for a while. “He’s a very skilled offensive player, one of the most polished post scorers, or mid-post scorers, out there,” Walton said. “His size isn’t traditional, but the way the NBA is going where you’re playing a little bit of position-less basketball, he has a 7-1 wingspan and is strong enough to play inside and shoots the ball well from anywhere on the floor. A lot of teams like him.” Worth tuning into the draft, for sure. Thanks for the query, John. Be sure to send another one our way soon. Have a question for DawgNation reporters Chip Towers and Jeff Sentell? Email us at ugaquestionoftheday@gmail.com. The post What are the NBA draft projections for Georgia’s Yante Maten? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Knowshon Moreno. That’s the name that pops in my mind when I contemplate this new NCAA redshirt rule. I was offline and otherwise occupied last week when news initially broke that the NCAA had passed the rule. Since then, I’ve had a chance to read up on it and learn a little more. Essentially, it gives freshmen four games to play without losing the option of redshirting and thus still having another four years of eligibility for competition. What are my thoughts on it? Mainly, wow. I’m not at all surprised the NCAA adopted this rule or the one regarding transfers. The movement to provide student-athletes with more freedoms and liberties in general has intensified considerably in recent years and has been a long time in coming, frankly. But the extent to which coaches can utilize this new redshirt rule to the team’s advantage — to effectively try out first-year players, or deploy them at opportune times — surprised me. Of course, the question I’ve heard more than any other since the new rule was adopted is what kind of effect will this have at Georgia? Where it could be particularly useful for the Bulldogs is getting an early look at some of these elite signees at positions where there otherwise doesn’t appear much room for impact. And that’s where it takes me back to Moreno’s freshman year. Moreno was famously — or infamously, I should say — redshirted his freshman year at Georgia, even though it eventually became clear he was at least as good and probably better than most of the running backs that were being utilized that season. Making it worse was, after Moreno proved himself to be one of the most special talents in the country in  his redshirt freshman and sophomore seasons with the Bulldogs, he decided to turn pro. That was quite understandable and justifiable considering he was the first running back taken and 12th pick overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. Again, the spirit of this rule is not for the coaches to be able to test out the young talent that they have, necessarily. But this new legislation provides them with more flexibility to insert a player in a game later in the season. That would have been useful for Moreno, who initially was slow in mastering Georgia’s offense in preseason camp and was buried behind three very good tailbacks at the time: Thomas Brown, Kregg Lumpkin and Danny Ware. That explains why there was no mention of Moreno in the “Fall Outlook” portion of Georgia’s 2006 Media Guide. Under the running backs section, it said the position “figures to be a strength for the Bulldogs” and mentioned that the top-3 rushers from the previous year returned in Brown, Ware and Lumpkin, respectively. There was a mention of a junior walk-on named Jason Johnson and fullbacks Brannan Southerland and Des Williams in the preview, but none of Moreno. It’s also important to recall that while Moreno was a big-deal recruit from New Jersey, he wasn’t as big of a deal as a lot of the backs we’ve seen the Bulldogs ink lately. He was ranked the nation’s No. 10 back by Rivals (73rd player overall) and No. 9 by Scout. Georgia’s Zamir White is the consensus No. 1 back in the 2018 class and James Cook is considered the No 3 “all-purpose back” in America and No. 41 overall by 247Sports. So it wasn’t until the Bulldogs got well into the season that they realized what they had in Moreno. In preseason camp, he was taking reps behind the three guys ahead of him. It was actually in scout-team work against the No. 1 defense that Moreno began to distinguish himself. It’s in that role where we got the first reports of Moreno hurdling a defender. That’s something we wouldn’t witness in a game until two years later. And there was a perfect opportunity to execute a make-good of sorts on Moreno. Brown, who ended up being the starter on the 2006 team, suffered an ACL injury against Vanderbilt in the seventh game of the season.Georgia still had Lumpkin and Ware to turn to at that point. But imagine if the Bulldogs would’ve unleashed Moreno at that point. As it was, they lost that game and close games to No. 8 Florida (21-14) and Kentucky (24-20) in subsequent weeks. We know now that there’s no doubt Moreno could’ve made a difference. Coach Mark Richt still refers to not playing Moreno that season as one of the greatest regrets of his career. In Richt’s defense, he didn’t want to give away a whole year of eligibility on Moreno to play what at the outset would’ve looked like a backup role. Had this new rule been in place, that wouldn’t have been a concern. Richt could’ve deployed Moreno for as many as four games. If he wasn’t making an impact, he could’ve sent him to the sidelines. We know now that wouldn’t have happened. Now, coaches have strategies they can employ when it comes to utilizing freshmen. They can plan to give them extensive work against non-FBS opponents, such as Georgia has in Austin Peay and Middle Tennessee State in two of the season’s first three weeks. Or, if there are late developing players or depth issues that materialize as the result of injuries or other attrition late in the year, there will be no reason for hesitancy in turning loose one of the Bulldogs’ previously non-utilized players. It opens new possibilities when it comes to roster management. It’s like having a practice squad from which to execute a call-up whenever the need arises. Only, in Georgia’s case, there’s a good chance there’s a blue-chip prospect waiting in the wings. The flip side of that, for coaches and teams at least, is a player can more readily transfer to another program if he doesn’t like the way he has been utilized. And schools can no longer restrict a player’s options in that regard. That’s certainly a fair exchange, I’d say. If that designation happens to be a major rival that competes in the same division of the same conference, so be it. I understand coaches’ concerns that rampant transferring at the first sign of adversity or discontent could turn college football into the wild, wild west every offseason. But it has been that way in basketball for a while and the system hasn’t collapsed. No, the redshirt rule in particular seems like a win-win on both the side of the student-athlete and of the institution. It hasn’t been often that we’ve been able to say that about any new NCAA legislation. Georgia had 16 true freshmen take the field last season, but only one who could’ve benefited from this rule. William Poole, a defensive back, played sparingly in the Bulldogs’ first three games of the year, then not again until the Kentucky game in Week 13. Georgia also played him against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, but probably wouldn’t have had a full year of eligibility been the cost. As it was, the Bulldogs had already burned it. That’s the difference now. At four games coaches will have to decide whether it’s worthwhile to keep utilizing a player. Conversely, there’s nothing holding back Georgia or any team from giving a freshman a look. Meanwhile, you have to wonder if there might be a Moreno or somebody like him at another position on Georgia’s roster this season. This almost always is the case. The post Imagine if redshirt rule had been in place for Georgia’s Knowshon Moreno in 2006 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily — the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the cast of DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss UGA coach Kirby Smart’s quest to keep the Bulldogs on top of the SEC. On episode No. 723 (June 18, 2018) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about UGA’s two commitments from the weekend. Georgia football podcast: Bigger is apparently better for Kirby Smart’s UGA Beginning of the show: Georgia added two new members to its 2019 class over the weekend with quarterback John Rhys Plumlee and 4-star offensive lineman Xavier Truss — who is listed at 6 feet, seven inches and 350 lbs. I’ll talk on today’s show about why Truss’ UGA pledge is seemingly another example of Georgia coach Kirby Smart’s commitment to extra-large offensive linemen. 10-minute mark: Replacing departed linebackers is a major concern for UGA according to a recent ESPN article. I’ll share audio of how former Bulldogs linebacker Roquan Smith feels about the candidates to step into his position. 15-minute mark: DawgNation’s Chip Towers joins the show. Some of the topics covered include… Chip’s thoughts on the new-look UGA linebacking corp Depth issues for the UGA secondary An early look at why UGA might have some extra motivation vs. Georgia Tech Fan expectations for the upcoming season And reaction to new NCAA rules governing redshirts and transfers 30-minute mark: I take a look at some other SEC headlines including some apparent criticism from former LSU coach Les Miles regarding current Tigers coach Ed Orgeron, some well wishes to new LSU quarterback Joe Burrow from Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, a comment from an NFL wide receiver that new Missouri offensive coordinator Derek Dooley probably won’t like, and another suggested SEC schedule change. 35-minute mark: I unveil the latest Dawg Day Q&A. End of show: I update the Gator Hater Countdown. For the Friday (June 15) show, click here. For the video version of the Monday show, click here. For older episodes of DawgNation Daily, click here. The post Georgia football podcast: Bigger is apparently better for Kirby Smart’s UGA appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least four days a week. Arik Gilbert, a potential cornerstone target for the Bulldogs in the 2020 class, is the featured subject for today. He has clear 5-star potential at tight end.  Arik Gilbert has the size and athleticism to do just about anything he wants on Saturdays. Given his immense size and stature, there will always be the notion to stick him on the defensive line or on the edge to see all the possible Nkemdiche-like things he could do. But that is not what the 6-foot-6, 248-pound junior wants to do. It now also seems like that side of the ball is no longer where his highest ceiling might be at. Gilbert continues to flash the big plays on tape that show he is a go-to athlete in the passing game nobody will have an answer for. Arik Gilbert ranks as the nation’s No. 1 ATH prospect for 2020 for 247Sports. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) He took over the Corky Kell 7-on-7 event on Friday at Roswell Park. His Marietta High squad saw the wheels of its passing game fall off prior to the end of pool play. Ramel Keyton, the 4-star Tennessee WR pledge, could not continue. Jermaine Burton, the head-turning future 5-star, also overworked his quad and watched the tournament in a pair of stylish red flip-flops. It didn’t matter. Gilbert was on duty on a day when his guys wore facial expressions that looked as if they were mimicking a slab of bacon on a skillet. In that offense, the 6-foot-6 rising junior will be a go-to target and a No. 1 receiver whenever 4-star QB Harrison Bailey calls his number. “Arik is a monster,” Bailey said. “That is all that needs to be said. His ability to run past defenders and high point the ball is going to make him great in college.” But Gilbert flashed a warrior’s mentality at the event. That’s something that can’t be found on a highlight reel or a prospect ranking. “I’m so tired I can’t even think right now,” Gilbert said early on in the championship game against North Gwinnett. He said that, but then made a play that had two game officials shaking their heads exactly three plays later. That was shortly before he caught a game-extending touchdown in triple coverage which set up the two-point conversion which he also caught to force overtime. Harrison Bailey to Arik Gilbert into triple coverage and Marietta is back within 2! pic.twitter.com/fXbduqNmJQ — Craig Sager II (@CraigSagerJr) June 15, 2018 Down 2 elite WRs. Down 8. @HBailey_05 finds @arik_gilbert for his umpteenth TD of Corky Kell 7v7. Double or triple coverage? Not at 77 inches plus his reach. Gilbert then caught a fade for the conversion to force OT. @MHS_FBRecruits took the overall title. pic.twitter.com/zxq5TxQR3R — Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) June 16, 2018 Marietta would win the Corky Kell 7-on-7 title. Bailey estimated Gilbert might have caught at least 15 touchdowns along the 11 hours of play. “He probably ran about 800 miles today,” Bailey said. “All of them were either as fast as he could at that moment or he gave it his very best to work to get past fresher guys to get open and then to go get the ball.” Gilbert, as noted in that picture above, wore a pair of UGA gloves at the event. They served him well. Why did he make that wardrobe decision? “I just had a good feeling about wearing the Georgia gloves today,” Gilbert said. “I liked the grip on them, too.” Is it more than just gloves with Arik Gilbert and UGA?  In case you missed it, the Bulldogs picked up a pair of 2019 commits over the weekend. Mississippi QB John Rhys Plumlee committed to UGA on Friday night . That’s at least one of the necessary QB signees the program needs to add a much-needed scholarship arm to that specific depth chart. Arik Gilbert continues to bring up the fact that UGA was his first offer and that the program does make him a priority for its 2020 class. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) Sam Pittman also got one of his guys in Rhode Island 4-star OT Xavier Truss. Truss, the nation’s No. 15 tackle for 2019 on the 247Sports composite, committed to UGA over the weekend . The 6-foot-7.5, 350-pound senior rates as the top player in Rhode Island this fall. He’s the first of at least two tackles the Bulldogs need to add for 2019. Those two additions to the board pushed UGA past South Carolina to fifth overall on the 247Sports team composite standings for 2019. Gilbert would have to be seen as a potential cornerstone recruit for 2020. He just has that much ability and potential grafted onto that big 6-foot-6 frame. He currently ranks as the nation’s No. 11 overall prospect for 2020 for 247Sports. “I’m probably a tight end,” Gilbert said. “That’s because I feel the most comfortable there and I like scoring.” Simply put, he’s a 5-star recruit that is just waiting on that designation to arrive. “I was trying to go get it,” Gilbert said of that catch in triple coverage. “Just was trying to give all I had for a ball that could have been our last play. I saw it in the air. Had to go get it.” His thoughts on Georgia remain constant. This sounds like a process that doesn’t need a lot of evolution and maturity when it comes to the Bulldogs. His feelings sound the same as they did in previous interviews. My feeling is that he’s reached a point where he is very comfortable with the program. Arik Gilbert sketched out a potential timeline that would involve a spring trim to his top schools and a decision sometime prior to his senior year in 2019. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) “It is a good school, ” Gilbert said. “I really like it. That was my first offer and I know I always say that. But I was really impressed by how they saw me first and felt strongly enough about me to offer first and all that.” The Bulldogs continue to work him hard. “The relationship has gotten a lot stronger,” Gilbert said. “I have a really good relationship with those coaches. I know all of them really well.” He said that the relationships he has with the coaches on that staff would be the biggest thing he likes about the Bulldogs. Gilbert does plan to enroll early. The expected timeline is for him to cut down his options to a few core schools next spring and then make his decision sometime prior to the 2019 season. He was clearly exhausted after the event on Friday, but he said Clemson, Penn State, Southern California and Tennessee were the other schools on his mind at this time. “That’s all I can think of right now,” he said. A few more quick-hitters for the day North Carolina DT target C.J. Clark will release his college decision at 2 PM today through Twitter. Georgia, North Carolina and North Carolina State are his top choices. There has been a lot of buzz and indecision regarding this one across various published reports. I simply don’t see 4-star junior QB Harrison Bailey strongly considering Georgia going forward. Bailey told me on Friday that the Bulldogs aren’t really recruiting him at this time. That’s a clear sign that he will wind up elsewhere as Bailey hopes to make his college commitment sometime during his junior year if the Devils are having a strong season. He said that the Bulldogs have been telling him that they were going to wait on securing their 2019 commitments under center before working on their top 2020 targets. He’s a special talent. Especially with the way he thinks back in the pocket. He’s really sharp between the ears and has very good field awareness to go along with the arm. Marietta coach Richard Morgan called Bailey “the best quarterback in America” after Marietta won the Corky Kell 7-on-7 on Friday. I wouldn’t expect to see Harrison Bailey strongly consider UGA going forward in the class of 2020. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) Georgia has not prioritized Bailey and he’s been impressed with several recent visits of late. He told me that he really enjoyed recent visits to Alabama, Michigan and Ohio State. The way he broke it down, he made it seem like that trip to Ann Arbor was one of the best college visits he has taken so far up to this point. Bailey is very good. He was able to move the Marietta offense down the field at will and also while taking deep shots, too. At the end of the day, he had guys who had never played receiver before snatching big passes, including the game-winning touchdown. Great quarterbacks are able to do that even while down three of their best receivers. Bailey does plan to narrow his choice down soon. But he will do so privately. “I am going to keep it private to myself,” he said. “Just because I feel it is attention getting to release something on Twitter. I am going to take a couple more visits and then I will see from there where I am going to go to school.” He plans on making his choice at some time during his junior year. “If we are winning and we are rolling, that’s when I plan on making it. But if we are struggling, then I will focus more this fall on my team and our season and not my college decision.” North Gwinnett cornerback Quinton Newsome continues to keep UGA among his top options. He still feels that there is a good fit there. He got the chance to camp at UGA recently for the 7-on-7 event. That’s why no alarms should go off just yet when he starts naming his official visits. Newsome told me that he plans to start off with visits to Alabama and Auburn and he’s not currently considering the Bulldogs for one of those just yet. He currently rates as a 3-star recruit and as the nation’s No. 49 safety on the 247Sports composite rating. Newsome’s teammate has also made some news on Monday. North Gwinnett cornerback Warren Burrell has eliminated several schools from consideration. That will include Georgia. Chad Simmons of Rivals.com has the full breakdown of his reasoning behind that move and the schools in the mix going forward.   Someone will get a very good cornerback out of the state of Georgia here. The 3-star ranks as the nation’s No. 43 cornerback for 2019 on the composite. What he lacks in size and body mass, he more than compensates for it with his technique and tenacity. Burrell can play the game at any level. The highest level. Yet I realize that a lot of evaluations get caught up in his 6-foot- frame and 175 pounds. He told me that the Bulldogs were basically just recruiting him hard enough to keep the seat warm. “I just didn’t get a lot of communication with those coaches as much as I did with the others,” Burrell said. “Of course, I did hear from them but [those] four schools clearly showed me that they want me in their program.” Makiya Tongue official visit recap Louisiana product Makiya Tongue visited UGA over the weekend on an official. The 4-star prospect rates as the nation’s No. 16 ATH on the 247Sports composite rankings for 2019. The University Lab (Baton Rouge, La.) senior hopes to be a receiver on Saturday, but there is some indecision about whether or not he is a safety. Tongue had zero indecision about whether or not he enjoyed that trip to UGA over the weekend. It was the sort of visit that sparked at least a couple of 247Sports “Crystal Ball” predictions to UGA after the trip. Louisiana sports writer Jerit Roser caught up with Tongue at the Pylon 7-on-7 Nationals at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday for a trip recap. What are the big takeaways from that conversation? He loved the visit and really connected with the coaching staff. “They really understand the players,” he said. Athens remains undefeated as a college town on a visit weekend He was impressed with the overall program and the winning tradition at UGA Georgia likes him as a receiver. Cortez Hankton, the first-year receivers coach for the Bulldogs, also recruits Louisiana. Hankton, a New Orleans native, should do well in that state going forward. #UHigh star Makiya Tongue ( @makiyatongue) visited #UGA before heading to this weekend’s tournament. Loves the Bulldogs’ program, coaches, facilities & offense. Looking to trim his Top 10 down further after a couple more visits. #Bama #Clemson #AU #Texas #Utah #HailState #UF pic.twitter.com/Wozvq9ZJhn — Jerit Roser (@JeritRoser) June 17, 2018 Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap. The post Nation’s No. 1 ATH Arik Gilbert continues to appreciate UGA as his first offer appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Who says there’s an offseason for UGA football? The season opener is 75 days away, but there was a buzz on social media last week about the back of the new scoreboard at Sanford Stadium.  That’s right, the back of the scoreboard.  Checked out the new scoreboard today! What do you think? pic.twitter.com/GL4uKj4UQJ — Abby Jessen (@abbyjessen) June 14, 2018 The updated design received mixed reviews from fans on Twitter. pic.twitter.com/pkHBqRbyuQ — Kerbzzz (@KerbieThebaud) June 14, 2018 Sanford’s new scoreboard looks like DeKalb County Jail to me— Groovy B. (@_SpaceshipCoupe) June 14, 2018 Wow I love the new scoreboard at Sanford Stadium pic.twitter.com/rFW9DIj6DS — Michael (@AcunaDingers) June 15, 2018 there better be some fireworks that pop out of it bc this scoreboard is blander than wheat toast https://t.co/9BCiZnPK0g — The Black Sheep UGA (@blacksheep_uga) June 14, 2018 The rear of Sanford Stadium’s scoreboard:— Brandon Sudge (@brandonsudge) June 15, 2018 This article was written by Tess DeMeyer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.