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Georgia Sports News

    RUTLEDGE, Ga. — Driving East out of Atlanta, keep going on until there’s no evidence of civilization, exit onto Newborn Road and head south into the middle of nowhere. Turn left onto Centenniel Road, drive about a mile, then hang a right onto the gravel road known as Keencheefoonee. Proceed through the wooden gate, turn left at the horse stables pull into a dirt parking lot. Then walk downhill along an asphalt path through a shady white oak forest and emerge into sunlight and arrive at the happiest place on Earth. No, you’re not at Disney World. This place is better. You’ve arrived at Camp Twin Lakes, which for this one day at least is known as Camp Sunshine. Georgia coach Kirby Smart puts his arms around linemen Kendall Baker and Lamont Gaillard as the Bulldogs listen to a presentation by a nurse at the infirmary at Lake Twin Lakes on Wednesday. (Chip Towers/DawgNation) Longtime Georgia Bulldogs’ fans know the drill. UGA’s football team has been making this trek an hour and change south of Athens annually for most of the last 35 years. Vince Dooley, along with wife Barbara, was appointed to the Camp Twin Lakes board of directors in 1983 and the Bulldogs have been making a midsummer visit here every year since (well, every year accept for those under coach Jim Donnan, according to camp administrators). For the unenlightened, Camp Twin Lakes is a retreat in which children with cancer and their families can get away to enjoy outdoor recreational activities for the summer. It has air-conditioned cabins for “glamping,” swimming pools, lakes, a farm (complete with miniature cows and alpacas), sports playing fields, a zipline, a gymnasium and much more. All of the available activities are retrofitted to accommodate children battling different forms of cancer. And, of course, there’s an infirmary to attend to any children who might get sick — or just scrape a knee raising their buddy on one of the many trails snaking the expansive property. It’s here that one sees a whole different side of Georgia coach Kirby Smart. He completely drops his guard and relaxes. He back-slaps and jokes with his players. He peels off at the sight of any of the campers or there families. During the hour-long tour, he seems to know somebody personally at every corner and stops to chat, falling behind the tour and then double-timing it catch back up. The familiarity is because Smart has been coming to Camp Twin Lakes a very long time. He first started coming when his older brother Karl was diagnosed with leukemia in the 1990s. His brother has long since been well, but Kirby has kept coming. He came when he was an assistant coach at Valdosta State and when he was the Miami Dolphins and Alabama. “It’s convenient because I have a lake home that’s 30-45 minutes from here (on Lake Oconee),” Smart said Wednesday. “So through the years, when I was with the Dolphins or Alabama, I’d stop by. A couple of those years Karl was still here as a counselor, so being able to stop in here to see him and everybody was good. Now that he’s head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs, he brings his whole team with him, including wife Mary Beth, twins Julia and Weston and little Andrew. Wednesday they had a good time posing with a cardboard cut-out of Kirby and Karl on display in the camp’s courtyard. Andrew kept asking everybody when the dodge-ball game would start, and was front and center and in the middle of everything when it did. “He needs to get smacked around a little bit,” Smart said with a chuckle. “He’s a little too brave for his own good out there. The players are scared to bean him because they know he’s mine.” “Nobody’s like Kirby,” said Mo Thrash, one of the original founders of Camp Sunshine who serves as the Bulldogs’ tour guide and taskmaster each year. “He’s come every year since he’s been out of college. He’d always call me and say, ‘Mo, can I come to camp?’ He show up, spend an hour, hour-and-a-half with me walking around the camp saying hey to kids. No press, nobody around, just being himself. Then he’d leave. He did it every year. Then he became Georgia’s head coach. He’s just very special.” Wednesday was the first of two trips that the Bulldogs will make to Camp Sunshine. In all, Smart said about 70 players signed up to participate. About the other half will come next Wednesday. The first group seemed to include a lot of freshmen and first-year players. Notre Dame transfer Jay Hayes, wearing his new number 97 Georgia jersey, was front-and-center for many of the activities. So was long and tall true freshman Tommy Bush, until they went to alpaca pin. The nearly 6-foot-6 tall receiver, wearing the No. 12, eased to the back of the pack when the group was asked to pet the odd-looking creatures. The many interactions with the campers and staff were entertaining to observe. The players were split into two groups and toured opposite ends of the complex. When being shown the cabins where the campers stay, the girls of Cabin 10 came pouring out and high-fived every player. “Oh my  God, they’re all so tall,” one of the young teens shouted. The residents are not all Georgia fans, either. At the intersection of two paths, a young man named William yelled, “go Gators.” To that the jersey-wearing group responded with a collective, “boo!”, then just laughed it off. In the cafeteria, Smart made a beeline to a young man wearing Alabama gear, including a crimson-and-white cast on his right leg. Colton, who’s 14, said he first met Smart when he was an assistant for the Crimson Tide. “Now he tries to talk me into being a Georgia fan, but he knows I won’t convert,” Colton said. Thrash showed the team the lake and pointed to the zipline and ropes course far across on the other side. “What’s the weight capacity on that?” Smart asked loud enough for everyone to hear. “We’ve got some people here we think can break it “Be sure to keep Fernando off it,” he added, referring to support staffer and former Georgia and NFL offensive lineman Fernando Velasco. At the heart of it all, though, is a serious message. “You guys are heroes to these kids; you’re heroes to me,” Thrash said when he huddled up the team at the outset of the tour. “So go in here, look around the place, see what we do, say hello to the kids, get to know them a little bit and have a good time.” Said Smart: “I want them to appreciated what they have. You look at some of these kids and see how they have to struggle and go through things. Some of them are well now and they come back because they’re the hope for so many other kids who are going through what they did.” For the team, it was a well-earned reprieve. They’ve been working out and doing conditioning every morning for the last two weeks. That includes Wednesday when the players signed up for the trip had to report to the Butts-Mehre football complex at 5:30 a.m. “I don’t know if everybody slept the whole way down because I was asleep as soon as the bus pulled out,” junior tight end Isaac Nauta said. Participants range from players like Nauta and senior center Lamont Gaillard, who have been every year since they arrived on campus, to junior running back Elijah Holyfield, who was making his first trip Wednesday. “My freshman and sophomore years I was kind of trying to do too much,” Holyfield said. “Finally I said I’ve got to go this year because everybody was talking about how much fun it is. I knew I had to do it before I left Georgia and I loved it, so I’ll be back next week as well.” It was especially re-energizing for the freshmen, who have known nothing but regimen and brutal intensity since they arrived on campus May 31. “I think they can finally see that there’s a human side to everybody and you can go out and have fun,” Smart quipped. Camp Sunshine unique to the University of Georgia. Located 51 miles east of downtown Atlanta, the camp is located in the heart of Bulldog Country. No other teams make the pilgrimage to the East Georgia outback. Just the Bulldogs. “It’s only a Georgia thing,” Thrash said. “We’d love for other teams to come in. But it’s always special when the Georgia Bulldogs come in. They’re part of Camp Sunshine.” A happy place indeed. The post Camp Sunshine is strictly a Bulldogs’ thing, and something Kirby Smart loves appeared first on DawgNation.
  • TORONTO (AP) - The better J.A. Happ pitches for the Toronto Blue Jays, the better the chance he finishes the season with another team. Happ pitched a season-high 8 1/3 innings to win his fifth straight decision, Kendrys Morales hit a two-run home run and the Blue Jays beat the Atlanta Braves 5-4 Wednesday for Toronto's seventh win in eight home games. Happ (9-3) allowed four runs and six hits, walked none and struck out eight. The veteran left-hander is the first big league pitcher to record four starts this season with at least eight strikeouts and no walks. 'He's got good life on his fastball,' Atlanta's Nick Markakis said. 'He's always been a thorn in the side.' With Toronto well behind in both the AL East and the wild card standings, Happ could be a candidate for a midseason trade to a contender. 'I know he's in demand and I can see why,' Toronto manager John Gibbons said. 'If we were on the other end of it, I'd want him, too.' Happ is in the final season of a three-year, $36 million contract. 'I signed to play here and try to help this team get to the playoffs,' Happ said. 'I know there may be rumors out there, but I like it here and my focus is here.' Happ improved 4-0 with a 2.72 ERA in nine career starts against the Braves. 'We knew going in it was going to be a tough ride,' Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. Happ had retired 18 of 19 before Freddie Freeman and Markakis hit back-to-back singles with one out in the ninth. Ryan Tepera came on and gave up an RBI single to Kurt Suzuki, struck out Charlie Culberson, then allowed an RBI single to Ender Inciarte, putting the tying run at second. Tepera finished it by getting Johan Camargo to fly out, earning his fifth save in eight opportunities Morales, who turned 35 Wednesday, went 2 for 3 and scored twice. He homered in the first, walked and scored in the fourth, singled in the fifth, and flied out in the eighth. Suzuki and Peter Bourjos hit solo home runs for the Braves, who lost for the second time in eight games. Atlanta began the day with an NL-best record of 43-29. Braves right-hander Anibal Sanchez (3-1) allowed four runs and five hits in five innings. 'It wasn't bad, wasn't great,' Snitker said. 'He kept us in the game, gave us a chance.' Sanchez is 0-2 with a 9.19 ERA in his past three starts against the Blue Jays. After Morales hit a two-out drive off Sanchez, his sixth homer of the season, Suzuki connected in the second, his eighth, and Bourjos tied it in the third with his first homer of the season. Toronto broke the deadlock in the fourth when Randal Grichuk hit an RBI double and Aledmys Diaz followed with a sacrifice fly. Blue Jays infielder Yangervis Solarte made it 5-2 with a two-out RBI single off A.J. Minter in the seventh. WALK THIS WAY Blue Jays C Russell Martin has walked at least once in eight straight games, matching a career-long stretch. Martin, who walked twice Wednesday, also walked in eight straight in 2013. BIRTHDAY BLASTS Morales has four home runs and eight RBIs in eight career games on his birthday. THRIVING WITH FIVE Toronto is 28-1 when scoring five or more runs. TRAINER'S ROOM Braves: Markakis started at designated hitter, the first time this season he hasn't played one of the corner outfield spots. Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (shoulder) will be activated off the disabled list to start at the Angels on Saturday, Gibbons said. Stroman is 0-5 with a 7.71 ERA in seven starts. ... 3B Josh Donaldson (left calf) left the team Wednesday and will continue working out at Toronto's spring training facility in Florida. Donaldson will not begin a rehab assignment until he is able to run the bases at full speed. UP NEXT Braves: Atlanta is off Thursday before opening a three-game home series against Baltimore on Friday. LHP Sean Newcomb (8-2, 2.70 ERA) starts for the Braves. Newcomb has won eight of his past nine decisions. The Orioles have not named a starter. Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (3-5, 4.35) starts the opener of a four-game series against the Angels. Sanchez is 1-0 with a 2.95 ERA in three June starts. LHP Tyler Skaggs (6-4, 2.81) starts for Los Angeles. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Georgia may get one more win from its incredible Rose Bowl victory over Oklahoma in Pasadena, Calif. on New Year’s Day. Georgia’s epic comeback 54-48 win in double-overtime win over Oklahoma and Heisman Trophy-winner and eventual first-overall pick Baker Mayfield is one of the three nominees for Best Game at the annual sports awards. The other two nominees are the wild World Series Game 5 between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers and the 2018 Winter Olympics Women’s Hockey Gold Medal Game between the United States and Canada. Georgia trailed Oklahoma by 17 points before an end-of-half and Rose Bowl record 55-yard field goal by Rodrigo Blankenship brought the Bulldogs within an even two touchdowns. They looked like a different team in the second half, putting all kinds of pressure on Mayfield while Nick Chubb and Sony Michel wore down and gashed the Sooners’ defense. A late fumble from Michel that was returned for a touchdown almost made the comeback all for naught, but Jake Fromm led the Bulldogs down the field in the final minutes, converting a third down pass to Terry Godwin near the red zone before Chubb scored again to send the game to overtime. The teams traded field goals in the first overtime, and then Lorenzo Carter used every bit of his long arms to block OU’s attempt in double overtime. Then, on the second play of Georgia’s possession, Sony Michel took the direct snap to the left and found himself wide open into the end zone, and the Rose party was on. It’s arguable the best Rose Bowl ever but definitely can go no lower than second. Vince Young defeating USC for the national championship has to receive its due. But it’s a tough argument that this ESPY should go anywhere other than Athens. You can view all of the award nominees and vote on them here. The post Georgia’s epic Rose Bowl win nominated for ESPY Award for Best Game 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. 725 (June 20, 2018) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about Georgia freshman quarterback Justin Fields. Georgia football podcast: Despite loads of attention, Justin Fields might be underrated Beginning of the show: Georgia incoming freshman quarterback Justin Fields is among the most talked about players in the country, but based on one recent evaluation he might still be underrated. I’ll talk on today’s show about how Fields’ presence impacts how UGA’s quarterback situation should be viewed. 12-minute mark: I share audio of DawgNation recruiting insider Jeff Sentell’s list of the top 2019 defensive line priorities for UGA. 15-minute mark: SEC Country’s Mike Johnson joins the show. Some of the topics covered include… Mike’s thoughts on Fields Reaction to 4-star offensive tackle Xavier Truss’ commitment An assessment of the pressure on UGA defensive line coach Tray Scott to pull together an elite collection of defensive linemen for the 2019 class And an opinion about current UGA commits taking visits to other schools 30-minute mark: I take a look at some other SEC headlines including Les Miles being asked about the LSU athletic director’s job, a preview of 5-star cornerback Derek Stingley’s commitment announcement scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, and a challenge from ESPN to some former top recruits to finally live up to the hype this season. 35-minute mark: I share another Dawg Day Q&A. End of show: I update the Gator Hater Countdown. For the Tuesday (June 19) show, click here. For the video version of the Wednesday show, click here. For older episodes of DawgNation Daily, click here. The post Georgia football podcast: Despite loads of attention, Justin Fields might be underrated appeared first on DawgNation.
  • TORONTO (AP) - Johan Camargo came up big from the bottom of the Atlanta Braves' lineup. The No. 9 batter hit his first career grand slam and went 4 for 5 with five RBIs, and the Braves beat the Blue Jays 11-4 on Tuesday night to snap Toronto's home winning streak at seven games. The bottom four hitters in Atlanta's lineup, DH Kurt Suzuki, outfielders Charlie Culberson and Ender Inciarte, and third baseman Camargo, went 11 for 18 with five doubles and two home runs. 'When guys are doing that it always looks really good,' manager Brian Snitker said. Atlanta set season highs with seven doubles and 10 extra-base hits. 'This team is just really good up and down the lineup,' Camargo said through a translator. Camargo hit his seventh home run off Jaime Garcia (2-6) in the second, singled in the fourth, hit an RBI single in the fifth and doubled and scored in the eighth. He struck out in the ninth. Culberson hit a solo homer and Inciarte had three hits and three RBIs as the Braves won for the sixth time in seven games. Reliever Sam Freeman (2-3) worked 2 1/3 innings for the victory. Making his first start in Canada, Calgary-born right-hander Mike Soroka was replaced one out from qualifying for the win. 'He threw some good sinkers but a lot of stuff was right down the middle,' Snitker said. Soroka allowed four runs and eight hits, including six doubles, in 4 2/3 innings. 'It was everything I imagined, for sure, coming out there and seeing a lot of Canadians, a lot of Canadian flags,' Soroka said. 'Hearing the anthem was pretty special, too.' Soroka took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his previous outing, June 13 against the New York Mets, but started this one by giving up a double to Blue Jays outfielder Curtis Granderson. Toronto put runners at second and third with two outs in the first but left-fielder Culberson made a great running catch on Kevin Pillar's line drive before crashing hard into the video board section of the outfield wall. Culberson went down briefly but stayed in the game. 'That's one of the first holy cow plays I saw,' a grateful Soroka said. 'I definitely owe him dinner.' Garcia retired the first five batters in order before Kurt Suzuki's double in the second. Culberson and Inciarte walked and Garcia fell behind 2-0 on Camargo before giving up a towering shot that landed in the third deck. 'It was really kind of a special moment, something I'll never forget,' Camargo said. Culberson connected off Garcia to begin the third before Inciarte and Camargo chased Garcia with consecutive singles. Garcia allowed five runs and five hits in three-plus innings, failing to finish the fourth for the second time in four starts. The left-hander has lost six straight decisions and is winless since April 17 against Kansas City, his third start of the season. 'It's frustrating,' Garcia said. 'I feel like I'm letting my team down.' OSUNA UPDATE A lawyer for Blue Jays RHP Roberto Osuna said Monday that his client will plead not guilty to charges of assault. After he was arrested and charged May 8, Osuna was placed on administrative leave. On Monday, baseball extended Osuna's leave through June 25. Osuna's lawyer was in court Monday. The case is set to resume July 9. URGENT CARE Snitker was asked what he thought when Culberson went down following his collision with the wall. 'I was wondering if I'm going to be able to make it out there,' Snitker joked. 'He'd be healed by the time I get there.' TRAINER'S ROOM Braves: OF Ronald Acuna (left knee) has taken batting practice and run the past two days in workouts at Atlanta's spring training facility in Florida. Snitker said the highly touted Acuna should begin a rehab assignment 'sooner rather than later.' Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (shoulder) threw a 75-pitch simulated game Monday after his scheduled start at Double-A New Hampshire was rained out. Stroman is expected to rejoin the Blue Jays rotation during the coming weekend's road series against the Angels. ... OF Steve Pearce (strained left oblique) went 1 for 3 with a home run at Triple-A Buffalo, playing five innings in left field. Pearce was the DH in his previous two rehab games with the Bisons, Saturday and Sunday. ... Toronto put RHP Sam Gaviglio on the paternity list and promoted INF Lourdes Gurriel Jr. from Buffalo. UP NEXT Braves RHP Anibal Sanchez (3-0, 1.93) faces Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (8-3, 3.48) in Wednesday afternoon's series finale. Sanchez faced Toronto twice last season, allowing 12 runs in 10 2/3 innings. Happ is 1-0 with a 2.12 ERA in three June starts. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. The play sheet calls for a breakdown of where elite cornerback prospect Lejond Cavazos stands after trips to Ohio State and UGA last week. Cavazos was one of the most impressive prospects to camp at UGA this month.  Do you read that starter paragraph each day? Maybe you should. There are little things that are dropped in there from time to time. The catchphrase for Tuesday regarding IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) junior defensive back Lejond Cavazos has his future spot at cornerback. The recruiting world hasn’t caught up to that yet. Lejond Cavazos was one of the most impressive prospects to camp at UGA this month. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) The 2020 prospect is rated as a 3-star safety and No. 302 overall by 247Sports. He’s not ranked on the 247Sports composite. That will change. Look for him to eventually rise to a top 5 prospect at cornerback. It will not shock me to see him listed with nation’s top 30 prospects for 2020. At least. Cavazos was good enough to start two games for IMG as a sophomore last season. I saw him work early last fall against Miami Central and made sure to tuck his name away. He also roomed with future 5-star receiver Jermaine Burton (now at Marietta) in the 2020 class, too. Let’s tick off the reasons why he is a rare player: He’s a two-sport athlete and an accomplished hurdler. He’s clocked a 7.93 in the 60-meter hurdles and a 13.80 at 110 meters. Those are special high school times for a prep hurdler, but he’s a football player first. Cavazos wasn’t healthy this year at Nike’s The Opening regional. He still posted a 4.56 laser time in the 40 with a 43-inch vertical and a power ball toss of 37 feet. His hamstring limited him to a 4.39 in the pro agility shuttle. He clocked a verified time of 4.03 seconds in that 5-10-5 at an earlier showing. It meant a Sparq rating of 115.08. That’s in the 99th percentile of all tested athletes. It was good for 46th overall this cycle. It rates as the fifth-best showing beyond the 2019 class. Can he play? The fact he started last year (two games) for IMG Academy and will start this year satisfies that curiosity. When he worked out for Georgia and Ohio State last week, both programs saw him as a cornerback first and a do-it-all defensive back second. Both staffs halted his workout early because they didn’t need to see any more. When the ranking services catch up as they usually do, he can chart as a top 15 overall prospect for 2020. He can contend for the nation’s top cornerback spot in 2020. Kirby Smart worked him out personally. DawgNation was told that Cavazos turned in a sub-4.5 time in the 40 at Ohio State. “Both schools view me as a corner,” Cavazos said. “They both really said they liked my height and my size and my quickness. They both want me to play corner, but they said if that doesn’t work out then I could definitely go to safety easily.” Cavazos would rather play cornerback. He feels that’s his best spot, but will play whatever his squad needs him to do at IMG. Urban Meyer and Smart both stayed close to Cavazos and his family during those visits. Lejond Cavazos on UGA and Ohio State being so close Cavazos has really liked Ohio State and Georgia of late. The Bulldogs turned his head with a visit this winter that was followed up by a G-Day visit. He has said the Bulldogs were in a top-school position.  He went to see Ohio State first last week. It left a distinct impression on him, but then came Georgia. Lejond Cavazos said the back-to-back trips to UGA and Ohio State last week have complicated his decision. (Cavazos Family/courtesy) “It definitely complicated it a lot,” Cavazos said. “Coming off that Ohio State visit, I was like ‘This is the school’ and this and that and then going to Georgia hearing like kind of the same stuff makes it really a hard decision. They are both really good schools so I don’t know what I am going to do now leading up to a commitment. “I thought I was going to commit like in a couple of weeks before I go back to school so it really just made it a lot harder on me.” What happens now? Will he now ride through his junior year and see which school stands out after Sept. 1? That is a key date. Schools can then contact him per NCAA rules. That will reflect where he stands on their boards. He also will watch them closely this fall. “That is probably what I am going to stick back to doing,” he said. What’s the best thing he likes now about Ohio State? Georgia? His answer was basically the same for both. “I would say probably their career plan program they have going on with their players,” Cavazos said. “They set you up to succeed for a life outside of football.” He liked that they didn’t focus on the football. “They both have a good plan as well for their life after football. Those are like the two main things for both schools that I like the most. They have a Plan A which is something else that is outside of football.” He could not discern any clear differences in terms of facilities. “I really like both setups for their facilities,” he said. “I can see myself succeeding at both schools. They are both really nice. They both have what I need.” That’s another brick to the argument the Bulldogs need to complete the west end zone and upgrade their weight room to stand out nationally there. Lejond Cavazos knows that Nolan Smith dude pretty well as teammates at IMG Academy. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) It wasn’t specifically stated, but it sounds as if UGA and Ohio State are well out in front. Cavazos only planned to work out for Georgia and Ohio State this summer. “They are both definitely tied right now,” Cavazos said. “Everything that I heard from one school I also heard from the other school. They both said the same things and made the same points.” He plans to check out both schools this fall, and he did not rules out making a commitment. “I will go to each school’s big game this year,” Cavazos said in reference to both Georgia and Ohio State. How did the Georgia visit go for Lejond Cavazos?  Georgia thought very highly of Cavazos both before and after the workout. He left an impression on Smart. “He said I’m what they want,” he said. “Coach Smart told me that I checked off all the boxes.” Lejond Cavazos said he already has a very good relationship with first-year Georgia assistant coach Dan Lanning. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) Georgia’s workout focused on speed and running drills. The Buckeyes wanted to see what his backpedal looked like. What was his favorite part of the UGA trip? “Just chilling with the coaches,” he said. “That was with both Coach Smart and Coach [Mel] Tucker. Just that feeling you get when you are around family. It felt like that.” Smart worked him out personally. “He has a great arm,” Cavazos said. It meant a quick hook. “After my second or maybe third one-on-one rep, Coach Smart said he saw what he needed to see and that I should stop,” Cavazos said. He likely had more in the tank. Cavazos is described by those who know him as a competitor. He was always trying to jump the highest on the trampoline or to be the fastest swimmer in the pool growing up. That instinct cannot be instilled. “When he was a kid and his [older] brothers would hit him, he wouldn’t come to complain to us,” C.J. Cavazos, his father, said. “He would hit his brothers back. One of his brothers is now 6 feet tall and 280 pounds and his big brother Josh would come upset to us and tell us, ‘Why does Lejond keep hitting me’ and ‘Can you tell him to quit hitting me’ with that. “I’d tell him, ‘Lejond is the little kid, and you are the big kid, and you are telling me to get him to stop hitting you’ There was something wrong with that picture. … Lejond has always been that kind of stubborn and hard kid. When you are the youngest of six you are either going to be that or get run over.” No matter how well he tests or drills, that attitude will be what separates him from his peers in football. C.J. Cavazos has a high opinion of the Bulldogs. “Georgia is a phenomenal program and has evolved into a national power,” he said. “Georgia’s academics are second to none. Their support system to help their players to graduate is something I like a lot and their fan base is crazy. We love it. Their spring game was just a taste of what it is.” “We want him to go to a program that is a very passionate program like Georgia who cares about their players.” How did the Ohio State visit go for Lejond Cavazos?  The Buckeyes made sure to name drop. “They definitely liked my feet,” Cavazos said. “They were comparing me to a lot of their corners from past years saying I was a lot like so-and-so and they said I could be like this guy and that guy. Ohio State told me about my potential with where I’m already for this age. They brought up where I am right now and then I will have the development of two more seasons of high school. They said that where I am at right now, that I could be really good when I go off to college.” Lejond Cavazos is a starting safety at IMG Academy. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) (Key fact: Ohio State has had five defensive backs selected in the first round of the NFL draft over the past three years.) Meyer made an impression when he spoke to Cavazos after a drill. “He stopped me after my 1-on-1s and just told me that I was a freak athlete,” Cavazos said. The IMG junior still wasn’t fully healthy at either workout. But he was still able to clock a 4.4 showing in the 40 in Columbus. “I still have some resistance when I run,” he said. “I can be a lot better.” His favorite part of the Ohio State trip was the feedback he got from the players about what it is like to be part of the  Buckeyes. He said he spent more time with Meyer than Smart. “It wasn’t a lot more,” Cavazos said. “They were pretty much with me the whole time along both visits to each school.” The X-factor in the recruiting of Lejond Cavazos Cavazos will have a tough eventual choice: Buckeyes or Bulldogs. But he seems to be as well-equipped as a prospect can possibly be to sift through a tough decision. That’s because of personal and professional relationships established by his father. C.J. Cavazos can count two NFL head coaches in his inner circle. They help the family determine what is real, what is fake and what is necessary when it comes to the next steps for Lejond. Lejond Cavazos also has great ability in track as a hurdler. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) Cavazos speaks frequently with Todd Bowles and Anthony Lynn. Bowles is the head coach of the New York Jets. Lynn leads the San Diego Chargers. Bowles speaks very highly of both Mel Tucker at Georgia and Greg Schiano of Ohio State. The son listens to the father here. He also advises recruits in a professional capacity. His father, like his son, is also an engaging communicator. He is honest. His straightforward style was able to recruit his wife, Melba, into naming their son “Lejond.” It took him about nine months of recruiting, but he was finally able to sway here. The full story on that naming right is a topic for another blog, but it shows something about this family. Steering his son through this choice will be something akin to his 779th rodeo. “He doesn’t think I’m listening to him a lot of times but I do,” Lejond Cavazos said. “I just don’t show it enough but what he says really helps me. His two best friends are head coaches in the NFL. They give feedback on what I do and what I have to work on. It really helps me in terms of bettering myself.” Cavazos is a very connected recruit. There are the many relationships he can draw on such as UGA commit Nolan Smith and Burton from their times at IMG Academy. Trey Sanders, another IMG 5-star, told DawgNation wherever he goes he will bring Cavazos along. Tony Brown, the former track and football star, was a 5-star prospect and the nation’s No. 9 overall prospect in 2014. That is another family friend. Taron Vincent, the former 5-star tackle at IMG Academy, is also trying to reel him to Ohio State. His father was also a high school coach at one time at Carter High in Dallas. That’s where he met a young Urban Meyer when he was just a young assistant on the recruiting trail. “My father is a great resource,” Cavazos said. “He’s not going to tell me where to go. He knows that this is my decision and he’s just told me that he knows that both of these schools [Georgia and Ohio State] are very good options.” What will happen when his son tells him he is ready to make a commitment? That’s the only time he will put the proverbial foot down. This is what father says he’d tell his son. “I’d be like, ‘OK, today is Friday. You’re telling me this is what you want to do. You have seven days to sleep on it. If you wake up next Friday in the morning and you come to tell me this is still your school, that’s when you call that school and tell them you’re ready to commit.’ We’re done then. But we’re not going to do anything on a knee-jerk reaction. We’re going to pray about it and sleep on it every day for a week.” When that is vetted, there will be no games. “I will be totally honest with these coaches,” C.J. Cavazos said. “The only way to do this is the right way. Be honest. Not waste their time. Time is money for these coaches. If you waste their time, you waste their money. They have other kids they can go and get.” The Cavazos family will respect the fact these recruiters are professionals. “I’ve told Urban Meyer that when he commits, we are done,” his father said. “I’ve told Lejond this. We are not going anywhere else once he commits. So he’s not ready to do that. I don’t have a timeline. It is not about me or his mom or his family. It is whenever he is ready.” Fast and furious things to keep in mind Check out the official visit recap from Chris Kirschner of SEC Country regarding 5-star ILB Nakobe Dean. Dean told Kirschner that Alabama “did everything it needed to do” on that visit. It sounds as if  the Tide made a favorable impression, but not enough for them to race out to the lead after his first official visit. It was very Smart of the Bulldogs to get Dean on campus for a rigorous workout prior to that Alabama visit. DawgNation readers should be well-informed on the name Bryan Bresee by now . He just picked up a rash of Crystal Ball picks to Ohio State from writers who cover that program over the last month. That’s something to monitor. The nation’s top prospect for 2020 should cut his options down to a smaller group this summer, but I don’t expect him to make a public decision anytime soon. He will be competing at The Opening Finals in Texas later this month. I have gotten a lot of questions of late about the defensive tackle spot for the Bulldogs and where the Bulldogs will go after the decision made Monday by C.J. Clark to stay home and play for North Carolina State. The short answer is that it will lead to a greater emphasis placed on the following names: Travon Walker, Derick “Rambo” Hunter and Quashon Fuller. Fuller told me recently he is still committed to Florida State but that all the schools within his top 5 are “basically neck and neck” at this point. We’ll go into deeper detail with the conversation later on this week. The 6-foot-4, 272-pound strongside defensive end could play all up and down the line at UGA. Georgia continues to make up ground here after two recent back-to-back visits. Here’s another popular question: What’s going on with Tray Scott on the recruiting trail? The most straightforward answer I can give here is what I hear from sources. Scott is a genuine person on the recruiting trail. No sizzle. He will keep it real. It seems like that approach will really work for those who value that style. But he is not slick and will not give off that professional sales approach. It will not work for everyone, but it will matter a great deal to those who value knowing exactly where they stand in a deep-rooted recruiting relationship. Georgia continues to make up ground on another key defensive line target. That prospect is currently committed to another SEC school. We will tackle that one later this week, too. 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 DB Lejond Cavazos has UGA, Ohio State in a dead heat appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA (AP) - As the only general manager holding three first-round picks in Thursday night's NBA draft, including No. 3 overall, Atlanta's Travis Schlenk has been a popular target for trade talk. Overall, the Hawks have four picks in the top 34. That's more than enough depth to attract interest, but the rebuilding Hawks are even more attractive trade targets because they also have about $20 million in salary cap space. That creates more attractive options for a team needing to unload a contract in a trade. Schlenk says he is answering every call and considering all options - including the possibility of trading up or down from the No. 3 spot. It's an exciting time for Schlenk, who never held such a high draft pick in his previous job as assistant GM with the Golden State Warriors. 'This is the highest pick that I've been a part of,' Schlenk said last week. 'At Golden State, the highest pick we had was six. So it's exciting. Having the four picks, along with the third pick, we get a lot of phone calls, which is exciting as well, and we're going to go through all the options that are presented to us and make the best decision, hopefully.' He says he's comfortable with the idea of opening the 2018-19 season with four rookies. Schlenk is planning the Hawks' future with a new coach. Former Philadelphia assistant Lloyd Pierce was hired on May 11 to replace Mike Budenholzer, now the Bucks coach. Schlenk might use his first pick to select a forward-center to pair with 2017-18 rookie John Collins. Among players who could be available are Duke's Marvin Bagley III , Michigan State's Jaren Jackson and Mo Bamba of Texas. Guards Luka Doncic of Slovenia, Trae Young of Oklahoma and forward Michael Porter of Missouri could be alternatives for Schlenk. Pierce stressed defense in his first news conference in Atlanta. Schlenk said it's important to land players with balanced offensive and defensive skills. 'Obviously when you look at the best teams in the league, the majority of the time they're good defensive teams,' Schlenk said. 'But at the end of the day, if you're not scoring 100 points you're probably not winning, so we're going to look for guys that are two-way players, who can play defensively, but also we've got to be able to score the ball on the other end.' Bagley qualifies as that two-way talent, but he could be drafted at the No. 2 spot by Sacramento. 'I put a lot of work into this and I think I'm the best player in the draft,' Bagley said after his draft workout in Atlanta last week. 'I mean that in the most humble way possible, not to be cocky.' Phoenix is projected to select Arizona center Deandre Ayton with the top pick. Jackson is an accomplished shot blocker with less polish on the offensive end. He is regarded by many to have the potential shooting skills to develop into a well-rounded NBA big man. With point guard Dennis Schroder's future in Atlanta uncertain, the Hawks can look for talent at any position. Their wealth of picks could make it easier to take a chance on Doncic, who has the skills to play multiple positions even though his ability to create space in the NBA has been questioned by some critics. 'I've maintained all along, and I honestly believe this, we're going to take the best player,' Schlenk said. 'We're in a situation where we're looking to add the most talent we can, and we're going to get a good player at the third pick.' The No. 3 spot is the Hawks' highest since 2007, when they selected Al Horford at No. 3. Atlanta also has the No. 19 and No. 30 picks in the first round and No. 34 early in the second round. Those selections give Schlenk a wealth of options, including a deal for a higher pick next year. Schlenk said he has considered if the possibility to 'trade back to collect more assets would be advantageous.' ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball
  • 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. 724 (June 19, 2018) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about why some fans are getting restless about Georgia recruiting. Georgia football podcast: Some fans getting restless about UGA recruiting Beginning of the show: Georgia saw a couple recruiting targets make commitments to other schools Monday leaving some UGA fans wondering how the Bulldogs’ current recruiting momentum stacks up to some of its rivals. UGA fans have also recently had a strong reaction to some comments from 5-star wide receiver — and UGA commit — Jadon Haselwood. I’ll address those subjects on today’s show. 11-minute mark: DawgNation’s Chip Towers shares a compelling reason why UGA’s schedule might be tougher than some experts think. I’ll talk about Chip’s reasoning and how UGA should respond. 15-minute mark: DawgNation’s recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show. Some of the topics covered include… 4-star defensive tackle CJ Clark’s NC Sate commitment 4-star defensive end Justin Eboigbe’s Alabama commitment Reaction to 4-star offensive tackle Xavier Truss’ UGA commitment An evaluation of UGA’s 2019 quarterback commit, John Rhym Plumlee Thoughts on 5-star wide receiver Jadon Haselwood’s candid comments An assessment of 5-star linebacker Nakobe Dean’s recruitment after his Alabama official visit And an update on UGA’s quarterback recruiting efforts 40-minute mark: I take a look at what ESPN ranked as the top concerns for the SEC teams in its preseason top 25. 45-minute mark: I discuss the latest Dawg Day Q&A. End of show: I update the Gator Hater Countdown. For the Monday (June 18) show, click here. For the video version of the Tuesday show, click here. For older episodes of DawgNation Daily, click here. The post Georgia football podcast: Some fans getting restless about UGA recruiting appeared first on DawgNation.

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  • RUTLEDGE, Ga. — Driving East out of Atlanta, keep going on until there’s no evidence of civilization, exit onto Newborn Road and head south into the middle of nowhere. Turn left onto Centenniel Road, drive about a mile, then hang a right onto the gravel road known as Keencheefoonee. Proceed through the wooden gate, turn left at the horse stables pull into a dirt parking lot. Then walk downhill along an asphalt path through a shady white oak forest and emerge into sunlight and arrive at the happiest place on Earth. No, you’re not at Disney World. This place is better. You’ve arrived at Camp Twin Lakes, which for this one day at least is known as Camp Sunshine. Georgia coach Kirby Smart puts his arms around linemen Kendall Baker and Lamont Gaillard as the Bulldogs listen to a presentation by a nurse at the infirmary at Lake Twin Lakes on Wednesday. (Chip Towers/DawgNation) Longtime Georgia Bulldogs’ fans know the drill. UGA’s football team has been making this trek an hour and change south of Athens annually for most of the last 35 years. Vince Dooley, along with wife Barbara, was appointed to the Camp Twin Lakes board of directors in 1983 and the Bulldogs have been making a midsummer visit here every year since (well, every year accept for those under coach Jim Donnan, according to camp administrators). For the unenlightened, Camp Twin Lakes is a retreat in which children with cancer and their families can get away to enjoy outdoor recreational activities for the summer. It has air-conditioned cabins for “glamping,” swimming pools, lakes, a farm (complete with miniature cows and alpacas), sports playing fields, a zipline, a gymnasium and much more. All of the available activities are retrofitted to accommodate children battling different forms of cancer. And, of course, there’s an infirmary to attend to any children who might get sick — or just scrape a knee raising their buddy on one of the many trails snaking the expansive property. It’s here that one sees a whole different side of Georgia coach Kirby Smart. He completely drops his guard and relaxes. He back-slaps and jokes with his players. He peels off at the sight of any of the campers or there families. During the hour-long tour, he seems to know somebody personally at every corner and stops to chat, falling behind the tour and then double-timing it catch back up. The familiarity is because Smart has been coming to Camp Twin Lakes a very long time. He first started coming when his older brother Karl was diagnosed with leukemia in the 1990s. His brother has long since been well, but Kirby has kept coming. He came when he was an assistant coach at Valdosta State and when he was the Miami Dolphins and Alabama. “It’s convenient because I have a lake home that’s 30-45 minutes from here (on Lake Oconee),” Smart said Wednesday. “So through the years, when I was with the Dolphins or Alabama, I’d stop by. A couple of those years Karl was still here as a counselor, so being able to stop in here to see him and everybody was good. Now that he’s head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs, he brings his whole team with him, including wife Mary Beth, twins Julia and Weston and little Andrew. Wednesday they had a good time posing with a cardboard cut-out of Kirby and Karl on display in the camp’s courtyard. Andrew kept asking everybody when the dodge-ball game would start, and was front and center and in the middle of everything when it did. “He needs to get smacked around a little bit,” Smart said with a chuckle. “He’s a little too brave for his own good out there. The players are scared to bean him because they know he’s mine.” “Nobody’s like Kirby,” said Mo Thrash, one of the original founders of Camp Sunshine who serves as the Bulldogs’ tour guide and taskmaster each year. “He’s come every year since he’s been out of college. He’d always call me and say, ‘Mo, can I come to camp?’ He show up, spend an hour, hour-and-a-half with me walking around the camp saying hey to kids. No press, nobody around, just being himself. Then he’d leave. He did it every year. Then he became Georgia’s head coach. He’s just very special.” Wednesday was the first of two trips that the Bulldogs will make to Camp Sunshine. In all, Smart said about 70 players signed up to participate. About the other half will come next Wednesday. The first group seemed to include a lot of freshmen and first-year players. Notre Dame transfer Jay Hayes, wearing his new number 97 Georgia jersey, was front-and-center for many of the activities. So was long and tall true freshman Tommy Bush, until they went to alpaca pin. The nearly 6-foot-6 tall receiver, wearing the No. 12, eased to the back of the pack when the group was asked to pet the odd-looking creatures. The many interactions with the campers and staff were entertaining to observe. The players were split into two groups and toured opposite ends of the complex. When being shown the cabins where the campers stay, the girls of Cabin 10 came pouring out and high-fived every player. “Oh my  God, they’re all so tall,” one of the young teens shouted. The residents are not all Georgia fans, either. At the intersection of two paths, a young man named William yelled, “go Gators.” To that the jersey-wearing group responded with a collective, “boo!”, then just laughed it off. In the cafeteria, Smart made a beeline to a young man wearing Alabama gear, including a crimson-and-white cast on his right leg. Colton, who’s 14, said he first met Smart when he was an assistant for the Crimson Tide. “Now he tries to talk me into being a Georgia fan, but he knows I won’t convert,” Colton said. Thrash showed the team the lake and pointed to the zipline and ropes course far across on the other side. “What’s the weight capacity on that?” Smart asked loud enough for everyone to hear. “We’ve got some people here we think can break it “Be sure to keep Fernando off it,” he added, referring to support staffer and former Georgia and NFL offensive lineman Fernando Velasco. At the heart of it all, though, is a serious message. “You guys are heroes to these kids; you’re heroes to me,” Thrash said when he huddled up the team at the outset of the tour. “So go in here, look around the place, see what we do, say hello to the kids, get to know them a little bit and have a good time.” Said Smart: “I want them to appreciated what they have. You look at some of these kids and see how they have to struggle and go through things. Some of them are well now and they come back because they’re the hope for so many other kids who are going through what they did.” For the team, it was a well-earned reprieve. They’ve been working out and doing conditioning every morning for the last two weeks. That includes Wednesday when the players signed up for the trip had to report to the Butts-Mehre football complex at 5:30 a.m. “I don’t know if everybody slept the whole way down because I was asleep as soon as the bus pulled out,” junior tight end Isaac Nauta said. Participants range from players like Nauta and senior center Lamont Gaillard, who have been every year since they arrived on campus, to junior running back Elijah Holyfield, who was making his first trip Wednesday. “My freshman and sophomore years I was kind of trying to do too much,” Holyfield said. “Finally I said I’ve got to go this year because everybody was talking about how much fun it is. I knew I had to do it before I left Georgia and I loved it, so I’ll be back next week as well.” It was especially re-energizing for the freshmen, who have known nothing but regimen and brutal intensity since they arrived on campus May 31. “I think they can finally see that there’s a human side to everybody and you can go out and have fun,” Smart quipped. Camp Sunshine unique to the University of Georgia. Located 51 miles east of downtown Atlanta, the camp is located in the heart of Bulldog Country. No other teams make the pilgrimage to the East Georgia outback. Just the Bulldogs. “It’s only a Georgia thing,” Thrash said. “We’d love for other teams to come in. But it’s always special when the Georgia Bulldogs come in. They’re part of Camp Sunshine.” A happy place indeed. The post Camp Sunshine is strictly a Bulldogs’ thing, and something Kirby Smart loves appeared first on DawgNation.
  • TORONTO (AP) - The better J.A. Happ pitches for the Toronto Blue Jays, the better the chance he finishes the season with another team. Happ pitched a season-high 8 1/3 innings to win his fifth straight decision, Kendrys Morales hit a two-run home run and the Blue Jays beat the Atlanta Braves 5-4 Wednesday for Toronto's seventh win in eight home games. Happ (9-3) allowed four runs and six hits, walked none and struck out eight. The veteran left-hander is the first big league pitcher to record four starts this season with at least eight strikeouts and no walks. 'He's got good life on his fastball,' Atlanta's Nick Markakis said. 'He's always been a thorn in the side.' With Toronto well behind in both the AL East and the wild card standings, Happ could be a candidate for a midseason trade to a contender. 'I know he's in demand and I can see why,' Toronto manager John Gibbons said. 'If we were on the other end of it, I'd want him, too.' Happ is in the final season of a three-year, $36 million contract. 'I signed to play here and try to help this team get to the playoffs,' Happ said. 'I know there may be rumors out there, but I like it here and my focus is here.' Happ improved 4-0 with a 2.72 ERA in nine career starts against the Braves. 'We knew going in it was going to be a tough ride,' Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. Happ had retired 18 of 19 before Freddie Freeman and Markakis hit back-to-back singles with one out in the ninth. Ryan Tepera came on and gave up an RBI single to Kurt Suzuki, struck out Charlie Culberson, then allowed an RBI single to Ender Inciarte, putting the tying run at second. Tepera finished it by getting Johan Camargo to fly out, earning his fifth save in eight opportunities Morales, who turned 35 Wednesday, went 2 for 3 and scored twice. He homered in the first, walked and scored in the fourth, singled in the fifth, and flied out in the eighth. Suzuki and Peter Bourjos hit solo home runs for the Braves, who lost for the second time in eight games. Atlanta began the day with an NL-best record of 43-29. Braves right-hander Anibal Sanchez (3-1) allowed four runs and five hits in five innings. 'It wasn't bad, wasn't great,' Snitker said. 'He kept us in the game, gave us a chance.' Sanchez is 0-2 with a 9.19 ERA in his past three starts against the Blue Jays. After Morales hit a two-out drive off Sanchez, his sixth homer of the season, Suzuki connected in the second, his eighth, and Bourjos tied it in the third with his first homer of the season. Toronto broke the deadlock in the fourth when Randal Grichuk hit an RBI double and Aledmys Diaz followed with a sacrifice fly. Blue Jays infielder Yangervis Solarte made it 5-2 with a two-out RBI single off A.J. Minter in the seventh. WALK THIS WAY Blue Jays C Russell Martin has walked at least once in eight straight games, matching a career-long stretch. Martin, who walked twice Wednesday, also walked in eight straight in 2013. BIRTHDAY BLASTS Morales has four home runs and eight RBIs in eight career games on his birthday. THRIVING WITH FIVE Toronto is 28-1 when scoring five or more runs. TRAINER'S ROOM Braves: Markakis started at designated hitter, the first time this season he hasn't played one of the corner outfield spots. Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (shoulder) will be activated off the disabled list to start at the Angels on Saturday, Gibbons said. Stroman is 0-5 with a 7.71 ERA in seven starts. ... 3B Josh Donaldson (left calf) left the team Wednesday and will continue working out at Toronto's spring training facility in Florida. Donaldson will not begin a rehab assignment until he is able to run the bases at full speed. UP NEXT Braves: Atlanta is off Thursday before opening a three-game home series against Baltimore on Friday. LHP Sean Newcomb (8-2, 2.70 ERA) starts for the Braves. Newcomb has won eight of his past nine decisions. The Orioles have not named a starter. Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (3-5, 4.35) starts the opener of a four-game series against the Angels. Sanchez is 1-0 with a 2.95 ERA in three June starts. LHP Tyler Skaggs (6-4, 2.81) starts for Los Angeles. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Georgia may get one more win from its incredible Rose Bowl victory over Oklahoma in Pasadena, Calif. on New Year’s Day. Georgia’s epic comeback 54-48 win in double-overtime win over Oklahoma and Heisman Trophy-winner and eventual first-overall pick Baker Mayfield is one of the three nominees for Best Game at the annual sports awards. The other two nominees are the wild World Series Game 5 between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers and the 2018 Winter Olympics Women’s Hockey Gold Medal Game between the United States and Canada. Georgia trailed Oklahoma by 17 points before an end-of-half and Rose Bowl record 55-yard field goal by Rodrigo Blankenship brought the Bulldogs within an even two touchdowns. They looked like a different team in the second half, putting all kinds of pressure on Mayfield while Nick Chubb and Sony Michel wore down and gashed the Sooners’ defense. A late fumble from Michel that was returned for a touchdown almost made the comeback all for naught, but Jake Fromm led the Bulldogs down the field in the final minutes, converting a third down pass to Terry Godwin near the red zone before Chubb scored again to send the game to overtime. The teams traded field goals in the first overtime, and then Lorenzo Carter used every bit of his long arms to block OU’s attempt in double overtime. Then, on the second play of Georgia’s possession, Sony Michel took the direct snap to the left and found himself wide open into the end zone, and the Rose party was on. It’s arguable the best Rose Bowl ever but definitely can go no lower than second. Vince Young defeating USC for the national championship has to receive its due. But it’s a tough argument that this ESPY should go anywhere other than Athens. You can view all of the award nominees and vote on them here. The post Georgia’s epic Rose Bowl win nominated for ESPY Award for Best Game 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. 725 (June 20, 2018) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about Georgia freshman quarterback Justin Fields. Georgia football podcast: Despite loads of attention, Justin Fields might be underrated Beginning of the show: Georgia incoming freshman quarterback Justin Fields is among the most talked about players in the country, but based on one recent evaluation he might still be underrated. I’ll talk on today’s show about how Fields’ presence impacts how UGA’s quarterback situation should be viewed. 12-minute mark: I share audio of DawgNation recruiting insider Jeff Sentell’s list of the top 2019 defensive line priorities for UGA. 15-minute mark: SEC Country’s Mike Johnson joins the show. Some of the topics covered include… Mike’s thoughts on Fields Reaction to 4-star offensive tackle Xavier Truss’ commitment An assessment of the pressure on UGA defensive line coach Tray Scott to pull together an elite collection of defensive linemen for the 2019 class And an opinion about current UGA commits taking visits to other schools 30-minute mark: I take a look at some other SEC headlines including Les Miles being asked about the LSU athletic director’s job, a preview of 5-star cornerback Derek Stingley’s commitment announcement scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, and a challenge from ESPN to some former top recruits to finally live up to the hype this season. 35-minute mark: I share another Dawg Day Q&A. End of show: I update the Gator Hater Countdown. For the Tuesday (June 19) show, click here. For the video version of the Wednesday show, click here. For older episodes of DawgNation Daily, click here. The post Georgia football podcast: Despite loads of attention, Justin Fields might be underrated appeared first on DawgNation.