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Georgia Sports News

    BOGART, Ga. The first read to begin an update on all things Brock Vandagriff has to come out hard and fast. That's how he plays the quarterback position. This one certainly will. It will try to mirror how 5-star QB gets rid of the ball for his Prince Avenue Christian team. Decisive. Hit a read. The right read. Move the chains. Go. Vandagriff will be at Georgia on Saturday for an important 'Junior Day' visit. He said he is only mainly considering Auburn, Georgia and South Carolina at this time. He has only set up a visit to check out UGA this weekend so far. The now 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior shared a very mature outlook on why he de-committed from Oklahoma and how it will shape his decision going forward. 'My Dad and I talked and stuff,' Brock Vandagriff said. 'We're kind of sacrificing the best fit for me for other things which are priorities now.' He doesn't have an opinion, or at least a firm one, on new offensive coordinator hire Todd Monken just yet. That comes tomorrow. 'Not yet,' he said. 'Going to meet him tomorrow and talk ball.' Don't expect him to take a long and very drawn-out recruiting process. H'll can his options. Make the right read and go. 'I like the process being over with,' he said. 'So I am going to get this process over with once I make a decision.' He thinks he will be committed by March. That's how fast this thing can go. 'Maybe in the next month or two,' he said. What will this weekend's visit be about? 'Mainly seeing who I would play with if I went there,' Vandagriff said. 'I'm familiar with the coaches. Familiar with the facilities. Nothing has changed since the last time I have been there. Probably just getting to know the players more and the guys I would be playing with.' Georgia has a strong chance here as the true 'home' team. 'I think that Georgia has like the top priority and if everything fits at Georgia and if it goes how I expect it to go then I think I will probably not visit anywhere else,' he said. He says not to expect a quick-trigger decision. Not even with the greatest 'Junior Day' unofficial visit of all time. 'I don't think I would commit this weekend,' he said in reference to that potential feeling. 'Because I would go home and just pray about it. I wouldn't make an impulse decision but I wouldn't wait much longer.' Brock Vandagriff: The things that really matter here His de-commitment took place on Jan. 1. When he made that move, he cited that location was a big factor. That was what was included in the tweet. What he didn't include was the timing of it all. Vandgriff, like all of us, loaded up the family car and headed off to a grandparent's house. His family's roots, especially on his mom's side, are in rural Alabama. The family feels started tugging on him at Thanksgiving. Then again at Christmas. He had already been thinking about it for two months. Praying about it. 'Then we were at the dinner table with every family member in Alabama,' Brock Vandagriff said. 'The great grandparents. Grandparents. Aunts. Uncles. Stuff like that. I don't know how we got to talking about it. I didn't say anything about it. I guess it was just the Lord's timing.' Somebody said: 'Man, Oklahoma is far away.' He couldn't help but nod his head to that one. 'I couldn't go to sleep that night,' Vandagriff said. 'I was thinking about it. I was like I got to stay closer to home' so the people I love can be able to watch me and I can still go to hunt in Alabama on the weekends. This just really seems natural. 'Like just earlier this year the main thing my Dad and I had talked about was system and a fit system,' he said. Hello Oklahoma. See Jalen Hurts. See Kyler Murray. See Baker Mayfield. And so on. 'I would say that's not the main thing anymore,' he said. 'The main thing is trying to be the best player that I can be regardless of the system and just being like close to the family has been like, become, well, it has really burst onto the scene as important to me.' It is 13.8 miles from Sanford Stadium to his neat and tidy high school locker. It is 913 miles from that same locker to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memory Stadium. The trip in the family truckster to Norman is only 13 hours longer by car than the Athens commute. 'Spending time in other states is not for me,' he said. 'I like to travel. I like to stay near home. I want people near me to come watch me and stuff like that to happen.' The 247Sports Composite ratings place the homegrown talent as the nation's No. 1 pro-style QB and No. 9 overall prospect for the 2021 class. He's the top player in Georgia, too. Seems like he'd be the ideal visitor for any 'Junior Day' event this weekend, right? That's what those rankings services say. What kind of quarterback does HE think he is? 'I think I am just another quarterback who is a pocket passer who just likes to win,' Vandagriff said. Brock Vandagriff: Let's tee up that pro-style QB thing Those are the fast and quick reads. But it was tempting to open things up with the way he has what his teammates might call a mullet ready to flow out from underneath his helmet. Vandagriff favors that look. Even though he must get very precise with it to make sure it adheres to all PACS and team regulations. That's why he keeps his hair is neat and tight on the sides and those locks don't touch his collar (especially when he straightens up) in the back. There's also the part about this pro-style QB thing here. That's .. interesting. But definitely not an all-encompassing label. That title is reserved for the guys who aren't really escape or extend-the-play guy with their feet. Vandagriff has had a season in which he caught 34 passes at wide receiver in high school. He's also had a season in which he ran for 7.3 yards per carry on the way to 1,001 yards. But now he's also had a season in which he threw for 3,190 yards. The juniorhas also been timed at 4.69 seconds on a laser in the 40-yard dash. Is that a pro-style QB? A dual-threat? A triple-threat? He spent his entire freshman year at Prince Avenue at receiver. He wasn't the quarterback for that team, but added 34 catches for 472 yards and four touchdowns. The 5-star QB for 20201 was the No. 2 WR for his Wolverines in 2017. Pretty odd, right? But that makes sense to those who saw him punt and kick for the Wolverines during his middle school days. The clips still exist with Vandagriff kicking the ball deep and then flying downfield to be the first man to make the tackle on the kickoff. Every kickoff his sophomore year went out of the end zone. Could probably punt in college in he couldn't throw the ball a lick. He's also very strong. The 205-pound QB can already power clean 290 pounds. He's still the punter for Prince Avenue. Still can probably boom touchbacks on the regular with that leg of his. But those days are likely behind him now. Kind of like that flowing hair that creeps out of the side of his helmet. With that introduction, let's chronicle his first pass as a high school player. It came during that 2017 season. Vandagriff was lined up wide right at receiver. He came across to the other side of the field on a jet sweep. He stopped. His heart was skipping beats. He swallowed his nerves and let loose a pass running to his left and throwing with his right arm off a jet sweep. The ball sailed 38-and-a-half yards in the air. It hit the team's top receiver in stride for a catch-and-run touchdown. Of course it was a touchdown. It had to be. 'It was the first game of the season and we'd been stressing this defensive end the whole week,' Vandagriff said. 'If we run this play we are going to run away from this guy.' The Wolverines lined up. Called the play. But Aquinas had flipped its ends. The look to the sideline was to the head coach. Greg Vandagriff, his father, told them to run the play regardless. 'I get the ball and he's coming up and I kind of launch it,' Brock Vandagriff said. 'We had an awesome junior receiver Christian Parrish and he ran right under it for a touchdown.' If he had to critique that throw, his evaluation would not be kind. 'I think the throw distance was good but the mechanics were kind of off,' he said. 'I was kind of worrying for my life there on the sideline.' With the ball in his hands now, he's not worried. The opposing defensive coordinators are. He would go on to throw many more passes from there. He threw for 267 yards and two scores as a freshman, followed by 3,190 more yards and 28 touchdowns as a sophomore and then 2471 yards and 31 scores in just eight games as a junior. Vandagriff completed 72 percent of his passes as a junior, but then added 1,001 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2018. Pro-style? Dual-threat? It seems the line is blurred here. Greg Vandagriff, his father, doesn't care about the rushing totals anymore for the 5-star who sits at his dinner table. Those carries just add up to hits for Vandagriff. Chances for him to leave the game. That's what the other team wants. 'I wouldn't say I'm just like a strict pro-style passer but I mean that's what I try to be,' Brock Vandagriff said. 'I don't try to be the dual-threat guy because I know I'm not going to be outrunning people at the next level and stuff like that. Being able to work on some things in the pocket in high school is helping me mature as a player. That's because I don't do the things in high school that I am not going to be doing at the next level.' 'I wouldn't say I am a pure pocket passer but I wouldn't say I am a dual-threat,' Vandagriff said. 'I do run when I have to but it is not fifty-fifty.' His father started out as a defensive guy in his coaching career. That has been an asset. Even if he did draw it up backwards in the eyes of his son. He taught Brock how to read defenses and read coverages at an early age. He knows what the other side is always thinking and trying to do. Ron Veal, who also trained Trevor Lawrence, has worked with him and his father over the last few years. 'He's a great dude and an older male figure in my life,' Brock Vandagriff said. 'I look up to him and I'm glad that I have someone else I can ask questions about. Ron's taught my dad some stuff as well and all three of us have matured in our understanding of the quarterback position.' The post Brock Vandagriff: The skinny on a big Georgia 'Junior Day' visit this weekend appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia has a new offensive coordinator in Todd Monken, as the school officially announced his hiring on Friday. So what does that mean for James Coley, Georgia's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the 2019 season? Georgia released a statement on that matter as well, saying he will remain on the staff and serve as an assistant head coach. There was no further specification of Coley's role and what that might be. Monken was only announced as the offensive coordinator. Coley has been on Kirby Smart's staff since he first arrived at Georgia. He began as a wide receivers coach and worked his way up to the offensive coordinator position for this past season. But the Georgia offense struggled in 2019, as the Bulldogs finished 49th in scoring offense and 46th in yards per play. Not all of that falls on Coley, as there were issues at the wide receiver position as well as injuries throughout the offensive line. Coley spoke with the media prior to Georgia's Sugar Bowl win over Baylor and did take responsibility for the offensive issues in 2019. 'You know what? I've got to do a better job, first and foremost, starts with me, right?' Coley said. 'So I'm looking at myself hard and criticizing myself and busting my tail to get that end better.' Related: Georgia coordinator James Coley reveals offensive issues, assesses Jake Fromm In addition to his work on the offensive side of the ball, Coley also has an excellent reputation for recruiting in South Florida, as the Bulldogs have landed the likes of Marcus Rosemy, Tyson Campbell and Tyrique Stevenson in recent recruiting classes. Coley also played a significant role in landing graduate transfer quarterback Jamie Newman for Georgia. Newman spent last season at Wake Forest, where he threw for 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while rushing for six touchdowns. Keeping Coley on staff would be a big win for the Bulldogs, given he is also the lead recruiter for 5-star quarterbacks Brock Vandagriff and Caleb Williams in the 2021 cycle. Vandagriff will be visiting Georgia this weekend, while Williams praised Coley at the Under Armour All-American game. 'They want me to be the guy. They want me to come in. They are all in,' Williams said. 'I actually talked to Coach Coley about two days ago maybe. We talked. It wasn't just about ball. It was just us talking. I have a good relationship with Coach Coley. They did tell me that they are all in and they want me to be a Dawg.' Related: What Georgia football does at quarterback in 2021 recruiting cycle will speak loudly about program's future With Monken on the staff, Georgia could have a coaching structure similar to what LSU had this past season with Joe Brady and Steve Ensminger. Like Monken, Brady came from the NFL level and provided a great boost to LSU offense. Ensminger drew great reviews for his willingness to share the spotlight with Brady, who is now the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers. Georgia also issued a statement on Monken and what he will bring to the Bulldogs. 'We are excited to add Todd to our staff,' Smart said.'He has a history of establishing explosive offenses at each and every stop in his impressive career in both the National Football League and at major college football programs.' More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Kirk Herbstreit, national media praise Georgia football addition of Todd Monken Georgia football staff opening: A closer look at Todd Monken Georgia football projected starting lineman cleared to return from injury WATCH: Former Georgia QB prep star Chase Brice leaving Clemson, discusses UGA ESPN names 2 Georgia football standouts to All-Bowl Team Anthony Edwards and Georgia basketball put squeeze on Tennessee, 80-63 Mark Richt, Florida State DC give scout on new Georgia TE Tre' Mckitty The post Georgia football updates status of James Coley after hiring of Todd Monken as offensive coordinator appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHEN Georgia announced the hiring of Todd Monken to the Bulldogs staff on Friday, assigning him the role of offensive coordinator. It's a hiring that will resonate from coast to coast, and yet another example of Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart pushing to program even after finishing No. 4 in the nation in 2019. Former offensive coordinator James Coley will remain on staff and serve assistant head coach, according to a UGA release. 'We are excited to add Todd to our staff,' Smart said in the release. 'He has a history of establishing explosive offenses at each and every stop in his impressive career in both the National Football League and at major college football programs.' Monken spent last season as the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, helping to scheme for an offense that produced the NFL's No. 2 rusher, former UGA star Nick Chubb. The season before, the 53-year-old Monken was calling plays for the NFL's most prolific passing offense in Tampa Bay. The Bucs set franchise records for passing yards, passing touchdowns and total yards with Monken serving as offensive coordinator. Georgia also added former Ole Miss head coach and offensive coordinator Matt Luke in December to serve as UGA's line coach. Luke has offensive coordinator experience, as well. It figures to be a crowded offensive coaches' room barring any more staff changes. But 2019 College Football Playoff champion LSU may have created a mold last season that Smart hopes to emulate. The Bayou Bengals most notably paired former Penn State and New Orleans Saints assistant Joe Brady with veteran quarterbacks coach Steve Ensminger last January. Brady, with the title of passing game coordinator and receivers coach, was credited as the architect for the pass-first scheme LSU matched to its personnel. The veteran Ensminger was the QB coach, offensive coordinator and called the plays. The Tigers results spoke loudly, with quarterback Joe Burrow producing record numbers as LSU marched to an undefeated season at CFP Championship Game win over Clemson. Smart isn't likely to rely on the pass as much as LSU with Georgia having to replace departed junior Jake Fromm, and a reloading situation at receiver. 'W e want to score points,' Smart said last December, asked about changing the offensive philosophy. 'You guys want a simple answer like it's just going to poof and happen. . It's a lot of things that goes into having a successful offense and we need to be better.' In addition to adding Wake Forest graduate transfer quarterback Jamie Newman the No. 3 rated returning QB, per Pro Football Focus he Bulldogs have TE grad transfer Tre' Mckitty arriving in June from Florida State. Smart doesn't figure to be done yet with impact players, with National Signing Day just around the corner (Feb. 5) and more players available in the NCAA transfer portal. Hiring an offensive guru like Monken sends a message to those potential recruits that the Bulldogs' offense looks to be on the upswing. The post Georgia football hires Todd Monken as new offensive coordinator appeared first on DawgNation.
  • After the 2019 season saw Georgia football finish 49th in the country in scoring offense, it was clear something had to change with the Georgia offense. And it's safe to say the Bulldogs have done that with the addition of Todd Monken. DawgNation can confirm he is set to join the program, though the specific role is not yet identified. Monken has spent the past three seasons as an NFL offensive coordinator. He worked with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two seasons before spending this past season with the Cleveland Browns. He did not call plays for the Browns, as Cleveland went 6-10 this past season and fired head coach Freddie Kitchens. Related: Georgia football expected to announce Air Raid' offensive expert Todd Monken joining staff Monken does have experience at the college level, as he served as the offensive coordinator for Oklahoma State in 2011 and '12. The Cowboys went 12-1 in '11, winnig the Fiesta Bowl and Big 12. He also served as the head coach at Southern Miss for three seasons, going 9-5 in his final year before jumping to the Buccaneers. The early returns on the move seem to be overwhelmingly positive. ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit had perhaps the strongest praise, calling the addition of Monken as well as Wake Forest graduate transfer quarterback Jamie Newman, 'exactly what Kirby and the Dawgs Offense needed.' Between Monken's approach and QB Jamie Newman coming over from WF-exactly what Kirby and the Dawgs Offense needed. https://t.co/KvzcCa4X9z Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) January 17, 2020 #Georgia is hiring Todd Monken as offensive coordinator, sources tell @Mark_Schlabach. This has been in the works for a while but is now happening. Monken has been #Browns OC. Important move for Kirby Smart and the Dawgs. #UGA Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) January 17, 2020 Good move https://t.co/JCYsKom1Y3 Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) January 17, 2020 Kirby Smart continues to push Georgia's offense in the right direction this offseason. Jamie Newman was a great pickup but he would not have succeeded in last year's offense based on what I've seen from him. Todd Monken's hire shows Smart willing to evolve his offense in 2020. SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) January 17, 2020 Tampa led the NFL in passing in 2018 w/ Todd Monken as OC. He inherited #112 scoring offense at Southern Miss, left them as #13 nationally. Okla St ranked #2 & #3 nationally in scoring under Monken. https://t.co/OWHshbUK5K SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) January 17, 2020 Georgia had to do something to provide a spark offensively. By adding Todd Monken to the staff on the heels of bringing in former Wake QB Jamie Newman I'd say they've accomplished that. https://t.co/FSG3jMsgjn Alex Scarborough (@AlexS_ESPN) January 17, 2020 None of us know what will be the results of Kirby Smart's hire of Todd Monken. But what it does show is Kirby Smart's willingness to change and evolve offensively. It's big for a man to admit mistakes and be willing to change. #InKirbyWeTrust Happy Hoyt (@brianhoyt24) January 17, 2020 I'm not unhappy with any coaching hire that puts a different offensive mindset in the room with Kirby and staff. Any way you look at it, Todd Monken's mindset has proven to be very different from Kirby's. #GoDawgs Jon Tweets Sports (@JonTweetsSports) January 17, 2020 Related: What Georgia's offense still needs after landing quarterback Jamie Newman It seems that the addition of Monken makes it clear Smart is willing to tweak his offense. Georgia had James Coley serve as the play-caller this past year, and according to ESPN's Mark Schlabach, Coley is expected to remain on the staff but in a new role. Georgia also added Matt Luke to the staff this offseason, as he replaced Sam Pittman as the offensive line coach. That means the Bulldogs will have two former college head coaches on Smart's staff next year, as Luke was the head coach at Ole Miss. This is a massive recruiting weekend for the Bulldogs, as they have a number of elite 2021 recruiting prospects in town. The most high-profile name is 5-star quarterback Brock Vandagriff. Landing him, or fellow 5-star quarterback Caleb Williams, would go a long way to helping the long-term health of the Georgia quarterback room. Related: What Georgia football does at quarterback in 2021 recruiting cycle will speak loudly about program's future As for stats about the last two offenses, Monken has worked on, Tampa Bay led the NFL in passing in 2018, while former Georgia Bulldog Nick Chubb ranked second in the NFL in rushing last year for the Browns. Monken though did not call plays for Cleveland last year. Georgia opens the 2020 season on Sept. 7 when Georgia takes on Virginia. More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Georgia football staff opening: A closer look at Todd Monken Georgia football projected starting lineman cleared to return from injury WATCH: Former Georgia QB prep star Chase Brice leaving Clemson, discusses UGA ESPN names 2 Georgia football standouts to All-Bowl Team Anthony Edwards and Georgia basketball put squeeze on Tennessee, 80-63 Mark Richt, Florida State DC give scout on new Georgia TE Tre' Mckitty The post Kirk Herbstreit, national media praise Georgia football addition of Todd Monken appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football is expected to announce the hiring of former NFL offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Monken, 53, directed the NFL's top passing offense while calling plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018 before spending last season as the Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator. The 2018 Bucs averaged 320.3 yards through the air with quarterbacks Jameis Winton and Ryan Fitzpatrick combining to complete 65.3-percent of their passes. Monken's Tampa Bay offense set records for total yards, passing yards and passing touchdowns Monken, considered an expert in the 'Air Raid' style of offense, did not call plays with the Browns last season. 'Really what I took away from (the Air Raid) was being able to throw to win,'' Monken said after taking the Browns job last season in a Cleveland.com story. 'That really to me was the Air Raid. You had a certain amount of run game, you ran a lot of the same concepts and you could throw to win. That was really it. Like any offense, it works a lot better if you have good players.' Monken also said, 'I've always chosen places based on the people and the opportunity to win.' Georgia brings back 5 of 11 starters off an offense that beat Baylor 26-14 in the Sugar Bowl, including the game's MVP, receiver George Pickens. The Bulldogs have ushered in graduate transfer QB Jamie Newman from Wake Forest to take over for departed junior Jake Fromm. Georgia also brings back a trio of rising playmakers in the backfield, with Zamir White, Kenny McIntosh in James Cook all flashing electric moments last season. Monken obviously likes what he sees from the Georgia playmakers. Monken is well-traveled in both the pro and college ranks, starting his career as an assistant on a Division ll Grand Valley State staff (1989-90). He had notable stops on staffs at Oklahoma State with Mike Gundy (2002-04, 2011-12), and LSU with Les Miles (2005-06). Monken was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach when the Cowboys had Brandon Weeden and J.W. Walsh under center two of the top QBs in program history. Oklahoma State ranked second in the nation in passing offense in 2011, future first-round NFL draft pick Weeden ninth in the country in passing efficiency. The next season, Walsh ranked fourth in the nation in passing efficiency as a redshirt freshman who appeared in 10 games in 2012, the Cowboys seventh in the nation in passing yardage per game. At LSU, working with future first-round NFL pick JaMarcus Russell in 2006, Monken helped Russell finish tops among FBS Power 5 quarterbacks in passing efficiency (167.0), with 28 TDs and 8 interceptions. The post Georgia football expected to announce Air Raid' expert Todd Monken joining staff appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football coach Kirby Smart has no shortage of candidates for the vacancy on his staff, but one name that continues to circulate is Todd Monken. It would be the sort of hire that would quickly gain attention and make a statement about UGA's commitment to the pass game. ESPN's Mark Schalbach reported earlier this week that Monken was a name worth keeping an eye on. Smart has likely talked to several potential candidates. The Bulldogs' fifth-year head coach is nothing if not thorough in his coaching searches. Monken was part of Freddie Kitchens' Cleveland Browns' staff last season. Kitchens, a former Alabama quarterback, handled playcalling duties for a team that finished 19th in the NFL in passing with Baker Mayfield under center. Monken called plays for the No.1 passing game in the NFL at Tampa Bay the year before. The 2018 Bucs averaged 320.3 yards through the air with quarterbacks Jameis Winton and Ryan Fitzpatrick combining to complete 65.3-percent of their passes. Monken's Tampa Bay offense set records for total yards, passing yards and passing touchdowns. He had interviews for the Jets and Packers head coach vacancies, according to Cleveland.com. PODCAST: Brandon Adams discusses Georgia staff vacancy But it is Monken's success at the collegiate level that could translate. Monken coached future first-round NFL draft picks JaMarcus Russell at LSU, and Brandon Weeden at Oklahoma State. Both Russell and Weeden ranked in the Top 10 nationally in passing efficiency under Monken's direction. That's a statistic consistent with Smart's model for offensive success. Smart has preached balance, wanting a run game he can rely on, but also efficiency and explosive plays via the air. Smart's Bulldogs bring back nine of 11 starters off a championship level defense that led the nation in fewest points per game allowed (12.60). The offense, however, is reloading. Wake Forest graduate transfer Jamie Newman has been added at quarterback to replace departed junior Jake Fromm. RELATED: Comparing Jamie Newman's 2019 stats to Jake Fromm Georgia's passing game ranked 72nd in the nation last season with 223 yards per game. The unit was strapped by the loss of the top five receivers from the season before and a rash of injuries at the position. Smart referred to it as a 'merry-go-round' receiver rotation, citing the challenge to establish any sort of consistency with different personnel on the field each week. Quincy Avery, Newman's QB trainer, shared that Newman has been told he'll be coming to an offense that throw the ball downfield 'outside the hashes.' And, while Newman has the ability to run, that will not be the focal point of the offense. RELATED: QB trainer hints at new direction of Georgia football offense James Coley was named the offensive coordinator last January, replacing Jm Chaney who left Georgia to become Tennessee's offensive coordinator. Coley maintained quarterback coaching duties in addition to taking over the playcalling duties. Monken has made it clear in the past that playcalling duties are important to him, so that would seem to be a potential tripping point. The Bulldogs also added former Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke to the staff to coach the offensive line in place of departed line coach Sam Pittman. The Georgia offense appeared to have a modified personality in the Sugar Bowl, passing on a pair of third-and-1 calls, and running the ball outside more often. It's hard to project how and where Monken would fit in the offensive meeting room if he ends up the choice. But Smart is a 'process' type of coach who doesn't need all the answers up front and has proven willing to let things play out over the long offseason. At the very least, Monken is the sort of hire that would turn heads. Smart has not provided any sort of timeline to fill the staff vacancy. The post Georgia football staff opening: A closer look at Todd Monken appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Broderick Jones is committed to Georgia, but is going to take his official visits. His first one will be this weekend to visit an old friend out in Arkansas. The nation's No. 2 OT (247Sports Composite ratings) has long maintained he was planning to take his officials. The long-time UGA commit (dating back to April of 2018) has not taken any of those yet. The time for those is now upon him. Those elements have wound up DawgNation's collective angst about whether or not the 5-star OT will remain a part of the 2020 class. Jones remains committed to UGA, but chose not to sign during the early period back in December. Jones made his feelings clear about UGA at the Under Armour All-American Game last month . When gathering up his feelings on the matter last night at the Touchdown Club of Atlanta's annual awards banquet, not much had changed. He did recently swap out a Tennessee official set for this weekend for a chance to see a familiar face in Sam Pittman, but that made theheadlines 10 days ago . What has changed? That's the NCAA recruiting calendar. The shroud of the NCAA-mandated 'dead period' has lifted. That means recruiters are allowed to come visit Jones off-campus. They are most definitely coming to check out the nation's No. 2 OT and No. 19 overall prospect. The 6-foot-6, 288-pounder looked fit and trim last night at the Touchdown Club of Atlanta Awards banquet. It continues to mystify those who see his physique and athletic build for the first time. The common reaction is to wonder how is it possible for a frame like that to carry close to 300 pounds. Broderick Jones: The rapid-fire things to know here He knows he will see two coaching staffs on Friday. At least. 'I know Georgia and Auburn are coming,' he said. 'For sure.' It will be a trio of Georgia coaches. It will likely be a school visit. But he expects to see new player development director Jonas Jennings, O-line coach Matt Luke and running backs coach Dell McGee. The fact that Jennings will be on the road is made possible by the fact Georgia hasn't filled its remaining coaching slot after special teams coach Scott Fountain moved on to take on a similar role at Arkansas. 'He really interacts with the people and the players there well,' Jones said of Jennings. 'Keeping them on track. Giving them the real life deal and then the reel life spiel. I really like that about him.' But in this case, this might be to Georgia's benefit. Jennings has long been one of the program's greatest recruiting strengths. He's just able to do it on the road during this instance. The Lithonia High senior was able to quickly rattle off that Jennings, Luke and McGee would be paying him a visit.He also knew he was likely to receive a visit from Auburn, but he couldn't for sure specify who that would be. 'I really don't know yet,' Jones said last night. 'I just know that someone is coming from Auburn.' He didn't know if new offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. or tight ends coach Larry Porter would be in that group. Bicknell actually served with Luke last season as the offensive line coach at Ole Miss. His best guess was Porter would likely be in that group. Porter has long been the one coach on the Auburn staff he has the best rapport with. Here are a few more things of interest regarding his next few weeks: The Arkansas official visit is set to begin on Saturday. 'The first official visit will set the tone for me here,' Jones said. 'I will get to see what the school is all about. I really don't know much about the school. I'm just trying to get in, see what the school is all about, see the programs and see about all of their academic offerings.' He is now thinking of squeezing in a fourth mid-week official. He wasn't sure of the school which was likely to get a potential fourth official this month, but did say Tennessee was still in the running. The fact he will take his official visit to UGA with the program's other elite unsigned O-line commit (Sedrick Van Pran-Granger) was not planned on his account. 'I actually didn't know that,' Jones said on Thursday night. 'I actually didn't know he was coming the same weekend as me.' Georgia OT signee Tate Ratledge told Jones last night he would be there that weekend, too. His thought on his officials: 'My officials are coming up very soon. I'm really excited to see what they have in store for me, to see how all of that goes and then I will be ready for all of it to be done.' There are a couple of other schools in mind for that fourth official visit The order remains the same; 1) Arkansas this weekend; 2) Georgia next weekend; 3) Auburn Broderick Jones: Under Armour week left a big impression Jones was usually hanging around the Georgia signees at the Under Armour game week in Orlando at the first of the month. When he did, there was usually a big smile on his face. Darnell Washington would announce he had signed with Georgia. Warren Brinson, Jalen Carter, Chad Lindberg, Marcus Rosemy, Mekhail Sherman and Arian Smith were all there as Georgia signees, too. Sedrick Van Pran-Granger, the other O-line commit who chose not to sign during the early period, was also there. 'It was just a great experience,' Jones said. 'The total aspect of how you were able to go against and go with some of the top players in the nation and get that top coaching and build bonds with those guys. It was just an amazing experience.' He appeared to be especially close with Washington. The 5-star TE signee left a word in his ear about how much he wanted him to remain at Georgia with him. 'He threatened me a little bit,' Jones said while laughing. 'But you know it is really all a joke. It is really all a game. You know he has a good personality and he is really a good dude and a great father. That's somebody that I can see myself playing with the next three or four years.' The biggest pull to stick with Georgia? Well, it was still a lot of things. 'The coaches and the coaching staff,' he said. 'You know they have a great coaching staff and a great program. They have established a great program and they have a great brand name. It its just all-around great. Close to home. My family being able to come to the games is a big factor. Being able to stay close to home is a big factor for me here, too.' He is aware that Georgia no longer has Andrew Thomas, Isaiah Wilson and Cade Mays in the program. Those were the three best offensive tackles on the Georgia roster for the 2019 season. 'Being able to go in during the spring and work my hardest and do what I know I am capable of doing will be big,' Jones said. 'Get faster. Get stronger. Get more physical. Learn more techniques and I feel like I will be alright.' The 5-star prospect said he feels he will be able to play right away as a freshman. 'Yes, sir,' he said. 'As long as I go in and put the work in I will be able to get it done.' Jones will not be able to enroll early. But he was describing there how he planned to visit the school he signs with during the spring as he transitions to playing early on the college level. He is currently in the midst of averaging a double-double each night for a state title contending Lithonia High basketball team which was ranked No. 1 in Georgia Class 5A earlier this year. The post Broderick Jones: How does the 5-star feel about UGA as his officials are set to begin? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football coach Kirby Smart didn't spend much time basking in the glory of the 26-14 Sugar Bowl victory over Baylor in New Orleans earlier this month. In fact, Smart had already turned the page to the 2020 season before he finished his postgame press conference. RELATED: Rapid reload, a look at returning offensive players The 2019 Bulldogs finished 12-2 and ranked No. 4, but Smart had one eye on the future throughout bowl preparation. 'T he future's only bright if those guys continue to work . ,' Smart said on Jan. 1. 'They'll only be as good as they can be if they stay as hungry as they are.' Rising senior Justin Shaffer, one of Georgia's projected offensive line starters, announced on Twitter on Thursday night that he's ready to eat, as the players say about their workouts. Got cleared ready to get back to the grind Justin Shaffer (@ShafferJustin54) January 16, 2020 Shaffer started two games last season at left guard, taking over for Solomon Kindley after the former Georgia player suffered a sprained ankle in the 23-16 win over Notre Dame last September. Shaffer, however, missed the last eight games of the season after suffering a sprained neck. Junior center Trey Hill and right guard Ben Cleveland are the two most experienced starters returning. The Bulldogs bring back 5 of 11 offensive starters from the Sugar Bowl game, and 9 of 11 from that game's starting defense. The quarterback situation will get the lion's share of the offseason attention by the nature of the position. But with Wake Forest graduate transfer Jamie Newman on board, along with redshirt freshman D'Wan Mathis, true freshman Carson Beck and redshirt junior Stetson Bennett, UGA has capable options. RELATED: UGA beefs up tight end room with FSU transfer Tre Mckitty The offensive line, meanwhile, appears to be more of a work in progress for new assistant coach Matt Luke. The line likely starts with Hill a center, Newman at left guard and Cleveland at right guard. Sophomore Jamaree Salyer had an excellent Sugar Bowl performance and is expected to have the inside track on the right tackle position entering spring drills. The left tackle position is one to watch after Cade Mays' surprising decision to leave Georgia and return to his hometown of Knoxville and play for Tennessee. Redshirt freshman Xavier Truss is a contender to start, but recruit Broderick Jones would also be competing to start immediately provided he signs with Georgia in February. RELATED: How UGA O-Line could look with Cade Mays in portal The Bulldogs will likely start spring drills after spring break (March 9-13). The annual G-Day Game is typically around the third week in April, but no official announcements have been made at the time of this writing. The post Georgia football projected starting lineman cleared to return from injury appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Quarterback Chase Brice is all about focusing on what he can control, and where he takes his next snap is next up on that agenda Brice, who won a state championship at Grayson High School in Georgia in 2016, announced on Twitter he's leaving Clemson after graduating from the South Carolina school in May. Brice will have two years of eligibility remaining. The 6-foot-2, 230-pounder played in 13 of 14 games this season, completing 50 of 85 passes for 581 yards with four touchdowns. He also had 14 carries for 94 yards and a touchdown in the 209 snaps he played. Brice's most notable performance was last season, when he came off the bench with Trevor Lawrence injured against Syracuse. With the Tigers down, Brice directed a 94-yard drive that culminated with the game-winning TD in the final minute, keeping the Tigers undefeated en route to the College Football Playoff championship. Brice recently Tweeted a picture of himself from his early youth wearing a Georgia football jersey, triggering speculation earlier this week. The tweet was subsequently taken down, but not before Bulldogs' fans took note and discussion ensued. PODCAST: DawgNation Daily host Brandon Adams discusses Chase Brice Brice sat down with DawgNation for a one-on-one interview during the College Football Playoff Media Day last Saturday at New Orleans' Xavier University He shared that, in addition to Clemson, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest were the schools that recruited him most heavily. Brice was rated as a 3-star prospect at Grayson, the No. 17 Pro Style QB in the nation before 247Sports, and No. 393 player overall. Brice explained that he wasn't 'really' recruited by Georgia as a high school prospect. 'We did a couple of 7-on-7 camps there, but I don't think I ever camped (there), maybe when I was real young, like a little kids' camp, but that would be about it,' Brice said. 'When I was coming up, Coach (Mike) Bobo was there my sophomore year, and then it was Coach Schottenheimer who was next after that. 'I think they were getting Bailey (Hockman), then he-decommitted, and then they got Jake (Fromm). After that I didn't really get recruited.' Brice said he made the best decision he could have made as an 18-year-old recruit choosing Clemson, and had nothing but great things to say about his coaches and teammates. But, Brice said, he does have visions of playing in the NFL. 'I try to focus on what I can control now, and the things I can't control are down the road,' Brice said Saturday, two days before Clemson's CFP Championship Game against LSU. 'What I can control are my decisions, how I prepare, my attitude and things like that, that I know will help lead me to the next level. 'You just have to be ready, you just to have know that you are ready.' Brice is ready to take the next step, and he'll be in control of when that decision is made and where it leads him. Chase Brice, Jan. 11, 2019 DawgNation in New Orleans SEC experts agree, Georgia has the 'Jimmys and the Joes' Georgia legend Herschel Walker voted No. 2 All-Time CFB player Mark Richt analyzes Jamie Newman, Georgia football LSU DC Dave Aranda reveals UGA offensive game plan Clemson DC & safety provide scouting report on Jamie Newman Azeez Ojulari one of four SEC Players named Freshman All-American Herschel Walker inaugural Freshman Legend winner, more than about football' Numbers game: Comparing Jamie Newman to Jake Fromm Mark Richt shares scouting report on TE Tre' Mckitty Holly Rowe explains tearful moment with Jake Fromm The post WATCH: Former Georgia QB prep star Chase Brice leaving Clemson, discusses UGA 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 DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss coach Kirby Smart's quest to return the Bulldogs to the top of the SEC. On episode No. 1,111 (Jan. 16, 2020) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about what former UGA offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson told NFL.com about why he skipped the Sugar Bowl. Georgia football podcast: Former UGA star mentions personal reason for missing Sugar Bowl Beginning of the show: Former Georgia right tackle Isaiah Wilson was one of several UGA players to skip the Sugar Bowl, and Wilson recently offered a candid explanation to NFL.com about his absence. I'll discuss what Wilson said on today's show, and address what could be next for Bulldogs wide receiver George Pickens after a breakout performance vs. Baylor. 10-minute mark: I break down a crucial decision facing UGA with its 2021 class: Whether to focus its efforts on five-star quarterback Brock Vandagriff or Caleb Williams. 15-minute mark: Former UGA wide receiver Terrence Edwards joins the show. Some of the topics covered include Terrence's thoughts on Pickens A preview of the impact the Bulldogs incoming freshman wide receivers can make including Marcus Rosemy, Arian Smith, Justin Robinson and Jermaine Burton And Reaction to quarterback Jamie Newman and tight end Tre McKitty's transferring to UGA 30-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including continued fallout from former LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. apparently paying some Tigers players on the field after the national championship game. I also share thoughts on the flood of juniors announcing their NFL draft decisions, react to South Carolina hiring former quarterback Connor Shaw in an off-field capacity and mention an exciting night of SEC basketball upsets. 35-minute mark: I share audio of Anthony 'Antman' Edwards discussing UGA's basketball win vs. Tennessee. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: Former UGA star mentions personal reason for missing Sugar Bowl appeared first on DawgNation.

Georgia Sports News

  • BOGART, Ga. The first read to begin an update on all things Brock Vandagriff has to come out hard and fast. That's how he plays the quarterback position. This one certainly will. It will try to mirror how 5-star QB gets rid of the ball for his Prince Avenue Christian team. Decisive. Hit a read. The right read. Move the chains. Go. Vandagriff will be at Georgia on Saturday for an important 'Junior Day' visit. He said he is only mainly considering Auburn, Georgia and South Carolina at this time. He has only set up a visit to check out UGA this weekend so far. The now 6-foot-3, 205-pound junior shared a very mature outlook on why he de-committed from Oklahoma and how it will shape his decision going forward. 'My Dad and I talked and stuff,' Brock Vandagriff said. 'We're kind of sacrificing the best fit for me for other things which are priorities now.' He doesn't have an opinion, or at least a firm one, on new offensive coordinator hire Todd Monken just yet. That comes tomorrow. 'Not yet,' he said. 'Going to meet him tomorrow and talk ball.' Don't expect him to take a long and very drawn-out recruiting process. H'll can his options. Make the right read and go. 'I like the process being over with,' he said. 'So I am going to get this process over with once I make a decision.' He thinks he will be committed by March. That's how fast this thing can go. 'Maybe in the next month or two,' he said. What will this weekend's visit be about? 'Mainly seeing who I would play with if I went there,' Vandagriff said. 'I'm familiar with the coaches. Familiar with the facilities. Nothing has changed since the last time I have been there. Probably just getting to know the players more and the guys I would be playing with.' Georgia has a strong chance here as the true 'home' team. 'I think that Georgia has like the top priority and if everything fits at Georgia and if it goes how I expect it to go then I think I will probably not visit anywhere else,' he said. He says not to expect a quick-trigger decision. Not even with the greatest 'Junior Day' unofficial visit of all time. 'I don't think I would commit this weekend,' he said in reference to that potential feeling. 'Because I would go home and just pray about it. I wouldn't make an impulse decision but I wouldn't wait much longer.' Brock Vandagriff: The things that really matter here His de-commitment took place on Jan. 1. When he made that move, he cited that location was a big factor. That was what was included in the tweet. What he didn't include was the timing of it all. Vandgriff, like all of us, loaded up the family car and headed off to a grandparent's house. His family's roots, especially on his mom's side, are in rural Alabama. The family feels started tugging on him at Thanksgiving. Then again at Christmas. He had already been thinking about it for two months. Praying about it. 'Then we were at the dinner table with every family member in Alabama,' Brock Vandagriff said. 'The great grandparents. Grandparents. Aunts. Uncles. Stuff like that. I don't know how we got to talking about it. I didn't say anything about it. I guess it was just the Lord's timing.' Somebody said: 'Man, Oklahoma is far away.' He couldn't help but nod his head to that one. 'I couldn't go to sleep that night,' Vandagriff said. 'I was thinking about it. I was like I got to stay closer to home' so the people I love can be able to watch me and I can still go to hunt in Alabama on the weekends. This just really seems natural. 'Like just earlier this year the main thing my Dad and I had talked about was system and a fit system,' he said. Hello Oklahoma. See Jalen Hurts. See Kyler Murray. See Baker Mayfield. And so on. 'I would say that's not the main thing anymore,' he said. 'The main thing is trying to be the best player that I can be regardless of the system and just being like close to the family has been like, become, well, it has really burst onto the scene as important to me.' It is 13.8 miles from Sanford Stadium to his neat and tidy high school locker. It is 913 miles from that same locker to Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memory Stadium. The trip in the family truckster to Norman is only 13 hours longer by car than the Athens commute. 'Spending time in other states is not for me,' he said. 'I like to travel. I like to stay near home. I want people near me to come watch me and stuff like that to happen.' The 247Sports Composite ratings place the homegrown talent as the nation's No. 1 pro-style QB and No. 9 overall prospect for the 2021 class. He's the top player in Georgia, too. Seems like he'd be the ideal visitor for any 'Junior Day' event this weekend, right? That's what those rankings services say. What kind of quarterback does HE think he is? 'I think I am just another quarterback who is a pocket passer who just likes to win,' Vandagriff said. Brock Vandagriff: Let's tee up that pro-style QB thing Those are the fast and quick reads. But it was tempting to open things up with the way he has what his teammates might call a mullet ready to flow out from underneath his helmet. Vandagriff favors that look. Even though he must get very precise with it to make sure it adheres to all PACS and team regulations. That's why he keeps his hair is neat and tight on the sides and those locks don't touch his collar (especially when he straightens up) in the back. There's also the part about this pro-style QB thing here. That's .. interesting. But definitely not an all-encompassing label. That title is reserved for the guys who aren't really escape or extend-the-play guy with their feet. Vandagriff has had a season in which he caught 34 passes at wide receiver in high school. He's also had a season in which he ran for 7.3 yards per carry on the way to 1,001 yards. But now he's also had a season in which he threw for 3,190 yards. The juniorhas also been timed at 4.69 seconds on a laser in the 40-yard dash. Is that a pro-style QB? A dual-threat? A triple-threat? He spent his entire freshman year at Prince Avenue at receiver. He wasn't the quarterback for that team, but added 34 catches for 472 yards and four touchdowns. The 5-star QB for 20201 was the No. 2 WR for his Wolverines in 2017. Pretty odd, right? But that makes sense to those who saw him punt and kick for the Wolverines during his middle school days. The clips still exist with Vandagriff kicking the ball deep and then flying downfield to be the first man to make the tackle on the kickoff. Every kickoff his sophomore year went out of the end zone. Could probably punt in college in he couldn't throw the ball a lick. He's also very strong. The 205-pound QB can already power clean 290 pounds. He's still the punter for Prince Avenue. Still can probably boom touchbacks on the regular with that leg of his. But those days are likely behind him now. Kind of like that flowing hair that creeps out of the side of his helmet. With that introduction, let's chronicle his first pass as a high school player. It came during that 2017 season. Vandagriff was lined up wide right at receiver. He came across to the other side of the field on a jet sweep. He stopped. His heart was skipping beats. He swallowed his nerves and let loose a pass running to his left and throwing with his right arm off a jet sweep. The ball sailed 38-and-a-half yards in the air. It hit the team's top receiver in stride for a catch-and-run touchdown. Of course it was a touchdown. It had to be. 'It was the first game of the season and we'd been stressing this defensive end the whole week,' Vandagriff said. 'If we run this play we are going to run away from this guy.' The Wolverines lined up. Called the play. But Aquinas had flipped its ends. The look to the sideline was to the head coach. Greg Vandagriff, his father, told them to run the play regardless. 'I get the ball and he's coming up and I kind of launch it,' Brock Vandagriff said. 'We had an awesome junior receiver Christian Parrish and he ran right under it for a touchdown.' If he had to critique that throw, his evaluation would not be kind. 'I think the throw distance was good but the mechanics were kind of off,' he said. 'I was kind of worrying for my life there on the sideline.' With the ball in his hands now, he's not worried. The opposing defensive coordinators are. He would go on to throw many more passes from there. He threw for 267 yards and two scores as a freshman, followed by 3,190 more yards and 28 touchdowns as a sophomore and then 2471 yards and 31 scores in just eight games as a junior. Vandagriff completed 72 percent of his passes as a junior, but then added 1,001 rushing yards and 23 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2018. Pro-style? Dual-threat? It seems the line is blurred here. Greg Vandagriff, his father, doesn't care about the rushing totals anymore for the 5-star who sits at his dinner table. Those carries just add up to hits for Vandagriff. Chances for him to leave the game. That's what the other team wants. 'I wouldn't say I'm just like a strict pro-style passer but I mean that's what I try to be,' Brock Vandagriff said. 'I don't try to be the dual-threat guy because I know I'm not going to be outrunning people at the next level and stuff like that. Being able to work on some things in the pocket in high school is helping me mature as a player. That's because I don't do the things in high school that I am not going to be doing at the next level.' 'I wouldn't say I am a pure pocket passer but I wouldn't say I am a dual-threat,' Vandagriff said. 'I do run when I have to but it is not fifty-fifty.' His father started out as a defensive guy in his coaching career. That has been an asset. Even if he did draw it up backwards in the eyes of his son. He taught Brock how to read defenses and read coverages at an early age. He knows what the other side is always thinking and trying to do. Ron Veal, who also trained Trevor Lawrence, has worked with him and his father over the last few years. 'He's a great dude and an older male figure in my life,' Brock Vandagriff said. 'I look up to him and I'm glad that I have someone else I can ask questions about. Ron's taught my dad some stuff as well and all three of us have matured in our understanding of the quarterback position.' The post Brock Vandagriff: The skinny on a big Georgia 'Junior Day' visit this weekend appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia has a new offensive coordinator in Todd Monken, as the school officially announced his hiring on Friday. So what does that mean for James Coley, Georgia's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the 2019 season? Georgia released a statement on that matter as well, saying he will remain on the staff and serve as an assistant head coach. There was no further specification of Coley's role and what that might be. Monken was only announced as the offensive coordinator. Coley has been on Kirby Smart's staff since he first arrived at Georgia. He began as a wide receivers coach and worked his way up to the offensive coordinator position for this past season. But the Georgia offense struggled in 2019, as the Bulldogs finished 49th in scoring offense and 46th in yards per play. Not all of that falls on Coley, as there were issues at the wide receiver position as well as injuries throughout the offensive line. Coley spoke with the media prior to Georgia's Sugar Bowl win over Baylor and did take responsibility for the offensive issues in 2019. 'You know what? I've got to do a better job, first and foremost, starts with me, right?' Coley said. 'So I'm looking at myself hard and criticizing myself and busting my tail to get that end better.' Related: Georgia coordinator James Coley reveals offensive issues, assesses Jake Fromm In addition to his work on the offensive side of the ball, Coley also has an excellent reputation for recruiting in South Florida, as the Bulldogs have landed the likes of Marcus Rosemy, Tyson Campbell and Tyrique Stevenson in recent recruiting classes. Coley also played a significant role in landing graduate transfer quarterback Jamie Newman for Georgia. Newman spent last season at Wake Forest, where he threw for 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions while rushing for six touchdowns. Keeping Coley on staff would be a big win for the Bulldogs, given he is also the lead recruiter for 5-star quarterbacks Brock Vandagriff and Caleb Williams in the 2021 cycle. Vandagriff will be visiting Georgia this weekend, while Williams praised Coley at the Under Armour All-American game. 'They want me to be the guy. They want me to come in. They are all in,' Williams said. 'I actually talked to Coach Coley about two days ago maybe. We talked. It wasn't just about ball. It was just us talking. I have a good relationship with Coach Coley. They did tell me that they are all in and they want me to be a Dawg.' Related: What Georgia football does at quarterback in 2021 recruiting cycle will speak loudly about program's future With Monken on the staff, Georgia could have a coaching structure similar to what LSU had this past season with Joe Brady and Steve Ensminger. Like Monken, Brady came from the NFL level and provided a great boost to LSU offense. Ensminger drew great reviews for his willingness to share the spotlight with Brady, who is now the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers. Georgia also issued a statement on Monken and what he will bring to the Bulldogs. 'We are excited to add Todd to our staff,' Smart said.'He has a history of establishing explosive offenses at each and every stop in his impressive career in both the National Football League and at major college football programs.' More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Kirk Herbstreit, national media praise Georgia football addition of Todd Monken Georgia football staff opening: A closer look at Todd Monken Georgia football projected starting lineman cleared to return from injury WATCH: Former Georgia QB prep star Chase Brice leaving Clemson, discusses UGA ESPN names 2 Georgia football standouts to All-Bowl Team Anthony Edwards and Georgia basketball put squeeze on Tennessee, 80-63 Mark Richt, Florida State DC give scout on new Georgia TE Tre' Mckitty The post Georgia football updates status of James Coley after hiring of Todd Monken as offensive coordinator appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHEN Georgia announced the hiring of Todd Monken to the Bulldogs staff on Friday, assigning him the role of offensive coordinator. It's a hiring that will resonate from coast to coast, and yet another example of Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart pushing to program even after finishing No. 4 in the nation in 2019. Former offensive coordinator James Coley will remain on staff and serve assistant head coach, according to a UGA release. 'We are excited to add Todd to our staff,' Smart said in the release. 'He has a history of establishing explosive offenses at each and every stop in his impressive career in both the National Football League and at major college football programs.' Monken spent last season as the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, helping to scheme for an offense that produced the NFL's No. 2 rusher, former UGA star Nick Chubb. The season before, the 53-year-old Monken was calling plays for the NFL's most prolific passing offense in Tampa Bay. The Bucs set franchise records for passing yards, passing touchdowns and total yards with Monken serving as offensive coordinator. Georgia also added former Ole Miss head coach and offensive coordinator Matt Luke in December to serve as UGA's line coach. Luke has offensive coordinator experience, as well. It figures to be a crowded offensive coaches' room barring any more staff changes. But 2019 College Football Playoff champion LSU may have created a mold last season that Smart hopes to emulate. The Bayou Bengals most notably paired former Penn State and New Orleans Saints assistant Joe Brady with veteran quarterbacks coach Steve Ensminger last January. Brady, with the title of passing game coordinator and receivers coach, was credited as the architect for the pass-first scheme LSU matched to its personnel. The veteran Ensminger was the QB coach, offensive coordinator and called the plays. The Tigers results spoke loudly, with quarterback Joe Burrow producing record numbers as LSU marched to an undefeated season at CFP Championship Game win over Clemson. Smart isn't likely to rely on the pass as much as LSU with Georgia having to replace departed junior Jake Fromm, and a reloading situation at receiver. 'W e want to score points,' Smart said last December, asked about changing the offensive philosophy. 'You guys want a simple answer like it's just going to poof and happen. . It's a lot of things that goes into having a successful offense and we need to be better.' In addition to adding Wake Forest graduate transfer quarterback Jamie Newman the No. 3 rated returning QB, per Pro Football Focus he Bulldogs have TE grad transfer Tre' Mckitty arriving in June from Florida State. Smart doesn't figure to be done yet with impact players, with National Signing Day just around the corner (Feb. 5) and more players available in the NCAA transfer portal. Hiring an offensive guru like Monken sends a message to those potential recruits that the Bulldogs' offense looks to be on the upswing. The post Georgia football hires Todd Monken as new offensive coordinator appeared first on DawgNation.
  • After the 2019 season saw Georgia football finish 49th in the country in scoring offense, it was clear something had to change with the Georgia offense. And it's safe to say the Bulldogs have done that with the addition of Todd Monken. DawgNation can confirm he is set to join the program, though the specific role is not yet identified. Monken has spent the past three seasons as an NFL offensive coordinator. He worked with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two seasons before spending this past season with the Cleveland Browns. He did not call plays for the Browns, as Cleveland went 6-10 this past season and fired head coach Freddie Kitchens. Related: Georgia football expected to announce Air Raid' offensive expert Todd Monken joining staff Monken does have experience at the college level, as he served as the offensive coordinator for Oklahoma State in 2011 and '12. The Cowboys went 12-1 in '11, winnig the Fiesta Bowl and Big 12. He also served as the head coach at Southern Miss for three seasons, going 9-5 in his final year before jumping to the Buccaneers. The early returns on the move seem to be overwhelmingly positive. ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit had perhaps the strongest praise, calling the addition of Monken as well as Wake Forest graduate transfer quarterback Jamie Newman, 'exactly what Kirby and the Dawgs Offense needed.' Between Monken's approach and QB Jamie Newman coming over from WF-exactly what Kirby and the Dawgs Offense needed. https://t.co/KvzcCa4X9z Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) January 17, 2020 #Georgia is hiring Todd Monken as offensive coordinator, sources tell @Mark_Schlabach. This has been in the works for a while but is now happening. Monken has been #Browns OC. Important move for Kirby Smart and the Dawgs. #UGA Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) January 17, 2020 Good move https://t.co/JCYsKom1Y3 Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) January 17, 2020 Kirby Smart continues to push Georgia's offense in the right direction this offseason. Jamie Newman was a great pickup but he would not have succeeded in last year's offense based on what I've seen from him. Todd Monken's hire shows Smart willing to evolve his offense in 2020. SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) January 17, 2020 Tampa led the NFL in passing in 2018 w/ Todd Monken as OC. He inherited #112 scoring offense at Southern Miss, left them as #13 nationally. Okla St ranked #2 & #3 nationally in scoring under Monken. https://t.co/OWHshbUK5K SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) January 17, 2020 Georgia had to do something to provide a spark offensively. By adding Todd Monken to the staff on the heels of bringing in former Wake QB Jamie Newman I'd say they've accomplished that. https://t.co/FSG3jMsgjn Alex Scarborough (@AlexS_ESPN) January 17, 2020 None of us know what will be the results of Kirby Smart's hire of Todd Monken. But what it does show is Kirby Smart's willingness to change and evolve offensively. It's big for a man to admit mistakes and be willing to change. #InKirbyWeTrust Happy Hoyt (@brianhoyt24) January 17, 2020 I'm not unhappy with any coaching hire that puts a different offensive mindset in the room with Kirby and staff. Any way you look at it, Todd Monken's mindset has proven to be very different from Kirby's. #GoDawgs Jon Tweets Sports (@JonTweetsSports) January 17, 2020 Related: What Georgia's offense still needs after landing quarterback Jamie Newman It seems that the addition of Monken makes it clear Smart is willing to tweak his offense. Georgia had James Coley serve as the play-caller this past year, and according to ESPN's Mark Schlabach, Coley is expected to remain on the staff but in a new role. Georgia also added Matt Luke to the staff this offseason, as he replaced Sam Pittman as the offensive line coach. That means the Bulldogs will have two former college head coaches on Smart's staff next year, as Luke was the head coach at Ole Miss. This is a massive recruiting weekend for the Bulldogs, as they have a number of elite 2021 recruiting prospects in town. The most high-profile name is 5-star quarterback Brock Vandagriff. Landing him, or fellow 5-star quarterback Caleb Williams, would go a long way to helping the long-term health of the Georgia quarterback room. Related: What Georgia football does at quarterback in 2021 recruiting cycle will speak loudly about program's future As for stats about the last two offenses, Monken has worked on, Tampa Bay led the NFL in passing in 2018, while former Georgia Bulldog Nick Chubb ranked second in the NFL in rushing last year for the Browns. Monken though did not call plays for Cleveland last year. Georgia opens the 2020 season on Sept. 7 when Georgia takes on Virginia. More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Georgia football staff opening: A closer look at Todd Monken Georgia football projected starting lineman cleared to return from injury WATCH: Former Georgia QB prep star Chase Brice leaving Clemson, discusses UGA ESPN names 2 Georgia football standouts to All-Bowl Team Anthony Edwards and Georgia basketball put squeeze on Tennessee, 80-63 Mark Richt, Florida State DC give scout on new Georgia TE Tre' Mckitty The post Kirk Herbstreit, national media praise Georgia football addition of Todd Monken appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football is expected to announce the hiring of former NFL offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Monken, 53, directed the NFL's top passing offense while calling plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2018 before spending last season as the Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator. The 2018 Bucs averaged 320.3 yards through the air with quarterbacks Jameis Winton and Ryan Fitzpatrick combining to complete 65.3-percent of their passes. Monken's Tampa Bay offense set records for total yards, passing yards and passing touchdowns Monken, considered an expert in the 'Air Raid' style of offense, did not call plays with the Browns last season. 'Really what I took away from (the Air Raid) was being able to throw to win,'' Monken said after taking the Browns job last season in a Cleveland.com story. 'That really to me was the Air Raid. You had a certain amount of run game, you ran a lot of the same concepts and you could throw to win. That was really it. Like any offense, it works a lot better if you have good players.' Monken also said, 'I've always chosen places based on the people and the opportunity to win.' Georgia brings back 5 of 11 starters off an offense that beat Baylor 26-14 in the Sugar Bowl, including the game's MVP, receiver George Pickens. The Bulldogs have ushered in graduate transfer QB Jamie Newman from Wake Forest to take over for departed junior Jake Fromm. Georgia also brings back a trio of rising playmakers in the backfield, with Zamir White, Kenny McIntosh in James Cook all flashing electric moments last season. Monken obviously likes what he sees from the Georgia playmakers. Monken is well-traveled in both the pro and college ranks, starting his career as an assistant on a Division ll Grand Valley State staff (1989-90). He had notable stops on staffs at Oklahoma State with Mike Gundy (2002-04, 2011-12), and LSU with Les Miles (2005-06). Monken was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach when the Cowboys had Brandon Weeden and J.W. Walsh under center two of the top QBs in program history. Oklahoma State ranked second in the nation in passing offense in 2011, future first-round NFL draft pick Weeden ninth in the country in passing efficiency. The next season, Walsh ranked fourth in the nation in passing efficiency as a redshirt freshman who appeared in 10 games in 2012, the Cowboys seventh in the nation in passing yardage per game. At LSU, working with future first-round NFL pick JaMarcus Russell in 2006, Monken helped Russell finish tops among FBS Power 5 quarterbacks in passing efficiency (167.0), with 28 TDs and 8 interceptions. The post Georgia football expected to announce Air Raid' expert Todd Monken joining staff appeared first on DawgNation.