ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-day
81°
Mostly Cloudy
H 86° L 70°
  • clear-day
    81°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Cloudy. H 86° L 70°
  • cloudy-day
    71°
    Morning
    Mostly Cloudy. H 86° L 70°
  • cloudy-day
    82°
    Afternoon
    Cloudy. H 86° L 71°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Morning show on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

Home team on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The crossover on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

College
Georgia football: 5 offensive players poised to break out in 2018
Close

Georgia football: 5 offensive players poised to break out in 2018

Georgia football: 5 offensive players poised to break out in 2018

Georgia football: 5 offensive players poised to break out in 2018

Georgia football-Riley Ridley-Isaac Nauta-breakout players

Welcome to Good Day, UGA, your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, basketball and more.

5 Bulldogs who could break out on offense

Compared to the defense, Georgia’s offense heads into the 2018 season relatively unscathed from departures.

Although the Dawgs lost Nick Chubb and Sony Michel at tailback, they should be improved at every other position on offense. And there are plenty of talented Dawgs on the verge of a breakout campaign.

Here are five Bulldogs ready to make a difference.

  • Riley Ridley, wide receiver: Ridley had a solid freshman outing in 2016, hauling in 12 catches for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns. That production dropped steeply his sophomore season with just 8 catches for 136 yards and 2 touchdowns. But in the National Championship Game, he rose to the occasion with 6 catches for 82 yards. If he can continue that connection with Jake Fromm this season, he could make a play to become UGA’s top receiver.
  • Ben Cleveland, right guard:  Cleveland beat out Solomon Kindley and was fantastic in a run of five starts at right guard to end last season. Although I think he’ll play out his UGA career at guard, he could see work at right tackle if one of the talented freshman guards steps up and the coaches believe Cleveland is a cut above Isaiah Wilson and Cade Mays, at least for now.
  • Elijah Holyfield, tailback: Holyfield has done some serious bulking up recently and appears to be in line to become Georgia’s No. 2 back behind D’Andre Swift. Based on how Georgia has used its tailbacks the past few years, that’s as good as a starting job at some schools. But he’ll have to hold off fellow junior Brian Herrien, as well as freshmen Zamir White and James Cook to hold on to the gig.
  • Isaac Nauta, tight end: In 2016, Nauta looked like a future star, hauling in 29 catches for 361 yards and 3 touchdowns. Then, Georgia decided to stop throwing to tight ends and his production dropped to 9 catches for 114 yards and 2 touchdowns. But with a greater emphasis on the passing game potentially in the cards this season, Nauta could once again take on a larger role in the offense and finally turn into the star that was expected from him last season.
  • Ahkil Crumpton, wide receiver: Crumpton had a quiet 2017 — 5 catches, 95 yards and 1 TD — but it’s difficult to expect too much from a JUCO transfer who joined the team only a few weeks before the season began. But he did use those few opportunities to prove he can be an explosive playmaker, because 78 of those yards and that TD came on the same play against Georgia Tech and he had another big play at G-Day. That’s a small sample size, but now that he has a year in the offense, I think Crumpton could be one of the most explosive players on the team, if his number is called more often.

MORE: Want this roundup in your inbox every morning? Sign up here!

Diamond Dogs end regular season on high

This has been a resurgent season for Georgia baseball (37-17 overall, 18-12 SEC) and it ended with the No. 13 Diamond Dawgs beating No. 6 Arkansas two games to one in a three-game series at Foley Field. And they clinched the series in thrilling fashion, with a 3-2 win Saturday as Keegan McGovern gunned down Arkansas outfielder Dominic Fletcher at home on a potential sacrifice fly that would have tied the game.

I can’t think of few more exciting ways to head into the postseason than with a play like this.

Now the focus turns to the SEC Tournament, which commences this week in Hoover, Ala. Georgia holds the No. 3 seed and will open the tourney Wednesday, May 23 at 10:30 a.m ET against the winner of the first-round game between 11th-seeded Texas A&M and sixth-seeded Vanderbilt. The game will be shown live on SEC Network.

Georgia softball to host Tennessee in Athens Super Regional

While Georgia baseball is about to start its postseason run, Georgia softball is in the middle of a run of its own.

The Bulldogs went 3-0 in the NCAA Athens Regional over the weeken, beating Harvard once and Northwestern twice to advance to the Athens Super Regional. They’ll meet a familiar foe this weekend, with SEC East rival Tennessee coming to Athens for a best-of-three series for a place in the Women’s College World Series. The super regional starts Thursday.

Tom Crean hires 2 staff members

It was a busy weekend for Tom Crean as the new Georgia men’s basketball coach put the finishing touches to his staff by hiring his third and final assistant as well as a new support staffer.

Amir Abdur-Rahim will join Chad Dollar and Joe Scott as Crean’s assistants. Abdur-Rahim has strong ties to the state of Georgia. He’s a graduate of Wheeler High School in Marietta and also coached at Georgia Tech for a spell. He also has SEC experience, spending the last four seasons as an assistant at Texas A&M. And if his name sounds familiar, you probably know his brother, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, a former member of the Atlanta Hawks and an NBA All-Star.

“Amir has proven himself to be an outstanding basketball coach with the drive and knowledge to help develop players, game plans and overall scope of the programs he has worked in,” Crean said in a statement. “His ability to recruit is shown in his energy, dogged determination and relationship building. His knowledge of the SEC and ability to work with our big men will provide immediate help.”

Crean also added Jake Thelen to his staff as the director of basketball operations. Thelen worked for Crean at Indiana as a graduate assistant before heading back to his alma mater, Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., as an assistant coach last season after Crean was fired by the Hoosiers.

Odds & Ends

Dawgs on Twitter

Good dog

Miss a previous edition of Good Day, UGA? Get caught up here.

The post Georgia football: 5 offensive players poised to break out in 2018 appeared first on DawgNation.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

Georgia Sports News

  • ATLANTA (AP) - Josef Martinez scored his 27th goal to tie the MLS season record and help Atlanta United beat the Columbus Crew 3-1 on Sunday. Julian Gressel set up Martinez's scoring opportunity with a steal in the Crew's half of the field. He passed it up to Martinez, who broke down a pair of defenders before finishing with his left foot from the top of the penalty area in the 31st minute. With nine games left in the regular season, Martinez matched Roy Lassiter (1996), Chris Wondolowski (2012) and Bradley Wright-Phillips (2014) for the season record. Hector Villalba scored in the 76th minute to give Atlanta (15-4-6) a 2-1 lead, driving in from midfield and cutting a left-footed shot back into the right corner. Martinez laid it off to Miguel Almiron, who finished from the top of the penalty arc to cap the scoring in the 82nd minute. Gyasi Zardes tied it at 1 with a one-hopper from 25 yards out in the 50th minute for the Crew (11-8-6).
  • ATLANTA (AP) - DJ LeMahieu and the Colorado Rockies are quite comfortable on the road. Even against baseball's best teams. LeMahieu homered, German Marquez pitched seven solid innings and the Rockies closed out their first four-game sweep in Atlanta with a 4-2 victory over the Braves on Sunday. Colorado improved to 30-16 since June 26, and each of those 46 games came against teams with winning records at the time. The Rockies are 8-2 in their last 10 games against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston and Atlanta, facing the Astros and Braves on the road. 'Yeah, it's tough teams but we're definitely not nervous or scared to play anyone with our team,' LeMahieu said. 'We all know we have a really good team here. It makes it easy to show up at the park.' LeMahieu put Colorado in front with his third-inning drive to left field . He has hit nine of his 11 homers on the road, including a tiebreaking solo shot in the 10th inning of Saturday night's 5-3 win. 'No explanation,' LeMahieu said when asked about his road success. 'Just kind of random, I guess.' Rockies manager Bud Black said his team, battling Arizona for the NL West lead, is playing 'good, all-around clean baseball,' but still can hit better. Atlanta's four straight losses, tied for its longest streak of the season, followed a five-game winning streak. 'In this business, every time you think you have something figured out, you get kicked right in the teeth,' Braves manager Brian Snitker said. Marquez (11-9) won his fourth straight road decision. He allowed two runs and five hits, struck out five and walked one. 'Hopefully we can keep this rolling all the way to the World Series,' Marquez said through a translator. Marquez allowed a run in the first when Freddie Freeman doubled and scored on Johan Camargo's single. He then threw four straight scoreless innings before Camargo's single in the sixth drove in Freeman again. Trevor Story led off the second with a tying homer off Atlanta's Anibal Sanchez (6-4) into the Colorado bullpen behind the left-field wall. Following LeMahieu's homer in the third, David Dahl doubled and scored on Nolan Arenado's single. Sanchez struck out eight in 6 2/3 innings. He was charged with three runs and five hits. Wade Davis gave up a one-out single to Inciarte but had three strikeouts in the ninth for his NL-leading 35th save. Colorado's only previous sweep in Atlanta was a three-game series from Sept. 12-14, 1997. TRAINER'S ROOM Rockies: LHP Mike Dunn (left shoulder inflammation) will begin a rehab assignment on Tuesday with Triple-A Albuquerque. He has been out since July 7. 'It's going to be a lengthy rehab assignment,' Black said, adding Dunn will need 'multiple outings.' Braves: LHP Sam Freeman (left shoulder inflammation) was activated off the 10-day disabled list. LHP Kolby Allard was optioned to Triple-A Gwinnett. STREAKS END Braves rookie Ronald Acuna Jr. was 0 for 4, ending his 11-game hitting streak. His team-record streak of reaching safely in nine consecutive plate appearances leading off a game also ended with his fly ball to center in the first. WEST WOES The Braves fell to 9-18 against the NL West this season. They are 40-19 against NL East teams. ROAD KINGS The Rockies improved to 37-29 away from Coors Field. They have won their last four series in Atlanta; the Braves won two of three in Colorado from April 6-8. UP NEXT Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson (6-5, 4.39 ERA) tries to bounce from a rough outing at Houston when he gets the ball in the opener of a three-game series against visiting San Diego on Tuesday night. The Rockies are 16-5 at home since July 2. Braves: RHP Kevin Gausman (7-9, 4.22 ERA) starts when Atlanta opens a seven-game road trip at Pittsburgh on Monday night. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • ATHENS — An injury was the lead story coming out of Georgia’s second scrimmage, and the rest of the attention went to Kirby Smart’s displeasure with his quarterbacks. Meanwhile, questions persist about an unproven Bulldogs’ defense that’s trying to replace seven departed starters, including SEC Defensive Player of the Year Roquan Smith. It’s fair to say the most legitimate area of concern is the interior defensive line and the inside linebacker positions, particularly against the run. Smart and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker identified both of those areas this fall, most recently after the first scrimmage on Aug 11. The head coach still doesn’t sound convinced Georgia is adequate in that area. “I don’t know if we tested it enough, you know what I mean? The intent of today was ….   we wanted to throw the ball, get some timing,” Smart said, asked Saturday if the front seven had shown improvement. “Less what I call 11-on-11 car pile ups, you know what I mean. Less bodies on bodies because we did that last scrimmage. I don’t know if we made our run goal or not. I’ll have to wait and see the numbers but we didn’t run it a whole bunch.” Elijah Holyfield ran wild on the Georgia defense a week ago, and Brian Herrien was featured cutting through the defense in a video released by the team this week. RELATED: Watch Georgia junior tailback shred Bulldogs’ first-team defense Smart didn’t sound settled on any starters up front, talking about committees on the defensive line and at linebacker. “We do defensive line by committee so if you’re asking me who’s on the committee, there’s like eight guys on the committee,” Smart said, declining to single out any defensive linemen for praise. “There’s a bubble there on D-line where we’ll probably travel eight, nine, 10 depending on special teams and there’s some guys right on that threshold.” Asked about inside linebacker, Smart again provided the “committee” answer. “It’s by committee,” Smart said. “They make mistakes, but Quay Walker and Channing Tindall are fighting tooth and nail. “Juwan Taylor has had a good camp, so between Monty [Rice], Natrez [Patrick] and Tae [Crowder].” Smart said Patrick and Jaden Hunter have battled injuries in fall camp, but both took part in the second scrimmage. Georgia Scrimmage Two coverage • Kirby Smart displeased with Georgia QBs Jake Fromm, Justin Fields • 3 takeaways from Georgia football RB Zamir White injury • UGA underclassmen shine in otherwise sloppy Scrimmage Two • Georgia football injury report: Zamir White knee, others sidelined • Reporters aren’t the enemy of Georgia football coach Kirby Smart • Fired-up Kirby Smart goes after reporters • Internet reacts to Zamir White knee injury  • Several players back in action for Scrimmage Two Mike Griffith & Chip Towers discuss Scrimmage 2   Georgia Scrimmage One coverage 3 Georgia football players who need a strong first scrimmage Senior linebacker out of doghouse, leading scrimmage drill work Georgia coach weighs in on quarterbacks’ scrimmage performance Kirby Smart declares hard-hitting scrimmage a tie No free pass for dynamic incoming WR transfer Demetris Robertson WATCH: Elijah Holyfield rips through first-team defense in scrimmage Heart of Georgia football defense tested, Kirby Smart analyzes 3 key players Georgia football injury report: key senior sidelined with knee injury Kirby Smart identifies soft spot on defense after scrimmage Mike Griffith & Chip Towers open practice observations   The post Georgia football defense: Kirby Smart indicates unsettled front seven ‘committee’ appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia football is under the microscope after one of its most heralded recruits, freshman running back Zamir White, suffered a torn ACL in his left knee on Saturday. The attention has to do with White’s celebrated status as the No. 1-ranked tailback in the 2018 class, and the fact he was practicing with a knee brace eight months after undergoing surgery. RELATED: Watch Kirby Smart get fired up at press conference Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart, a former two-time All-SEC safety at Georgia, explained what led to White’s injury in Saturday’s scrimmage at Sanford Stadium. “ He was covering a punt, and it was a non-contact injury,” Smart said. “There was nobody really around. He and Mark Webb were kind of holding each other up.” It’s not hard to envision: The   players’ arms locked up, White trying to shed a block, Webb carrying out his assignment to hold him up, White tries to use lower body strength to cut, perhaps break loose, and when planting the torque from the upper-body lock up leads to a torn ligament. That’s very unfortunate, but that’s part of football. Sometimes no amount of conditioning can prevent such injuries as ligament damage. Here are three takeaways from what became a controversial injury 1. The injury is not controversial White had been cleared for full contact meaning Georgia’s medical staff had determined the right knee that was operated on last November had been rehabilitated satisfactorily. White was wearing a knee brace as a precaution, and also to help the young back regain confidence in the surgically repaired knee. Saturday’s injury was to White’s previously healthy left knee. Further, as Smart pointed out, it has become common for high-profile players to be a part of special teams’ units. RELATED: A look at Georgia football two-back set circumstances Special teams is often a separator in winning and losing a football game, in terms of execution as well as missed penalties. 2. White was fighting to make the travel squad White was indeed a 5-star prospect worthy of his acclaim. But in the Aug. 4 open practice, it was clear that his time away from football had taken a toll. White did not appear as explosive, quick or powerful as in his high school film footage. Further, in talking to Georgia defensive players, White was not the first, second, third or sometimes fourth back mentioned when asked who had impressed. RELATED: Monty Rice raves about Little [James] Cook Georgia’s backfield is deep and talented, and D’Andre Swift, Elijah Holyfield, Brian Herrien and James Cook all looked better. Smart points out only 70 players can travel to road games. A player’s ability to make the travel team is often determined by his ability to contribute on special teams. White was likely trying to “make the bus” as Smart likes to say, and the Georgia coaches were giving him an opportunity by placing him on a special teams unit. 3. Business as usual moving forward White’s injury, while unfortunate, will not send oddsmakers in Las Vegas scrambling to adjust the Georgia football betting line for point spreads or season win total. The top three spots on the Bulldogs’ depth chart at tailback does not change. Further, Smart will not change how he coaches, and the competition at Georgia for a spot on the bus will not decrease. The number of healthy 5-star players on the Bulldogs roster is down from 21 to 20. But Smart means it when he says the stars a player received in recruiting mean nothing in the meeting rooms or on the depth chart. RELATED: Georgia 5-star receivers getting outplayed in practice To make the 70-man travel squad, a player is going to have to find a way to contribute to the team, and special teams will continue to be an available avenue. Further, White’s case serves as evidence that even the No. 1-ranked tailback prospect in the 2018 signing class has to compete for playing time on a championship caliber team. Georgia Scrimmage Two coverage • Kirby Smart displeased with Jake Fromm, Justin Fields • UGA underclassmen shine in otherwise sloppy Scrimmage Two • Georgia football injury report: Zamir White knee, others sidelined • Reporters aren’t the enemy of Georgia football coach Kirby Smart • Fired-up Kirby Smart goes after reporters • Internet reacts to Zamir White knee injury  • Several players back in action for Scrimmage Two Mike Griffith & Chip Towers discuss Scrimmage 2 X Georgia Scrimmage One coverage 3 Georgia football players who need a strong first scrimmage Senior linebacker out of doghouse, leading scrimmage drill work Georgia coach weighs in on quarterbacks’ scrimmage performance Kirby Smart declares hard-hitting scrimmage a tie No free pass for dynamic incoming WR transfer Demetris Robertson WATCH: Elijah Holyfield rips through first-team defense in scrimmage Heart of Georgia football defense tested, Kirby Smart analyzes 3 key players Georgia football injury report: key senior sidelined with knee injury Kirby Smart identifies soft spot on defense after scrimmage Mike Griffith & Chip Towers open practice observations The post 3 takeaways from Georgia football RB Zamir White knee injury appeared first on DawgNation.