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How Tom Crean put Georgia Bulldogs in position to land nation’s top basketball prospect, Anthony ‘Ant Man’ Edwards

How Tom Crean put Georgia Bulldogs in position to land nation’s top basketball prospect, Anthony ‘Ant Man’ Edwards

How Tom Crean put Georgia Bulldogs in position to land nation’s top basketball prospect, Anthony ‘Ant Man’ Edwards

How Tom Crean put Georgia Bulldogs in position to land nation’s top basketball prospect, Anthony ‘Ant Man’ Edwards

Georgia basketball-How Tom Crean put Bulldogs in position to sign Anthony 'Ant Man' Edwards-Georgia Bulldogs

ATLANTA –  Winfred Jordan is a self-professed basketball junkie. When he was an adolescent in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, his uncles would pick him up in his Oakland City neighborhood in southwest Atlanta and take him up to Georgia Tech to watch the state high school playoffs.

Jordan rattles off the names of the great players he saw there.

“There were so many of them,” Jordan said. “Dale Ellis, Jeff Malone, Terry Fair, Donald Hartry, Lamar Heard, Cedric Henderson, Melvin Howard, James Banks. I watched James Banks destroy people all by himself.”

Banks, of course, ended up going to the University of Georgia where he helped lead the Bulldogs on their Final Four run in 1983. Fair, Heard and Hartry also were on that team.

That’s why Jordan, head coach of the Atlanta Xpress AAU team, is taken aback when people react with such surprise that the state’s latest basketball sensation – Anthony “Ant Man” Edwards – is seriously considering signing with the Bulldogs. In fact, Jordan doesn’t discount the notion that Georgia might actually hold a lead in the bid to sign his 6-foot-5 guard, who is considered the No. 1 basketball prospect in America.

Then again, the Bulldogs haven’t signed the No. 1 player in America in a while. OK, maybe never.

“It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?” Jordan said with a laugh. “But Georgia has a strong basketball history. People tend to forget about the times they’ve been really, really good. Hugh Durham always recruited great players.”

The world will find out Monday morning if Georgia’s latest head coach has been able penetrate Atlanta’s AAU zone. Tom Crean has been on the job only since March 15, but he and his staff have made up an enormous amount of ground when it comes to the considerable pursuit that has been recruitment of Edwards.

Edwards will announce his decision at a conference news conference scheduled for 9 a.m. at his high school, Holy Spirit Prep of Atlanta. The Bulldogs are one of three finalists. The other two are Kentucky and Florida State.

“If they’re still in it at this point they’ve done a good job,” said Ty Anderson, Edward’s coach at Holy Spirit.

Georgia most definitely is still in it. Edwards himself acknowledged that after scoring 41 points in Holy Spirit’s Region 1-AAA championship game this past Friday night in Duluth.

But Edwards gave no hints as to which way he is leaning, only that he’s “pretty sure” to which school he’s going to choose and he’s eager to get the decision behind him.

“I can’t wait,” Edwards said. “It’s going to take a lot of pressure off me. I won’t have too much to worry about. I can focus just on school. It’s going to be a dream come true.”

Just who is The Ant Man

Everybody who knows anything about basketball can tell you about the Ant Man. That’s the explosive, high-scoring athlete who averages 27 points and 9 rebounds a game and can literally score from anywhere on a basketball court at any moment.

Fewer know about Anthony Edwards, the person behind the cool nickname. That’s actually the way he prefers it. His is a past of great personal tragedy, but also of remarkable personal triumphs.

Edwards was raised by his mother, Yvette Edwards, and grandmother, Shirley Edwards, in the same Oakland City neighborhood that Jordan grew up. The difference is, when Jordan was coming up, Oakland City wasn’t considered one of the most dangerous and crime-ridden areas in all of Atlanta.

“When I grew up over there it wasn’t rough like it is now,” said Jordan, who’s in his 50s. “Years later, after crack came along, it took over those inner-city areas.”

But Edwards’ world came crashing down four years ago. In the same year, both his mother and grandmother died, according to Jordan. He said both women died of cancer.

“They were both very important people in his life,” Jordan said. “They raised him.”

Jordan said Edwards’ father is not involved in his life, so custody was granted to Edwards’ 25-year-old brother, Antoine. It has been between Antoine and Jordan that Edwards has received his care ever since.

“He doesn’t want that stuff talked about,” Jordan said. “He just wants to the focus to be on who is as a person and a basketball player.”

Edwards gets high marks on both of those fronts. He busted out on the basketball scene as a ninth-grader playing AAU basketball for the Atlanta Xpress. At the time he was attending Therell High School in southwest Atlanta. But it wasn’t always clear that basketball was his future.

“People don’t believe me when I tell him but he’s just as a good of a football player as he is a basketball player,” Jordan said. “When I met him in the eighth grade, he played football at the time. But it was ninth or 10th grade he got an injury. He hurt his foot. When he did, I told him he needed to layoff football for a while. I told him he could always go back to football but he wouldn’t be able to with basketball. But once he got go dedicating more time to basketball he just blossomed, more and more and more.”

It was Jordan that initiated what ended up being one of the biggest moves in Edwards’ life. They decided to transfer schools. He ended up at Holy Spirit Prep, a relatively new private Catholic school located in the North Buckhead suburbs of Atlanta.

“I felt like he needed a change,” Jordan said. “I was looking for a better situation for the young man, something that would make him better for the next 20 years of like and prepare him for college. He needed something a little more structured, something that would make him a little more polished as a young man. He needed more diversity in his life and more structure academically. He’s gotten that at Holy Spirit.”

Greg McClaire was the coach at the time. He was succeeded last year by Anderson, a four-year letterman as a basketball player at Georgia Tech and the grandson of coaching legend Lefty Driesell.

“Ant’s an extraordinary human being,” Anderson said. “He’s just a high-character, hard-working, fun-loving kid. Whichever school he says he’s going to on Monday morning, he’s going to be a great ambassador for that basketball program and for that academic institution.”

NBA definitely ‘down the road’

In Anderson, Edwards received a fresh set of eyes. Anderson starred at Oconee County High School at the same time Louis Williams was playing at South Gwinnett High. He said Edwards is the best basketball talent he’s seen.

Anthony Edwards takes off with the ball after a steal from Lance Terry of Heritage, one of the top players in the state. (Bryson Towers/DawgNation)

“I think he’s the best scorer I’ve seen in high school since Louis Williams,” Anderson said. “I played against (Williams) and he was unbelievable. Georgia almost got him, too, but he went straight to the NBA. So, yeah, there are comparisons. But I think it won’t be too long before guys are comparing the next generation to Ant. He’s going to make his own mold.”

Dan McDonald, a longtime recruiting analyst for Rivals who also runs his own basketball camps, probably has seen more of and knows more about Edwards as a basketball player than anybody.

“I’ve been saying since last summer that I think he’s the best player in the country,” McDonald said. “He’s a great athlete, really strong and powerful, and he’s become very skilled. He has NBA level moves already with room still to grow. He’s very unselfish and a great a decision-maker for most part. Along with all that, he’s just a great kid that others gravitate to.”

The NBA could be an option for Edwards as well, but at this point none of his advisers are recommending it. The NBA can be a risky path, especially without the assurance of an extended future.

Edwards is part of the first graduating high school class that would have the option of choosing the NBA’s G-League, which in 2019 will offer “select contracts” for players not yet eligible to enter the NBA draft. It offers the alternative of earning as much as $125,000 to play professional basketball in the U.S. rather than go overseas or choose the “one-and-done” in college.

Edwards told the AJC in January he prefers the college alternative. “You can only struggle for so long,” he said.

Anderson has also seen the lofty projections for Edwards as a pro, but advises him to not be in a hurry.

“There’s a lot of time – maybe 19 months – between now and the 2020 draft,” Anderson said. “There’s plenty of work he needs to do and he knows that. So he’s approaching that with humility and a workman’s mentality, getting in the gym to work on his game. As far as how the NBA fits in, I don’t know. He’s a kid who definitely focuses on the next step, whatever that is. Right now the next step is choosing college. The step after that is winning a state championship, then graduation, then college. The NBA is a little down the road.”

That’s good news for Georgia — and Kentucky and FSU as well — and that’s where Crean represents a change from the previous regime. Former coach Mark Fox often complained about the trend of college basketball powerhouses such as Kentucky, Kansas, Duke and North Carolina to recruit “one-and-done” players that had no intention of playing beyond a single season before entering the NBA draft.

Crean embraces the concept and says there’s no reason players of that pedigree shouldn’t consider Georgia as an NBA launching pad same as they would Kansas or Kentucky

“You can do everything you can do there here,” Crean said earlier this season. “And look at what this place has to offer? We have everything you could possibly need, plus a great education.”

The next Georgia great

Such an attitude has endeared Crean to Edwards’ camp and, indeed, to many in Atlanta’s tight-knit AAU community. It’s no fluke that two members of Crean’s coaching staff — Amir Abdur-Rahim and Chad Dollar — have deep ties to the AAU scene.

“Crean is amazing to us; he’s going to be the second-best thing to happen there outside of Hugh Durham,” said Jordan, a longtime presence on the Atlanta AAU scene. “He is a true teacher of basketball. He teaches his players the game and he doesn’t have just one philosophy. He’s always doing a lot of individual stuff to help develop his players. That’s important, that’s big. Coach Crean spends a lot of time making players better individually.”

Georgia has, in fact, signed great basketball players before. There’s some debate as to whether Dominique Wilkins was, in fact, the No. 1 player in the class of 1980. James Worthy was also in that class and ended up going to North Carolina. But he was definitely in the top three or four.

But one really doesn’t have to go back that far to find the Bulldogs landing some of the top players in the country. Dennis Felton signed Williams out of South Gwinnett in 2005. The 6-foot-2 guard was ranked the No. 1 player in the state and the No. 7 in the nation by Rivals that year. He ended up going straight to the NBA, where he’s now with the Los Angeles Clippers.

In 2012, Georgia landed the state’s top player again in 6-foot-6 guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Ranked 12th nationally by Rivals, Caldwell-Pope played two seasons with the Bulldogs before becoming a first-round draft pick of the Detroit Pistons. He’s now with the L.A. Lakers.

But it has probably been since Wilkins that the Bulldogs have been in position to land a player Edwards’ ilk. Not only is he considered the No. 1 prospect in the country by 247Sports.com (Rivals ranks him No. 2), but NBAdraft.net projects him as the No. 1 pick in the 2020 NBA draft.

Jordan was asked why Edwards would choose an upstart Georgia program under Crean over a tried-and-true, one-and-done factory like Kentucky has been under John Calipari.

“He respects those other universities very much,” Jordan said. “He loves Duke; he loves Kentucky. Kentucky really has him in awe right now. It’s hard to go against Kentucky basketball. But Anthony wants to write his own script, write his own chapter. He wants to write his own book. That’s him.”

McDonald and 247Sports’ Evan Daniels are both predicting Edwards to announce Georgia on Monday. Should he choose the Bulldogs, it will be considered a major upset by the college basketball world.

Jordan’s not so sure that should be the case.

“It’s been 20 years, I guess, and people tend to remember what they saw recently,” Jordan said. “Georgia is known for football, so you talk about basketball and people say, ‘ah, it’s not a basketball school.’ They forget what it used to be.”

If Crean lands Edwards, Georgia could become what it’s never been.

The post How Tom Crean put Georgia Bulldogs in position to land nation’s top basketball prospect, Anthony ‘Ant Man’ Edwards appeared first on DawgNation.

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  • INDIANAPOLIS Brian Herrien was explaining earlier this week how Kirby Smart held a combine-like workout last spring to give players an idea how they stacked up. On Thursday and Friday at the NFL combine at Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indianapolis Convention Center, it was the real thing for 10 Bulldogs. Projected first-round Georgia picks D'Andre Swift and Andrew Thomas held their own in key drill work, and Herrien and redshirt sophomore Isiah Wilson posted some eye-opening numbers. Swift ran a 4.48-second 40-yard dash a tenth of a second off the 4.39 ran by Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor on Friday. D'Andre Swift vs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel Who will have the best NFL career when all is said and done? pic.twitter.com/yOhGKokeVj PFF Draft (@PFF_College) February 29, 2020 But Swift's time was a tick better than the 4.52 and 4.54 times run by former UGA stars Nick Chubb and Sony Michel at the 2018 combine, which qualifies him as plenty fast enough when one considers his unique cutting abilities. Former Georgia running back Keith Marshall holds the mark for fastest 40 time run at the NFL draft, turning a 4.31-second time in 2016. Todd Gurley ran a 4.52-second 40-yard dash, and last year Elijah Holyfield ran a 4.78. Thomas ran the fourth-fastest 3-cone drill among the offensive linemen and 6th fastest 20-yard shuttle, his quick feet and athleticism on display to compliment his celebrated technique. Wilson, whose impressive 6-7, 350-pound frame attracts attention even in a room full of 300 pounders, did a broad jump of 9 feet, 2 inches. That was 13th among the offensive linemen, and 2 inches better than Thomas'. Impressive combine numbers have been known to convince teams to take another look at prospects they may have passed over. Herrien certainly proved his explosive abilities with his 10-foot, 6-inch, broad jump and 38.5-inch vertical jump on Friday 'UGA prepared us pretty well,' Herrien said at his NFL combine interview drill. 'We even had a couple of days during the spring where we had a little combine, like a junior day, a combine day. So we kinda did all this stuff before. 'I just want to show my ability to run, jump, be explosive in my lower body and catch the ball.' Herrien managed to do all that, and and and his teammates will have another opportunity to impress NFL scouts when Georgia holds its pro day in mid-March. Georgia offensive linemen Solomon Kindley is expected to perform there after decided not to compete in the drills at the NFL combine. Several other Bulldogs' players who didn't get invited to the NFL combine will also have their chance to shine. Players like defensive linemen Tyler Clark, Michael Barnett and David Marshall, along with linebacker Tae Crowder, tight end Eli Wolf and receiver Tyler Simmons will take part. Georgia football NFL Combine 40-yard dash D'Andre Swift, 4.49 (6th among running backs) Brian Herrien, 4.62 (Outside Top 15 running backs) Charlie Woerner 4.78 (12th of 15 tight ends) Jake Fromm 5.01 (13th of 13 quarterbacks) Andrew Thomas 5.22 (Outside Top 15 offensive linemen) Isaiah Wilson 5.32 (Outside of Top 15 offensive linemen) Bench press (repetitions of 225 pounds) Isaiah Wilson 26 (outside of Top 15 offensive linemen) Charlie Woerner 21 (4th of 13 tight ends) Andrew Thomas 21 (Outside Top 15 offensive linemen) Brian Herrien 18 (15th of 15 running backs) Vertical jump Brian Herrien 38.5 inches (7th among running backs) D'Andre Swift 35.5 inches (15th among running backs) Charlie Woerner 34.5 inches (6th among tight ends) Andrew Thomas 30.5 inches (10th among offensive linemen) Jake Fromm 30 inches (8th among quarterbacks) Broad jump Brian Herrien 10 feet, 6 inches (4th among running backs) D'Andre Swift 10 feet, 1 inch (Outside Top 15 RBs) Charlie Woener 10-0 feet (5th among tight ends) Jake Fromm 9 feet, 3 inches (9th among quarterbacks) Isaiah Wilson 9 feet, 2 inches (13th among offensive linemen) Andrew Thomas 9 feet, 1 inch (Outside of Top 15 offensive linemen) 3-Cone Drill Charlie Woerner 7.18 seconds (7th among tight ends) Jake Fromm 7.27 seconds (9th among quarterbacks) Andrew Thomas 7.58 seconds (4th among offensive linemen) Isaiah Wilson 8.26 seconds (Outside of Top 15 offensive linemen) 20-yard shuttle Charlie Woerner 4.46 seconds (10th among tight ends) Jake Fromm 4.51 seconds (7th among quarterbacks) Andrew Thomas 4.66 seconds (6th among offensive linemen ) Isaiah Wilson 5.07 seconds (Outside Top 15 offensive linemen) DawgNation NFL Combine WATCH: J.R. Reed has something to prove at combine Andrew Thomas in first-class form at NFL combine How Jake Fromm is handling NFL combine spotlight Isaiah Wilson sheds light on 2020 Georgia O-Line Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason reunite anf NFL combine Lawence Cager message at NFL combine high ceiling' D'Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football RBU' again Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout Brian Herrien shares Nick Chubb story at NFL combine Is Jake Fromm hand size really a thing? Georgia football Mauler' Solomon Kindley on Atlanta Falcons radar The post WATCH: D'Andre Swift step ahead of Nick Chubb, Sony Michel in NFL combine 40 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • INDIANAPOLIS J.R. Reed's time at Georgia has come and gone, but the departing 2019 team captain made it clear the Bulldogs still have plenty of household names. 'You guys saw it out there in the Sugar Bowl, there was no drop-off,' Reed said at the Indianapolis Convention Center on Friday during his podium interview at the NFL combine. 'Those guys prepared, I'd taught those guys how to watch film, just the rules to follow,' Reed said. 'The standard has been set in the defensive room, so the standard does not change at all.' Georgia brings back nine of the 11 starters from the Sugar Bowl team that beat Baylor 26-14. The Bulldogs' defense led the nation in 2019 in run defense and scoring defense, and it ranked No. 3 in total defense and No. 8 in pass efficiency defense. WATCH Richard LeCounte: New leadership role is bigger than football UGA defensive coordinator Dan Lanning referred to it as the 'No-Name Defense' in the days leading up to the win over the Bears in New Orleans. Reed said Georgia will likely need a new nickname for its defense with so many players on the verge of break-out seasons. 'The net defensive star, if he's not already a star, is Richard LeCounte,' Reed said. 'After him, you have Azeez Ojulari, and a bunch of guys that are going to step up. RELATED: Azeez Ojulari semifinalist for FWAA Freshman of the Year 'You've got a great corner in Tyson Campbell, Eric Stokes, Malik Herring and Monty Rice,' he said. 'I don't think it's going to be a no-name defense any more.' RELATED: Georgia football DC Dan Lanning explains No-Name Defense' moniker Reed, meanwhile, is intent on making a name for himself in Indianapolis this weekend after his draft stock inexplicably plunged this season. 'I don't know why expectations have changed, they have changed in my mind,' said Reed, who contemplated turning pro after his junior season. 'I truly, firmly, know I'm the best safety here; I can play in the box, I can play the middle of the field, I can come down and cover your best tight end, whatever you want me to do in that secondary, I can do.' Reed finished fourth on the team with 54 tackles, despite missing the Sugar Bowl while recovering from a turf toe ailment that cropped up during the bowl preparation in Athens. Reed is healthy now, and he's expecting to open some eyes with his physical testing and interviews. 'I've seen what some people think I'm going to test, and I'm going to blow those things out of the water,' Reed said. 'Just show a lot of people I'm a lot better than what they think I am, and a lot more athletic.' Reed indicated he's not the only one the NFL talent evaluators seem to be underestimating. 'We had one of the best defenses in the nation,' Reed said, before referencing some of the UGA seniors who didn't get NFL combine invites. RELATED: Top-notch Georgia football defense shut out on AP All-SEC first team 'We've got Tyler Clark missing, Tae Crowder missing, you've got Michael Barnett, guys like that that played a pivotal role in our defense. 'They're going to shock the world, they're going to work hard, they're going to do a great job at their pro day, and I believe in all of them.' Georgia is expected to hold its NFL pro day on March 18, with the NFL draft scheduled April 23-25 in Las Vegas. DawgNation Georgia at NFL combine Georgia football Mauler' Solomon Kindley on Atlanta Falcons radar Andrew Thomas in first-class form at NFL combine How Jake Fromm is handling NFL combine spotlight Isaiah Wilson sheds light on 2020 Georgia O-Line Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason reunite anf NFL combine Lawence Cager message at NFL combine high ceiling' D'Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football RBU' again Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout Brian Herrien shares Nick Chubb story at NFL combine Is Jake Fromm hand size really a thing? The post WATCH J.R. Reed: Georgia football defense won't be No-Name' unit much longer appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That's what the Intel brings. This entry previews the upcoming March 1 visit for Raneiria Dillworth to UGA. 'RaRa' is quite a talent coming out ofNorth Carolina. His given name is Raneiria Dillworth. That's the official first and last name. Yet he'd like for college football fans to start calling him something else. RaRa Dillworth would be his preference. That goes back to his Pee Wee and Pop Warner footballer days. 'It has been my nickname for awhile now,' he said. 'But my mom says that nowadays just to give the crowd something to RaRa' about. That's what she has always been saying, though.' Just make sure to say that name fast. It is only fitting since Dillworth states he has been timed at a combine with 4.35 speed in the 40. That was a laser time. 'It was in the middle of my sophomore year,' he said of that feat. 'So I may be even faster.' That might cause some skeptics to roll their eyes with a high school linebacker. It should. That type of speed is quite rare for any position at the varsity level. Consider taking a look at him on film first. Does he play that fast? The tape certainly says he plays with an impressive level of speed. That would be at any position, but most definitely as an inside linebacker. This 4-star LB right here certainly plays like he's a 4.4 on film. That's what really matters. He's got a rare bust and it carried him to another lofty feat. Dillworth was credited with 203 tackles in 14 games last fall. That stat line will include 29 stops for losses and four touchdowns. He's rated by the 247Sports Composite as the nation's No. 19 OLB and the No. 225 overall prospect for 2021. While we are on the topic of head-shaking information, let's also share that he just turned 17 on December 26. Let that soak in. It is highly impressive to note that all of those plays, including that kickoff return TD, were made by a 16-year-old junior. That's a little nuts. But if proves the notion that whatever Dillworth is going to do, it will be fast. He even grows up fast. 'Every school that I talk to they basically tell me that I am one of the fastest linebackers they have ever seen,' he said. 'They said I move fast on film.' He plans to make a silent commitment on April 17th. That will honor the birthday of his grandmother Rhonda Jackson, but hewill not announce that choice until May 9. 'My grandmother thankfully is still living with us,' he said. 'But I love my grandma. Just want to do it on her birthday. I feel like it is a good time. It is already around the time I had planned on committing. I can do it before the season with this, too. So I can actually focus on my senior season.' 'I'm trying to win a ring.' #AGTG #FMF 'COMMITTING' April 17 ANNOUNCING IT MAY 9 @Tre4Edits pic.twitter.com/0Qx3R8yb8U RaRa Dillworth (@Raneiria8) February 28, 2020 A frenzied March to a decision for RaRa Dillworth The 6-foot-2, 195-pound rising senior outlined a specific visit schedule with DawgNation earlier this week.It will be quite fast. Of course. 'Hold on a second,' Dillworth said. 'Let me get go to my phone to pull up all the dates right.' March 1 Georgia (first trip) March 7 Alabama (first trip) March 20 N.C. State March 21 South Carolina March 28 North Carolina April 1 Oklahoma April 4 Tennessee April 11 FSU April 17 Silent commitment May 9 Public decision release If that's not enough of a busy schedule, he will also compete on at least one weekend in the midst of all of that at a 7-on-7 event. That will be in Virginia Beach. RaRa Dillworth: The things to know here In his early 'RaRa' days, he was the kid nobody could hawk down on those Pee Wee fields. When he was playing defense, he was the one chasing everyone else down. It has just been a constant. Kind of like his No. 8 jersey. Dillworth played on both sides of the ball last fall. Look for him to get more use in the backfield as a senior for Glenn in 2020. Why has he primarily been a linebacker on the varsity level? With that speed, it is a natural question. He says he fell in love with the linebacker position as a freshman. 'But my favorite part of football is my aggressive nature,' he said. 'I just love to hit people.' When looking at that top 5 edit that ended the last passage, that was interesting. Especially given the recent change. But it is important here to add several layers of context to his recruiting process. He has never been to Athens before, but the Bulldogs still made his top 5 North Carolina State is no longer in his top 5. That spot was taken by Tennessee. Those dates up above are all unofficial visits. When he commits on April 17 and then releases it on May 9, then he will look to take his only official visit to check out his future school. He released that top 5 back on February 3, but he says he now has two extra schools that he will be considering. Those schools are N.C. State and Oklahoma. What do these schools tell him? 'They say that I am versatile and I can play sideline-to-sideline,' he said. 'I can actually cover in space. A lot of linebackers can't turn their hips and stuff but I can cover in space. I can make plays.' South Carolina is recruiting him as an outside linebacker. Alabama is looking at Dillworth as a walk-up or roll down safety. North Carolina is pretty much the same there. 'Most teams want me as a little rover who can come down,' he said. 'Come down to the box. Maybe even come over and cover the tight end.' He's been to North Carolina the most out of those schools. Dillworth has already visited Tennessee. When he competes at 7-on-7 events, he will line up at cornerback and at safety. Dillworth told DawgNation that his grade-point average hovers right around the 3.0 mark. 'I have to get mostly all As and Bs now,' he said. 'My mom don't play that.' This will not be a shock. Dillworth plans to enroll early in January of 2021. Was there any doubt about that? RaRa Dillworth: What's the fit feel like with Georgia? Georgia has its own view of Dillworth and his unique skill set. 'Georgia actually has got me as an inside backer but I feel like I'm good with linebacker but I am actually all good with safety. I just want to play. That's all.' Glenn Schumann is recruiting him. He was recruiting him and his family long before that offer from Georgia even came. 'When I first spoke to coach Schumann he told me that I was different man,' Dillworth said. 'He said I was different and my speed is out of the world. Some people don't believe that I have got the size and that speed, though.' Blessed to receive an offer from Georgia #GoDawgs #uga #AGTG #FMF pic.twitter.com/Fh93DuJUIQ RaRa Dillworth (@Raneiria8) January 29, 2020 As stated before, this visit on March 1 will be his first trip to Athens. How did they make his top 5 without a visit? 'The coaches were showing me real love,' Dillworth said. 'He was texting my mom before I even had an offer. I already knew so much about them. They already cared about me before I even had that offer. Then after that, the coaches were FaceTiming me a lot. I just couldn't get down there because I had a lot of stuff planned.' 'It was just that they were always showing love. My mom was telling me I really like this school' and she already looked into their program and said it would fit me real well.' Dillworth is already on a 'Coach Schu' basis with Schumann. 'With coach Schu' a lot of coaches don't tell you the real,' he said. 'He was just like real straight-forward and telling me this is how I would play you. This and that. He's wasn't sugar coating it and just speaking me like it was real. He was telling me the ins-and-outs of Georgia. Just you know, the facts.' He also said his mother considers Schumann 'to be a great man' and noted that she frequently texts him. Let's take note of an interesting sub-plot here. That's the connection that Georgia has to both Dillworth and his high school teammate. Jahvaree Ritzie. Ritzie is a remarkably athletic 4-star DL in the 2021 class. 'He plays hard and he's my boy,' Dillworth said. 'We might be going to the same college. 'It just depends. He's just always a hard worker on and off the field. Track. The classroom. He does it all.' The 247Sports Composite has Ritzie as the nation's No. 14 strong-side DE and No. 210 overall recruit for 2021. He made it to Athens first back in January for a 'Junior Day' weekend. Ritzie then made sure to share what he saw with Dillworth after that trip. 'He told me Rah Rah I'm not going to lie to you but you need to get down there to Georgia because it is something different down there about Georgia' and that's what he told me,' Dillworth said. Dillworth said he wants to see everything this weekend about Georgia. 'I want to make sure if I am going to go to Georgia that it is home,' he said. 'I don't want to go play anywhere I don't feel comfortable.' Academics will be large here. So will a true family feel. 'If my Mom doesn't like it, then I won't like it,' he said. 'I want to make sure my Momma likes it. Top facilities? I am not even worried about that. I want to go somewhere they can build me into a man. On and off the field. I want to grow into a man somewhere and be close with my coaches and my teammates. Just make sure we have a real good relationship.' Distance from home will not be a concern. So will playing for a championship program. His teammates call him 'Alligator' but he is not being courted by the Florida Gators. 'My friends and teammates call me Alligator' because I am always taking and snatching up all their tackles,' he said. 'I'm always taking all of their tackles away.' The post Raneiria Dillworth: Hyper fast LB gears up for his first big visit to UGA appeared first on DawgNation.
  • INDIANAPOLIS For the most part, there have been a lot of great moments and memories for the Georgia football program over the past four seasons. The Bulldogs won a lot of games, three straight SEC titles and a College Football Playoff game. There have also been some memorable trips and environments, such as the 2018 Rose Bowl win over Oklahoma or either of the two Notre Dame games. So when we asked some of the 10 Georgia football players participating int he 2020 NFL Combine this week what their favorite memory was from their time at Georgia, they had a lot of great options to choose from. Some, like both Andrew Thomas and D'Andre Swift, went with the Rose Bowl given the epic ending as well as the overall environment around the game. Others such as Solomon Kindley and Jake Fromm picked out a specific play from one of the first games in their collegiate careers. Both were key members of Georgia's 2017 team that played in the national championship game against Alabama. Offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson gave a very specific example and why one win carries more weight than others. 'It felt like all of our hard work had paid off again,' Wilson said of Georgia's 34-17 win over Kentucky in 2018. 'In 2017, everyone just thought it was because we had a bunch of seniors and had a lot of old talent.' That win clinched the SEC East for Georgia for the second straight season. A long D'Andre Swift touchdown run put the Bulldogs up 28-3 in the third quarter, paving the way to a Georgia victory. 'In 2018, we woke everybody up again and said we're still here to fight,' Wilson said. Related: D'Andre Swift and his Georgia football offensive linemen all agree on his best run Only LSU and Ohio State sent more players to the NFL combine than the 10 Georgia sent. That number could've been even higher but a number of Bulldogs like Richard LeCounte and Eric Stokes elected to return to Georgia for the 2020 season. The Bulldogs figure to once again be one of the top teams in 2020 when they open the season against Virginia on Sept. 7. Georgia football players share their favorite memories More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Former Georgia football running backs on Zamir White: He has to be ready to go early' Brian Herrien shares a perfect Nick Chubb story that captures Georgia football culture Georgia football podcast: Alabama insider floats conspiracy theory about Scott Cochran hire Nation's No. 2 LB Smael Mondon Jr. sees national championship' future for Georgia How college friends Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm didn't let competition ruin their NFL hopes Details of Georgia defensive lineman arrest emerge in UGA Police Department field case report Jake Fromm takes center stage at NFL combine, some experts already believers The post From Notre Dame to the Rose Bowl, Georgia football players recount their favorite moments appeared first on DawgNation.
  • INDIANAPOLIS Solomon Kindley says the Atlanta Falcons like his game, and he's ready to show them even more in the Friday workouts at the NFL combine. Kindley, who measured in at 6-foot-3 and a trimmed down 336 pounds, could see his draft stock take a jump now that he's healthy. 'I'm really ready to show them who I am and what I'm about,' Kindley said at his podium interview at the Indianapolis Convention this week. Kindley suffered an injured ankle in the Bulldogs 23-17 win over Notre Dame on Sept. 21 and missed three starts before being cleared to play. 'It really didn't feel right none of this season,' Kindley revealed. 'I played through the bowl game with a jacked up foot. So when I went to Pensacola (Fla., to train), I tried to get a lot of rehab and do things like that.' Kindley cut nine pounds off the 345 he played at this season, clearly a step slower than he was during a healthy sophomore campaign in 2018. Kindley said he's known for a while he was going to turn professional after his junior season. 'I wasn't close (to returning), to be honest, I already knew I was going to leave,' Kindley said. 'I felt like all I had to do was play pretty good, and the rest was history.' The Sugar Bowl, Kindley said, was a chance to close out his Georgia career in the right way. 'During the bowl game, I knew I was going pro,' Kindley said. 'The reason I wanted to play in that game was I wanted to end on a good note, because we'd lost to LSU in the SEC Championship. 'And I wanted to play with my brothers, with Trey (Hill) and George Pickens, because they're gonna be a really good team this year. I wanted to have one more hard-fought game with them boys.' Kindley said his talk with Atlanta went well. 'They say they like how I play, love how I play,' Kindley said. 'They say I'm a mauler, they love my game, and I have an informal (interview) with them. Kindley said he's also met with Green Bay, Seattle, Arizona, Carolina, Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants and Jacksonville. The offensive line workouts begin at 4 p.m. on Friday (TV: NFL Network). Georgia offensive tackles Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson will take part in the workouts, as will tailbacks D'Andre Swift and Brian Herrien. Georgia OG Solomon Kindley DawgNation Georgia in NFL Draft Andrew Thomas in first-class form at NFL combine How Jake Fromm is handling NFL combine spotlight Isaiah Wilson sheds light on 2020 Georgia O-Line Jake Fromm, Jacob Eason reunite anf NFL combine Lawence Cager message at NFL combine high ceiling' Why Jake Fromm is not for everybody, per NFL Network analyst D'Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football RBU' again Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout Brian Herrien shares Nick Chubb story at NFL combine Is Jake Fromm hand size really a thing? The post WATCH: Georgia offensive line mauler' Solomon Kindley on Atlanta Falcons radar appeared first on DawgNation.