ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-night
44°
Mostly Sunny
H 65° L 36°
  • clear-night
    44°
    Current Conditions
    Mostly Sunny. H 65° L 36°
  • clear-day
    52°
    Afternoon
    Mostly Sunny. H 65° L 36°
  • clear-day
    54°
    Evening
    Sunny. H 59° L 35°
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

00:00 | 00:00

College
It’s important to filter out ‘reports’ during college football’s ‘Silly Season’
Close

It’s important to filter out ‘reports’ during college football’s ‘Silly Season’

It’s important to filter out ‘reports’ during college football’s ‘Silly Season’

It’s important to filter out ‘reports’ during college football’s ‘Silly Season’

Georgia football-Towers Take-Important to filter 'reports' during college football's Silly Season-Georgia Bulldogs-James Coley

ATHENS — It’s called the “Silly Season” for a reason. As in, it’s silly to ever think Georgia considered Eddie Gran for its offensive coordinator position. Same as it’d be silly for the Bulldogs to consider Dan Enos for that position.

That’s the latest “fake news” that’s out there this morning. AL.com is reporting that Georgia and Miami and are “in discussions” with Enos, who is currently Alabama’s quarterbacks coach, about their coordinator openings. Only there’s two problems with that: One, there aren’t any discussions ongoing and, two, Georgia already has an offensive coordinator.

Coley

In case you’ve forgotten, his name is James Coley. He currently has a “co-” in front of that title with the Bulldogs. The only real question regarding Coley is whether or not the “co” part remains. And that will depend on who Kirby Smarts adds to complete his staff. As it stands, he has an opening for a tight ends coach and a defensive coordinator and/or secondary coach.

It’s as a tight ends coach that the Bulldogs gave Gran a fly-by and I suspect it’s the same for Enos, if they’ve had any actual discussion at all. He might be able to grace those guys with a co-title to join Georgia’s staff since, in Gran’s case, he already has a coordinator title at Kentucky, and Enos reportedly is in line to gain that title with the Crimson Tide. But, essentially, Smart would be considering them only to come coach tight ends and recruit, at which both are reportedly really good.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are already well set at offensive coordinator. Coley can handle the job just fine, thank you, and that’s why Smart and UGA went to such lengths to keep him on staff a year ago. Jimbo Fisher wanted Coley to join him at Texas A&M as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, which are the positions with which Coley has the most professional experience and expertise. He also happens to be an all-star recruiter with the Bulldogs, particularly in South Florida, but not just there.

So, number one, Smart’s not going to go out and hire somebody over Coley. And, number two, he’s definitely not going to bring in somebody like Gran who comes from a completely different system. I probably don’t need to remind Georgia fans of what happened the last time the Bulldogs did that. It resulted in the Brian Schottenheimer Experiment, which you’ll recall was an unmitigated disaster.

No, with quarterback Jake Fromm, four-fifths of the offensive line and the majority of the backfield and wide receiver corps coming back for the Bulldogs, they’re looking for continuity, not a recalibration. There’s a lot of different ways Smart can go about that, but it starts and ends with keeping Coley primarily in charge of the offense and quarterbacks and finding somebody to succeed Jim Chaney as tight ends coach.

Alabama and Tennessee are programs said to be in discussions with Tee Martin to possibly join their staffs. (Brian van der Burg/Associated Press)

Here’s an idea, which I’m sure has probably crossed Smart’s mind — what about Tee Martin? It’s Martin, who led the Tennessee Volunteers to their last national championship as a quarterback in 1998, who is the big prize that is currently play in the SEC. Martin dismissed by Southern Cal coach Clay Helton in November.

Reportedly the Vols have had discussions with Martin, as one would expect. The problem is, UT doesn’t currently have an opening on their offensive staff. Nobody would put it past Jeremy Pruitt to chase somebody off his staff to make room for Martin and give him a co-coordinator title (receivers coach David Johnson is the name being kicked around in that regard up on Rocky Top).

What Georgia has on the Vols at the moment is it already has an opening and probably would be willing to give Martin a co-coordinator title as well. But you know who else has an opening and is surely thinking the same thing?

That’s right, Alabama.

It was reported Thursday that Alabama wide receivers coach Josh Gattis will join new Maryland head coach Mike Locksley as the Terrapins’ offensive coordinator. That would give Nick Saban another opening on his staff. You can bet the Crimson Tide is making a play for Martin, a Mobile, Ala., native,  to come to Tuscaloosa.

If Smart could somehow commandeer Martin’s services for the Bulldogs instead, not only would he gain somebody who is considered a great recruiter of the Greater Atlanta area and now has ties to the West Coast, but he’d be able to keep Martin away from both Bama and Tennessee in the process. It’d also might be considered a little poetic justice for Georgia over the Vols, who are spinning the narrative that they stole Jim Chaney out from under Georgia’s nose.

It’s unclear at the moment if Martin is interested in any of these openings. But it’s obvious that at least a co-coordinator title would probably have to be in the offing for him to join any staff anywhere. That (and receivers coach) is the title he held with the Trojans since 2016.

Hey, it may be a long shot. But this is why Smart continues to keep his options open. He’s going to take care of Coley, offensive line coach Sam Pittman and running backs coach Dell McGee first. But he’s going consider every possible angle before finalizing his staff and determining his salary pool.

This is what’s happening on the defensive side of the ball, too, by the way. Georgia will be in perfectly fine shape by promoting Dan Lanning and/or Glenn Schumann as coordinator or co-coordinators. They speak Smart’s language and know what he’s trying to do. But Smart’s also not going to make an announcement about what direction he until he has exhausted every possible combination to be sure he has assembled the best staff he can surrounding.

And that won’t happen until Silly Season is over. It tends to last until National Signing Day and sometimes lingers a bit past that.

But, for your own sanity, don’t entertain any “report” you see that involves bringing in a coordinator over Coley and disrupting what the Bulldogs have going on on offense. That’s not happening.

The post It’s important to filter out ‘reports’ during college football’s ‘Silly Season’ appeared first on DawgNation.

Read More

Georgia Sports News

  • Devon Gales, the former Southern University football player who was paralyzed in a 2015 game against UGA, is returning to football. Gales has been hired as an assistant football coach at Jefferson High School, per accessWDUN.com’s Bo Wilson. The new job will be around 20 miles away from UGA. Former UGA recruiting coordinator Bob Pittard is a social studies teacher at the high school. Per the website, the hiring of Gales was the idea of Jefferson superintendent Dr. John Jackson. It was after Gales shared his story with the Jefferson senior class. “It was brought to our attention upon meeting this wonderful family that Devon missed the game and practices and being part of a football team in the game he still loved so much,” Jefferson coach Gene Cathcart told the website. “Dr. John Jackson had the idea of getting him involved in our program in some way and how our young men would benefit from his living example, character, strength in facing adversity and perseverance.” UGA donors and fans raised funds to build a handicapped-accessible house in Jefferson for Gales and his family. The post Devon Gales makes his return to football appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart has emphasized several times in several ways that championship football requires all units working together. Indeed, much of the Bulldogs’ offensive and defensive scheming is predicated on Smart and his staff analyzing strengths and weaknesses and game arriving at core alignments and plays. The sooner Georgia knows itself, the better, and that makes the Bulldogs’ 15 spring practice dates pivotal. Here’s a way-too-early positional group ranking, an order that could be affected by an updated injury report or the emergence of a newcomer. 1. Offensive line The lock: Junior left tackle Andrew Thomas, Outland Trophy candidate. The question: Sophomore Cade Mays, where does he fit in? 2. Defensive backs The lock: Senior safety J.R. Reed, team leader of defense. The question: Sophomore Tyson Campbell, will skills match elite speed and ideal length? 3. Specialists The lock: Senior kicker Rodrigo Blankenship. The question: Can Georgia adequately replace Mecole Hardman? 3. Quarterbacks The lock: Junior Jake Fromm, third-year starter, offense on his shoulders. The question: How much of the offense can freshman Dwan Mathis pick up? 4. Linebackers The lock: None. The question: Can senior Tae Crowder become the playmaker Georgia lacked last year? 5. Running backs The lock: Junior tailback D’Andre Swift, Hesiman Trophy candidate The question (s): Will production match 5-star ratings of James Cook and Zamir White in 2019? 6. Receivers/tight ends The lock: Junior receiver J.J. Holloman is the go-to target. The question: Can graduate transfer tight end Eli Wolf fill the void left by Isaac Nauta? 7. Defensive linemen The lock: None. The question: Will sophomore Jordan Davis become an SEC dominator? More Georgia football spring 2019 Georgia linebackers: most improved unit? UGA running backs 4 spring football questions 5 questions for UGA spring football, it’s Jake Fromm’s team Does Georgia have championship level Defensive line? Questions 4 questions for Georgia football O-Line 3 pre-spring football questions on Georgia QB situation Kirby Smart provides preview on young receivers  Georgia secondary still best in the SEC? The post Georgia football: Way-too-early team spring position group rankings appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Best I can tell, it has been my task to cover college football spring practices for about 26 of the 31 years that encompass my sportswriting career. There were a few years that I wasn’t covering college football. There were a few more that I bounced around and saw a little bit of a lot of different teams. Most of time, though, I’ve been charged with covering all of Georgia’s spring practices. There have been times those practice sessions have been pretty interesting, some times that they’ve been incredibly dull and all over the place between. I’m anticipating the Bulldogs’ spring practice this year to be fairly intriguing. There are a lot of reasons for that, but the main one is the influx of new players. Early enrollment was a fairly new concept in the 1990s and still a bit of a rarity then. Quarterback Eric Zeier was one of the first high-profile recruits to do it and it served him very well that first year. Zeier served notice at the 1991 G-Day Game that he was going to be a factor that season, and boy was he ever. Since then, early enrollment has become a regular part of the recruiting process. Nowadays, everybody everywhere has at least a hand full of signees that come in early and get embedded with their respective teams since the first week of January. But it remains somewhat rare to see as many new players come in early — 14 — as Georgia has this year. Fourteen is a lot. The most ever for the Bulldogs. They had 13 in that 2013 class that included 30 total signees (and experienced some of the worst attrition ever for Georgia football). It’s not the most in college football. Alabama had 16 enroll early out of its 23-man recruiting class this year. But 14 is a bunch of new Bulldogs, no matter how one slices it up. That in and of itself cranks up the competition factor. Georgia has several areas in which it’d love to get some impact from from some of these early arrivals. Quarterback, linebacker and defensive back immediately spring to mind. I’d say receiver, too. But, oddly enough, the Bulldogs weren’t able to bring in any of their wideout signees early Dominick Blaylock happens to attend a school in Walton High that doesn’t allow it. Georgia has experienced the same thing with players it has signed out of Pace Academy, including Jamaree Salyer, Andrew Thomas and Trey Blount. But that’s where spring ball has changed a good bit over the years. It’s much more competitive over the course of 15 practices than it used to be. Those sessions can go a long way to determining who is going to be starter in the fall. Not always, but often. The ideal situation is getting as many positions locked down and decided in the spring, so those guys can work together as a unit as much as possible on a volunteer basis over the summer. That way they hit the ground running in preseason practice. No doubt you’ve read numerous accounts of what various people believe the be the most pressing priorities of the spring for the Bulldogs. As for me, the order of importance goes this way: Determine a receiver rotation; Identify a backup quarterback; Establish a starting center; Settle on a right cornerback; Figure out who else will help on defense. Going with the receivers first is an easy call for me. It has been well-documented that the Bulldogs lost 106 catches and 20 touchdowns from last year’s wideouts, the majority of those being compiled by juniors Riley Ridley and Mecole Hardman. But that number actually goes up by 35 catches and 3 touchdowns when tight end Isaac Nauta and running back Elijah Holyfield are included. So the emphasis on throwing and catching the ball in spring practice is going to be heavy. It’s usually that way anyway this time of year, because it is rare for teams to pound on each other a lot this far away from the actual season. That said, Georgia will need to mindful of Jake Fromm’s arm health and be careful not to overthrow him. To that end, the Bulldogs would like to come out with a good idea who is going to be Fromm’s primary backup. I wrote extensively on Sunday about redshirt sophomore Stetson Bennett coming back via junior college and giving Georgia an immediate competent presence with regard to already knowing the offensive system. But freshman Dwan Mathis remains an intriguing figure, and one can he sure that the Bulldogs will work hard and fast to determine exactly what they have in this 6-foot-6 athlete who has run a 10.8 100 meters. Trey Hill leads the way to succeed Lamont Gaillard at center, but that’s not a given. As always, Sam Pittman probably suffer brain cramps from exploring all possibilities for determining the combination that results in the best five across the board. The competition to succeed Deandre Baker at right cornerback certainly will be intriguing. But starting with elevating Tyson Campbell there as Georgia did in the bowl game is the first in what are all positive alternatives at all the secondary positions. If early enrollees such as JUCO transfer D.J. Daniel or Tyrique Stevenson end up winning out, all the better. Same with outside linebackers. The recruiting at this position has been other-worldly. Between the 5-stars that are coming back and the ones coming in, something is going to have Conversely, that’s why I don’t list inside linebackers here. Certainly the Bulldogs want higher-level play than it got from the returnees last season. But I believe all the existing alternatives to be better than adequate and not necessarily paramount to Georgia’s cause.  And as exciting a prospect as is Nakobe Dean, ranked the No. 1 inside linebacker in America, I always think back to Roquan Smith’s struggles as a true freshman and how it was late in his sophomore season before he emerged as the star he actually was. Same on the D-line, same on the O-line, same in the offensive backfield, same on special teams. The rest of it is very much organic. That is, it’ll come together naturally through the teaching of concepts and fundamentals. The Bulldogs seek competition and improvement, but they’ll be able to go to war with they’ve got. What you’re NOT going to see is running back D’Andre Swift get much in the way of contact. I highly doubt you’ll see Zamir White get any at all. White, the heralded 2018 signee known as Zeus, is less than seven months removed from a second knee surgery that came eight months after the first. The Bulldogs will be very interested in seeing what the former No. 1 back in America can do, but that can wait until late summer, when he will have had a year to rehab and recover. Maybe the most important factor will be the Bulldogs getting used to some new voices and concepts from the coaching staff. For the first time since Kirby Smart has been head coach, somebody other than Jim Chaney or Mel Tucker will be putting together the practice script for the offense and defense, respectively. That said, I suspect it won’t change significantly from what Georgia has been doing the last four years. That’s why James Coley, Dan Lanning and Glenn Schumann were appointed coordinators. They’re going to give Smart what he wants, which is more of the same. But it’s that — the newness factor — that’s going to make this spring so fun and interesting. And then, of course, they’ll tear up all the depth charts and start from scratch in August. The post Newness factor is what makes Kirby Smart’s 4th spring practice his most interesting at Georgia appeared first on DawgNation.
  • KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) - Atlanta Braves right-hander Julio Teheran is set to make his sixth straight start on opening day. The Braves said Monday that Teheran will face the Phillies on March 28 in Philadelphia. Teheran's run ties Hall of Famer Warren Spahn (1957-62) for the longest in Braves' franchise history during the modern era. Teheran is 1-1 with a 2.73 ERA on opening day. Earlier this spring, it had been thought Mike Foltynewicz might start on opening day for the Braves. But he's likely to be out until at least mid-April with a sore right elbow. New Phillies slugger Bryce Harper is expected to make his debut in the opener. He's had a lot of career success against Teheran, going 18 for 40 (.450) with eight homers and 19 RBIs. Teheran went 9-9 last season with a 3.94 ERA in 31 starts.