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Kirby Smart on Justin Fields situation: ‘No regrets. I would go recruit the best player (again)’
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Kirby Smart on Justin Fields situation: ‘No regrets. I would go recruit the best player (again)’

Kirby Smart on Justin Fields situation: ‘No regrets. I would go recruit the best player (again)’

Kirby Smart on Justin Fields situation: ‘No regrets. I would go recruit the best player (again)’

Georgia football-Kirby Smart-Justin Fields-Transfer portal

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.

Kirby Smart gives candid take on Justin Fields, transfer portal

Kirby Smart has made his feelings on the transfer portal pretty clear to this point. He’s not a fan of it and he’s said that it isn’t what’s best for the players or the game of college football.

Smart has reiterated that point again and again over the course of the past seven months since it came into existence. No school has had perhaps a more high-profile situation than Georgia when freshman quarterback Justin Fields entered the transfer portal following Georgia’s loss in the SEC championship game.

Fields was the No. 2 overall player in the 2019 recruiting cycle. But while Fields flashed some of his incredible talents as a freshman, he was never able to beat Jake Fromm for the starting spot. Fields announced that he would be transferring to Ohio State in early January and was granted a waiver shortly after to play during the 2019 season.

When Smart was asked about the Fields situation in a Dennis Dodd piece for CBSSports.com, Smart offered up a blunt assessment of how the Fields situation transpired and if he would change anything.

“No regrets,” Smart told Dodd. “I would go recruit the best player [again].”

These remarks do seem to line up with Smart’s recruiting philosophy. In his time at Georgia, he’s signed elite players at multiple positions in multiple recruiting classes. It’s why the Bulldogs have landed back-to-back-to-back top three recruiting classes. Georgia is the only school that can say that over the past three years.

But unlike linebacker or on the offensive line, only one quarterback can play at a time. Which is a part of the reason Fields ended up transferring.

Dodd also spoke with Ohio State coach Ryan Day. The first year Ohio State head coach provided some details on landing Fields as a transfer through the portal.

“We want to recruit and develop guys. However, the portal has kind of changed things,” Day said. “We thought Justin [Fields] was a fit for a lot of reasons.

“When Dwayne Haskins leaves as a sophomore, we think he has three years left, and he comes for one and throws 50 TD passes. We kind of had to figure all that out in short order. When Justin became available, it made sense.”

Smart spoke with Dodd as part of a deeper dive into the transfer portal. The Georgia coach gave some more nuanced takes on why the portal has become such a popular option for players and why it’s a problem.

“[The transfer issue is], ‘Where are you going to go to get developed the best?’ But that’s not the society we live in. We live in the, ‘Me, now, I want mine now. I want to go play right now.'”

Fields wasn’t the only Georgia player to enter the transfer portal this offseason, as four other Bulldogs have put their names in. Tight end Luke Ford ended up at Illinois and defensive back Deangelo Gibbs is at Tennessee. Defensive back Tray Bishop and linebacker Jaden Hunter have also put their names in but have not found new homes yet.

The transfer portal doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere, as it continues to be an option for players to explore other opportunities. Georgia has benefitted from transfers under Smart, as the Bulldogs have brought in the likes of JR Reed and Demetris Robertson. In this offseason alone Georgia has landed two graduate transfer players in Lawrence Cager and Eli Wolf.

Related:  Miami grad-transfer Lawrence Cager eager for Georgia arrival

And Smart does seem to be for the idea of pursuing your options once you’ve graduated. In speaking with Dodd he again reiterated that his biggest issue with the portal system is a player wanting to leave because things don’t go well from the beginning.

“My biggest problem with the portal is that it gives kids an easy way out,” Smart said. “I know the devil’s advocate of players’ rights and they should be able to go wherever they want to go. But I’m telling you, no normal parent would say, ‘At the first sign of trouble, I want my son to run.'”

Emerson Hancock a semi-finalist for college baseball’s top award

Sophomore pitcher Emerson Hancock has had a sensational season for the Bulldogs. He’s posted a 7-2 record with a stunning 1.31 ERA. That’s to go along with the country’s best mark in WHIP (Walks Plus Hits Per Innings Pitched) and fewest hits allowed per 9 innings. He’s a big reason Georgia is the No. 7 team in the country and poised to be a top seed in the NCAA tournament with a 39-14 record and 18-9 mark in SEC play.

Hancock was recognized for his efforts on Wednesday when he was named a semi-finalist for the Golden Spikes Award. The award annually goes to the top amateur baseball player in the country and recent winners include Bryce Harper, Stephen Strasburg, Kris Bryant and Buster Posey.

Hancock is the fourth Bulldog to be named a semi-finalist for the award. The school has only had one finalist for the award, which was Gordon Beckham back in 2008. That season Georgia made it all the way to the College World Series final.

Georgia will wrap up its regular season slate this week as the Bulldogs host Alabama. The series begins on Thursday, with first pitch set for 7:00 p.m. Hancock will pitch on Saturday, which is the final game of the series.

The SEC tournament begins next week in Hoover, Ala. Georgia can still clinch the regular season title, as it enters the weekend just two games back of first place Vanderbilt.

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The post Kirby Smart on Justin Fields situation: ‘No regrets. I would go recruit the best player (again)’ appeared first on DawgNation.

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  • 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. 989 (July 20, 2019) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about what Georgia safety JR Reed said about the UGA defense. Georgia football podcast: J.R. Reed warns not to overlook certain members of UGA defense Beginning of the show: One of the hot topics this offseason has centered around the possibility Georgia freshmen such as linebackers Nolan Smith and Nakobe Dean become breakout stars this fall. UGA safety J.R. Reed didn't dismiss the possibility of that occurring when asked about the topic at SEC Media Days. However, I'll play audio on today's show of what Reed did have to say including why he thinks some players who've been on the roster for a year or more could be strong candidates to stand out this season. 10-minute mark: I discuss the possibility UGA is the most physical team in the SEC and share some of the chatter regarding that topic. 15-minute mark: DawgNation's recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show. Some of the topics covered include The preview of Jeff's profile of Smith and his journey to UGA An early look at why next weekend is a crucial recruiting weekend for the Bulldogs The latest on UGA running back recruiting including 5-star Kendall Milton and 4-star Tank Bigsby Thoughts on 4-star defensive tackle Timothy Smith's Alabama commitment And reaction to 4-star defensive back Avantae Williams' jab at Florida coach Dan Mullen's Jordan Brand sneakers 40-minute mark: I share some final thoughts on SEC Media Days including what could improve the event in the future. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: J.R. Reed warns not to overlook certain members of UGA defense appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Cole Wilcox dominated on the mound last night for Team USA only allowing one base runner, while striking out three batters over 2.2 innings of relief, helping them secure a 2-0 win while one-hitting Japan at Kizuna Stadium. This was the first time the Collegiate National Team ever played at Kizuna Stadium. Wilcox has shined all summer for Team USA as he still maintains a 0.00 era this summer. Team USA is one win away from winning the USA vs. Japan Collegiate All-Star Series in Japan, something the team has not done in 40 years. Team USA has lost 15-straight series in Japan.
  • ATHENS Georgia football is a consensus top-five preseason team and championship contender, but the Bulldogs only had four players recognized as first-team All-SEC selections. Alabama, meanwhile had 11 first-team All-SEC selections. The Tide was picked by 243 media members to win the SEC, Georgia received 49 votes and LSU 3, according to Friday's league release. Tailback D'Andre Swift, offensive tackle Andrew Thomas, safety J.R. Reed and kicker Rodrigo Blankenship were named preseason first-team All-SEC picks according to the league's release on Friday. RELATED: 3 Georgia football takeaways from media days Quarterback Jake Fromm was one of three second-team offense picks for the Bulldogs, along with offensive guard Solomon Kindley and offensive tackle Isiah Wilson. RELATED: SEC expert breaks down Great Wall' of Georgia Georgia did not have any players on the second-team defense. Tight end Charlie Woerner and offensive guard Ben Cleveland were third-team picks on offense. Georgia had two third-team preseason All-SEC defensive picks this year, defensive tackle Tyler Clark and safety Richard LeCounte. The Bulldogs didn't have any first-team preseason offense coming out of last year's SEC Media Days. Reed and Blankenship were the only Georgia players named first-team picks last season. RELATED: Kirby Smart offense snubbed in 2018 preseason All-SEC vote Thomas and Swift were obvious selections this season. Thomas has already been named a preseason All-American and is considered among the favorites for the Outland Trophy,. Swift had 1,018 yards and seven touchdowns last season, averaging 6.4 yards per carry. Reed ranked second on the team with 66 tackles last season, also recording two interceptions and two pass break-ups. Blankenship was 19 of 23 on his field goal attempt with a long of 53 yards, and 82 of his 96 kickoffs went for touchbacks. Fromm ranked fifth in the nation in passing efficiency (171.2) last season, leading the Bulldogs to heir second straight East Division title Kindley is another part of an offensive line that paved the way for the SEC's top rushing offensive last season, the Bulldogs averaging 238.8 yards per game. DawgNation from SEC Media Days Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason: Kirby Smart is 'like a brother' Alabama players agree, Georgia toughest team' they faced Herschel Walker shares what UGA must do to beat Alabama The unbelievable story of how Herschel Walker chose Georgia Kirby Smart puts breaks on recruiting trail SEC Network analyst: I love Georgia this year' Outland Trophy favorite Andrew Thomas locked into junior year Florida says playing UGA in Jacksonville a home game' Gators believe they're closer to Georgia than scores indicate Georgia football offensive line, by position Podcast: 3 overlooked Georgia football topics from media days The post Alabama outnumbers Georgia 11-4 on All-SEC first-team preseason list appeared first on DawgNation.
  • For the third straight year, UGA is the overwhelming favorite to win the SEC East by the media members who know the conference the best. The Bulldogs got more than 10 times the first-place votes to finish on top of the standings with 223, compared to the next closest competitor Florida at 21 votes. The voting count was released at Friday's SEC Media Days. Rounding out the rest of the first-place votes were Missouri (3), South Carolina (1), Tennessee (1) and Kentucky (1). In fact, Vanderbilt was the only SEC East team that didn't get a top vote. Back to UGA: The Bulldogs have dominated the SEC East over the last two seasons, winning 13 straight games against subdivision opponents (dating back to the 2016 loss to Florida). Of course, UGA also repped the SEC in the conference the last two seasons. Expectations are sky high this year for Georgia, which seems to be the nation's consensus No. 3 team in the preseason rankings. This year's team is considered to be coach Kirby Smart's most talented roster, despite the early NFL defections. Predictions? Please post below. The post UGA picked as overwhelming favorite to win SEC East yet again appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Aaron Murray, who still holds the SEC career records for passing yards and passing touchdowns, briefly considered quitting football during his freshman season with UGA in 2010. The former Bulldogs quarterback revealed the little-known story at SEC Media Days to WJOX radio's '3 Man Front,' via Saturday Down South. It had to do with those infamous cheap shots on Murray by Auburn's Nick Fairley (captured in the below video) in the showdown between the two archrivals. 'If he did that outside the football field, he'd have been in jail for three years. That was actually the first time in my life I was like I don't know if I want to play football anymore.' I'm not kidding either,' Murray said. 'I was on the sideline, and I had six stitches; my jersey's covered in blood; I had a fractured sternum and can't feel the left side of my body. I got whiplash in my neck, and I can't really move my neck. I was like Is this really worth it? It's my freshman year, I can quit now and save myself a lot of punishment.' 'I had to sit up sleeping the next two weeks. I couldn't even lay down. It was tough.' That's not the end of the story, according to Murray. He went on tell WJOX about some brutal UGA payback on Fairley, which also went unreported at the time, courtesy of former Bulldogs offensive lineman Ben Jones: 'Ben Jones ripped the dreads off the middle linebacker's head. I'm in the huddle and have a fractured sternum (from Fairley's hit), Ben hands me the dreads in the middle of the huddle. I'm like, Ben, what do you want me to do with these?' I have to call a play in like 10 seconds. So, he sticks them in his pants, and then, at his house in Athens, he attached it to the ceiling fan.' It has been a busy summer for Murray, as he recently gotmarried in Athens, Ga. The post Aaron Murray considered quitting football after Auburn's cheap shots appeared first on DawgNation.