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Nation’s No. 1 RB Trey Sanders still has lot to say about Georgia
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Nation’s No. 1 RB Trey Sanders still has lot to say about Georgia

Nation’s No. 1 RB Trey Sanders still has lot to say about Georgia

Nation’s No. 1 RB Trey Sanders still has lot to say about Georgia

Trey Sanders-UGA recruiting-UGA football-Georgia football-Georgia recruiting

Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel will bring at least five days a week. The play sheet this time calls for insight into why Trey Sanders is considering the Bulldogs.

BRADENTON, Fla. — There is a reason why Trey Sanders will consider Georgia for the long haul during his recruitment.

Sanders can provide the proper view on that history lesson.

“They were my second offer and I got that one my freshman year,” said the nation’s No. 1 RB prospect for 2019. “Of course, they have been coming hard now. Just like every school. It is pretty much like every day. I’m on the phone with those coaches a lot. [UGA assistant] coach [Dell] McGee and I have built a great relationship since my freshman year.”

Trey Sanders-UGA recruiting-UGA football-Georgia football-Georgia recruiting
Trey Sanders rates as the nation’s No. 1 RB prospect for the Class of 2019. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation.com)

How can UGA make itself an even more attractive destination?

“Just keep doing what they are doing right now,” Sanders said. “Of course, they’ve got great running backs now and have also got great running backs coming in. It would be a great opportunity to go there and watch James Cook and Zamir White and D’Andre Swift and watch them do it. They can teach me stuff before they all go on to the NFL.”

Florida State was his first offer. Sanders, a onetime Alabama commitment, said he’s never wavered in his interest in Georgia.

“It was always constant,” Sanders said. “But I guess that has been for every school, too. But Georgia has always known about my talent. There have never been any ‘ifs’ or ‘maybes’ with me and Georgia. They’ve been on me hard since that offer my freshman year.”

Sanders used an interesting parallel with DawgNation last month after G-Day. He compared his timeline to a football game and felt his process was in the third quarter.

It is still there now.

“I am just taking my time and slowing it down to take my time,” Sanders said. “This is one of the biggest decisions of my life. I just want to find the right school for me for the next four years.”

It was pretty hard to not latch onto that “for me” portion of that last statement.

Will Trey Sanders follow his older brother to Florida?

Umstead Sanders, his older brother, rated as a 3-star OLB prospect in the Class of 2018. He has decided to accept a preferred walk-on opportunity with Florida.

There are many that speculate that was a shrewd move on coachDan Mullen’s part. If Umstead comes out and shows his talent in Gainesville, he might earn a scholarship.

Trey Sanders-UGA recruiting-UGA football-Georgia football-Georgia recruiting
Trey Sanders expressed that there were just two schools that stand out in terms of the O-line he’d get to run behind in college. Georgia was one of those. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

That, at the very least, might make Florida an even more attractive destination to the IMG standout back. Trey Sanders does rank as a 5-star recruit and as the nation’s No. 7 overall prospect on the 247Sports composite rankings for 2019.

How does Trey look at that situation?

“First of all, for me, I know my brother is going to ball out at Florida,” he said. “He is just that type of player. He feeds off negativity and things like that. I wasn’t the reason why they picked him up. They watched his film and they loved him right away.

“He talks to me every day about going to Florida, too. But I feel like at the end of the day we just have to do what is best for us. If Florida is the best thing for me, then it is the best thing. But until then, I still have to make that decision and figure that out. I’m going to just enjoy my recruitment.”

Sanders said that his mother wants him to go to Florida.

“But at the end of the day, I am going to have to do what is the best thing for me,” Sanders said. “That’s my mom. She is always going to love me no matter what. I feel like she just wants what is the best for both of her sons. Whatever that may be. … My dad wants the same thing for us. My parents just really tell us that they both want us to be successful in life.”

Sanders will visit FSU next weekend. That is expected to be a family trip.

He also dropped some insight about an IMG player he expects to play with in college. That would be 2020 safety Lejond Cavazos. Cavazos continues to maintain that UGA is his leader.

“That is my little brother,” Sanders said. “I am going to put you in on a little insight. Wherever I go, he is going to come with me. I am going to make sure of that. I am going to recruit him the hardest next year. You can make sure of that.”

A couple more nuggets about Trey Sanders

What’s he like off the field?

“I am probably the goofiest person that you have ever met,” Sanders said. “Especially out of all of us players. I am the goofiest kid that IMG has got here. Honestly.”

Trey Sanders-UGA recruiting-UGA football-Georgia football-Georgia recruiting
Trey Sanders plans to decide at some point during his senior season. He’s not exactly sure when. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)

Cavazos overheard that quip. He nodded his head to that claim.

What does he still need to see about Georgia? Sanders wasn’t able to supply much on that one.

“I’m ready to get up there for another game,” he said.

He’s not sure about his official visits yet, but he does plan to take all of those before he commits. Sanders will sign on the first day of the early period on Dec. 20.

“I am going to likely decide between mid-season and [early] signing day,” he said.

But in the back and forth of an interview, it sounded like he just kept it all pretty real.

“I don’t know where I want to go,” Sanders said. “At this point, I should be used to it by now, but this is probably the craziest part of my recruitment that I have had. But I am just blessed to have all these opportunities that I do. I’m not going to wish I didn’t have this blessing and I am surely not going to take any of these opportunities for granted.”

Who’s got the best line he could play behind?

“I’m pretty sure everybody knows this one for me,” Sanders said. “That would be either Georgia or Alabama. No question about that one. Alabama has got a young line that is going to be great. Georgia has a young line that is coming in that is going to be crazy.”

While everyone has wild RB dreams in their head

Noah Cain, the other elite RB at IMG Academy, continues to seriously consider Georgia. Now, I’m not saying that it sounds like any of that “this is the place” as of yet with Cain.

But it does sound like the Bulldogs continue to carry their weight in the chance to land an official visit from Cain.

Cain even said that there were just a few schools that could land both him and Sanders. Sanders acknowledged that it was something that they do talk about.

“It is possible,” Sanders said on that front. “He and I talk about it all the time. You have to be ready to go to the NFL. You can’t already have been beat up [as a showcase back taking the brunt of the carries] when you are ready to go there. I feel like Noah and I correlate pretty well, man. Wherever I am weak at, he’s strong at. Where he’s weak, I’m strong there in my own right. I feel like we feed off each every time we come on and off the field.”

That’s the aspect of the both of them going to the same school. They don’t dismiss the thought of continuing to carry the load they currently do for the IMG backfield.

Cain said there were only three schools that have a legit shot to land the duo. That’s because of the mutual interest that the two share in the same programs. Those schools were:

  • Georgia
  • Miami
  • Texas

Sanders agreed. He also added FSU as another darkhorse.

“All of those schools know how to run a two-back system,” he said.

A few other tidbits about the other elite RB on UGA radar

Sam Spiegelman of SEC Country caught up with 4-star RB John Emery Jr. recently. Emery was at UGA over the weekend for the scavenger hunt and other activities.

Emery shows up as the nation’s No. 5 RB and the No. 68 overall prospect on the 247Sports composite rankings. He had McGee, Georgia running backs coach, and UGA area recruiter Cortez Hankton at his spring game last Thursday.

UGA recruiting-UGA football-John Emery Jr.
John Emery Jr. ranks as the nation’s No. 5 RB for the Class of 2019. (Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country)

LSU could very well be the spot for him. Eventually. But the Bulldogs appear to be making a race of it.

He will sign early. His mother also made the trip with him to UGA this weekend.

When asked about how close the schools at the top are at this moment, Emery offered up this response to Spiegelman: “It’s still close. It does [make things hard]. LSU is home and the connections I could have there … it’s going to be a hard decision for me.”

There’s the feeling around those close to Emery that he could be ready to make his decision in maybe another month or so. It could be that soon.

“It’s still close,” Emery told SEC Country. “I’m still waiting, trying to take some more visits and still scheduling things out, but I plan on committing in June. It’s nothing specific, just sometime in that month.”

The information that I’ve been hearing is that Emery was leaning away from UGA at one point. He expressed some concerns about wanting to be in the two-deep immediately. But something has happened here to draw the charge led by Hankton and McGee back into it.

Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will et you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap.

The post Nation’s No. 1 RB Trey Sanders still has lot to say about Georgia appeared first on DawgNation.

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Georgia Sports News

  • RUTLEDGE, Ga. — Driving East out of Atlanta, keep going on until there’s no evidence of civilization, exit onto Newborn Road and head south into the middle of nowhere. Turn left onto Centenniel Road, drive about a mile, then hang a right onto the gravel road known as Keencheefoonee. Proceed through the wooden gate, turn left at the horse stables pull into a dirt parking lot. Then walk downhill along an asphalt path through a shady white oak forest and emerge into sunlight and arrive at the happiest place on Earth. No, you’re not at Disney World. This place is better. You’ve arrived at Camp Twin Lakes, which for this one day at least is known as Camp Sunshine. Georgia coach Kirby Smart puts his arms around linemen Kendall Baker and Lamont Gaillard as the Bulldogs listen to a presentation by a nurse at the infirmary at Lake Twin Lakes on Wednesday. (Chip Towers/DawgNation) Longtime Georgia Bulldogs’ fans know the drill. UGA’s football team has been making this trek an hour and change south of Athens annually for most of the last 35 years. Vince Dooley, along with wife Barbara, was appointed to the Camp Twin Lakes board of directors in 1983 and the Bulldogs have been making a midsummer visit here every year since (well, every year accept for those under coach Jim Donnan, according to camp administrators). For the unenlightened, Camp Twin Lakes is a retreat in which children with cancer and their families can get away to enjoy outdoor recreational activities for the summer. It has air-conditioned cabins for “glamping,” swimming pools, lakes, a farm (complete with miniature cows and alpacas), sports playing fields, a zipline, a gymnasium and much more. All of the available activities are retrofitted to accommodate children battling different forms of cancer. And, of course, there’s an infirmary to attend to any children who might get sick — or just scrape a knee raising their buddy on one of the many trails snaking the expansive property. It’s here that one sees a whole different side of Georgia coach Kirby Smart. He completely drops his guard and relaxes. He back-slaps and jokes with his players. He peels off at the sight of any of the campers or there families. During the hour-long tour, he seems to know somebody personally at every corner and stops to chat, falling behind the tour and then double-timing it catch back up. The familiarity is because Smart has been coming to Camp Twin Lakes a very long time. He first started coming when his older brother Karl was diagnosed with leukemia in the 1990s. His brother has long since been well, but Kirby has kept coming. He came when he was an assistant coach at Valdosta State and when he was the Miami Dolphins and Alabama. “It’s convenient because I have a lake home that’s 30-45 minutes from here (on Lake Oconee),” Smart said Wednesday. “So through the years, when I was with the Dolphins or Alabama, I’d stop by. A couple of those years Karl was still here as a counselor, so being able to stop in here to see him and everybody was good. Now that he’s head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs, he brings his whole team with him, including wife Mary Beth, twins Julia and Weston and little Andrew. Wednesday they had a good time posing with a cardboard cut-out of Kirby and Karl on display in the camp’s courtyard. Andrew kept asking everybody when the dodge-ball game would start, and was front and center and in the middle of everything when it did. “He needs to get smacked around a little bit,” Smart said with a chuckle. “He’s a little too brave for his own good out there. The players are scared to bean him because they know he’s mine.” “Nobody’s like Kirby,” said Mo Thrash, one of the original founders of Camp Sunshine who serves as the Bulldogs’ tour guide and taskmaster each year. “He’s come every year since he’s been out of college. He’d always call me and say, ‘Mo, can I come to camp?’ He show up, spend an hour, hour-and-a-half with me walking around the camp saying hey to kids. No press, nobody around, just being himself. Then he’d leave. He did it every year. Then he became Georgia’s head coach. He’s just very special.” Wednesday was the first of two trips that the Bulldogs will make to Camp Sunshine. In all, Smart said about 70 players signed up to participate. About the other half will come next Wednesday. The first group seemed to include a lot of freshmen and first-year players. Notre Dame transfer Jay Hayes, wearing his new number 97 Georgia jersey, was front-and-center for many of the activities. So was long and tall true freshman Tommy Bush, until they went to alpaca pin. The nearly 6-foot-6 tall receiver, wearing the No. 12, eased to the back of the pack when the group was asked to pet the odd-looking creatures. The many interactions with the campers and staff were entertaining to observe. The players were split into two groups and toured opposite ends of the complex. When being shown the cabins where the campers stay, the girls of Cabin 10 came pouring out and high-fived every player. “Oh my  God, they’re all so tall,” one of the young teens shouted. The residents are not all Georgia fans, either. At the intersection of two paths, a young man named William yelled, “go Gators.” To that the jersey-wearing group responded with a collective, “boo!”, then just laughed it off. In the cafeteria, Smart made a beeline to a young man wearing Alabama gear, including a crimson-and-white cast on his right leg. Colton, who’s 14, said he first met Smart when he was an assistant for the Crimson Tide. “Now he tries to talk me into being a Georgia fan, but he knows I won’t convert,” Colton said. Thrash showed the team the lake and pointed to the zipline and ropes course far across on the other side. “What’s the weight capacity on that?” Smart asked loud enough for everyone to hear. “We’ve got some people here we think can break it “Be sure to keep Fernando off it,” he added, referring to support staffer and former Georgia and NFL offensive lineman Fernando Velasco. At the heart of it all, though, is a serious message. “You guys are heroes to these kids; you’re heroes to me,” Thrash said when he huddled up the team at the outset of the tour. “So go in here, look around the place, see what we do, say hello to the kids, get to know them a little bit and have a good time.” Said Smart: “I want them to appreciated what they have. You look at some of these kids and see how they have to struggle and go through things. Some of them are well now and they come back because they’re the hope for so many other kids who are going through what they did.” For the team, it was a well-earned reprieve. They’ve been working out and doing conditioning every morning for the last two weeks. That includes Wednesday when the players signed up for the trip had to report to the Butts-Mehre football complex at 5:30 a.m. “I don’t know if everybody slept the whole way down because I was asleep as soon as the bus pulled out,” junior tight end Isaac Nauta said. Participants range from players like Nauta and senior center Lamont Gaillard, who have been every year since they arrived on campus, to junior running back Elijah Holyfield, who was making his first trip Wednesday. “My freshman and sophomore years I was kind of trying to do too much,” Holyfield said. “Finally I said I’ve got to go this year because everybody was talking about how much fun it is. I knew I had to do it before I left Georgia and I loved it, so I’ll be back next week as well.” It was especially re-energizing for the freshmen, who have known nothing but regimen and brutal intensity since they arrived on campus May 31. “I think they can finally see that there’s a human side to everybody and you can go out and have fun,” Smart quipped. Camp Sunshine unique to the University of Georgia. Located 51 miles east of downtown Atlanta, the camp is located in the heart of Bulldog Country. No other teams make the pilgrimage to the East Georgia outback. Just the Bulldogs. “It’s only a Georgia thing,” Thrash said. “We’d love for other teams to come in. But it’s always special when the Georgia Bulldogs come in. They’re part of Camp Sunshine.” A happy place indeed. The post Camp Sunshine is strictly a Bulldogs’ thing, and something Kirby Smart loves appeared first on DawgNation.
  • TORONTO (AP) - The better J.A. Happ pitches for the Toronto Blue Jays, the better the chance he finishes the season with another team. Happ pitched a season-high 8 1/3 innings to win his fifth straight decision, Kendrys Morales hit a two-run home run and the Blue Jays beat the Atlanta Braves 5-4 Wednesday for Toronto's seventh win in eight home games. Happ (9-3) allowed four runs and six hits, walked none and struck out eight. The veteran left-hander is the first big league pitcher to record four starts this season with at least eight strikeouts and no walks. 'He's got good life on his fastball,' Atlanta's Nick Markakis said. 'He's always been a thorn in the side.' With Toronto well behind in both the AL East and the wild card standings, Happ could be a candidate for a midseason trade to a contender. 'I know he's in demand and I can see why,' Toronto manager John Gibbons said. 'If we were on the other end of it, I'd want him, too.' Happ is in the final season of a three-year, $36 million contract. 'I signed to play here and try to help this team get to the playoffs,' Happ said. 'I know there may be rumors out there, but I like it here and my focus is here.' Happ improved 4-0 with a 2.72 ERA in nine career starts against the Braves. 'We knew going in it was going to be a tough ride,' Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. Happ had retired 18 of 19 before Freddie Freeman and Markakis hit back-to-back singles with one out in the ninth. Ryan Tepera came on and gave up an RBI single to Kurt Suzuki, struck out Charlie Culberson, then allowed an RBI single to Ender Inciarte, putting the tying run at second. Tepera finished it by getting Johan Camargo to fly out, earning his fifth save in eight opportunities Morales, who turned 35 Wednesday, went 2 for 3 and scored twice. He homered in the first, walked and scored in the fourth, singled in the fifth, and flied out in the eighth. Suzuki and Peter Bourjos hit solo home runs for the Braves, who lost for the second time in eight games. Atlanta began the day with an NL-best record of 43-29. Braves right-hander Anibal Sanchez (3-1) allowed four runs and five hits in five innings. 'It wasn't bad, wasn't great,' Snitker said. 'He kept us in the game, gave us a chance.' Sanchez is 0-2 with a 9.19 ERA in his past three starts against the Blue Jays. After Morales hit a two-out drive off Sanchez, his sixth homer of the season, Suzuki connected in the second, his eighth, and Bourjos tied it in the third with his first homer of the season. Toronto broke the deadlock in the fourth when Randal Grichuk hit an RBI double and Aledmys Diaz followed with a sacrifice fly. Blue Jays infielder Yangervis Solarte made it 5-2 with a two-out RBI single off A.J. Minter in the seventh. WALK THIS WAY Blue Jays C Russell Martin has walked at least once in eight straight games, matching a career-long stretch. Martin, who walked twice Wednesday, also walked in eight straight in 2013. BIRTHDAY BLASTS Morales has four home runs and eight RBIs in eight career games on his birthday. THRIVING WITH FIVE Toronto is 28-1 when scoring five or more runs. TRAINER'S ROOM Braves: Markakis started at designated hitter, the first time this season he hasn't played one of the corner outfield spots. Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (shoulder) will be activated off the disabled list to start at the Angels on Saturday, Gibbons said. Stroman is 0-5 with a 7.71 ERA in seven starts. ... 3B Josh Donaldson (left calf) left the team Wednesday and will continue working out at Toronto's spring training facility in Florida. Donaldson will not begin a rehab assignment until he is able to run the bases at full speed. UP NEXT Braves: Atlanta is off Thursday before opening a three-game home series against Baltimore on Friday. LHP Sean Newcomb (8-2, 2.70 ERA) starts for the Braves. Newcomb has won eight of his past nine decisions. The Orioles have not named a starter. Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (3-5, 4.35) starts the opener of a four-game series against the Angels. Sanchez is 1-0 with a 2.95 ERA in three June starts. LHP Tyler Skaggs (6-4, 2.81) starts for Los Angeles. ___ More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
  • Georgia may get one more win from its incredible Rose Bowl victory over Oklahoma in Pasadena, Calif. on New Year’s Day. Georgia’s epic comeback 54-48 win in double-overtime win over Oklahoma and Heisman Trophy-winner and eventual first-overall pick Baker Mayfield is one of the three nominees for Best Game at the annual sports awards. The other two nominees are the wild World Series Game 5 between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers and the 2018 Winter Olympics Women’s Hockey Gold Medal Game between the United States and Canada. Georgia trailed Oklahoma by 17 points before an end-of-half and Rose Bowl record 55-yard field goal by Rodrigo Blankenship brought the Bulldogs within an even two touchdowns. They looked like a different team in the second half, putting all kinds of pressure on Mayfield while Nick Chubb and Sony Michel wore down and gashed the Sooners’ defense. A late fumble from Michel that was returned for a touchdown almost made the comeback all for naught, but Jake Fromm led the Bulldogs down the field in the final minutes, converting a third down pass to Terry Godwin near the red zone before Chubb scored again to send the game to overtime. The teams traded field goals in the first overtime, and then Lorenzo Carter used every bit of his long arms to block OU’s attempt in double overtime. Then, on the second play of Georgia’s possession, Sony Michel took the direct snap to the left and found himself wide open into the end zone, and the Rose party was on. It’s arguable the best Rose Bowl ever but definitely can go no lower than second. Vince Young defeating USC for the national championship has to receive its due. But it’s a tough argument that this ESPY should go anywhere other than Athens. You can view all of the award nominees and vote on them here. The post Georgia’s epic Rose Bowl win nominated for ESPY Award for Best Game appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily — the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the cast of DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss UGA coach Kirby Smart’s quest to keep the Bulldogs on top of the SEC. On episode No. 725 (June 20, 2018) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about Georgia freshman quarterback Justin Fields. Georgia football podcast: Despite loads of attention, Justin Fields might be underrated Beginning of the show: Georgia incoming freshman quarterback Justin Fields is among the most talked about players in the country, but based on one recent evaluation he might still be underrated. I’ll talk on today’s show about how Fields’ presence impacts how UGA’s quarterback situation should be viewed. 12-minute mark: I share audio of DawgNation recruiting insider Jeff Sentell’s list of the top 2019 defensive line priorities for UGA. 15-minute mark: SEC Country’s Mike Johnson joins the show. Some of the topics covered include… Mike’s thoughts on Fields Reaction to 4-star offensive tackle Xavier Truss’ commitment An assessment of the pressure on UGA defensive line coach Tray Scott to pull together an elite collection of defensive linemen for the 2019 class And an opinion about current UGA commits taking visits to other schools 30-minute mark: I take a look at some other SEC headlines including Les Miles being asked about the LSU athletic director’s job, a preview of 5-star cornerback Derek Stingley’s commitment announcement scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, and a challenge from ESPN to some former top recruits to finally live up to the hype this season. 35-minute mark: I share another Dawg Day Q&A. End of show: I update the Gator Hater Countdown. For the Tuesday (June 19) show, click here. For the video version of the Wednesday show, click here. For older episodes of DawgNation Daily, click here. The post Georgia football podcast: Despite loads of attention, Justin Fields might be underrated appeared first on DawgNation.