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College
What the national media is saying about Georgia’s quarterback position
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What the national media is saying about Georgia’s quarterback position

What the national media is saying about Georgia’s quarterback position

What the national media is saying about Georgia’s quarterback position

For months, there was a lot of hype surrounding Georgia quarterback Jamie Newman. He flashed some impressive traits and tools in his time at Wake Forest, and with some improved talent around him at Georgia, many in the national media expected big things to come from the quarterback.

Some had tabbed him as Heisman Trophy contender, while NFL draft experts pegged him as a possible first-round pick.

Then Georgia added an equally talented transfer quarterback in JT Daniels. He announced his intention to transfer to the program last Thursday. And this caused some that were hyping and praising Newman to take a step back and re-evaluate at the quarterback situation.

Perhaps no one had a bolder take on what the Daniels addition could mean than Barrett Sallee of CBSSports. He stated that if Daniels gets eligibility for this upcoming season, he'd likely put Georgia over Florida in the SEC East.

Daniels has applied for a waiver for immediate eligibility but it is not yet known if it that will be granted. If it is not, Daniels would not be eligible to suit up for the Bulldogs until the 2021 season. As a freshman, Daniels threw 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 11 starts. He tore his ACL and meniscus in the opening game of his sophomore season for the Trojans.

Daniels did indicate though that he's healthy enough to work out, as he posted a picture of himself alongside former USC quarterback Sam Darnold and quarterback trainer Jordan Palmer earlier this week.

View this post on Instagram

Back to work

A post shared by JT Daniels (@jtdaniels) on

As for what skills Daniels brings to the table, former Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason provided a brief overview on Twitter, before going even deeper into the matter with DawgNation's Mike Griffith.

Related: First look at new Georgia quarterback JT Daniels from Hutson Mason

By comparison, Newman threw for 26 touchdowns to 11 interceptions at Wake Forest last season. He also added 574 rushing yards and 6 rushing touchdowns, showing off his dual-threat ability, something Georgia hasn't had from a starting quarterback since the days of DJ Shockley.

At the moment, given the uncertainty regarding Daniels' health and eligibility, the national media is still acting under the idea that Newman will be the starter for Georgia come the season-opener against Virginia on Sept. 7.

ESPN's Bill Connelly added that if Newman is able to live up to some of the hype bestowed upon him Pro Football Focus ranks him as the No. 3 quarterback in the country entering the 2020 season it will go a long way in turning Georgia into a national title contender.

"Newman dominated the ball at Wake Forest last season, averaging both 29.5 pass attempts and 12.2 non-sack rushes per game," Connelly wrote. "He took more sacks than departed starterJake Frommand averaged fewer adjusted net yards per attempt (ANY/A*) as well: 7.5 for Fromm, 7.2 for Newman."

While Newman did not get a chance to work in any practices with the new Georgia offense, he has taken part in some 7-on-7 drills with his new teammates. And Newman will likely be at the forefront of those players returning to campus, with Georgia allowing players to begin voluntary workouts come June 8.

Daniels' game is more similar to that of Fromm, but with superior arm strength and slightly better athleticism. He also had a propensity to turn the ball over much more than Fromm ever did. Newman, on the other hand, is a much better athlete and also throws a better deep ball. But he too has some concerns, with durability being among them. It will be very interesting to see which quarterback Georgia goes with it and what the decision says about the direction of the offense under Todd Monken.

As for a direct comparison between the two, ESPN's David Hale put the quarterbacks into tiers. He put Newman in tier 3, with the likes of Kyle Trask, Kellen Mond and KJ Costello. Quarterbacks who have all flashed tools of being elite playmakers, but have not done with the same consistency that Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields have.

Daniels was in a lower-tier, largely due to concerns about his eligibility. Because of that, Hale put him in the wild-card tier, though adding that he is ,as talented as any QB outside of the big two (Lawrence and Fields)."

More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation

The post What the national media is saying about Georgia's quarterback position appeared first on DawgNation.

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  • One of the hallmarks of Georgia under coach Kirby Smart has been a big, physical offensive line. Despite the offseason departure of offensive line coach Sam Pittman who became head coach at Arkansas and the loss of three starters to the NFL draft, expectations remain high that the Bulldogs can field a formidable unit once again. However, that will require some newcomers to the program or possibly some players who've been waiting in the wings in reserve roles to get quickly acclimated to the challenge of facing SEC defensive lines as they prepare to fill the shoes of former tackles Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson, both of whom were first-round picks in April, as well as former guard Solomon Kindley, who was a fourth-round pick. Former Bulldogs offensive lineman Jon Stinchcomb, who was an All-American tackle in 2002, believes a successful transition is possible. 'There's such good options there,' Stinchcomb recently said on DawgNation Daily. 'Across the SEC, and really around the country, they would be chomping at the bit to have the level of talent Georgia has despite the uncertainty of losing three starters to the NFL draft. 'Georgia's got a bevy of players in that room that are highly capable and I think are just waiting for the opportunity to prove the merit that their names brought once they signed a letter of intent to come to the University of Georgia.' One of the easiest names to fill in as a new starter is probably rising junior Jamaree Salyer. a former five-star signee from the 2018 class. Salyer's reputation has been growing since being called upon to start at right tackle in the Bulldogs' Sugar Bowl win vs. Baylor. 'Jamaree really solidified himself in showing that he's going to be more than capable of being a starter and holding his own,' Stinchcomb said. 'That's no longer in question. Now you're talking about how good he can be.' Salyer's Sugar Bowl performance is even more impressive given the change that was happening around him at the time. In addition to players leaving for the NFL, new offensive line coach Matt Luke was also stepping in for the first time in place of Pittman. Yet the Bulldogs' offensive line still got the job done. 'Those guys stepped up to the challenge,' Luke told DawgNation after the Sugar Bowl. 'We had three normal starters out and those guys went wire to wire and played every snap. I'm really proud of those guys for stepping up.' Now Salyer could be ready to take an even bigger step this season. He's spent much of the offseason showcasing a newly slimmed-down frame, and the efforts that have led to that body transformation have some saying he could be ready to emerge as a leader and a possible starter at left tackle, arguably the offensive line's most important position. 'He's going to be a great player,' Thomas who was also a high school teammate of Salyer's at Pace Academy told DawgNation in March. 'He has kept his head up and continued to fight. He's going to be the anchor along that offensive line.' If Salyer earns the nod at left tackle, that leaves a crucial position battle at right tackle between guys who've been in the program and a couple of hyped recent arrivals. Xavier Truss was a four-star prospect from the 2019 class and the former No. 1 player in the state of Rhode Island. He appeared in three games for the Bulldogs a year ago, and is thought to be solidly in the mix to possibly replace Wilson on the right side this year. A similar statement could be made for Warren McClendon another four-star 2019 signee who played in four games for UGA last season. Owen Condon who has appeared in four games over his two years at UGA could join the fight as well as two elite 2020 signees, Broderick Jones and Tate Ratledge. Stinchcomb thinks the guys who've gained some experience in the program could have the early advantage over the incoming freshmen. 'I think [experience] makes a considerable difference because they've seen the power and speed of some of these elite outside linebackers and defensive ends in the SEC mainly because they've practiced against them on a week in and week out basis,' Stinchcomb said. 'For some of these guys, just last season, but for some of the others that's two years of facing that level of competition.' Stinchcomb says he'd favor Truss slightly in the competition for now. However, Jones because he was a five-star signee will almost certainly be the subject of much curiosity among UGA fans once practice begins. 'Having seen Broderick's film coming out of high school, he's big. He's athletic. He moves really well,' Stinchcomb said. 'I can see why he was as highly-regarded as he is. But you have to lean on the fact that these aren't scrubs we are talking about Truss, Condon, McClendon. They came in highly-touted in their own regard. 'He's not walking into an empty space. There's not this gaping void where there's no talent in-house. 'I think if I were to make a projection, it's one of your veterans that gets the starting nod. But you could see Broderick Jones get reps throughout the season in a rotational basis probably at the beginning of the season, and then who knows what happens by the end of the year. I think he's a special talent, but I think there's a lot of talent in that room.' No matter who ultimately wins the competition at right tackle, Stinchcomb believes UGA will be in good hands. 'It's not going to be a position of weakness,' Stinchcomb said. 'It's not like you're going to have to hide the right tackle spot.' Stinchcomb's assessment, if it turns out to be true, would be good news for UGA. The Bulldogs almost certainly feel confident in the offensive line's two returning starters center Trey Hill and right guard Ben Cleveland. If Thomas and Wilson can be replaced with quality starters at the tackle spots, the offensive line should once again be one of UGA's strengths. The post Former All-American expects UGA offensive line to remain a strength despite departures appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Tralee Hale never knew she had quite this many Dawgs in her corner. Until now. Her introduction to the Georgia fan base was quick and memorable during the last recruiting cycle. Hale, a flight attendant, is the mother of 5-star cornerback prospect Kelee Ringo. She kept visiting Athens from Arizona with her son all last year. Ringo was rated as the nation's No. 1 cornerback prospect for the 2020 cycle. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder was 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighed more than 205 pounds. There was a 'Junior Day' visit. Then for G-Day. Then for the annual Georgia scavenger hunt recruit weekend in May. Those were just the trips that popped up over social media. He also had an official visit in early January. The Bulldogs were battling Texas and Oregon primarily for his commitment and eventual signature on a letter-of-intent. Ringo had sprinter's speed in the 100 meters. He was capable of clocking 10.40 seconds and below in the 100. But his mother also kept showing up on his viral recruiting visits. There was that timeless photo when she draped the pet python of a Georgia staffer around her neck. Her son, the chiseled and hyper-athletic 5-star would have nothing to do with that serpent. That photo opp with Georgia staffer Bryan Gantt's pet 'Sunshine' eventually led to the creation of a new NCAA rule for recruits. Of all things. Her son did eventually sign with Georgia . He committed to the Bulldogs back in January on a live announcement from the All-American Bowl out in Texas. Hale was planning to move to Georgia to be closer to her son and follow his career from not just the same time zone, but the same state as well. Life, as we all know, sometimes can bust up even the best-laid plans. Hale was diagnosed in June with an aggressive form of breast cancer. When she learned that, she went through the expected range of emotions. She eventually was faced with the reality that she was going to need some help. A lot of help. It necessitated that a GoFundme page was set up to help her raise the funds necessary to pay for those treatments and also deal with the loss of income necessary while she was set to go through all the chemotherapy. Her situation is described on that page. 'In June of this year, Tralee Hale was diagnosed with Triple Negative Ductal Carcinoma breast cancer. This is an aggressive form of cancer, and fewer treatment options are available. Tralee is being treated at Cancer Treatment Centers of America here in Arizona where she will undergo 16 rounds of chemotherapy. Before this diagnosis, Tralee has been on leave from her job as a flight attendant for American Airlines due to a work-related injury. She has had one surgery to correct a knee issue and multiple others for her knee and back are required. Shortly before this diagnosis, Tralee sent her son, Kelee, off to live his dream playing football for the Georgia Bulldogs. She has always been his biggest cheerleader but now she needs our help! Please consider donating to help Tralee with her loss of income and additional expenses not covered by insurance.' Kimberly Cochran, her cousin, set up the page and organized the online effort. As of late Thursday evening, she had 490 donations to help her in that fight. While an original goal of $25,000 was quickly established, it became clear that the support was going to provide more help in her fight than she ever imagined. Those 490 pledges have been good for a total of $26,015 so far. The quick math on that is an average of $53 per pledge. Hale was so moved that she took to her Twitter account to try to begin to share her gratitude. 'I wanted to come on and say thank you,' Hale says in the embedded video below. 'I have been brought to tears these last two days over the amount of support and messages and encouragement that I have been receiving. I am so thankful and blessed to be a part of the UGA family and a part of DawgNation.' 'I'm so thankful for everyone showing their love and support. We have a fight in front of us but I am definitely going to get through it with your help. Thank you and I look forward to seeing ya'll between the hedges.' Thank you for ALL the love and support! I feel so blessed to be a part of Dawg Nation and the UGA family! GoDawgs! pic.twitter.com/EJfvvUdTwr Tralee Hale (@HaleTralee) July 3, 2020 How Team Tralee has helped out in a big way Hale and her funding drive known as 'Team Tralee' quickly picked up $16,000 toward that original $25,000 in less than a day. When it started to get tweeted around on social media and on a few sites which cover the Bulldogs, the cause really started to gain some real momentum. Take a look at how that support quickly came to be: 8:15 AM on June 30: $1,300 approximately. The page was established early on June 30. 12:00 PM on June 30: $6,800 in less than five hours 2:45 PM on June 30:The total here is now $10,200. That's $9,000 in pledges in less than seven hours from early on June 30. 10:20 update on June 30:That total now rests at $17,595. 9:35 AM on July 1:Support for 'Team Tralee' reaches $19,480. The fund-raising effort is approximately 30 hours old. 4:30 PM on July 1:The tally moves to $21,895 with 441 donors. Thepledge goal now shows an increase to $40,000. As it started to really pick up steam, Ringo even shared a word of appreciation on his Twitter account. I really appreciate the love and prayers for my mom, She's a fighter. Kelee Ringo (@KeleeRingo) June 30, 2020 Hale replied to a tweet from Radi Nabulsi of UGAsports.com. The Rivals UGA site was one of many UGA online properties and message boards to post the news of her fight and that GoFundme.com page to help out. Thank you so very much for posting and for your support! I'm going to beat this! Next.. All I want is to get there and watch football with y'all!! GoDawgs! Tralee Hale (@HaleTralee) June 30, 2020 It wasn't just those who are charged with covering the Georgia football team, but a grassroots effort of the rank-and-file members of the Georgia fan base. Thank you soooooooo very much! I'm so blessed to be a part of the Dawg Family! I'm soooo thankful for all of the encouragement and support! Your thoughts and prayers mean so much! I will beat this! Tralee Hale (@HaleTralee) July 1, 2020 Calling all Dawgs! Let's show @KeleeRingo and his family what Dawgnation is capable of. Please share this and contribute if at all possible! #GODAWGS Join TEAM TRALEE in her fight against cancer! https://t.co/AMrixJaZ6V Jamey Goodman (@JameyGoodman) June 30, 2020 While quickly scanning through the donor lists and the comments, there's an overwhelming number of pledges from Georgia fans or those simply stating that DawgNation and the UGA fanbase has her back. 'I am soooooo very thankful to have so much support from UGA fans,' she told DawgNation on Wednesday. The special bond she has with her son is clear in Ringo's tweet from back on Mother's Day. Happy Mother's day to my best friend @HaleTralee pic.twitter.com/ZyeHOjDMwX Kelee Ringo (@KeleeRingo) May 10, 2020 It doesn't matter which colors one might rep. The movement taking place here is an awesome gesture of humanity. Especially during times where a lot of families are going through their own hardships of some sort. Those donations have already led to an upgrade in her initial hopes for her patient care. 'I quite literally need to thank them for coming together for me because I am going to be able to be seen by the Cancer Treatment Centers of American because of their support,' Hale said. To support 'Team Tralee' in her fight, please visit her Gofundme page. The post Tralee Hale: The mother of freshman CB Kelee Ringo finds out she's not alone in her cancer fight 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 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. 1,229 (July 2, 2020) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about what ESPN's Rece Davis said about his optimism that college football will be played this fall. Georgia football podcast: ESPN personality provides some much-needed optimism about upcoming season Beginning of the show: Questions persist about what college football will look like this fall including whether or not the games will take place as the country contends with the coronavirus. There's been no shortage of dire projections from many national media members in recent days in the wake of some positive tests that have emerged from teams participating in voluntary workouts. With all that in mind, I'll share a message on today's show from ESPN's Rece Davis in which Davis shares optimism about the upcoming season. Five-minute mark: I discuss five-star quarterback and Georgia commit Brock Vandagriff's performance at the Elite 11 camp. 10-minute mark: I discuss an ESPN writer's take that Florida is UGA's most important game for the upcoming season. 15-minute mark: CBS Sports' Barrett Sallee joins the show. Some of the topics covered include The comparison between UGA and Florida in the race to win the SEC East The Bulldogs' potential quarterback competition between Jamie Newman and JT Daniels The outlook for Alabama And thoughts on how the coronavirus could impact the upcoming season 30-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including the commonly misunderstood story of Mississippi State cancelling its alumni tailgate. 35-minute mark: I discuss some UGA recruiting storylines including four-star linebacker Dallas Turner's decision to choose the Crimson Tide over the Bulldogs and a message from five-star linebacker Smael Mondon teasing a possible announcement coming soon. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. DawgNation Daily Episode 1229: ESPN personality provides some much-needed optimism about upcoming season The post Georgia football podcast: ESPN personality provides some much-need optimism about upcoming season appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Tony Grimes, the 5-star Virginia CB, chose North Carolina earlier this week. Elite pass rusher Dallas Turner opted to roll with the Tide the very next day. It proved to be a swift one-two punch of 'what just happened here' with Georgia recruiting. If we're being honest, the Georgia football program hasn't seen many single days like that under Kirby Smart. But back-to-back days where the 'Power G' logo was the hat on the table which didn't get picked up was especially telling. The COVID-19 health scare which halted all on and off-campus recruiting played a factor in why those All-American recruits did not choose Georgia, but also in the timing of those announcements. They saw no need to wait and the chance to take a validation visit or two were not going to take place until at least September 1, if not later than that. We discussed those matters on this week's 'Before the Hedges' but also brought up three reasons why Georgia's recruiting has also been aided by that shutdown, too. It is not like Georgia is the only school that hasn't been able to build the necessary momentum in the pandemic for a few elite targets on the recruiting trail. There has been a lot of 'if only we could get that guy on campus' taking place with a record number of commitments to NCAA Division I schools through the end of June during the coronavirus health scare. Auburn, Penn State and South Carolina were saying the same things about Georgia offensive line verbal pledge Dylan Fairchild That is just the most recent example present with the last commitment who chose Georgia. Did you know the weekly DawgNation.com 'Before the Hedges' program is now available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download it. Before the Hedges on DawgNation: This week's teaser trailer The focus of the open to this week's weekly show was to highlight three ways in which the shutdown also aided the Bulldogs on the recruiting trail for the 2021 and 2022 classes. Among the examples discussed: 5-star OT Amarius Mims was set to take a least a few unofficial or official visits to power programs like LSU and Oklahoma this spring. He's also been able to get back to Tuscaloosa. That program still looms large for the Bulldogs to have to overcome with his eventual decision. Mims remains uncommitted. 5-star ILB Smael Mondon Jr. had hoped to take a spring unofficial visit to Oklahoma this spring, too. Not to mention there was the plan to see major contenders like Auburn and Tennessee this spring, too. It seems like DawgNation is already doing a lot of nail-chewing in regard to Mondon and his eventual decision as it is. Mondon has yet to make his public decision. The Bulldogs weren't able to make the necessary gains with those repeated interactions with Grimes and Turner, but the same can also be said for other rival schools in the chase for Mims and Mondon, too. Georgia has seen five of its nine commitments make that move to commit to the G during the pandemic. We can point to feedback that at least four of them decided they didn't need to wait any longer to see if there were any other schools out there that impressed them as much as the chance to play for the Bulldogs. 4-star Philadelphia OLB Elijah Jeudy was one of those commitments who was hoping to be able to take one more trip to check out Texas A&M before deciding but ultimately decided there was no need to wait with the restoration of visits nowhere in sight. In-state RB native Lovasea' Carroll even shared on Twitter than he was thinking long and hard about a flip to the Gators and the chance to a faster path to major SEC carries, but ultimately decided that three to four years at Georgia would serve his career better in the long run. It was beneficial to consider that he had to weight that decision out from his home and not from the football building and locker room while on a visit to the University of Florida. The terrific recruiting that Georgia has been able to do during the pandemic with a rich crop of 2022 prospects in the state of Georgia. We also introduced a pair of new names to the weekly 'Top Targets' lineup for the 2021 class. That feature also included a brand new prospect in the No. 1 slot. Check out the latest episode of 'Before the Hedges' embedded below. It airs live at 6 p.m. each Wednesday on the DawgNation Facebook and YouTube channels , respectively. SENTELL'S INTEL (the recent reads on DawgNation.com) CJ Washington: The electric 2022 LB prospect drops UGA into his top 3 Elite pass rush target Dallas Turner has made his college decision Where does Georgia turn now at CB after Tony Grimes in the 2021 recruiting class? Class of 2022 ATH Malaki Starks could be a future class anchor at UGA 6-foot-7 sophomore OT Payton Kirkland shares why UGA is his dream school Andrew Thomas says to expect a lot of pancakes from Jamaree Salyer in 2020 Xavier Worthy: Can the speed demon WR be the next link in the California-UGA pipeline? Checking in on the four biggest Georgia football recruiting storylines at this time Why Malcolm 'The Jet' Johnson Jr. and his 10.38 speed is giving UGA a good look Georgia RB commit Lovasea' Carroll shuts down all talk of a Florida flip 5-star ATH James Williams changes things up a bit with his new top 2 HEDGES: Who's the best QB on the board in the class of 2022? MJ Morris: New Georgia coordinator Todd Monken has made him a priority WATCH: Georgia commit Chaz Chambliss shows he has a bright future at OLB The post HEDGES: 3 ways the lack of campus visits have also helped Georgia football recruiting appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That's what the Intel brings. This entry takes a look at the recent top 3 dropped by Cedartown Class of 2022 linebacker prospect CJ Washington. CJ Washington has logged many a workout with Georgia all-time great RB Nick Chubb. When he does, there's not a lot of time spent shifting the plates around and back and forth. He's a rising high school junior at Cedartown High School. That's where Chubb starred and where Washington racked up 18 sacks last year as a sophomore. When you watch him work, there's no question he has a level of athleticism and physicality that will stand out on any field. Does anyone need to hear any more about what type of college football player he could out turn out to be? The 4-star ATH is likely seen as a linebacker on Saturdays. Washington played tailback and defensive end and linebacker and looked like a walking muscle on a hoverboard in whatever role he was excelling at on the field. Washington released his top schools on Wednesday night. It was something akin to what Chubb might have done. In a time where everyone fancies it appropriate to release top 8s and top 10s when they are less than six months away from signing day, he went about his process a different way. The 6-foot-2, 223-pound junior released a top 3. It was: Georgia LSU Tennessee Simple. Direct. Impressive. That's basically Washington in a nutshell. He's the type of player where hyperbole is not necessary, but his first Dawgnation profile story did bring to mind the name Nolan Smith and a reference to Fred G. Sanford. it's coming fosho @Mansell247 @ChadSimmons_ @247Sports pic.twitter.com/tOUzpnbXxh Cedric Washington (@cedric_washing4) July 1, 2020 The scouting report on CJ Washington Washington bench presses 340 pounds, will do some rep maxes with 295 for power cleans, and is already squatting 515-plus pounds. His power clean max is at 330 pounds. ( NEWS FLASH: This was where a high school sophomore was about three or four months ago in the weight room) When recruiting analysts size him up, it is a fitting comparison to liken him to former No. 1 overall recruit Nolan Smith. He's got that kind of explosion coming off the edge. He currently rates as the nation's No. 9 ATH and No. 88 overall prospect for the 2022 cycle for his standalone 247Sport rating. TBT Tuesday (Rockmart v Cedartown) 4 '22 Cedartown DE CJ Washington @cedric_washing4 pic.twitter.com/fO7kbcZCrW NwGa Football (@NwGaFootball) December 10, 2019 When he competed at the Georgia Elite Classic last December at McEachern High School, he was one of the truly great players in the sophomore game. He racked up the hurries, tackles and tackles for losses. Consider a sampling of the following quotes from his head coach at that game. Chris Hirschfield is the offensive coordinator at Walton High in Marietta. Hirschfield has experienced the great fortune and career timing to coach a pair of NFL players in Kerryon Johnson and Jordan Matthews in his lottery winner of a career so far. He also coached Georgia sophomore WR Dominick Blaylock at Walton, too. He's also been on the staff for teams that also lined up a few more high-level ACC and SEC players, too. Washington played at H-Back, defensive end and outside linebacker for the winning team in that showcase. 'When we had him out wide at d-end, we stood him up and put him an extra yard out wide basically as an outside backer,' Hirschfield said. 'Basically nobody could block him coming off a speed rush.' His roster didn't have any H-Back or fullback types on the other side of the ball. 'He obviously fit the part there, too,' he said. 'We taught him four plays literally. Power. Counter. Literally four or five plays in practice. I've never seen anybody collision and hit the way that kid does. His explosiveness might be the best I have ever seen.' 'Absolutely explosive. Full speed and does not shy away from contact and he's so powerful. He doesn't just hit. He drives people backward.' They gave him maybe four or five reps in practice at those positions. Those reps had to come after the defensive period.Washington had it from that point on. Hirschfield even handed him the ball a few times in the game, too. 'He's special,' he said. 'I didn't even teach him the name of all the plays I would just tell him Right Strong' or Left Strong' as far as his alignment and I gave him three words. Counter. Down call which is our power. He'd kick out the play-side defensive end. Or Insert. He then knew to insert there and get that middle backer. He was really really good at it.' That was his part-time job. His main duty was flying off the edge. 'He couldn't be blocked,' Hirschfield said. 'He's special. Absolutely special.' That goes for on and off the field. 'Great kid, too,' he said. 'I talked to him outside of practice and the game. Polite. Spoke to him at the bowling alley event. Extremely humble. Very well-spoken young man. Very gracious. Just a very very nice kid.' Check out a few clips of Cedartown sophomore OLB CJ Washington in action tonight at the @GAEliteClassic at McEachern. @cedric_washing4 played on both sides of the ball in a night fit for a Gore-Tex photo shoot. pic.twitter.com/HXtNKu1l0i Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) December 23, 2019 Matthews was a receiver. So was Blaylock. Johnson was one of the best running backs in college football at Auburn back in 2017. 'Those were all offensive playmakers and we are talking about a defensive playmaker here,' Hirschfield said. 'But he's just so versatile. So much athleticism. He's got wide shoulders. His frame. He's long. He is going to carry weight and he has no fat on him.' 'He's definitely going to be a defensive player in college.' Washington showed physicality as an H-Back at that event. It was enough to convince Hirschfield that he could be an inside linebacker in college, too. 'The way he closes space down as a blocker I see that and think about a middle linebacker and filling a gap so quickly the other way around,' he said. 'I do think he can be that type of impact player there, too.' Washington could be pretty impressive at either LB spot at that next level. Especially as an ILB in a 3-4 front. 'Where ever you want to play me,' he said last September. 'I'll get it done.' CJ Washington on the potential fit at Georgia Washington was able to visit Georgia earlier this year. Dell McGee has been his primary recruiter up to this point. He had some unique feedback on the trip and shared that with DawgNation earlier this year. 'They were telling me how they look at me as not even a one-spot player,' he said. 'They see me playing all around for them.' 'They see I can do middle, outside linebacker and possibly play running back. They were also talking about the school and once they got into the school stuff I really started listening.' 'The way they were describing it is everyone learns differently. Basically. They were telling us that all players learn differently. Once you get there and open up to Georgia, you go to the academic counselors and you tell them how you learn things and study. Then they help identify the way you learn and show you the way you learn and the best way they are going to be able to help you from an academic support standpoint.' He did say that Georgia felt like home, but I get the sense he'd like to check out what those other great programs have to offer as well. That will have to take place when college visits open back up. He still has time to wait that out as a member of the class of 2022. LSU and Tennessee were both recent offers. Georgia and Tennessee have been hitting him up and recruiting him consistently during the pandemic shutdown of all on-campus visits. It will be interesting to see where this recruitment goes. There are elements to his game that will also bring to mind former LSU great and current NFL vet Kwon Alexander, too. Especially for a pair of eyes who have now seen both players up close in high school. Thankful to receive an offer from LSU TIGERS!! @CoachOsborneLSU @Mansell247 @ChadSimmons_ @LSUfootball @Coach_EdOrgeron #GoTigers pic.twitter.com/BSnzlOtuDr Cedric Washington (@cedric_washing4) June 10, 2020 Washington has all the potential in the world to be one of the special players in the nation for the 2022 class. While he doesn't have elite size or length for an OLB, his athleticism, explosion and strength will stand out as uncommon among his peers. Those traits are nice, but his mindset and work ethic are what will really set him apart. He has a mentality to just put his head down and go to work. There's not a sense of entitlement to his personality and approach to being a great football player in every facet of his game. 'God first, school after and then family,' he told DawgNation last year. 'The reason I said school right after God is that I know I am blessed with this talent. But without my grades what am I? I'm just thankful for this life I have.' Did you know the weekly DawgNation.com 'Before the Hedges' program is now available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download. SENTELL'S INTEL (the recent reads on DawgNation.com) Elite pass rush target Dallas Turner has made his college decision Where does Georgia turn now at CB after Tony Grimes in the 2021 recruiting class? 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