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Latest from Logan Booker

    Athens has become the first 911 operating system in the state of Georgia to be outfitted with Uber integrations to assist local police in the safety of its users. WGAU’s Abby Jessen spoke with Athens-Clarke County Police Department Captain Keith Kelley about the implementation.  From the Athens-Clark County Police Department: Uber has expanded its 9-1-1 information sharing program to include Athens-Clarke County. With this sharing program, when a rider or driver uses the Uber in-app emergency button to contact 911 operators, key trip details that can be used to help respond to an emergency will now be transmitted automatically to 9-1-1 dispatchers in Athens-Clarke County. The ACC 9-1-1 Center is the first in the state of Georgia to have this Uber integration.  This Uber integration relies on another ACCPD partnership established earlier in the year. In January, the Athens-Clarke County 9-1-1 Center, commonly called Central Communications, partnered with RapidSOS, an emergency communications technology company. Through RapidSOS, Central Communications has access to the NG911 Clearinghouse which receives data from the Internet of Things (smartphones, connected cars, wearables, and connected homes) and securely sends the relevant data to 9-1-1 and first responders.  “In Athens-Clarke County, it is important to get help to individuals during an emergency quickly. In some cases the caller may not be able to give accurate information about their location or may not be able to communicate at all. This technology will help 9-1-1 call takers get emergency services personnel to individuals in need by more quickly pinpointing their location,” said Captain Keith Kelley with the 9-1-1 Communications Center.  Previously, riders and drivers have been able to see their GPS location and vehicle details (make, model, color, and license plate) in the app when they press Uber’s emergency button to call 9-1-1. With this new technology, those details will be sent to 9-1-1 dispatchers electronically in Athens-Clarke County.  “We believe technology can help make the roads safer. This feature is available in more than 60 cities, and we are proud to add Athens-Clarke County, to the growing list of cities and counties using this technology,” said Krishnaja Gutta, Uber Product Safety Manager. “Every second counts in an emergency, and we want to make sure Uber users have important information to get help quickly if faced with an emergency situation.' The NG911 Clearinghouse is a centralized and secure location information server that is purpose-built for Next Generation 9-1-1.  To learn more about RapidSOS and the NG911 Clearinghouse, visit https://rapidsos.com/ng911clearinghouse/.  Visit https://www.uber.com/newsroom/emergencybutton/ to learn more about Uber’s Emergency Button.
  • There is a traffic heads up for drivers in Athens, a campus construction advisory from the University of Georgia: UGA says the southbound sidewalk and bike lane on the west side of East Campus Road will be closed from the current DEP2, Computer Services, and Museum of Natural History driveway entrance up to approximately mid-block for the temporary construction office entrance concrete pour. The sidewalk on the east side of East Campus Drive will still be accessible for pedestrians.
  • Senator Bill Cowsert and state Representatives Houston Gaines and Marcus Weidower are the scheduled speakers for tonight’s meeting of the Oconee County Republican Party. They’ll recap the legislative session that ended earlier this month in a 6:30 session at the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Watkinsville.  An Athens-Clarke County Commission work session is on tap for today, underway at 4 o’clock this afternoon at City Hall.  A town hall with Winterville Mayor Dodd Ferrelle is set for 7 o’clock tonight. It’ll take place at the Depot in Winterville.  Madison County Commissioners meet tonight: it’s a 6 o’clock this evening at the Madison County Government Complex in Danielsville. Jackson County Commissioners meet at 6 at the courthouse in Jefferson. 
  • A body found in an Athens river earlier this week has been positively identified.  From the ACCPD:  The Athens-Clarke County Coroner has positively identified the deceased individual located in the Middle Oconee River as 54-year-old Emory Odell Findley of Athens. Findley was reported missing on March 29, 2019. The ACCPD will continue investigating the circumstances surrounding Findley’s death. The ACCPD asks that anyone with information about this incident to contact Det. Johnson at 706-613-3330, ext. 522 or Paul.Johnson@accgov.com . 
  • A man now sits in the Oconee County Jail for multiple counts of burglarizing cars in addition to other charges.  From the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office:  Jerod Tyron Crumbley (18) of Clarkston is in the Oconee Jail charged with 25 counts of entering auto, four counts of theft by taking, and three counts of burglary.The charges stem from his banditry on the night of 3/28 that targeted multiple subdivisions along HWY 15, HWY 53, and within Watkinsville.We're still hunting the others.Crumbley was recently sentenced in Jackson County to 10 year probation for a string of car thefts and entering autos up there. The Oconee County Sheriff's Office worked on this case with the Madison County Sheriff's Office, Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Walton County and Monroe PD, DeKalb Police and the DeKalb Department of Community Supervision. We mean to do our best to take all these offenders into custody.
  • The Miracle League baseball field planned for Watkinsville to benefit Extra Special People is becoming much more of a reality with the addition of new corporate sponsors, bringing its $1.4M goal within reach.  From Extra Special People:  ATHENS, GA —Extra Special People announced several corporate partners who are bringing the Miracle League baseball field and sports complex to life. These generous donors include current ESP partners who are increasing their giving specifically for ESP’s new fully-accessible sports complex, as well as new sponsors dedicated to giving children of all abilities the chance to experience the game of baseball. St. Mary’s Hospital announced they will be the scoreboard sponsor of the Miracle League baseball field, set to be built at Harris Shoals Park in Watkinsville and opening in spring of 2020. “One of St. Mary’s core values is honoring the dignity of every person. We believe the opportunity for children with special needs to experience the joys of childhood that typical kids enjoy through physical activity, such as baseball, is a core component of our community support,” said Montez Carter, President and CEO. Golden Pantry has donated $50,000 toward the Miracle League for the concession stand, and has also agreed to provide product in perpetuity, offering a branded “mini mart” experience for players and fans at the sports complex. “One of our core values at Golden Pantry is to serve the neighborhoods where we’re located, and we couldn’t be more excited to support ESP’s Miracle League Sports Complex,” said Robert Griffith, President, Golden Pantry. “We have a unique opportunity by sponsoring the concession stand at the Miracle League field, and we’ll be turning it into a mini Golden Pantry with all of the snacks and drinks that our customers love.” Bulldog Kia, a long-time ESP supporter, is increasing their already-generous gifts in order to sponsor the Miracle League outfield with a $25,000 donation. ESP’s Miracle League complex will include construction of special facilities that meet the unique needs of players and their families. Miracle League teams play on a custom-designed, rubberized turf field that accommodates wheelchairs and other devices while helping to prevent injuries. “The highlight of our week at Bulldog Kia is always the visit from our ESP friends and their Java Joy coffee service,” said David Kernall, Owner and General Manager of Bulldog Kia, presenting sponsor of Java Joy. “We were thrilled when the opportunity to support the new Miracle League Sports Complex arose, and we’re looking forward to cheering on our favorite Joyristas as they step up to home plate in 2019.”   Brad Akins, owner of Akins Ford in Winder, and his wife, Vanessa, long-time supporters of ESP, generously donated to support construction of one of the field’s dugouts. Akins Ford Winder and The Ford Fund also recently helped ESP secure a new van for additional transportation routes. “From Java Joy to Big Hearts, we are all-in for Extra Special People,” said Akins. “Of course we were ready to invest in our community of kids with special needs to bring them a baseball field and sports complex. They deserve nothing less.” The incredible success and generosity of individuals in the community at ESP’s recent Big Hearts at Bat banquet, Giving Tuesday and holiday campaign in late 2018 garnered more than $250,000 that will go toward the rubberized surface of the field, backstop and stadium lights, enabling kids to play into the evening hours. Additionally, these generous corporate sponsors have donated significantly to the Miracle League complex, which has now reached $1.1 million of the $1.4 million goal. 3T Sports 3Tree Realty ABB Cares through Thomas Eye Center Ashford Manor Athens Ford Athens Seed Company BankSouth Foundation Cable East East Coast Grading Oconee State Bank Prudential R&R Mobility Southern Protective Group Striplings General Store The Southern Brewing Company “Individuals with disabilities experience limitations in community spaces and face barriers that prevent them from fully participating because of inaccessible design,” explained Laura Whitaker, Executive Director of ESP. “Building a Miracle League field in our community and partnering with these incredible local businesses helps fulfill our belief that every kid deserves to play sports and thrive in an accessible space that allows them to gain confidence, improve their physical health and abilities and foster meaningful relationships with their peers.” Multiple studies show children with disabilities are excluded from peer-to-peer play at far higher rates than typically-developing children. Inclusive public play spaces are shown to eliminate these negative effects for individuals with disabilities but also create positive effects for typically-developing children and adults alike. Inclusive playgrounds, parks and community spaces promote engagement and interaction with a diversity of people both in age and ability levels, create economic and social gains for communities, increase play among kids with and without disabilities and promote overall feelings of acceptance for people with disabilities. There are still opportunities for corporate partners to step up to the plate to reach ESP’s $1.4 million goal that includes not only a baseball field for kids with special needs, but also a splash pad and playground for everyone in the community to enjoy. Naming opportunities for the field, dugout, playground and more can bring ESP’s field of dreams to life in 2019. To become a giving partner, visit www.espmiracleleague.org. ### About Extra Special People Extra Special People, Inc., (ESP), a 501 (c)(3) is a nonprofit serving families and children with special needs in the eight-county area surrounding Watkinsville, Ga., since 1987. With ever-expanding after-school programs, weekend clubs, an eight-week long summer camp and family resources, ESP now reaches more than 450 children, with an ongoing dream of reaching every Northeast Georgia family that has a need and a desire to help their special child grow and thrive. Contributing to this dream was the addition of 70 acres in Jackson County in December 2014. Camp Hooray will one day continue the ESP mission by hosting overnight camps, weekend retreats, and events for children and families of all abilities
  • The University of Georgia has named its new senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.  From the University of Georgia:  S. Jack Hu, vice president for research at the University of Michigan, has been named the University of Georgia’s next senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, effective July 1.    Hu was chosen among four finalists identified through a national search to fill the institution’s chief academic officer role. Libby V. Morris, veteran administrator, scholar and director of UGA’s Institute of Higher Education, has been serving as interim provost this academic year.   “The University was fortunate to have four outstanding finalists for this most important position,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “I believe Dr. Hu possesses the unique background and experience to continue elevating our national prominence in research, innovation and graduate education while building on our superior undergraduate learning environment. I am excited to welcome him to campus this summer.”   Hu, who also serves as J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing in the College of Engineering at Michigan, oversees a robust research enterprise that spans the university’s campuses in Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint and generates annual expenditures exceeding $1.5 billion.    In addition, Hu is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the National Academies’ Transportation Research Board.   “I am humbled and honored to join the University of Georgia as its next provost,” Hu said. “As the birthplace of public higher education in America, the University of Georgia has a tremendous reputation for its commitment to excellence in education, research and innovation, and public engagement. I look forward to working with the campus community to build upon the university’s momentum in these important areas.”   Hu is the recipient of numerous prestigious academic awards, including the William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Gold Medal from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.     His many accomplishments at Michigan include leading the development of Mcity—an initiative focused on connected and automated transportation—into a leading public-private partnership for research. He also has led the development of international collaborations in China, Israel and Germany.   “The University of Michigan has cherished Jack Hu’s outstanding contributions for more than three decades, and I congratulate the University of Georgia community on his selection as provost,” said U-M President Mark S. Schlissel. “Vice President Hu’s innovative leadership elevated University of Michigan research to new levels of excellence, through collaborations that engaged multiple disciplines in seeking solutions to major societal challenges and an unwavering commitment to integrity and public impact.”   Before becoming vice president for research, Hu served as associate dean for academic affairs and associate dean for research and graduate education in Michigan’s College of Engineering.   Mary Sue Coleman, president of the Association of American Universities, has worked closely with Hu, particularly in her previous role as president of the University of Michigan.   “Jack Hu is an excellent choice as provost for the University of Georgia,” said Coleman. “He is an outstanding, nationally recognized engineer who, as VP for Research at the University of Michigan, promoted interdisciplinary initiatives, nurtured innovation, promoted safety and championed integrity. His broad experience will inform and enhance the work of faculty and staff as UGA implements its vision for the future.”   The search process was overseen by a 24-member committee, led jointly by Dean of the Terry College of Business Benjamin C. Ayers and Dean of the College of Education Denise A. Spangler. The Parker Executive Search firm and UGA Search Group assisted with the search.   Morehead thanked the members of the committee for their leadership and service. “I want to extend my deepest appreciation to Dean Ayers, Dean Spangler, and every member of the search committee for their hard work and commitment to this process,” Morehead said. 
  • Georgia’s Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan and current Major League Baseball stars teamed up last Saturday in Athens to raise money for perhaps Athens’ most-favorite charity, Extra Special People.  ATLANTA, GA— (February 11, 2019) On Feb. 9, Georgia’s Lt. Governor, Geoff Duncan, and several other MLB players were guest judges for Extra Special People (ESP) Big Hearts at Bat. The line-up included Duncan, who played for the Florida Marlins early in his career before being elected as Georgia’s Lt. Governor. Kyle Farmer of the Cincinnati Reds, Gordon Beckham formerly with the Atlanta Braves and now with the Detroit Tigers, Brooks Brown formerly with the Colorado Rockies, and Trevor Holder of the San Diego Padres were also guest judges. “ESP is making dreams come true for kids with special needs, and I was honored to be a part of the inspirational night,” Farmer, who also played in two World Series’ for the Los Angeles Dodgers, said. “I’m excited to see kids of every ability have the chance to step up to the plate and play the sport I love.” “One of the best parts about being lieutenant governor is having the opportunity to find out about organizations like ESP and the huge impact they have on a community and the joys they bring to people’s lives,” Duncan said. In its 12th year, ESP’s Big Hearts pageant showcases kids of all abilities as they perform for thousands of guests in Athens, Ga. This year, money was raised to build a Miracle League baseball field and sports complex. Through generous donations at Big Hearts at Bat, ESP reached the $1.1 million mark of a $1.4 million campaign goal. The Miracle League sports complex will bring the magic of baseball to kids of all abilities in Northeast Georgia. Additionally, funds were raised at the pageant and silent auction to send hundreds of kids to summer camp. “Big Hearts at Bat was focused on bringing to life the dream of typical kids and those with special needs playing alongside one another, no longer benching those who have different abilities,” said Laura Whitaker, ESP Executive Director. “Our Miracle League sports complex will be for everyone—a fully-accessible baseball field, making it possible for every child to play America’s favorite pastime, as well as a playground and splash pad for everyone in the community.” ESP is committed to fostering genuine friendships and memorable moments between all citizens who want to play and aims to see the bases loaded at the newly-constructed complex by Spring of 2020. About Extra Special People Extra Special People, Inc., (ESP), a 501 (c)(3) is a nonprofit serving families and children with special needs in the 26-county area surrounding Watkinsville, Ga., since 1987. With ever-expanding after-school programs, weekend clubs, an eight-week long summer camp and family resources, ESP now reaches more than 425 children, with an ongoing dream of reaching every Northeast Georgia family that has a need and a desire to help their special child grow and thrive. Contributing to this dream was the addition of 70 acres in Jackson County in December 2014. Camp Hooray will one day continue the ESP mission by hosting overnight camps, weekend retreats and events for children and families of all abilities. About The Miracle League The Miracle League removes the barriers that keep children with mental and physical disabilities off the baseball field and lets them experience the joy of America’s favorite pastime. Miracle League teams play on a custom-designed, rubberized turf field that accommodates wheelchairs and other assistive devices while helping to prevent injuries. The first Miracle League field opened in Conyers, Ga., in April 2000. Now there are more than 300 Miracle League Organizations across the country including Puerto Rico and Canada, serving more than 250,000 children and adults. Miracle League is not only partnering with ESP for the first local field in the Athens area, but will also be a part of the expansion of Camp Hooray, an innovative, state-of-the-art camp for individuals with disabilities.
  • Former University of Georgia running back and now Super Bowl champion Sony Michel joined Jimmy Kimmel last night to talk about the big win in Atlanta.
  • Tickets are going fast, as few remain for the upcoming Big Hearts fundraiser benefiting Extra Special People More details:  Athens, GA -- Extra Special People (ESP) will be holding its 12th annual Big Hearts fundraiser at the Classic Center Theater on Feb. 9, 2019.   Big Hearts, voted Athens Best Fundraising Event 2 years in a row, is soon to come to bat. Through a performance, silent auction and banquet, the evening shines a light on children and young adults on The Classic Center stage as they leave their disabilities in the wings. The goal of the event is to fund summer camp, allowing every child of every ability and financial need the opportunity to experience the joys of camp.   “This night is simply spectacular,” said Executive Director, Laura Whitaker. “Not only do our individuals make you laugh and cry, but I love hearing from new people after their first Big Heart's experience. The joy of the event is palpable and contagious.”   The pageant portion of Big Hearts features dance numbers, skits and opportunities to highlight each of ESP’s 70 performers and contestants. Contestants will be escorted on stage by familiar faces including pageant queens and UGA football players. Between contestant groups, the ESP performers will take to the stage sharing a story in line with this year’s Big Hearts’ baseball theme. “Our fictional baseball team, the Hipsters, sets out to form a team unlike anything baseball has ever seen. There’s just one obstacle---some people believe baseball isn’t made for everyone,” says Program Coordinator, Kalon Carpenter.   After twelve years, the pageant remains a special night full of surprises for spectators. These include Fox Sports South host and Atlanta Braves field reporter Kelsey Wingert overseeing the pageant as one of the special emcees. A mystery emcee, one Georgia fans will be excited to welcome, promises to surprise pageant attendees. Another public figure, recently elected and still under wraps, will join the panel of Big Hearts judges.   Another unique aspect of this year’s Big Hearts is the theme: Big Hearts at Bat.   Whitaker shared, “This year, we are thrilled to share with the community our love for America's pastime and our dream for ESP’s future baseball complex.” The At Bat theme recognizes ESP’s ongoing relationship with the Miracle League, a national organization that brings accessible baseball and inclusive play to individuals of all abilities. ESP is in the process of bringing a Miracle League field to the Athens community. Several exciting Miracle League announcements including the proposed location will be made during the Pageant.   Big Hearts is an evening that brings friends and family together for a cause that’s close to the hearts of Athens’ natives. Attendance is open to the public on February 9 at the Classic Center Theater. Pageant tickets can be purchased through the Classic Center box office.    About ESP Extra Special People, Inc., (ESP), is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving families and children with special needs in more than 30 counties surrounding Watkinsville, Ga., since 1986. With ever-expanding after-school programs, weekend clubs, an eight-week long summer camp and family resources, ESP now reaches more than 300 children, with an ongoing dream of reaching every Northeast Georgia family that has a need and a desire to help their special child grow and thrive.   Contributing to this dream was the addition of 70 acres in Jackson County in December 2014. Camp Hooray will one day continue the ESP mission by hosting overnight camps, weekend retreats, and events for children and families of all abilities.
  • Logan Booker

    Logan Booker is the producer for Classic City Today on 98.7FM and AM 1340 WGAU from 6am-10am weekdays, and occasionally contributes on-air with Tim Bryant. Logan also covers the midday news on WGAU Monday-Friday. On occasion, he fills as a co-host of The Morning Show on 960 The Ref. 

    Logan has covered UGA sports since 2012, previously with Bulldawg Illustrated. 

    He is a graduate of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, where he earned a degree in magazine journalism in addition to a Grady Sports Media certificate. He was born and raised in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and in addition to his current home in Bethlehem, Georgia, he spends lots of time with his dog and his boat in Lincoln County, Georgia. 

     

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Georgia Sports News

  • SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Joe Panik was fairly calm in the midst of his eight-pitch battle with Atlanta closer Luke Jackson. A pair of stolen bases earlier in the ninth inning, including one by pinch-runner Mac Williamson that put the winning run in scoring position, helped take the pressure off the Giants leadoff hitter. Panik hit a game-ending two-run single off Jackson with two outs in the ninth to lift the San Francisco Giants to a 4-3 win over the Braves on Tuesday night. 'Great comeback,' Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. 'We looked pretty flat. We just couldn't get it going. To come back and win it in the ninth like that, that's huge.' Brandon Crawford began the comeback with a one-out single. After Steven Duggar struck out, Kevin Pillar singled in Crawford. Pillar stole second then moved to third on Pablo Sandoval's pinch-hit infield single. Williamson stole second before Panik slapped a 3-2 pitch from Jackson into right field to cap the three-run rally. 'Any time you can advance 90 feet it's big in that situation,' Panik said. 'Especially for me, having Mac at second base versus first base, I don't have to hit a double to win the game. Just stay within myself, stay through the middle of the field and you can win the game that way with a single. Every 90 feet matters.' It's the fourth blown save this season for Jackson (2-1) and spoiled an otherwise strong day by the Braves pitching staff. Atlanta had won four straight against San Francisco and allowed one run in all four. The Braves were in position to make it five before the Giants rallied with three runs and four hits in the ninth. The stolen bases by Pillar and Williamson provided the late lift San Francisco needed. 'Kevin, he's a base stealer but once Mac got it, now you realize it just takes a hit and you win the game,' Bochy said. 'You saw the energy pick up in the dugout. We did a nice job.' Panik and Buster Posey had two hits apiece for San Francisco. Trevor Gott (2-0) retired three batters to win. Josh Donaldson, Nick Markakis, Ronald Acu a Jr. and Dansby Swanson had two hits apiece for Atlanta. 'A foot here and a foot there and we would have won,' Atlanta catcher Brian McCann said. 'But it's baseball and you've got to turn the page.' Braves starter Julio Teheran struck out six and gave up three hits and one run in 5 2/3 innings. Teheran has a 0.79 ERA over his last four starts covering 22 2/3 innings. He lost three straight decisions to close out April and had a pair of no-decisions in his first two starts in May. Acu a backed Teheran with a terrific leaping grab at the fence in center field to rob Brandon Belt of extra bases in the third. PUT ME IN (ANYWHERE) COACH Vogt made his second career start in left field. The 34-year-old Vogt has logged 370 games behind the plate. Wednesday marked his fifth appearance in left field and first since 2014 when he was with the Oakland Athletics. ROSTER MOVE The Giants placed pitcher Travis Bergen on the 10-day injured list because of a left shoulder strain. Bergen is 2-0 with a 4.24 ERA in 18 games this season. Infielder Donovan Solano was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento before the game, one day after being sent down to make room for pitcher Andrew Suarez. UP NEXT Braves lefty Max Fried (6-2, 2.86 ERA) makes his fifth road start Wednesday. Fried pitched two-hit ball over six scoreless innings against Milwaukee on May 17. RHP Jeff Samardzija (2-2, 3.69) makes his first start against Atlanta since 2017. Samardzija threw a season-low 68 pitches in 5 1/3 innings in his most recent start against Arizona on May 17. __ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — DawgNation has reported a lot about Carson Beck over the last week. Beck has his eye on several top targets for the rest of the 2020 class. He made a throw in the Florida Class 8A state championship that folks will not soon forget. The 6 foot-4 (and a half-inch) rising senior even convinced his QB trainer why the Bulldogs were a perfect fit for his game at the college level. His trainer, Denny Thompson, knows the 4-star QB as well as anyone. He has helped chisel an Elite 11 QB out of a guy with just four games of varsity experience prior to last season. Beck then took the reins at Mandarin High School and went on to be a rare junior to win the “Mr. Football” honor for the state of Florida. Thompson has strong opinions and knows just how to deliver them. That’s why he hosts a popular sports talk radio show in Jacksonville. He says the things most might expect Beck’s trainer to say. He even shared he would put aside his allegiance to the Gators (as a fan) when it comes to Beck. That’s his guy. After all. In Beck, he has a pupil that he feels has as strong of a “functional arm” as he has seen recently in a prospect. There was this one other guy. His name will come up in that video interview up above. If you watch Carson Beck work, it does sometimes look like he is firing off a pair of six-shooters both before and after snaps. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) Where Carson Beck can get better  He also knows the work Beck still has to do. The young passer needs to work on the technical aspects of the position. Most big-time guys his age still need to do that, too. Thompson shared his most important teaching point for Beck. “That’s probably the part of his game where it is like ‘Carson for you to take that real next step I need you to throw the same exact ball every single time and know exactly where it is going’ and we’re working on that. A lot of that is weight distribution and has nothing to do with the arm. [It] has everything to do with weight distribution and how you use your right hip and things of that nature.” He’s encouraged by the fact Beck is always asking him “why” things need to be done a certain way. It leads to a deeper understanding of what he is trying to learn how to do the same way every single time. That’s what he wants to see in a young man with tools like his. Beck would devour the game film of the next opponent on Sunday mornings with Thompson. Those sessions would last up to four hours. Thompson wouldn’t be able to deal with his wife most weekends if those sessions extended any longer. “Those guys were then beaten by the time he hit the practice field on Monday,” Thompson said. “That is his mindset with the work it takes to be great.” What Carson Beck can be at Georgia Beck is not a polished product yet. Even though all the tools are there. Thompson does make that clear. He is still big on what he can bring to the table, though. That was evident when he gave a very strong answer to this query: “ What can Georgia be with Carson Beck?” “I think with the momentum that they’ve got recruiting I think Carson is the guy who wins you a national championship,” Thompson said. “I really do.” Big bold words. But then Thompson continued to provide the right baseline to the conversation. He did so this time by adding real accountability to his own methods. He might regret saying this later. But he still said it. “Carson is the kind of kid that if he is not a first-round [NFL] guy I failed him,” Thompson said. “We failed him as coaches. Everything is there: Head. Size. Arm. Everything you want is there. Leadership. I mean he’s recruiting his butt off for Georgia right now. Everything is there.” “So if something other than injury happens. Then it is probably on me as a trainer or them as coaches or whatever it is. He is definitely the kind of talent though that you can win a national championship with.” Want to see the full context of that statement? With a bonus thought about who Thompson feels is the best college comparison to Beck? Check out the video interview above. Carson Beck is set to enroll at UGA in January of 2020. He currently rates as the nation’s No. 3 pro-style passer for 2020 on the 247Sports Composite ratings. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) Carson Beck Beck on deck: Getting to know the UGA commit Carson Beck commits to UGA Carson Beck escalates his recruiting efforts for the Bulldogs Beck names off his top 5 targets for the 2020 class in Athens The throw Carson Beck made that the state of Florida is still buzzing about  The first Beck win for UGA? Getting a Gator to gush about the present and future in Athens The post The two strongest statements yet about what Carson Beck can be at Georgia appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Pitching and defense has been carrying Georgia all season. Now the bats have heated up, and that bodes very well for the Bulldogs, who enter postseason play as one of the nation’s top-ranked teams and a favorite to make it to Omaha. After this past weekend’s sweep of Alabama to close out the regular season, the Bulldogs (42-14, 21-9 SEC) moved up to No. 3 in the latest RPI calculations. That makes them a virtual lock to receive a national seed, regardless of what happens in this week’s SEC Tournament. National seeds go to the top eight teams in baseball and guarantee that recipients host games through the Super Regionals. Vanderbilt is No. 2, Mississippi State 4 and Arkansas 6 in the RPI released by the NCAA on Monday. So, theoretically, the Bulldogs could be “two and ‘cue” in the double-elimination SEC Tournament this week and still be in line to receive that distinct advantage. But they’re not leaving anything to chance. “You want to win every game that you play,” said coach Scott Stricklin of his Georgia squad, which opens play against Texas A&M at 10:30 a.m. (ET) Wednesday (SEC Network). “At this stage, I think we can still earn some national respect, not that it’s really that big of a deal for us. Internally, we know we’re a good team. We feel like we’re a 100 percent lock to be a Top 8 seed. There’s no way you win 21 games in this league and have an RPI of 3 and not be a Top 8. But certainly we would like to make a run.” The way the Bulldogs are suddenly swinging the bats, that would seem entirely possible. Thanks to the way Georgia ball hit the ball against Alabama — batting .402 and scoring 30 runs in three games — the Bulldogs are now hitting .275 as a team with 63 home runs, 336 RBI and a .434 slugging percentage. That puts them on pace to surpass last year’s power numbers, in which they hit 64 homers and had 352 RBI while slugging .425. That’s an unexpected outcome after losing last year’s three leading sluggers in Michael Curry (13 HRs), Keegan McGovern (18) and Adam Sasser (10). “We’ve just seen more consistency out of the lineup,” Stricklin said. “It’s really been the last three or four weeks, after Mississippi State, we’ve really swung the bats a lot better. We’re just getting more quality at-bats out of guys and wearing down the opposing pitching staffs and getting into the bullpen.” One big difference-maker has been designated hitter John Cable. The Roswell native came to Georgia as a late addition last June via a graduate transfer from the University of New Orleans. Batting fifth in the lineup, the 6-foot-2, 230-pounder is third on the team with a .316 average, slugging a second-best .544 and leads the Bulldogs with 45 RBI. This past Saturday, Cable hit his seventh home run and had his fourth 4-RBI game of the season as Georgia’s 3-4-5 hitters — including Aaron Schunk and LJ Talley went 23-of-41 for the weekend. “It’s huge,” Cable said of Georgia’s hot bats. “Our pitching has been carrying us so to have that going is big for us. The past two weeks we’ve had really good at-bats and put up a lot of runs. The bats are rolling right now and we’ve got to keep them going.” To be clear, pitching and defense remain the foundation on which this Georgia team is built. The Bulldogs enter with their rotation intact as Tim Elliot (6-3, 2.93 ERA), the regular mid-week starter, will get the ball against the Aggies. He’ll be backed up by the best defense in Georgia history. In league play, the starting infield of Patrick Sullivan, L.J. Talley, Cam Shepherd and Aaron Schunk, have made four errors all season. Shepherd, the shortstop, has made none. That’s right — zero. Shepherd was error-free in 30 SEC games in a total of 109 chances. For the year, he’s fielding .990 with just two errors in 206 total chances. Up the middle, between catcher Mason Meadows, Shepherd and Talley and center field Tucker Maxwell, the Bulldogs have made a collective 7 errors all season. Put that defense behind the pitching rotation Georgia is throwing at opponents this season, and you’ve got winning formula. Led by first-team All-SEC designee Emerson Hancock (8-2, 1.31 ERA), the Bulldogs lead the SEC in opposing batting average (.196) — the closest to them is Missouri at .220 — and they are second in team ERA (3.17), saves (18) and wins (42). Add the hot bats and the Bulldogs’ confidence heading to Hoover is understandable. “It gives your pitchers a lot more confidence when they know they have that cushion and also the best defense in Georgia history behind them,” Stricklin said. “Our infield defense has been unbelievable.” Said Cable: “We want to keep the momentum because this tournament leads into the regional. We’re on a hot streak, playing well, and I think we’re going to go in there and play well. It’d be nice to win it and put it on the wall (at Foley Field).” The post VIDEO: No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs take hot bats to Hoover, face Texas A&M in SEC Tourney 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. 950 (May 21, 2019) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about how 4-star defensive tackle Jalen Carter’s commitment addresses UGA fans’ concerns about the program’s defensive line recruiting. Georgia football podcast: UGA appears to address a fan concern in emphatic fashion Beginning of the show: Georgia hasn’t recruited well enough on its defensive line according to many UGA fans. I’ll discuss on today’s show how 4-star defensive tackle Jalen Carter’s commitment potentially calms those concerns. 10-minute mark: I share audio from UGA coach Kirby Smart’s appearance at a fan gathering in Macon, Ga and invite DawgNation Daily listeners and viewers to register for a chance to win a VIP stay at Callaway Resort and Gardens for DawgNation Days of Summer. 15-minute mark: DawgNation’s recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show. Some of the topics covered include… Jeff’s thoughts on Carter Reaction to 4-star offensive lineman Justin Rogers’ Kentucky commitment The latest on 5-star offensive tackle Paris Johnson 4-star defensive end Jacolbe Cowan’s intriguing description of his conversations with 5-star recruits, Kendall Milton and Kelee Ringo And a look at UGA’s so-called “scavenger hunt” 35-minute mark: I take a look at CBS’ ranking of SEC teams’ schedule strength. 40-minute mark: I share the latest edition of our Summer Q&A. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. NOTE: If you’d like to share your answers to the Summer Q&A you can enter your responses in the comment section below or reach out to BA on Twitter @DawgNationDaily. The post Georgia football podcast: UGA appears to address a fan concern in emphatic fashion appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The Georgia Bulldogs signed the No. 2 overall recruiting class for the 2019 recruiting cycle. It landed a total of five 5-star prospects, including the No. 1 prospect in the 247Sports Composite rankings in Nolan Smith. That’s before even mentioning a player like incoming wide receiver Dominick Blaylock. But none of the 20 freshman members of the class were selected to ESPN’s instant impact team. Put together by Tom Luginbill, the list highlights some of the top incoming freshmen who have a chance to make meaningful contributions right away. Some of the players named include LSU running back John Emery Jr. and Auburn quarterback Bo Nix. But there was not a player from Georgia’s class named. Interestingly, there was also not an Alabama player named in the class as well. The Crimson Tide signed the No. 1 overall class in the country for the 2019 cycle. Texas, which had the No. 3 class also did not have a player named. Saying all that though, there’s a very good chance that a number of freshmen play a meaningful role for the Bulldogs. Smith — along with inside linebacker Nakobe Dean —really stood out this spring for the Bulldogs. Related:  The national media is making a big mistake by sleeping on Nolan Smith And given the needs Georgia has at wide receiver, it should not come as a surprise to see either Blaylock or 5-star wide receiver George Pickens play a big role early. Georgia coach Kirby Smart has also mentioned Blaylock working heavily on special teams. “We think Dom can play all three spots, slot and both outside,”  Smart said. “He’s very bright and intelligent. He picks up things well. We think he’s going to help in the return game, too. But it’s not like we’re sitting there going, ‘He’s a slot receiver.’ We think he can play all of them.” Related:  Kirby Smart says all Georgia Bulldogs, incoming and otherwise, have made the grades to play Georgia has also seen a number of players who weren’t thought to be early impact players make significant contributions in their first year. This time a year ago, no one was saying much of anything about defensive lineman Jordan Davis. Now he’s a key member of the Georgia defense. And most thought that Jake Fromm would end up being the backup to Jacob Eason in his freshman season. Fromm went on to win the SEC and lead Georgia to an appearance in the national title game. Georgia and its talented pack of freshmen begin the 2019 season on Aug. 31 when the Bulldogs visit Vanderbilt. Best Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Meet 6-foot-6 Josh Braun: Brains, rhinos, swing dancing, tennis and a mauler’s mindset Fire and ice: Incoming Miami transfer compares Kirby Smart to Mark Richt VIDEO: Kirby Smart, Tom Crean update fans on Georgia Bulldogs during ‘Coaches Caravan’ Why commitment of 4-star DT Jalen Carter is a big win for Georgia football Kirby Smart expects QB Jake Fromm to have more ‘offensive input’ in 2019 Update on injury status of UGA running back Zamir White Nation’s No. 10 DT Jalen Carter has made his college decision     The post ESPN snubs Georgia freshmen on instant impact list appeared first on DawgNation.