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    Florida coach Dan Mullen revealed promises he made to his new players in his first team meeting after being named the Gators’ new leader. Speaking on The Paul Finebaum Show, Mullen said Thursday that he made “guarantees” to players about trust and respect when holding his first group session with them. Mullen, a former Florida offensive coordinator, returned to Gainesville in November after posting a 69-46 record as Mississippi State’s coach from 2009-17. “Nobody at the school had signed to play for me,” Mullen said on the show. “They signed to play for the University of Florida but not for me and my program. And I said, ‘One, I will earn your trust and respect. But I can also guarantee you that you will earn my trust and respect as well before you ever step foot on that field.’ And from that day forward, I’ve seen really no resistance. That’s probably the best thing going for me is that there hasn’t been [resistance].” It’s so important for a coach to gain the trust and respect of players, so it was wise of Mullen to say those words during the Gators’ first team meeting under him. Expectations are raised at Florida under the coach, who developed a reputation as a quarterback guru during his time with Mississippi State. If Mullen can bring life to the Gators’ offense, there’s a good chance for a revival under him. It sounds like he’s taking the steps necessary to build a solid foundation at Florida. The post Dan Mullen reveals key guarantees he made Florida players at first team meeting appeared first on SEC Country.
  • Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers, a rundown of everything happening in LSU Tigers recruiting , with Sam Spiegelman. Today, we discuss CamRon Jackson, Louisiana’s top defensive lineman in the 2020 class, who will visit LSU on Saturday for the spring game. LSU offer on the way for CamRon Jackson? CamRon Jackson’s recruitment is beginning to take off. The 4-star defensive tackle has garnered early offers from Alabama and Texas A&M, and more are likely to follow. That could include LSU, his in-state team. Jackson, a two-way standout for Haynesville (La.) High School, is set to make his first visit to LSU on Saturday for the team’s annual spring game. The 6-foot-4, 273-pound prospect from north Louisiana has been in increased communication with coach Ed Orgeron and area recruiter Steve Ensminger over the past month, with conversations steered toward visiting Baton Rouge and leaving with an offer. Four-star Haynesville (La.) defensive tackle CamRon Jackson will visit LSU for the spring game on Saturday. (CamRon Jackson/Hudl) Additionally, the staff has been contacting his teammate and cousin, Joseph Evans, who has been committed to the Tigers since the fall. “They have been talking about offering me, probably,” Jackson told SEC Country. “I’m going [to LSU on Saturday] with my cousin Joseph, who is already committed to them. Coach O told Joseph that he wanted to see me when I come down there, so you know …” Jackson, who prefers to play along the defensive line at the next level, is ranked inside the top-200 prospects nationally in the Class of 2020, according to the 247Sports rankings. He’s ranked as the No. 12 defensive tackle and a top-10 recruit in Louisiana. Under Orgeron’s rein as LSU’s head coach, keeping the state’s top defensive line talent has been a point of emphasis. Prospects such as Rashard Lawrence (2016), Ed Alexander (2016),, Tyler Shelvin (2017), Davin Cotton (2018) and Dare Rosenthal (2018) all picked LSU. Orgeron has already offered Alexandria (La.) tackle Jacobian Guillory, the state’s top defensive lineman. Should he follow suit with Jackson, it may yield a commitment. “LSU is my dream school, so an offer would mean everything to me,” Jackson admitted. “I’m just ready to go with my cousin and see what happens.” TJ Finley makes return to LSU LSU held its final practice on Thursday afternoon, one final tune-up before the team’s spring game on Saturday. A major in-state prospect was in attendance. TJ Finley, a 4-star quarterback from Ponchatoula (La.) High School, was on campus and on the field for the day alongside head coach Hank Tierney. Finley is in the discussion to be the top signal-caller in Louisiana’s 2020 class and has procured early offers from the likes of Auburn and Louisville, among others. LSU has yet to offer, but is expected to pull the trigger after the spring evaluation period or at prospect camp in June. The coaching staff is high on Finley, who measures up at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds. He previously visited for junior day earlier in the spring. Marcel Brooks schedules official visit Top-120 outside linebacker Marcel Brooks has lined up his official visit to LSU. Brooks, the top outside linebacker on the team’s 2019 board, will return to Baton Rouge for a second time in as many months on April 27 for his official visit. The 4-star Texas prospect took in a junior day in March and is scheduled to commit to either LSU or Alabama on his birthday on June 25. Brooks ranks as the No. 6 outside linebacker in the country. LSU likes him as a hybrid safety/outside linebacker that can also rush the quarterback. The Tigers are in store for a big recruiting weekend on Saturday due to the spring game. On April 27 weekend, LSU will host a handful of key targets for official visits, including Brooks, 4-star edge-rusher Kevin Harris II, 4-star lineman Caedan Wallace and Cal running back transfer Tre Watson Miss a previous edition? Find every post of SEC Country’s daily Eye on the Tigers recruiting notebook right here . The post 4-star DL on commitment watch this weekend; 4-star QB visits practice appeared first on SEC Country.
  • Welcome to SEC Country’s  daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook . In this edition, we discuss some of the recruiting stops Arkansas’ coaches made Thursday. Arkansas’ coaching staff will be busy traveling across the country over the next six weeks with the recruiting cycle  now in an evaluation period. The period began Monday and runs through May 31, excluding each Sunday and Memorial Day. Click here for information on some of the stops the staff made Wednesday. Here’s the Thursday rundown: Offensive staff makes in-state recruits a high priority Some of the top 2019 in-state recruits were a major point of emphasis for Arkansas’ staff Thursday. Offensive coordinator Joe Craddock and wide receivers coach Justin Stepp stopped by Warren to see wide receiver Treylon Burks. Ranked a 4-star prospect by the 247Sports composite, Burks is the No. 48 overall recruit in the 2019 class. In most years, Burks would be the Razorbacks’ top in-state recruit. But most years don’t include players the caliber of Pulaski Academy (Little Rock) tight end Hudson Henry. The No. 1 tight end and No. 41 overall prospect in the class, Henry had Craddock and tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. stop by Pulaski Academy on Thursday. Craddock also was in Camden to check in on 4-star offensive lineman Stacey Wilkins. Among the in-state targets, Wilkins seemingly is the most likely to leave the state. Oklahoma is the favorite to sign him, and he has a visit to Alabama set for this weekend. Arkansas’ staff isn’t giving up on him, though. Arkansas back at Arizona Western Defensive backs coach Mark Smith was in Yuma, Ariz., to see Arizona Western College cornerback Elijah Blades. He’s the No. 1 cornerback and No. 3 overall junior college player in the 2019 class. His offer list includes Arkansas, Alabama, LSU, Miami (Fla.), Ole Miss, Tennessee, Texas and others. Blades initially signed with Nebraska as part of the Cornhuskers’ 2017 class. He enrolled in junior college without ever arriving on campus in Lincoln. He attended high school in California. Smith also had a chance to see Arizona Western offensive lineman Desmond Bland. The Hogs showed interest in him as a potential 2018 addition. It now appears he’ll be back at Arizona Western for another season, so he’s among Arkansas’ 2019 targets. He is from the Chicago area. It’s likely some other previously unknown players at Arizona Western may have caught Smith’s eye as it is one of the top junior college programs in the country. Arkansas senior tight end Jeremy Patton signed with the Hogs from Arizona Western as the No. 1 junior college tight end recruit in the 2017 class. Former Arkansas wide receiver Cody Hollister also played at Arizona Western and is now with the New England Patriots. Amarillo by Morning After checking out a couple of top running back targets in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, running backs coach Jeff Traylor was in Amarillo, Texas, on Thursday morning. He was there to see King Doerue, a 2019 running back target from Tascosa High School. Doerue is a 3-star recruit, with Arkansas, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Texas Tech among his many offers. Traylor, who is a very proud Texan, didn’t miss out on his opportunity to make a George Strait reference via Twitter. In case you aren’t at all into country music, Strait is known as the King of Country with Amarillo by Morning being one of his many hits. Miss a previous edition? Find every SEC Country daily Arkansas Razorbacks recruiting notebook  right here. The post Where Arkansas’ coaches spent Thursday on recruiting trail appeared first on SEC Country.
  • Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Auburn Tigers  football recruiting notebook with Auburn recruiting beat writer Benjamin Wolk. It’s Thursday, and SEC Country gets an update from in-state linebacker Vonta Bentley. Also, the Tigers passed out a key 2020 offer. And what’s the latest Owen Pappoe buzz? In-state LB clarifies Auburn’s standing among top schools When Vonta Bentley spoke with SEC Country last month, his main message wasn’t great news for Auburn. Bentley called Clemson his leader. That hasn’t changed. But what was unnerving to the Auburn side was how Bentley considered the Tigers to be far on the outside compared to Clemson and Alabama. Based on his comments, however, it seemed like the Auburn staff wasn’t making as much of a push for the Jackson-Olin (Ala.) linebacker as a few other prospects in the 2019 class. That wasn’t Auburn’s intent, several sources have made clear. Bentley is among the Tigers’ favorite linebackers in that class, and they made sure to correct the record in short order. After a Clemson visit earlier this month, Bentley drove through Auburn with a few of his teammates to drop off defensive tackle signee Coynis Miller who was set for a multi-day stay. On that trip — his second this spring — Bentley noticed an increase level of attention and interest from the Tigers. “I’d say most of the coaching staff are writing letters to me now after that little visit I took up there,” Bentley told SEC Country. “All the coaches, they be communicating with me. They’re always pumped up, excited, loud. I’ll say that. They’re always screaming. T-Will [linebackers coach Travis Williams] was all shouting, ‘Vonta’s here, Vonta’s here,’ when I got there. That was funny.” It has caused a shift for Bentley. Auburn is no longer on the outside looking in. He still refers to Clemson as his leader and admits other programs are going to have to show him something more to top Dabo Swinney and Co. But Auburn is in the conversation now with Bentley telling SEC Country that Auburn has moved into the No. 2 spot above Alabama (the Crimson Tide are expected to bring in a star-studded linebacker class and Bentley isn’t feeling as much love). While Auburn hasn’t recruited him the hardest yet, the Tigers are likely to change that tune. Williams already got that started on Bentley’s most recent visit. “He says basically what Clemson says. He wants me, that I’m a top player. He sat me down to watch my film,” Bentley said. “Going over stuff, he was just being real with me. He told me things I needed to get better at. That’s what I like about him. He wasn’t just telling me what I was great at, but stuff I need to work on too. I really like that.” The one thing that separates Clemson: his connection with Swinney. Bentley said when he goes there he always spends time with Swinney in his office. Those conversations range from football to many non-football topics. He has started to receive similar treatment at Auburn with Gus Malzahn. Bentley visited earlier this spring with his mother, which gave him the first look into Malzahn and his recruiting approach. “I went to his office and talked to him for a pretty good minute. I had went with my coach and sat in there just talking and chopping it up. I would say Clemson head coach and Auburn head coach are the ones talking to me the most,” Bentley said. “At Alabama, I’ll only talk to coach Saban after practice or something like that and say he needs some linebackers.” Bentley’s process isn’t close to complete. He wants to take his time with his commitment, perhaps looking toward an end-of-season decision. Bentley wouldn’t mind waiting until National Signing Day, but he mentioned the uncertainty of being able to wait that long because of numbers restrictions his top schools might have at linebacker. In other words, he wouldn’t want to wait so long his school of choice didn’t have an open scholarship for him. Still, Bentley hopes to check out a few more schools, namely LSU, Tennessee and Ole Miss. As he closes in on his decision, the relationship between Auburn and Jackson-Olin will be the key. TD Moultry and Miller have started that pipeline the last two recruiting classes. Bentley confirmed that can only help Auburn come decision time. “I’d say as far as Auburn, it does help. We can catch up with the players that are down there. We can hear how Auburn really is and what they like about it. We’re in touch with TD and Coynis, so that’s going to help with other players from J-O,” Bentley said. “It’s always going to be an advantage when you can talk to one of the players who’s already down there. You can learn why they like it, which I can tell why they like it because those coaches are pumped up and have fun while still handling their business.” 2020 Hoover (Ala.) QB lands Auburn offer With its 2019 quarterback recruiting shored up, Auburn finds itself in the enviable position of being able to look ahead. Many of Auburn’s SEC competitors are in search of their 2019 quarterback. The Tigers have that in Bo Nix. Now, Auburn is able to scour the 2020 quarterback market that is rich with talent — both in-state and out-of-state. As far as in-state prospects go, Hoover (Ala.) quarterback Robby Ashford may be the one who generates the most buzz in 2020. Ashford picked up an offer from Auburn on Thursday to become, by my count, the fifth uncommitted quarterback offer for the Tigers in the 2020 class. Ashford passes the eye test at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds. He also passes the high school program test as a member of Hoover’s state championship history. Despite it being his sophomore season, Ashford had several standout performances on the way to the Buccaneers’ state championship. It likely helped having Auburn signee Shedrick Jackson and Tigers commit George Pickens as receivers. Ashford has visited Auburn several times in the last year, most recently for a spring junior day. Quick update on 5-star LB Owen Pappoe As 5-star linebacker Owen Pappoe told SEC Country, he was going to take Athens and Auburn visits before his May 1 commitment. Pappoe took care of part of that this week. The 5-star linebacker from Grayson High School (Loganville, Ga.) visited Georgia on Wednesday with his mother, SEC Country confirmed. This didn’t come as a surprise to the Auburn staff who has stayed in regular communication with Pappoe as it pertains to his visits elsewhere. It’s important to note the Tigers aren’t being caught off guard by this visit because it shows a streamlining of communication between the two sides. With that said, it’s important for Auburn to be weary of Georgia. The Bulldogs have been the odds-on favorites to land Pappoe since he started getting recruited at a high level in ninth grade. Auburn has come on strong here. Pappoe will be the first to admit that even if he isn’t tipping his hand prior to the May 1 decision. So the question I know I’ll be asked: Does this do anything to your Auburn prediction? Not for now. As I’ve said in the past, Georgia won’t go away quietly in this one. The Bulldogs have been a favorite for a while, and in the eyes of many, that narrative hasn’t changed simply because of the recent Auburn interest. Still, my sourcing supports the belief the Tigers will be the choice on May 1. But, needless to say, this won’t be the last Pappoe update in the next two weeks. Miss a previous Auburn recruiting notebook? Find every daily recap of Auburn Tigers recruiting  right here. The post In-state LB Vonta Bentley clarifies where Auburn stands compared to top schools after most recent visit appeared first on SEC Country.
  • Whenever Will Muschamp lands a commitment, the South Carolina coach drops a #SpursUp on Twitter. Come to SEC Country for the latest news, notes and observations in South Carolina recruiting.  For previous editions of SpursUp Surveillance, check out the link. Neither of the two will be on campus this weekend for the latest South Carolina recruiting event, but the Gamecocks are off to strong starts with a pair of the top defensive backs in the Class of 2019. Both stopped by Williams-Brice Stadium on March 31 for the Garnet and Black spring game. Both sides of the ball? Four-star safety Jaylen McCollough is being recruited by the Gamecocks as a two-way player — safety on defense and running back on offense. The 6-foot, 194-pound prospect from Hillgrove High School (Powder Springs, Ga.) will visit Alabama for the Tide’s spring game on Saturday. But he recently told Phil Kornblut of SportsTalkSC that he enjoyed the spring stop at South Carolina. “It went well, my first time actually seeing the team move around,” McCollough said. “Got to see how the defensive moves and how the offense operated. I was really impressed. Coach Muschamp has a plan and it looks really good. The offense is trying to force a sense of urgency and tempo and the defense was just flying around and getting to the ball.” McCollough, who’s ranked by the 247Sports composite as the No. 86 overall prospect in the country, told Kornblut he would “start out” on defense and work into “some packages” on the offensive side of the ball, if he plays for the Gamecocks. “It really doesn’t matter where I play as long as I’m on the field,” McCollough said. “They are recruiting me hard on both sides of the ball. [Defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson] and [running backs] coach [Bobby] Bentley, both are recruiting me as hard as they can.” Slight edge to South Carolina Four-star cornerback Jaydon Hill (Madison, Ala.) told Blake Morgan of SEC Country that South Carolina and Tennessee are among his top options. “To me, right now, they are on the same level,” Hill said. “They are both, basically, 50/50 right now. They both are standing out the most. “Actually, South Carolina gets a tad bit more edge because they are recruiting me a little bit harder. I hear from their coaches a little bit more. I talk to coach T-Rob about every day.” Tennessee’s staff is in regular contact, too, but “it’s not as often” as South Carolina. “I like their atmosphere,” Hill said. “I like Coach Muschamp and Coach T-Rob. I feel like they are great coaches. Coach T-Rob’s past with DB’s, like his history, I like. He’s real good with defensive backs.” Hill (6-foot, 172 pounds) is ranked as the No. 28 cornerback in the Class of 2019. South Carolina recruiting offers At least six new offers to 2019 prospects were sent out this week by South Carolina’s coaches: 4-star WR Donavon Green (Mount Airy, N.C.) Duke commitment 4-star WR Isaiah Hazel (Upper Marlboro, Md.) 3-star LB Makiya Tongue (Baton Rouge, La.) 3-star S Aaron Beasley (Franklin, Ga.) 3-star WR Kalani Norris (Miami, Fla.) WR T.J. Jones (Lake City, Fla.) Miss a previous edition of Spurs Up Surveillance?  Get caught up here. The post South Carolina recruiting: Gamecocks in strong position for 2019 4-star DBs appeared first on SEC Country.
  • TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama football is set to hold its annual A-Day spring game on Saturday inside Bryant-Denny Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. ET on ESPN. Alabama spring game details When: Saturday, April 21, 2018 Where: Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, Ala. Time: 2 p.m. ET TV: ESPN How to watch online:  WatchESPN All eyes on QB battle Tua Tagovailoa injured his left hand — his throwing hand — and isn’t expected to play Saturday. That gives Jalen Hurts — the starter the last two seasons — center stage. Hurts was all over the news Thursday without doing a thing when a story came out in which his father said Hurts would transfer and become the world’s biggest free agent if Tagovailoa wins the starting quarterback job. That brought out all sorts of opinions: Damien Harris, Mack Wilson, and even Hurts’ brother. It will be interesting to see the reaction Hurts gets from fans Saturday. And not to be lost in the quarterback conversation, redshirt freshman Mac Jones should see plenty of reps and get his first real opportunity to show what he brings to the table. Injury report One of the most important things about spring practice is to exit spring practice healthy. Alabama has plenty of players banged up. Here are SEC Country’s observations from the viewing period at practice Thursday: Outside linebacker Anfernee Jennings (knee) wore a black, non-contact jersey and stood with his position group. He likely won’t see any action during the spring game. Tagovailoa (hand) participated in footwork drills, but did not throw during the viewing period. Tagovailoa likely won’t see any action Saturday. There was no sign of tight end Miller Forristall (knee). Running back Josh Jacobs (ankle) participated in drills in a black, non-contact jersey. Jacobs has been limited all spring so he likely won’t see any action. Running back Brian Robinson appeared limited. Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy (knee) was spotted walking off to the side with a trainer. Jeudy won’t participate Saturday. The post Alabama spring football game: Time, TV, how to watch online (April 21, 2018) appeared first on SEC Country.
  • ATHENS — New Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean has finally pulled the trigger on naming a second assistant basketball coach. Joe Scott, most recently an assistant coach at Holy Cross, sports 16 seasons of head coaching experience at three Division I schools. He joins Chad Dollar on the Bulldogs’ staff. “I’m excited to welcome Joe, Leah, Ben and Jack to our Georgia Basketball family and the entire UGA community,” Crean said in a statement released by the school. “Joe is known nationally as someone who excels at coaching, teaching and competing. He has tremendous respect of his peers who have gone against him and those who have worked along side him. He will bring many different elements to our program, but overall and he will help our young men get better every day.” Said Scott, also in a statement: “My family and I are extremely excited to be joining the Georgia family. The University of Georgia is a special place. This is a tremendous opportunity to help Coach Crean implement his vision and make Georgia Basketball special. I cannot wait to get started coaching our players to develop and get better every day.” Scott was tabbed one of the nation’s top-20 “Xs & Os” coaches in a survey of his peers by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman in 2013. He was head coach at Air Force for four seasons, Princeton for three campaigns and Denver for nine seasons. He also has served as an assistant coach at Monmouth, Princeton and Holy Cross. All told, Scott sports 27 years of collegiate coaching experience. Before breaking into the head coaching ranks, Scott was an assistant coach at Monmouth during the 1991-92 season and at Princeton from 1992-2000. While at Princeton, Scott helped the Tigers to five consecutive postseason appearances, with trips to the 1996, 1997 and 1998 NCAA Tournaments and the 1999 and 2000 NITs. The Tigers won three Ivy League titles from 1996-98, including perfect 14-0 records in the final two seasons. Princeton upset defending national champion UCLA in the 1996 NCAA Tournament and ranked as high as No. 7 nationally in 1998 en route to earning a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the highest ever for an Ivy League team. The post Georgia’s Tom Crean finally settles on a second assistant coach appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia basketball and Tom Crean have hired a second assisstant coach, this time in former Princeton head coach Joe Scott. The school released a statement on the hiring, with a statement from Crean. “I’m excited to welcome Joe, Leah, Ben and Jack to our Georgia Basketball family and the entire UGA community,” Crean said. “Joe is known nationally as someone who excels at coaching, teaching and competing. He has tremendous respect of his peers who have gone against him and those who have worked along side him. He will bring many different elements to our program, but overall and he will help our young men get better every day.” In addition to serving as the head coach at Air Force, Scott also has head coaching experience at Princeton and Denver. As an assistant Scott has worked at Monmouth, Princeton and Holy Cross, where he spent the past two seasons. Scott is a Princeton alum. “My family and I are extremely excited to be joining the Georgia family,” Scott said. “The University of Georgia is a special place. This is a tremendous opportunity to help Coach Crean implement his vision and make Georgia Basketball special. I cannot wait to get started coaching our players to develop and get better every day.” Scott will join assistant Chad Dollar in helping Crean. Dollar’s hire was announced earlier in April. Crean replaced Mark Fox, who had been the coach at Georgia since the 2008-09 season. The post Georgia basketball announces hiring of assistant coach Joe Scott appeared first on DawgNation.
  • GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida defensive back McArthur Burnett announced on Twitter on Thursday night that he plans to transfer out of the program. Burnett, who would have been a redshirt sophomore this coming season, saw minimal playing time last fall and remained buried down the depth chart at cornerback. pic.twitter.com/N5wIyeDH1Q — McArthur Burnett (@Pahokee_Beast) April 19, 2018 The post Florida DB McArthur Burnett announces plans to transfer appeared first on SEC Country.
  • TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — With the end of spring practices looming, University of Alabama coach Nick Saban gave details on how the Crimson Tide will go about Saturday’s A-Day game at Bryant-Denny Stadium, and the latest on the Crimson Tide’s injuries. He was also expected to touch upon the Crimson Tide’s quarterback competition and Alabama signing a home-and-home series with Notre Dame in 2028-29, during his post-practice press conference Thursday evening. The highlights included the following:   (We’re in a holding pattern here, awaiting Saban’s arrival) This story will be regularly updated during the press conference.  The post Live updates: Nick Saban sets stage for A-Day, comments on quarterback competition appeared first on SEC Country.

Georgia Sports News

  • ATHENS — New Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean has finally pulled the trigger on naming a second assistant basketball coach. Joe Scott, most recently an assistant coach at Holy Cross, sports 16 seasons of head coaching experience at three Division I schools. He joins Chad Dollar on the Bulldogs’ staff. “I’m excited to welcome Joe, Leah, Ben and Jack to our Georgia Basketball family and the entire UGA community,” Crean said in a statement released by the school. “Joe is known nationally as someone who excels at coaching, teaching and competing. He has tremendous respect of his peers who have gone against him and those who have worked along side him. He will bring many different elements to our program, but overall and he will help our young men get better every day.” Said Scott, also in a statement: “My family and I are extremely excited to be joining the Georgia family. The University of Georgia is a special place. This is a tremendous opportunity to help Coach Crean implement his vision and make Georgia Basketball special. I cannot wait to get started coaching our players to develop and get better every day.” Scott was tabbed one of the nation’s top-20 “Xs & Os” coaches in a survey of his peers by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman in 2013. He was head coach at Air Force for four seasons, Princeton for three campaigns and Denver for nine seasons. He also has served as an assistant coach at Monmouth, Princeton and Holy Cross. All told, Scott sports 27 years of collegiate coaching experience. Before breaking into the head coaching ranks, Scott was an assistant coach at Monmouth during the 1991-92 season and at Princeton from 1992-2000. While at Princeton, Scott helped the Tigers to five consecutive postseason appearances, with trips to the 1996, 1997 and 1998 NCAA Tournaments and the 1999 and 2000 NITs. The Tigers won three Ivy League titles from 1996-98, including perfect 14-0 records in the final two seasons. Princeton upset defending national champion UCLA in the 1996 NCAA Tournament and ranked as high as No. 7 nationally in 1998 en route to earning a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the highest ever for an Ivy League team. The post Georgia’s Tom Crean finally settles on a second assistant coach appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia basketball and Tom Crean have hired a second assisstant coach, this time in former Princeton head coach Joe Scott. The school released a statement on the hiring, with a statement from Crean. “I’m excited to welcome Joe, Leah, Ben and Jack to our Georgia Basketball family and the entire UGA community,” Crean said. “Joe is known nationally as someone who excels at coaching, teaching and competing. He has tremendous respect of his peers who have gone against him and those who have worked along side him. He will bring many different elements to our program, but overall and he will help our young men get better every day.” In addition to serving as the head coach at Air Force, Scott also has head coaching experience at Princeton and Denver. As an assistant Scott has worked at Monmouth, Princeton and Holy Cross, where he spent the past two seasons. Scott is a Princeton alum. “My family and I are extremely excited to be joining the Georgia family,” Scott said. “The University of Georgia is a special place. This is a tremendous opportunity to help Coach Crean implement his vision and make Georgia Basketball special. I cannot wait to get started coaching our players to develop and get better every day.” Scott will join assistant Chad Dollar in helping Crean. Dollar’s hire was announced earlier in April. Crean replaced Mark Fox, who had been the coach at Georgia since the 2008-09 season. The post Georgia basketball announces hiring of assistant coach Joe Scott appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia held their final actual practice of the spring at the Woodruff Practice Complex on Thursday. Under clear skies and relatively cool temperatures, the Bulldogs were working out in shorts and helmets and were scheduled to for about two hours. The next time they get together and play as a team will be during G-Day Saturday at Sanford Stadium (4 p.m., ESPN, News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB). Actually, it will as two teams. UGA on Thursday released its split rosters for the Red and Black squads for Saturday’s intrasquad game. This year, Georgia’s No. 1 offense, led by quarterback Jake Fromm, will be the Red team. The Black Squad will be led by the Bulldogs’ No. 1 defensive unit — and freshman quarterback Justin Fields, of course. Fromm’s Red squad will be protected by the first-string offensive line — which included both Solomon Kindley and Kendall Baker to play left guard. It will also feature juniors Elijah Holyfield and Brian Herrien at tailback and Terry Godwin, Riley Ridley and Mecole Hardman at wideout and Isaac Nauta and Charlie Woerner at tight end. Fields’ No. 2 offensive unit will have walkons Prather Hudson and Ian Donald-McIntyre in the backfield and will feature a receiving corps of Ahkil Crumpton, J.J. Holloman, Kearis Jackson, Matt Landers and Tyler Simmons. Of course, the Black team will be hanging its hat on a defensive team led by Tyler Clark, DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle, Jonathan Ledbetter, Julian Rochester and Malik Herring and inside linebackers Juwan Taylor, Tae Crowder and Nate McBride. D’Andre Walker, Robert Beal and Walter Grant will man the outside linebacker positions. The secondary for the Black squad has Deandre Baker and Tyrique McGhee at the corners, William Poole at star and J.R. Reed and Richard LeCounte III at the safeties. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs appeared to be going through normal drill work and play-polish in the early portions of practice on Thursday. Following are a few observations: Senior Terry Godwin was going through regular drill work with the receivers but appeared to be a bit gimpy in doing so. He had a reinforced brace on one knee and a regular sleeve on the other. Cornerback Mark Webb was not practicing after suffering a knee injury of undisclosed severity on Tuesday. Indications are it’s not a “major” injury. D’Andre Swift was going through bag drills with the running backs and did not exhibit noticeable limitations. He is dealing with a groin injury, according to coach Kirby Smart. Defensive tackle Michael Barnett (knee) was not at practice again, assuring that he’ll miss G-Day. Justin Young, who missed practices last week due to a minor knee sprain, has been able to practice and might be able to play. One area lacking depth that has not been much discussed is deep snapper for special teams. The Bulldogs technically have just one on the roster in redshirt freshman Oren Morgan of Toombs County. But senior fullback Nick Moore also snaps to the kickers. Former tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel were watching Thursday’s practice from the sideline and having a good time commenting on what they say. Asked which tailback they expected to be the leading rusher for the G-Day Game on Saturday, they simultaneously said “Prather Hudson.” Hudson is a redshirt sophomore walkon from Columbus. Recently-matriculated receiver Javon Wims was also at practice watching his position group. All of them plan to attend on Saturday, with Chubb conducting an autograph-signing at the bookstore.   The post Practice report: Jake Fromm to lead Red against Justin Field’s Black squad on G-Day appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Don’t be surprised if you see players being shuffled around a lot and playing in somewhat unfamiliar positions Saturday, especially on defense. Spring practice is a highly experimental time as it is, but injuries have forced Georgia’s hand in some key areas on the football field. As a result, you’re likely to see some defensive ends playing tackle, some tackles playing nose guard and some safeties playing cornerback when the Bulldogs conduct their annual G-Day spring intrasquad game at Sanford Stadium (4 p.m. Saturday, ESPN, News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB). Georgia has been hit with injuries along the defensive line and in the secondary this spring. Defensive end Justin Young and tackle Michael Barnett have been out for most of the spring with what coach Kirby Smart calls “minor” knee injuries. This Tuesday, cornerback Mark Webb suffered what’s characterized as a non-serious knee injury, but he won’t be available for game simulation on Saturday. He’ll be joined on the sideline by senior safety Jarvis Wilson, who has a sprained foot. As a result, Georgia will have to do some mixing and matching in order to keep a competitive 22 players on the field at all times. The Bulldogs have 111 players on their spring roster, but that includes six kicking specialists or holders and 36 walk-ons, including three quarterbacks not named Stetson Bennett. The point is, not all of those players are going to play and many won’t get significant amounts of time. Junior David Marshall, who played in 14 games at defensive end last season and started three, has been playing inside at tackle. Likewise, defensive tackle Julian Rochester has been cross-training at nose guard. Just a week ago, the Bulldogs moved redshirt sophomore Chris Barnes from offensive guard to the defensive line to shore up depth. “We’re just a little short,” said Marshall, who logged 52 tackles and 3 1/2 quarterback sacks last season. “But it’s next man up around here, so we’ve got to tough it out.” Smart hasn’t been thrilled with the end result. At different times this spring he has complained about the defense not being “stout enough” against the run. “We’ve certainly got to get better at defending [the run], especially against big, physical people like our offense,” Smart said. “But the way to do that is you’ve got to have big people to combat big people with, and we don’t have a lot of big guys. So, we’re looking to recruit. We’re trying to find 290-[pound]-plus guys that can help us become more stout. For us to play the way we want to play we’ve got to have physical guys in there.” In terms of interior defensive linemen that are on scholarship, Georgia has just eight. Freshman signees Jordan Davis and Tramel Walthour won’t join the team until this summer. Smart said he’d like to sign four in the Class of 2019. Georgia also is missing Deangelo Gibbs and is down to 10 scholarship players in the secondary for the scrimmage. By specialty, it breaks down to five corners and five safeties. As always, some from both groups work at the “star” or nickel back positions. Defensive coordinator Mel Tucker also could pluck a linebacker to play in the back third. That has required proven veterans such as junior safety J.R. Reed and senior cornerback Deandre Baker to do a lot of on-field coaching when they’re facing off against Georgia’s high-octane offense. “It’s always good to see these young guys grow,” said Reed, who started all 15 games at strong safety last season. “My goal is to really mold these young guys and really get them up to almost be where I’m at and to get these guys that don’t know a lot to learn more.” While Georgia is expected to receive an infusion of talent when elite signees Tyson Campbell, Nadab Joseph and Otis Reese enroll in June, G-Day will be especially important for their predecessors. Sophomores Ameer Speed, Eric Stokes and William Poole and redshirt freshmen Tray Bishop and Latavious Brini have much to prove. “It’s their time,” Smart said, “and they have to step up or they’ll be replaced by the people coming in.” Low numbers overall are not unusual for spring games. After all, the majority of the incoming recruiting class hasn’t joined the team yet. In Georgia’s case, it has 17 more players on the way. In the meantime, the players that are present and accounted for aim to give the expected crowd of 78,000 a show of some sort. “We like to see all the fans come out and support us,” Marshall said. “We’re going to come out and show great effort hopefully we’ll see how the season will go this year.” The post Injuries have left Bulldogs a little light on defense heading into G-Day appeared first on DawgNation.