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Yankees need ace like Gerrit Cole as they pivot toward 2020

Yankees need ace like Gerrit Cole as they pivot toward 2020

Yankees need ace like Gerrit Cole as they pivot toward 2020
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Matt Slocum
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge reacts after striking out against the Houston Astros during the sixth inning in Game 4 of baseball's American League Championship Series Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Yankees need ace like Gerrit Cole as they pivot toward 2020

Gerrit Cole could be seeing a lot more of the New York Yankees real soon.

While there was no Game 7 for the Astros' ace to face the Yankees in the AL Championship Series, could he start New York's opener at Baltimore on March 26?

"The work never ends," New York manager Aaron Boone said after Saturday night's season-ending Game 6 loss. "We'll continue to try and I guess close that gap or put ourselves in a position to get over the hump. I know everyone in our room believes we will, and we'll have a lot of battle scars when we do finally get to the top of that mountain."

Boone memorably called his team Savages in the Box during a midsummer tirade at an umpire. While that may be true, he lacked Marauders on the Mound.

Specifically in his rotation.

New York starters had a 4.51 ERA, 15th in the major leagues, well behind the elite staffs of Los Angeles Dodgers (3.11) and pennant-winning Washington (3.53) and Houston (3.61). Yankees starters were just 26th among the 30 teams in innings, more than 160 fewer than the Nationals and nearly 130 less than the Astros.

Cole will be the top available starter on the free-agent market, and the 29-year-old right-hander is likely to top the record contract for a pitcher, David Price's $217 million, seven-year deal with Boston signed ahead of the 2016 season.

Lower-priced options include Zack Wheeler and Rick Porcello. Washington's Stephen Strasburg could become available if he opts out of the remaining four seasons and $100 million left in his $175 million, seven-year deal.

Spending on starting pitching has repercussions on all other decisions for a team that went back above the luxury tax threshold this year after dropping below for the first time in 2018. Shortstop Didi Gregorius, outfielder Brett Gardner and injured reliever Dellin Betances are eligible for free agency, and closer Aroldis Chapman can opt of the final two seasons and $30 million of his contract and go free.

Winning their first AL East title since 2012 and finishing the regular season with 103 wins despite 30 players going on the injured list left little satisfaction to a team that finished a full calendar decade without a World Series appearance for the first time since the 1910s.

"It's not a successful season because we're not just playing to get 103 wins and then just sleep," Gregorius said. "We want to play to get to the World Series and win it, and that's what we played the whole year for."

Gregorius said his preference is to remain in the Bronx, but the Yankees might not be able to afford him. Their payroll was baseball's second-highest this year behind Boston, and New York might prefer to reallocate Gregorius' salary for pitching rather than make a long-term commitment to a shortstop who turns 30 in February. Gleyber Torres could be shifted to shortstop and DJ LeMahieu, New York's best all-around player in his first season with the Yankees, could take over at second, where he won three Gold Gloves with Colorado.

New York navigated through this year despite losing ace Luis Severino to a spring training lat muscle injury that sidelined him until September,

Domingo Germán emerged to go 18-4 until a late-season domestic violence incident led Major League Baseball to put him on administrative leave. James Paxton struggled in the first half, rediscovered his breaking ball in the second half and went 15-6, and Masahiro Tanaka (11-9) had a puzzling loss of effectiveness with his splitter.

J.A. Happ (12-8) was mostly disappointing and CC Sabathia (5-8) spent four stints on the injured list in his final season. With no other good options, the Yankees used Chad Green as an opener 15 times.

Much like Sabathia and A.J. Burnett were added to Andy Pettitte and Joba Chamberlain in 2009, the Yankees could use a front-end injection to lessen the load of a bullpen that despite rest in September tired against the Astros. Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle, Green and Chapman all faltered just enough that New York could not overcome an offense outscored 22-21 over the six games.

While the Yankees led the major leagues with 943 runs during the regular season, were second in homers with 306 and topped batting with runners in scoring position at .294, they were .171 (6 for 35) RISP against the Astros, stranded 42 runners, scored 15 of their runs on homers and struck out 64 times.

"I think we're a better team this year than we were last year," Boone said. "And we'll work very hard in the winter in every phase, from the front office and the decisions we make with what players we bring in, what players we lose."

Giancarlo Stanton was limited to 18 games in the season and five in the playoffs by enough orthopedic injuries to fill a few screens of WebMD. Aaron Judge strained an oblique that sidelined him for two months, then needed two more months to regain his stroke.

Aaron Hicks played in just 59 games during the season due to a spring training back injury and an August elbow injury before making a surprise return against the Astros. Hicks had thought he was headed to Tommy John surgery.

"Right now it feels all right," Hicks said Saturday night. "I don't know. We'll see."

Gardner had his best season at the plate at age 36 and could be brought back for another year as insurance to more injuries in the outfield.

His wore a shirt under his jersey Saturday that told the story of the Yankees season: "Next man up."

"It doesn't matter what was thrown at us," Gardner said. "We were able to find a way to push it to side and continue move forward and focus on the task at hand."

Until the Astros proved too much and eliminated the Yankees for the third time in five years.


More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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  • ATHENS Georgia's season goals are likely riding on the outcome of its game at Auburn, the Bulldogs with no margin for error amid a heated College Football Playoff race. Kirby Smart is keeping the focus strictly on the Tigers and the pending battle at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium. It's affectionally known as 'The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry,' but it also ranks among the most bitter. The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (8-1, 5-1) and the No. 12 Tigers (7-2, 4-2) recruit against one another and its abundantly clear the coaches are not favorites of one another. Auburn beat writer Brandon Marcello, however, is a friend of DawgNation's and provided some deep insight into Auburn football for Georgia fans this week. Here are five questions with Marcello, who handles the beat on The Plains for 247Sports for the Auburn Undercover Website. For the latest on Auburn sports, follow Marcello on Twitter. 1. Gus Malzahn is known for his offensive innovation, where is Auburn strongest and weakest on offense, and how far along is Bo Nix? BM: Auburn's weak point is along the offensive line, where inconsistency has plagued the Tigers also season. The second weak spot might just be quarterback, where Bo Nix has shown signs of brilliance but also has been pretty average for the most part. The good news for Auburn is Nix is a much different quarterback at home than he is on the road (63.5 vs. 48.5 completion percentage) but that will be challenged against the best defense he has faced all season (Georgia). I really like Auburn's receivers, and I believe the coaching staff needs to find a way to get them more involved, particularly speedster Anthony Schwartz He has world-class speed and might be an Olympian in a few years. They need to utilize him as much as possible in the passing game, but also on jet sweeps, end-arounds and reverses. Auburn has to stretch every defense sideline to sideline and goal line to goal line. Schwartz is the only player on the roster who can do that. 2. The Tigers' defense is filled with veterans, what are Auburn's strengthsand weaknesses at each level? BM: The Auburn defensive line is the strength of the entire team. The combination of Derrick Brown in the middle demanding double teams and collapsing the quarterback's pocket has been tremendous. Defensive end Marlon Davidson has been the star pass rusher. The two are great friends and constantly poke fun at each other for being 'fat,' which has made for some funny stories through the season as they have combined to win five (!) defensive lineman of the week awards in the SEC this season. They'll have to play their best to give the Tigers a chance Saturday. With Brown being from Georgia, I don't see him lacking for motivation. Auburn's secondary has been fine, but there's room for improvement. I think cornerback Noah Igbinoghene has a future in the NFL. Safeties Daniel Thomas and Jeremiah Dinson, both seniors, haven't let many balls go over their heads this season and both have been tremendous in run support. The biggest thing for this defense is its open-field tackling. It helped slow LSU's offense earlier this season and it needs to continue during this tough stretch against the Bulldogs and Alabama. 3. There's been plenty of discussion about how these teams matchup, why or why not are the Tigers a tough matchup for Kirby Smart's version of Georgia football? BM: Auburn's defense is a tough matchup for any offense. Just look at what the Tigers did at LSUin October. They held LSU to four touchdowns under its average. Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele introduced a 3-1-7 scheme that confused LSU and put a lot of pressure on Joe Burrow to deliver highly-accurate passes, which he did for the most part, but Auburn made fantastic stops in the open field. 4. The Alabama-Auburn rivalrygets its fair due, how is the Tigers' rivalry with Georgia different? BM: This rivalry seems a bit more heated from a players' perspective, particularly on the Auburn side, because many players hail from Georgia. I'm not sure it's a betterrivalry, all around, than the Iron Bowl, but it's in the same neighborhood. This is something that has obviously been built organically over the years, but for it to truly be personal, the players have to be invested. And with players from both states on both rosters, it's about pride and as one Auburn player put it today, going home to your brother and tell him you beat them. 5. Malzahn has been workingwith a freshman QB and beat a Top 10 Oregon team and stayed even with No. 1 LSU. How importantis this game to his future, and why do some fans seem so intent on pushing the job security issue and hampering the team's ability to recruitin doing so? BM: Everywhere I've been, and I'm sure you would agree one some basis, the fan bases have been incredibly loyal and passionate. They can also be their own worst enemy because of their love for the program and the desire to for their football programs to be the best they possibly can be. You couple that with the old saying that a head coach loses 10 percent of the fan base for every year he's on campus (well, save if you're winning national titles), and Gus Malzahn is near that tipping point after nearly seven years as the head coach and an additional three years as the offensive coordinator. Malzahn has been part of Auburn football for the majority of the last 11 years, and with that comes stability but also the ability to easily identify weaknesses and strengths. Fans feast upon those things, and when a strong, powerful, cash-rich group is not happy with the coach, it makes it easier for fans to jump on the hate train as well. My simple question to people is this, which always brings about heated debate: who can Auburn hire? Who will be more successful? Who will lead Auburn to two SEC Championship games, a national title appearance, two New Year's Six bowl games in six years? Only two SEC West teams have reached the SEC title game since Malzahn has been on campus: Alabama and Auburn. That will change this season with LSU, but you get my point. Sometimes the grass is not always greener, but like listening to someone snore for a few minutes in the middle of the night, even the most beautiful creature during the day can seem like something else entirely if you choose to focus on the things that irk you rather than the attributes that make you happy. Success can be fleeting, especially in the SEC. For Auburn to do what it has done under Gus Malzahn in this era with Nick Saban across the state has been, well, remarkable. Maybe there's a better coach out there who could work under these circumstances and take Auburn to the playoff every two to three years, but can you point them my direction? And would they take the job? I understand frustration. It's fandom. It's why college football is great. But let's have some perspective here, too. Georgia football stories from DawgNation WATCH: How Tyler Simmons has shown leadership, resilience Will Muschamp discusses Georgia and Alabama UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post 5 questions with Auburn beat writer Brandon Marcello on heated' Georgia rivalry appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Welcome to Good Day, UGA , your one-stop shop for Georgia footballnews and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, basketball and more. Georgia football bowl projections heading into the home stretch Georgia football will be playing in a bowl game this year. Even if the Bulldogs somehow lose their final three regular-season games, Georgia will still finish 8-4. Of course, the Bulldogs will be aiming to finish much higher than that. Should the Bulldogs win one of their final two SEC games, Georgia will play in the SEC championship game. And as Tuesday's College Football Playoff rankings told us, Georgia is very much still in the playoff discussion. To stay in the top four Georgia must win out, which would include wins over No. 12 Auburn and No. 1 LSU. But those options are still on the table, however unlikely that might be. So with only a handful of options still on the table, let's look at where Georgia may end up playing in December (or January). The 2019 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl: Dec. 28 4 p.m. or 8 p.m. in Atlanta How Georgia gets there: Beats Auburn, Texas A&M, Georgia and LSU. Have Ohio State lose a game but still win the Big Ten. Hope the committee values Georgia's wins over Clemson's potential unbeaten record. Why it might happen:This is the dream scenario. This is one of the two College Football Playoff games and it will be played in Atlanta. Georgia would need a lot of chaos to move up to the No. 1 spot, but college football is a sport built on chaos. Ohio State has losable games against Michigan and Penn State. Clemson struggled with North Carolina earlier this year and plays a 7-2 Wake Forest team this weekend. To quote Kevin Garnett, ' ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.' Why it might not:Even if this is supposed to be a neutral site game as well as the site of the SEC championship game it won't be if Georgia is playing in it. And I highly doubt the College Football Playoff committee is going to want to reward an unbeaten Ohio State or Clemson by matching them up against a one-loss SEC champ Georgia in the Bulldogs' backyard. Seeing as how Atlanta is much closer to Clemson, S.C., and Columbus, Ohio, that would likely be the first choice for either of the schools. And as illustrated in the 'how Georgia gets there' section, the Bulldogs would need to win out and have quite a bit of chaos happen. Chances of playing in this game:5 percent Related: If Georgia football wants to win beat Auburn, it starts with blocking Derrick Brown The 2019 Playstation Fiesta Bowl: Dec. 28, 4 p.m. or 8 p.m. in Glendale, Az., How Georgia gets there:Beats Auburn, Texas A&M, Georgia and LSU. Why it might happen: This is the other College Football Playoff game. If Georgia wins out, it seems clear the committee is going to put them in the College Football Playoff. And given that Georgia would have a head-to-head win over LSU, the committee probably puts the Bulldogs ahead of the Tigers and makes them the No. 3 team. The most likely scenario here would be Georgia playing an unbeaten Clemson, assuming the Tigers and the Buckeyes also win out. Why it might not happen: Did you see what LSU did this past weekend? To quote Marcus Spears, 'They went into Bryant-Denny and put 46 points on the board.' And even before that Georgia has to get past a tough Auburn team. Kirby Smart's record against SEC West teams on the road is not what you want going into this game. But Georgia has beaten the likes of Florida and Notre Dame already, making this the more likely of the two College Football Playoff scenarios. Chances of playing in this game:20 percent *Of note here: ESPN's Playoff predictor gives Georgia a 25 percent chance of making the College Football Playoff The 2020 Allstate Sugar Bowl: Jan. 1, 8:45 p.m. in New Orleans How Georgia gets there: Georgia is the highest-ranked SEC team not to make the College Football Playoff. Why it might happen: Georgia would have to get to the SEC championship game with an 11-1 record to LSU and then lose that game. But that's only half the battle. To get to New Orleans, Georgia would need the College Football Playoff committee to decide that Alabama is one of the four best teams in the country. That would mean it likely needs a two-lose PAC 12 champion as well as possibly a two-loss Big 12 champion. There's also the chance that Georgia loses to Auburn, beats Texas A&M and then beats LSU in the SEC championship game to finish. That gets very murky though, and it's not a guarantee that Georgia would be ranked above the Crimson Tide. There's also a scenario where Auburn beats Alabama and Georiga 10-2 Auburn team would be a very compelling Sugar Bowl pick. Why it might not happen: It would need a whole lot of chaos, as outlined above. There's no way a two-loss Georgia team that fails to win the SEC championship is ranked above a one-loss Alabama team. Chances of playing in this game:2 percent The 2019 Capital One Orange Bowl: Dec. 30, 8 p.m., Miami Gardens, Fla. How Georgia gets there: Georgia beats Auburn, Texas A&M, Georgia Tech but loses to LSU. Georgia would also finish behind an Alabama team that does not make the College Football Playoff. Why it might happen: This is by far the most likely scenario in play. Just going by likely Vegas odds, this is how many will likely predict the Georgia season to finish. Assuming LSU, Clemson and Ohio State win out, a big assumption to be sure, and Oregon and Utah meet in the Pac-12 title game with one-loss each, those are your most likely four playoff teams. Georgia would likely get picked for this game, given the Bulldogs haven't played in the game since 1960 and there might be some interest to attend the bowl game in South Florida. Why this might not happen: Beating Texas A&M and Auburn is no easy task. There is also the chance that the Orange Bowl could choose a two-loss Michigan to play in the game if the Wolverines are able to beat the Buckeyes at the end of the season. Chances of playing in this game:70 percent The Georgia football misses the SEC championship game scenario How Georgia gets there: The Bulldogs lose to Auburn and Texas A&M. Florida beats Missouri, thus putting the Gators into the SEC championship game. The Bulldogs very likely drop out of the top-10 and likely find themselves trending towards say the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Fla. That game would be played on Jan. 1 and would pit Georgia up against a Big Ten or ACC team. Why it might happen: Auburn and Texas A&M are good teams! Anything can happen, as evidenced by Georgia's loss to South Carolina earlier this season. Why it might not happen: Georgia is also a good team, and will likely be favored in both games. Chances of this happening: Let's say 3 percent to get to an even 100. More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Kirby Smart has a chance to answer a major question if Georgia football can get an SEC West road win Georgia football podcast: UGA absolutely belongs in top 4 of CFP rankings Will Muschamp compares, analyzes Georgia-Alabama team strengths Kirby Smart: No difference' for Georgia in wake of No. 4 College Football Playoff ranking Georgia star Anthony Edwards making Bulldogs' basketball fun, but Tom Crean wants more Dawgs on Twitter Leading by example #ATD #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/IUe7ycBS23 Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) November 13, 2019 After dropping 24 and 29 points in the first two games of the season, Anthony Edwards has become the leading scorer in the SEC! pic.twitter.com/zWRE5Se1QF Georgia Hoops Fans (@UGAHoopsBlog) November 13, 2019 Homegrown from Atlanta, GA. Welcome to #DawgNation, @Swdkd10 #GoDawgs | #CommittedToTheG pic.twitter.com/KY1Ht2UoJY Georgia Basketball (@UGABasketball) November 13, 2019 #DawgsOnTop Gabby Connally, Maya Caldwell, and Jenna Staiti combine for 45 points in the #UGA win! FINAL: #Georgia 72 NC A&T 54 #GoDawgs | #Alzati pic.twitter.com/X3CwUFBhBm Georgia Basketball (@UGA_WBB) November 14, 2019 Good Dawg of the Day look at him go, whalefact pic.twitter.com/N7G2uWMsym WeRateDogs (@dog_rates) November 13, 2019 The post Handicapping Georgia football bowl game options heading into key November stretch appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Jalen Kimbercould be the most under-the-radar All-American on the Georgia commitment board for this cycle. The most vicarious DawgNation readers might not know his story chapter and verse, but they should. He has a Purple Heart recipient in his immediate family. Another Kimber once completed a full 26.2-mile marathon when he was six years old. That is the real-life stuff that balances out all the known elements about how well he can play football. Here's the speed read: He will enroll early in January to resupply the talent in Kirby Smart's secondary. When he chose Georgia he saw no need to draw out his process, he knew Georgia just felt like home . He committed to UGA and took a victory lap official visit back on G-Day. Kimber ranks as the No. 6 cornerback and No. 84 overall recruit (247Sports Composite) among the national ratings for 2020. He was a steady climber up the recruiting rankings this year. When he chose UGA, he was only slotted as the nation's No. 16 cornerback prospect. The Bulldogs only have a handful of commitments that hold the same promise he does. He's currently the seventh-highest rated recruit in the 2020 class. The program only has commitments from two defensive players which rate higher than Kimber does currently. Georgia coach Kirby Smart has told him they'd like to see him report to Athens at around 175 pounds. There's no pressure there with that. The Bulldogs would rather him retain the type of elite athleticism and speed he displayed below rather than show up with bad weight. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound senior is the definition of an elite athlete. Check out his testing numbers below from The Opening finals this summer. His testing rating is in the Nick Chubb and Nolan Smith lane from that event. First day at the opening in the books. pic.twitter.com/hyYyVEn95X JALEN KIMBER (@J_BOOGIE_5) July 2, 2019 Kimber was presented with his All-American Bowl jersey on Tuesday. It was a special moment before the entire Mansfield Timberview High School community. What stood out to him about that? 'Just being able to be a part of something great,' Kimber said. 'Not many people get to do this so I am just cherishing everything really.' Kimber has wanted to be in the All-American Game for quite some time. 'It was from the time I did the FBU [Football University) camp I wanted to do it,' he said. 'When I found out about it, that was something that I wanted to play in and really be a part of.' RELATED: The Jalen Kimber 'Boogieland' DawgNation feature story reflects a promise made and a promise kept to a beloved fallen member who has since passed on Jalen Kimber: His senior season so far Kimber and his Wolves are 6-4 on the season. The first game of their playoffs in Texas is on Thursday. He played all over the secondary in off-season camps. Kimber was a slot corner in some elite events and at safety in others. He's bounced around during his senior year, too. 'For the first five games this year I was playing safety because our starting safety got hurt,' he said. 'But I'm back at cornerback now so. I'm just following the best receiver since it is the playoffs now. Just following the best man and locking him down.' His true calling might be at cornerback. He has the size, length and athleticism to log a lot of time there in the Georgia secondary. He will also be on campus in less than 60 days. Kimber will play in the All-American Bowl on January 4th. Then he flies to Athens to join the UGA program the next day. 'Just getting prepared for it,' he said. 'Just starting a new life really. Just ready to take in everything these last few months and get ready for college.' He cites his father, Art Kimber, as a person that has made a difference in his life up to this point. 'Just being a mentor,' Jalen Kimber said. 'Just being there for me every step of the way and always pushing me to be the best and to be at my best. Just to work hard through everything really.' Jalen Kimber: Locked into being a Bulldog Kimber is not the type to go hard in the paint to recruit guys to join him. He wants to play with great players, but he is not over-the-top with it. That's just not his personality. 'I just hope we finish strong,' he said. 'Either we jump up in the rankings more or just stay where we are at. Just finish strong really.' That said, he would still love to play with 5-star CB target Kelee Ringo. Ringo is the nation's No. 1 cornerback prospect for 2020. If Ringo winds up in Athens, it will be exciting for Kimber to see what they can do to QB ratings in the SEC. 'I'm really motivated by that,' Kimber said. 'Because that could be one of the best duos in college football if we are both able to play on that stage.' He's gotten to know the Georgia class as a whole through camp showcases, campus visits and from the 2020 commit group text thread. With all those interactions, he said a future Georgia quarterback really stands out. That would be 4-star Carson Beck. That was the name he brought up of a future teammate who has really impressed him. 'Mostly Carson,' he said. 'It starts with the quarterback. He's the leader and I got to watch him at The Opening and stuff like that. I feel like he is one of those guys and one of those really good guys.' When recruiters try to ask about any chance of considering any school other than UGA, he has a go-to response. 'I don't turn them down,' he said. 'Because I like to keep relationships positive. I don't ever want to burn any bridges or anything like that. But I'm really locked down with Georgia and 100 percent committed. I just tell them that and don't try to burn any bridges.' Jalen Kimber: It comes full circle with the All-American Bowl If he comes across as a polished young man, then that is as it should. His father displayed one of the most detailed and efficient methods for organizing the data that comes at recruits 100 miles per hour on recruiting trail. Especially with the many recruiting trips than an elite prospect will endure. Art Kimber, a former athlete, is now a driven professional. But that's the way his whole life has gone. He was somehow able to complete a full marathon of 26.2 miles at six years of age. 'Five hours, eight minutes and five seconds exactly,' he said. The son is a reflection of the father. That works between Jalen and his father. It also relates to Art and his father. Jalen's grandfather, Art Sr., is a two-time Purple Heart recipient. His military file includes a pair of Vietnam service medals, a Bronze Star, and a Presidential unit citation. Jalen is motivated to 'make it' in football. A lot of his peers do feel the same way, but he has a personal promise to keep. It goes back to his roots in Chicago and a very special lady. That was his beloved grandmother Renee Kimber. That's why he works so hard to be great. 'For my grandmother,' he said earlier this year. 'She passed three years ago right before I moved down to Texas. I made a promise to her. I am going to keep it. That is the main reason why I play football.' He grew up in an environment that wasn't so positive. That was the description he used. Football was a way out. That's what his grandmother wanted it to be for him.She wasn't a football fan but simply favored athletics as an outlet to escape those circumstances. 'She passed but I am still going to uphold that promise and do everything I can,' he said. 'That's my family and my grandfather still lives out there.' He will say a prayer before every game. 'Then I will look up to the sky and talk to her,' he said. Kimber is a unique member of the All-American Bowl family. He was named the MVP at his first 'FBU' camp back in Chicago. He went on to be named an Eastbay All-American from the 'FBU' circuit. He played in the All-American Bowl Freshman All-American Game back in 2017. It goes back to that sixth-grade day. That's when he first head about the All-American Bowl. It was known as the U.S. Army All-American Game back then. 'He said Dad I am going to play in that game one day' as soon as he heard about it,' Art Kimber said. The fact he lives in Texas in the Dallas Metro area has allowed him to attend that game, too. 'He's been to that game three times to watch it and now he gets to play in it,' his father said. Check out the DawgNation conversation with Kimber from this summer below. The post Prized Georgia CB commit Jalen Kimber is officially an All-American appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Spend five minutes talking to Georgia senior receiver Tyler Simmons, and you can understand why any coach or quarterback would want the ball in his hands. It's clear Simmons is going to be successful at anything in life he chooses after football, but right now the senior captain is focused on helping the Bulldogs win a championship. Simmons is willing to do anything for his team and he has from his special teams expertise, to his downfield blocking and leadership in the receivers room. But football is not always fair, and Simmons has had the misfortune of playing most of the past two seasons in a shoulder brace that has limited his range of motion. There's pain, too, but Simmons accepts that's part of the game. 'Of course, it's football, (pain) comes with the game,' said Simmons, who injured his shoulder the second game of the season. 'You can either sit out and miss those opportunities, or you can go and do what you can do.' This was supposed to be Simmons' season to breakout and use his elite speed to make plays with the ball in his hands. Instead, he's dealt with the regret of missing a pass in overtime against South Carolina that ended up in the hands of a Gamecocks defensive back. Simmons talked to the media for the first time since the difficult loss to South Carolina. Simmons took full accountability while providing insight into Georgia's biggest game of the season, a 3:30 p.m. match with Auburn in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday. On how he has dealt with adversity of this season TS: 'At the end of the road there's still a plan for me, everything happens for a reason. Of course I got down on myself for a little bit, but you just have to keep pushing. You're either going to dwell on the past or keep pushing for a better future, and that's what I've been doing, keeping a positive mindset and telling younger guys that are stepping up to play, to take advantage of those opportunities because that's big.' On the role teammates played in Simmons bouncing back TS: 'It happens, it's part of the game, I took my eyes off the ball and that's what happens. That was the consequence, dropping the ball. Of course I learn from my mistakes and just try to move on and get better. It is (hard to get over) but as I said, at the end of the day, you can either dwell on the past or get better for the future. '(Teammates) gave me a lot of support, of course they were mad at first, like anybody would be, but they were there to pick my head up when I was down, and tell me to get better for the next opportunity. I've been doing a great job blocking and on special teams, and just playing my part and taking advantage of my opportunities on the field.' On what comes to his mind this week with the game at Auburn TS: '2017, on the road, the energy there, the fans, the environment, how Auburn feeds off the crowd. Just honing in on the details and staying focused. We do a lot of crowd noise during the week to prepare ourselves for that and Jake (Fromm) is doing different things to stay in control of the snap count. '(2017 crowd noise) I feel like it really did (affect us) and the way they fed off the energy of the crowd, it kind of demoralized us and they took off with that. On how teammate Lawrence Cager has emerged despite a shoulder injury TS: 'He's definitely not missing opportunities. He's live and well at practice, he's moving around great, and he's been great this week. He's made some big plays and we're looking to him to play this weekend. 'I think he'll definitely be on the field and it's great having Cager out there. He's great on third down plays, he's always made them since he got here. That's his game style, he takes pride in being one of the best receivers in the SEC and he takes pride in not many DBs in the SEC being able to guard him. He really enjoys the game and he loves helping the team and he does that any way he can. On if he has talked to George Pickens about his emotions, and what Pickens brings TS: 'I've talked to Pickens just because I know he was committed there for a minute, and I know his emotions are going to be going wild, and we're going to need him to make some big plays, so I'm telling him to stay level-headed and hone in on details and do what you need to do. 'George brings a lot of energy a lot of energy he is the energy of the receiver room. He comes in, he's always in a pretty good mood, and he comes in and he loves football, he loves the game of football. He loves coming in and watching film, he's just a student of the game. 'Seeing him make those plays, it kind of encourages other guys to bring juice and make it a competition a little bit. You see George make a play and kind of celebrate, and it's now I want to make a play and celebrate. So be brings competition and energy. '(Talking) is just a part of his game. He likes to get in the DBs heads, he likes to do a little talking now and then, and that's just a part of his game and how he keeps himself going. I don't have any problem with it as long as he's making plays and he isn't doing anything to hurt the team. 'He was pretty understanding about the whole situation, he's not a bad or defiant kid, so he's pretty understanding about what I had to say to him.' On how the team is handling and views the CFP Rankings TS: 'We kind of look at it as a distraction right now. We just try to focus on every week, and focus on getting better and four on us. Try to block all the outside things out and just hone in on the details. Coach Smart emphasizes that a lot, just honing in on us, we don't worry about the outside sources. We just want to get better and focus on us.' Simmons was one of the team's Players of the Week Our Game 9 players of the week !! #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/7PMxaQKQcM Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) November 11, 2019 Georgia WR Tyler Simmons Georgia football stories from DawgNation Will Muschamp discusses Georgia and Alabama UGA confident it has the speed to keep up with Auburn Georgia defense tops SEC in every major statistical category Bulldogs move into top 5 in rankings George Pickens makes UGA live with the bad to get his good A look at Georgia football playoff picture after Missouri win Bulldogs stock report: George Pickens scores, defense soars Kirby Smart talks about UGA injury situation for Auburn game The post WATCH: Georgia's Tyler Simmons overcomes adversity, providing textbook examples of leadership and resilience appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA (AP) - Hawks guard Kevin Huerter is returning to Atlanta after injuring his left shoulder in a victory over Denver. The team announced Wednesday that Huerter underwent an MRI in Denver after being hurt the previous night in a 125-121 victory over the Nuggets. Physicians in Atlanta will determine the extent of the injury. Huerter was ruled out of Thursday night's game in Phoenix and seems unlikely to play on the rest of the West Coast road trip, which concludes with weekend games in Los Angeles against the Clippers and the Lakers. Huerter was fouled by Denver's Nikola Jokic while going up for a shot. The second-year player immediately grabbed his shoulder and winced in pain before heading to the locker room. X-rays taken at the arena were negative. ___ More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports