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Zack Kassian suspended 7 games for kicking opponent
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Zack Kassian suspended 7 games for kicking opponent

Zack Kassian suspended 7 games for kicking opponent
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mike Carlson
Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy, of Russia, makes a save against Edmonton Oilers' Zack Kassian during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning won 3-1. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

Zack Kassian suspended 7 games for kicking opponent

Edmonton Oilers forward Zack Kassian was suspended seven games by the NHL on Friday for kicking an opponent in the chest.

Kassian swung his right leg and kicked Tampa Bay forward Erik Cernak in the chest during a game Thursday night. He was offered an in-person hearing that allowed the department of player safety to suspend him more than seven games and waived that chance.

Late in the first period, Kassian and Cernak were tangled up on the ice after being knocked over by Edmonton's Josh Archibald. Kassian looked directly at Cernak before kicking him and getting up.

The league said it agreed with Kassian that he was trying to disentangle himself but said the kick was in no way justified. The Oilers argued Kassian's kick was not forceful, but the league contends that it's different from a hit, and any intentional or careless kicking with a skate blade won't be tolerated.

Kassian will forfeit $166,463 as a result of the suspension because he's a repeat offender. This is his fourth career suspension in 518 regular season games.

He was also suspended two games last month for his role in an altercation with Calgary's Matthew Tkachuk.

Kassian will be eligible to return Feb. 29 against Winnipeg.

___

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

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Georgia Sports News

  • Jake Fromm's not for everybody, according to NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah. That's probably doesn't seem like much of a revelation for Georgia football fans, who have seen Fromm championed as a hero as a freshman, and booed along with teammates at halftime of a scoreless home game with Kentucky this past season. ' I don't think he's for everybody,' Jeremiah said on an NFL Network conference call on Friday. 'But I think if you've got run-game (offense), and you want somebody to be efficient and make good decisions, I think that's who Jake is.' Georgia football coach Kirby Smart felt the same way. That's who Fromm was throughout his career with the Bulldogs, asked to hand off to first-round caliber tailbacks while making sure to be careful with the football. It was a formula that led to Fromm becoming the first full-time starter in SEC history to win three consecutive East Division championships while running up a 35-7 record as the starter. Of course, Georgia has become a program where it seems only a national championship will do. So when the wheels came off in the Bulldogs' rebuilt receiving corps this season the top five pass catchers from the season before were gone, and six players missed games due to injury this season Fromm was put on blast by critics. RELATED: Kirby Smart defends Jake Fromm, sets uniformed critics straight There are considerably more positives than negatives where Fromm is concerned on and off the field, and Jeremiah pointed out NFL teams have and will take note. ' When you visit with him, you're immediately impressed just talking with him,' Jeremiah said. 'He's very mature. He's engaging. You can see how he's won over the locker room there at Georgia. 'He's going to be impressive when you get in the room and get on the board and talk Xs and Os, very sharp.' Fromm 35-7 as the Bulldogs' starter was also honored as one of only 22 student-athletes in the nation to be part of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his community and charity works off the field. RELATED: Watch Jake Fromm share message of identity But the NFL draft process is a business, and there's a harsh bottom line with franchises investing millions of dollars and coaches and general managers putting their careers on the line with each pick. Players learn quickly it's the antithesis of recruiting, where attributes are accentuated and shortcomings minimized. NFL teams still feature quarterbacks who lack the ability to make plays with their legs, but arm strength is a must, and Fromm will be under the microscope at the NFL combine next week in Indianapolis. RELATED: Mel Kilper Jr. reveals most important asset Jake Fromm must show at combine ' The knock on him, the concern has really been pure arm strength,' Jeremiah said. 'When I've watched him, I've seen throws, I've seen him make deep outs from the far hash in the Florida game. You see examples of it, but there's other times where the ball hangs and the ball dies.' Fromm's struggles throwing in the rain against Kentucky were well-documented and surely noted by NFL teams. WATCH: Jake Fromm explains passing struggle in wet-weather win over Kentucky Fromm's passing line against Kentucky 9 of 12 for 35 yards came amid heavy rains and wind gusts measured between 14 and 20 mph. 'It was tough, the ball was super slippery out there tonight, so we said Hey it's going to be a ground and pound game,' ' Fromm said. 'It's really frustrating to pick up a ball, and (say) I'm going to throw it in that direction, but I have no idea where it's going. Sometimes it was like that.' It was an honest self-assessment, and there have been plenty of NFL quarterbacks who have struggled in inclement weather. Indeed, even NFL legend Tom Brady had trouble in a rainy cold game last season, just17 for 37 for 190 yards in a cold, windy and rainy game last season against Dallas. Fromm has been doing all he can to improve his technique and set himself up for great success in Lucas Oil Stadium since announcing on Jan. 8 that he was leaving Georgia a year early. RELATED: Jake Fromm makes surprising announcement, leaving Georgia Fromm will throw in front of NFL coaches next Thursday night (TV: NFL Network, 4 p.m.). 'I think mechanically he can help with some things there to get his lower body more involved,' Jeremiah suggested. 'And I know he's been down in Mobile, Alabama, at QB Country working with David Morris and (New York Giants QB) Daniel Jones is down there. 'He's starting to make progress there. That's his challenge. I have him in that second-round range.' On Jacob Eason While Fromm is at the forefront of the minds of Georgia football fans who also follow the NFL draft, former Bulldogs QB Jacob Eason will also be getting some attention It was Eason who Fromm replaced in 2017, after the incumbent fell injured in the opening game against Appalachian State. Eason transferred to Washington, sat out a season, and has himself developed into one of the top NFL draft quarterback prospects. But Eason, like Fromm, is not everyone's cup of tea, Jeremiah indicated. 'Teams are literally all over the map, and I talked to a team yesterday that has him as the second quarterback in the draft, so there's teams that really, really like Eason,' Jeremiah said. 'And then you've got teams that have concerns. 'Now, when I watch him, I see the big arm. You watch the Oregon game, you get really, really excited. There's a lot of good things to take away from that game. He's got some really good tape.' But as with most any player under the scrutiny of the NFL draft evaluation process, there are drawbacks. 'He's got some bad habits where you get him off of his spot he's got a bad habit of trying to wheel out, turning his back on the defense,' Jeremiah said. 'That's something he's going to have to clean up, which is something you can fix. But that's one of the things to keep an eye on with him. 'And then you just want to see him be a little bit of a playmaker, instead of just being a pure thrower. I want to see him create some plays and extend some plays there. That's the kind of thing with him. I think he'll go in the first two rounds. Wouldn't shock me if he went in the first round . ' The 2020 NFL Draft takes place April 23-25 in Las Vegas. Fromm will begin among 10 Georgia football players at the NFL combine, which begins with players reporting on Sunday and runs through March 2. DawgNation Georgia in NFL Draft D'Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football RBU' again Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout The 10 Georgia football players invited to 2020 NFL Combine ESPN labels Georgia a 'loser' in NFL early entry process NFL draft projections: Jake Fromm staying down South? Mel Kiper Jr.'s mock: Andrew Thomas and D'Andre Swift future teammates The post NFL Network analyst: Jake Fromm's not for everybody, neither is Jacob Eason appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss coach Kirby Smart's quest to return the Bulldogs to the top of the SEC. On episode No. 1,137 (Feb. 21, 2020) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about what former UGA wide receiver Mecole Hardman said about how his time with the Bulldogs prepared him for his NFL career with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Georgia football podcast: Mecole Hardman offers great sales pitch for UGA Beginning of the show: Georgia's video staff recently caught up with former UGA wide receiver Mecole Hardman and Hardman explained how his time with the Bulldogs prepared him for the NFL and the big games he played along the way to the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl win. I'll share Hardman's comments on today's show. 10-minute mark: I discuss the impact new UGA offensive line coach Matt Luke had on four-star Bulldogs signees Tate Ratledge and Sedrick Van Pran-Granger. 15-minute mark: DawgNation's recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show. Some of the topics covered include The latest on four-star wide receiver Mario Williams An update on five-star safety James Williams Thoughts on four-star tight end Brock Bowers The unique passion four-star linebacker Dallas Turner has other than football And a preview of an upcoming DawgNation article profiling five-star cornerback Tony Grimes 30-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including Arkansas coach Sam Pittman hiring former UGA staffer Fernando Velasco, Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian reportedly staying with the Crimson Tide, Alabama assistant Butch Jones' humorous new title and a late addition to Ole Miss' 2020 class. 35-minute mark: I share ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper's thoughts on D'Andre Swift, Andrew Thomas, Isaiah Wilson and Solomon Kindley. End of show: I add another number to the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: Mecole Hardman offers great sales pitch for UGA appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That's what the Intel brings. This entry gives DawgNation a chance to get to know 5-star CB Tony Grimes for a lot more than what he can do on a football field. There was this one memorable play Tony Grimes made at a football field. It was not captured by the eye in the sky.It did not go viral. It will not appear on any highlight tape, but it had a lot to do with his field of vision. That is because it just off to the side of the practice field.His father, Deon Glover, will beam with pride as he tells that story. Grimes now makes the same move every Friday in-season during the pregame meal. He goes behind the practice field to make a friend. She will now feel like an old friend this season. He went to go check on a woman. Glover and Grimes both believe she is homeless, but she seems to be a fan of their Princess Anne (Virginia Beach, Va.) team. 'She sits at the back of our football field and she always watches us practice,' Tony Grimes said. 'Since forever she has been watching us practice. So on game days, I brought her out a plate of food out one time. After that, she and I had a good conversation. Then before ever game, I will bring her some money and some food. Or just some food.' Glover never saw her before. Grimes did. He even thought to bring her a blanket. 'He just said he didn't know why,' Glover said. 'Just said that he sees her out there every day and that she was always watching us practice. Tony said his heart just went out to her and he just wanted to help her.' Grimes still doesn't know her name, but he has a nickname for her. She has a nickname for him, too. 'She calls me Guts' and I don't know why she calls me Guts' but she does,' Grimes said. 'I think because it takes guts to come out and give a homeless person food every single Friday.' It takes a plate of food to see Grimes with more depth that his status as the nation's No. 1 cornerback (247Sports Composite rating) for the 2021 cycle. He is establishing a history of reaching out to his community like that. Grimes is already affiliated with a seasonal ministry in his community. 'It is called Provision for the Seasons,' Glover said. 'We go out every season and just do different stuff.' Grimes has a talent for locking down receivers. And also spotting folks that appear down on their luck. 'I can spot out a homeless person easily,' he said. 'I was just going around and finding people. It just warms my heart to see the homeless be grateful. Some homeless people don't care and then others are grateful. It is just so perfect to me when we get to do that.' Glover couldn't believe their first lap about their Virginia Beach community. 'We started driving around and Tony located every single person that was in need,' Glover said. 'I was like how does he know they need something but he just automatically knew.' They would pull up near the ocean front. Grimes would yell 'who's hungry' and would just know by seeing those people every day. He'd want to make sure they got at least a cup of hot chocolate. 'That's because he was that dialed in,' Glover said. 'He noticed those people every day.' Both my son's are tremendous students and athletes!! Tino a wrestler and Tony the top football player at his position N class 2021 over 42 scholarships from Stanford to Clemson. Here they are feeding the homeless. They do this on the reg. Dont tell me all football players R Thugs pic.twitter.com/l41gx8G0lr Coach Glover (@dhglover) February 13, 2020 Grimes is also an excellent student with a 3.8 grade-point average. He will graduate early and enroll with his future team in January of 2021. Truth be told, he is so far ahead in his coursework that he could have reclassified into the 2020 class. 'The reason why that is so important to me is that without football I would still want to go to college,' he said. 'I'd be looking for an academic scholarship. The reason grades are important to me is in college you still can't do anything in college with out grades. Still have to go to class. Still have to make a certain GPA to be on the team.' Tony Grimes and UGA: The 180-degree visit When the subject of Georgia came up at the Future 50, Grimes brought up a past history. The Bulldogs didn't offer as early as other programs did. 'I understand why they didn't throw the offer out early but you can't expect me to wash all these other colleges out when you came in the game late,' he said on December 31. 'But I still like what they are doing with the program and I respect them because Coach Glenn [Schumann] has been keeping up with me and some of the other coaches there have also been keeping up with me.' Glover will still kid Schumann about that to this day. Their relationship has reached the point where they can chide one another about that. 'It was rocky for Georgia at first,' Glover said. Schumann came to the school when Grimes was a freshman. The Georgia offer then came during his third recruiting cycle visit. The Bulldogs couldn't get a visit date set because Grimes wanted to see all the schools who had been recruiting him harder first. There was some confusion about when Georgia offered him. Georgia defensive backs coach Charlton Warren would later let it be known that Grimes should have been offered when he first arrived in Athens. When the topic comes up, Glover said he still puts Schumann 'on blast' about everything. 'I pulled coach Schumann to the side and kidded that we were going to have to duke it out,' Glover said while laughing. 'That's my guy, though. Coach Schu' is my guy. He is good people. He is really good people.' Grimes echoed that at the Future 50. Georgia had to have a strong visit to stay in the race for the nation's No. 6 overall prospect for this cycle. 'So I am going to give them a chance,' he said prior to a mid-January trip. 'But if I go down there and don't feel like it is home or I don't feel good about it or I don't bond with the coaches then I am not going to go there.' The Bulldogs were going to have a hard time keeping up with Clemson, Penn State and Texas A&M.Those schools had already locked up official visits. Georgia now has, too. Consider this passage to be the before/after picture when it comes to what the Georgia staff does very well when hosting a priority recruit. 'I'm glad I took that visit,' Grimes said. 'That visit was amazing. That visit was so good that I added them to one of my official visits.' Clemson, Georgia, Penn State and Texas A&M have those OV slots. For now. 'Anything can happen as of right now,' he said. Those dates are undetermined. But he does know that he wants to commit on December 1, 2020. 'I am not going to lie I was just on Instagram and then that date just popped into my head,' Grimes said of the genesis of that specific date. Grimes said that Smart and Warren endorse his film. They see him as a Dawg. 'They tell me that if I come in and put in the work that I am supposed to and I get that playbook down then I am going to be on that field for them,' he said. 'For sure' He wants to play around other great players That's why both he visited Georgia in tandem with elite 2021 cornerback Isaiah Johnson.But he will also redline the confidence that elite defensive backs must have these days. 'I'm going to be different from every other DB' I play with regardless,' he said. 'Because I am going to be the man. I am going to be that dude. When I step on that field on that defense they are all going to know who Tony Grimes is. They are going to know that Tony Grimes is different.' Grimes is passionate about his game. If he gives up a single catch in a game or a 7-on-7 tournament, well then that just wasn't his best day. His aim will be to set the tone. 'The team leader, the swag, the hype and all of that,' he said. 'Combined into one. It is going to be different because I am from the 757 [area code] and when you are from the 757, we breed different.' Great Work today son!! @757EliteDB @Giavanni_Ruffin Thanks for pushing Tony past what he thinks are his limits!! #NoLiMitS pic.twitter.com/FYJdQunEUs Coach Glover (@dhglover) February 20, 2020 Former Virginia safety Quin Blanding inspires him, along with a long line of great football players from the 757. Those names will include Dre' Bly, Plaxico Burress, Kam Chancellor, DeAngelo Hall, Percy Harvin, Bruce Smith, Lawrence Taylor and Michael Vick, among countless others. Grimes plays both ways for his high school team. It is a magnet school where there are probably only about 15 players who would be considered as a quality varsity player. There are maybe 10-12 who have any sort of college potential. Receiver clips are all over his junior film. Tony Grimes: A little more depth on Georgia That previous passage is a good measure of Grimes. While that food plate and community outreach stuff shows off a very mature side, he's still a teenager. Young men are creatures of their expanding minds and options. Grimes is an impulse surfer who still lets Instagram thoughts steer a commitment date. He will view his No. 1 as just the 'cleanest' number out there.He sounds just like a high school kid should at times. But also flashes growth and maturity in other moments. 'I always thought No. 1 was like the goat number,' he said. 'All the real ones wear number one. So when I went to high school I wanted to wear No. 1 and got No. 1. I wore it throughout the season and all my years in high school. If they would have had a number zero, I would have most definitely gotten the number zero.' @GeorgiaFootball Trip was @CoachCwarren with 2 Dawgs @IsaiahJohns21 @757EliteDB Only 1 thing wrong with this pic; missing @GaQMcK1 pic.twitter.com/WRHKkcaoJt Coach Glover (@dhglover) January 20, 2020 How did Georgia stand out on that difference making visit? Grimes used the term 'greatests' to describe it. 'It was different when I talked to coach [Charlton] Warren and coach Kirby Smart,' he said. 'Those two right there are the greatest in the game right now. One of the greatests in the game right now.' He shared a recipe at the Future 50. It detailed all the checkmarks the school that signs him have to earn his commitment and signature. It was: Great personal relationship with a coaching staff Does it feel like home? Stability in the coaching staff Can they develop him for the next level? Does the strength and conditioning coach develop their players for the NFL? What success has the school had in developing players at his position? What is the value of the degree and the education at that school? It seems fitting to compare that formula to how he feels about Georgia at this time. 'Just the coaching staff,' he said. 'Coach [Charlton] Warren and coach Kirby Smart. That's the one main thing that I like. When I think of Georgia, it is coach Kirby Smart and coach Warren. The two best, well two of the best DB coaches, in the college game right now.' How does he feel about the development of DBs at Georgia? 'They are doing really well,' Grimes said. 'They are trying to build that thing into a real DBU' and they are trying to make that secondary unbelievable and I love that they are doing that. Because honestly the DBs' win games. To me, the DBs win the games.' Glover noticed something immediately about UGA. He started by calling it a rare 'charisma.'It blew him away from the jump. 'It is an ability to connect and I'm telling you every coach does not have it,' Glover said. 'But the elite coaches do. I don't even think it is a skill. It is just the person you are. That Mack Brown-type of thing and with coach Smart I swear it oozes out of him. It oozes out of his staff. That was the thing that popped for us. We weren't expecting that at all from Georgia.' He summed up the magnitude of that visit quite clearly. 'Georgia wasn't even one of his top 13 schools,' Glover said. 'After one visit and after mingling with the coaching staff for one visit, they have got an official visit set up.' Glover mentioned two vivid things he likes the most about Georgia. The first is that he interprets that Smart is not going anywhere. That speaks to that stability they are looking for. 'I also believe the quality [of the character] of the recruit you bring into the program is super important to the future success of the program,' Glover said. Tony Grimes: A unique family story at work Deon Glover is his father. Grimes refers to him as his 'Dad' often. They visit together and he is wound tightly in his life. Glover also coaches his son along with all the other defensive backs at Princess Anne in Virginia. DawgNation was told his biological father is not in the picture and he is currently incarcerated. But it was also made clear this situation is certainly on very amenable terms. 'I want you to know one thing about [his] natural Dad,' Glover said. 'Even though he has experienced some unfortunate things and has never been around. He is 100 percent in approval of me as being the Dad of his sons. .. The things I have done. How I father.' Glover married his mother over a decade ago. He has been in Tony's life for almost a decade, but Grimes came to him with a request when he was in the seventh grade. His mother, Nickey Glover, describes it best. Glover has been there for all of her children, including Tony's twin brother. Tino Grimes is also a high school wrestler. 'Deon has been a father figure in their lives since I think about the second grade,' she said. 'Since he has been in Tony's life and Tino's lives as a father figure, he has wanted him to be his father and to take on his last name.' Those two will describe themselves as tough parents. They are hard and real with all of their children because they understand what it means to grow up in America in the year 2020. Truth be told, Glover said that their mother is the 'hammer' parent. He's the lightweight when it comes to that. The plan is for Grimes to change his name to Tony Grimes-Glover when the right time comes. It is not the exact story, but it brings to mind what it is in the works with 2020 Georgia signee Sedrick Van Pran-Granger. 'His natural Dad is 100 percent in approval of that,' Glover said. 'Even down to the name change. He is on board with it all.' At first, Grimes said that when Glover came into his life that it was about making his mother happy. He just wanted to see his Mom happy. There's another wrinkle here. Glover is also an author. He published the book 'Turning the Hearts of Fathers Back to Their Children' in 2007. The work, which calls to mind Malachi 4:6, is available on Amazon. The item description details Glover as a minister, an executive director of a non-profit, inner city youth counselor and a panel member of a weekly radio talk show . 'He did what a father figure does,' Grimes said. 'So that's why he's my father. He came in and took care of me and my brother and he made it happen for us.' With a resume like that, what has Glover meant to Grimes? 'Everything,' Grimes said. 'Everything I can imagine of. He has helped me grow up to be a better man.' That's a father-son and player-coach relationship at work here. 'I will say being the DB,' Grimes said when asked if it is harder being the son or the player in their relationship. 'He pushes me like no one else has. Every when I've get those days like Yo' because to me I'm self-motivated. But when I mess up on a play, but I will be Ok next play' but sometimes I think like I need to go ask him what I did wrong and he tells me and gives it to me straight.' 'He is not going to sugar coat or anything like that.' The example set has instilled the need to go further. He told Glover that he wanted to enroll in summer school on his own. He wanted to go ahead and finish up his requirements in English early after the 10th grade. When Princess Anne hired a new coach before last season, he was in on the interview process. That's a pretty telling feat for a rising high school junior. Grimes, the youngest of four brothers, has that same mature outlook on what football can bring to his life. The future business major has a specific plan. It certainly sounds like he wants to keep extending a hand. 'Coaching or helping other players get better going into their development and their strength and conditioning,' he said. 'Something most definitely back in my hometown. Build something up for all the athletes that would be able to relate to me coming up from the same place. Not just work out but talk to them. Motivational speeches.' He also aspires to hand out more food plates. 'I am going to open up a program that is like a homeless shelter. It is going to be a huge homeless shelter. Somewhere they can get back on their feet type of thing.' The post Tony Grimes: 'Guts' and helping others shape the nation's No. 1 CB prospect appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Trevor Lawrence is probably the best quarterback in the country. He's lost just a single game as Clemson's starting quarterback and won a national title with a dazzling performance against Alabama. To this point in his career he's lived up to his lofty recruiting ranking he was the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2018 recruiting class and is perhaps the biggest reason the Tigers seem poised to open the 2020 season as the No. 1 team in the country. Those who follow Georgia football closely have long been witnesses to Lawrence's greatness, as he lost just one game in his final three season at Cartersville High School in Cartersville, Ga. He re-wrote the Georgia high school record books, which had been previously topped by one Deshaun Watson. Georgia made a strong push to recruit Lawrence, but like the recruitment of Watson, they were unable to convince him to stay home as he instead signed with Clemson. Related:What we love and hate to see about Georgia football opening 2021 season against Clemson With Georgia and Clemson now set to open the 2021 season against each other, there is a chance Lawrence could play against his home-state team. But that would require Lawrence bypassing the 2021 NFL Draft, where he will likely be one of the top picks. Clemson does have a good track record of convincing players to return defensive tackle Christian Wilkins and running back Travis Etienne come to mind but Lawrence would be a different story. Should Lawrence be playing for Clemson that day, the Tigers would likely be a solid favorite in that game. Georgia will almost certainly be breaking in a new quarterback that day, as Jamie Newman has just one season of eligibility remaining. Georgia could turn to 5-star quarterback Brock Vandagriff, as well as Carson Beck, D'Wan Mathis or Stetson Bennett. But before going all in on Vandagriff, it's worth remembering that neither Lawrence nor Watson opened their college careers as starters. Watson did play well in his brief debut against Georgia in 2014, but the Tigers still lost that game by 24 points. And a Clemson defense may not be how you want to start your college career. In the video below, we discuss how Lawrence got to this point and why what he does with his future will have a significant impact on how the start to Georgia's 2021 season goes. Trevor Lawrence and his future will play a key role in how Georgia football starts 2021 season More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation WATCH: Georgia signee Tate Ratledge shares his Herschel Walker story Mario Williams: Going deep with the nation's No. 4 WR on what really matters Georgia football podcast: An important trend to know as UGA pursues more 5-star recruits Outgoing Georgia football offensive lineman Andrew Thomas not a finished product' SEC Media Days schedule released: 4 questions (and projected answers) for Georgia D'Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football RBU' once again Fifth UGA football staffer hired away by Arkansas coach Sam Pittman The post Trevor Lawrence and his future will play a key role in how Georgia football starts 2021 season appeared first on DawgNation.
  • D'Andre Swift could give Georgia bragging rights as 'RBU' if he's the first running back selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. And Swift might ultimately be the first Georgia football player off the 2020 NFL Draft board if he has a strong enough showing at the NFL combine. Swift has a chance to impress in Indianapolis next week. A sub-4.4-second time in the 40-yard dash would be a game changer. I'm rolling w/ D'Andre Swift today The combine's coming up & from what I see, he's ready to go Expect some serious speed when he runs the 40 @DAndreSwift #UGA pic.twitter.com/pyZhrvzyzj Emily Gagnon (@Emily_Gagnon) February 20, 2020 ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. projects Swift will be the first running back selected in the draft, which begins on April 23 in Las Vegas and runs through April 25. 'Swift I have going to Miami at 26, he's still the number one running back,' Kiper said on a national teleconference on Wednesday. 'He's more complete than the other two, in terms of running, catching and blocking, particularly catching out of the backfield. 'He's been more reliable in terms of not fumbling the football.' The 'other two' are Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins and Wisconsin tailback Jonathan Taylor. Swift is trying to become the first Georgia tailback to be the first at his position selected in the draft since Todd Gurley was the No. 10 overall pick for the then-St. Louis rams in the 2015 NFL Draft. In the 2009 NFL Draft, Knowshon Moreno was the first running back selected, going No. 12 overall to the Denver Broncos. Kiper explained he's projecting the first running back to be selected later in the first round than sooner based off last year's NFL draft. The Oakland Raiders made Alabama's Josh Jacobs the first RB selected with the No. 24 overall pick. 'I think right around where we saw Josh Jacobs go last year, so I have (Swift) at 26 to Miami,' Kiper said. 'Swift would be an immediate starter at running back.' Kiper also has outgoing Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas projected to be selected by the Dolphins at No. 18 overall. RELATED: Kiper says Andrew Thomas not a finished product Miami ranked last in the NFL in rushing with just 72.2 yards per game on the ground, well off the pace set by league-leader Baltimore (206.0) and second-place San Francisco (144.1). Mark Walton was Miami's leading running back last season with 53 carries for 201 yards and no touchdowns Swift was recently compared to two of the best NFL running backs this past season: To Dalvin Cook, by ESPN's Matt Bowen; and to Alvin Kamara, by Bleacher Report's Matt Miller. Georgia tailbacks in NFL draft since 2000 2018 Sony Michel, No. 31 (first round, third RB selected), New England 2018 Nick Chubb, No. 35 (second round, fourth RB selected, Cleveland 2016 Keith Marshall, No. 242 (seventh round), Washington 2015 Todd Gurley, No. 10 overall (first round, first RB selected), St. Louis 2009 Knowshon Moreno, No. 12 overall, (first round, first RB selected), Denver 2008 Thomas Brown, No. 172 overall, (sixth round), Atlanta 2003 Musa Smith, No. 77 overall (third round), Baltimore 2002 Verron Haynes, No. 166 overall (fifth round), Pittsburgh DawgNation Georgia in NFL Draft Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout RELATED: The 10 Georgia football players invited to 2020 NFL Combine Mel Kiper Jr. says Andrew Thomas unfinished product ESPN labels Georgia a 'loser' in NFL early entry process NFL draft projections: Jake Fromm staying down South? Mel Kiper Jr.'s mock: Andrew Thomas and D'Andre Swift future teammates The post D'Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football RBU' once again appeared first on DawgNation.