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College

    Don’t have the time to listen to the DawgNation Daily podcast? Receive a 90-second summary of the latest big Georgia football news from host Brandon Adams. On Thursday, Adams says Georgia 2019 running back target Noah Cain will make his commitment announcement on ESPN next week. While he might not pick the Bulldogs, that’s not necessarily a bad thing for Georgia. The post DN90: Georgia football recruiting target to reveal commitment on ESPN appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS – Isaiah Wilson always has been a man of few words. And when it comes to his play on Georgia’s offensive line this season, he has been a man of no words. Technically, Georgia’s “no freshman interviews” policy doesn’t apply to him, being a redshirt freshman and all. Nevertheless, despite starting every game for the Bulldogs at right tackle this season, Wilson hasn’t been made available to talk, even upon request. Isaiah Wilson started every game and played more than 95 percent of the snaps at right tackle this season. (Curtis Compton/AJC) That’s probably just as well for Wilson. He has never been a big talker anyway, even when he was the biggest thing around growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y. And when Wilson was finally in position to talk after the SEC Championship, he didn’t feel much like it. Understandably, Wilson didn’t have much to say during postgame interviews following the Bulldogs’ 35-28 loss to Alabama. The 6-foot-7, 345-pound offensive lineman was a big part of staking Georgia to a two-score lead late in the third quarter in that game. A half-hour after that dramatic conclusion unfolded, Wilson was still a bit dumbfounded about what had just transpired. “I just hope we get another shot at them,” Wilson said of Alabama. “If we do, I know we’ll play our hearts out and hopefully the outcome will be different.” Georgia will surely get another shot the Crimson Tide; it just won’t be this season. The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) were, of course, passed over for a spot in the College Football Playoff. They will instead face the No. 15-ranked Texas Longhorns (9-4) in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day in New Orleans (8:45 p.m.; TV/radio: ESPN/WSB 750-AM, 95.5 FM). Wilson didn’t know that at the time he was being queried. The Bulldogs have been off for final exams since that fateful day in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. But they’ll be back on the field this weekend. Several of Georgia’s seniors will go through graduation ceremonies on Friday, and the team will return to Woodruff Practice Fields for closed practices on Friday and Saturday. UGA’s Sugar Bowl media day will be conducted on Monday, at which time we’ll hear from the players and coach Kirby Smart again. Wilson likely won’t be available on Monday either, but he has already made quite a statement with his play on the field this season. A year after being deemed incapable of helping the Bulldogs even in a bit role as a true freshman, the former top 3 national recruit not only started every game his second season, but he played more than 95 percent of the snaps at right tackle. To this, Wilson offered only a humble reply. “I just try to get better every day,” he said. “So, when it’s the next practice, I just try to get better than I was the day before. You just keep going from there.” That Wilson is an everyday starter is not a surprise. He was a consensus 5-star prospect and Top 5 nationally-ranked tackle coming out of Poly Prep Country Day School in New York. The bigger surprise was that it took some time. But it took Wilson a while to get acclimated, both to the football and to the Southern heat. Showing up in Athens at more than 350 pounds, Wilson struggled with Georgia’s humidity in preseason camp his first season and spent a lot of time on the sideline being treating for heat exhaustion. “I was gasping for air at times,” Wilson said last year before the Rose Bowl. “But I’ve adjusted to it well now.” Getting acclimated to the heat gave Wilson the chance to concentrate on the fundamentals of being a good SEC offensive lineman. And he had a long way to go in that regard. Playing prep-school ball in New York, Wilson rarely encountered an opponent who contend with his massive size. Going against Georgia’s No. 1 defense as a redshirt helped him hone those skills. “I’m better in every aspect,” he said. Georgia coach Kirby Smart agrees. “He’s grown. He’s getting better,” Smart said in November. “I thought last year he got frustrated early and just kept working, spent some time on the scout team, got better. He still is a work in progress, just like our team is.” Wilson certainly has mastered the run-blocking aspect of his job. Georgia led the SEC in rushing this past season and managed 163 yards and a touchdown against Alabama’s formidable front. Running back D’Andre Swift went over 1,000 yards this season and Elijah Holyfield needs just “I think it’s just a want-to for this offensive line,” he said of the Bulldogs’ ability to run the football. “We see our guys with the ball and we want to help them and push them further. Where Wilson is trying to get better is in the area of pass protection, and he has shown significant improvement there as well. “He plays physical. He’s a big man,” Smart said. “He’s worked hard to get better. He’s held up against some tough guys in pass pro. I think he takes pride in that. … So he’ll keep working, and hopefully he’ll keep getting better.” The progress is evident, and not just from Wilson. The Bulldogs will lose only one starter off this year’s team in senior center Lamont Gaillard. The returnees, like Wilson, were mostly highly sought-after recruits. By the end of this season, opposing coaches talked about being “swallowed up” by Georgia’s massive offensive line. “It means a lot to hear them say our offensive line swallowed them up,” Wilson said, cracking a smile for just a moment. “I love my brothers on the offensive line. I’m happy that the offense is going well and that we’re physical and we’re all succeeding and playing well.” We’ll certainly be hearing more from Wilson in the future.   The post Isaiah Wilson a block of granite in Georgia Bulldogs’ offensive line appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That’s what the Intel brings at least four days a week. The play sheet today calls for a chance to visit with 5-star ILB prospect Nakobe Dean on the verge of his college decision.  MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Nakobe Dean turns 18 today. The nation’s No. 1 ILB prospect (per the 247Sports composite ratings) celebrates his birthday far away from home as part of a Mississippi squad preparing to face an Alabama squad in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game. “I can’t do anything from here,” Dean said. “I’m here. I’ll do something next week [in Mississippi] when I get back after I sign.” Nakobe Dean rates as the nation’s No. 1 ILB prospect on the 247Sports composite rankings. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) The newly-minted Mississippi state champion still found some fun on Wednesday. It was interesting to see that both he and Georgia commit John Rhys Plumlee (update to follow on that young man) were just about the only players enjoying the old school Motown playlist that came through the speakers for Mississippi’s first practice at Stanhope-Elmore High School. Dean visited with reporters during the check-in at that Alabama-Mississippi All-Star event on Saturday. He fielded a lot of questions. Alabama questions. LSU questions. A lot of Ole Miss questions. The Georgia staff has made sure to let him know how much of an impact he could make on the program. He fielded a pair of questions that guided him to share what he felt was “unique” about Alabama and Georgia. It was a day where he didn’t divulge much and did not plan to, but those two statements stood out. Alabama: “All the culture. The type of coaches they bring to the table and how will I feel and where I fit in at the university and how they will develop me on and off the field.” Georgia: “The same. The culture. It is just they have a similar culture as ‘Bama but it is a little different feel at Georgia. Little more of a ‘homey’ feel. It is business but it is a little less. It is business.” What the home visit showed Nakobe Dean about UGA Nakobe Dean said that the home visit wasn’t necessary to see a different side of Kirby Smart. Dean’s family adores Ole Miss coach Matt Luke. His mother, Neketta, has even called him “divine.” But the home visit with UGA wasn’t necessary to see a different side of Smart. “All the times I have been to Georgia I have been able to see a more relaxed side of coach Smart so for me and everything to ….” Nakobe Dean feels he has a “little hunch” about a couple of schools he might be leaning to right now. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) And that’s the point where Plumlee rushed up to the side of Dean and tapped him. Plumlee, who will now operate on a new timeline with his recruiting, remains committed to Georgia. But he was bouncing up and down and smiling around Dean. “He coming,” Plumlee said not once but three times in succession and then went on his way. Dean smiled and laughed. Then he paused and resumed his answer to his previous thought. “….so when he came to my house he just acted like he regularly acts,” he said. The subject there was there, but UGA assistant coach Dan Lanning has been a major recruiting asset for the Bulldogs here. That’s a relationship that goes back to his days as a Memphis assistant. Dean discusses a lot of the nuances of football with his potential position coach in Glenn Schumann. Lanning recruits the entire family. Schumman’s communication is centered on the potential relationship with Dean. This is a program recruitment of Dean, though. I don’t think the benefits of Jonas Jennings and strength coach Scott Sinclair are discussed enough in published stories about his upcoming decision. The Bulldogs have shown themselves to be as stout as any program in the country when it comes to the support staff and relationship to the assistant coaches in the pursuit of Dean. What was the last message that Smart and the staff left him with after that in-home visit? “Basically how we can come and my class can be the first to do it for Kirby Smart at Georgia,” Dean said. “They haven’t won a national championship in a while so that’s why I say it would be the first to do it. They were excited about how I could come in and be a part of that.” How close does he feel the Bulldogs are to that title? Nakobe Dean rates as the nation’s No. 1 ILB prospect on the 247Sports composite rankings. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) “They are right there,” Dean said. “For sure.” He said that 5-star Nolan Smith is always on him about choosing the Bulldogs. “Nolan is always text messaging me,” Dean said. “He’s saying ‘Are you good?’ and he’s talking about we can be roommates and everything so we’ll see.” Smith isn’t the only one. “I know I’m hearing from John, too,” Dean said in regard to his “he coming” visitor. Does Nakobe Dean have a hunch yet?  Nakobe Dean said he hasn’t made his decision yet. Look for him to make a major decision about his school today and then wrestle with it over the next few days. He left that timeline stuck in a general gear. But he does have a hunch. “Not with specifically one school,” Dean said. “I know I’ve got a little hunch for a couple.” He explained where that little hunch comes from. “Just how I feel at the university,” Dean said. “The people. The academics. The football. All of that taken together and what I think I could do or accomplish at the university. How they could market me the best.” What happens after he clears his head fully and arrives at his decision? He feels he will have notified all his choices at least 1-2 days in advance of the first day of the early signing period. “Whenever I decide I feel to be respectful to the schools I will call them and let them know thank you for recruiting me but I feel like another school would be better for me,” he said.   Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap.   The post 5-star Nakobe Dean breaks down Alabama and Georgia on the verge of his decision appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football recruiting fans asked for DawgNation’s weekly recruiting show, Before the Hedges to be released as a podcast, and now it is. Normally the show is hosted by DawgNation’s Brandon Adams and Jeff Sentell. On today’s show, Jeff joins by phone from the site of the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game to discuss the latest on one of the players in the game — 5-star linebacker Nakobe Dean. Today’s edition of Before the Hedges also features… A one-on-one interview with 4-star linebacker Trezmen Marshall — who discusses the possibility of flipping away from his UGA commitment to Tennessee An exclusive conversation with 5-star wide receiver Jadon Haselwood and a look at Haselwood’s top five — which was released Tuesday And reaction from 5-star offensive lineman Clay Webb after Webb committed to UGA Monday Other weekly Before the Hedges staples include our weekly check-in on UGA’s top remaining targets and a reminder regarding key dates to remember heading toward the start of the early signing period and extending to the traditional National Signing Day in February. Be sure to join the show next week, as Jeff returns in studio to share his “six pack” trivia questions and stick around for the segment known as, “Hurry Up.” A feature that allows Jeff to answer as many audience questions as possible over the course of five minutes. The best available UGA recruiting news can be found each week on Before the Hedges. Click the link at the bottom of the page to listen to this week’s show in podcast form. The post UGA recruiting podcast: 4-star prospect hints at possible flip appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football recruiting is the No. 1 topic every week on Before the Hedges, which airs weekly on Wednesday afternoon. Catch up on everything happening in UGA football recruiting with hosts Brandon Adams and Jeff Sentell.  This week, Sentell joins Adams on the phone, as the two discuss the fact 4-star linebacker Trezman Marshall was so candid about the possibility of flipping away from Georgia. Our hosts also dive into all the other major Georgia football recruiting storylines with Early Signing Day just a week away. The post Before the Hedges: 4-star Georgia commit admits he could flip away from Bulldogs 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 cast of DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss UGA coach Kirby Smart’s quest to keep the Bulldogs on top of the SEC. On episode No. 844 (Dec. 12, 2018) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about what 5-star running back Trey Sanders said about UGA on Instagram. Georgia football podcast: 5-star RB Trey Sanders shows UGA more social media love Beginning of the show: 5-star running back Trey Sanders wrote a positive message about Georgia on his Instagram feed this week. I’ll share more details about that on today’s show and discuss the latest on 5-star wide receiver Jadon Haselwood. 10-minute mark: I’ll explain why the national media might be missing the mark with its latest assessment of the competition between UGA quarterbacks Jake Fromm and Justin Fields. 15-minute mark: DawgNation’s Mike Griffith joins the show. Some of the topics covered include… Mike’s thoughts on Fromm and Fields A preview of the Sugar Bowl And the latest on the Bulldogs’ pursuit of a new defensive coordinator 35-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including news regarding a couple LSU stars’ plans for whether they’ll play in the upcoming Fiesta Bowl, reports regarding Alabama’s plans to promote quarterbacks coach Dan Enos to offensive coordinator, and reaction to Ole Miss offensive coordinator Phil Longo leaving for the same job at North Carolina. 40-minute mark: I address former Auburn tight end Jalen Harris’ proclamation that he’s considering a UGA transfer. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: 5-star RB Trey Sanders shows UGA more social media love appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker projected to the Philadelphia Eagles It’s been quite a year for Georgia defensive back Deandre Baker. He was named a first team All-American and won the             Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back. He also helped Georgia win its second-consecutive SEC East title, as the Bulldogs finished 11-2 and just missed the College Football Playoff.           As for what’s ahead for Baker,             he will play for the Bulldogs in the Sugar Bowl against Texas — as opposed to sitting out to prepare for the 2019 NFL Draft like many other college standouts have chosen to do. Baker’s draft stock isn’t something he needs to be worried about at this point, as ESPN’s Todd McShay comfortably projects him to be a first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft           McShay put out a              new mock draft on Wednesday and had Baker going 16th to the Philadelphia Eagles. Baker is the second cornerback off the board in McShay’s mock draft, behind only LSU’s Greedy Williams.           “Baker isn’t the biggest or fastest corner, but he shows the best instincts of the bunch and is a ball hawk,” McShay said. “And you might have noticed that the defending Super Bowl champions could use a solid cornerback,” McShay said. “Let’s see what he does against those big Texas receivers in the Sugar Bowl.”           The Texas wide receivers McShay is referring to are Lil’Jordan Humphrey, listed at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, and Collin Johnson, who stands at 6-foot-6 and weighs 220 pounds. The duo combined for 144 catches, 2,054 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. Baker has shut down a number of the SEC’s top wide receivers this season — such as South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel — so the challenge of facing off against Humphrey and Johnson is nothing new.           Baker was Georgia’s only player represented in McShay’s first round mock draft. The NFL draft expert pegged former Georgia safety Johnathan Abram to be taken by the Los Angeles Rams with the No. 30 pick. Last season, Georgia had three first round picks, as Roquan Smith was taken with the No. 8 pick, Isaiah Wynn with the No. 23 pick and Sony Michel went No. 31. This year’s NFL draft will be held from April 25-27 and take place in Nashville, Tenn.           Georgia and Baker take on Texas in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1. The game kicks off at 8:45 p.m. and will air on ESPN. The radio broadcast for the game can be heard on News 95.5 and AM-750 WSB.            The post             Deandre Baker projected to be a first-round pick in Todd McShay’s latest NFL mock draft appeared first on             DawgNation.          
  • Welcome to  Good Day, UGA , your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, basketball and more. Determining Georgia’s 2018 Most Valuable offensive player This week, we’re going to use Good Day, UGA to hand out some awards for the 2018 season. Today, we’re going to hand out pick Georgia’s most valuable freshman. On Monday, we named outside linebacker D’Andre Walker the team’s most valuable defensive player. On Tuesday we explained why Sam Pittman is Georgia’s most valuable assistant coach. 3rd place: Andrew Thomas, offensive lineman From a talent standpoint, sophomore tackle Andrew Thomas may have been Georgia’s best player this season. A year from now, Thomas is likely going to have to make have .a decision between returning to Georgia or leaving early for the NFL draft. Thomas started 12 games for Georgia this year and was a big reason that Georgia was able to lead the SEC in rushing. For his efforts this season, Thomas was named a Second Team All-American for his efforts, and was Georgia’s only offensive player to make the team. It says a lot about the two guys ahead of Thomas on this list for perhaps the nation’s best offensive tackle to not be the team’s MVP. 2nd place: Jake Fromm, quarterback The margin between Fromm and Georgia’s offensive MVP really is that close. After his disastrous LSU game, Fromm was one of the best quarterbacks in the country this year. Over the final six games of the season, Fromm threw for 14 touchdowns compared to just 1 interception. In the SEC championship game, Fromm out-dueled Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who finished in second the Heisman Trophy race. Fromm somehow didn’t land on any of the All-SEC teams at the end of the season, but he was also clearly one of the nation’s best quarterbacks. He’s already been tabbed as a possible Heisman Trophy front-runner for 2019 after he threw for 27 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Many Georgia fans wanted to see Fromm take a step forward after last season. And the sophomore quarterback certainly elevated his play this year. If he improves again next year, the Bulldogs could be the best team in the country, and Fromm could be inline to make a lot of money as first round draft pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. 1st place: D’Andre Swift, running back This might be a controversial choice, given how well Fromm played down the stretch. But Swift was even better. The sophomore running back was battling injuries early in the season. After the LSU game, Swift broke off three straight 100-yard games, after not having a single 100-yard game before that. He added another 100-yard game against Georgia Tech and had a multi-touchdown game in the SEC championship game against No. 1 Alabama. Swift’s game against Auburn, where he rushed for a career-best 186 yards was perhaps the best game by any Georgia player this year. Swift went on to finish third in the SEC in rushing and that comes while sharing the backfield with Elijah Holyfield — who rushed for 956 yards this year. Swift also caught 27 passes for 267 yards on the season. You can make the case that Fromm’s improved performance opened things up for Swift, but Georgia was at its best this season when Swift had the ball in his hands. He more than lived up to the massive expectations many had for him, even if it took a while for him to get going. So for his dominant second half of the season and all-around excellence, Swift is our offensive MVP. Jadon Haselwood is that good Much has been written and made about 5-star wide receiver Jadon Haselwood. He’s the No. 1 wide receiver in the country and the No. 1 player in the state of Georgia. He’s a one-time Georgia commit and he is the still the Bulldogs No. 1 recruiting target, even after his de-commitment. A lot of Georgia fans may have grown tired about all the talk of Haselwood, and some have wonder if he’s worth having in the class, given the way his recruitment has played out. But it was very clear on Tuesday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium that Haselwood is that good. He’s set to announce his decision on Jan. 5 and he’s worth the wait. With his team trailing 13-7 with just 10 seconds remaining, Haselwood hauled in a 22-yard touchdown pass. After Haselwood’s touchdown, Cedar Grove added the extra point to pull out a thrilling 14-13 win over Peach County. Related:  Heavy-hearted Jadon Haselwood closes out prep career with epic play to honor slain teammate Haselwood was well covered on the final play and it didn’t matter. On the last play of his high school career, he won his team the state championship. A true story-book ending. Jadon Haselwood folks. They just don’t throw out those 5-star ratings lightly. Down 13-7. 4th Q. Makes this catch with four seconds to play. Cedar Grove goes on to a 14-13 win for the GHSA Class 3A state title. pic.twitter.com/3FLG528EcD — Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) December 11, 2018 Prior to that catch, Haselwood had just one catch on the day. But that doesn’t mean that he wasn’t making an impact. He was de-cleating Peach County defenders all day. And Haselwood set up Cedar Grove’s final drive with a 58-yard kick return. He was the best player on the field on Tuesday. If he does end up picking Georgia, which made his top-5, UGA fans should be through the roof. Some have mentioned that Haselwood could be the best wide receiver Georgia has landed since AJ Green. If he plays like he did on Tuesday, he may end up being even better than that. Best stories from around DawgNation Dawgs in NFL: LB Roquan Smith gets it done on, off field for Chicago Bears Georgia football podcast: Twitter hints at more good recruiting news for UGA Georgia CB Tyson Campbell believes ‘rollercoaster’ season will only make him better Sam Pittman proves again why he’s Georgia most valuable assistant coach Georgia football podcast: UGA gets a little revenge against Alabama in recruiting Determining Georgia’s defensive MVP for the 2018 season SEC Network analysts: Georgia quarterbacks’ playing time in Sugar Bowl hot topic Tim Tebow: Georgia football challenged to find motivation for Texas Georgia Tech’s new football coach vows not to use red ink again Dawgs on Twitter Blessed… https://t.co/uL3S8XHmdR — Nolan Smith II (@SmithNoland2) December 12, 2018 UGA offensive coordinator Jim Chaney on the sideline at Peach County vs Cedar Grove: 'They should run the post to number 11 here.' -Chaney *runs post to number 11 for game-winning touchdown* 'You know you would make a great high school offensive coordinator.' – guy on sideline — Justin Baxley (@JBJournalism21) December 11, 2018 Clinch County senior LB/RB Trezman Marshall (7) takes the field with his team. @TrezmanM17 is a UGA commit going after his third GHSA Class A state title ring. pic.twitter.com/PaVURTDyeq — Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) December 11, 2018 One more challenge. #ATD #GeorgiaFootball pic.twitter.com/SWMdrrKzpU — Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) December 11, 2018 Good Dawg of the Day This is Harry. He’ll help you get the ice off your car if you give him a ride to the park afterwards. 12/10 buckle pup buddy pic.twitter.com/yAftYUW5aI — WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) December 11, 2018 The post Who was Georgia’s offensive MVP in 2018: Jake Fromm or D’Andre Swift? appeared first on DawgNation.