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    Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That's what the Intel brings. This entry details a preferred walk-on toGeorgia in the 2020 class. Braxton Hicks will have a name that mothers and fathers might know about, but maybe not recruiting fans. The mothers of DawgNation might have the best grasp of this story right from the start. Maybe those recent doting Dads will, too. Or the fathers who paid close attention during their pregnancies. Let's begin by stating Braxton Hicks is a preferred walk-on for the 2020 class for Georgia. He hails from Rabun County. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound receiver was an All-State player this past season. This is about the time where those DawgNation moms should say: Did I really just read Braxton Hicks? Hicks caught 183 passes for 3,490 yards and 46 touchdowns in his Rabun County career. Those big plays went for 19.1 yards per catch. He was also a standout defensive back for his Wildcats. And his name really is Braxton Hicks. That's no typo. No play on words. His mother, DeAnna Hicks, politely assures DawgNation it was no ploy meant 'to get everybody tickled' as she eloquently put it. Rabun County coach Jaybo Shaw 'gets tickled' when that subject of his name too. Most do. 'I didn't know about it,' Shaw said. 'I didn't know about it until he was probably like a junior and I think the Fox 5 crew said something and I was like what' with that?' Shaw's reaction to that on-air quip was the common one. 'My wife had to tell me,' Shaw said. Hicks first started raising eyebrows when he began to show up making big plays on local Atlanta sportscasts. DeAnna Hicks thinks Ken Rodriguez of Fox5 Atlanta was the first. It was after a big touchdown against White County. 'At that point Braxton thought his name was cool,' Wayne Hicks said. 'Up to that point, he was like Dad why did Mom name me this?' with all of that. He thinks it is a fun name now because he has gotten a little popularity off of it.' He gets it. 'I love it now,' Braxton Hicks said. 'Whenever I get on their highlights they always have something fun or funny to say about my name.' Pause button: What is all this Braxton Hicks stuff? Let's take a step back by sharing a few quick definitions. Miriam Webster dictionary: 'Relatively painless nonrhythmic contractions of the uterus that occur during pregnancy with increasing frequency over time but are not associated with labor.' Google search top result: ' Braxton Hicks are when the womb contracts and relaxes. Sometimes they are known as false labour pains. Not all women will have Braxton Hicks contractions. If you do, you'll usually feel them during the second or third trimester. Braxton Hicksare completely normal and many women experience them during pregnancy.' DawgNation recruiting dictionary: 'The name given to a preferred walk-on receiver from Rabun County who averaged 11 touchdowns catches per season of his varsity career. Hicks also snagged five interceptions as a senior for a 12-1 state title contender. The name, although synonymous with expectant mothers, fits Hicks snug like his receiver gloves. That's because he's a fighter.' The real reason why Braxton Hicks fits a future Bulldog His parents are not obstetricians. His mother is not a labor and delivery nurse. Or a comedian. 'The name Braxton itself means strong,' Braxton Hicks said. He has fun with it. 'I love when I go meet folks and meet some moms,' he said. 'They hear that and go oh my gosh did you' and then I tell them the story. I love it. I just think now that it is fun.' Well, he doesn't tell them the whole story. His father, Wayne, is in sales. DeAnna Hicks is a dental hygienist for her vocation. They were just flipping through a calendar which had a roll call of names early on in DeAnna's term. 'Braxton always seemed to me like a powerful name,' Wayne Hicks said. 'It seemed like a strong name to me. I loved the name. But of course, I am a dude. I didn't look into it detailed with all of that and what it all meant.' Then they began to share the name with their family, friends and peers. 'They were always like Hey you know what that means right?' and we certainly did,' Wayne Hicks said. The name 'Braxton' was the runaway leader. It was certainly the choice by the time DeAnna started having severe Braxton Hicks contractions of her own. 'We ended up having a bunch of those Braxton Hicks contractions,' his mother said. They certainly did. 'A bunch,' his father affirmed. She estimated that she started her false Braxton Hicks contractions at 30 weeks. It was still 10 long weeks before Braxton would be full term. DeAnna Hicks began to lapse into labor at 32 weeks. She had to be given meds to halt that on a number of occasions. Young Braxton still needed to grow. It was too soon to deliver. 'They stropped me three times from having him and they finally said we couldn't stop you anymore,' DeAnna Hicks said. 'They said if you go into labor again you will just have to him him because it was too dangerous to the baby.' It meant Braxton Hicks was born on Jan. 2, 2001. That was six weeks in advance of an expected due date of February 11, 2001. That meant the first few fragile weeks of his precious life were spent in a Neo-natal intensive care unit. DeAnna was there every morning to hope and pray for Braxton to grow big and strong, but then she had to go home every trying night. 'Of course we knew the name Braxton Hicks at that time meant early contractions,' his father Wayne Hicks said. 'But as we looked into it, the battle he did and everything we went through we decided that Braxton was obviously the name we wanted to go with.' Hicks was born tiny. Maybe 18 inches. He was four pounds and 11 ounces. He was so slight his father remembers being able to palm him in his hand. He was expected to spend six weeks in that Neo-natal unit. But he was heathy and strong enough to go home after approximately two weeks. He added almost 11 ounces of body weight in that time. 'We had this thought process of I wonder if he is going to be picked at later on in life' but we figured with everything he had battled through in coming into this world so early that the name just had to fit,' his father said. He developed quickly. That's why they knew they were bringing home a fighter. Braxton didn't stop. He kept growing like a stubborn path of Georgia kudzu. He wound up bigger than his peers in kindergarten and elementary school. They now feel blessed to have been able to give him that name. 'When he played football early on, he was almost a full helmet taller than everybody,' DeAnna Hicks said. 'Even after coming into this world so early.' When Hicks was in the seventh grade, he was already able to slam home a basketball. 'Braxton just meant strong to us,' DeAnna Hicks said. 'Now it seems like anything everything that Braxton has kind of done growing up has been early. It just seemed like it. It really did suit him.' What Braxton Hicks will bring to Georgia Hicks will bring something to Georgia. Those who know him well can testify to that. 'He's pretty fast but I know he doesn't look like it,' Rabun County senior OL Will Hightower said. 'His leadership is also out the roof and he can jump. Braxton can jump out of the gym.' Sam Pitman actually offered Hicks the preferred walk-on slot last season before the South Carolina game. Pittman and receivers coach Cortez Hankton made a beeline to Hicks and his family when they showed up for that game. It says a lot about Pittman. We might even jest that it was a strong early contraction on the recruiting trail which would lead him to Georgia. 'When he offered me to come play at Georgia he said I am about to offer you this' and you're going to shake my head right now and you're going to come to Georgia' and he said Now, you can shake my hand' and I was like stunned,' Hicks said. 'I didn't even have time to think about it yet.' But then he shook Pittman's hand. 'Yes sir,' Hicks recalls saying. 'I'm coming.' He has two younger sisters. The Hicks children all came early, but he was the only one who had to stay in a Neo-natal unit for his lungs to develop. 'He's always been the one who could not sit still growing up,' his mother said. 'He's always had to be moving and doing something. Constantly.' Braxton Hicks: Rabun County coach Jaybo Shaw weighs in Hicks has been teammates for the last two years with 5-star QB Gunner Stockton in the 2022 class. Stockton was also the subject of a recent DawgNation feature piece. But Shaw states plainly that this wasn't long-range chess by the Georgia staff to have a edge in recruiting Stockton one day. 'Braxton stands on his own here,' Shaw said. 'I think that. I really do. Braxton is not going to be the most explosive player and I'm sure there are people outside of myself or our football program that probably think that this is a chess move for Gunner down the road. But I think that being with Braxton for four years he's earned that preferred walk-on spot. I think if it wasn't Georgia, he'd have another preferred walk-on spot at a school at that level.' Hicks earned one of the 10 preferred walk-on slots that Georgia extends every recruiting class through his own merit. Maybe it was because of those 120 catches, 2,258 yards and 26 touchdowns he stacked up in 2018 and 2019. 'I think one of the greatest compliments you can give Braxton is he's going to be a great teammate and whatever coach [Kirby] Smart tells him his role is going to be he is going to take that and do it,' Jaybo Shaw said. 'He'll do it to the best of his ability and he'll be a great locker room guy. When he walks on campus he is not going to be worrying about how many touches he gets.' Look for Hicks to start out as a scout team piece at receiver and on special teams. 'But he's looking to show up there and be ready,' his father Wayne Hicks said. 'Not report to Georgia and get ready.' He had some scholarship opportunities, but wound up wanting to be a Bulldog. Arkansas State, Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina and Georgia State were all interested. They all had Hicks on their board for a long time. He had offers from the services academies but Athens just felt like home. The networking opportunities for a former member of the UGA football team with a degree in hand are just that strong. 'When he called me about that preferred walk-on there was pure happiness on the other line,' Shaw said. 'There was no at least I've got this if something else doesn't show up and I'll see what happens later' and all that. This was more I'm ecstatic to have this opportunity and I just can't wait for it to happen here for this with Braxton.' Congrats to @BraxtonLeeHick1 (UGA), @SamboAdams15 (Univ of the Cumberlands), and @gbragg_22 (Coast Guard Academy) on signing their letters of intent this afternoon! Can't wait to see them do great things on and off the field! #goCats! #longlivethebrotherhood pic.twitter.com/CtF5Nk7gTW Rabun Co. Football (@RabunFootball) February 5, 2020 ITS OFFICIAL #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/La7EnFYz68 Braxton Lee Hicks (@BraxtonLeeHick1) February 5, 2020 Check out Rabun County ATH Braxton Hicks at the @Atl_TD_Club annual awards banquet. He was named to the TCA All-Star team for the 2019 season. Mr. Hicks came in strong on the red carpet tonight. He will be a preferred walk-on this fall at UGA. pic.twitter.com/JNmhhnndde Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) January 17, 2020 After talking to Coach Smart It's a done deal! I'M 100% COMMITTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA #COMMITTED #GODAWGS pic.twitter.com/sc1E91admA Braxton Lee Hicks (@BraxtonLeeHick1) November 10, 2019 The post Braxton Hicks: The uncommon yet fitting name of a future Georgia Bulldog appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Here's one thing you can count on every offseason: The Florida Gators talking smack about UGA, despite the fact that the Bulldogs have won three SEC East championships in a row. This offseason, the war of words between the bitter rivals kicked off with someone else other than Florida coach Dan Mullen. This time, the honors belong to Tim Brewster, the Gators' new tight ends coach who has been described as 'an elite recruiter.' Brewster is laser-focused on the recruiting domination by UGA coach Kirby Smart, who recently signed the nation's No. 1-ranked recruiting class for the second time in three years. Brewster had this to say to the Stadium and Gale podcast via Swamp247's Thomas Goldkamp: 'Georgia is Georgia. Kirby's done a good job. But what we've got to do is we've got to put stakes in the ground. That fence has got to go up (at the Florida-Georgia border). And Kirby's got to understand that the state of Georgia is the state of Georgia, OK? 'And we recruit the state of Georgia, we're going to get some really good players from Georgia, but we need to make sure that he understands we're going to fight him tooth and nail for the greatest resource in the state of Florida, and that's the high school kids here. 'And just make sure that he understands and send that message on a daily basis, that we're here and we're going to protect our own.' Good luck to the Brewster and the Gators on building that fence. Something has to change, though. Florida has been embarrassed by the outsiders from Georgia on their home turf during the last three recruiting cycles. Since Mullen was hired at Florida in 2018, the Gators have signed only three of the state of Florida's top 10 overall prospects, while UGA has inked six, per the 247sports composite rankings. With regards to blue-chip talent grown in the state of Georgia over the same time period, the Bulldogs have landed 10 top-10 recruits, while the Gators have imported none. Perhaps most telling, as far as signing 5-stars out of high school (regardless of state), Smart has welcomed 16 over the last three cycles, while Florida got its first in the Mullen era earlier this month. Surely, Smart is shaking in his boots over Brewster's tough talk, the impending messages on a 'daily basis' from the Florida, and above all the looming showdown vs. the Gators, particularly in the Sunshine State. One final note: It will be interesting to see what Florida announces as its spring-game attendance in just over a month, after last year's epic troll of UGA. Florida's reported spring game attendance: 39,476 39 years since Georgia's last national title 476 games Georgia has played since its last national title Gotta love rivalries. (h/t @RedditCFB) pic.twitter.com/2v5m7YEvtP SEC Network (@SECNetwork) April 16, 2019 The post Gators warn Kirby Smart about recruiting in state of Florida appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The announcement this past week that UGA bought out its scheduled 2021 game against San Jose State in Athens in order to play Clemson in a neutral-site game in Charlotte has a lot of fans excited (which couldn't be said about the now-dropped matchup with the Aztecs of the Mountain West conference). The addition of national powerhouse Clemson to next year's schedule justifiably has drawn praise across the college football landscape. The bold move is part of the aggressive upgrading of the Dawgs' nonconference schedule that head coach Kirby Smart and his football operations director, Josh Lee, have spearheaded over the past couple of years. The results so far have been impressive. Georgia has previously announced home-and-home series scheduled withTexas (2028 at Austin and 2029 in Athens), UCLA (2025 in Pasadena and 2026 in Athens), Florida State (2027 in Tallahassee and 2028 in Athens), Oklahoma (2023 in Norman and 2031 in Athens) and Ohio State (2030 in Athens and 2031 in Columbus). Plus a pair of home-and-home series with Clemson (2029 at Clemson and 2030 in Athens, and 2032 in Athens and 2033 at Clemson), and three other neutral-site Power 5 games at Atlanta's Mercedes Benz Stadium: this year againstVirginia, 2022 vs. Oregon, and 2024 vs. Clemson. (It was amusing to read one national site's estimation that Georgia-Clemson 'is about to become a bit of a rivalry.' Obviously, they don't know the tremendous history of the Georgia-Clemson series, which dates back to 1897 and included a long stretch of meeting every year. In fact, I feel safe in saying that, Jacksonville included, Georgia-Clemson was the Dawgs' hottest rivalry in the early '80s, with the peak being the 1982 game, which was nationally televised and played on Labor Day. It was the first night game to take place in Sanford Stadium in three decades, and it featured not only two Top 10 teams, but also the two most recent national champions.) As a longtime proponent of more games against the Tigers, I'm especially pleased that this gives Georgia and Clemson six games scheduled over the next 14 years, a vast improvement over the two-games-a-decade pattern they'd fallen into after the expansion of the SEC ended the annual meetings of the two programs located about 80 miles apart. The Dawgs and the Cats have met only eight times since 1987, with the most recent being 2014, when a Georgia win Between the Hedges avenged a loss at Clemson a year earlier. The addition of this game serves Clemson's interests as well, as the ACC powerhouse is looking to upgrade its nonconference schedules, since its weak conference opposition has been the subject of much griping nationally as the Tigers have become a regular participant in the College Football Playoff. UGA has turned heads across the country with its aggressive Power 5 scheduling over the coming decade and a half, and I'm all for it. As Athletic Director Greg McCarity told me this time last year, 'the scheduling model we're moving to in the future will be built around eight conference games, and Tech, and two more Power 5's and one non-Power 5 opponent.' So, in other words, only one 'cupcake' per season (as opposed to 2018, when Georgia had three such games in Athens). As I said then, it's an ambitious and somewhat daunting schedule model. But, McGarity said, 'That's our goal. Kirby is all about playing a tough schedule and playing quality opponents.' As McGarity said in a statement announcing the 2021 Clemson game, ' We will now have at least two Power 5 opponents on our schedule through 2033.' That will give the Dawgs at least 10 regular-season games each year against Power 5 conference teams (including the eight SEC games). This also means that Georgia will open away from Athens in a high-profile neutral-site game three years running: this season against Virginia at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, 2021 in Charlotte, and back to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2022 to meet Oregon in another Chick-fil-A game. Still, despite all that, there's definitely room for improvement in Georgia's home scheduling. Just look at the 2021 season, which had a pretty weak lineup for fans in Athens even before they dropped the San Jose State game. Now, the six remaining games in Athens will consist of South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, UAB and Charleston Southern, the latter another FCS opponent from the level of Division 1 NCAA football below the bowl division. That's not as dire as the 2018 season, which saw a nonconference lineup of Austin Peay, Middle Tennessee and UMass in addition to Tech, but it's definitely nothing to get excited about. I recognize that the filling out of the nonconference schedule with so-called 'cupcakes' is something of a necessary evil in college football, since Power 5 opponents usually demand a return game in a home-and-home deal. And, with the Dawgs filling one spot each year with Georgia Tech and looking to add a second Power 5 opponent each year, you expect the two remaining nonconference games to be a bit less challenging. Also, not all cupcakes are equal. Opponents taken from the Group of 5 conferences that rank just below the Power 5 range from true cupcakes to something more akin to college basketball's 'mid-majors.' (Maybe, if we're going to continue the food-related terminology for opponents you pay handsomely to come be a sacrificial lamb, we should call these teams something other than a cupcake. Let's borrow from the QuickTrip chain and call them 'snackles.') The true cupcakes tend to be programs along the lines of Louisiana-Monroe (on this year's schedule), UMass and Western Kentucky. Unfortunately, Georgia seems to be relying a bit too much on the allowance that schools at its level can count one game a season against FCS opponents, who really aren't even up to cupcake level. Let's call them 'bon-bons.' Looking at upcoming schedules, we see these bon-bons coming to Athens: East Tennessee State in 2020, Charleston Southern in 2021, Samford in 2022, Tennessee Tech in 2024, and the return of Austin Peay in 2025. Asking UGA fans shell out for tickets and travel to Athens, dealing with the attendant traffic and parking headaches, to see such games is a bit much. That's especially true for those of us who contribute to the Hartman Fund for the chance to buy season tickets. I thought it was noteworthy that, as part of the Georgia-Clemson scheduling musical chairs, Southern Cal was able to dump UC Davis and pick up San Jose State, meaning it will maintain its status of never having played an FCS opponent. (Only three Football Bowl Subdivision programs have never played a team from the FCS in football Notre Dame, UCLA and USC.) Really, it would suit me if Georgia never again added another FCS opponent to its schedule with the exception of Yale, which I still would love to see come back to Athens in 2029 to mark the centennial of the Georgia-Yale clash that dedicated Sanford Stadium. Unfortunately, as UGA told me last year, they tried to schedule Yale for 2029, but the Ivy League school wasn't interested. But, the Yalies aside, I'd like to see Smart and Lee focusing more on the Group of 5 than the FCS. And, maybe, they could give some thought to opponents at that level that have some regional interest. (Besides Georgia Southern, which has shown up occasionally on UGA schedules in recent decades, a game against Georgia State would be of much greater interest to fans. And, as Tennessee found out last year, the Panthers aren't to be taken too lightly.) There's another reason UGA ought to be thinking about an upgrading of its non-Power 5 opponents: attendance. Figures showing actual attendance at Sanford Stadium released by UGA show that lower-tier opponents tend to put fewer folks in the stands, sinking as low as 56,065 for Louisiana-Lafayette in 2016. In the 2018 season, the most recent for which real attendance (as opposed to paid attendance) figures have been released, Austin Peay brought only 78,050 to Sanford for the season-opener, and only 67,764 attended the UMass game. So, yeah, the seats may have been sold, but in an era when every game is televised, the fact that quite a few fans aren't bothering to show up for such games should send a message that such cupcakes aren't really what the UGA fan base wants to see. Like I said, overall, I'm very pleased with the aggressive scheduling Georgia has undertaken at the Power 5 level, but I'd like to see the rest of the nonconference schedule be less of a snoozefest. The post UGA's nonconference football schedule needs even more bold moves appeared first on DawgNation.
  • By all accounts, Georgia baseball enters the season as one of the top teams in the sport. Just about every major poll has them ranked inside the top-10 and the Bulldogs will be led by a potentially dominant starting rotation. Yet because of the strength of the SEC, the Bulldogs are not even the favorites to win their division. Or even finish in second place. The SEC coaches had Georgia finishing third in the SEC East behind defending national champion Vanderbilt. Florida was picked to finish second. Arkansas was picked to win the SEC West, and Vanderbilt was the preseason choice to win the conference. Georgia did receive one vote to win the conference and two votes to win the SEC East. The SEC is the top conference in college baseball, as 10 teams made the NCAA tournament last year with four advancing to the College World Series. The coaches also voted on the preseason All-SEC teams and two Bulldogs were represented. Pitcher Emerson Hancock made the first team and second baseman Riley King landed on the second team. The Bulldogs open the season this Friday as they host Richmond at Foley Field for the first game of a three-game set against the Spiders. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 5 p.m. Georgia softball starts season with sweep The Georgia softball team got its season started this past weekend and it was a successful one for the Bulldogs. Georgia won all five games, with wins against Howard, Kent State and UNC-Wilmington. Georgia won the five games by a combined score of 48-4. Jordan Doggett, Jaiden Fields and Mackenzie Puckett all hit over .600 in the series while Ciara Bryan hit two home runs and drove in nine runs. The Bulldogs return to action on Wednesday when they take on in-state foe Georgia State. The game will be played in Atlanta. This weekend, the Bulldogs head to Clearwater, Fla., to take part in theSt. Pete Clearwater Elite Invitational. Georgia will play Kansas, Northwestern, UCLA, Texas Tech and USF over the course of the three-day tournament. Georgia women's basketball beats Florida Both Georgia basketball teams paid visits to Florida last week to take on the rival Gators. The men's team coughed up a 20-point lead in a loss last Wednesday, but the women's team was able to come away with a win in Gainesville. The Lady Bulldogs pulled out a 49-43 win over the Gators on Sunday. Redshirt junior Jenna Staiti had a huge game as she posted 19 points and a career-high 15 rebounds in the win. Credit our team for coming out in the third quarter and really locking in offensively,'Georgia women's basketball coach Joni Taylor said. 'Jenna just carried us most of the night and Que played her heart out. It's not easy to win on the road, so I am just proud of our team today.' With the win, Georgia moves to 13-11 on the season and 4-7 in the SEC. The Bulldogs have the week off before returning to action against Alabama on this Sunday. The game tips at 1 p.m. ET and can be seen on the SEC Network. Georgia football stories from around DawgNation 3 things about Georgia QB Carson Beck: Confidence, leadership, talent Georgia football outside linebacker Adam Anderson having eye-opening offseason workouts The Georgia football 2020 signees best positioned to make an early impact Georgia football podcast: Why experience will matter in UGA's QB competition Micah Morris: The future criminal justice major is still a Georgia priority ESPN identifies which 2020 signee is most likely to become Georgia football's impact freshman Georgia football freshman early enrollee Kendall Milton finding quick fit Recent history shows it's more likely Broderick Jones and Tate Ratledge redshirt than start Class superlatives for Georgia football 2020 recruiting class The post Georgia Sports Round-up: Baseball picked the finish third in SEC East, women's basketball beats Florida 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 offense set to undergo radical changes after latest coaching hires It would've been easy for Kirby Smart to run it back on offense for the 2020 season. He could've written 2019 off as an anomaly. The Bulldogs faced unexpected turnover at the wide receiver position coming into the year and Georgia would be breaking in a first-year play-caller in James Coley. Maybe Jake Fromm could've been convinced to stay and enter an offense with more talent at the wide receiver position, along with a greater sense of familiarity with Coley. One only has to look at what Matt Ryan did in year two of Kyle Shanahan's offense to understand that sometimes it takes time for things to gel on offense. Unfortunately, Smart and the Georgia football program do not have the luxury of time. This upcoming season will mark the 40th anniversary of Georgia's last national championship. That's far too long to go without a title at a place like Georgia. Smart also has to worry about getting farther and farther away from Georgia's most recent College Football Playoff berth. The elite programs like Clemson, Ohio State and Alabama have all made multiple trips to the playoff. And the longer the Bulldogs go without a return trip, the more that 2017 feels like an aberration, instead of the norm. That's part of the reason why the Georgia offense figures to look so incredibly different in 2020. Because the 2019 season made it clear that you can't just out-talent teams and rely on your defense to carry you to titles and accolades. The first sign of change came when the Bulldogs landed graduate transfer quarterback Jamie Newman. With what we know about him and his skillet, Newman might as well be the antithesis of what Fromm was the for the Bulldogs. Newman thrives in the deep passing game, while Fromm was always better at methodically picking a team apart piece by piece. Newman is also an outright weapon as a runner, as he ran for 574 yards and six touchdowns last season. Fromm rarely was ever used in such a way. Fromm was also a Georgia product through and through, while Newman will have just one year one shot at leading the Bulldogs. Given what we saw at times with Coley's offense last year, Newman's running ability likely would've helped open things up for the rest of the unit. But seeing what new offensive coordinator Todd Monken has done at the NFL and college levels, Newman's vertical passing strengths could mesh very well with his concepts. That's part of why it made so much sense for Georgia to name Monken as the offensive coordinator. Many will wonder if this is similar to Nick Saban bringing in Lane Kiffin or Ed Orgeron adding Joe Brady to LSU's coaching staff. And from the surface level, it certainly looks like Smart is attempting to do the same thing in turning the offense over to an outsider in Monken. But there's an opportunity cost that comes with bringing in Monken. And it looks as if that is Coley. Georgia did state that Coley would remain on staff as an assistant head coach, but did not specify any further role. On Monday, the Bulldogs hired Southern Miss offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner. He's well-versed in coaching quarterbacks from his time as both a player at Valdosta State and as an offensive coordinator at schools like Arkansas State, Middle Tennessee State and Southern Miss last season. To go from a job like that to an off-field role at Georgia might seem a bit odd. Georgia has had over-qualified support staffers before, as Jay Johnson went from Minnesota offensive coordinator to Georgia analyst to Colorado offensive coordinator. Georgia also brought in former Pitt offensive coordinator Shawn Watson to a support staff role last offseason. But both of those men were not actively employed prior to joining Georgia like Faulkner was. As for what Faulkner could possibly bring, former Georgia offensive lineman Jon Stinchcomb explained why Faulkner and Monken could work very well together for the Bulldogs. 'You just brought in someone with experience with the NFL ranks who knows what it looks like when you have some of the elite athletes on the planet playing for you,' Stinchcomb said of Monken. 'Buster comes from a background where you have to create a little more opportunities because you don't have that same level of talent.' Related: Why new offensive hire Buster Faulkner is the perfect complement to Todd Monken' With Faulkner joining Georgia, many wondered what could come next for Coley. His current title of assistant head coach means that he could still serve as an onfield coach for the Bulldogs and allow him to go out and recruit. Though at the moment Georgia does not have a quarterbacks coach. Coley heled that position for the past two seasons. Then later on Monday, Coley scrubbed his Twitter, changing his avatar, Twitter background as well as his bio, which now just reads The University of Georgia. @jeffsentell @DawgNationDaily if you follow the Twitter bio tea leaves this one is telling. Coley is very active on twitter and had removed QB coach and OC from his bio and also made his header a black picture pic.twitter.com/hD0pu4DQS5 Kelly Sr (@ChopnWoodUGA) January 20, 2020 Coley has been on Smart's staff since the latter first arrived prior to 2016. He's worked as a wide receivers coach, quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator. He's been one of Georgia's best recruiters, with his work in south Florida being a big reason Georgia has landed the likes of Tyson Campbell, Tyrique Stevenson and Marcus Rosemy. But Georgia's offense wasn't good enough last season. Coley admitted that when speaking at the Sugar Bowl and took responsibility for the struggles. They weren't all on him, but as the offensive coordinator, heavy is the head that wears the crown. Maybe with more time, Coley could've been able to turnaround the Georgia offense. Add in one of the standout freshmen, get a little more out of George Pickens, sprinkle in some deep shots and quarterback runs with Newman at the helm, and Georgia's offense likely would've improved from the nation's 49th best scoring offense. But time is no longer a luxury Smart has. He's entering year five, and he's still yet to win a title. Unfair as that might be, it is the main reason he replaced Mark Richt. So that's why he's had to make such radical changes this offseason, even if it comes at the expense of one his top lieutenants at Georgia in Coley. More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Georgia football adds offseason excitement, QB stars endorse Todd Monken Georgia football coach Kirby Smart hires Buster Faulkner to offensive staff Georgia football winners and losers following addition of offensive coordinator Todd Monken Georgia football podcast: 3 reasons Jamie Newman might be perfect for Todd Monken's offense Jared Wilson: Recent visit adds strength to his commitment in 2021 class B en Cleveland: He's following through on a plan to return to UGA in 2020 Dawgs on Twitter they don't know i came up from the bottom. #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/Vd7nqmbWMD (@KamarWilcoxson4) January 21, 2020 stay home and commit to the G? #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/HdL9whvgji barrett carter (@bcsznn) January 21, 2020 3051 ALL PURPOSE YARDSOffense: 124-209/ 1771 yards/ 20 TD's/ 924 rushing yards/ 10 TD's Defense: 4 INT's (3 pick six) Returns: 3 KR/ 160 yards/ 1 TD/ 4 PR/ 196 yards/ 2 TD's @RecruitGeorgia @NwGaFootball @NMHSRecruiting @Mansell247 https://t.co/JncCEyj4Gh Ladd McConkey (@laddmcconkey02) December 13, 2019 Win #1 Now, ready for more #GoDawgs | #KeepBuilding pic.twitter.com/GkEFZPsmCL Georgia Tennis (@UGAtennis) January 20, 2020 Good Dawg of the Day This is Apollo and his stepdaughter Juno. They went shopping for something to keep Juno warm in the snow and this is all they could find. 13/10 for both pic.twitter.com/ZGTosiphqu WeRateDogs (@dog_rates) January 20, 2020 The post Kirby Smart recognizes his offense needs to change after latest Georgia football coaching moves show appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football has hired Buster Faulkner to work with its quarterbacks on its offensive staff, DawgNation has learned. Faulkner is the former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Southern Miss. Prior to that, Faulkner spent three seasons as the Arkansas State offensive coordinator and tight ends coach. Faulkner is from Lilburn, Ga., and led Parkview High School to the 1997 Georgia state championship before going on to play quarterback at Valdosta State from 2000-2003. UGA coach Kirby Smart was on the Valdosta State staff in 2000 and 2001, as the secondary coach (2000) and then defensive coordinator (2001). Jeff Sentell contributed to this report. More details as they emerge. The post Georgia football hires Buster Faulkner to offensive staff appeared first on DawgNation.
  • NEW ORLEANS The conga line of Georgia football talent just keeps on flowing. From the recruiting ranks, into offseason training camp and then with game day performances, the Bulldogs' collection of rising stars continues to shine. Azeez Ojulari, a redshirt freshman from Marietta, became the latest Georgia football player to make the FWAA Freshman All-American Team. Ojulari had a mind-bending 36 QB pressures from his outside linebacker position, also recording 36 tackles and 5.5 sacks including a fumble-inducing hit in the Bulldogs' 26-14 Sugar Bowl win on Jan. 1. Georgia led the SEC In total defense, scoring defense and rushing defense while ranking No. 8 in the nation in pass efficiency defense with Ojulari starting 13 of 14 games. Earlier this season, Ojulari became the first freshman player under Kirby Smart to be named a team captain. Ojulari was also named one of seven semifinalists for the FWAA Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award last week. Memphis running back Kenny Gainwell won the Freshman of the Year Award on Monday. Gainwell totaled more than 2,000 yards from scrimmage as the Tigers won the AAC and player in their first-ever New Year's Six Bowl. The Freshman Player of the Year Award began last season, with Clemson's Trevor Lawrence claiming the honor. The Freshman All-American team started in 2001. Ojulari is the 13th Bulldog to be honored on the team, ironically enough, matching his jersey number. Eight of those 13 players were signed under Smart, who took over before the 2016 season. Georgia Freshmen All-Americans RB Knowshon Moreno, 2007 WR AJ Green, 2008 TE Orson Charles, 2009 RB Todd Gurley, 2012 RB Nick Chubb, 2014 TE Isaac Nautta, 2016 PK Rodrigo Blankenship, 2016 QB Jake Fromm, 2017 OL Andrew Thomas, 2017 OL Isaiah Wilson, 2018 OL Cade Mays, 2018 DL Jordan Davis, 2018 OLB Azeez Ojuari, 2019 2019 FWAA Freshman All-American Team Quarterbacks Sam Howell North Carolina, 6-2225Indian Trail, N.C. Kedon Slovis USC, 6-2200Scottsdale, Ariz. Running backs (RS) Javian Hawkins Louisville, 5-9182Titusville, Fla. Sincere McCormick UTSA, 5-9200Converse, Texas Receivers David Bell Purdue, 6-2210Indianapolis, Ind. C.J. Johnson ECU, 6-2229Greenville, N.C. Dante Wright Colorado State, 5-10165Navarre, Fla. Offensive Linemen Evan Neal Alabama, 6-7360Okeechobee, Fla. O'Cyrus Torrence Louisiana, 6-5342Greensburg, La. Ikem Ekwonu NC State, 6-4308Charlotte, N.C. Sean Rhyan UCLA, 6-4323Ladera Ranch, Calif. (RS) Nick Rosi Toledo, 6-4290Powell, Ohio (RS) Travis Glover Georgia State, 6-6330Vienna, Ga. Defensive Linemen (RS) Gregory Rousseau Miami, 6-6251Coconut Creek, Fla. George Karlaftis Purdue, 6-4265West Lafayette, Ind. (RS) Solomon Byrd Wyoming, 6-4243Palmdale, Calif. Kayvon Thibodeaux Oregon, 6-5242South Central Los Angeles, Calif. Linebackers (RS) Devin Richardson New Mexico State, 6-3233Klein, Texas Omar Speights Oregon State, 6-1233Philadelphia, Pa. (RS) Azeez Ojulari Georgia, 6-3, 240 Marietta, Ga. Shane Lee Alabama, 6-0246Burtonsville, Md. Defensive Backs (RS) Ar'Darius Washington TCU, 5-8175Shreveport, La. Derek Stingley Jr. LSU, 6-1190Baton Rouge, La. Kyle Hamilton Notre Dame, 6-4210Atlanta, Ga. (RS) Verone McKinley III Oregon, 5-10192Carrollton, Texas Ahmad Gardner Cincinnati, 6-2185Detroit, Mich. Tykee Smith West Virginia, 5-10184Philadelphia, Pa. Punter Austin McNamara Texas Tech, 6-4175Gilbert, Ariz. Kicker (RS) Gabe Brkic Oklahoma, 6-2175Chardon, Ohio Kick returner Joshua Youngblood Kansas State, 5-10180Tampa, Fla. Punt returner (RS) Kyle Philips UCLA, 5-11181San Marcos, Calif. All-Purpose (RS) Kenneth Gainwell Memphis, 5-11183Yazoo City, Miss. Player of the Year Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis Breakout Performance Jayden Daniels, Arizona State Most Inspirational Kedon Slovis Coach of the Year Ryan Day, Ohio State The post Georgia's Azeez Ojulari one of four SEC players named FWAA Freshman All-American appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Justin Robinson started counting on the state championship victory podium early Friday afternoon at Georgia State Stadium. When he did, he had one of his big mitts held high. Everyone could see. One finger. Two fingers. Three fingers. He could have stopped there. The Georgia early enrollee WR sat out his first year at Eagles Landing Christian Academy after a transfer. The Chargers won the championship that year. And the year before that. ELCA also won state championships at the end of his junior and senior seasons. ELCA responded with all 33 of those points in the second half to take Wesleyan down by a 33-13 margin. That's why Robinson kept counting. He put up a fourth finger. Then the fifth. He had to. His Charges became the first football team in Georgia High School Association history to win five straight state titles. That broke a tie with West Rome (1982-1985) and Buford (2007-2010) for that honor. It meant something to the Georgia early enrollee. That moment came after the end of regulation and a lot of moments for Robinson. When the game ended, he was out in front of a Charger charge onto Pete Petit Field for a victory slide at the end of their last ride. Rick Dempsey, the old catcher who made those famous during baseball rain delays in the 1980s, would have approved. For Robinson, his life now really shifts into another gear. He will sign with Georgia on Wednesday and is planning to join 4-star QB signee Carson Beck in Athens this month for bowl practices. Robinson is set to enroll early at Georgia after doubling up on his coursework at ELCA in order to be able to graduate early. Nebraska made a late push, but he's going to be a Bulldog. Justin Robinson: The reason why he will sign with UGA The formula here for why he stuck with Georgia was simple. Family. Location. Relationships. The 6-foot-4, 206-pound senior has connected to receivers coach Cortez Hankton. He calls him 'Coach Hank.' 'I love the coaching staff up there,' he said. 'Especially coach Hank' you know. He's just like my receiver trainer Terrence Edwards you know. Our relationship and our bond I like it a lot.' Robinson sees opportunity in Athens at the wide receiver position He wants to help that unit get better. 'I just know I want to be there,' he said. 'I want to help out. I want to play for him.' DawgNation spoke to Robinson on Friday right after that state championship victory. That DawgNation conversation covered the following topics: What does it feel like to be a 3-time state champion? What about part of a 5-time state championship program? His team didn't complete a pass in just three attempts due to dreary conditions. How was he still able to make an impact? How does his time at Eagles Landing shape him as a player and as a person? Why he will be a Georgia Bulldog? What sort of benefit will showing up for bowl practices next week have for him? How much does he like his mother's macaroni and cheese? His view of two early big defensive plays he made for his Chargers Justin Robinson: Check out the state title photo gallery Robinson finished with three tackles in what he felt was likely the most miserable playing conditions of his high school career. It was a fun day for the nation's No. 48 WR and the No. 291 overall prospect. He wanted to get in all the championship photos. He made the meanest faces he could to try to get on the big screen at Georgia State Stadium. Check out the view of the day from the DawgNation.com lens. The post WATCH: Georgia early enrollee Justin Robinson revels in being a 3-time state champion appeared first on DawgNation.
  • When Marcus Rosemy watched the LSU game last Saturday night, he had a different reaction than recruiters at rival schools might have been wishing for. Georgia's top receiver recruit for this cycle broke it down into a simple formula: Hard work + talent + An opening = An early opportunity. That 27-point loss on a very big stage did notgive him pause about his commitment, but more of a cause to prepare himself for. 'The game last night was an eye-opener for me cause I saw first hand that the receiver corps is not where it's supposed to be at the moment,' he said on Sunday. 'But that it is a great opportunity for me to come in during June and win a starting job.' He didn't reach for any negativity with that. He just processed what his eyes saw. The same word kept showing up in his thoughts: Opportunity. Rosemy sees a way he can help the Bulldogs get more out of its offense in the next big game like that one. 'It does because when I look at the receiver spots I see a wide-open slot waiting for me but I just have to go in with a business mentality,' he told DawgNation. That 37-10 loss showed him how quickly he might be able to play for Georgia.When Georgia lost to South Carolina earlier this year, it stoked up more of the same reaction. He learned something from that. The lesson: Bring your best every Saturday in the SEC. 'It's definitely a learning lesson for me so when I get there I know to not perform to the level they played like,' he said back in October. Rosemy took his official visit to Georgia for the Kentucky game. It was raining that day, but he couldn't stop smiling. The Twitter activity here certainly backs all of those words up. Check out his Dec. 8th tweet. A couple of his most recent tweets also follow. I'm Still All Dawg!!! Marcus Rosemy (@rosemy_marcus) December 8, 2019 I Will Be Signing On December 18th Marcus Rosemy (@rosemy_marcus) December 10, 2019 Rosemy welcomed Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley and wide receivers coach Cortez Hankton for his in-home visit on Wednesday. Check out the size and frame here for a future playmaker at WR. Great In-Home Visit @CoachColey @Coach_Hankton @gogetityft @MrsGoGetIt2 pic.twitter.com/Q8CDrpvifS Marcus Rosemy (@rosemy_marcus) December 12, 2019 Rosemy now rates as the nation's No. 7 WR and No. 41 overall prospect for 2020 on the 247Sports Composite rankings. Justin Robinson is Georgia's other WR commit for this cycle. He's already 6 feet, 4 inches tall and right at 206 pounds. Robinson picked up his fourth star during his senior season. He has not yet even begun to scratch the surface of what he can be. This is just his second season of varsity football for Eagles Landing Christian Academy. His Charges face Wesleyan at 10 a.m. tomorrow in the GHSA Class A Private state championship game at Georgia State Stadium. He rates as the nation's No. 48 WR for 2020 per the 247Sports Composite ratings, but the feeling here is Robinson will wake a lot of people up on Saturdays. I can't wait to see @jay_robi22 suit up and play for @KirbySmartUGA. The ref called this potential touchdown out of bounce but clearly his feet was in. One more game and off to UGA for Justin. #TEwracademy pic.twitter.com/TuCSQDeIA1 TE Wr Academy (@TEwracademy) December 8, 2019 Marcus Rosemy: All the tools to make an early impact DawgNation wrote earlier this week why not having more talents like Rosemy was a glaring head-to-head gap for the Bulldogs in the SEC championship . This is the time of year when even more members of a school's fan base start to pay closer attention to the recruiting efforts. Folks have the recent season fresh in their minds. They know what the team might be missing or an area that will need reinforcements coming in after NFL early entries or graduation. For Georgia, that is at the receiver position. Rosemy puts a big checkmark next to that nee for the 2020 roster.There's a lot to like in his scouting profile given his ability, frame and skill set. He looks to be part of a surge in the 2019 and 2020 classes for UGA to do more with its receiver recruiting, too. Don't think recruiting rankings matter?Let's take a quick eyeball test with the 6-foot-2, 195-pounder from South Florida. To do so, let's toss all of his rankings and Under Armour All-American status aside. Just take a look at these clips. It is really only necessary to watch the first clip from each of these embedded tweets. These hands are Georgia-Ready!! @rosemy_marcus @STA_Football @GeorgiaFootball #CommitToTheG #GoDawgs #ATD pic.twitter.com/6c6KNmhzfu Who's Next (@WhosNextHS) August 24, 2019 'Im still a Dawg' @rosemy_marcus @STA_Football @CoachHarriott pic.twitter.com/emgkh2FUBt Pressure Athletics (@pressure_athl) December 8, 2019 When doing so, there's the easy conclusion: Georgia doesn't have enough guys on the team who can do what Rosemy can right now. He has a diverse set of skills. He even threw a touchdown pass on a reverse earlier this season. It was called back, but it was another example of what he can do. He is still a quarterback at heart. The young bucks won't appreciate this player parallel, but his frame and ability to make plays, be it the spectacular or just the hard-nosed variety, reminds of what Michael Irvin used to do back in college with the Miami Hurricanes. This 4-star seems to check every box like that. The tough balls over the middle. The sideline routes. Contested catches along the route tree. Slipping tackles and then winning on the home run ball. Rosemy might find himself celebrating in the end zone a lot on Saturdays like Irvin did, too. Marcus Rosemy tosses a touchdown on a reverse but it comes back on a penalty. pic.twitter.com/mkCTfr0zAs Adam Lichtenstein (@ABLichtenstein) November 30, 2019 He will play at 200 pounds in Athens. At least. And it going to be hard to get him on the ground once he catches it in the secondary. Another viral catch by @rosemy_marcus Holding him for 20 yards @STA_Football @CoachHarriott #And1 pic.twitter.com/pt6cOeyT7Q Pressure Athletics (@pressure_athl) November 18, 2019 No penalty this time. Marcus Rosemy breaks a few tackles and gets into the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown. @STA_Football leads Venice 14-0 with 8:49 left in the first half. @SSHighSchools @FlaHSFootball pic.twitter.com/RLJCPIyND7 Adam Lichtenstein (@ABLichtenstein) November 30, 2019 The post Marcus Rosemy: Georgia's top WR recruit sees great opportunity' in Athens appeared first on DawgNation.
  • UGA coach Kirby Smart made a surprising and rare public display of celebration after his team's win over lowly Tennessee last weekend. While walking off the field after the game, the normally low-key Smart ran and jumped into the stands, joining UGA players Brian Herrien and Isaiah Wilson among the fans. It was perhaps the happiest Smart has looked to the public since the dramatic win in the 2017 Rose Bowl over Oklahoma. But for Tennessee? The Vols are 1-4, including a loss to Georgia State. Tennessee was a 28-point underdog to UGA at home and failed to cover. The postgame celebration, which also included UGA quarterback Jake Fromm singing 'Rocky Top' in front of reporters, still seems kind of odd. Nevertheless, Smart explained his reasoning for cutting it loose to WSB-TV's 'Bulldogs Game Day,' and it makes sense: 'Well, I saw an opportunity. I saw two of our kids up there. I'm not as low key after a win when your kids have put so much work in. You want them to see you be real, and see your real personality. That's who I am. 'I wanted Brian and those guys to enjoy the moment. This was Brian's last chance to go to Neyland Stadium. I wanted him to enjoy that.' 'They want to see you be real and see your real personality.' @KirbySmartUGA let loose after last weekend's win at Tennessee! : Sat at 10am on @wsbtv! #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/ehlOcb5JdR Bulldogs Game Day (@WSBbulldogs) October 9, 2019 The post Kirby Smart explains his surprising jump into stands after Tennessee win appeared first on DawgNation.

News

  • Two Florida law enforcement officers who tested positive for the coronavirus have died. Broward County Deputy Shannon Bennett, 39, died Friday, and Palm Beach County Sgt. Jose Diaz Ayala, 38, died Saturday, officials said. Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said Bennett, a 12-year veteran of the agency, reported feeling sick March 23 while at work and tested positive for the virus at a hospital the next day. Bennett was hospitalized March 27 and had been showing signs of recovery, but his condition worsened Friday, Tony said. Tony said Saturday that he considers Bennett’s death to be one in the line of duty. The agency described Bennett as an “out and proud gay law enforcement deputy” who helped lead an outreach initiative to foster relations between the law enforcement and LGBTQ communities. He served as a school resource officer at Deerfield Beach Elementary School, where he also mentored students. Bennett was planning to get married later this year. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said Ayala had been battling other underlying health conditions before contracting COVID-19. He had been with the agency for 14 years. Ayala joined the Sheriff’s Office’s Corrections Division in 2006 as a deputy and was promoted to sergeant in 2016. “He had an outstanding career with the agency and was respected by all of his peers,' Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said. Ayala leaves behind three daughters.
  • An Atlanta-area family is thankful for an act of kindness during the chaotic coronavirus pandemic. In 2013, Jamie McHenry was killed in a car crash during spring break in West Palm Beach, Florida, WSB-TV reported. Every year since his death, McHenry’s parents make the trip from their home in North Fulton County to St. George Island on the Florida Panhandle to pay their respects to their 13-year-old son at a memorial. This year, they could not go because of the coronavirus pandemic. But that didn’t mean the memory of their teen son was forgotten. A random stranger in the area heard the family’s story and decided to step in and make sure Jamie McHenry’s memorial was still decorated. The kind stranger, who posted a photo of the good deed on Facebook, wrote: “Christine and the McHenry family … we were sad to read that due to this pandemic your annual trip to SGI was canceled and you will miss visiting the memorial brick for your son Jamie. Wanted to know we are watching over it for you today and he is in our thoughts. God bless.”
  • Amoco and its parent company, BP, announced their gasoline stations will offer a 50-cent discount per gallon to first responders, doctors, nurses and hospital workers during the coronavirus pandemic. “Thank you for being on the front lines and keeping our communities healthy and safe,' the company said on its website. 'We are honored to be supporting you and helping you get where you need to go,” the company said on its website.The discount, which eligible customers can sign up for, will allow the health care workers to take the discount the next time they fill up, BP said on its website. People who want to take advantage of the discount must verify their status through ID.me, a website that “simplifies how individuals prove and share their identity online.”
  • Can’t get enough of “Tiger King”? Don’t despair. Netflix is releasing an extra episode next week, Variety reported. “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” is a true-crime docuseries about wild animal owners in the United States. The documentary focuses on the self-proclaimed Tiger King, Joe Exotic, aka Joseph Maldonado-Passage, who keeps hundreds of wild animals in cages at his G.W. Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma, Entertainment Weekly reported. Current zoo owner Jeff Lowe broke the news in a Cameo video posted on Twitter by Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Justin Turner. “Netflix is adding one more episode. It will be on next week. They’re filming here tomorrow,” Lowe said in the video. Lowe joined later episodes of “Tiger King” as Exotic’s business partner, Entertainment Weekly reported. It is not clear if the new episode will be a follow-up to the show’s seven-episode run or a reunion, Variety reported. Maldonado-Passage, 57, is currently serving a 22-year sentence in federal prison for two counts of murder-for-hire, eight counts of falsifying wildlife records and nine counts of violating the Endangered Species Act. The murder-for-hire charges stem from a plot to have a hitman kill Carole Baskin of Tampa, Florida, and the wildlife crimes are related to Maldonado-Passage’s killing of five tigers and falsifying of paperwork. Netflix did not respond to a request for comment about a new episode, the magazine reported.
  • Georgians are still feeling the weight of the new coronavirus Sunday as the number of confirmed cases increased to 6,647 and the death toll rose to 211.  The Georgia Department of Public Health reports since Saturday 3 more Georgians have died due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel virus. The latest data released at noon shows 264 new cases since Saturday evening.  » COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Georgia Of Georgia’s overall cases, 1,283 patients remain hospitalized, a rate of about 19%, according to the noon figures. That number is up from 1,266 confirmed hospitalizations Saturday evening. The rate of Georgia patients who have died of COVID-19 is about 3.1%.  The number of COVID-19 cases in the state has tripled in just over a week. Health officials announced that Georgia surpassed 2,000 cases on March 27. A statewide shelter-in-place mandate went into effect at 6 p.m. Friday in an effort to limit residents’ travel and curb the spread of the virus. The order requires Georgians to remain in their homes for all but essential activities, which include buying food, seeking medical care, working in critical jobs or exercising outdoors. » RELATED: Confusion surrounds Georgia’s coronavirus lockdown The number of cases across the state is expected to spike even more in coming weeks as plans are put in place to increase daily testing capacity. Projections suggest the state could see thousands of new cases and hundreds more deaths before the virus is contained. On Sunday, 27,832 tests had been conducted across the state with about 23.88% returning positive results.  » DASHBOARD: Real-time stats and charts tracking coronavirus in Georgia Fulton County has the most cases with 962, followed by Dougherty County with 686, DeKalb County with 543, and Cobb with 456, according to the latest data. Fulton reported 21 new cases since Saturday evening while hard-hit Dougherty County reported 50 more. The southwest Georgia county of about 90,000 has lost 30 residents to COVID-19, more than any other county in Georgia. MORE: City under siege: Coronavirus exacts heavy toll in Albany So far, the oldest patient to die in the state was a 96-year-old Bibb County woman while the youngest was a 29-year-old woman from Peach County, according to the health department.  For most, COVID-19 causes only mild or moderate symptoms. Older adults and those with existing health problems are at risk of more severe illnesses, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover in a matter of weeks. Those who believe they are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19 are asked to contact their primary care doctor or an urgent care clinic. Do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or health care facility. Georgians can also call the state COVID-19 hotline at 844-442-2681 to share public health information and connect with medical professionals. 
  • As you drive toward the Marietta Square, you’ll see it to your right – a “Heroes Work Here” sign display below the Wellstar Kennestone hospital sign. Go through two traffic lights and you’ll see homemade signs of support in the front yards of some homeowners along Church Street.   From Marietta to elsewhere in metro Atlanta, residents are now acutely aware of the burden on health care workers as the coronavirus crisis plays out … and with likely many more tough days ahead before it all gets better.  What public shows of support for health care workers are you seeing in your local community? What are you and/or others doing to support those most at risk on the coronavirus frontlines? Tweet at us to tell us with your words and pictures: @wsbradio. You can also share with us on the WSB Open Mic, via the WSB Radio app.