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Georgia Tech Sports

  • Georgia Tech’s new football coach, Geoff Collins, appeared charismatic and confident in his introductory press conference. Collins also said a couple of things that caught the attention of some UGA fans. The first happened after Collins pulled out a piece of paper from his sports jacket with red ink on it during the Friday press conference. While smiling, Collins said, “This is the last time I will ever write anything in red, just so we’re on the same page … There will be no more red that will ever be written again in this organization.” The second moment, which garnered far more attention, was towards the end of meeting with reporters. What did Collins say? One national college website described it as “Georgia Tech (coach) takes academic shot at Georgia,” while another media outlet’s headline was “New Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins takes a swipe at Georgia’s academics.” In fairness to the new Georgia Tech coach, he never mentioned UGA or any specific school in his comments that generated those headlines. Here’s what happened: Collins was asked to discuss the challenges of recruiting at Georgia Tech verses other places he has coached at – “given the academic situation at (Tech).” Towards the end of his long-winded answer, Collins said, “A lot of programs that we are going to recruit against don’t have the advantage of having the ability of having a meaningful degree … to come to place where education matters.” So was Collins taking a subtle jab at UGA? Who knows? Maybe, maybe not. It must be pointed out that Georgia Tech and UGA, despite being in-state rivals, have rarely gone head to head on any recruits in recent years. However, that could eventually change since Collins is promising offensive (and defensive) schemes that will prepare future Georgia Tech players for the NFL. Collins replaced Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, who announced his retirement after losing to UGA 45-21. The Bulldogs have dominated the series, winning 15 of the last 18 meetings. There’s no doubt that one of Collins’ top missions will be turning around Georgia Tech’s fortunes against UGA on both the football field and recruiting trail. Collins was Temple’s head coach the past two seasons, and previously served as defensive coordinator at Florida and Mississippi State, among other numerous stops as an assistant coach. How do you think Georgia Tech’s coaching change will affect the rivalry with UGA that is described as “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate?” Please post below. The post Georgia Tech’s new football coach vows not to use red ink again 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. 840 (Dec. 6, 2018) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about how Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker winning the Jim Thorpe Award could help the program recruit more good defensive backs in the future. Georgia football podcast: UGA’s DB recruiting probably just got a lot easier Beginning of the show: Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker won the Jim Thorpe Award for being the nation’s top defensive back Thursday night. I’ll discuss on today’s show why Baker’s award could help UGA with some of its most-coveted defensive back recruits — including 4-star prospects Tyrique Stevenson and Kaiir Elam. 10-minute mark: I’ll discuss Mel Tucker’s introduction as Colorado coach and attempt to decide if Tucker counts as part of Kirby Smart’s so-called “coaching tree.” 15-minute mark: DawgNation’s recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show. Some of the topics covered include… An update on defensive back recruiting Smart’s presence in Brunswick, Ga. to check in on UGA commit Warren McClendon Rumors regarding 4-star offensive tackle Trevor Keegan The latest on 5-star wide receiver Jadon Haselwood UGA’s chances with 5-star running back Trey Sanders And a preview of 5-star offensive lineman Clay Webb’s upcoming commitment decision 45-minute mark: I’ll take a look at other SEC headlines including other SEC players honored with national awards, the UGA players listed as part of the league’s All-Freshman team, a potentially controversial offensive coordinator candidate emerging for Tennessee and Georgia Tech officially hiring former Florida defensive coordinator Geoff Collins. 50-minute mark: I’ll discuss Alabama coach Nick Saban’s attempt to explain why he views UGA has one of the nation’s four best teams, but only ranked the Bulldogs No. 5 on his Coaches Poll ballot. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: UGA’s DB recruiting probably just got a lot easier appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Geoff Collins was named Georgia Tech’s head football coach, the school announced Friday morning.  A team meeting has been scheduled for this afternoon with a news conference to follow at 5 p.m.  Collins met with athletic director Todd Stansbury on Wednesday in New York and then again in Atlanta on Thursday, according to multiple reports. Collins’ hire ends Stansbury’s search, which began Nov. 28 with coach Paul Johnson’s decision to step down after 11 seasons at Tech. Tech likely wanted to moved expediently to allow its new coach to meet with recruits before the early signing period begins Dec. 19. Tech has 16 committed players, many of whom are scheduled to visit campus this weekend for their official visits. Collins has been the Temple head coach for the past two seasons, leading the Owls to seasons of 7-6 and 8-4. Before that, he was defensive coordinator at Florida (2015-16) and Mississippi State (2013-14). Collins left Mississippi State after the 2014 season and before the Bulldogs played against Tech in the Orange Bowl that season. Collins, 47, is seen as energetic and innovative and has a reputation as a strong recruiter. In the second of his two stops at Tech, in 2006, he was credited with helping put together the Yellow Jackets’ famed recruiting class that included Derrick Morgan, Jonathan Dwyer, Morgan Burnett and Joshua Nesbitt. Another member of that class, Roddy Jones, called Collins “ahead of the curve” in a recent interview with the AJC. Stansbury’s comfort level with Collins is understandable. Collins coached at Tech in two different times, first in 1999-2001 as a graduate assistant and tight ends coach for coach George O’Leary, then in 2006 as the director of player personnel for coach Chan Gailey. O’Leary went on to Central Florida, where his athletic director for four of those years was Stansbury. More information to come.
  • ATHENS — Nick Saban is standing behind his words that Georgia is one of the four best teams in the nation, even after he voted the Bulldogs’ No. 5 in the final Coaches’ Poll. Saban, whose Tide overcame two turnovers and a two-touchdown deficit to beat the Bulldogs 35-28 last Saturday, was asked at the CFB Playoff press conference in Atlanta Wednesday night about his final ballot. “ Well, I do think they’re one of the top four teams in the country but I didn’t think they were going to get in the playoff with two losses,” Saban said. “So I voted the teams that I thought had the best chance to get in, but I do think after playing Georgia they were one of the best four teams in the country.” There were plenty of people who agreed, including ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit, who went so far as to say the CFP Committee allowed politics to keep the Bulldogs out of the playoffs even though they knew Georgia was one of the four best. Indeed, the Bulldogs have led or been tied with No. 1-ranked and defending national champion Alabama 118 minutes and 54 seconds of 120 minutes and 281 of 290 plays of the past two meetings in the national championship game and SEC title game. Saban, who said after last Saturday’s game, “I sure as hell don’t want to play them again,” suggested the CFP Committee   saw last Saturday’s game as a loser-out game. “What this basically indicates is the SEC Championship game was a playoff game,” Saban said. “You know, the 1 and 4 team in the country played, and it was a heck of a game, and they played a great game, and they have a great team, and I think they’re one of the best four teams in the country, and that’s no disrespect to any of the people that are here, but I didn’t think they had a chance to get in with two losses.” CFP Committee chairman Rob Mullens said the two losses — compared to Oklahoma’s one loss — is not what kept Georgia out of the College Football Playoffs. “ Our job is to pick the four best teams, so it really wasn’t about number of losses,” said Mullens, who prior to getting his current job as the athletic director at the University of Oregon was the deputy director of athletics at Kentucky. “Obviously when you’re looking at the resume, you can see that they’ve got two and others have one, but again, their two losses are against highly ranked teams. It’s really about trying to get the four best teams.” Mullens is one of five current athletic directors on the 13-person committee, along with Ohio State’s Gene Smith and new members Todd Stansbury (Georgia Tech), Scott Stricklin (Florida) and Joe Castiglione (Oklahoma). While Saban suggested the committee wasn’t going to take a conference championship game loser, Mullen indicated that had nothing to do with the decision. “ The conference piece is out of it, that’s really not a part of it,” Mullens said. “We’re looking at — there were some people who felt they were the fourth best team, and even some that felt they were unequivocally felt they were the fourth best team. But after all the dialogue, the debate, the intensity, you put it to a vote, and the vote didn’t have them as unequivocally the fourth best team. In fact, it had them ranked No. 5.” Saban, when asked if his vote suggested the four best teams didn’t make the playoffs, made it clear he voted in the four teams he thought would make the playoff. “When we played Georgia I thought they were one of the best four teams in the country,” Saban said. “That doesn’t mean that they’re any better than the teams that are here, and I voted for the four teams that are here.” Georgia football’s great CFB Playoff debate Kirby Smart on CFP Playoff: ‘Every year it’s going to be different’ criteria ESPN analyst goes on epic rant after Georgia football left out of playoffs Nick Saban states Georgia one of top four teams in the nation after SEC title game CFP Chairman defends leaving Georgia football out Kirby Smart lobbying for CFB Playoff spot after loss Chip Towers: Committee got it right by leaving Georgia out of playoffs Closer look at Georgia football vs. Oklahoma statistically Georgia football one of best teams, and it doesn’t matter ‘Protocol’ cited as reason Georgia left out of College Football Playoff The post Nick Saban’s revealing explanation of why he voted Georgia football No. 5 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia tailback D’Andre Swift closed the regular season looking very much like an early favorite for the 2019 Heisman Trophy race. Swift rushed for 673 yards over the Bulldogs’ final six games, averaging an eye-popping 7.91 yards per carry in games against Florida, Kentucky, Auburn, UMass, Georgia Tech and Alabama. Swift, it seems, is finally over the surgical procedures to both groins he underwent last January that limited him in fall drills and slowed him the first seven games of this season. RELATED: Kirby Smart says ‘electric’ D’Andre Swift hitting stride Former NFL MVP and Alabama All-American Shaun Alexander was among those in attendance last Saturday night who was blown away by Swift’s 138-yard, 2 touchdown rushing and receiving performance against a celebrated Crimson Tide defense. “I liked him before, but live, there were some plays where he was making it his game and dictating what was going on,” said Alexander, who was honored as one of the SEC Legends during the SEC Championship Game weekend. “There were some runs, and he caught a couple of passes, and it was like, you have to circle his name and really play him, because he is that guy for Georgia.” SEC analyst and former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy included Swift among his top four offensive players of the year. . @GregMcElroy‘s SEC Offensive Players of the Year: #TOL pic.twitter.com/0K99ka0IvB — SEC Network (@SECNetwork) December 4, 2018 Georgia, however, did not have any first-team All-SEC players according to the Associated Press, and the Coaches’ first-team offense included only Bulldogs’ offensive linemen Lamont Gaillard and Andrew Thomas. Swift finished third in the SEC in rushing (155 carries, 1,037) despite splitting carries with Elijah Holyfield (147 carries, 956 yards). Swift’s 6.7 yards per carry bettered the averages of SEC rushing leader Trayveon Williams (6.0 yards per carry) of Texas A&M and Kentucky’s Benny Snell (5.0). Alexander, like many others, said Georgia should have been one of the four teams included in the College Football Playoff, in part, because of Swift. RELATED: Georgia run game on par with Alabama, Road to Atlanta “They should be in. I know they lost, and I don’t know how they lost, but I feel like Swift’s play alone impressed,” Alexander said. “There’s always like a star power that you really want to see on teams, and the quarterback (Jake Fromm) played fine, but that guy for Georgia is No. 7.” The FWAA announced earlier this season a new award that recognizes the best freshman football player in the country, “The Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award.” Alexander rushed for 291 yards and four touchdowns on 19 carries against LSU his redshirt freshman season at Alabama, and went on to an All-American career and off-field success that embodied the spirit of college football in ideal fashion. Shaun Alexander LSU highlights The post Former NFL MVP Shaun Alexander: D’Andre Swift is ‘that guy’ for Georgia appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — ESPN College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit went on an epic rant on Tuesday making a strong case that Georgia football should have been included in the College Football Playoff. It was a given that No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson and No. 3 Notre Dame — all undefeated teams — would all hold their spots in the four-team CFB Playoff field. The debate was over whether No. 4 Georgia (11-2) should hold its spot ahead of Big 12 champ Oklahoma (12-1) and Big Ten champ Ohio State (12-1) after the Bulldogs 35-28 last-minute loss to the Crimson Tide last Saturday. Herbstreit made his case on the Paul Finebaum Show on the SEC Network: “Who had the toughest strength of schedule? Georgia. Who had the best offensive efficiency? Georgia. Best defensive efficiency? Georgia. Game control? Georgia. Eyeball test? Georgia. What’s left?” Herbstreit concluded that the 13-member committee, chaired by Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens, had let down college football by allowing politics to affect their decision as to who the best four teams are. “It’s the first time the committee let the politics of the conferences, the Power 5 conferences and their commissioners, and having to face them, they finally let them affect doing the right thing.” The committee added six new members this year: • Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione • Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin • Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury. • Paola Boivin, Professor, Arizona State, former sportswriter • Ken Hatfield, former head coach • Ronnie Lott, Former NFL and college player, USC Carryover members of the committee: • Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith • Frank Beamer, former Virginia Tech coach, CFB Hall of Famer • Jeff Bower, former Southern Miss coach • Herb Deromedi, former Central Michigan coach • Chris Howard, President, Robert Morris University • Bobby Johnson, former Vanderbilt head coach • Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens Herbstreit said he believes the committee, in their hearts, “had to know Georgia is one of the best four teams” and left the Bulldogs out, anyway. Here’s the transcript of what Herbstreit said: “For the first four years of this I’ve always defended the committee, they’ve taken some criticism from some people who didn’t understand what they did. I loved that they were willing to go against the grain the first year in ’14 when Ohio State won 59-0 (in the Big Ten title game) with a third string quarterback and they bumped Ohio State two spots over both (BIg12 co-champs) Baylor and TCU and put them into the top four, and they went on to win the national championship. “In ’16 Ohio State again in the crosshairs, they lost to Penn State head to head and didn’t even go to Indianapolis and yet they thought Ohio State was a better team they put them into the playoffs that year “Last year Alabama didn’t make it to Atlanta (SEC championship Game), they lost in the Iron Bowl, but at the end of the day they felt Alabama was still a better team, so they put them in using the metrics and their own eyes to say Bama was still a better team, and Bama went on to the national title. “So we came into this year with that as our backdrop, and I bragged on this committee because their willingness to not be like the old school AP voter, or a Coaches’ Poll, and we got into this year and If felt for the last five for six weeks that this Georgia team — and I didn’t go to Georgia, I’m not from the SEC — do you know who I’m loyal to? College football. Not the Big Ten, not Ohio State, not Georgia, when it comes to my job, I’m loyal and have a passion to college football, and I want to see the four best teams get their chance, because that’s what’s right, and that’s what’s fair. “Now, it’s subjective, everyone is entitled to who they think is the best, I’m not pushing for an agenda, Im not pushing for Ohio State to make it as a fan, I’m pushing for what’s right,   and what’s right is how can you watch Georgia be No. 4 and then go out and play the No. 1-ranked team, and not only hang around with them, but control them, for much of the game until Jalen Hurts decides to write a Hollywood script and come back and knock off Georgia. “And now we’re supposed to say Georgia, for that performance, you went from No. 4, you’re going backwards? To me, if anything, they should have gone up to No. 3, not backwards to No. 5. “It’s the first time the committee let the politics of the conferences, the Power 5 conferences and their commissioners, and having to face them, they finally let them affect doing the right thing. “I think Notre Dame getting into the Top 4 was the reason. You put Notre Dame in there into the Top 4, and you have Alabama in the SEC, and Clemson in the ACC, you still have three Power 5 conferences (not in). “And now they (committee members) have to look around at each other and say:   ‘Hey guys Georgia is probably the fourth-best team, but the puts two from the SEC in, we’re going to leave three Power 5 conferences out, we can’t do that, there’s no way we can do that, we have to come up with … they have two losses, that’s what it is, they have two losses, they lost in Baton Rouge.” Which, by the way, no one wins in Baton Rouge except Alabama, and they lost to Alabama. “And they lost to Alabama, they didn’t win their conference championship, that will do it.” “That’s what they hung their hat on, knowing, in their heart, they had to know Georgia is one of the best four teams. Georgia gets the short end of the stick. “Oklahoma is going to compete, it’s not like they can’t go and compete with Alabama. I’m just frustrated because the message getting sent to ADs: don’t schedule anybody, stay undefeated, win games, because that’s all the committee thinks about, they don’t take into consideration how tough your schedule is. “Who had the toughest strength of schedule? Georgia. Who had the best offensive efficiency? Georgia. Best defensive efficiency? Georgia. Game control? Georgia. Eyeball test? Georgia. What’s left? “So politics for the first time in five years got the best of the committee.” DawgNation Monday: CFB Playoff fallout   The post Kirk Herbstreit: CFP committee let politics keep Georgia football out of playoff 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. What the Urban Meyer moves means for Georgia The biggest news in the college football world came out of Columbus, Ohio on Tuesday, as Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer announced that he was stepping down from his position. We know that this space is reserved for information and topics pertaining to Georgia football, and we think the Meyer news certainly will affect Georgia in some way. For starters, this move, in the short term, will make Georgia’s quest for a national title  in 2019 a little easier. Ohio State isn’t going to be a trainwreck next season, but it is fair to think that it will take a slight step back given that new head coach Ryan Day has never been a head coach before. Even on a team as loaded as Ohio State, it’s not an easy transition going from coordinator to coach, as Georgia fans well know from Kirby Smart’s 8-5 debut campaign. As Day grapples with the struggles of being a first time head coach, that should move one national title contender off the board. If Ohio State loses Heisman Trophy finalist Dwayne Haskins to the NFL draft  —  some have pegged him as a first round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft  —  it will be hard to see them being a real threat for the College Football Playoff next year. That should improve Georgia’s chances, even though the Bulldogs will still first have to focus on winning the SEC East and beating Alabama. There’s also the recruiting front. Georgia and Ohio State are two of the three best recruiting programs in the country. Over the past four seasons, Ohio State is one of two teams to sign more blue chip (4 or 5-star recruits) prospects than Georgia. Georgia freshman Brenton Cox was a longtime Ohio State commit. Safety Richard LeCounte had the Buckeyes as his number two program before picking Georgia. The Buckeyes second highest rated commit for the 2019 class is 5-star center Harry Miller, who is from Buford, Ga. While the Meyer news won’t likely shake up too much of the 2019 commitments, there are a number of 2020 prospects that both of these schools are battling for. There’s 5-star defensive end Bryan Breese, the nation’s top 2020 prospect. There’s also 5-star offensive guard Justin Rodgers, who both Ohio State and Georgia are recruiting very hard. With Meyer now out of the picture, it should make things easier for Smart and his assistants. While Ohio State will still be a recruiting power, Meyer was one of the nation’s best recruiters, and that’s not something Day will be able to replicate right away. We already saw the first recruiting domino fall on Tuesday afternoon, as 2020 safety Lejond Cavazos announced his de-commitment from Ohio State. Georgia was recruiting Cavazos very hard prior to his commitment back in June. Please respect my decision… pic.twitter.com/xU3YyIcqkE — Lejond Cavazos (@lejondaryy) December 4, 2018 Meyer was a long-time pain for Georgia going back to his Florida days. He dominated the Georgia-Florida rivalry before stepping away from Florida, and then eventually ending up at Ohio State. While Georgia and Ohio State have only truly overlapped these last two years in terms of competing for College Football Playoff berths, Meyer in a way did impact the end of Georgia’s 2017 season. Say Ohio State doesn’t inexplicably lose to Iowa last season, 55-24. The Buckeyes would’ve finished the season 11-1 and almost certainly made the College Football Playoff over a non-SEC champion Alabama. If that happens then maybe Georgia wins the national title after beating Ohio State or Clemson in the national title game. Georgia fans, along with many other college football fans, should be happy to no longer have to deal with Meyer, given that he’s won three national titles. But he was very unpopular with fans outside of Columbus, especially after his handling of the domestic violence situation regarding former Ohio State assistant Zach Smith. The Bulldogs will still have to keep the main thing, the main thing in 2019 and beyond, but the room for college football’s elite programs just got a little less crowded thanks to Meyer’s exit. Please let Georgia Tech hire Ken Whisenhunt Another coaching situation that Georgia fans should be keeping an eye on is the one at Georgia Tech. It was reported on Tuesday that the Yellow Jackets had offered current Los Angeles Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt the head coaching job. If that’s the case and he were to accept the job, Georgia fans should be thrilled and maybe even offer to pick Whisenhunt up from the airport. Whisenhunt reportedly interviewed for the job on Monday. He is a Georgia Tech alum, but Whisenhunt’s coaching record is very spotty. The last time he was a head coach was for the Tennessee Titans during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He lasted 23 games, and went 3-20 in those games. He did lead the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl in 2008, but was fired just four years later. He has just two winning seasons in his eight years as a head coach at the NFL level. And there’s the fact that he hasn’t been a college coach since 1996, when he worked at Vanderbilt. Last offseason, Arizona State made a similar move with it’s coaching hire, as the Sun Devils hired Herm Edwards, a long-time NFL coach who last coached in college in 1989. Arizona State outperformed expectations this year, going 7-5. But for every Edwards, there’s a Brian Schottenheimer, another long-time NFL assistant with limited college coaching experience. Georgia hired Schottenheimer to replace Mike Bobo as offensive coordinator before the 2015 season and it was a disaster for the Bulldogs. The offense plummeted from 30th to 83rd in total offense, and the offensive struggles were a big reason UGA ended up moving on from Richt and Schottenheimer after the conclusion of the 2015 season. Georgia fans know that if Georgia Tech hired the right coach, the Yellow Jackets could become a real pain for Georgia and it’s aspirations. But if the Yellow Jackets hire Whisenhunt? Well, Georgia Tech fans might soon be longing for the days of the triple option offense, while Georgia fans continue to enjoy big wins in the rivalry. Best stories from around DawgNation Dawgs in NFL: Linebacker Alec Ogletree helping N.Y. Giants ‘flip culture’ Freshman report on UGA football: Alabama 35, Georgia 28 Georgia football lands 7 on All-SEC Coaches’ teams, but no Jake Fromm Georgia football offensive line a finalist for the Joe Moore Award Georgia football coach Kirby Smart expects Bulldogs’ bounceback in Sugar Bowl Why the All SEC teams make Georgia’s 2018 season look even better Georgia basketball stays perfect at home, turns back Texas Southern Georgia football podcast: UGA comes close, but shows it’s still ‘a few plays away’ Whenever he leaves, Georgia’s Mel Tucker going to be tough for Kirby Smart to replace Dawgs on Twitter Yes they did. Mark your calendar for Saturday December 15th at 6. @SunDevilHoops come to town and they are rolling. This will be one of the very best teams to come to @UGABasketball and the STEG this season. https://t.co/UH9fYtE7If — Tom Crean (@TomCrean) December 4, 2018 SoOoOOooOo….. pic.twitter.com/kGAElcTXFR — Georgia Sports Now (@GASportsNow) December 2, 2018 ❤️ https://t.co/6rsBd5RyZc — Jon Ledbetter ™ (@LedbetterDE15) December 3, 2018 Been a rough year for every aspect of this photo pic.twitter.com/IOZ1ky3u0D — Dayne Young (@dayneyoung) December 4, 2018 Good Dawg of the Day This is Maui. That is his yogurt bowl. He is kindly requesting more yogurt. 12/10 of course sir right away pic.twitter.com/80JUMjI155 — WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) December 4, 2018   The post What the Urban Meyer news means for Georgia football appeared first on DawgNation.
  • DawgNation will offer this report after every game which focuses on the freshmen who played, what they did and who lost one of those newly-reshaped (four games or less) redshirts.  Check out this UGA football edition after another deflating loss to Alabama.  “Tell them we ain’t going nowhere, Adam.” That was what at least one unidentified Georgia player said during Adam Anderson‘s open locker room interview on Saturday night. That moment arrived shortly after Alabama again pulled the football away from the Bulldogs in a 35-28 comeback victory. It was what at least one Bulldog said behind a live microphone while the freshman OLB met the media for the first time in 2018. Anderson was one of the seven recruits to carry the 5-star rating when they signed with UGA in the class of 2018. That’s why the DawgNation freshman report came about this season. To place a good zoom on the contributions of all those highly-touted prospects. Freshmen aren’t allowed to meet the media per UGA rules, but the SEC’s open locker room policy allowed the first time to speak with an up-and-coming talent like Anderson. As it turns out, that voice might likely be proven right. The Bulldogs again went toe-to-toe with Alabama with a championship on the line yet. As it turns out, they were still step-for-step with the Tide. Except for this time it was done with a playing rotation which went heavy on freshmen and sophomores. Those two classes comprised 52 percent of the Bulldogs who saw the field in the SEC championship game. There were two redshirt freshmen, 12 true freshmen, 11 true sophomores and three redshirt sophomores listed on the official participation report. That means the majority of the Bulldog team could see two more trips to the SEC championship game stage. Let’s allow that freshmen component to sink in one more time. Those 2018 signees could very well face Alabama in the SEC championship game in 2018, 2019 and 2020. At least. SEC championship game freshman focus Georgia played 14 redshirt or true or freshmen against Alabama. That’s 14 out of the 54 total Bulldogs who saw the field against the vaunted Crimson Tide. The big picture tallies up to 26 percent of all the Bulldogs who played on Saturday. That equates to: 1 of 2 QBs 1 of 5 RBs 0 of 7 WRs 3 of 7 OLs 0 of 2 TEs 1 of 8 DLs 2 of 6 ILBs 2 of 5 OLBs 3 of 8 DBs 1 of 3 specialists To be very clear, some of those 14 names only played on the kick teams. Special teams are still a vital one-third of the game. Those Bulldogs earned those reps against an opponent that does not come any more elite than the Crimson Tide. It builds a strong case that the Bulldogs really aren’t going anywhere. POTENTIAL = PRODUCTION FRESHMEN STARTERS IN 2018 Here is the weekly list of the true freshmen and redshirt freshmen that have started games in 2018. P Jake Camarda (13 games) CB Tyson Campbell (10 games) DT Jordan Davis (four games) OL Trey Hill (three games) OL Cade Mays (seven games) DB Otis Reese (one game) Redshirt freshman CB Eric Stokes (two games) Redshirt freshman OT Isaiah Wilson (13 games) How many freshmen played against Alabama (true or redshirt) : 14 Who started (all freshmen) : P Jake Camarda; DT Jordan Davis; OL Trey Hill; CB Eric Stokes; OT Isaiah Wilson THE BIG PICTURE, PART I This blog “starts fast” with a hot take: Does elite recruiting matter? What about stars and rankings? Let’s look at the Bulldogs which received the 15 highest ratings in the 2018 recruiting class. How much of a factor were they in the 2018 season? 5-star Justin Fields : Played in 12 games. 5-star Zamir White: Did not play. Had a season-ending ACL injury in fall camp. 5-star Jamaree Salyer: Played in 12 games. 5-star Tyson Campbell: Played in 13 games and started 10. 5-star Adam Anderson: Played in 13 games. 5-star Cade Mays: Played in 10 games and started in seven. 5-star Brenton Cox: Played in 12 games. 4-star Quay Walker: Played in 13 games. 4-star James Cook: Played in 13 games. 4-star Luke Ford : Played in nine games. 4-star Trey Hill: Played in 13 games and started in three. 4-star Otis Reese: Played in 10 games and started one game. 4-star Channing Tindall: Played in 13 games. 4-star Kearis Jackson : Played in four games and will likely use a redshirt. 4-star Azeez Ojulari: Played in two games after a November ACL injury and will redshirt. Notable playing time outside of that top 15 In this class, 3-star DT Jordan Davis had the third-lowest composite rating among the 24 signees who enrolled and yet he played in 11 games and started four. He was one of the best finds of the class. 3-star P Jake Camarda was the lowest-rated 2018 signee who enrolled, but he won the starting punting job and played in every game. That wasn’t a rankings miss, though. It is very rare for a kicker or punter to receiver anything higher than a 3-star rating. There were 19 Bulldogs in the 2018 class that were rated higher by the recruiting industry than Chris Smith, but he was able to play in five games his freshman year. He proved too good to redshirt in 2018. GAME-BY-GAME FRESHMAN HEAT CHECK  This thought comes through my mind just about every time I see Isaiah Wilson: He’s on the verge of outgrowing his equipment. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) Let’s continue the blog with an assessment of the five most valuable freshmen and redshirt freshmen to the team for the 2018 season. We kicked this feature off after the LSU game. It is a nod to the top freshmen (redshirt or true) who have impacted the overall balance of the season up to this point. OT Isaiah Wilson (Redshirt freshman and a former 5-star recruit): Wilson is not starting to be seen as a guy who will be right to consider his NFL draft ratings after the 2019 season. That’s the best analysis we can provide there. Movement: Remains at No. 1. CB Eric Stokes  (former 3-star recruit): The redshirt freshman was an asset in coverage against those highly-regarded Crimson Tide receivers. Deandre Baker will not be back next season. The ability that Stokes has flashed as a redshirt freshman will serve the team well in 2019. If he keeps improving, he can win the No. 1 cornerback job. If he does, he will be ready.  Movement: First ranking. DT Jordan Davis (former 3-star recruit): There was strong consideration given to moving Davis up to No. 2 on this list. That’s because he made the much of a difference once he started to get a full plate of reps after the LSU game.  Movement: Up from No. 4. OL Cade Mays (former 5-star recruit): Let’s be honest with ourselves here. If he was healthy, he would have helped against Alabama. He’s missed the past three games, but he was everything Georgia could have hoped he would be during his freshman year. We’re not forgetting those reps on this list.  Movement: Down from No. 2. CB Tyson Campbell (former 5-star recruit): Despite that lofty ranking, most folks do not know that he only started one season in high school at cornerback. He’s just going to keep getting better.  Movement: Dips to No. 4. C/OG Trey Hill (former 4-star recruit): The best defensive lineman in college football beat this true freshman for an early sack in the SEC championship game. Hill provided steady play in the game from that point on. It was his third straight start for Georgia.  Movement: First ranking. OTHERS WHO HAVE MADE THE HEAT CHECK THIS YEAR: Freshman OLB Adam Anderson, Freshman P Jake Camarda, Freshman OLB Brenton Cox, and freshman QB Justin Fields. THE BIG PICTURE, PART II How much does Adam Anderson look like a Bulldog in this picture? (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) The Justin Fields stat line: Fields did not complete his only pass attempt. He also carried the ball three times for six yards, including just two of those on that 4th-and-11 fake punt from the Alabama 50. Fields first entered the game when: He came into the game on Georgia’s second series. It was the eighth Bulldog snap of the contest. There was no score in the game. Fields gave the ball to D’Andre Swift for a four-yard gain up the middle and then subbed out for Jake Fromm. Subtle freshman note of the week: Freshman ILB Channing Tindall picked up his second sack of the season. That is now the second-highest total on the team. THE BIG PICTURE, PART III A subtle reminder that Cade Mays dressed against Alabama but did not play. If he was healthy, then he surely could have helped the Bulldogs against the Tide. He’s been one of the best freshmen performers all season for the Bulldogs. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) The 12 true freshmen who played against Alabama: Jake Camarda + Jordan Davis + Trey Hill + OLB Adam Anderson CB Tyson Campbell RB James Cook OLB Brenton Cox QB Justin Fields DB Otis Reese OG Jamaree Salyer ILB Channing Tindall ILB Quay Walker Which redshirt freshmen Bulldogs played against Alabama: DB Eric Stokes (starter) OT Isaiah Wilson (starter) Position breakdown for the true freshmen who saw action against Alabama (with the Tech number in parentheses): DB: 3  (3) ILB: 2 (2) OLB: 2 (3) OL: 2 (4) DL: 1 (1) P: 1 (1) QB: 1 (1) RB: 1 (1) TE: 0 (1) WR: 0 (0) Something you might only learn by reading the DawgNation “freshmen report” each week: Want to see a little long-range balance? Want to learn a little about the Alabama program the Bulldogs will always have their sights on? The Crimson Tide wound up playing 12 of their freshmen against Georgia on Saturday. That’s out of their 51 players who saw the field in the SEC title game. It broke down to: Freshmen: 12 (2 starters) Sophomores: 15 (10 starters) Juniors: 13 (8 starters) Seniors: 11 (3 starters) The half-full DawgNation reader will see that and note that 11 starters could potentially not be back in 2019. The sky is falling club member will note that the Tide’s sophomore class will be even better next year. That means at least six starters are set to return for that prolific offense, including the entire receiver corps and the Heisman contender at quarterback. THE BIG PICTURE, PART IV This was a very bright moment for freshman DT Jordan Davis this fall. It proves he’s not just a “Big Dawg” in the middle. Davis set off on his rush and then kept his head on a swivel. He read his keys and knew to drop back to prevent Tua Tagovailoa from dumping the ball to his receiver crossing over the middle. Davis is not just a big body there to soak up space and blocks. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) What should the 2019 recruiting class address: These answers have been apparent for a few weeks, but these spots look like the priorities for the next class based on what we have seen in 2018. ILB: The Bulldogs still more athletic play from this position.  Monty Rice’s ankle injury shows how thin this position will be next year in terms of veteran depth for a big game. (This class has a  pair of impressive 4-star commits. It is also really  in it for the nation’s No. 1 ILB for the 2019 class.) Defensive backs: Senior Deandre Baker is the team’s top player. He’s about to get NFL money in the spring. Campbell and Stokes played key roles against Alabama, but the Bulldogs need more elite talent in their nickel and dime packages to deal with all the weapons that the Tide have. ( The Bulldogs do have a solid pledge from the nation’s No. 3 safety in Under Armour All-American Lewis Cine. They also flipped 4-star junior college CB D.J. Daniel from South Carolina this season. The Bulldogs need more size and speed at the cornerback spot.) Defensive tackle: Freshman DT Jordan Davis was the only freshman defensive lineman to see time against Alabama. Malik Herring and Devonte Wyatt were the only sophomore DLs to get reps. ( UGA has a 5-star and a pair of 3-stars committed at this time. Another DL will likely slide over to DT as he matures.) Offensive line: The Bulldogs need OTs in the class and still more talent for the interior line.  The ability shown by Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson this fall means they will be legit NFL prospects after the 2019 season. Thomas looks like a bona fide first-round pick at this time.  Trey Hill also started his third straight game. ( UGA currently has two 4-star commits at OT and an eye on a third for the 2019 class. The Bulldogs are also very much in the race for 5-star center Clay Webb. Webb hopes to be a guard early on in college .) Quarterback: Everyone knows about  Justin Fields. The Bulldogs are razor-thin at this position with just two scholarship players. ( Mississippi senior John Rhys Plumlee is committed in the 2019 class. He rates as the nation’s No. 8 dual-threat QB prospect, but another recruit at this position makes a lot of sense for scholarship depth. Look for the Bulldogs to try to add a second scholarship QB to this class. Dillion Gabriel, a 2-star prospect from Hawaii, plans to take his official visit to UGA this weekend. He’s an up-and-coming prospect who was at one time committed to Army, but he now has offers from both UGA and USC.) OLB: D’Andre Walker is set to graduate. That’s the starter at the “Jack” position for the Bulldogs. Senior Keyon Richardson has also seen action in every game after signing with UGA in 2014. He will also free up a scholarship slot. Walter Grant, who has started eight games this year, will be a junior in 2019. ( Georgia has a commitment from 5-star OLB Nolan Smith and 4-star junior college OLB Jermaine Johnson. It is very hard to imagine any school anywhere having a more impressive pair of incoming prospects at this position. ) Here’s a look at the times when Fields has entered games this year: Austin Peay: The fourth UGA series during the second quarter of the game. South Carolina: The 10th UGA series during the fourth quarter of the game. Middle Tennessee: The fourth UGA series during the second quarter of the game. Missouri: The fourth UGA series during the second quarter of the game. Tennessee: The third UGA series during the second quarter of the game. Vanderbilt: The fourth UGA series during the second quarter of the game. LSU: The fifth UGA series during the second quarter of the game. Florida: Did not play. Kentucky: The fourth UGA series during the second quarter of the game. Auburn: The first UGA series during the first quarter of the game. UMass: The third UGA series during the first quarter of the game. Georgia Tech: The eighth UGA series during the third quarter of the game. Alabama: The second UGA series during the first quarter of the game. Freshmen tweet of the game: We shared that picture of it earlier, but look at the way Jordan Davis dropped back into coverage this time to take away an easy Alabama completion. Great job by #99 seeing the screen and redirecting… retreats right into the throwing window. Big time impact play! @DLineVids pic.twitter.com/PCLs3Teq5f — Logan Thomas (@Coach__Thomas4) December 1, 2018 True freshmen to play in every game Simply put, they have seen time in every game. There are a few of these guys who largely get those snaps on special teams. OLB Adam Anderson P Jake Camarda (13 starts) CB Tyson Campbell (10 starts) RB James Cook OL Trey Hill (3 starts) ILB Channing Tindall ILB Quay Walker True freshmen players who did not play this week: WR Tommy Bush; OT Owen Condon; C Warren Ericson; TE John FitzPatrick; TE Luke Ford; WR Kearis Jackson; OL Cade Mays; OLB Azeez Ojulari; DB Chris Smith II; RB Zamir White (out for the season); DB Divaad Wilson (Spring ACL injury but has now been cleared to play.) Participation for 2018 freshmen signees  This was worth watching in terms of the new redshirt rules. OLB Adam Anderson: 13 games WR Tommy Bush: 2 games P Jake Camarda: 13 games CB Tyson Campbell: 13 games OT Owen Condon: 3 games RB James Cook: 13 games OLB Brenton Cox: 12 games DT Jordan Davis: 11 games OL Warren Ericson: 3 games QB Justin Fields: 12 games TE John FitzPatrick: 2 games TE Luke Ford: 9 games OL Trey Hill: 13 games WR Kearis Jackson: 4 games OL Cade Mays: 10 games OLB Azeez Ojulari: 2 games DB Otis Reese: 10 games OL Jamaree Salyer: 12 games DB Chris Smith: 5 games ILB Channing Tindall: 13 games ILB Quay Walker: 13 games RB Zamir White: 0 games (Redshirt-Summer ACL injury) DB Divaad Wilson: 0 games (Spring ACL injury) Redshirt status watch: OT Owen Condon (3 games); OL Warren Ericson (3 games); WR Kearis Jackson (4 games); DB Chris Smith II (5 games and can no longer redshirt) 2017 signees who did not show on the game participation report: R-Fr. DB Tray Bishop; OLB Robert Beal, Jr. (did not dress); DB Latavious Brini; WR Ahkil Crumpton; DB Deangelo Gibbs; OT D’Marcus Hayes; ILB Jaden Hunter; WR Matt Landers; DB William Poole III; ILB Monty Rice (injury); OG Justin Shaffer and CB Ameer Speed. The post Freshman report on UGA football: Alabama 35, Georgia 28 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. This play sheet offers up a report on the chance that Georgia will have in the long run with 5-star WR Jadon Haselwood.    A lot of folks don’t like stories that begin with an ending. Or the even the middle. My wife was not a fan of “Pulp Fiction” on the big screen. This post will proceed along that way regardless. The recap of a recent conversation with 5-star WR Jadon Haselwood flows better by sharing the last thing he said. The 5-star was actually the one who asked the question. He asked his interviewer to scan the field. Haselwood wanted to make sure that guy saw the schools who came out to watch Cedar Grove’s GHSA Class 3A playoff game at Buck Godfrey Stadium on Friday night. “Do you see who is at this game tonight?” Haselwood said. “Do you see? Look around. That should tell it all.” That view showed Miami receivers coach Ron Dugans. There was also not one by two assistant coaches from FSU. Seminoles receivers coach David Kelly was there. He was joined by running backs coach Donte’ Pimpleton. That exchange came about a minute after asking the nation’s No. 1 receiver prospect (on the 247Sports composite rankings) if he knew what he was looking for with his college decision. That was discussed. So were what he viewed as the priorities he will abide by to help make his college decision. Haselwood and his Saints had just finished off an unbeaten Pierce County team. He didn’t make any big catches, but delivered one impressive hit, a highlight punt return and also drew a flag for another hit on a Pierce County receiver. “We have a great team here,” Haselwood said. “We have great backs and other great receivers and a great line. By looking at the film, we were thinking they were going to play Cover 3 all day. But they chose to double me. At the end of the day here, it is not just me. That [double coverage attention] opened up the run game.” Cedar Grove leads Pierce County 30-6 on a somewhat quiet night for Jadon Haselwood. He had a thunderbolt of a hit from his safety spot and then this ….. with 4:47 left to play. pic.twitter.com/5lB35SBIOo — Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) December 1, 2018 What of the recent in-home visit to Jadon Haselwood?  Some feel that Haselwood will take this long look around this group of suitors and decide that his best fit was the school he de-committed from. Jadon Haselwood would be an impact player at safety or WR in the ACC or SEC. He’s simply that skilled. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) Haselwood has shared a vivid memory of him being nothing but a pure fan running outside his house in the cold after Georgia was set to win The Rose Bowl last year. That still comes to mind in this recruiting story. There is a clear connection to the school there. He feels the atmosphere at Sanford Stadium is electric. It is one of the best in college football. The Bulldogs will have the quarterbacks to get him the ball, the line to give him time to race downfield and the backs needed to keep defenses from bracketing him with safeties over the top. But Georgia did not have an assistant coach there for his game against Pierce County. The Bulldogs had already used their visit that week for an in-home with Haselwood. The Bulldogs were the only school that got an in-home visit last week.  That was made by longtime recruiter James Coley and receivers coach Cortez Hankton. “Coley and Hankton and I are going to hit it off well every time,” he said in his response to what that visit was like. Terry Godwin has one game left at Georgia. Riley Ridley and Mecole Hardman could go pro after their junior years. Hasewlood cares little about depth charts and clear lanes to playing time. Those new possibilities at UGA might mean something to some elite recruits. But they did not seem to matter much to him. Haselwood made a terrific hit earlier in the game to halt a big gain for Piece County from his safety spot. He was flagged for a hit later in the second half against Pierce County. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) “I really don’t think about that,” Haselwood said. “I just want opportunities. If I get my chance to show that I am better than somebody and I don’t win it, then that’s on me. All I want is a fair shot at those opportunities. I want the chance of whether I play or not to be all on me.” Haselwood said he would like to wear No. 2 in college. That number is conveniently coming open this year for the Bulldogs with the graduation of senior Jayson Stanley. “It would be either No. 2 or No. 11,” Hasewlood said on the topic of what jersey he would like to wear. The 5-star recruit will play for the Class 3A state title next week. It is on a Tuesday. He will likely be practicing this weekend. That means that UGA will get the final visit and the last official visit prior to his decision. The last things that Georgia can say there will have to matter, too. Those are usually the things that come back to a prospect’s mind in the 11th hour as they sort through their final decision. What are the college priorities for Jadon Haselwood?  What really matters here to the decision? Hasewlood had his thoughts on that one. Location did not seem to be big to him. “No, it is not where I would play,” he said. “You have got to step out of your comfort zone. For sure. The main thing for me is what I said earlier. Just opportunities.” He has said that a drawback for Georgia is the fact they don’t throw it as much. He wants to see the ball in the air. What works in the program’s favor with 5-star OLs and RBs is still a matter to overcome with some elite receivers who want the ball. Jadon Haselwood has been an All-State level player for three seasons at Cedar Grove. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) Are there any drawbacks or “cons” for Florida State? “Florida State runs the same offense I am running right now at Cedar Grove,” Haselwood said. “The transition wouldn’t be bad at all. Coach Kelly sat me down and he compared my plays to theirs. They were basically the same thing.” That was a shrewd move by Kelly. The former Dunwoody High coach (of a generation ago) has been an assistant coach at Georgia, LSU, Georgia Tech, Stanford, Duke and UCF. He spent two seasons in the Canadian Football League. Kelly was a player personnel director at South Florida in 2016 and then joined back with FSU head coach Willie Taggart as the director of recruiting operations at Oregon in 2017. He came back to the field on Taggart’s first staff at FSU this season. The Cedar Grove star took his fourth official visit to FSU late last month. Haselwood pointed out that the program has increased its appeal to him of late. The decision grows closer for Jadon Haselwood That opportunity seems to have grown on him. But it is more than just showing him a lot of love on the sidelines for a state semifinal playoff game. He said his decision won’t be swayed by which schools are showing him the most love. “This is going to be what I want,” Haselwood said. “This is a decision I have to make for me and what’s best for my future. Those opportunities.” Does he know what that is right now? “I do,” he said. “But everybody is going to have to wait on it.” Jadon Haselwood is the top-rated player in Georgia this fall. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation) Haselwood still plans to sign during the early period. He will share that decision on NBC from the All-American Bowl in Texas on Jan. 5. He will then enroll early at the school of his choice. “We’re going to try to keep that all on the low,” he said. He will be a major Bulldog target until his process is over. Georgia threw the ball 39 times against Alabama and found three touchdowns and 301 yards against one of the most complete teams of Nick Saban’s time in Tuscaloosa. But the leading receiver was a tight end. The second-leading receiver was RB D’Andre Swift. That’s both in catches and yards. Ridley also tied Swift with his four catches against Alabama. Georgia’s top four receivers had 48, 37, 24 and 21 yards. That’s why elite talent at the receiver spot is essential competing against a team like Alabama.   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 It seems like Georgia has work to do with 5-star WR Jadon Haselwood appeared first on DawgNation.

News

  • A polygamous group based on the Utah-Arizona border is letting go of the sprawling building where its members worshipped, in the latest sign that the sect run by imprisoned leader Warren Jeffs is crumbling and losing control of the community it ruled for a century. The group known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or FLDS, now has nowhere to gather for worship services after the nearly 53,000 square-foot (4,900 square-meter) building was taken over last week as part of government-ordered evictions that have taken away about 200 homes and buildings from members who refuse to pay property taxes and $100-a-month occupancy fees. The meetinghouse with capacity for several thousand people is valued at $2.8 million and sits on about 7 acres (2.8 hectares) in the remote red rock community, on the Arizona side of the border. The building has a stage, a church-like setup for services and classrooms for religious education but has not been used for at least six months, Jeff Barlow said Monday. He is the executive director of a government-appointed organization that oversees a former church trust that has properties in the sister cities of Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona. The FLDS doesn't have a spokesperson to comment about the development. The sect is experiencing a major leadership void with Warren Jeffs serving a life sentence for sexually assaulting underage girls he considered brides and his brother Lyle Jeffs serving nearly a five-year sentence for his role in carrying out an elaborate food stamp fraud scheme and for escaping home confinement while awaiting trial. Members have said they have been worshipping at home on their own. The lack of local leaders meant nobody stepped up to take responsibility for the building when Barlow's organization warned an eviction was imminent, said Christine Katas, who lives in the community and serves as an intermediary between Barlow's organization and the FLDS. Rank-and-file members don't believe they have the authority to do so, she said. 'It's very sad for the FLDS. I've seen people cry over it,' Katas said. 'Both sides are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Everybody wishes there was a different outcome.' The evictions have led many FLDS members to take refuge in trailers around town or move away, while former members have purchased the homes and buildings and moved back. Group members don't believe they should have to pay for what belonged to a communal church trust that the state of Utah took over more than a decade ago amid mismanagement. The evictions are part of the shifting demographics in the sister cities of about 7,700 people. Non-sect members last year won control of the mayor's office and town council in Hildale, Utah and nearly did the same in municipal elections in Colorado City. The town government and police are being watched closely by court-appointed monitors after a jury found past town and police leaders guilty of civil rights violations. Sprawling homes that used to belong to Warren Jeffs have been converted into beds and breakfast and sober living centers. Members of the group still consider their leader and prophet to be Warren Jeffs, even though he has been in jail in Utah or Texas continually since 2006. Polygamy is a legacy of the early teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but the mainstream church abandoned the practice in 1890 and now strictly prohibits it. The Salt Lake Tribune first reported the eviction of the meetinghouse. Barlow said the board of the organization he runs, called the United Effort Plan (UEP) Trust, will meet on Jan. 5 in a public meeting to discuss what to do with the building, constructed in 1986, Barlow said. One possibility is converting it to a civic center, though that would likely require seeking grant funds, he said. The UEP board will make the final decision.
  • The 2018 college football bowl season kicks off with the fourth annual Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl. The game will feature champions from the Mid-Eastern Athletic and Southwestern Athletic conferences. In a rematch of the first Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, the North Carolina A&T Aggies will go head-to-head with the Alcorn State Braves.  Starting at 11 a.m., Channel 2 WSB-TV presents a live half-hour program, “The Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl Countdown.”  Channel 2 anchors Fred Blankenship and Carol Sbarge host the pregame show for this event. Channel 2 Sports Director Zach Klein will break down the strategies of both teams, the players, coaches and each team’s strengths and weaknesses.  Following the countdown will be a special edition of Channel 2 Action News at 11:30 a.m. with weather, game day traffic and news of the day. At noon, the battle for the championship begins. In addition to the game, organizers will host the first annual “A Celebration of Service.” The service project will bring together “The Divine 9” Greek letter organizations to collect food donations that benefit Hosea Helps. Other attractions include a special fan experience and the ultimate HBCU Greek homecoming tailgate. MATCHUP Alcorn State (9-3, 6-1 Southwestern Athletic Conference) vs. North Carolina A&T (9-2, 6-1 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference). TIME/LOCATION Saturday at noon at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Pregame coverage starts at 11 a.m., followed by the game at noon. TOP PLAYERS Alcorn State QB Noah Johnson has thrown for 2,079 yards and 15 touchdowns while also running for 960 yards and nine touchdowns. North Carolina A&T is led by veteran QB Lamar Raynard and a running game that's averaging close to 200 yards on the ground per game. NOTABLE The Braves are back in the Celebration Bowl for the first time since the inaugural game in 2015. Alcorn State is led by coach Fred McNair, the older brother of the late Steve McNair, who was a star quarterback for Alcorn State and in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans. The Aggies are back in the Celebration Bowl for the third time in four seasons. North Carolina A&T beat Grambling 21-14 last year to give the MEAC a 2-1 edge in the game over the SWAC. LAST TIME North Carolina A&T 41, Alcorn State 34 on Dec. 19, 2015. BOWL HISTORY The Braves are in the Celebration Bowl for the second time. The Aggies are in the Celebration Bowl for the third time.
  • Companies seeking tax credits from Wisconsin's troubled job-creation agency would face less scrutiny under a provision Republicans included in a package of lame-duck legislation designed to weaken newly elected Democrats. The measure awaiting GOP Gov. Scott Walker's signature would loosen the reins on an agency he created, which has marred by allegations of failing to recover loans from some companies and handing out $126 million without a formal review. Gov.-elect Tony Evers, who ousted Walker in last month's election, would be blocked from overseeing the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation for nine months under another provision in the lame-duck package. It's one of several components in the legislation that would reduce the powers of Evers and the incoming Democratic attorney general. Current law requires the WEDC to annually verify payroll and employment data from tax credit recipients to make sure they're creating enough jobs to qualify. State auditors found last year that the agency isn't living up to that requirement and was accepting information recipients submitted as accurate and complete. The lame-duck legislation would erase those annual verification requirements. The agency instead would be required to have a third party verify a sampling of the information. Recipients also would have to send a signed statement to WEDC attesting to the accuracy of the information they submit. WEDC's chief executive officer, Mark Hogan, told reporters Monday that the agency can't possibly verify information about the tens of thousands of employees that work for the 300 or so credit recipients. The agency has been verifying data samples for years and the lame-duck bill simply codifies that practice into law, he said. 'You're never going to be able to independently verify over 200,000 employees,' Hogan said. 'It's a process that cannot work. The only solution was to change the statutes to codify what we're doing.' Hogan said changing the law has been his 'top priority' for three years. He tried to get lawmakers to pass the changes before the Legislature adjourned its two-year session this past spring, but legislators told him then it was too late. WEDC is a quasi-governmental agency Walker created in 2011 that hands out grants, loans and tax credits to businesses and other organizations. A May 2017 audit found the agency didn't require recipients to supply enough detailed information to determine how many jobs were created or retained as a result of the agency's award. WEDC officials played a key role in persuading Foxconn Technology Group to build a huge flat-screen plant in Mount Pleasant. The agency administers an unprecedented $3 billion state incentives package that Walker and Republican lawmakers created for the manufacturer. Walker has promised that if Foxconn doesn't create jobs it won't receive state tax credits. 'Under Republican control, the WEDC has been plagued by scandals, mismanagement and under-performance,' Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling said in a statement. 'The last thing that agency needs is less accountability measures.' The WEDC provisions are tucked into a wide-ranging package of legislation that also restricts early in-person voting to the two weeks before an election, prevents Evers from withdrawing from a multistate lawsuit challenging federal health care reform laws and eliminates the state Justice Department's solicitor general office. Walker has signaled his general support. His spokesman, Tom Evenson, said Monday that the governor was still reviewing the measures. ___ Follow Todd Richmond on Twitter at https://twitter.com/trichmond1 ___ This story has been corrected to reflect that Shilling is the minority leader, not the majority leader.
  • Channel 2 Action News has learned that investigators say there are currently more than 70,000 gang members across the state of Georgia. Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne was on hand Monday for the second meeting of the Georgia Anti-Gang Network. Officials told Winne that not only are they battling against inmates who are in gangs, but also corrections officers.  “Across the state, how many investigations do you have going on involving the corruption of corrections officers by gangs?” Winne asked Georgia Department of Correction Director Clay Nix.  “Numerous,” Nix answered.  Nix said Georgia’s prison system is not only battling against inmates who are in gangs, but also corrections officers, who are recruited after hiring. TRENDING STORIES: State government will delay opening Tuesday due to weather LIVE UPDATES: Atlanta United's championship parade and rally Search for missing Colorado mother intensifies; FBI assisting with investigation “Also, they reach out to other gang members who have no criminal record and encourage them to come to work for us,” Nix said.   “That’s happened?” Winne asked Nix.  “It has. Several times in the past,” Nix said.  Nix showed Winne pictures of a haul of suspected gang-related contraband that consisted of 61 homemade weapons, cellphones, suspected cocaine, suspected meth and marijuana.  “They control the contraband trade, which is very lucrative,” Nix said. The items were seized at the Macon state prison just hours before a meeting of the Georgia Anti-gang Network at state corrections headquarters, headed by Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. “Criminal street gangs represent America’s greatest public safety threat,” Cobb County District Attorney Mike Carlson said.  “And in Georgia?” Winne asked Carlson.  “Georgia as well,” Carlson said.  “And in metro Atlanta?” Winne asked.  “Absolutely,” Carlson said.  “The most frightening thing you've heard today?” Winne asked Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr.  “The use of social media, the recruitment of young local neighborhood gangs as young as 9 and 13 years old,” Carr said.  The commissioner of Georgia’s Department of Community Supervision said there are currently more than 13,000 gang members under active supervision across the state.  “We'll never be able to have parity in numbers with the 70,000-plus gang members in Georgia. But what we are able to do is finely tune the force packages we use to go after each one of these sets,” said Southern District of Georgia U.S. Attorney Bobby Christine.  Christine said a grand jury recently indicted dozens affiliated with the Ghostface Gangsters.  “It involves multiple jurisdictions and multiple counties,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Gilluly said.  “You've got a great group of folks that are focused on this issue, that aren't putting their heads in the sand and saying, 'We're going to protect the people of Georgia,'” Carr said.  Nix told Winne that without going into too many specifics, gang-related corruption cases pending against current or former corrections officers across the state range from charges up to and including homicide.
  • A five-game losing streak has assured the Atlanta Falcons of their first losing season since 2014, and the usually upbeat coach Dan Quinn said he's alarmed by the ugly results and looking for fixes. Quinn said all players and coaches are in the spotlight after Sunday's 34-20 loss at Green Bay locked in the losing season for the Falcons (4-9). It is a bitter reality for an Atlanta team only two years removed from a Super Bowl appearance. The Falcons would have to win two of their last three just to match their last losing record, a 6-10 finish in 2014. Quinn has turned up the heat on his team as Atlanta prepares for a visit from Arizona on Sunday. 'Some of you may have questions regarding the program and staff and players,' Quinn said. 'As we're sitting here in week 15, we have four wins. So you better believe we're evaluating everything and doing anything to get it right.' Quinn complained about 'self-inflicted wounds,' including 13 penalties and two turnovers in the loss to the Packers. 'I thought our toughness was right but our focus is not,' he said. He said the errors and lack of focus are not new concerns. 'It hasn't been to the level that we needed to for a while,' he said. '... To have some of these inconsistencies show up over a period of time has definitely been something that has been at the forefront of my mind.' Quinn doesn't have an answer to why the focus has become an issue, saying, he 'can't tell you the amount of sleep' he has lost 'on that question alone.' Matt Ryan's second-quarter pass for Austin Hooper was intercepted by Bashaud Breeland and returned 22 yards for a touchdown. The Falcons also botched a shotgun snap in the red zone that was recovered by Green Bay. Quinn said those were among the mistakes 'that made me think lack of focus.' It was a mixed weekend for team owner Arthur Blank, who also owns the MLS Atlanta United. One day after watching Atlanta United win the MLS Cup at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Blank was in Green Bay for another Falcons loss. Blank gave Quinn a postgame hug one week after saying he still has confidence in the coach and general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Quinn is 36-30 in his fourth season in Atlanta, including a 3-2 postseason mark. For the second straight week, Quinn tweaked his starting offensive line, inserting Ty Sambrailo at right tackle ahead of Ryan Schraeder. Zane Beadles made his second straight start at right guard. 'I've been waiting for the opportunity to go out and show what I can do,' Sambrailo said Monday. 'The opportunity came and I felt I did all right.' The line helped produce a much-needed boost in the running game . Atlanta ran for 107 yards, only its third 100-yard game of the season. Rookie Ito Smith had 11 carries for 60 yards as he continued to have a more prominent role. Tevin Coleman ran for 45 yards on 10 carries. There were other personnel moves. Rookie Isaiah Oliver shared time with cornerback Robert Alford. Brian Hill played at running back and fullback while fullback Ricky Ortiz was inactive. Defensive end Steven Means also returned to the playing rotation. More changes could come. 'Nobody is OK with this record,' Quinn said. NOTES: Quinn second-guessed himself for allowing Matt Bryant to attempt a 53-yard field goal into the wind in the first quarter. Bryant's kick was short. 'That would be one I'd like to have over,' Quinn said. ... Quinn said TE Austin Hooper avoided serious injury when he left the game with an apparent knee injury. ___ More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
  • The Latest on the effects of a wintry storm crossing the U.S. Southeast (all times local): 3:05 p.m. An overturned truck full of pigs is adding to traffic delays as western North Carolina digs out from a snow storm. The North Carolina Department of Transportation said the livestock truck overturned on Interstate 40 westbound near the Tennessee line. The westbound lanes were closed temporarily Monday so the pigs could be corralled, but at least one lane was reopened by midafternoon. Highway Patrol First Sgt. Mike Baker said that about 100 pigs were aboard the truck, and some died in the crash. Local farmers were helping to gather the rest. The Transportation Department posted a photo on Twitter of pigs wandering along a snowy shoulder next to a trooper's cruiser. Baker said it's not clear if weather played a role in the crash, and it may have had more to do with speed. He said the road was clear of snow and ice at the time. He said the driver suffered serious injuries. ___ 3:05 p.m. The North Carolina National Guard is out helping residents recover from a snowstorm, including relocating a baby from a snowed-in house. National Guard Lt. Col. Matthew DeVivo said the National Guard helped out a family Sunday after it lost power and couldn't drive due to heavy snowfall in Caldwell County. The National Guard posted a photo of a soldier carrying the baby down a snowy road swaddled in extra blankets. DeVivo said the baby is OK, and the family was taken to stay with relatives. Guard members also aided an ambulance stuck in the snow in Burke County, helping an elderly patient get to the hospital. The patient's condition Monday wasn't clear. ___ 1:30 p.m. Residents of southern West Virginia are digging out from a storm that dumped up to 18 inches (46 centimeters) of snow. Forecasters had been uncertain about the storm's track and many residents were caught off guard by the high snow amounts. Forecasts initially had the storm avoiding most of the state and moving across the Southeast. Instead, the National Weather Service says the state became part of the storm's northern edge. More than a foot (30 centimeters) of snow fell across the far southern areas of the state. Schools were closed in at least 10 counties Monday. In places about an hour to the north such as Charleston and Huntington, no snow fell. ___ 12:35 p.m. Authorities in North Carolina are reporting a third snowstorm-related death after a truck driver died while working to free his rig that got stuck on an interstate. Yadkin County Emergency Services Director Keith Vestal says the driver had gotten stuck along Interstate 77 during the height of the storm Sunday and was shoveling out. Vestal said that shortly after shoveling, the man experienced chest pains and was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead. Vestal said the death appears to be due to a heart attack and he considers it a storm-related death. The state emergency operations center attributes two other deaths to the storm. One man died Sunday when a tree fell on him in Mecklenburg County, while an ailing woman died in Haywood County when her oxygen was cut off due to power outages. ___ 11:45 a.m. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says the worst of the wintery storm has passed most of the state but residents — particularly motorists — should keep watch for dangerous conditions. Cooper said at a news conference Monday that snow and ice that fell since the weekend could result in slick road conditions Tuesday morning as temperatures fall and moisture refreezes. The state emergency operations center attributes two deaths to the storm. One man died Sunday when a tree fell on him in Mecklenburg County, while an ailing woman died in Haywood County when her oxygen was cut off due to power outages. The governor says 144,000 utilities customers were still without power. ____ 7:20 a.m. A lingering storm keeps dumping immobilizing snow, sleet or freezing rain across five southern states, leaving dangerously icy roads and hundreds of thousands of people without electricity. Authorities urged people to stay home on Monday in areas where driving is dangerous. Accidents on snow-covered interstates caused major delays on Sunday, hundreds of flights were canceled and drivers in North Carolina and Virginia got stuck in snow or lost control on icy patches. But the commuters' nightmare provided pre-winter thrills for kids and the young at heart, who were able to go sledding and build snowmen in places that don't often see so much of the white stuff. The National Weather Service said a 'prolonged period of snow' began late Saturday and would last until Monday in the region, with the heaviest snow in northwest North Carolina and southern Virginia. Some areas of North Carolina and Virginia saw more than a foot (30 centimeters) of snow by Sunday afternoon.