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UGA Sports

    Looking back on the past decade of Georgia football brings to mind the old introduction to ABC's 'Wide World of Sports,' with its touting of 'the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat the human drama of athletic competition.' Yeah, Dawgs fans experienced all of that during 2010-2019: 10 years of incredible highs, heartbreaking lows and some mediocre days not worth mentioning. Reading over the Blawgs I wrote in that decade has brought back some extremely fond memories and a few that still make me shudder. Or wince ( should-have-spiked the ball with 15 seconds left the Prayer-at-Jordan Hare and second-and-26 being three prime examples). Wallowing in misery isn't what I'm undertaking today, however. This is a look at the best of the decade for the Dawgs. I have to admit, compiling the most memorable players, games, plays and moments of that decade was easy on some counts, and much more difficult on others, particularly when it came to deciding who should make an all-decade team at certain positions where the Dawgs have enjoyed a bounty of top-notch talent. (Can you easily choose between Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel?) Other choices were clear-cut (at least, to me), especially the quarterback position , about which I wrote a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps you'll agree with my choices, or maybe you'll think I'm way off-base on some of them. That's the fun of this sort of exercise; feel free to share your own thoughts on the best of UGA football in the 2010s. Now, first up, my All-Decade Dawgs: Offense Center: David Andrews. Runnerup: Ben Jones. Tackles: Andrew Thomas, Isaiah Wynn. Honorable mention: John Theus. Guards: Cordy Glenn, Lamont Gaillard (who also played center). Tight ends: Orson Charles, Jeb Blazevich. Wide receivers: Malcolm Mitchell, Javon Wims, Tavarres King, A.J. Green. * Honorable mention: Chris Conley, Terry Godwin. QB: Aaron Murray. Runnerup: Jake Fromm. Tailbacks: Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel (a tossup, but a fully healthy Gurley gets the starting nod). Fullbacks: Christian Payne, Quavon Hicks. ( What the heck, Georgia had fullbacks for most of the decade and, unlike Kirby Smart, I'm a fullback guy. The toss would be more effective with a FB leading the way, I believe.) Defense Defensive line: John Atkins, Jonathan Ledbetter, John Jenkins. Linebackers: Roquan Smith, Jarvis Jones, Justin Houston* Alec Ogletree. Honorable mention: Davin Bellamy, Leonard Floyd. Cornerbacks: Deandre Baker, Sanders Commings. Runnersup: Damian Swann, Maurice Smith, Aaron Davis (the latter two both played nickel back). Safeties: Baccari Rambo, J.R. Reed. Runnerup: Dominick Sanders. Specialists Punter: Drew Butler. Runnerup: Cameron Nizialek.* Placekicker: Rodrigo Blankenship. Runnerup: Marshall Morgan. Returner: Isaiah McKenzie. Runnersup: Mecole Hardman, Brandon Boykin. *Green, Houston and Nizialek only played one season each for Georgia during the decade, but they deserve their spots. And now on to other highlights of the decade Most memorable games 2012: Georgia 17, Florida 9. A terrific Malcolm Mitchell run after catching a fourth quarter pass from Aaron Murray and breaking a tackle put Georgia ahead. However, the game against the No. 2-ranked Gators was dominated by a Georgia defense that forced six turnovers, including a gamesaver by Jarvis Jones at the end. 2013: Georgia 44, LSU 41. With ESPN's 'College GameDay' in town and the eyes of the nation on the quarterback showdown between former roomiesAaron Murrayand Zach Mettenberger,the resulting 'Redout' game was one of the most thrilling I've ever seen, and, to date, still the absolutely loudest I've ever heard Sanford Stadium from the first kickoff to the final whistle. 2014: Georgia 45, Clemson 21. Todd Gurley gained 293 all-purpose yards, scoring 4 touchdowns, and Nick Chubb literally ran out of one of his shoes in his freshman debut, as Georgia pulled away in the second half to beat Dabo Swinney's Tigers, who in the second half were held to only one first down, 15 yards passing and no yards on the ground. 2017: Georgia 20, Notre Dame 19. The first big road test for Jake Fromm, it wasn't a pretty game, as the two teams combined to punt the ball 17 times, eight by Georgia, in a largely defensive struggle. But, the Dawgs persevered, and finally won it on a Rod Blankenship field goal. The first of quite a few thrilling moments during that magical season. New Year's Day, 2018: Georgia 54, Oklahoma 48. The Dawgs' double-overtime Rose Bowl win over the Sooners in the College Football Playoff propelled them to the National Championship game against Alabama a week later. It's the highest scoring game ever in the history of the granddaddy of bowl games and, for me, ranks second only to the Sugar Bowl win over Notre Dame in January, 1981. Honorable mention: The SEC Championship 'revenge' win over Auburn in 2017 the absolute domination of Florida in Jacksonville during that same season and the Dawgs' tough win over Notre Dame Between the Hedges in 2019. Most memorable plays 2011, Florida: A tie between the two fourth-down touchdown passes against the Gators in 2011 to Michael Bennett and Tavarres King. Both admittedly were great catches, but Aaron Murray put the ball exactly where it needed to be. 2012, Florida: Jarvis Jones stripping the ball away from Florida's Jordan Reed as he was about to score, preserving the most important win of the season for Georgia. 2013, LSU: Trailing the No. 6 Tigers 41-37 with 4:14 left, Aaron Murray threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Justin Scott Wesley with 1:47 on the clock. 2014: Clemson: Todd Gurley's 100-yard-plus kickoff return was a thing of beauty, showing off his deceptive speed. 2017, Notre Dame: Terry Godwin's acrobatic one-handed, falling-backward third-and-goal touchdown catch was one of the best plays in a season of great plays. NBC Sports labeled it 'catch of the year.' Honorable mention: The flea-flicker play involving Jake Fromm, Nick Chubb and Terry Godwin that opened the 2017 game against a surging Mississippi State team; and Lorenzo Carter's block of an Oklahoma field goal attempt on the second overtime of the Rose Bowl game. Play of the decade Rose Bowl, against Oklahoma: Sony Michel takes a direct snap in the shotgun and, picking up a key block from quarterback Jake Fromm, streaks 27 yards down the left side for the winning score in the second overtime, sending the Dawgs on to the National Championship game. Memorable performances Jarvis Jones, with five solo tackles and four sacks in Georgia's 2011 come-from-behind win over Florida. Leonard Floyd, with eight tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss in Georgia's 2013 win over LSU. Nick Chubb, returning from knee surgery to run for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns in Georgia's 2016 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game win over North Carolina. Roquan Smith, with 13tackles, 10 of them solo and two of them for losses, plus two fumble recoveries and a sack in the 2017 SEC Championship win over Auburn. He rightly was named the game's MVP. George Pickens, tying a Georgia bowl record with 12 catches for 175 yards and a touchdown against Baylor in the Jan. 1, 2020 Sugar Bowl. Favorite moments 2013, South Carolina: Georgia grinds out a 14-play drive to eat up the final 8:28 of a big win over the Top 10-ranked Gamecocks, and, midway through the drive, USC head coach Steve Spurrier throws in the towel by removing his headset and declining to call a timeout. Sweet. 2017, Notre Dame: Bulldog Nation taking over the Fighting Irish stadium, with NBC analyst Doug Flutie noting at one point, 'This is almost a 50/50 crowd.' At the start of the fourth quarter, you would have thought it was Sanford Stadium as Dawgs fans lit up the place with their cellphones, bringing with them a then-new tradition from Between the Hedges. Runnerup: Kicker Rod Blankenship being mobbed by his teammates in the locker room after the 2017 win over Notre Dame as Kirby Smart had the former walk-on announce that he was now on scholarship. MVP of the decade This is tough. Aaron Murray was a quarterback capable of putting the team on his back and somehow finding a way to win. Todd Gurleywas the most talented running back at Georgia since Herschel Walker and probably would have won a Heisman if not for injuries and asuspension. Sony Michel spent his career at UGA in tandem with Nick Chubb and, by the end of their senior year, was the more versatile of the two backs. But Chubb was awesome on a consistent basis, and came back from a devastating left knee injury to run for a career total 4,769 rushingyards, trailing only Walker in SEC history. He recorded his 24thcareer game running for 100 yards or more against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. So, Nick Chubb is my MVP of the decade. Damn good Dawgs, all of them. Let me hear from you! I'll be answering Junkyard Mail next time, so, if you have any comments or questions on any UGA sports topic, please email me at junkyardblawg@gmail.com . The post Picking the Dawgs' greatest players, games, moments of the decade appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football rising senior Malik Herring started the season on the bench and ended it as the top returning defensive linemen in the SEC, per advanced metrics. Coach Kirby Smart wasn't and isn't going to have it any other way. It is Smart who has pushed Herring to the verge of greatness, ensuring the Forsyth product get the best out of himself and make the most of his talents on the field. 'Malik can be a good player, (but) he's gotta hone in and do the little things right, and he's gotta be a little more mature and serious about things to be the player we want him to be,'Smart said last spring.'He's talented, though, and he's played well. He's just gotta mature some.' Pro Football Focus, which grades players each week, has Herring as the top-ranked SEC defensive lineman in its Top 25. Herring comes in at No. 7 with Alabama's Chritisian Barmore second among league players at No. 12. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound Herring showed just how much he'd grown in the 26-14 win over Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. Herring, starting in place of departing senior Tyler Clark, had five tackles, a pass break-up and 1.5 tackles for loss. Herring platooned all season in the Bulldogs' deep defensive front. It was a unit that set the tone for the nation's best run defense with its sound gap integrity. Georgia didn't allow a rushing TD until the 10th game of the season. But at the start of the 2019 campaign, on the road trip to Vanderbilt, Herring did not play. 'We talked about it after the game,' Smart said the next week. 'If he continues to use practice and get better, he'll play.' Herring did just that, earning nine starts and finishing with 24 QB hurries, third-best on the team. The Bulldogs have lost reliable seniors off the 2019 D-Line. Most notably, seniors Michael Barnett, David Marshall and Clark have moved on. But Herring is one of a handful of defensive linemen coming back with star potential that figure to play in the NFL one day. Nosetackle Jordan Davis was a Freshman All-American in 2018 and continued his run-stuffing ways last season. Freshman Travon Walker overcame in-season wrist surgery to make highlights, including the game-clinching sack at Auburn. Then there are the fellow seniors. Devonte Wyatt was second on the team with 27 QB hurries. Justin Young played in nine of 14 games and had his moments. Then there's Julian Rochester, a fifth-year senior after qualifying for a redshirt, playing just four games after coming off knee surgery. Amazingly, none of the Georgia defense was named first-team All-SEC by the Associated Press last season. This, even though the Bulldogs finished the regular season leading the conference in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense. Ultimately, safety J.R. Reed was named an All-American by one outlet, and linebacker Monty Rice and cornerback Eric Stokes were second-team All-SEC picks by the AP. But all was silent among the defensive tackles, nosetackles, and defensive ends from an awards perspective. WATCH: Dan Lanning champions no-name' Georgia defense Smart has said he prefers his players make noise with their helmets, so UGA players won't likely be tooting their own horns during the offseason. But those who watch and grade film have taken note, and Herring leads the way on a defensive front that could dominate the SEC in 2020. DawgNation Georgia football Herring makes time for Kids Fun Day in hometown Georgia offseason has produced fascinating offensive change Football stars endorse Todd Monken hire at Georgia WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post Georgia's Malik Herring rated top returning D-linemen in SEC, spearheads dominant front appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia suffered a 70-60 home loss to Ole Miss, a sellout crowd and decisive rebounding advantage not enough to get the Bulldogs back on track. The Rebels (10-9, 1-5 SEC) snapped a a six-game losing streak with the upset over Georgia (11-8, 1-5), which has lost two of its last three at home after opening the season 8-0 in Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia freshman Anthony Edwards continued his struggles with 13 points on 3-of-12 shooting. Ten of Edwards' attempts came from behind the arc, his inability to get to the rim out of the half court offense surfacing once again. Senior Jordan Harris led the Bulldogs with 15 points and eight rebounds in a game that saw UGA hold a decisive 38-28 advantage on the boards. Georgia however, couldn't overcome its poor shooting (17 of 55, 30.9 percent) while Ole Miss was an efficient 26 of 50 (52 percent). The loss marks UGA's first three-game losing streak of the season, sending many of the10,523 in attendance to the exits early as Ole Miss pulled away late. The Rebels threatened to run away at the start of the second half, scoring the first five points after intermission to make a 40-29, before Tom Crean called time out with 17:17 left. The Bulldogs responded with a 9-0 run sparked by a Harris 3-pointer and consecutive drives to the basket by Sahvir Wheeler (11 points) that resulted in a bucket and two free throws that cut the lead to 40-38 with 13:44 left. Moments later, Edwards pulled the trigger on a 3-pointer from the wing that put Georgia up 43-42 with 12:31 left and sent the crowd into a frenzy. It was the Bulldogs' first lead since a 13-12 advantage early, and Edwards first points since the 16:07 mark of the first half. It proved to be the final lead for Georgia. Ole Miss wrestled the lead back on a pair of J.J. Buffen (14 points) free throws the next trip down and didn't trail again. Breein Tyree scored 20 points to lead the Rebels. Georgia was down 35-29 at the end of the first half, a victim of its own 9 turnovers and 33 percent shooing (9 of 27). Ole Miss led by as many as 10 points, 32-22, before the Bulldogs battled back. Harris scored on a drive to the basket and hit a trey, and then Edwards capped the 7-0 run with a pair of free throws to make it 32-29. The Rebels scored the final three points of the half, the Bulldogs missing four shots on their final possession, squandering offensive rebounds. Georgia returns to action at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Missouri (9-10, 1-5 SEC) before returning to Athens to play host to Texas A&M (9-9, 3-3) next Saturday. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Mississippi State wins battle of Bulldogs in Starkville, decisively Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post Anthony Edwards struggles against Ole Miss, Georgia basketball hits three-game skid appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS The Georgia football offensive staff gyrations have continued into the weekend, and the next one could be processed as early as next week. Former Bulldogs' director of player personnel Marshall Malchow is headed to Texas A&M.DawgNation reported on Friday that former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach James Coley was headed to work for the Aggies. RELATED: James Coley leaves Georgia football staff, as expected The 247Sports network was first to report the news on Malchow on Saturday. Georgia coach Kirby Smart made Coley expendable when he hired former NFL offensive coordinator Todd Monken on Jan. 17 to take over the offense and play-calling. Monken was in attendance at the Bulldogs' basketball game on Saturday, part of UGA' big weekend filled with key visitors. RELATED: Todd Monken trades 'total mess' for championship quest The writing was on the wall for Coley and other assistants closely tied to him last Monday. The hiring of former Southern Miss offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Buster Faulkner last Monday temporarily as an offensive analyst was more evidence Coley was likely on his way out. RELATED: Kirby Smart hires QB coach Buster Faulkner to offensive staff Faulkner is the odds-on favorite to fill the staff position vacated by Coley, though nothing is official at this point. Former UGA All-American Jon Stinchcomb told DawgNation that Faulkner was the right fit to work with Monken. '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 in regard to 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. 'I think this new role for him is a great compliment to coach Monken being hired and the rest of the staff.' The departure of Malchow, an Alabama graduate, represents more collateral damage from Coley taking his recruiting prowess to Jimbo Fisher's staff in College Station. Coley has previously worked for Fisher at Florida State. Smart, who has stayed silent throughout the changes, traditionally holds a February signing day press conference, at which point he could address the new Georgia staff. More from DawgNation Georgia offseason has produced fascinating offensive change Football stars endorse Todd Monken hire at Georgia WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Podcast: Brandon Adams shares his take on Brock Vandagriff addition Kirby Smart has turned Georgia offense upside down Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post Georgia football changes continue, another staff member leaves for Texas A&M appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia basketball returns to the friendly confines of Stegeman Coliseum where the team is 9-1 his season, seemingly, just in time. The Bulldogs (11-7. 1-4 SEC) play host to Ole Miss (9-9, 0-5) at 5:30 p.m. (TV: SEC Network) in desperate need of a victory to rekindle any sort of NCAA tournament hopes. The fan support is certainly there. The only remaining Georgia home basketball games with tickets available this season are South Carolina (Feb. 12) and Auburn (Feb. 19). This, even though virtually no one outside the program is projecting Coach Tom Crean's young team, filled with nine freshmen on the roster, to make the so-called Big Dance. Even with projected NBA lottery pick Anthony Edwards on the roster. Still, sophomore Tye Fagan and freshman Toumani Camara confirmed that is indeed the long-term season goal, even if the focus never goes beyond one game. 'Most definitely, without a doubt, we take each game one at a time so we're not thinking so far into the future,' said Fagan, who's coming off a 6-of-6, 13-point shooting performance at Kentucky last Tuesday. 'But that is the goal.' The surge from the 6-foot-8 Camara over the last 12 games, has provided a boost. Camara is UGA's second leading rebounder (5.2 rpg) and third on the team in scoring (7.6 ppg) and minutes played (26.9 mpg) in that span. But the Bulldogs, No. 56 in the projected RPI rankings, had better get back on the winning track and take advantage of the softer stretch of the schedule. After opening the 2020 with six opponents and seven games against teams that played in last year's NCAA tournament and going 2-4 in that stretch so far, with wins at Memphis and against Tennessee Georgia's schedule lightens up this week. Saturday's Ole Miss home game is followed by a road trop to Missouri (9-9, 1-5) on Tuesday, and then a home game with Texas A&M (9-8, 3-3) next Saturday. Crean, understandably, isn't losing sight of the task at hand against the Rebels. ' Right now we're focused on how we get ready for Ole Miss,' Crean said. 'I had the number one team in the country and wasn't talking about the NCAA Tournament, back at Indiana. 'What you do is you focus. We're in late January here. We focus on the team and what we have to do and be absolutely wrapped up in that.' Crean said he's not certain if freshman point guard Sahvir Wheeler is back at 100 percent after suffering an ankle injury in the 80-63 win over Tennessee on Jan. 15. Wheeler has played the last two games, but he has last the explosion and quickness that makes him so effective. He has scoring just one basket and dished out two assists in the last 38 minutes he played against Mississippi State and Kentucky. Edwards continues to lead the nation's freshmen in scoring with 18.9 points per game, but he's still learning to get to the rim and overcome the extra attention defenses are paying to him. Edwards was held scoreless in the first half at Kentucky last Tuesday night before scoring 16 points in a second half at Rupp Arena that saw the Bulldogs fail to get closer than seven points. RELATED: Too little, too late from Anthony Edwards at Kentucky Crean, however, defends Edwards' youth and is focusing on developing him like he does every other player. ' I came in knowing we're going to have to develop him every day, help him grow every day,' Crean said. 'It's all different when you get them and how they process, how they learn, what do they have to get better at, how they apply it, how you build confidence, how you tweak them, how you challenge them is all a part of the daily process. We're just right in the midst of that and I'm enjoying it.' A win over Ole Miss would make Crean and Georgia enjoy the process of the team growing more, as well as keeping what appears to be scant NCAA tourney hopes alive. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Mississippi State wins battle of Bulldogs in Starkville, decisively Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Georgia basketball delivers signature Top 10 win at Memphis Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post Georgia basketball returns to home sellout, desperate for win over Ole Miss appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia has the quarterback and the coaching expertise to flip the offense, and from Terry Bowden's perspective, that should be enough to get a new-look offense off and running. Bowden was holding court wearing Clemson gear two days before the College Football Playoff Championship Game. The fact he's now a graduate assistant with the Tigers does nothing to dilute Bowden's knowledge or experience flipping an offense to a mobile quarterback. RELATED: Mark Richt says Jamie Newman can adapt to any system ' Once you make the decision that's where you need to go and you see a lot of the pros doing it now, you see college teams that make that move, and it starts with a quarterback that can do that,' Bowden told DawgNation. 'I think the other parts of that block with the right assistants,' the 63-year-old former Auburn, North Alabama and Akron head coach said. 'You have to have people that know what their doing in that capacity, and you've got to have a quarterback you believe in.' Georgia certainly checks all the boxes. RELATED: Georgia creates buzz with Todd Monken hire The Bulldogs return mobile quarterbacks in redshirt junior Stetson Bennett, redshirt freshman D'Wan Mathis and incoming freshman Carson Beck. The biggest offseason player addition, however, has been Wake Forest graduate transfer quarterback Jamie Newman. Pro Football Focus ranks Newman the No. 3 returning quarterback in college football and recently projected Georgia football the preseason No. 3 team. Bowden, 63, knows all about high rankings after winning his first 20 games as the Tigers' head coach after replacing Pat Dye before the 1993 season. Georgia snapped the streak with a 23-23 tie at Auburn, and Bowden lost his first game as the Tigers' head coach the following week to Alabama, 21-14. Bowden left Auburn halfway through the 1998 season with a 47-17-1 record at Auburn. After 10 years out of coaching working as a television analyst, Bowden returned to coaching at North Alabama, a Division ll school where he was 29-9 with playoff appearances each three seasons. Bowden moved on to Akron from there, ultimately resuscitating the Zips' downtrodden program with an 8-5 season in 2015 that included the program's first-ever bowl game victory. More history was made in 2018, when Bowden's Akron team beat Northwestern for the school's first win over a Big Ten team since 1894. The Zips, however, finished 4-8 and Bowden was fired. That led Bowden to the opportunity at Clemson, that came with the graduate assistant provision. It's surely a snap for Bowden, who graduated magna cum laude from West Virginia with a degree in accounting. Bowden did postgraduate work at Oxford University in England and earned a law degree from Florida State. 'Thirty-seven years ago, I graduated from law school, and the next year I became a football coach, and we didn't have internet, and we didn't have computers,' Bowden said, putting his unique situation in perspective. 'Thirty-seven years later, in order to be a coach on the field, I have to be a student. So I got accepted to Clemson grad school, and I'm getting a Master's in athletic leadership. I've got two classes this semester and they are online and that's been kind of fun.' Bowden seems to think offenses that employ mobile quarterbacks are apt to have more fun and success on Saturdays. 'I don't feel like you need to go to a running quarterback, but you must have a quarterback that's mobile, and Joe Burrow is mobile,' Bowden said, tying he conversation into the game he was preparing for at the time. 'The guy can scramble, but he's not a running quarterback. He is a drop-back, classic quarterback that has what you need.' No doubt, Burrow put on a show against Clemson in the CFP Championship Game. Georgia fans are yearning for an offense with the same explosive elements and big-play potential. Bowden explained how a running quarterback changes the dynamics by simple math. 'Anytime your quarterback runs the football, it gives you one more blocker,' Bowden said. 'And if they've got any safeties sitting up high upfield, that evens you up pretty good in the blocking department. 'So once your quarterback either scrambles well, or you devise a few plays that allow him to run, you have created plays that are in (your) favor for the offense, in numbers, that you just don't have when the quarterback is just a fake or a disguise.' More from DawgNation Football stars endorse Todd Monken hire at Georgia WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Podcast: Brandon Adams shares his take on Brock Vandagriff addition Kirby Smart has turned Georgia offense upside down Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post Georgia offense flipping script: Terry Bowden's thoughts on drop-back to dual-threat transition appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football fans are counting down to the end of the 2020 recruiting cycle on National Signing Day, and DawgNation is chronicling all the buildup with the Signing Day Spotlight presented by Kroger. Each day, host Brandon Adams will recap the big news for UGA fans from around the recruiting trail as the Bulldogs attempt to once again assemble one of the country's top classes. On this edition of the Signing Day Spotlight, BA shares details of four-star running back Dajuan Edwards' planned UGA as the drama surrounding five-star running back Zach Evans shows no signs of slowing down. UGA hosts four-star running back Dajuan Edwards amidst Zach Evans rumors Georgia is still believed to be in the mix for five-star running back Zach Evans, but that apparently won't stop the Bulldogs from engaging with other running backs as the 2020 recruiting cycle nears a close. UGA is set to host four-star prospect Dajuan Edwards this weekend from Colquitt County High School in Moultrie, Ga. Edwards is the No. 19 running back in the nation and the No. 28 prospect in the state according to the 247Sports composite. The nature of Edwards' relationship with the Bulldogs including comments from DawgNation's recruiting insider Jeff Sentell is the subject of this edition of the Signing Day Spotlight (Video linked below). UGA will entertain Edwards while Evans reportedly takes an official visit to Tennessee. Edwards won't be the only high-profile prospect on campus for Georgia this weekend. DawgNation has also reported that UGA will host two commits who didn't sign during the early period in December five-star offensive tackle Broderick Jones and four-star center Sedrick Van Pran-Granger. Two UGA offensive line signees will also be in attendance to keep them company. Four-star prospect Tate Ratledge and a late addition to the class, Austin Blaske, are expected to be on hand as well. Follow the DawgNation forum all weekend for up-to-the-minute information on all this weekend's visitors including Edwards and stay tuned for rumors about Evans as well. The post UGA hosts 4-star RB Dajuan Edwards amidst Zach Evans rumors appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley is making the move most everyone anticipated when head coach Kirby Smart added new offensive coordinator Todd Monken last Monday. Coley, 46, is expected to join the Texas A&M coaching staff, according to a UGA source with direct knowledge of the situation and TexasAg.com. Coley, who also coached quarterbacks last season, had recently been named assistant head coach on the UGA staff, but he was no longer designated a position group. RELATED: Coley status updated Coley's status at UGA became more tenuous when Smart hired Southern Miss offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner last Monday, assigning him an off-field coaching position as an analyst. The move triggered speculation that Coley could be on the way out sooner than later, and any concept of him working with Monken was a long shot. Coley has been on Smart's staff since the fifth-year head coach took over the program before the 2016 season. He was promoted to co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2018, receiving a raise from $450,000 to $850,000 as he reportedly declined a chance to join Jimbo Fisher's Texas A&M staff as OC. Coley became the full-time OC last January when Jim Chaney departed the UGA staff for the Tennessee OC Job and was bumped up to $950,000 the highest paid assistant on the staff. Sam Pittman, who was the second-highest paid assistant at $900,000 departed the staff earlier this offseason to become the Arkansas head coach. Former Ole Miss head coach Matt Luke replaced Pittman in December at the same salary, $900,000. The Bulldogs went 12-2 and finished No. 4 in the nation last season, running up a 5-1 mark against teams that were in the Top 25. A championship-level defense didn't often need much support on offense, and the game plans had a familiar emphasis on efficiency, ball control and balance. UGA ran the strong legs of tailback D'Andre Swift, who gained more than 1,200 yards and was the team's most consistent and explosive skill position player until a shoulder injury derailed him the final two games of the season. WATCH: James Coley defends Jake Fromm, explains offensive issues 'It's who you have out there and who you're trying to feature,' Coley said at his Sugar Bowl press conference. 'So what gives you the best chance: Giving the ball to the tailback who's a really good player, or throwing the ball to a young guy who may not be ready for that moment yet? You know what I mean?' Still, the offense struggled at times, finishing 50th in the nation in scoring offense, 61st in total offense and 72nd in passing yards. A rash of injuries in the receiving corps was compounded by QB Jake Fromm having some uncharacteristic off games. Coley explained during a Sugar Bowl press conference in New Orleans that the lack of consistency in the pass game, and with Fromm, was closely tied to the injuries at receiver. ' It happens when you get injuries; you get guys in the game that haven't played in a while, or it's their first chance and they are a little nervous and they take their routes a little deeper than where they should be,' Coley said. 'It ends up looking like the guy (Fromm) was not playing as good as he was a year ago.' Georgia and Fromm rallied in the Sugar Bowl with 26-14 win over Baylor, Fromm passing for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns on 20-of-30 passing. It snapped a skid of five straight games where Fromm's completion percentage had dipped under 50 percent. The statistical slump aligned with senior go-to receiver Lawrence Cager missing time and games on account of injuries. Coley pointed out Fromm's completion percentage with Cager on the field was 71 percent. Smart cited the team's 'merry-go round' at receiver when assessing the offensive issues, but he also pledged to fix the offense after the season. The addition of Wake Forest graduate transfer QB Jamie Newman and incoming freshman QB Carson Beck provided a boost in personnel, and then came the addition of the high-profile offensive staff members. The post Former Georgia football OC James Coley leaves staff, headed to Texas A&M appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That's what the Intel brings. The play sheet today calls for a chance to catch up with 5-star junior OT Amarius Mims after his big 'Junior Day' trip last Saturday. Amarius Mims has done some quick accounting of his recruiting process over the last 50 days. Georgia's stock was up as the public leader. Then Sam Pittman left and the Bulldogs dipped. The relationships he had in place with Alabama and LSU took center stage. He just felt more comfortable with those programs. Mims even clearly articulated that at the Under Armour 'Future 50' event in Orlando earlier this month. He had elevated their stock above how he felt about the Bulldogs at that time. There was some uncertainty there with Pittman now at Arkansas. It was new line coach Matt Luke's job to rebuild that bridge with the 6-foot-7.5, 315-priority for the 2021 class in Athens. Check. Consider that done. Luke has done that after the 'Junior Day' trip Mims took to Athens last weekend. 'I knew it was going to be a great day,' Mims said. 'I was going to get to hang around a bunch of people in my class that I know. It was good to be around the coaches that I am already familiar with and I got to talk to coach Luke a lot. So that was good.' Was it possible for Georgia to restore the vibe and the feeling he had for the program prior to Pittman's move? 'Oh, yes sir,' he said. Check. Consider that one done, too. 'Yes, sir,' Mims said. 'It is just like the energy that coach Luke brings. Just like coach Pittman did. I can see that he really wants me to come play for him. I get the feeling like we are going to have a great relationship like Coach Pittman and I did.' There's a new feeling now. It is the same old feeling for Mims. 'It just feels like home when I am there,' Mims said. 'Just everything is going good. Going great. I'm getting to talk to the coaches when I am there. I am getting very familiar with them. Coach Smart and I have good talks. The people that's around him and they players there, I love the way they think and their minds and stuff like that.' The nation's No. 3 OT prospect for 2021 (per the 247Sports Composite rankings) is a homegrown recruit from Bleckley County in Middle Georgia. But he's also the nation's No. 13 overall prospect for the upcoming cycle. As far as in-state juniors go, Mims and North Gwinnett ILB Barrett Carter are clear early priorities for the 2021 cycle. Especially now that 5-star QB Brock Vandagriff chose to commit to the Bulldogs earlier this week. Where does UGA now stand? 'I would probably say Georgia is still now right up there with Alabama and LSU with those relationships,' he said. 'I mean I really don't have a number one. I just like those three programs more right now. You know what I mean? I don't know. I just know that those three schools are my top three schools. I would just say it like that.' Amarius Mims: The new UGA fit and Brock Vandagriff He can already Luke in a similar fashion as Pittman. 'I would say they are both good guys,' he said. 'They are both going to have energy but coach Luke has a different kind of energy. I'm pretty sure you saw the Sugar Bowl. Whenever the defense got the turnover he was hopping around on the sideline. It is a different kind of energy. That's all.' Mims said he watched the entire Sugar Bowl when he was in Orlando. Georgia spoke to him about playing the left tackle spot in his future. That's what they will see out of him. He is also on track right now to enroll early in January of 2021. Mims also has what he terms as a 'close relationship' with Vandagriff. They communicated with one another on the day that Vandagriff went public with his Georgia commit. He said he does want to play with Vandagriff. 'I'm pretty sure that everyone knew where he was going to go,' Mims said. 'He told me he was coming and he told me that they really want me to come play with him and block for him. I was like that's a possibility' and that is a strong possibility that could happen' so we are just going to let the process play out and see how everything goes.' Those two became acquainted for the first time on a Georgia visit. Then that relationship evolved with other interactions, including the Rivals 5-Star Challenge event last summer. 'I think it all started for us when coach Smart pulled us aside and said to him that I was going to be blocking for him one day,' Mims said in reference to Vandagriff. 'That's how it started.' The Bleckley County junior said they also know 4-star Florida WR Mario Williams well, too. Williams rates as the nation's No. 6 WR for the 2021 class on the 247Sports Composite. He was also at UGA last weekend. There's also the chance to play with 4-star OT Micah Morris, too. Morris plays for Camden County in South Georgia. He's the nation's No. 7 OT and No. 44 overall prospect for 2021. Mims indicated a 'summer' timeline as a broad estimate on when he will reach his decision. 'Coach Luke said that right now that Brock and I were the top and most important men in the class right now,' Mims said. 'He said that not that Brock has committed that if I commit then a lot of people will start falling in right behind us.' He's still planning his next visit, but he has an outline of his spring official visits in mind. The first one will be Oregon. Oklahoma or Southern California will likely get the second. The Pittman example has taught him something about the recruiting process of late. 'I would say don't go to a college just because of a coach,' he said. 'Because you see now how coaches can pull up and change jobs. Just go because you like that school and the players and the people there that will surround you more than just for a coach.' With that, he feels like head coaches are different. 'Those guys are going to stay around longer,' Mims said. Mims does feel that Georgia will throw the ball more in 2020 with Todd Monken around. But that view is also shaped by seeing former Bulldogs like Brian Herrien, Cade Mays, D'Andre Swift, Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson no longer at Georgia. 'I really don't see a problem with it,' he said. 'I enjoy pass blocking and run blocking, too. So it really doesn't matter to me.' RELATED: Check out the late offer that Georgia extended to North Murray ATH Ladd McConkey The post 5-star junior Amarius Mims: His Junior Day' visit to UGA made a big impact appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Perhaps the most well-known NFL draft guru, Mel Kiper Jr., has put out his first 2020 NFL Mock Draft. And he's got two Georgia football standouts pegged to be first-round picks in this year's NFL draft. Kiper Jr. has offensive tackle Andrew Thomas being taken with the No. 8 overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals. Thomas is the first left tackle taken in Kiper's mock draft, ahead of the likes of Alabama's Jedrick Wills and Iowa's Tristan Wirks. 'This is about the range in which we could see a run on offensive tackles, and Thomas, who has played on both the left and right, is No. 1 on my board,' Kiper Jr. wrote. 'This comes down to protecting the franchise quarterback, and Arizona desperately needs help along its line, particularly at left tackle, where starterD.J. Humphriesis a free agent.' Thomas had a stellar career in his time at Georgia, earning All-SEC honors in addition to being named the SEC's top offensive lineman in his 2019 season. Thomas started every game at right tackle as a freshman and spent the last two seasons anchoring the offensive line from the left tackle spot. Related: Georgia football's Andrew Thomas first-round NFL draft lock, Cleveland popular projection Across multiple mock drafts, many see Thomas slotting in at that fringe top-10 range. The Cleveland Browns have also been frequently mentioned as a team that could land Thomas in the draft, as they have a similar need at the left tackle position. The other Bulldog that is currently expected to go in the first round is running back D'Andre Swift. Kiper Jr. has the Miami Dolphins selecting Swift with the No. 26 pick in the draft. Miami has three first-round picks this year, as the Dolphins also pick at No. 5 and No. 18. Swift had a career-year as a junior in 2019, as he ran for 1,218 yards. And he often did it against loaded fronts, given Georgia's passing game woes. In his Georgia career, Swift also flashed as a receiver as he caught 73 passes in his time in Athens. Kiper Jr. also had Swift as his top running back and the only one taken in the first round. Joe Burrow is Kiper's first overall pick, going to the Cincinnati Bengals. 28.6% of D'Andre Swifts total rush attempts in 2019, went for 8 or more yards. Acceleration and the ability to change trajectory in a heartbeat were big contributors for his 6.2 YPC last year. He's going to be a problem iin the NFL. pic.twitter.com/KEVwGmjkOL Jesse Reeves (@JesseReevesFF) January 24, 2020 This year's NFL draft will place in Las Vegas on April 23-25. Thomas and Swift will get a chance to showcase their talents at the NFL draft combine, which is set to begin on Feb. 24 in Indianapolis. Other Bulldogs hoping to impress NFL teams include Jake Fromm, Isaiah Wilson and J.R. Reed. More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation WATCH: Why Broderick Jones is the most important recruit for Georgia football Ladd McConkey: His last-minute recruiting surge just might land him in Athens 5-star signee hints that UGA might finish with No. 1 class Georgia football podcast: Questions persist about 5-star RB Zach Evans Georgia football releases salary for new OC Todd Monken WATCH: Jamie Newman, Richard LeCounte star in latest Georgia football workout video Georgia football podcast: Expect UGA's new-look offense to silence Florida hype Why the addition of 5-star QB Brock Vandagriff could be a great sign for in-state recruiting The post Mel Kiper Jr. lists 2 Georgia football standouts in first round of 2020 NFL Mock Draft appeared first on DawgNation.

News

  • A pilot was killed Saturday morning when a small plane crashed into the side of a north Florida home, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. The family inside the home managed to escape the home without injury, the Sheriff’s Office said. A picture a viewer sent to Action News Jax shows the moment when a plane crashed into the front yard of the Lake City home.In the picture, a man in an orange shirt can be seen running across the yard to try to help the pilot, but he had to retreat because the flames were too extensive. Neighbors watched as a ball of fire flared up in their neighbor’s yard. Kristy Amato said she hears many small planes and often worries about them. “I was sitting on my couch watching a movie with my daughter, and I heard a plane take off like all of the planes take off,' Amato told Action News Jax. “Then I heard a backfire, then a loud kaboom, so I ran out front and there was a plane in my neighbor’s yard on fire.” Columbia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Murray Smith told Action News Jax that after crews put the fire out, the pilot’s body was found underneath debris. “Shortly before 10, we received about 59 911 calls,” Smith told the television station. Smith said he believes the plane was a single-engine aircraft. The National Transportation Safety Board is now working to find out where the Piper PA-32 was going and the name of the pilot who died. Officials believe he was the only person on the plane. “There is an airport nearby, but so many neighbors have come over and gave so many stories, so we’re just going to wait for NTSB to get all of the facts straight,” said Smith. The Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB are investigating what caused the plane to crash, but the investigation likely won’t be complete for months.
  • Three people — including two teens — are in custody and police are looking for a fourth after an armed robbery at a Sandy Springs jewelry store.  Antonio Collier, 40, Antwan DeKarlos Robinson, 17, and a 16-year-old juvenile were arrested after the incident, which happened about 4:20 p.m. Saturday at a business on Abernathy Road near Roswell Road, officials said.  Witnesses to the robbery and the store owner were able to subdue two of the suspects until police arrived, Channel 2 Action News reported.  Three men walked into the business and tried to steal items from the display case, Sandy Springs police spokesman Sgt. Sam Worsham said.  “They had hammers and were breaking everything and grabbed Rolexes,” a witness told Channel 2.  The owner, who was returning from lunch, saw the robbery in progress, the news station reported. He told Channel 2 he hit the robbers over the head and in the face with a bag full of glass pickle jars.  Two bystanders then tackled one of the suspects, Worsham said.  Two other suspects drove off in a car, he said. The incident turned into a police chase that ended in a crash on Glenridge Road.  One of the suspects was arrested at the scene, and the fourth suspect ran away into a wooded area, Worsham said.  Collier, Robinson, and the juvenile are all charged with armed robbery, possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony, felony criminal damage to property, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, obstruction and two counts of battery.  Read the full story from Channel 2 Action News here.
  • Tamra Judge is leaving “The Real Housewives of Orange County” after 12 seasons, the star of the Bravo series said in an Instagram post Saturday. “It’s been a wild 12 years. But it’s time for me to move on,” Judge wrote on Instagram. “I’m sad to go but I’m very excited about my future.” Judge is currently the longest-running full-time cast member in “Housewives” history, People reported. She joined the show during its third season in 2007, according to the magazine. Judge’s announcement comes a day after fellow co-star Vicki Gunvalson also announced she was leaving the reality television show, E! Online reported. Judge said she was looking forward to life after the series. “It’s been a wild ride, and after all these years, I’m looking forward to life away from the cameras,” Judge told People. “I was offered a chance to come back to the show in a limited role, but would prefer to walk away on my own terms.” Judge has been part of the show’s most memorable moments, including the show’s first wine toss, People reported. She also starred in a three-episode spinoff of the series, “Tamra’s OC Wedding,” which documented her June 2013 wedding to Eddie Judge. “I want to thank all the fans who have offered me their support over the years,” she told People. “It’s meant a lot.”
  • Margaret Mackie is not a household name in the music industry, but she’s getting there in a hurry. The 83-year-old dementia patient from Scotland has gone viral on YouTube with her heart-melting duet of “My Way” with her caregiver, Jamie Lee Morley. The pair recorded a single of the song, with proceeds going to Dementia UK and the Alzheimer’s Society. People with elderly parents will have a tough time avoiding the tissues after watching the sweet, sentimental ballad made famous by Frank Sinatra. But Mackie is not ready to face the final curtain just yet. She’s content to keep singing. Morley, a musician who works as a food server at the Northcare Suites Care Home in Edinburgh since it opened last fall, told The Washington Post he was walking past a lounge at the center when he heard a lovely voice singing Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” Morley told the newspaper he thought someone had left the radio on, but then he saw Mackie singing the song in perfect pitch. “I was stunned,” Morley, 31, told the Post. “I’ve loved singing and music since I was a little lad, and I could just tell that Margaret did, too. Her voice is amazing.” Morley and Mackie sang “My Way” at the care home’s Christmas party in December, CBS News reported. A video of the duet was posted to YouTube and quickly went viral. “Every day in work we sing this song together and I do whatever I can to brighten her day and all the other residents,” Morley wrote on YouTube. 'For those close to me will know this was my Grandad’s funeral song who our family sadly lost to Alzheimer’s last year. I’ve never really sang this song, as it’s a classic, but I knew how much Margaret and her family would love it.” Mackie’s family attended the Christmas party and enjoyed the duet, CBS News reported. They are even more delighted with the response to the video. “It has brought her back to life. The dementia was taking a hold of her and she was getting sad with it, but this has given her a new lease of life,” Mackie’s daughter, Mairi Hunter, told the BBC. “It’s quite remarkable how she can remember the lyrics. It just seems to come back to her. “She wants everyone to be happy. People cry when they hear the song and she’ll say ‘No don’t cry, I want you to be happy.’” Meanwhile, the recording of “My Way” is No. 6 on the United Kingdom’s Amazon download chart and at one point reached No. 27 on iTunes’ Top 40 in the U.K., the Post reported. That’s ahead of Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran, the newspaper reported. Morley filmed his excursion with Mackie to the recording studio and released the single and a music video to go with it Dec,. 28, CBS News reported. The music video has had nearly 200,000 views since its release. Mackie, a former whiskey distillery worker, rarely remembers one day from the next, the Post reported. She came to Northcare Suites in October from another care center, Jordan Simpson, manager of Northcare Suites, told the newspaper. While Mackie might be forgetful, she never forgets the lyrics to her favorite songs, Simpson said. “Singing is something that makes Margaret happy. She has a great singing voice,” Simpson told the Post. “And although she has dementia, she has a great memory for song lyrics. She and Jamie sing together most of the day.” Mackie said she wouldn’t mind recording another song, and joked about recording an entire album, the BBC reported. “It’s great seeing your face in all those newspapers,” Mackie told the BBC. “It’s nice to have a busy life like that, every now and then.” The single can be purchased on iTunes here.
  • A FedEx driver in upper Michigan went beyond the call of duty while delivering a package Thursday morning. The delivery man was dropping off a package for Jodi LaFreniere in Manistique around 11:42 a.m., WLUC reported. Instead of just leaving the package on the snowy stoop, the delivery man grabbed a shovel and cleared off the area, the television station reported. “Shout out to this guy! He shoveled my stoop while I was gone,” LaFreniere wrote on Facebook. LaFreniere, who is a kindergarten teacher, told WLUC she received an alert on her phone from her doorbell camera. When she checked the video, she saw the delivery man shoveling off her porch. “I was wondering who was at my house since my fiance was away in Alaska, teaching,” LaFreniere told CNN. LaFreniere hadn’t spoken to the delivery driver -- Melvin J. Marlett, who has worked for FedEx for 23 years -- but said her fiance, Rodney Riesland, has spoken with him since he is usually home when deliveries are made, CNN reported. “There are good people out there who do selfless acts,” LaFreniere told WLUC. LaFreniere decided to post the video to Facebook as a way of saying thanks. “FedEx is proud of the many contributions our team members make to the communities we serve every day,” FedEx spokeswoman Heather Wilson told CNN. “We commend our courier, Mel Marlett, who went above and beyond to help shovel snow for our customer while making a delivery.” Marlett told CNN he thought shoveling the snow was the right thing to do. “I would hope it’s something that anybody would have done,” Marlett told the cable network. “If you take care of your customers, they take care of you.”
  • Sophie Yazzie, the longest-living veteran in Arizona and a member of the Navajo Nation, died Saturday. She was 105. Yazzie died at her Tucson home, according to Facebook posts by Women Warriors and the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services. Yazzie, who was born in Canyon de Chelly in 1914, enlisted in the Army when he was 28 and served during World War II, KPNX reported. She was a Women’s Army Corps Technician Grade 4 and was honorably discharged after the war, according to Navajo Times. Yazzie graduated from Wingate Boarding School in 1934, the website reported. She returned to her alma mater after the war and worked there until she retired at 70, KPNX reported. Wanda Wright, the director of the Arizona Department of Veterans Services, released a message of condolences, KNXV reported. “I am blessed to have met Sophie and hear about her service to our country. Last summer we were honored to be able to present Sophie with Governor Ducey’s Arizona Women Veteran’s Week proclamation,' Wright said. 'We send our deepest condolences to her family and friends, and will always remember her legacy.” Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey tweeted a tribute to Yazzie on Saturday afternoon. She had four children, five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.