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UGA Sports

    DawgNation has four staffers who cover Georgia football from every angle: Beat, live streams, photos, podcasts, recruiting, etc. The 'Cover 4' concept is: 1) Present a topic; 2) Offer a reasoned response; 3) Share a brisk statement on that opinion. 4) Pepper the page with photos for the big picture. For this edition, we discuss the breakout player candidates for the 2020 Georgia football team. DawgNation continues with the 'Cover 4' concept. The focus is always a timely look with each of our guys manning the secondary on a pertinent topic. When will football return? Will it return? Will it return for essentially a studio TV audience? Those are the straws that everyone is grasping for right now. We can't debate that without speculation right now. Not without knowing what life in America will look like after two very important months in the COVID-19 pandemic. What can we debate? What about when the play, who will break out on this Georgia roster? That's something we can champion today. Who will be the Azeez Ojularis on the 2020 Georgia roster? We asked our Cover 4 panel to share one name from each side of the ball in their response to that question. The quick in-and-out game remains. The Cover 4 is designed to come out as quick as everyone is trying to maintain their social distancing these days. Who is your breakout player for offense and breakout for defense on the 2020 Bulldogs? Brandon Adams: Kendall Milton and Lewis Cine The 'why' from 'DawgNation Daily' here: 'UGA typically uses multiple running backs in heavy rotation, and with Zamir White set to potentially take the lead role, the door is open for Milton to shine. Cine is an easy answer as well because of how frequently he impressed in limited duty last season.' Mike Griffith: Kenny McIntosh and Travon Walker The 'why' from 'On the Beat' here: ' McIntosh has the best all-around skills in the backfield. Walker was warming up the second half of last season after overcoming a broken wrist . ' Connor Riley: Jamaree Salyer and Nakobe Dean The 'why' from 'Good Day UGA' here: ' Georgia brought in Newman because he'd be able to go through spring practice and get reps with the offense this spring. Without those reps, it's fair to wonder how he'll look and play early on in the season .' Jeff Sentell: Zamir White and Lewis Cine The Intel here: ' Jermaine Burton, Tre' McKitty and Jared Zirkel are chip-in answers for the new faces who will help UGA score more in the upcoming season. But no need to overthink it. White goes from a third-team role to the No. 1 spot at one of the program's signature positions. With Cine, I don't expect there to be significant drop-off from Georgia's starting safeties of 2019. Cine can be the same type of player on the back end that J.R. Reed was for the 2017 team with significant physicality, length and overall physical ability. COVER 4 on DAWGNATION What is the biggest way that the COVID-19 quarantine will affect the 2020 team? The Cover 4 guys do a 'Mock Draft' of the 2020 Georgia football roster What will the starting OL look like for that first game against Virginia? What would have been the big spring practice storyline by now? The post Who will be the breakout players on the 2020 Georgia football team? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS There's a saying around Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall that 'Kirby is everywhere, and he hears about everything.' It's a reference to how Georgia football coach Kirby Smart makes it a point to know everything going on in and around his football business. By most indications, it's not much if any of an exaggeration. And now Smart figures to hear, see and know even more once practices resume, as hard as that might be to imagine. RELATED: How Kirby and Dabo provided hope college football may return this fall Smart revealed he plans to incorporate the new technology he has learned amid these trying quarantine times of the coronavirus pandemic into his routine as the Bulldogs' leader. 'Maybe you're finding a better way to do something you should have been doing all along,' Smart said on Bulldogs' GameDay this week. 'Definitely innovative, technological ways that maybe coaches weren't comfortable with (before).' There are limits, which Alabama coach Nick Saban has often tested with innovation that pushes the bounds of what's covered by the NCAA. Its a governing body headed by the man who once helped hire Saban at LSU, Mark Emmert. Programs are allowed to provide workouts for players to do at home during this unprecedented sports break. Coaches are allowed two hours of video 'chalk talk' instruction per week. But coaches aren't allowed to supervise workouts. That brings into question Alabama distributing Apple watches to its player where workout data can be recorded and sent back to the school, per a recent Yahoo report. There are a lot of particulars within the interpretation of the current NCAA rule, and what can or can't be proven in terms of what constitutes supervision and by whom. Smart's application of technology, however, makes no attempt to skirt the boundaries of NCAA rules. Instead, Smart looks to make his program more efficient by increasing his ability to multitask. 'I can sit in on a defensive meeting, listen in on an offensive meeting, and still have something up in my office watching tape,' Smart said. 'So it's very unique, and you're able to see more things at once, and that's been a learning curve.' Indeed, Smart disclosed earlier in the week how he's using his time to maximize program development. 'It's not overcoming as much as it is making the best out of it you can,' Smart said of the limitations that have come with social distancing. ' We're trying to visit with more staffs, it's been really unique because professional development is a big part of football so you want to see what other people are doing and visit with other people,' Smart said. 'I've actually found that we've had it wrong all along. We were flying to go see USC or we would go visit another program whether it be Miami and learn football and learn what they're doing. 'Well now, we're able to visit everybody just by way of Zoom. We've probably averaged 3-4 NFL teams, a couple colleges per day just going in the afternoons after we do the work that we need to do. That's been unique for me and I'm able to sit in because I've got a laptop. I've got a phone, you can be in the 2-3 different Zooms at once kinda watching what's going on.' When Smart isn't 'everywhere,' be that listening in on staff meetings, or using videoconference apps to sharpen football knowledge, he's maximizing time at home. 'You don't take that for granted in the profession I'm in, sometimes you don't get this kind of time, and I don't know if I'll ever get it back,' Smart said. 'So I'm trying to be as optimistic and positive as I can and enjoy that time with our family while we pray for others and pray for those at the front line of this thing fighting the fight, day in and day out.' Kirby Smart WSB Bulldogs Game Day ICYMI: @KirbySmartUGA talked with us about adjusting to a unique off-season and the quality family time he's gotten the last few weeks! : Sat at 11am on @wsbtv! #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/m48IVFnd5C Bulldogs Game Day (@WSBbulldogs) April 5, 2020 DawgNation Kirby Smart offseason stories Kirby Smart shares how coronavirus break has led to innovations College football stipulations in progress, per Kirby Smart Kirby Smart reveals 5 players who impressed in workouts 3 takeaways from Kirby Smart beat writer teleconference How CO-VID 19 is affecting Georgia football recruiting Kirby Smart predicts recruits will make decisions sooner than later Why Kirby Smart gave Scott Cochran opportunity Nick Saban wouldn't Smart boosts Dan Lanning over $1 million, new staff salary numbers Quarterbacks affected more than any position during stoppage, per Kirby Kirby Smart's sports stoppage message: Control what you can control D'Wan Mathis family thanks Kirby Smart, Georgia Jamie Newman introducing himself to #Georgia fans with a throw, a song and a dance https://t.co/BbDqBljH92 MikeGriffith32 (@MikeGriffith32) April 5, 2020 The post Georgia football coach Kirby Smart more everywhere than ever before appeared first on DawgNation.
  • It was somewhat surprising to see Georgia jump eight spots to No. 3 in USA Today's recent post-spring preseason Top 25, despite Kirby Smart's Dawgs not having had any spring practice. That leap was based mainly on the program 'cementing its quarterback position with Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman,' and what the paper's Paul Myerberg assumes will be 'a different look to an offense run by a new coordinator in Todd Monken.' As a UGA fan, I like the positive spin, but, really, considering that it's no longer an eye-opener for a sports story to include the phrase ' if and when college football resumes this year,' d oing any sort of updated preseason rankings strikes me as a bit oblivious, venturing into Dance Band on the Titanic territory. It's like they're ignoring the 'elephant' in the room called COVID-19. The question right now isn't will Georgia win at least 10 games in the upcoming season, but will Georgia play at least 10 games? And, if they play at all, will those games have any fans in attendance, and will they take place during the 2020 calendar year? No wonder Smart declined to spec ulat e on the likelihood of college football being played as scheduled this season when he talked with reporters this week. Meanwhile, the University of Georgia announced that summer semester courses will be continue to be online-only. The fall semester still is scheduled to begin on Aug. 20 with 'normal operations,' assuming health conditions allow it. However, w e don't know how things will stand with the pandemic when it comes time for preseason camps to open in August. If students still aren't allowed on campus, and preseason drills are delayed, it's a pretty good guess the start of the season will be pushed back, and the number of games might be cut back (possibly to just conference games). Among the options reportedly under discussion are starting a shorter season in October, starting in November and splitting it over two semesters, or playing a full season starting next March. Of course, if they do play this fall, will fans be allowed to attend? The danger presented by mass gatherings is well-established and, in fact, the terrible COVID-19 toll in the Milan, Italy, area was blamed, at least in part, on a major soccer game that took place there in February (dubbed 'Game Zero'). Even if fans are allowed at Sanford Stadium, will they feel comfortable attending? One UGA fan on Facebook this week probably spoke for quite a few when he said: ' Can't sit shoulder to shoulder until there's a vaccine, not projected until at least early 2021.' If fans are not allowed, the SEC and other conferences might seek to play the games without a crowd, in order to keep the TV money flowing, using testing on the players tokeep out those who are positive for COVID-19. While South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner told the Athletic this week that he could see that happening, other athletic directors don't believe that is a good look for college football especially If the schools aren't allowing students back on campus. It would be very difficult to justify essentially quarantining unpaid athletes for several months in order to put on TV games. Pro sports might be able to negotiate something like that, but, in the view of many, including columnist Stewart Mandel, 'if universities aren't comfortable re-opening their dorms and libraries come September, then there aren't going to be college football games. They can't make the football players stay on campus and practice all week while everyone else is still back home.' If I had to bet right now, I'd say we might see a curtailed season starting a bit late. But, if we're still all hunkering down in a couple of months, I think those odds drop to nearly zero. What I hope to see Let's stay optimistic for the time being, though. Assuming the upcoming season happens (whenever), here are some things I'd definitely like to see from the Dawgs' offense: Improved run-blocking on the offensive line. Georgia's 2019 offense had a lot of problems, but as Smart noted late in the season, they mainly stemmed from an inability to run the ball consistently, and that particularly was true up the middle. Opponents stuffed the box, and the Dawgs' highly touted OL didn't seem able to open up many holes. New OL coach in Matt Luke will be in rebuilding mode after Georgia lost several starters, so there are likely to be a couple of new faces on the line, along with returnees like Trey Hill, Ben Cleveland and Jamaree Salyer. At this point, what sort of line the Dawgs will have remains a major question mark. One of the younger running backs stepping up. Remember how freshman D'Andre Swift became such a valuable third back behind veterans Nick Chubb and Sony Michel in 2017? The Dawgs need that to happen again, to relieve the likely main tandem of Zamir White and James Cook. It could be sophomore Kenny McIntosh, or it might well be 5-star freshman Kendall Milton. Whoever it is, the Dawgs need a third productive back. A turnaround season for Georgia's wide receivers. With the exception of transfer Lawrence Cager (who's now gone), the receivers generally were another weak link in the Dawgs' offense last season. Based on his late-season performances, especially in the Sugar Bowl, exciting rising sophomore George Pickens looks to be a playmaker, but can he turn into as reliable a target as Cager was last year when he was healthy? A successful injury rehab for Dominick Blaylock also would be big, and perhaps Demetris Robertson finally will be more consistent in his senior year. At least one of the incoming freshmen also has a chance to earn major playing time. More of a downfield passing threat. While Jake Fromm did a lot of great things in his time at Georgia (most of them were in his first two seasons), he never really developed into much of a threat to throw deep and loosen up defenses. Assuming transfer Newman winds up starting (as most observers expect), that stands a good chance of changing. In addition to being more elusive than Fromm, able to escape pressure in the pocket and run if need be, Newman excelled at throwing the ball downfield while he was at Wake Forest. Since Monken also is known for using the deep ball in his offenses, this is one area that definitely should see improvement whenever they get to play. What I hope not to see again Quite a few UGA alums and fans were dismayed by a tone-deaf tweet posted by the UGA Athletic Association this past week, touting delivery and takeout options for some of its 'partner' restaurants. Although the heading said, 'SUPPORT LOCAL,' the outlets listed were all chains, including McDonald's and Papa John's. With truly local restaurants in Athens suffering (along with many other local businesses) during the current pandemic, the limiting of the athletic association promotion to just national or regional chains stuck out like a sore thumb. They caught some blowback from it on Twitter, too. Tweeted Aaron Johnson: 'I would've thought a 4-yr university would know the definition of local kinda disappointed in my school.' Carol Franklin tweeted: 'Umm these restaurants are all chains, nothing local here.' Another tweet, from Laura Isabel said: 'Is this for real??? If I had a small business in Athens right now I would be so offended by this. Zero respect.' Dr. Janet Frick replied to the UGAA's tweet with: 'Speaking as a former elected member of the athletic board, this is embarrassing. Please publicize and support local Athens businesses. These chains will all be absolutely fine.' The athletic association promoting takeout from chain outlets, to the exclusion of truly local places, just because they have a business relationship, is indeed disappointing. (And, yes, I realize that some of the chain outlets mentioned in the post may be franchises held by Georgians. Still, as part of a chain, they already have resources that many truly local spots don't have.) If the UGAA really wants to 'SUPPORT LOCAL,' how about showing some community responsibility and promoting takeout from restaurants that actually are local. Come on, folks, read the room! The post What a Dawgs fan hopes to see this fall (besides football actually being played) appeared first on DawgNation.
  • For me, there are really only two seasons. Football season which involves long hours, multiple trips to Athens during the week and usually just eating whatever and whenever I can. Then there is non-football season, which is when I try to do to the things healthy adults do, like eat well and work out on a consistent basis. If we all weren't sheltering in place, this month stretch when spring practice would be going on would classify was football season. In the months of February and January, I was able to eat better, work out more and live a 'better' lifestyle. Of course, working out for me usually just consists of going for a run/jog. Given the constraints of football season, I've never really been able to buy into a gym membership. So when Georgia strength and conditioning coach Scott Sinclair began putting out daily workouts for the general population to do given the closing of so many gyms, I figure I should take him up on it and make an effort to do them. He's a paid professional and one of the top people in his field, even if he's the second-most famous strength coach on Georgia's staff at the moment thanks to the addition of Scott Cochran as the special teams coach. And in all honesty, the daily workouts have become one of the highpoints of my day and something I actively look forward to. It feels somewhat normal to know that between the hours of 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. I'm going to get a workout in some way. At one point back in high school when I was playing football, I was in good shape. But that was a long time and a lot of pounds ago. Ultimately, I've just found it hard to work out as strenuously and seriously as I did because there wasn't some end goal or consequences attached to it. In high school, if I was in terrible shape, I wouldn't play and would puke my guts out in the Georgia heat. Now, if I don't work out I'd just pack on a few extra pounds. And I could live with that. In high school I had a coach Scott Gizinski a world-class human who knew how to push and motivate me in the weight room and in fitness drills. I haven't really had that since, not that Sinclair really serves that function. But if you ask enough football players about what they think of their strength and conditioning coaches, they'll tell you they're incredibly important both on and off the football field. It's part of the reason why Cochran leaving Alabama is being painted as such as significant loss. 'He was a special guy. He doesn't get as much credit as people give him,' Former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa said of Cochran. 'It's going to be hard. Alabama is definitely going to miss him.' Related: Tua Tagovailoa on Scott Cochran: He's been the backbone for the organization' If the Georgia strength and conditioning coach is willing to give out free advice and workouts, I figure that he's giving out pretty sound and solid advice in how to get a workout in. And for the most part, just about anyone is able to do most of the workouts Sinclair is providing. I don't have stretch bands or a full squat rack I'd venture to guess the average person does not either but a lot of these workouts you can do from your kitchen, living room or bedroom. 4/1 Workout. Just mobility today. @GeorgiaFootball #ATD #AttackTheDay pic.twitter.com/gab9V3h6N1 Scott Sinclair (@coach_sinclair) April 1, 2020 3/30 Workout. All you will need is a dumbbell, or something if the same general weight like laundry detergent or a water jug. @GeorgiaFootball #ATD #AttackTheDay pic.twitter.com/9f3jkbAwG4 Scott Sinclair (@coach_sinclair) March 30, 2020 'I know Scott's done a good job of being creative and sharing it with the whole world so anyone that wants to use it can,' Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. 'Scott's done a good job of that.' As for the workouts, the first couple were a big woof. I do a fairly decent job of running a few times a week during the year but that doesn't truly help your upper body, core or even aspects of your lower body. Beyond the puddles of sweat and the general soreness that came when I woke up the next morning, I could tell that I was very much not in shape when this whole thing began. Sinclair will post workouts Monday through Friday and he's provided a lot of variety among. Some days you'll be doing stretches to improve mobility and flexibility. Other days you'll be doing cardio. All the workouts can be done from the comfort of your own home or just outside of it. Over the past few weeks though, the workouts have gotten more manageable. I definitely feel that I'm not struggling as much to get through them as I was during that first week. Except on Fridays. Those always seem to be the most grueling workouts for me. Maybe it's because it's the end of the week, but more so because I probably have two chicken biscuits for breakfast, as I've usually done since I was in high school. Might have to move that tradition to Saturday if I'm going to continue to do these workouts. I'm certainly not an expert in the field of fitness, but I do feel I'm in better shape than when the coronavirus first brought our world to a grinding halt. And Sinclair is a huge reason for that. Water jug workout donezo coach pic.twitter.com/4o9lmeC5DP Connor Riley (@Kconnorriley) March 26, 2020 But perhaps the biggest benefit to these workouts is that I'm able to work them into a daily routine. I'm a huge creature of habit and doing things the same way as often as I can. Having these workouts and doing them around the same daily time helps make these days more manageable. It's extremely comforting to know that I'll be able to have some sort of routine to complete at some point during the day, even in a time when nothing feels normal. Sincalir isn't letting his Twitter workouts impacting his actual day job. He's still communicating and providing workouts to the Georgia football players. While he can't monitor or enforce them, he's largely making them applicable so that players can do them at home, given they like so many other people can't access a gym to do them. 'So what Scott's able to do is say, Hey if you don't have a place to go, and what we're finding out is not many of our guys do, or you don't have a weight set, you don't have a good place to go work out, here are innovative ways to get the same thing that you need without having to go to a workout facility, a training facility, because so many of them are shut down around them that it really makes them tough,'' Smart said. Defense where y'all at ??? @GeorgiaFootball @coach_sinclair #ATD #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/gxqjlnOcDS Nolan Smith II (@SmithNoland2) March 20, 2020 Related: Nolan Smith not letting spring practice shutdown slow him down I sincerely hope Sinclair continues to provide these workouts to the public as long as the COVID-19 disruption lasts. I can't expect him to give out free workout tips when he's got a full team of guys to train and get in elite shape when this ends, especially given that the teams that are best able to get their guys in shape will have a huge head start to the 2020 season. But to this point, I just want to sincerely thank Sinclair for what he's done. At the very least, he's shown a number of people a variety of workouts they're able to do from home and help them stay in shape. But more than that, his daily workout videos have become normal and a part of regular life. And I think that's something a lot of people could really use in these trying times. So thank you coach Sinclair. I hope your daily workouts continue and make me regret that Friday chicken biscuit for breakfast. More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation 9-year-old fan crafts UGA football cards to make others smile WATCH: Jamie Newman shows off skills with wild trick shot throw How will the COVID-19 slowdown affect the development of the 2020 Georgia football roster? WATCH: How Kirby Smart, Dabo Swinney provided hope college football returns this fall Georgia recruiting: Lists for elite OLs Amarius Mims and Micah Morris highlight week Kirby Smart details how coronavirus restrictions are leading to innovations for Georgia football DawgNation staffers draft their fantasy teams using the 2020 Georgia football roster The post Riley: What I've learned about doing Scott Sinclair's workouts appeared first on DawgNation.
  • You're probably reading this at home. That's an easy guess at the moment because just about everyone's at home all the time these days. You don't need me to tell you why. It's an unprecedented event. We're caring for each other by staying away from each other. It's undoubtedly a noble cause, but its nobility doesn't stop it from, at times, feeling a bit tedious. Our restlessness to return to normal, and our anxiety about whether 'normal' still exists is a real problem that's only going to grow as more time passes. The truth is despite the occasional viral photo of too many people in too confined a space folks are, for the most part, complying with the call to socially distance themselves. And they're doing it for the right reasons, but this won't remain true forever. People will eventually need to see some evidence that the extraordinary steps they've taken have counted for something, and they'll need to have some certainty about when it's all going to end. That's where football comes into play. Former Georgia offensive line coach and newly minted Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman made a radio appearance this week and was asked by the host whether he'd considered the possibility there would be no football season this year, and Pittman's answer perfectly captures the sentiment of many fans. 'I don't know if my mind won't let me think about it but no. We have to stay safe, we have to do the right thing, the country needs college football,' Pittman said. 'So, no, I haven't thought about it. Obviously, we'll do whatever they tell us to do but we'll also be ready whenever they tell us to go, but no, that would be a sad situation and, of course, so is this virus, I understand I'm not comparing the two by any stretch, but no, I haven't really thought about it.' Credit to Pittman for not minimizing the disease while, also, not minimizing the need for society to eventually recover from the disease. At some point, we will need to start living again, and rebuild our economy again. That probably can't be done until we do something to mitigate against the illness that's spreading across the globe, and that's what the shelter-in-place orders are for. Furthermore, the belief that the light at the end of this dark tunnel is a glowing stadium filled with football could be a powerful motivator over the next few weeks to convince people to stringently follow the advice of health experts and the orders from the government. Alabama governor Kay Ivey seems to understand that. She mentioned football when announcing a stay-at-home order for her state. 'If you're eager for a fall football season coming up, what we're doing today gives us a better chance of being able to do that,' Ivey said. It's the kind of thing you'd expect a governor from deep in the heart of SEC Country to say, and it's also probably the best message the residents of her state could hear. Enduring unpleasantness now is made easier by the thought of happier times in the not-too-distant future, and nothing makes most of us happier than college football. With that in mind, it was nice to hear Clemson coach Dabo Swinney say this week that he believes the season will start on time and go on as planned. 'That's the best-case scenario, and I think that's what's going to happen. I don't have any doubt. I have zero doubt that we're going to be playing and the stands are going to be packed,' Swinney said. Swinney's obviously not an expert on infectious diseases, and, to some, his optimism might seem misplaced. But his prediction, even if it turns out to be too ambitious, is still probably better for our collective mood than the onslaught of doomsday projections that aren't exactly in short supply these days. For instance, former Kansas State president John Wefald said Friday on the Paul Finebaum show that the season would be canceled unless a vaccine is in place by July. This statement is unhelpful and also probably incorrect. It's unlikely a vaccine could be created so quickly, but some experts have laid out plans for safely easing coronavirus restrictions that don't necessarily rely on a vaccine. Will America be able to successfully monitor the spread of the disease and treat those who have it well enough that we can confidently congregate in crowds together again this fall? That remains to be seen, but assuming we won't is a recipe for a malaise that will have real consequences. In other words, there's no guarantee that we'll have college football this year, but Pittman is right to say that we need it. We need the thought of it to motivate us to do what's right in the present, and to help rebuild our economy once all of this is done. The post Opinion: Former UGA assistant says the country needs college football' and he's right appeared first on DawgNation.
  • One young UGA superfan has found a creative way to spend some of his new-found free time to make others smile, while also displaying his passion for the Bulldogs. Cole Cochran, a 9-year-old boy from Grayson, Ga., has been making homemade baseball cards of Georgia football players from scratch. 'I've always been a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs, but I really started paying attention much closer attention this past season,' Cochran said in a phone interview with DawgNation. For every UGA game last fall, Cochran and his father sat together on the couch in Georgia gear to cheer for the Bulldogs on TV. Cole saw that his dad loved the UGA so much, that he wanted to make him some cards. The project actually launched in mid-February, but it accelerated within the last few weeks due to staying around home for the pandemic. The cards have proven to be popular among his siblings and extended family. 'I had NFL cards,' Cole said. 'I realized, Hey Dad likes college football,' so I decided to make cards for him as a surprise.' Here's how Cochran's manufacturing process works: He picks out the players, searches for their pictures on the internet, and then prints them out to cut them out for the cards. He also researches all the info that he writes on the back of the cards. He has made 10 UGA cards so far, along with some players on other teams such as LSU quarterback Joe Burrow. He plans to make 'a lot' more for the Bulldogs. 'I guess I will need to buy some new ink for the printer,' said his father, Brian Cochran, who became a Georgia fan after watching his former high school classmate (quarterback David Greene) play for the Bulldogs. The younger Cochran says his favorite player is running back D'Andre Swift: 'He's really good. He's like the Herschel Walker of 2019.' Story continues below the pictures And what did he think of last season? 'Well, there are some things that could've (gone better). I've been thinking about that one pass in the LSU game to Dominick Blaylock. That one was way off. It could've been a big play. 'And in the Georgia Tech game, their defense was good. If our defense wasn't great, we might've lost that game. We had a good season (last year), but it could've been better.' Cole has never been to a Georgia football game, but hopes to do so this upcoming season. 'My dad got tickets to a game before, but he took my mom. And she's a Notre Dame fan.' Know any other kids who are using their free time to express their passion for UGA football? Please send an email to carvell@ajc.com The post 9-year-old fan crafts UGA football cards to make others smile appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Jamie Newman joining the Georgia football program in January brought a lot of excitement, given some of the potential he showed at Wake Forest. Getting a quarterback that flashed some exciting tools and pairing him with the likes o George Pickens, Zamir White and a number of other talented playmakers could give the Georgia offense a boost it didn't have a season ago. Newman didn't and won't get a chance to showcase these skills on the Georgia practice fields this spring, but he did give fans a taste of what he could on Saturday. The new Georgia quarterback posted a video of himself showing his touch and accuracy, by making a trick shot throw that went over a pool and into a basketball hoop. It's that kind of accuracy that made Newman such a coveted option on the graduate transfer market. 'Soon as I stop having fun with it I'll be done with it.' #GODSPLAN #STAYHOME #GODAWGS pic.twitter.com/JVsOAhBnU2 Jamie Newman (@jlmn12_) April 4, 2020 Newman threw for 26 touchdowns at Wake Forest a season ago while also rushing for 574 yards. In addition to bringing in Newman, the Georgia offense will now be led by offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Todd Monken. He spent last year as the offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns. Kirby Smart, in speaking with reporters this week, did acknowledge that the cancellation of spring practices will likely disrupt the quarterbacks the most. 'It's going to affect that quarterback more than anything in my opinion,' Smart said. 'There's no substitute for reps, I feel, and you can't argue that we're not going to lose reps. We're losing reps.' Related: Kirby Smart: Football stoppage will affect quarterbacks more than anything' The Georgia head coach did acknowledge though that Newman has already put in some real work with Georgia's skill players. 'He got to throw a lot with those guys in their own time that they elected. He did a good job,' Smart said. 'They were able to do some 7on7s, unstructured on their own with the team members.' 'They did a good job with that but you know that's no substitute for what they would have gotten in spring ball.' As for when a return to the practice field for Newman and the rest of the Bulldogs might be returning to team activities, the SEC announced that all in-person activities were suspended through May 31. It also announced that teams could hold virtual meetings through teleconferencing apps like Zoom for up to four hours a week. More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation How will the COVID-19 slowdown affect the development of the 2020 Georgia football roster? WATCH: How Kirby Smart, Dabo Swinney provided hope college football returns this fall Georgia recruiting: Lists for elite OLs Amarius Mims and Micah Morris highlight week Kirby Smart details how coronavirus restrictions are leading to innovations for Georgia football DawgNation staffers draft their fantasy teams using the 2020 Georgia football roster Georgia coach Kirby Smart shares glimpse into college football's future health protocols WATCH: Georgia football is still chasing those Rose Bowl feelings The post WATCH: Jamie Newman shows off skills with wild trick shot throw appeared first on DawgNation.
  • After several rounds of voting, we have a clear winner in the top moment of the Kirby Smart era of Georgia Football. Sony Michel's game-winning touchdown run in the Rose Bowl earned another easy victory, earning 94.9 percent of the vote in the final round. In each of its five matchups, the Rose Bowl walk-off got at least 92 percent of the vote. This was the expected outcome from the beginning of the tournament, but maybe not quite in the dominant fashion that it ended up winning in. In the video below, we recap the bracket but also take a look at the Georgia program since that magic moment and how it can get back to that level. That touchdown run and the subsequent celebration afterward is starting to get farther and farther away in the rearview mirror. The freshmen on that team are now seniors. The starting quarterback that day for Georgia, Jake Fromm, is set to be selected in this month's NFL draft. Mel Tucker, Georgia's then defensive coordinator, has accepted two different head coaching jobs since the 54-48 win over Oklahoma. Related: Georgia football podcast: Appreciating Sony Michel's underrated UGA career It's safe to say that while the last two seasons have produced a number of good moments as well as two more division titles there hasn't been a moment that remotely approached the Michel touchdown run. The Bulldogs though can change that in the 2020 season. They once again figure to be one of the best teams in the country, and if things break right, they could find themselves in the College Football Playoff again. To do that they'll have to play and probably beat Alabama on the road in the third week of the season with a new quarterback who didn't get a chance to go through spring practice. And it should also be noted that one of the two College Football Playoff semifinal venues for this season is once again the Rose Bowl. You'd have to figure a number of Georgia fans would be hoping to get back to that venue, given what happened the last time the Bulldogs played there. More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation How will the COVID-19 slowdown affect the development of the 2020 Georgia football roster? WATCH: How Kirby Smart, Dabo Swinney provided hope college football returns this fall Georgia recruiting: Lists for elite OLs Amarius Mims and Micah Morris highlight week Kirby Smart details how coronavirus restrictions are leading to innovations for Georgia football DawgNation staffers draft their fantasy teams using the 2020 Georgia football roster Georgia coach Kirby Smart shares glimpse into college football's future health protocols The post WATCH: Georgia football is still chasing those Rose Bowl feelings appeared first on DawgNation.
  • DawgNation has four staffers who cover Georgia football from every angle: Beat, live streams, photos, podcasts, recruiting, etc. The 'Cover 4' concept is: 1) Present a topic; 2) Offer a reasoned response; 3) Share a brisk statement on that opinion. 4) Pepper the page with photos for the big picture. For this edition, we discuss how we think the COVID-19 health crisis will eventually affect the development of the 2020 Georgia football team. DawgNation continues with the 'Cover 4' concept. The focus is always a timely look with each of our guys manning the secondary on a pertinent topic. Is anything football pertinent right now? Probably not. That said, this is still a football website. COVID-19 is a very real threat facing the world right now. It will be that way for many more months. But eventually, the games will return. Football will be back. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney certainly thinks so in his public comments this week. When it does, how will the global pandemic and the quarantine policies have shaped the eventual development of the 2020 Georgia football roster? That's the Cover 4 topic for today. The quick in-and-out game remains. The Cover 4 is designed to come out as quick as everyone is trying to maintain their social distancing these days. What is the biggest effect the COVID-19 slowdown will have on the development of the 2020 Georgia football team? Brandon Adams: The physical condition of the players The 'why' from 'DawgNation Daily' here: 'A few guys are bound to show up this summer in less than pristine physical condition. However, the hope among UGA fans is that the Bulldogs will have less of that to deal with than some of their rivals.' Mike Griffith: Offensive simplicity The 'why' from 'On the Beat' here: ' It was going to be pretty basic, anyway, with a new QB and at least three impact receivers (and potentially two impact tight ends) added to the roster. Now, even more simple, and even more will run through the QB. ' Connor Riley: Jamie Newmans rhythm The 'why' from 'Good Day UGA' here: ' Georgia brought in Newman because he'd be able to go through spring practice and get reps with the offense this spring. Without those reps, it's fair to wonder how he'll look and play early on in the season .' Jeff Sentell: The development of the early enrollees, first-year players and second-year guys will be stunted. The Intel here: 'Everybody gets reps at a Georgia practice. That time on the practice field is precious. Regardless of depth chart standing. But those Bulldogs will not get those spring practices back. The veterans will adjust, but that quicker learning curve for the early enrollees will be stunted. The same goes for those 2019 signees that didn't get the chance to go through a spring practice. George Pickens will be a sophomore in 2020 and will have yet to go through a spring practice at Georgia. When the green light goes up, the focus will be a crash course of getting the top 50 players on the roster ready to go. Those other 35 scholarship guys won't get the same attention and be as well-prepared to play early in a pinch. COVER 4 on DAWGNATION The Cover 4 guys do a 'Mock Draft' of the 2020 Georgia football roster What will the starting OL look like for that first game against Virginia? What would have been the big spring practice storyline by now? The post How will the COVID-19 slowdown affect the development of the 2020 Georgia football roster? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Kirby Smart is as measured of a public speaker as there is in the collegiate coaching ranks. That's likely one reason why Smart waited so long to make any public comments after the coronavirus outbreak. Smart held a teleconference for his beat writers last Tuesday, answering questions that had been sent in before the call took place. RELATED: Kirby shares glimpse into college football future So when Smart discussed potential provisions that could be in place when college football returns on Wednesday, it was noteworthy. It wasn't what Smart said about taking players' temperatures and potential quarantine activity so much as the fact he was willing to table the discussion at all during his appearance on the Paul Finebaum Show. It was a telltale sign that the return of college football is indeed being discussed by the experts behind the scenes in the industry. College football fans needed good ,news after Kirk Herbstreit cast doubt earlier in the spring. Herbstreit is arguably the top college football analyst. His accuracy on football topics is likely why so many were upset when he said,'I'll be shocked if we have NFL football this fall, if we have college football. I'll be so surprised if that happens.' Herbsreit was merely sharing his opinion, based on all the information he had in front of him at the time. But as is the way of today's world, the messenger can come under attack if the message is not popular. Regardless, Herbstreit's comments because of his football credibility made the sports world stop and consider just how awful things would be without the game. The pendulum swung the other way on Friday, when Clemson coach Dabo Swinney held his press conference. ' I have zero doubt that we're going to be playing,' Swinney said at one point. Also, Swinney's T.I.G.E.R.S. acronym: 'This Is Gonna End Real Soon.' Georgia football fans certainly hope so, and especially this season. The Bulldogs are among the top four or five contenders to win the College Football Playoff Championship, returning the top defense in the nation. Those topics, along with several others, were touched on in this special Friday Night 'Light' edition of On The Beat: Ingles On The Beat DawgNation Kirby Smart offseason stories Kirby Smart shares how coronavirus break has led to innovations College football stipulations in progress, per Kirby Smart Kirby Smart reveals 5 players who impressed in workouts 3 takeaways from Kirby Smart beat writer teleconference How CO-VID 19 is affecting Georgia football recruiting Kirby Smart predicts recruits will make decisions sooner than later Why Kirby Smart gave Scott Cochran opportunity Nick Saban wouldn't Smart boosts Dan Lanning over $1 million, new staff salary numbers Quarterbacks affected more than any position during stoppage, per Kirby Kirby Smart's sports stoppage message: Control what you can control D'Wan Mathis family thanks Kirby Smart, Georgia The post WATCH: How Kirby Smart, Dabo Swinney provided hope college football returns this fall appeared first on DawgNation.

News

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