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UGA Sports

    ATHENS Kirby Smart sends the same message every year, that the best players will play, regardless of class. That was evident last season when Georgia led the nation with three FWAA Freshmen All-American selections. There are young Bulldogs are starting the year at the head of the class once again. Georgia is one of three schools with four freshman players on the FWAA Freshman Player of the Year watch list, matching SEC rivals Tennessee and Alabama in that regard. Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence was the FWAA Freshman of the Year last season, garnering that honor before he beat Alabama in the College Football Playoff Championship Game. Tailback Zamir White and receiver George Pickens are two of the 37 offensive players on the watch list released on Friday. White, coming off ACL tears in each knee the past two years, is also a candidate for the FWAA Most Inspirational Player of the Year Award. Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez won that award last season. WATCH: Zamir White runs through another linebacker The Bulldogs have two players among the 37 defensive and special teams players on the watch list, outside linebackers Azeez Ojulari an Nolan Smith. Georgia might have had a fifth player on the watch list, but inside linebacker Nakobe Dean has been hobbled by a high ankle sprain. The FWAA Freshman Watch List will be updated weekly. The three Bulldogs on last year's FWAA Freshman All-American Team were: Defensive lineman Jordan Davis Offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson Offensive lineman Cade Mays Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm led the FWAA Freshman All-American Team in 2017, and was joined by left tackle Andrew Thomas. Kicker Rodrigo Blankenship was a member of the 2016 FWAA freshman team, and so was receiver Demetris Robertson. Robertson, however, was at Cal when he was recognized. Georgia RB Zamir White is a leading candidate for the Shaun Alexander Inspirational Freshman of the Year Award after recovering from ACL tears that prematurely ended the past two seasons. Read our full story here: https://t.co/HFXqBBz6OW (Photo: Steven Colquitt/UGA) pic.twitter.com/vALXc2DfdI Freshman Focus (@FocusFreshman) August 20, 2019 FWAA Freshman All-American Watch List SEC Bo Nix-QB-Auburn Owen Pappoe-OLB-Auburn Kenyon Green-OL-Texas A&M DeMarvin Leal-DL-Texas A&M George Pickens-WR-Georgia Zamir White (RS)-RB-Georgia Nolan Smith-LB-Georgia Azeez Ojulari (RS)-LB-Georgia Matt Corral (RS)-QB-Ole Miss Jerrion Ealy-RB-Ole Miss Trey Knox-WR-Arkansas Greg Brooks Jr.-DB Arkansas John Emery Jr.-RB-LSU Derek Stingley Jr.-CB-LSU Cade York-Kicker-LSU Wanya Morris-OL-Tennessee Darnell Wright-OL-Tennessee Henry To'o To'o-LB-Tennessee Warren Burrell-CB-Tennessee Evan Neal-OL-Alabama Will Reichard-Kicker-Alabama DJ Dale-DL-Alabama Justin Eboigbe-DL-Alabama Zacch Pickens-DL-South Carolina Jared Casey-LB-Kentucky Kaiir Elam-DB-Florida Big 12 Trejan Bridges-WR-Oklahoma Spencer Sanders (RS)-QB-Oklahoma State Tyler Lacy (RS)-DL-Oklahoma State Jordan Whittington-RB-Texas Jake Smith-WR-Texas Ayodele Adeoye (RS)-LB-Texas Breece Hall-RB-Iowa State Will McDonald (RS)-LB-Iowa State Pac-12 Jayden Daniels-QB-Arizona State Jalen 'Boobie' Curry-WR-Arizona Drake Jackson-DL-USC Sean Rhyan-OL-UCLA Dimitri Stanley (RS)-WR-Colorado Mark Perry-DB-Colorado Mycah Pittman-WR-Oregon Kayvon Thibodeaux-DL-Oregon Verone McKinley III (RS)-DB-Oregon Cameron Williams-DB-Washington Ryan Sanborn-Punter-Stanford Ben Lennon-Punter-Utah Big Ten Noah Cain-RB-Penn State Justin Shorter (RS)-WR-Penn State Rasheed Walker (RS)-OL-Penn State Zach Charbonnet-RB-Michigan Daxton Hill-DB-Michigan Wan'Dale Robinson-WR-Nebraska David Bell-WR-Purdue George Karlaftis-DL-Purdue Garrett Wilson-WR-Ohio State Jaelen Gill (RS)-WR-Ohio State Cameron Williams-LB-Indiana Julian Barnett-DB-Michigan State ACC Sam Howell-QB-North Carolina Jarren Williams (RS)-QB-Miami Zion Nelson-OL-Miami Nolan Groulx-WR-Wake Forest Frank Ladson Jr.-WR-Clemson KJ Henry (RS)-DL-Clemson Zonovan Knight-RB-NC State Payton Wilson (RS)-LB-NC State Savion Jackson-DL-NC State Jowon Briggs-DL-Virginia Dontae Lucas-OL-Florida State Jaleel McRae-LB-Florida State Akeem Dent-DB-Florida State Independent Jarrett Patterson (RS)-OL-Notre Dame Jacob Lacey-DL-Notre Dame Jay Bramblett-Punter-Notre Dame The post Zamir White among 4 Georgia players on FWAA Freshman watch list appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Maybe someone thought it was Saturday. Maybe someone thought that Florida and Miami played on Friday. But someone made a mistake from the main University of Florida Twitter account. On Friday morning, the account sent out a tweet that just said Game day.' The problem with the tweet is that Friday is not in fact a game day for Florida. The Gators do not start their season until Saturday. Game day. FLORIDA (@UF) August 23, 2019 As the internet tends to do, it had a lot of fun with this bad tweet. Gonna be a loooooong season for the Gators yet again @UFBarstool https://t.co/ggStjvwWqj Barstool UGA (@ugabarstool) August 23, 2019 pic.twitter.com/jFl74x5aXl Sharks with rabies (@thejasonkirk) August 23, 2019 hell yes tweetin from the future https://t.co/54mbCRwpT2 BUM CHILLUPS (@edsbs) August 23, 2019 Day -1, Week 0 https://t.co/Tg7WP8z7UB Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) August 23, 2019 Oh, we tailgating tailgating then? https://t.co/QmLSXU9NQu Thomas Goldkamp (@ThomasGoldkamp) August 23, 2019 Ummmm this is awkward https://t.co/0re4mecBu9 UGA Supporters (@Support_UGA) August 23, 2019 pic.twitter.com/nQhPj4Yfat Bryan Nguyen (@bryan_nguyen) August 23, 2019 Time to get spanked https://t.co/0l2lisRbtF Bryce Dixon (@dixonbryce1) August 23, 2019 It should be noted that the Florida soccer team does have a game on Friday. But with the start of the college football season just one day away, it seems safe to assume that everyone is focused on that event. It's been a rough offseason for the Florida program, as a number of players have transferred out of the program. Multiple members of Florida's 2019 signing class also failed to qualify academically. This all comes after Florida head coach Dan Mullen seemed to take some not-so-subtle shots at Kirby Smart and the Georgia football program. Related: Paul Finebaum says Kirby Smart won the day and maybe won the war' over Dan Mullen Georgia has beaten Florida the past two times the teams have met, as the Bulldogs won 42-7 in 2017 and 36-17 in 2018. The two teams meet once again in Jacksonville, Fla., this year, as the game is scheduled for a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff on Nov. 2. The game will air on CBS. Florida's game against Miami is set for a 7 p.m. ET kickoff on Saturday. The game will air on ESPN. As always, it's worth remembering rule No. 1 when it comes to Twitter: don't tweet. More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation WATCH: Kirby Smart explains benefit of having multiple 1,000-yard rushers Georgia football practice: D'Andre Swift jersey watch (red) in full effect Georgia WR Lawrence Cager bought in, ready to attack every day' Kirby Smart pleased with Jermaine Johnson's jump' during fall camp 5-star LB commit Mekhail Sherman gets some long-awaited good news Long South Carolina DB Bralyn Oliver becomes first member of 2021 class Small change to UGA's football helmet Edgy Georgia football coach Kirby Smart breaks down cornerback battles The post Official Florida Twitter account gets roasted for mistaken Game day' tweet appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football graduate transfer Lawrence Cager is the first to admit it has been quite a transition these past few months of his life. 'Obviously, it's two different sides of the totem pole, Miami and Athens,' said Cager, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound receiver who led the Hurricanes in touchdown catches and yards per reception last season. RELATED: Fascinating story of how Lawrence Cager ended up at UGA 'But I love it here. It's a great place and the team welcomed me with open arms, (and) Coach Smart welcomed me with open arms. I'm just happy to be here.' It was a tough 2018 season for Miami under former coach Mark Richt, particularly with an unsettled quarterback situation. RELATED: Fire and Ice, Cager compares Mark Richt to Kirby Cager knew that coming to Georgia he wouldn't have that issue with third-year starting quarterback Jake Fromm under center. WATCH: Lawrence Cager remembers Kirby Smart recruiting call He also knew what he was getting in an offensive coordinator in recently promoted James Coley. Coley was Miami's offensive coordinator Cager's freshman year and recruited him to the Hurricanes. 'Honestly, I didn't even look at the receiver situation,' said Cager, who has been sharing first team reps in the WR rotation throughout fall camp. 'Coach Coley and Coach Smart called me as soon as I put my name in the portal.' Some thought Cager might declare himself eligible for the NFL draft. Cager is already on the Senior Bowl radar. But Cager decided a chance to win a championship at Georgia and showcase his abilities more was the better way to go. 'I put my trust in those guys 10 times out of 10,' Cager said. 'Coach Coley when he coached me at Miami, and Coach Smart recruiting me heavy when I was being recruited by Alabama, so I just trusted them and we'll see how it goes.' It is well documented that Georgia will be relying on new and inexperienced receivers this season. Two of the three Bulldogs' receivers drafted into the NFL were underclassmen, and then leading returning receiver Jeremiah Hollomon transferred to Florida International this summer. RELATED: Breaking down Georgia's 8 transfers this offseason Coley said earlier in fall camp that Cager has been a good fit for Georgia on and off the field. 'Just coming to work every day and enjoying the atmosphere of what we have and being positive with learning and the learning curve,' Coley said. 'The big thing that he brings, he brings experience. So where you sit back and you say, well, I wonder if this guy's going to make this play in a particular time'. 'Veteran guys, you've seen it happen and you know that they've been those spotlights.' And, Coley said, he knows what Cager will do out of the spotlight. 'Knowing him a little bit further, working with him for a full year,' Coley said, 'you knew what type of character kid he is.' Indeed, Cager has done his best to use his experience to help lead in the receivers room. Senior Tyler Simmons, with nine catches last season, is UGA's leading returning receiver. 'From a receiver room aspect, we came in with the mindset, myself, Tyler, all the receivers, especially me and Tyler being seniors , that it's on us,' Cager said. 'Whether it's making plays on the perimeter or special teams, a long as we have that mindset that it's on us and we come with that mindset that it's on us, then we can attack every day like it's a game.' Georgia football fall camp D'Andre Swift jersey watch in full effect Versatile Cade Mays elevating his game, puts rough recruitment behind New DC Dan Lanning impressing early in fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof The post Georgia WR Lawrence Cager bought in, ready to attack every day' appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football players have put training camp behind them and are working on Vanderbilt, precisely how Kirby Smart had planned. The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs play at Vanderbilt at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 31 in Nashville, their long-term goal a national championship, but the immediate focus on the Commodores. The good news at practice on Thursday was preseason All-American and Heisman Trophy candidate D'Andre Swift back in a red practice jersey. RELATED: Kirby Smart plays off D'Andre Swift jersey color This is where Smart would roll his eyes and tell the media that way too much is being made of what color jersey Swift is wearing in practices. But this is also where many Georgia fans, aware of Swift's injury history and his importance to the teams' title hopes, want to know more. Swift was nagged by injuries last season after undergoing sports hernia surgery in January of 2018. Swift was limited in spring drills, and then things got worse at South Carolina last season when Swift suffered a foot injury. Once healthy last season, Swift was seemingly unstoppable in November, averaging more than 9 yards per carry during a stretch of wins over Florida, Kentucky and Auburn. Georgia was arguably playing the best football in the nation last November, and many are expecting big things from Swift this season. So when Swift was late coming out for practice on Aug. 13, getting extra treatment on the heels of Scrimmage One, per NFL scouts, there were concerns. Had Swift aggravated the groin injury? Was it something else? Or, was it nothing. When Swift was back at practice later in the week, showing no-ill effects or wearing any added braces or tape, all seemed well. Then came Wednesday's practice this week, when Swift was in a black practice jersey. The non-contact jersey could have been as simple as making sure Swift didn't take any necessary hits in thud drills. But then, there might also have been more to the story and still might be as it has been a very physical fall camp and Swift saw hitting action in Scrimmage One like anyone else. Either way, Smart was saying when asked about Swift's non-contact jersey on Wednesday, playing off the question by claiming he was merely trying to distract the media. Speculation at this point isn't worth much, as even if Swift is nursing a bruised shoulder or sternum there's no reason to believe he couldn't be ready to play by Aug. 31. And, if for some reason the injury proves more serious, Georgia has tremendous talent and depth in the offensive backfield. Senior tailback Brian Herrien, who has been first through the drill work of late, was actually more effective running the ball in the Sugar Bowl than Swift. RELATED: Kirby Smart explains benefit of multiple 1,00o-yard rushers Further, sophomore James Cook has had a tremendous offseason of growth, drawing consistent praise from his hard-to-please head coach. Zamir White's comeback from ACL surgery last August has been well-documented, creating a sense of guarded optimism around the program that the No. 1 back in the 2018 signing class might indeed make a significant impact. Finally, incoming freshman tailback Kenny McIntosh has proven his skills, drawing praise from Smart after a strong Scrimmage Two performance. Other reported observations included Cade Mays continuing to work with the first-team offensive line, and inside linebacker Nakobe Dean (ankle) and Jamaree Salyer (lower leg) continue to be out of practice. Georgia football fall camp Versatile Cade Mays elevating his game, puts rough recruitment behind New DC Dan Lanning impressing early in fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof The post Georgia football practice: D'Andre Swift jersey watch (red) in full effect appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS, Ga., Last year, Georgia was one of four teams with multiple 1,000-yard rushers. But in the past two seasons, Georgia is the only team to accomplish said feat twice. Across the past two seasons, Georgia has produced four different 1,000-yard rushers. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel did in 2017, while Elijah Holyfield and D'Andre Swift did so in 2018. Swift returns for his junior season in 2019 with lofty expectations. But throughout fall camp, his availability has been uncertain. Swift was seen in a black non-contact jersey at practice on Wednesday. Swift had offseason surgery on both his groins prior to the start of the 2018 season that slowed the start to his sophomore campaign. The dynamic running back didn't top 100 yards in a game until the Florida contest, which was Georgia's eighth game of the season All of this along with the fact that Swift had single-digit carries in 5 of his 14 games as a sophomore means that Georgia will once again be relying on a stable of running backs. Related: Georgia football coach Kirby Smart makes light of D'Andre Swift in non-contact jersey The Bulldogs have four other scholarship backs they can turn to in Brian Herrien, Zamir White, James Cook and Kenny McIntosh. Herrien is expected to take on a much bigger role this season following Holyfield's departure for the NFL. As a junior, he ran for 295 yards on 50 carries. As for White, he's been the most talked-about Georgia player this offseason, given his injury history and status as the No. 1 ranked running back in the 2018 class. Georgia coach Kirby Smart was asked about balancing everything between his running backs. And he gave a very detailed answer on the mater. 'I want success and I want success for each one of those players. If each one of those backs has success, could you end up where nobody gets 1,000 and three or four guys get close to 1,000,' Smart said. 'A defense dictates sometimes what we do offensively because we check to certain things so you can't control it. It helps [when] you have guys who are kind of the bell cows, but I'm not past playing four backs.' Under Smart, Georgia's offenses have always had balanced rushing attacks in terms of carries. The most carries a running back had in a game in either of the last two seasons was 20, as Holyfield hit that number against Florida in 2018 and Chubb did it against South Carolina in 2017. The Georgia head coach also gave a detailed answer on where things stand with Cook. The sophomore running back played sparingly as a freshman despite being the No. 41 overall player in the 2018 recruiting class. He also happens to be the younger brother of Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. James Cook looks noticeably different this fall, as he's put on some serious muscle. And per Smart, it doesn't seem like the extra weight he's carrying has caused him to lose a step. 'Much more consistent with his ability to break tackles and make runs,' Smart said. 'First of all, he's a great player in space. Last year he was just kind of feeling his way through. He didn't understand motions and shifts and all the different things. Now, he's much more consistent and he's had an opportunity to show that. I feel like James has had a really good camp.' Smart added that the notion of having multiple 1,000-yard rushers helps in recruiting efforts. Swift and White were both 5-star running backs. In Georgia's 2020 class, the Bulldogs already have a commitment from 5-star running back Kendall Milton and are one of the finalists for the nation's No. 1 ranked running back in Zachary Evans. When Milton committed to Georgia, he stated that he was very open to the idea of sharing carries with another elite running back. The Bulldogs will likely employ that strategy this season given the wealth of options and questions about Swift's durability. More from Georgia football coach Kirby Smart More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Kirby Smart pleased with Jermaine Johnson's jump' during fall camp 5-star LB commit Mekhail Sherman gets some long-awaited good news Long South Carolina DB Bralyn Oliver becomes first member of 2021 class Small change to UGA's football helmet Edgy Georgia football coach Kirby Smart breaks down cornerback battles Kirby Smart comments on championship or bust' mentality surrounding Georgia football Kirby Smart talks up everyday' competition for Georgia football in unsettled WR corps The post WATCH: Kirby Smart explains benefit of having multiple 1,000-yard rushers appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss coach Kirby Smart's quest to return the Bulldogs to the top of the SEC. On episode No. 1,013 (Aug. 22, 2019) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about what UGA quarterback Jake Fromm said about his recent battles with Alabama during an ESPN interview. Georgia football podcast: Jake Fromm apparently ready to move on from tough games' vs. Alabama Beginning of the show: Georgia players and coach Kirby Smart are seemingly growing tired of being asked to contribute to the narrative that they are frustrated after two high-profile losses to Alabama over the the last two seasons, and using that disappointment to fuel a 'championship or bust' mentality this season. I'll share audio from Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm and Smart on that topic on today's show. 10-minute mark: I'll share the update Smart provided regarding the status of running back D'Andre Swift who was seen in a black non-contact jersey during the media portion of Thursday's practice. 15-minute mark: Managing editor of Athlon Sports and Vanderbilt radio broadcaster Mitch Light joins the show. Some of the topics covered include The outlook for Vanderbilt this season including an attempt to gauge Commodores fans excitement about seeing their team play UGA in the season opener A preview of Florida-Miami And an explanation of why LSU-Texas could be the SEC's biggest early season non-conference game 30-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including what appears to be a complaint from Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh about SEC 'cheating,' a Florida defensive lineman apparently out for the season and two SEC quarterbacks mentioned by ESPN as the most important players in this season's Playoff chase. 35-minute mark: I'll share audio of DawgNation's recruiting insider Jeff Sentell discussing the latest details on 5-star running back Zachary Evans. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: Jake Fromm apparently ready to move on from tough games' vs. Alabama appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Bralyn Oliver chose his birthday to commit to Georgia. The long defensive back prospect from South Carolina tweeted out the news of his decision with a sincere message. 100% committed!!! @CoachDanLanning @CoachCwarren @KirbySmartUGA @SC_DBGROUP @ElitePositionTr @RivalsWoody pic.twitter.com/FUxmZHuEMx Bralyn Oliver (@bralynoliver8) August 22, 2019 Oliver rates on the 247Sports Composite for 2021 as a 3-star safety. That places him as the nation's No. 27 safety and the No. 544 overall recruit. Defensive coordinator Dan Lanning had been recruiting Oliver for quite some time. This decision makes Oliver the first public commitment for the 2021 class in Athens. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder from Belton Honea Path High School in rural South Carolina lists a 4.45 time in the 40 on his HUDL prospect page. He hails from a region not too far from Hartwell on the South Carolina-Georgia border. The post BREAKING: Long South Carolina DB Bralyn Oliver becomes first member of 2021 class appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Mekhail Sherman chose the words 'unchained' and 'grateful' to describe how he is feeling today.Green lights for a full go to play do mean that much to a player. The 5-star LB chose to tweet out the good word from his doctor that he was cleared to play this weekend. When I say God is Good, I mean he's Great. I'm finally cleared to do what I love. #10LongMonths Mekhail Sherman (@JuicedUpK9) August 22, 2019 His sister Raisa Sherman also tweeted about it. Twice. God! I lift my hands up to the sky and praise you for Mekhail's FULL RECOVERY! None of this would've been possible without YOU! Mom @SueEllen_23 was strong! @Donnie_Blue928 held us together! And I just kept praying! LETS READY FOR THAT CLICK CLACK https://t.co/LhAVbUo78E Raisa Sherman (@RoyaltyDrip) August 22, 2019 I remember when!Today I praise God for his divine healing! We got the green light to play! #dawgnation tune in to https://t.co/95FeHFWHEt to watch the game live! #GODAWGS I'm proud of you kiddo @JuicedUpK9 You pushed through! You overcame! NOW LET'S PLAY pic.twitter.com/vS8s30co75 Raisa Sherman (@RoyaltyDrip) August 22, 2019 Donnie Blue, his soon-to-be brother-in-law, was in on it. It's Showtime Donnie Blue (@Donnie_Blue928) August 22, 2019 There are a lot of folks on the train when it comes to Sherman. He would always prioritized family time with his inner circle over going on a lot of visits. The news completes a 10-month test of faith and patience on Sherman's part. The injury happened, like most do, on a fluke. But this was a few first downs farther than just that.His knee joint was leg-whipped by his own teammate. He suffered a completely torn anterior cruciate ligament and partial lateral meniscus tear. 'The knee and what it will do to you really all that has done is given me more fuel to my fire,' Sherman said after G-Day. 'You can love the game so much but the game will cheat you. It cheated me. I got leg-whipped by my own teammate. My ACL was torn. But all that it did was I had to sit back.' 'Then I had to talk to God. I had to talk to family and realize why I do this. I had to revert back to why I do this. Now, this injury will not only touch you physically but also touch you mentally. All I have been doing is going through these trials and tribulations between physical, mental and spiritual ways to get stronger. So when I get back on that field there is no turning back.' Sherman is now cleared to return to the field. It should be very fun to watch. 'My playing style is based off making the offensive coordinator's pregame night restless,' he said. To put it simply, he's a different sort of recruit. He carries a keen perspective on all things, including social issues. As an Athlete, 1 out of the 3 will suffer: Social Life, Education, Your Athletic Career. Be Wise. Mekhail Sherman (@JuicedUpK9) January 25, 2019 Why does he play the game? He shared that answer in perhaps his definitive DawgNation interview up to this point. His response to that question carried along for 700 words. His latest update with DawgNation shared his view on how he feels the 2020 recruiting class is shaping up. RELATED: 5-star OLB commit Mekhail Sherman has 2020 vision on the recruiting trail for UGA The long 10 months back for Mekhail Sherman Sherman was injured in his third game last fall. The highlight tapes out there of him are mostly spliced together from his sophomore year. Those are of 5-star quality, but they show a young man who was only 15 years old at the time back during the 2017 season. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound senior was talented enough to make the Opening finals as a rare junior in the summer of 2018. He even clocked the laser 4.5s in combine testing to reach the 'Fastest Man' competition. His best laser time was 4.53 that day. To put that in perspective, freshman OLB Nolan Smith ran a 4.55 in the 40 for his rating card that day. He had hoped to be cleared in the spring, but his physicians felt it was better to wait. That's why the nation's No. 2 OLB prospect and No. 14 overall prospect (247Sports Composite ratings) opted to keep the focus on his health for his senior season. 4 MONTHS! Thank Him Everyday! pic.twitter.com/HfxTnfFGgc Mekhail Sherman (@JuicedUpK9) February 15, 2019 With that, he was okay. Content enough to realize that he got to experience all those things as a junior. For that, he was grateful. 'No need to be sorry,' Sherman told DawgNation earlier this year. 'I experienced it [The Opening finals] once my sophomore year. It's all for the good. My senior season will make up for it.' He was very eager to get the clearance he received today. 'This time away from it only added fuel to the fire,' he said back in March. 'I'm ready to show the nation what they missed and more.' Sherman is now one of the clear anchors for the 2020 recruiting class in Athens. How Mekhail Sherman fits in at UGA Adaptability is one of the best player abilities a prospect can have. Hybrids are a beautiful thing to big boy programs. That can lead to a 4-3 or a 5-2 front. It will allow the defensive staff to match wits with a hurry-up tempo coordinator who would rather pop off reps with '00', '01' or '10' or '11' personnel packages. Kirby Smart and Dan Lanning might dream of any defense with at least six highly-adaptable players. The back end would be flush with DBs that can run and tackle but also flash ball skills with length. With five or six guys like that, they would likely not care who was the nickel or which guys looked like safeties playing corner in the base package. That same versatility would be welcomed across the second level of the front. The aim is to find linebackers who can hold strong against the run, rush the passer and drop into the flats. Can they also shadow a free receiver like the tight end? Those are all things that NFL Pro Bowlers Khalil Mack and Von Miller can also do. They just don't get the big bucks for that. Lorenzo Carter did that well for the Bulldogs, too. Sherman is big and athletic enough to play at either LB spot. He's a hybrid in the same vein Quay Walker was when he came to Georgia. Walker was a fast athletic guy. A three-down option at LB. But Sherman was a step faster than Walker before his knee injury. Sherman threw the power ball 44 feet at Nike Combine testing in July of 2018. His work that day also included a 33.8-inch vertical leap. He has also shown an ideal mindset to work with. Coachability is another of his strengths. 'I'm not looking to go anywhere to be a star,' Sherman said back in 2018. 'Being a star would be great. I feel like I could be a star anywhere I go. I feel like I need someplace that will actually clamp down on me and make my abilities grow as a DE and as an OLB to make me better. Better all the time. To keep making me better to be the best that I can be. Not shine like a star.' More than anything, it seemed like Sherman chose the school which will not allow him to fail. 'It is what type of school will make me the better person,' Sherman said. 'Not just a football player only. Because right now I am still raw. I haven't really cracked anything yet. My potential is still way up there. I still haven't reached it yet. I need somewhere that can really push me to that limit.' Check out his tweet after Georgia picked up another elite OL commit last week with Sedrick Van Pran. I'm definitely going to get better at UGA, thanks @CoachSamPittman Mekhail Sherman (@JuicedUpK9) August 18, 2019 The post 5-star LB commit Mekhail Sherman gets some long-awaited good news appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS, Ga., It hasn't been the smoothest of introductions to big-time football for outside linebacker Jermaine Johnson. He came to Georgia as the No. 1 ranked JUCO prospect in the country for the 2019 signing class. He along with Georgia's other JUCO prospects actually enrolled in December and were allowed to practice during the bowl season. This proved to be a great benefit for cornerback D.J. Daniel, who Kirby Smart has routinely praised. But Johnson didn't enjoy that same experience, as he entered Georgia with a foot injury. Then in the spring, he sustained an ankle injury that limited him at times. Now into fall camp, Johnson has once again been dealing with ankle injuries. Smart told reporters on Wednesday that Johnson has yet to be 100 percent because of the ankle injuries. That's what should make his recent scrimmage performance so promising. 'I thought in the scrimmage the other day there were some places where he showed burst, acceleration, kicking situations and some edge situations that he did a really nice job,' Smart said. 'So we were really pleased with his jump from scrimmage 1 to scrimmage 2.' Schools of Georgia's caliber rarely take JUCO prospects who won't be able to make an early impact. Given Johnson's measurables and athletic abilities, the Bulls expects Johnson to be a guy who can come in and help improve a pass rush that was one of the worst in the SEC a season ago. Early on in his time at Independence Community College that of Last Chance U' fame Johnson caught the eye of Dan Lanning when he was still the inside linebackers coach at Memphis. But due to Johnson's JUCO stay, Lanning would have to wait before officially recruiting Johnson. So when Lanning took the job at Georgia, and Johnson eligible for the 2019 season, the now Georgia defensive coordinator made it a point to try and land Johnson. 'Obviously Jermaine's somebody we're really, really excited about,' Lanning said. 'Jermaine's a guy that when I was at Memphis, I went and watched a junior college football game, and I got to see Jermaine Johnson perform that year. I said, Man, I wish I could recruit that guy,' but I couldn't. Well now this year, I can, and so when I got here, that was one of the early guys that I identified as a target for somebody that we could look at and was able to build a relationship with him that we had for a long time.' Related : Why Jermaine Johnson committed to Georgia football Johnson still has some work to do in terms of becoming a consistent contributor for Georgia. Smart added Johnson still needs to get better if he is going to be an every-down player for the Bulldogs. Smart did indicate that Johnson is expected to be a contributor on special teams for the Bulldogs this year as well. He also isn't the only outside linebacker vying for playing time, as Azeez Ojulari, Nolan Smith, Walter Grant, Robert Beal and Adam Anderson are all looking to get onto the field this far. Ojulari has stood out the most thus far and has the inside track on being the starter for the Vanderbilt position. Related: Azeez Ojulari confident in unproven outside linebacker room But Georgia will often rotate outside linebackers, meaning there is plenty of playing time to be had. 'He's fighting for opportunities to get reps,' Smart said of Johnson. 'He's fighting with Azeez, Walter, Nolan, Robert. I mean there's some dudes competing over there. And Adam.' More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Small change to UGA's football helmet Edgy Georgia football coach Kirby Smart breaks down cornerback battles Kirby Smart comments on championship or bust' mentality surrounding Georgia football Kirby Smart talks up everyday' competition for Georgia football in unsettled WR corps Andrew Thomas has grown into a 'hometown hero' for the Georgia Bulldogs Georgia football podcast: Aaron Murray predicts UGA WRs will be rolling' by season's end Georgia football coach Kirby Smart makes light of D'Andre Swift in non-contact jersey The post Kirby Smart pleased with Jermaine Johnson's jump' during fall camp appeared first on DawgNation.
  • UGA is making a small tweak to its football attire for games this season. And, no, it's not the black jerseys (at least, not to our knowledge). The UGA football equipment department tweeted out a photo of this year's helmets this week. The small change? On the back of the helmets, the 'Georgia' sticker has been replaced by a three-dimensional bumper, which is billed to provide a 'crisp look.' The 3D bumpers are a growing trend in the NFL and NCAA. You'll probably only notice the subtle change if you're watching the game on HDTV. Now back to those beloved black jerseys: Despite pleading from a few of UGA's star players, coach Kirby Smart has resisted the temptation so far. Some Bulldog fans would like to see the team wear them in the Notre Dame game. The post Small change to UGA's football helmet appeared first on DawgNation.

News

  • According to many polls, Americans – especially those who say they are Democrats -- are not that fond of the Electoral College. Neither are many of the Democratic candidates for president. >> Read more trending news  With just over 14 months until the 2020 presidential election, a movement to change the way electoral votes are awarded and who will be elected president has gained some steam. The National Popular Vote Compact (NPV), which has its roots in the most contested presidential election in U.S. history, sets in state law a policy that awards all a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who wins the national popular vote. Under the Electoral College system used today, 48 states have a “winner-take-all” system that awards all the state’s electoral votes to the person who gets a majority of votes in that state. The Electoral College does not take into consideration that national popular vote. Sixteen states, along with the District of Columbia, have passed the NPV agreement. They are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island. While legislation has been passed in the 16 states and the District of Columbia, the agreement would not go into effect until states with a collective 270 electoral votes — the number needed to win the presidency — agree to join. Currently, the District of Columbia and the 16 states in the agreement hold a combined total of 196 electoral votes, meaning the pact would need enough new state members to get 74 electoral votes.Supporters say the system would give the person who got the most votes country-wide the presidency he or she deserves. Opponents say states would be forced to hand over electoral votes to a candidate who did not win that state. For instance, in the 2016 election, a state such as Florida, in which President Donald Trump earned more votes, would have had to pledge its 29 electoral votes to Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, who won the national popular vote in the 2016 election. The Electoral College of today was established by the Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution which replaced the method for electing the president and vice president provided in Article II, Section 1, Clause 3. Under the system, when voters cast a ballot for president, they are actually choosing members of the Electoral College, called electors, who are pledged to that presidential candidate. Following the election for president, electors then meet to choose the president. Electors almost always vote for their state’s popular vote winner, and some states have laws requiring them to do so. However, electors are not bound by federal law to vote for a specific candidate – for instance, the one who won the popular vote in their state. In 29 states and the District of Columbia, electors are bound by state law or by a pledge they sign to vote for the candidate who won the popular vote of the state they represent. Five men have won the presidency in the Electoral College while not winning the country’s popular vote: John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, George W. Bush in 2000 and Donald Trump in 2016. The National Popular Vote campaign goes back to Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore's loss to Bush in 2000, according to The Associated Press. Gore won the popular vote but lost the election over a vote count in Florida.
  • Fans of all things Disney are in Anaheim for the D23 Expo. And news of future development for the properties at the Disney Parks around the world has already started being released. Inside the Disney Parks 'Imagining Tomorrow, Today' Pavilion at the 2019 D23 Expo visitors will be able to see what is coming next to the Disney Parks around the world. While there are a lot of cool things to share, in this post we are going to focus on the upcoming additions coming to Walt Disney World! There is an all-new Star Wars vacation experience coming to Walt Disney World!  >> Read more trending news  The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be a new, first-of-its-kind vacation experience where guests will check in for a two-night adventure aboard a glamorous starship called the Halcyon.  Once onboard, guests will interact with characters and become active participants in stories that unfold around them on their galactic journey.  Also in the pavilion is a model of the multi-year transformation of Epcot complete with new experiences, 'that will make the park more Disney, more family, more timeless, and more relevant.' The reinvention of Epcot will include several new additions, and the first one we learned about was a new attraction called Journey of Water which is inspired by 'Moana.' This first-ever attraction based on the Walt Disney Animation Studios film, 'Moana,' will let guests interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting. And this October, guests will be able to visualize all the exciting plans for Epcot at a new experience center in the Odyssey Events Pavilion called Walt Disney Imagineering presents the Epcot Experience. Inside this first-of-its-kind offering within a Disney park, guests will discover engaging and interactive exhibits that allow you to step inside excitement to see some never-before-revealed details driving the future of Epcot during this unprecedented period of transformation. The Disney Parks pavilion also features other upcoming Walt Disney World attractions including TRON Lightcycle Run coming to Magic Kingdom Park as well as Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway coming to Disney's Hollywood Studios. On Sunday, August 25, we'll find out more details on these and other announcements during the Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products presentation at D23 Expo 2019!
  • Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has undergone radiation therapy to treat a malignant tumor discovered during routine blood tests in early July, according to a statement from the court. >> Read more trending news  Ginsburg, 86, began a three-week course of radiation therapy Aug. 5 at New York's Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. 'The Justice tolerated treatment well,' Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said in a statement. 'She cancelled her annual summer visit to Santa Fe, but has otherwise maintained an active schedule.' Arberg said doctors noted an abnormality during a routine blood test in early July and that a subsequent biopsy on July 31 confirmed a 'localized malignant tumor' on her pancreas. After Ginsburg underwent treatment, Arberg said, 'There is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body.' 'Justice Ginsburg will continue to have periodic blood tests and scans,' she said. 'No further treatment is needed at this time.' In January, Ginsburg missed arguments in the Supreme Court for the first time since joining the court in 1993 while recovering from surgery to remove cancerous growths from her left lung. She previously underwent surgery for colorectal cancer in 1999 and pancreatic cancer in 2009, according to the Associated Press. Ginsburg is the eldest person serving on the Supreme Court and leads its liberal wing.
  • A service is set for next week for the three members of a prominent Atlanta family killed in an apparent double murder-suicide.  Marsha Edwards, 58, and her two children, 24-year-old Christopher Edwards II and 20-year-old Erin Edwards, will be remembered during a memorial Wednesday in southwest Atlanta, according to a spokesman for the family.  The service is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. at Cascade United Methodist Church, which is at 3144 Cascade Road.  Investigators believe Marsha, the former wife of surgeon and civic leader Christoper Edwards, shot and killed the couple’s children before turning the gun on herself. Their bodies were found by police Wednesday inside her upscale Vinings townhouse after officers were asked to perform a wellness check. RELATED: Ex-wife of Atlanta Housing chairman killed 2 children, herself, police say Lots of questions remained unanswered Friday. Among them: • Who requested the wellness check? • When did the shootings take place? • What kind of gun was used? • Who is the registered owner of the gun? • What evidence prompted authorities to classify the investigation as a double murder-suicide? It could be weeks before autopsy and toxicology results shed light on those and other questions. “Dr. Edwards, his extended family and friends are in a state of grief and shock, and privacy of the family is paramount as arrangements are being made,” spokesman Jeff Dickerson said Thursday in an emailed statement. A longtime fixture in the Atlanta medical community, Edwards serves on the board of trustees of the Morehouse School of Medicine and was formerly on the board of Grady Memorial Hospital. He is the chairman of the Atlanta Housing Authority board. As news of the deaths spread, condolences poured in from those who knew the family and strangers touched by the tragedy. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and her husband were among the mourners.  Erin Edwards, a Boston University student, was an intern in the mayor’s communications office last summer. Christopher Edwards II joined the Atlanta film and entertainment office in 2018 as a digital content manager.  Both were Woodward Academy graduates. They were “promising young adults and budding NABJ media professionals,” said Sarah Glover, the former president of the National Association of Black Journalists. Glover said on Twitter she met the siblings at a conference in 2017.  Their mother, a medical equipment provider, was also a member of the organization, which advocates for and supports black journalists.  AJC.com has reached out to Cobb police for additional information about the deaths.  — Please return to AJC.com for updates.
  • Volkswagen AG has issued a recall of 679,000 cars sold in the U.S. since 2011. >> Read more trending news  The recall deals with electrical issues where a driver could take out the key after coming to a stop, even if the car was not in park. Silicate can build up on the shift lever micro switch and cause the problem, Reuters reported. The car will show that it is in park but it is still in gear, CNET reported. The car could then roll away, according to Reuters. The recall involves the following Volkswagen models: Jetta Beetle Beetle Convertible Golf Golf SportsWagen GTI. The cars affected come from various model years, from 2011 to 2019. Dealers will turn off a micro switch, install a different switch outside of the gear lever housing and add a new circuit board, CNET reported. Owners of affected vehicles will be alerted about the issue on or after Oct. 11, according to CNET.
  • Health officials in Illinois said Friday that a person who was hospitalized with lung problems after vaping has died in what might be the first death linked to e-cigarettes and similar devices in the United States. >> Read more trending news  The Illinois Department of Public Health said in a statement that the unidentified individual, who was between 17 and 38 years old, had been hospitalized with a severe respiratory illness shortly after vaping. 'The severity of illness people are experiencing is alarming and we must get the word out that using e-cigarettes and vaping can be dangerous,' Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike said Friday. In Illinois alone, health officials said at least 22 people between the ages of 17 and 38 have experienced respiratory illnesses after vaping. Officials with the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention arrived Tuesday in Illinois to help state health officials investigate, Ezike said. In a statement released Wednesday, officials with the CDC said that between June 28 and Aug. 20, nearly 150 cases of severe lung illnesses linked to e-cigarettes were reported in 15 states. Health officials continue to investigate the illnesses. According to the CDC, no specific product or compound has been linked to all of the cases and it remained unclear Friday whether the cases shared a common cause. Poison control officials have been concerned about exposure to vaping products, including e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine, in recent years due to the high concentration of nicotine when compared with other tobacco products, according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Association officials said that as of July 31, poison control centers have managed 2,439 cases connected to e-cigarette devices and liquid nicotine this year. Last year, officials fielded 2,470 such cases, according to figures from the association.