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UGA Sports

    If you haven't followed former Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker's career since he left UGA you've missed a lot. Tucker has recently taken quite the climb up the professional ladder, but his ascent is also a reminder of how far one of the so-called Power Five conferences has fallen. Tucker spent 2019 as Colorado head coach, and started this year by reaffirming his commitment to the Buffaloes when Michigan State reached out to him about its open coaching position, only to eventually change his mind and take the job with the Spartans. There was plenty of pearl clutching about Tucker's waffling, but given the upcoming election, he won't be the only one who backs off of a grandiose promise this year. The more significant issue isn't Tucker's integrity. It's the Pac 12's solvency. Michigan State convinced Tucker to bolt Boulder by reportedly doubling the salary he was making at Colorado a financial flex for which the Buffaloes could apparently offer no answer. To add to the indignity, ESPN reported last week that one of the rumored candidates to replace Tucker at Colorado Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian was going to stick with the Crimson Tide, and possibly get a handsome raise in the process. Let this sink in: we might be at the point where it's more financially rewarding to be an assistant coach in the SEC than it is to be a head coach in the Pac 12. If that's true, how did we get here? Like most things with college football, it revolves around television. Simply put, the Pac 12 Network is the biggest TV disaster since Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Its revenues fall well short of what the Big 10 and SEC networks provide their league members, and that extra cash allows a program such as UGA to spend twice as much on recruiting as Pac 12 schools. Bigger recruiting budgets lead to better players, and the best players seemingly don't want to stay out west anymore. There were no Pac 12 teams in the top 10 of the 247Sports Composite Team Ranking for the 2020 class, and only two Pac 12 programs in the top 20. USC which was fourth in 2018 fell to 55th this cycle. UGA signee Kendall Milton from Clovis, Calif. is the nation's No. 7 running back, and the exact kind of player you might have expected to see playing for a team like USC in the past. However, Milton made it clear during the recruiting process he wanted to test himself in the talent-rich SEC. 'It seems like out here, in a sense, people want to go get it more,' Milton recently said of playing in the South. 'When I came out here it kind of motivated me to have that same mindset, and come out here and basically do anything necessary to get what you want. 'I'd say it's the mindset out here that sets it apart.' Other recruits seemingly agree. 'You can't play for a title staying out west,' an unnamed former five-star recruit from California told 247Sports. The Pac 12 hasn't had a representative in the College Football Playoff since 2016. However, it isn't the only league dealing with issues. Oklahoma has won the Big 12 five consecutive years, and made the Playoff in each of the last three seasons, but the Sooners don't have much to show for those postseason berths. Oklahoma blew a 17-point lead in a loss to UGA in 2017. The following year, the Sooners stumbled into a 28-0 hole vs. Alabama before losing 45-34. This past season, Oklahoma surrendered 63 points in a humiliating beatdown by LSU. In other words, Sooner Playoff flops vs. SEC foes have joined the New York City ball drop as one of America's most dependable New Year's traditions. Oklahoma simply doesn't recruit well enough to beat the best SEC teams. The Sooners had top-10 classes from 2017-19, but UGA and Alabama had higher rated classes in each of those seasons, and LSU had higher classes in two of those three years. To make matters worse, Oklahoma fell to 11th for the 2020 class a fact that seemed to make Sooners coach Lincoln Riley a bit defensive. 'Everybody wants to judge classes when they sign, which is the absolute worst time to judge a class,' Riley recently said. 'There's a lot of guys we signed that we wouldn't trade for anybody.' Riley certainly seems confident in his choices, but keep in mind he's the same coach who squib kicked at the end of the first half vs. UGA in the Rose Bowl, so maybe his decision making isn't as laudable as he thinks it is. And speaking of bad ideas, how about the ACC? It's hard to find much fault with Clemson. Dabo Swinney has built an elite program and a perennial championship contender, but the league the Tigers call home is weaker than a wine spritzer. Clemson was the only ACC team last season ranked in the final Associated Press top 25. The ACC had the same number of ranked teams as the Sun Belt and half as many as the Mountain West. These unfortunate facts beg a question: why is it assumed that Playoff spots each season should be gifted to underperforming leagues like the Pac 12 and ACC or a proven fraud like Oklahoma? In true 'It Just Means More' fashion, six of the top 11 teams in ESPN's SP+ preseason ratings are from the SEC. The Pac 12, Big 12 and ACC have a combined six teams in the top 20. Yet at the end of the season, hot-take-for-hire pundits will be arguing the SEC doesn't deserve two Playoff teams. College football isn't little league baseball. Everyone doesn't necessarily get a turn. If we're going to have five so-called 'Power' conferences, then some of those leagues need to do more to look the part. Stop getting outbid for your coaches. Stop getting beat for the best recruits. Or stop pretending to play at the SEC's level. The post Opinion: The gap between the SEC and most other conferences is widening appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The announcement this past week that UGA bought out its scheduled 2021 game against San Jose State in Athens in order to play Clemson in a neutral-site game in Charlotte has a lot of fans excited (which couldn't be said about the now-dropped matchup with the Aztecs of the Mountain West conference). The addition of national powerhouse Clemson to next year's schedule justifiably has drawn praise across the college football landscape. The bold move is part of the aggressive upgrading of the Dawgs' nonconference schedule that head coach Kirby Smart and his football operations director, Josh Lee, have spearheaded over the past couple of years. The results so far have been impressive. Georgia has previously announced home-and-home series scheduled withTexas (2028 at Austin and 2029 in Athens), UCLA (2025 in Pasadena and 2026 in Athens), Florida State (2027 in Tallahassee and 2028 in Athens), Oklahoma (2023 in Norman and 2031 in Athens) and Ohio State (2030 in Athens and 2031 in Columbus). Plus a pair of home-and-home series with Clemson (2029 at Clemson and 2030 in Athens, and 2032 in Athens and 2033 at Clemson), and three other neutral-site Power 5 games at Atlanta's Mercedes Benz Stadium: this year againstVirginia, 2022 vs. Oregon, and 2024 vs. Clemson. (It was amusing to read one national site's estimation that Georgia-Clemson 'is about to become a bit of a rivalry.' Obviously, they don't know the tremendous history of the Georgia-Clemson series, which dates back to 1897 and included a long stretch of meeting every year. In fact, I feel safe in saying that, Jacksonville included, Georgia-Clemson was the Dawgs' hottest rivalry in the early '80s, with the peak being the 1982 game, which was nationally televised and played on Labor Day. It was the first night game to take place in Sanford Stadium in three decades, and it featured not only two Top 10 teams, but also the two most recent national champions.) As a longtime proponent of more games against the Tigers, I'm especially pleased that this gives Georgia and Clemson six games scheduled over the next 14 years, a vast improvement over the two-games-a-decade pattern they'd fallen into after the expansion of the SEC ended the annual meetings of the two programs located about 80 miles apart. The Dawgs and the Cats have met only eight times since 1987, with the most recent being 2014, when a Georgia win Between the Hedges avenged a loss at Clemson a year earlier. The addition of this game serves Clemson's interests as well, as the ACC powerhouse is looking to upgrade its nonconference schedules, since its weak conference opposition has been the subject of much griping nationally as the Tigers have become a regular participant in the College Football Playoff. UGA has turned heads across the country with its aggressive Power 5 scheduling over the coming decade and a half, and I'm all for it. As Athletic Director Greg McCarity told me this time last year, 'the scheduling model we're moving to in the future will be built around eight conference games, and Tech, and two more Power 5's and one non-Power 5 opponent.' So, in other words, only one 'cupcake' per season (as opposed to 2018, when Georgia had three such games in Athens). As I said then, it's an ambitious and somewhat daunting schedule model. But, McGarity said, 'That's our goal. Kirby is all about playing a tough schedule and playing quality opponents.' As McGarity said in a statement announcing the 2021 Clemson game, ' We will now have at least two Power 5 opponents on our schedule through 2033.' That will give the Dawgs at least 10 regular-season games each year against Power 5 conference teams (including the eight SEC games). This also means that Georgia will open away from Athens in a high-profile neutral-site game three years running: this season against Virginia at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, 2021 in Charlotte, and back to Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2022 to meet Oregon in another Chick-fil-A game. Still, despite all that, there's definitely room for improvement in Georgia's home scheduling. Just look at the 2021 season, which had a pretty weak lineup for fans in Athens even before they dropped the San Jose State game. Now, the six remaining games in Athens will consist of South Carolina, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, UAB and Charleston Southern, the latter another FCS opponent from the level of Division 1 NCAA football below the bowl division. That's not as dire as the 2018 season, which saw a nonconference lineup of Austin Peay, Middle Tennessee and UMass in addition to Tech, but it's definitely nothing to get excited about. I recognize that the filling out of the nonconference schedule with so-called 'cupcakes' is something of a necessary evil in college football, since Power 5 opponents usually demand a return game in a home-and-home deal. And, with the Dawgs filling one spot each year with Georgia Tech and looking to add a second Power 5 opponent each year, you expect the two remaining nonconference games to be a bit less challenging. Also, not all cupcakes are equal. Opponents taken from the Group of 5 conferences that rank just below the Power 5 range from true cupcakes to something more akin to college basketball's 'mid-majors.' (Maybe, if we're going to continue the food-related terminology for opponents you pay handsomely to come be a sacrificial lamb, we should call these teams something other than a cupcake. Let's borrow from the QuickTrip chain and call them 'snackles.') The true cupcakes tend to be programs along the lines of Louisiana-Monroe (on this year's schedule), UMass and Western Kentucky. Unfortunately, Georgia seems to be relying a bit too much on the allowance that schools at its level can count one game a season against FCS opponents, who really aren't even up to cupcake level. Let's call them 'bon-bons.' Looking at upcoming schedules, we see these bon-bons coming to Athens: East Tennessee State in 2020, Charleston Southern in 2021, Samford in 2022, Tennessee Tech in 2024, and the return of Austin Peay in 2025. Asking UGA fans shell out for tickets and travel to Athens, dealing with the attendant traffic and parking headaches, to see such games is a bit much. That's especially true for those of us who contribute to the Hartman Fund for the chance to buy season tickets. I thought it was noteworthy that, as part of the Georgia-Clemson scheduling musical chairs, Southern Cal was able to dump UC Davis and pick up San Jose State, meaning it will maintain its status of never having played an FCS opponent. (Only three Football Bowl Subdivision programs have never played a team from the FCS in football Notre Dame, UCLA and USC.) Really, it would suit me if Georgia never again added another FCS opponent to its schedule with the exception of Yale, which I still would love to see come back to Athens in 2029 to mark the centennial of the Georgia-Yale clash that dedicated Sanford Stadium. Unfortunately, as UGA told me last year, they tried to schedule Yale for 2029, but the Ivy League school wasn't interested. But, the Yalies aside, I'd like to see Smart and Lee focusing more on the Group of 5 than the FCS. And, maybe, they could give some thought to opponents at that level that have some regional interest. (Besides Georgia Southern, which has shown up occasionally on UGA schedules in recent decades, a game against Georgia State would be of much greater interest to fans. And, as Tennessee found out last year, the Panthers aren't to be taken too lightly.) There's another reason UGA ought to be thinking about an upgrading of its non-Power 5 opponents: attendance. Figures showing actual attendance at Sanford Stadium released by UGA show that lower-tier opponents tend to put fewer folks in the stands, sinking as low as 56,065 for Louisiana-Lafayette in 2016. In the 2018 season, the most recent for which real attendance (as opposed to paid attendance) figures have been released, Austin Peay brought only 78,050 to Sanford for the season-opener, and only 67,764 attended the UMass game. So, yeah, the seats may have been sold, but in an era when every game is televised, the fact that quite a few fans aren't bothering to show up for such games should send a message that such cupcakes aren't really what the UGA fan base wants to see. Like I said, overall, I'm very pleased with the aggressive scheduling Georgia has undertaken at the Power 5 level, but I'd like to see the rest of the nonconference schedule be less of a snoozefest. The post UGA's nonconference football schedule needs even more bold moves appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Lawrence Cager might not be 100 percent for the NFL combine this week, but fans who have followed his career know better than to count him out. The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Cager overcame a shoulder injury and bruised ribs to lead Georgia to a 24-17 win over Florida this season with 7 catches for 132 yards and a touchdown last season. pic.twitter.com/IsmaE5biyV Lawrence Cager (@lawrencecager3) October 28, 2019 'I was dead, I hadn't practiced or played in like 2 1/2 weeks, so you got to rise from the dead sometime,' Cager said after his historic performance. 'I wasn't going to miss this game for anything.' RELATED: Lawrence Cager performance at Florida one for the ages Cager did, however, miss the final three games of the season after suffering an ankle injury in a Nov. 27 practice and undergoing ankle surgery on Nov. 29. Cager's absences staggered the Georgia football team. Cager had three first down catches in the first half against South Carolina, but without him, the offense came apart and lost 20-17 overtime. The 10 Georgia football players invited to 2020 NFL Combine Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm completed more than 70 percent of his passes with Cager on the field. But without him, the pass game struggled. Fromm completed less than 50 percent when the graduate transfer from Miami was sidelined. 'He was the one guy, and this isn't from Jake, (but) he looked like the guy that Jake was really comfortable with,' Former New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl scout Jim Nagy said. 'He was kind of the bailout guy. Jake knew where Lawrence was going to be, and they looked like they were on the same page,' said Nagy, who has studied film of UGA players in preparation an ESPN analyst role for the NFL combine. 'That wasn't always the case (with other receivers). Especially the guys out on the perimeter. It looked like they weren't on the same page quite a bit.' Cager, despite his success for Georgia this season he had 33 catches for 476 yards and 4 TDs in nine games projects as a later-round pick heading into the combine. 'Where he gets drafted will be interesting,' Nagy said. 'But big picture, where Cager is concerned at the next level, is going to be what he does on special teams. 'If you don't project to be a top three receiver on an NFL team next year, and you're a four or a five or a six, you're going to have to play in the kicking game.' Georgia football coach Kirby Smart harps on that all the time. The message seems to get lost on some. Smart is actually doing his players a favor by teaching them to play special teams and utilizing them on the units. Former Bulldogs receiver Jayson Stanley went undrafted last year and didn't make a catch all season. But Stanley's special teams ability landed him a spot on the Miami Dolphins' practice squad, and he's now rostered with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Cager, however, didn't play special teams in his short time at Georgia. With the injuries he was battling he hurt his shoulder before the halfway mark of the season it was all he could do to play receiver. Nagy said that Cager impressed when he was on the field at Georgia. 'You heard from the people in Miami he was inconsistent catching the football, but he sure didn't look that way (at Georgia),' Nagy said. 'I was at the Notre Dame game, he made plays in that game, so yeah, the injury thing is real, he's going to have to work through that. And, Nagy said, Cager is going to have to convince teams is willing and able to play special teams. 'From a scout's perspective, that would be my reservation, never really seeing Lawrence do that,' Nagy said. 'Is he fast enough, is he aggressive enough, is he strong enough to be that guy to run down on kickoff or punt? 'I'm not saying he's not, but when you are talking about Day Three (NFL draft rounds 4-6) receivers, that's a huge part of the equation, not just what they do at receiver.' Nagy said very few college receivers transition quickly into one of the top three receiver spots on an NFL team, so they need to show value on special teams to earn a spot on the 53-man roster. 'Big picture, that's what Lawrence is going to be facing, that's what teams are battling with now,' Nagy said. 'If we take him in the fifth or the sixth round, is he going to be active on game day for us?' First things first, Cager needs to get himself active and healthy enough to work out for the NFL teams. If not at the combine, perhaps by the Georgia Pro Day, which is projected to be March 18. Cager has been mum, but earlier the year he put a short video out of himself running on a treadmill. Cager was one of 10 Georgia players invited to the NFL combine. The quarterbacks and receivers work out on Thursday night (TV: NFL Network, 4 p.m.). DawgNation Georgia in NFL Draft Why Jake Fromm is not for everybody, per NFL Network analyst D'Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football RBU' again Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout The 10 Georgia football players invited to 2020 NFL Combine ESPN labels Georgia a 'loser' in NFL early entry process NFL draft projections: Jake Fromm staying down South? Mel Kiper Jr.'s mock: Andrew Thomas and D'Andre Swift future teammates The post Georgia's Lawrence Cager has questions to answer at NFL combine appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia basketball senior Tyree Crump hit a last-second 3-point shot from the top of the key to lift the Bulldogs to an 80-78 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday night. Georgia was down five points with less than 18 seconds left before it pulled off the improbable victory. 'it was dead-eye perfect,' UGA coach Tom Crean said. 'There was no short-arm, he snapped his wrist, it was picture-percent, and it was huge.' Commodores' guard Scottie Pippen Jr. missed two free throws with 5.1 seconds left, and Jordan Harris tipped out the second miss to Crump, who raced down court and launched the game-winner. Crump for the WIN https://t.co/8wNHw3rig4 Georgia Basketball (@UGABasketball) February 23, 2020 It's the first time Georgia (14-13, 4-10 SEC) has won back-to-back SEC games this season. It gives the Bulldogs a sweep over Volunteer State teams, as they beat Memphis, Tennessee and now Vanderbilt (9-18, 1-13). Georgia had beat No. 13 Auburn, 65-55, on Wednesday, to get much-needed confidence and momentum. 'It's perseverance, throughout the year,' Harris, who scored a season-high 17 points, said on the Georgia Sports Radio Network. 'We're living in the now.' The Bulldogs led for just 57 seconds of the 40-minute contest in Nashville, but they were ahead when it mattered most in the end. Anthony Edwards led UGA with 19 points, and point guard Sahvir Wheeler had 11 points and 5 assists. Georgia trailed by 11 points in the second half when a Toumani Camara dunk triggered a 12-0 run. Edwards capped the run with a drive that gave the Bulldogs a 52-51 lead with 11:56 left. It proved to be Edwards' final points in the game. The Commodores answered UGA's big run with an 8-0 burst of their own, however, and the lead was back up to 59-52 with 10:23 left. Vanderbilt appeared to be in control when Saben Lee, who scored a career-high 34 points, went to the free-throw line and hit two free throws to make it 78-73 with 22 seconds left. Wheeler raced downcourt and scored on a layup with 17.7 seconds left to narrow the gap to 78-75. Then it was Lee going back to the free-throw line with 11.3 seconds left. This time, he missed the front end of the one-and-one. Vanderbilt's Braelee Albert rebounded the miss, but he was ruled to have stepped out of bounds. Down three, Wheeler drove to the basket again, drawing a foul with 6 seconds left. Wheeler hit both free throws to make it a 78-77 game. Edwards fouled Pippen Jr. on the ensuing inbounds, fouling out of the game and setting up the final sequence. Vanderbilt held a 40-32 lead at the half after leading by as many as 11 points early. Edwards hit a 3-pointer at the 11:17 mark to cut into that 11-point margin and trigger a 10-0 run that left the Commodores up 20-19. Moments later, a Wheeler drive tied the game at 25-25. The Commodores answered with a 7-1 run, and took the 8-point lead into the half when Drew Weikert stole a back-court pass with two seconds left and laid it in. Georgia returns to action at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday at South Carolina. Anthony Edwards dunk The world reacts to the Anthony Edwards' poster pic.twitter.com/8Bkyt6w6YG SEC Network (@SECNetwork) February 23, 2020 DawgNation Georgia basketball Tom Crean: We're building a program' after big home win Bulldogs score resounding win over No. 13 Auburn Georgia basketball drops close one at Texas A&M, Anthony Edwards ill Georgia suffers deflating defeat at Florida UGA snaps four-game losing streak with Texas A&M win Perplexing loss for Georgia basketball at Missouri Column: Anthony Edwards needs to get back to having fun Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post WATCH: Georgia basketball pulls off amazing last-second win at Vanderbilt appeared first on DawgNation.
  • The 2020 NFL Combine has yet to get underway, the players reporting on Sunday for an event that runs through March 2. But already, ESPN has a pay site article up on which players could stand out at the 2021 NFL combine, and Georgia has a couple of them. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is widely considered the odds-on favorite to be the top pick in 2021 draft. That would be good news for Georgia, which opens the 2021 season against Clemson. RELATED: Georgia football schedule 2021 adds Clemson Former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields, now at Ohio State, is also in the discussion as a potential early entry who could star at the 2021 NFL Combine. But the Bulldogs have a quarterback expected to be 'on the radar' and in the mix at the 2021 NFL Combine, too, according to ESPN writer Adam Rittenberg. Jamie Newman, a graduate transfer expected to get plugged into Kirby Smart's made-over offense, has the size (6-foot-4, 230 pounds) and arm strength to draw attention. RELATED: Georgia's Jamie Newman and George Pickens SEC's highest-rated QB-WR duo, per PFF ESPN recognized Georgia safety Richard LeCounte among its 'defenders to watch,' as well. ESPN didn't mention him, but senior defensive lineman Malik Herring should be on the list. Herring, 6-3, 280, was rated by PFF as the top returning defensive lineman in the SEC. RELATED: Malik Herring spearheads dominant Georgia football front DawgNation underclassmen to watch Georgia has a pair of potential top picks at cornerback in juniors Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell that didn't make the list. Stokes has the fourth-best grade according to Pro Football Focus (PFF) in single coverage over the past two seasons. Campbell is a former 5-star recruit who started as a true freshman but was slowed by a foot injury last season. RELATED: Georgia players discuss fastest man' on Bulldogs team Campbell has the size (6-2, 185) and speed (former 100- and 200-meter champion in Florida) that NFL teams like at the position, and has shown great ability. Georgia junior offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer could elect to turn pro after next season with a big enough campaign, as could junior nosetackle Jordan Davis. UGA senior 2021 combine candidates Monty Rice (linebacker) Jermaine Johnson (linebacker) Julian Rochester (defensive line) Devonte Wyatt (defensive line) DJ Daniel (cornerback) Mark Webb (defensive back) Ben Cleveland (offensive line) Justin Shaffer (offensive line) Demetris Robertson (receiver) DawgNation Georgia in NFL Draft Georgia football LB Tae Crowder snubbed, but arrow pointing up Why Jake Fromm is not for everybody, per NFL Network analyst D'Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football RBU' again Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout The 10 Georgia football players invited to 2020 NFL Combine ESPN labels Georgia a 'loser' in NFL early entry process NFL draft projections: Jake Fromm staying down South? Mel Kiper Jr.'s mock: Andrew Thomas and D'Andre Swift future teammates The post Georgia football returning stars among 2021 NFL combine prospects appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Below is a list of Georgia's commitments for the 2021 cycle and where they rank in the 247Sports Composite, 247Sports, Rivals and ESPN rankings. Georgia football 2021 commitments Brock Vandagriff, 5-star quarterback from Bogart, Ga.: No. 9 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 31 player in 247Sports rankings,No. 5 in Rivals, No. 24 in ESPN, No. 1 ranked dual-threat quarterback. DawgNation story on Brock Vandagriff: Why the addition of 5-star QB Brock Vandagriff could be a great sign for in-state recruiting David Daniel, 4-star defensive back from Woodstock, Ga: No. 82 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 132 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 95 in Rivals, No. 33 in ESPN, No. 4 ranked athlete. DawgNation story on David Daniel: Georgia lands commitment from 2021 prospect David Daniel Below is a list of Georgia's top targets for the 2021 recruiting cycle and where they rank in the various recruiting services Georgia football 2021 recruiting targets James Williams, 5-star defensive back from Opa Locka, Fla: No. 5 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 5 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 18 in Rivals, No. 7 in ESPN, No. 1 ranked safety. DawgNation story on James Williams: Nation's No. 1 junior safety includes UGA in a loaded Top 3 Barrett Carter, 4-star linebacker from Suwanee, Ga.: No. 53 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 74 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 35 in Rivals, No. 96 in ESPN, No. 4 ranked outside linebacker. DawgNation story on Barrett Carter: Elite in-state LB Barrett Carter places Georgia among his top schools Amarius Mims, 5-star offensive tackle from Cochran, Ga.: No. 8 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 13 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 2 in Rivals, No. 42 in ESPN, No. 2 ranked offensive tackle. DawgNation story on Amarius Mims:5-star junior Amarius Mims: His Junior Day' visit to UGA made a big impact Isaiah Johnson, 4-star defensive back from Bluefield, W. Va.: No. 63 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 107 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 94 in Rivals, No. 25 in ESPN, No. 5 ranked cornerback. Tony Grimes, 5-star defensive back from Virginia Beach, Va.: No. 6 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 17 player in 247Sports rankings,No. 13 in Rivals, No. 6 in ESPN, No. 1 ranked cornerback. DawgNation Story on Tony Grimes: Tony Grimes: Guts' and helping others shape the story of the nation's No. 1 CB prospect Cody Brown, 4-star running back from Lilburn, Ga.: No. 122 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 137 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 69 in Rivals, No. 226 in ESPN, No. 9 ranked running back. Evan Pryor, 4-star running back from Cornelius, Ga.: No. 84 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 97 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 76 in Rivals, No. 117 in ESPN, No. 5 ranked running back. DawgNation story on Evan Pryor:Evan Pryor: Nation's No. 5 RB includes UGA in his final group Lovasea Carroll, 4-star running back from Bradenton, Fla.: No. 117 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 105 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 134 in Rivals, No. 167 in ESPN, No. 7 ranked running back. Quintin Somerville, 4-star outside linebacker from Scottsdale, Az.: No. 87 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 49 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 141 in Rivals, No. 98 in ESPN, No. 4 strong-side defensive end. DawgNation story on Quintin Somerville: Quintin Somerville: His first UGA visit exceeded some lofty expectations Will Shipley, 5-star running back from Matthews NC.: No. 17 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 43 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 36 in Rivals, No. 20 in ESPN, No. 1 ranked all-purpose back. DawgNation story on Will Shipley: Will Shipley: The junior RB is best defined by a letter rather than a 5-star ranking Micah Morris, 4-star offensive tackle from Kingsland, Ga: No. 78 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 92 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 86 in Rivals, No. 88 in ESPN, No. 11 offensive tackle. DawgNation story on Micah Morris:Micah Morris: The future criminal justice major is still a Georgia priority Dallas Turner, 4-star outside linebacker from Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.: No. 159 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 142 player in 247Sports rankings, Unranked in Rivals, No. 132 in ESPN, No. 12 ranked outside linebacker. DawgNation story on Dallas Turner: Dallas Turner: Elite LB has strong interest in UGA and a tasty top 5 Brock Bowers, 4-star tight end from Napa, Ca.: No. 71 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 52 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 106 in Rivals, Unranked in ESPN, No. 2 ranked tight eind. DawgNation story on Brock Bowers: Elite 'everything' TE target points out what he likes about UGA Savion Byrd, 5-star OT from Duncanville, Texas: No. 29 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 36 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 77 in Rivals, No. 21 in ESPN, No. 4 offensive tackle. Isaiah Brevard, 4-star WR from Southhaven, Miss.: No. 113 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 216 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 114 in Rivals, No. 46 in ESPN, No. 20 ranked wide receiver. Chaz Chambliss, 4-star outside linebacker from Carrolton, Ga: No. 251 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 484 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 183 in Rivals, No. 202 in ESPN, No. 18 ranked outside linebacker Terrence Ferguson, 4-star offensive tackle from Fort Valley, Ga: No. 52 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 73 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 40 in Rivals, No. 85 in ESPN, No. 3 offensive guard. DawgNation story on Terrence Ferguson: Nation's No. 8 OT hasn't let Georgia's coaching transition affect his outlook Agiye Hall, 4-star wide receiver from Bradenton, Fla.: No. 65 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 101 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 88 in Rivals, No. 43 in ESPN, No. 10 ranked wide receiver. Jordan Hancock, 4-star defensive back from Suwanee, Ga: No. 85 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 45 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 136 in Rivals, Unranked in ESPN, No. 6 ranked cornerback. Tim Keenan, 4-star defensive tackle from Birmingham, Ala.: No. 246 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 251 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 214 in Rivals, No. 243 in ESPN, No. 18 ranked defensive tackle. Smael Mondon, 4-star linebacker from Dallas, Ga: No. 39 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 18 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 82 in Rivals, No. 66 in ESPN, No. 3 ranked outside linebacker. Jahvaree Ritzie, 4-star defensive end from Kernsville, NC: No. 211 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 223 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 125 in Rivals, No. 298 in ESPN, No. 14 ranked strong-side defensive end. Jayden Thomas, 4-star wide receiver from Atlanta: No. 178 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 247 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 122 in Rivals, No. 200 in ESPN, No. 36 wide receiver. Mario Williams, 4-star wide receiver from Plant, Fla.: No. 40 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 127 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 16 in Rivals, No. 15 in ESPN, No. 4 ranked wide receiver. DawgNation story on Mario Williams: Going deep with the nation's No. 4 WR on what really matters Nyland Green, 4-star defensive back from Covington, Ga.: No. 135 player in 247Sports Composite rankings, No. 27 player in 247Sports rankings, No. 169 in Rivals, No. 293 in ESPN, No. 13 ranked cornerback. Jeff Sentell breaks down Georgia football top targets for the 2021 recruiting cycle The post Where Georgia football 2021 recruiting targets stand in latest rankings appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Ten Georgia football players will be headed to Indianapolis for the NFL combine in the next week. Linebacker Tae Crowder is not one of them. The 10 Georgia football players invited to 2020 NFL Combine But Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, who has four Super Bowl rings from his stints in Green Bay, New England, said he believes Crowder can still make an NFL roster. 'Getting the invite to Indy isn't the end all be all, whatsoever,' Nagy said during the DawgNation Ingles On The Beat Show. 'He'll have his pro day and the rest of the process to work it out.' Crowder was a key to the nation's best defense last season from his inside linebacker position. The Bulldogs finished last season ranked No. 1 in scoring defense and rushing defense and No. 3 in total defense and No 8 in pass efficiency defense. 'I'll say this about Tae Crowder, to me, the arrow is pointing up with him,' Nagy said. 'When you're in scouting, you talk about guys that are ascending players, and I think Tae is doing that.' Crowder, a 6-foot-3, 235-pounder, was a late bloomer of sorts. A noted running back and receiver prospect in high school, Crowder converted to the linebacker position under Coach Kirby Smart. Crowder finished second on the team with 62 tackles last season, and many believe his best football is ahead of him. 'I think he's playing his best football this year, no doubt,' Nagy said. 'He's long, he can run, he can play in space. I think he's going to make somebody's team on special teams.' Nagy pointed out that Georgia linebacker Natrez Patrick made the Los Angeles Rams 53-man roster last season without an invite to the NFL combine. 'Tae Crowder to me is a better prospect than Natrez, and to Natrez's credit he signed with the Rams as an undrafted free agent and made their 53, so that's awesome for him,' Nagy said. 'But if you're just grading players, Tae is a better prospect in my mind than Natrez was, so it surprised me (Crowder) wasn't in another all-star game, that was a little surprising, and then the combine snub. 'I hope he uses that as some fuel moving forward. I was part of a lot of teams that drafted guys with no all-star game, no combine, and that played for a long time.' DawgNation Georgia in NFL Draft Why Jake Fromm is not for everybody, per NFL Network analyst D'Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football RBU' again Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout The 10 Georgia football players invited to 2020 NFL Combine ESPN labels Georgia a 'loser' in NFL early entry process NFL draft projections: Jake Fromm staying down South? Mel Kiper Jr.'s mock: Andrew Thomas and D'Andre Swift future teammates The post Georgia LB Tae Crowder snubbed by NFL combine, but arrow is pointing up' appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia basketball is looking for a win over Vanderbilt on Saturday night that would give the Bulldogs their first back-to-back SEC wins of the season. A win would also enable UGA to claim a Tennessee state championship of sorts. The Bulldogs beat then-No. 9 Memphis 65-62 on the road, and Tennessee 80-63 in Athens, earlier this season. Georgia (13-13, 3-10 SEC) plays at Vanderbilt (9-17, 1-12) at 6 p.m. in Memorial Gym on Saturday in Nashville (TV: SEC Network). The Bulldogs are looking to gain momentum after knocking off No. 13 Auburn last Wednesday night in Stegeman Coliseum. WATCH: Tom Crean, Anthony Edwards discuss win over Auburn The win over Auburn represented the highest-ranked opponent Georgia has beaten at home since topping No. 11 Florida back in 2012. Second-year coach Tom Crean said during a Friday media availability at Stegeman Coliseum that the win over Bruce Pearl's Final Four program was key, but it's important his team continue to show growth. 'It was the way that we won, and we were able to grow up inside of the game make free throws, not turn it over,' said Crean, who's operating with nine freshmen on the team. 'Now, the key is to be able to sustain it and get better, and that's where the maturity part of it comes in.' Georgia won last season's meeting over Vanderbilt 82-63 in Athens. But the last time the Bulldogs played the Commodores on the road, on Feb. 7, 2018, Vanderbilt pulled off an 81-66 victory. The Commodores' only SEC win this season was a shocker, a 99-90 victory over then-No. 18 LSU on Feb. 5. It was the Bayou Bengals' first conference loss of the season. Crean said first-year Vanderbilt coach Jerry Stackhouse runs a complex offense that Georgia will have to digest quickly. 'Very difficult challenge because of how much movement they have,' Crean said. 'They run a ton of different actions, and there's no way we're going to get ready for every bit of that, we got to get ready for the concepts, we got to make sure we understand what they're trying to get.' Georgia's Anthony Edwards enters the game leading the nation's leading freshman scorer, averaging 18.9 points per game. Edwards has score in double figures in 22 of his 25 games this season. DawgNation Georgia basketball Tom Crean: We're building a program' after big home win Bulldogs score resounding win over No. 13 Auburn Georgia basketball drops close one at Texas A&M, Anthony Edwards ill Georgia suffers deflating defeat at Florida UGA snaps four-game losing streak with Texas A&M win Perplexing loss for Georgia basketball at Missouri Column: Anthony Edwards needs to get back to having fun Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post Georgia basketball looking for second straight win at Vanderbilt appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Jake Fromm's not for everybody, according to NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah. That's probably doesn't seem like much of a revelation for Georgia football fans, who have seen Fromm championed as a hero as a freshman, and booed along with teammates at halftime of a scoreless home game with Kentucky this past season. ' I don't think he's for everybody,' Jeremiah said on an NFL Network conference call on Friday. 'But I think if you've got run-game (offense), and you want somebody to be efficient and make good decisions, I think that's who Jake is.' Georgia football coach Kirby Smart felt the same way. That's who Fromm was throughout his career with the Bulldogs, asked to hand off to first-round caliber tailbacks while making sure to be careful with the football. It was a formula that led to Fromm becoming the first full-time starter in SEC history to win three consecutive East Division championships while running up a 35-7 record as the starter. Of course, Georgia has become a program where it seems only a national championship will do. So when the wheels came off in the Bulldogs' rebuilt receiving corps this season the top five pass catchers from the season before were gone, and six players missed games due to injury this season Fromm was put on blast by critics. RELATED: Kirby Smart defends Jake Fromm, sets uniformed critics straight There are considerably more positives than negatives where Fromm is concerned on and off the field, and Jeremiah pointed out NFL teams have and will take note. ' When you visit with him, you're immediately impressed just talking with him,' Jeremiah said. 'He's very mature. He's engaging. You can see how he's won over the locker room there at Georgia. 'He's going to be impressive when you get in the room and get on the board and talk Xs and Os, very sharp.' Fromm 35-7 as the Bulldogs' starter was also honored as one of only 22 student-athletes in the nation to be part of the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his community and charity works off the field. RELATED: Watch Jake Fromm share message of identity But the NFL draft process is a business, and there's a harsh bottom line with franchises investing millions of dollars and coaches and general managers putting their careers on the line with each pick. Players learn quickly it's the antithesis of recruiting, where attributes are accentuated and shortcomings minimized. NFL teams still feature quarterbacks who lack the ability to make plays with their legs, but arm strength is a must, and Fromm will be under the microscope at the NFL combine next week in Indianapolis. RELATED: Mel Kilper Jr. reveals most important asset Jake Fromm must show at combine ' The knock on him, the concern has really been pure arm strength,' Jeremiah said. 'When I've watched him, I've seen throws, I've seen him make deep outs from the far hash in the Florida game. You see examples of it, but there's other times where the ball hangs and the ball dies.' Fromm's struggles throwing in the rain against Kentucky were well-documented and surely noted by NFL teams. WATCH: Jake Fromm explains passing struggle in wet-weather win over Kentucky Fromm's passing line against Kentucky 9 of 12 for 35 yards came amid heavy rains and wind gusts measured between 14 and 20 mph. 'It was tough, the ball was super slippery out there tonight, so we said Hey it's going to be a ground and pound game,' ' Fromm said. 'It's really frustrating to pick up a ball, and (say) I'm going to throw it in that direction, but I have no idea where it's going. Sometimes it was like that.' It was an honest self-assessment, and there have been plenty of NFL quarterbacks who have struggled in inclement weather. Indeed, even NFL legend Tom Brady had trouble in a rainy cold game last season, just17 for 37 for 190 yards in a cold, windy and rainy game last season against Dallas. Fromm has been doing all he can to improve his technique and set himself up for great success in Lucas Oil Stadium since announcing on Jan. 8 that he was leaving Georgia a year early. RELATED: Jake Fromm makes surprising announcement, leaving Georgia Fromm will throw in front of NFL coaches next Thursday night (TV: NFL Network, 4 p.m.). 'I think mechanically he can help with some things there to get his lower body more involved,' Jeremiah suggested. 'And I know he's been down in Mobile, Alabama, at QB Country working with David Morris and (New York Giants QB) Daniel Jones is down there. 'He's starting to make progress there. That's his challenge. I have him in that second-round range.' On Jacob Eason While Fromm is at the forefront of the minds of Georgia football fans who also follow the NFL draft, former Bulldogs QB Jacob Eason will also be getting some attention It was Eason who Fromm replaced in 2017, after the incumbent fell injured in the opening game against Appalachian State. Eason transferred to Washington, sat out a season, and has himself developed into one of the top NFL draft quarterback prospects. But Eason, like Fromm, is not everyone's cup of tea, Jeremiah indicated. 'Teams are literally all over the map, and I talked to a team yesterday that has him as the second quarterback in the draft, so there's teams that really, really like Eason,' Jeremiah said. 'And then you've got teams that have concerns. 'Now, when I watch him, I see the big arm. You watch the Oregon game, you get really, really excited. There's a lot of good things to take away from that game. He's got some really good tape.' But as with most any player under the scrutiny of the NFL draft evaluation process, there are drawbacks. 'He's got some bad habits where you get him off of his spot he's got a bad habit of trying to wheel out, turning his back on the defense,' Jeremiah said. 'That's something he's going to have to clean up, which is something you can fix. But that's one of the things to keep an eye on with him. 'And then you just want to see him be a little bit of a playmaker, instead of just being a pure thrower. I want to see him create some plays and extend some plays there. That's the kind of thing with him. I think he'll go in the first two rounds. Wouldn't shock me if he went in the first round . ' The 2020 NFL Draft takes place April 23-25 in Las Vegas. Fromm will begin among 10 Georgia football players at the NFL combine, which begins with players reporting on Sunday and runs through March 2. DawgNation Georgia in NFL Draft D'Andre Swift draft stock makes Georgia football RBU' again Jake Fromm evaluation, comparison, per former Super Bowl scout The 10 Georgia football players invited to 2020 NFL Combine ESPN labels Georgia a 'loser' in NFL early entry process NFL draft projections: Jake Fromm staying down South? Mel Kiper Jr.'s mock: Andrew Thomas and D'Andre Swift future teammates The post NFL Network analyst: Jake Fromm's not for everybody, neither is Jacob Eason 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. 1,137 (Feb. 21, 2020) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about what former UGA wide receiver Mecole Hardman said about how his time with the Bulldogs prepared him for his NFL career with the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. Georgia football podcast: Mecole Hardman offers great sales pitch for UGA Beginning of the show: Georgia's video staff recently caught up with former UGA wide receiver Mecole Hardman and Hardman explained how his time with the Bulldogs prepared him for the NFL and the big games he played along the way to the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl win. I'll share Hardman's comments on today's show. 10-minute mark: I discuss the impact new UGA offensive line coach Matt Luke had on four-star Bulldogs signees Tate Ratledge and Sedrick Van Pran-Granger. 15-minute mark: DawgNation's recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show. Some of the topics covered include The latest on four-star wide receiver Mario Williams An update on five-star safety James Williams Thoughts on four-star tight end Brock Bowers The unique passion four-star linebacker Dallas Turner has other than football And a preview of an upcoming DawgNation article profiling five-star cornerback Tony Grimes 30-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including Arkansas coach Sam Pittman hiring former UGA staffer Fernando Velasco, Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian reportedly staying with the Crimson Tide, Alabama assistant Butch Jones' humorous new title and a late addition to Ole Miss' 2020 class. 35-minute mark: I share ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper's thoughts on D'Andre Swift, Andrew Thomas, Isaiah Wilson and Solomon Kindley. End of show: I add another number to the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: Mecole Hardman offers great sales pitch for UGA appeared first on DawgNation.

News

  • Seven people were shot at a Houston flea market Sunday. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call around 7:41 p.m., KPRC reported. Investigators said no one was critically injured. Some injuries are believed to have been caused by ricochet of gunfire. A man is in custody, KPRC reported. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
  • NBA star Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven others will be remembered Monday at a memorial service at the Los Angeles Staples Center. Twenty thousand people are expected at the venue Monday afternoon to remember those killed last month when the helicopter they were riding in crashed into a hillside in Southern California. The service was scheduled Monday, 2-24-20, because the date is significant for Bryant’s family. For a time in his career, Bryant wore a No. 24 jersey. Gianna, who played basketball as well, wore a No. 2 jersey on her basketball team. Bryant’s wife and Gianna’s mother, Vanessa Bryant, said in an Instagram post that she and Kobe Bryant were together for 20 years. Tickets for seats in the Staples Center, which also incorporated the numbers 2 and 24, went for $224 for some tickets, $224 for two ticket packages in certain sections and $24.02 for other tickets. The proceeds from the ticket sales will go to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation. According to the organization’s website, the foundation 'exists to further Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s legacy through charitable endeavors in sports.” Here’s what you need to know if you want to watch the service:  What time: The service begins at 10 a.m. PT. That’s 1 p.m. ET. What channel: Several networks will be airing the service, among them CNN, E! News and BET. Will it be livestreamed: The memorial will be livestreamed on several sites. You can stream it through ETLive.com and CBS All Access, as well as the ET Live app on Roku, Amazon Fire TV or Apple TV. ESPN will be streaming it here. ABC News, NBCNews.com, Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, Yahoo Sports and Facebook Watch will also livestream the event.
  • A family has to bury another loved one after a man was shot during a viewing at a funeral home in Arkansas. Forrest City police said the shooting happened outside a funeral home off South Washington Street on Friday afternoon. Officers said the shooter, Christopher Reed, and victim, Curtis Allen, were cousins and were arguing about a dispute from back in 2014. Allen’s sister said she was outside when the shooting happened. “Your own family would do something so horrific on one of the most horrific days of someone’s life,” said Rozette Allen. Rozette Allen said her family traveled from Illinois to pay respects to their father Friday afternoon. She said Reed and her brother had unresolved issues from the past. She said Reed went up to her brother to shake his hand outside the funeral home but Curtis Allen wanted to be left alone. “He started pulling out a gun from his bookbag, and I’m like, ‘He has a gun, he has a gun,’ and he started shooting,” said Rozette Allen. Benjamin Wynne works at Miles J. Kimble Mortuary and Cremation. He said he was inside when he heard gunshots. “When he went through, ran through the funeral home, I immediately called police,” said Wynne. Police said Reed shot Curtis Allen multiple times. Allen was taken to the hospital and died Sunday. Officers arrested Reed and charged him with first-degree murder, aggravated assault and other charges. Rozette Allen said she will miss her brother, whom she described as a loving father of four kids. “I love him keep watching over us, watch over all of us,” said Allen.
  • A man was arrested after he attempted to rob a dog walker, shot him in the leg and then stole the dog walker’s dog, Daytona Beach police said. Officers said they responded around 2:30 p.m. Sunday after receiving a call for help. Investigators said a man was walking his dog when Dwayne Foster approached him with a handgun and told the man to empty his pockets. The man refused and Foster fired several shots, with one striking the man in the leg, police said. The man was treated on the scene by paramedics and is in stable condition. Officers said they were able to track Foster down, along with the victim’s dog, as well as the gun. Charges are pending against Foster.
  • A 21-year-old woman from Pittsburgh fell around 80 feet from a cliff near Breakneck Bridge at McConnells Mill State Park on Sunday afternoon, fire officials confirmed. Dispatchers said the call came in around 3:23 p.m. Fire officials said the woman was flown to a hospital and has head and back injuries. The woman was with a group of Slippery Rock University students. No other information was immediately available.
  • A rider fell off a float Sunday during a Mardi Gras parade. The rider fell from the lower level of float 16B during the Thoth parade, WDSU reported. The rider was taken to a hospital in stable condition. Two people have died during parades this week. A man was struck and killed Saturday night when he was caught between two sections of a tandem float. Earlier in the week, Geraldine Carmouche, 58, died in a similar accident involving a tandem float. In response to the deaths, city officials have banned all tandem floats for the remainder of the Carnival season.