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WATCH: Georgia football RB D’Andre Swift says ‘the highlights will come’

WATCH: Georgia football RB D’Andre Swift says ‘the highlights will come’

ATHENS — Georgia football tailback D’Andre Swift is ready to carry as much of the load as Kirby Smart puts on him. Swift’s confidence and high expectations quickly became evident in his first meeting with the media since the Bulldogs’ loss in the national championship game appearance. “I have a little bit of hype behind me, so I have to show what I can do,” said Swift, whose name has already popped up among outside contenders for the Heisman Trophy. “I feel like when I get in space, the highlights will come.” RELATED: Former Georgia football star believes D’Andre Swift will elevate run game Swift is perhaps best known for his game-clinching 64-yard touchdown run against Auburn in the SEC Championship Game. One of the 21 players on the Georgia roster who attained a 5-star rating in high school, Swift did that and more last season. Swift averaged an eye-popping 7.6 yards per carry while leading the backfield with 17 catches for 153 yards. Swift said he didn’t mind entering into a crowded backfield last season and playing behind Nick Chubb and Sony Michel last season. “I was never scared of any competition, anywhere I had to go, I was going to compete regardless of where I was at, any school,” Swift said. “So just coming into a role, playing more of the passing game, catching the ball, so I embraced my role.” That role figures to change this season, with Swift the favorite to start and share the majority of carries with junior Elijah Holyfield for the No. 3-ranked Bulldogs. RELATED: Elijah Holyfield wants starting running back job for Georgia football “I’m making sure I’m more conditioned, I know I’ll get more carries, in that aspect,” Swift said. “We have a great group of guys, we’re so deep at the position, when I come out, when Elijah comes out, we’re not going to lose anything at all.” Indeed, Swift compared himself and Holyfield to the Chubb-Michel duo of last season. “I believe we compliment each other real well, two different types of backs, but in a great system,” Swift said. “He does stuff differently, I do stuff differently, kind of like Nick and Sony.” RELATED: Ivy League graduate says Georgia football No. 1  Holyfield was shown breaking a run up the middle of the defense in the first scrimmage, but Swift said he has run between the tackles in fall drills as well. When it was suggested that Holyfield is “Mr. Inside” and he is “Mr. Outside,” Swift quickly rejected the notion. “Not at all,” Swift said. “He can run outside or inside, and I can do the same, so we’ll compliment each other real well.” It seems Swift is ready to prove he can be Mr. Everything, even if Georgia appears intent on continuing to use a committee approach in the backfield. Georgia football RB D’Andre Swift   The post WATCH: Georgia football RB D’Andre Swift says ‘the highlights will come’ appeared first on DawgNation.

Remember me? O's Jones, Blue Jays' Jansen reunite at plate

Remember me? O's Jones, Blue Jays' Jansen reunite at plate

Adam Jones stepped to the plate in the first inning, saw a familiar face behind the plate and gave the Toronto catcher a warm, welcoming thump. Quite an unlikely reunion, indeed. 'It was cool,' Blue Jays rookie Danny Jansen said Tuesday. 'He hit me on the chest and said, 'I'm proud of you, man. You made it.' I'll never forget it.' On Monday night, Jansen and the Baltimore Orioles star outfielder met up for the first time in quite a while. The two hadn't seen one another since 2004, when Jones lived with the Jansen family in Appleton, Wisconsin, while playing for the local Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Host families are common in the low minors, a way of helping young players settle into the off-the-field routine of pro ball. Jones was 18 back then, a first-round draft pick in his second season in the Seattle Mariners' organization. Jansen was 9, an aspiring athlete and, by his own admission, more than a little irritating at times. 'I was young, so any ballplayer in there was a hero to me,' Jansen said of the different minor leaguers who inhabited his family home. 'He was the most successful one that we had, baseball-wise. I was always the kid asking for a bat and a ball. He was just like, 'Get away from me, man, get away from me.'' Jones did eventually hand a souvenir over to Jansen, but the treasured gift didn't last too long. 'He finally gave me a bat, and I was fortunate enough to have a batting cage in my backyard,' Jansen recalled. 'My brother Matt, who is seven years older than me, he took the bat one day and he was taking BP and he broke it. I was upset about that one, I'll tell you what. I probably had it for two weeks. I was nine, I couldn't swing it anyway. I just thought it was cool he finally gave me a bat after a season of me asking for one. The next thing you know, it's broken.' After moving up to Double-A the following summer, and later to the majors, Jones kept in touch with Jansen and his family, connecting through text messages and social media. With their own children now grown and out of the house, the Jansens resumed hosting minor league players this summer. 'They always said it's nice to have more boys in the house, to just have players and people around,' Jansen said. Before Tuesday's game, Jones declined to speak about his relationship with Jansen, offering only a brief assessment of the rookie's offensive abilities. 'I'll tell you this: he can hit,' Jones said of Jansen, who entered Tuesday riding a six-game hitting streak to begin his career. Otherwise, Jones preferred to tell his side of the story through social media. Prior to Monday's game, the 33-year-old Jones tweeted a welcome to the 23-year-old Jansen. 'Reunited with my old host family @D_Jansen31,' Jones wrote. 'So proud of you pimp. From waking me up at 7am before you had to go to school and me getting in at 4am from a loooong bus trip, to playing against each other in the show!!!! This is a Movie.' In reply, Jansen tweeted 'Let's have some fun big bro.' On Tuesday afternoon, Jones tweeted a 2004 photograph of himself in a Timber Rattlers uniform, posing alongside a youthful Jansen, who is in his little league uniform 'Hey @D_Jansen31, why you gotta grow up on me!!!!!,' Jones wrote. '14 years later and you still look the same,' Jansen joked in reply. Jones and Jansen exchanged more looks and gestures Monday after Jansen flied out to Jones to end the bottom of the first inning. Jones was there to make the catch again when Jansen flied out to right field to begin the sixth in Toronto's 5-3 win.

RB Elijah Holyfield makes it clear he wants to ‘go first’ for Bulldogs

RB Elijah Holyfield makes it clear he wants to ‘go first’ for Bulldogs

ATHENS — Here’s a good little bit of trivia to whip out on a fellow Georgia fan: What one game has running back Elijah Holyfield started in his career, if any? If you said none, you’d be wrong. If you said one the SEC Championship Game, you’d be correct. But then there’s another caveat. Holyfield actually doesn’t count that one as a career start. “At fullback I did, not at running back,” Holyfield said of starting alongside Nick Chubb against Auburn last December. “I’m not really a fullback. But any way to get on the field is always good.” To be clear, Holyfield said he hasn’t been working any fullback at all in Georgia’s preseason camp this year. His carries have been 100 percent at running back, and he’s been getting a lot of them. Most of them, in fact, have come with the Bulldogs’ No. 1 offense. At this point, it looks like a dead heat between the junior Holyfield and sophomore D’Andre Swift to get the first start of the season in the backfield for the Bulldogs. Georgia is no longer an I-formation team, so there is neither a fullback nor a tailback distinction anymore. The majority of the offensive snaps come with a single back behind the quarterback, and the competition to be that back is intensely competitive. Swift, the Bulldogs’ third-leading rusher behind Chubb and Sony Michel last year, is generally thought to be the heir apparent as the every-week starter and primary ball-carrier this season. But Holyfield has made that that a tricky assumption. Not only has he had a terrific camp by all accounts and holds seniority over Swift as a junior, but he has also been present and accounted for in every single workout and practice. Swift missed most of spring practice with a groin injury and has gone second behind Holyfield in most of the Bulldogs’ drill work during practices. Too much shouldn’t be read into that, for sure, but Holyfield doesn’t shy away from the notion that he’d like to start for the Bulldogs at some point. Or, to be clear, go first now and then. “As a competitive player, yes, I always like to be the first one on the field,” Holyfield said after Georgia’s practice Tuesday evening. “But, you know, I’ve always been taught, when get the ball, just shine.” Holyfield certainly has made good on that lesson. Thanks to the Bulldogs’ penchant for blowing out opponents, Holyfield actually got a lot of work last season. He played in 13 of their 15 games and got 50 carries for 293 yards while doing so. From that, Holyfield was able to produce quite the highlight reel. Both of his touchdown runs were worthy to be included, a 12-yarder against Vanderbilt and especially that 39-yard jaunt versus Florida that was punctuated by a dive for the goal-line cone that would’ve been better only if he’d been wearing a cape. In total, Holyfield averaged 5.9 yards a tote. Swift, of course, got more work and averaged more yards a carry (7.6). He also had more TDs, 3 to 2, and got most of his work earlier in games. So the appearance is that Georgia’s coaches like more of what Swift brings to the table. The reality is, they’re different backs and they’re both good with that. “I believe will complement each other real well,” Swift said Tuesday. “Two different types of backs in a great system here.” But both backs insist it’s not as simple as Mr. Inside (Holyfield) versus Mr. Outside (Swift). Each wants to prove they have the all-around games worthy of playing at Running Back U, as they both referred to Georgia. “Not at all,” Swift said. “He does stuff differently, I do stuff differently. It’s like Nick and Sony. … He can run outside and I can do the same inside. We’re going to complement each other real well.” There are other mouths to feed in Georgia’s backfield as well. Junior Brian Herrien has done nothing to downgrade his stock. And everybody on the team — Holyfield and Swift included — have raved about the moves and extra speed that freshman James Cook brings to the group. But it’s one less now that freshman Zamir White has been sidelined with an ACL tear. Swift and Holyfield hated seeing that, as did everybody who roots for Georgia. But they still have their jobs to do and they’re clamoring for more work. “Georgia’s RBU,” Holyfield said. “Our coaches will figure it out and we’ll find a way to make it work. Coach (Dell) McGee does a great job with teaching all of us. Last year when we were behind Sony and Nick, we prepared every week like we were going to play in the game. Now it’s our time and we’re going to be prepared.” The post RB Elijah Holyfield makes it clear he wants to ‘go first’ for Bulldogs appeared first on DawgNation.

Growing up poor and black: The challenges facing some NBA players A childhood filled with violence, poverty and racism can lead to lifelong anxiety and depression for even the league's best players.