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    ATHENS For once, it seemed, Georgia basketball freshman Anthony Edwards was not at ease talking basketball on Saturday evening. The Bulldogs had just dropped their third game in a row, falling at home to an Ole Miss team that had lost six straight and was sitting last in the SEC. Edwards squirmed, he fidgeted, he smiled and he frowned. An 18-year-old young man who should still be in high school by birthdate, Edwards didn't know what to do or what to say in this curious, awkward and pressure-filled situation. Four nights earlier, Edwards was held scoreless in the first half at Kentucky and committed five turnovers. Pressure cooker Every Georgia win and loss seemingly rides on Edwards' shoulders, and the weight of having a program's hopes reliant upon his performances appears to finally be taking a toll. ' I think he handles it pretty well, but sometimes I'll be worried about him,' UGA senior Jordan Harris said last Saturday. 'I'll always check on him like, are you good? Are you going through something? 'He deals with all the outside noise pretty well. I am shocked at the way he deals with it, because it is a lot for him.' But how could Edwards explain his 3-of-12 shooting night against Ole Miss? The Atlanta basketball prodigy nicknamed 'Antman' had taken (settled?) 10 shots beyond he 3-point arc, unable to get his 6-foot-5, 225-pound explosive frame to the rim. 'Teams are trying to defend me differently,' Edwards offered. 'They are trying to take me out of the game and make other people score. I've just got to find ways to help my team win.' That was the hope for Georgia basketball when Edwards signed on, turning down opportunities to go virtually anywhere else in the country to stay closer to his family. Edwards is projected by some to be the No. 1 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, but more and more are having their doubts. 'To me, he's prospect, he's not a finished product,' ESPN analyst Seth Greenburg said. 'It's amazing people talk about him as the No. 1 overall pick.' Focus on winning Edwards has said since arriving that his focus is on winning, and he has maintained his confidence that he can help lift a Bulldogs' program lacking notable tradition or recent success. ' As a team, I want us to make it to the (NCAA) Tournament and go deep in it,' Edwards said after the opening exhibition game in November, in what now seems like an entirely difference season. 'Bring Georgia basketball back and have the most fun I can.' The Bulldogs haven't made the NCAA Tournament since the 2014-15 season. The hopes for 2019-20 took a decided downturn with the home loss to Ole Miss, and Edwards' expression suggested he knew it and was helpless to do anything about it. Georgia coach Tom Crean, who developed NBA lottery picks Dwyane Wade and Victor Oladipo, at Marquette and Indiana, respectively, is working to support Edwards on and off the court. 'If we put this in perspective, who is going through college basketball like he is right now?' Crean said after Edwards' 23 points weren't enough to lead the Bulldogs over Kentucky in front of a sold-out Stegeman Coliseum crowd in the SEC opener. 'I mean, who is? We talk about that all the time, people want to be Anthony Edwards, do you really?' Hard work Edwards' lifestyle as a Georgia student-athlete and as projected multi-million dollar draft pick expected to perform each night sounded like a lonely one as he discussed part of his workout routine after an 80-63 win over Tennessee earlier this month. 'I was in here until 1 o'clock (a.m.) on Monday, and yesterday I was in here until 10:30 or 11 (p.m.),' Edwards said, explaining how he reacted to a 22-point loss at Auburn. 'Most of the time I'm always in here late night, because that's when I like to shoot, that's when I have the most energy because I've got nothing to do.' Fact is, Edwards has plenty of areas to improve his game, even with the hard work and spectacular athleticism that's brought him this far. 'Part of it is not pre-determining, there's a laundry list, not getting fixed on one thing, learning to really see and learn the game,' Crean said. 'Those are all things he's learning. He's learning to put possession by possession together.' And now Crean said it's up to him and his staff to help find Edwards more ways to score and help the team win. Edwards' heart and competitive spirit is in the right place each time he launches his long-range shot, but 'it's not the game plan,' Crean said. Edwards, the leading freshman scorer in the nation (18.6 points per game), is hitting just 31.3 percent from 3-point range. Coaching adjustment Crean has reiterated how important ball movement and player movement is to an effective offense, and Edwards fits square in the middle of that plan. ' We made some real adjustments with him, he's got to continue to cut when they're denying him, he's got to continue to cut rather than stand, because he becomes very, very easy to guard when he's just standing in the slots, right, because they're not coming off him,' Crean said. 'Now, it might create a basket for somebody else, but he's learning a lot about cutting, a lot that he never knew. But we're nowhere near where we have to be with that.' And Edwards doesn't appear to be anywhere near where he was some two weeks ago, when he explained his jubilant sideline antics during the blowout win over the Vols. 'Basketball is always business for me, because I'm trying to make a lot of money playing this game,' Edwards said that night, ' but you never let the fun be taken away from it. That's why you play, because it's fun.' Georgia returns to action at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Missouri. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Mississippi State wins battle of Bulldogs in Starkville, decisively Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post Closer look: Georgia basketball star Anthony Edwards hitting Freshman Wall' like no other appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Welcome to Good Day, UGA , your one-stop shop for Georgia footballnews and takes. Check us out every weekday morning for everything you need to know about Georgia football, recruiting, basketball and more. With James Coley gone, how important will South Florida be to Georgia football? James Coley's time at Georgia has come to an end. On Friday it became known that he would be heading to Texas A&M to work on Jimbo Fisher's staff. The move has not been publicly announced yet but it shouldn't come as a surprise given Coley's past relationship with Fisher and the fact that Coley was demoted from his role as offensive coordinator. Related: Former Georgia football OC James Coley leaves staff, headed to Texas A&M Georgia brought in Todd Monken and named him offensive coordinator. The Bulldogs also brought in former Southern Miss offensive coordinator Buster Faulkner, though he's currently a support staffer. With Coley now at Texas A&M, there is an opening at quarterbacks coach that it would make sense for Faulkner to slide into. Coley's tenure as the offensive coordinator was not a successful one. Even though the Bulldogs won the SEC East and Sugar Bowl this past year, the offense struggled. Not all of that can be chalked up to Coley given the issues Georgia had at wide receiver and Jake Fromm's struggles, but it does fall at the feet of Coley. But for all of the complaints, you might have about his on-field results, Coley brought a lot to the program. And perhaps there was no greater impact than how Coley was able to help Georgia recruit south Florida. Coley had strong ties to the area and Georgia greatly benefitted because of it. The Bulldogs have landed a number of contributors from that part of the world, such as James Cook, Tyson Campbell, Tyrique Stevenson and Divaad Wilson to name a few. In the 2020 class, Georgia pulled 4-star wide receiver Marcus Rosemy from the area. With Coley now gone, it's going to be interesting how well Georgia is able to recruit in that region. Obviously Smart and the Bulldogs have shown that they can recruit nationally, but it won't be quite so easy do so now in an area where Georgia has had a lot of recent success. South Florida is one of the few areas in the country that can rival the metro Atlanta area in terms of the number of elite prospects that are produced on an annual basis. And Georgia isn't going to just stop trying to recruit the area now that it doesn't have Coley on staff. But it's undeniable that Coley made things much easier for Georgia in that part of the country. And while replacing him as an offensive coordinator might not be all the difficult from a statistical standpoint, Georgia's 2020 team would be worse off if it didn't have some of standouts from South Florida. And Coley is just as responsible for those players as he is for the offensive struggles in 2019. Georgia football players show impact of Kobe Bryant's legacy Legendary basketball player Kobe Bryant tragically passed away on Sunday following a helicopter crash that also claimed the life of his 13-year-old daughter and seven others. Bryant was just 41 years old. His 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers included countless iconic moments to go along with five titles. He was a league MVP and easily one of the best to ever play the sport of basketball. But Bryant's impact stretched far beyond the game of basketball. His 'Mamba Mentality' and willingness to win at any cost inspired countless individuals. Even to someone who doesn't understand why Bryant was a great two-way player, anyone who watched him play could understand his grit and toughness was something to try and emulate. Given Bryant's career apex took place when many recent Georgia football players were able to watch and appreciate his greatness, the news rocked a number of individuals. And they took to social media to react and respond to the tragic news of Bryant's passing. pic.twitter.com/lFNuQ5yYOJ Richard LeCounte III (@LilEasy_35) January 26, 2020 Speechless!! RIP THE KING Zamir White (@zeus1_34) January 26, 2020 Smh life too short man Cherish the ones you love R.I.P Kobe SWIFT7 (@DAndreSwift) January 26, 2020 LUV Mamba Red Panda (@_LayZay_) January 26, 2020 Wow just wow https://t.co/3GoDNoFcsW Eric Stokes Jr (@_jamane_) January 26, 2020 And I wasn't even a Kobe fan https://t.co/zfuSVZHQ4o David Marshall (@DMarsh_51) January 26, 2020 R.I.P to Kobe and Gianna This hit hard, words can't describe! Prayers to the family and friends We need to appreciate and love the ones we are around! Life is so short pic.twitter.com/cgHfMSIZ8J Mecole Hardman Jr. (@MecoleHardman4) January 26, 2020 use to rock the #24 in HS with the one half sleeve that came up to the elbow like 10' Kobe- damn man DB17 (@DavinBellamy17) January 26, 2020 man my idol just died @kobebryant change my life man!!!! DB17 (@DavinBellamy17) January 26, 2020 The coldest competitor I've ever witnessed & forever my favorite athlete. RIP Mamba Keith Marshall (@Truthh4) January 26, 2020 Bryant was incredibly divisive at times but just based on the social media reaction from yesterday's tragic news it's clear the way he went about playing the game of basketball, and life, was something that everyone appreciated and tried to replicate. Whether it be mashing your teeth together while trying to push through something, or shooting a sheet of paper at a trash can while letting out a 'Kobe!' Bryant's impact goes far beyond the NBA. 'You grow up watching him, he just means so much not only to the game of basketball but to the game of women's basketball,' Georgia women's basketball coach Joni Taylor said on Sunday. 'He was a fan, he was at the Final Four, his daughters played. 'He supported college basketball, the WNBA, all levels. He was a champion for us.' Related: Kobe Bryant death draws strong reactions from hall of famer Dawn Staley, Georgia's Joni Taylor Georgia football coach Kirby Smart also sent out a tweet commenting on the tragedy. Prayers go out to the Bryant family and all those affected by today's tragedy. One of the greatest competitors ever. Kobe is leaving quite the legacy both on and off the court #8 #24 Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) January 27, 2020 Bryant truly was a GOAT. You don't accomplish the things he did in this life, both on and off the court, without being one. He meant so much to so many people and changed the way athletes across all sports play and compete. He so clearly inspired so many in this world, including a number of great Georgia athletes. More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Georgia football podcast: Examining how Todd Monken might use Zamir White and UGA's RBs An early enrollee has apparently already made an impression at UGA Georgia's Malik Herring rated top returning D-lineman in SEC, spearheads dominant front Anthony Edwards struggles against Ole Miss, Georgia basketball hits three-game skid Georgia football changes continue, another staff member leaves for Texas A&M Georgia offense flipping script: Terry Bowden's thoughts on drop-back to dual-threat transition Dawgs on Twitter Had a great time down in Athens !! #ATD pic.twitter.com/y0oTIAdViR Daran Branch (@say_brant) January 27, 2020 great visit @GeorgiaFootball @CamLemons_UGA @Coach_Hankton pic.twitter.com/0YxIHHzog1 (@HallAgiye) January 26, 2020 Hope this crew ends up at UGA @tateratledge22 @millionairemov3 @LXIII_NOVA pic.twitter.com/TAEaEUeSjn Dean Ratledge (@dratledge81) January 25, 2020 Dawgs on Twitter Next pup up at Butler! Blue IV, who will replace retiring Blue III, was introduced on Friday and he is adorable pic.twitter.com/ZcN6f8LE9D ESPN (@espn) January 25, 2020 The post Following James Coley departure, we'll learn a lot about the importance of South Florida to Georgia football appeared first on DawgNation.
  • DJ Lundy had an eventful official visit over the weekend. It was part game-show, part-cooking show and part figure out if he could put on a show one day at Sanford Stadium, too. He said Georgia coach Kirby Smart did a lot of things to get the 10 official visitors at UGA out of their comfort zones all weekend. There was a cooking contest. Lundy whipped up a Hibachi-style meal. There was also some axe-throwing, but he won't soon forget the 'Family Feud' style game they played. His opponent hit the buzzer first, but got one of those strikes that might make Steve Harvey wince. Lundy didn't. His reply to the query 'What melts when it gets hot' was the No. 1 answer on the board. 'The top answer was ice,' Lundy said. He won that face-off and his team won the official visitor feud at UGA this weekend. Colquitt County RB Daijun Edwards, preferred walk-on DT Cade Brock and a couple other Georgia commits were a part of that winning team. He had the right answer for that. Now he just has to figure out the right answer for his college decision. 'Georgia just really made me come out of my comfort zone and open up to the coaching staff and do things I normally wouldn't do,' he said. 'Kind of put the spotlight on me.' That has certainly evolved. Let's take a quick few reps through everything he shared with DawgNation Sunday night after his official visit in Athens was up. The 3-star ATH from Irwin County (Ocilla, Ga.) had three official visits left to take, but will not need anymore. He's finished with that part of his recruiting journey. Lundy took back-to-back visits to Georgia and Virginia Tech over the last two weeks. Those are his two finalists. He will make a private decision this week and share that decision with the respective coaching staffs. He said he hasn't figured it out yet, but will come up with his college choice this week. He will then let the world know on February 5. That will be the traditional Wednesday that has long been the home of National Signing Day every recruiting cycle. Some schools have been recruiting him as a RB and others as an ILB. Georgia rising sophomore ILB Trezmen Marshall was his host this weekend. That was the perfect choice as those two have gone head-to-head for years in Georgia high school football. Marshall's teams at Clinch County had been the roadblock to Irwin County's state title hopes over the last few years prior to 2019. His Irwin County teammates call him 'The Lumberjack' and 'Big 4' back home. How would he sum up his weekend official visit? 'It was mainly building a strong relationship with coaches and players,' he said. 'Seeing if it was a good fit and then I just liked the vibe you know.' DJ Lundy: How he feels about Georgia right now Lundy described the potential fit he was able to pick up on over the weekend. 'It is a bunch of good people up there,' Lundy said. 'Like a brotherhood.' What did Georgia give him to think about after his trip? It was quite a lot. 'I already had a lot to think about before I went up there,' Lundy said. 'That has just given me more to think about now.' Lundy rates as 3-star recruit and the nation's No. 53 ATH on the 247Sports Composite ratings for 2020. That places him as the nation's No. 887 overall recruit. It goes without saying that Georgia has him a lot higher on the board of the nation's No. 3 rated recruiting class at this time. Lundy is a two-sport state champion. He has won back-to-back wrestling state championships at Irwin County. The Irwin County football team also won the Georgia Class A public state championship this past season in dominating fashion. Georgia sees the 6-foot-1, 230-pound senior as a ILB prospect with a few extra options to his game. He could be a RB on the other side of the ball. Lundy has bruised up Georgia high school secondaries for the last two seasons as a hard-to-handle threat in the ground game. Lundy had three tackles for losses, a sack, a forced fumble and rumbled for 174 yards on the ground in the state title game. Pair that up with a wrestling acumen that hasn't seen him lose a match since falling to state champions in his freshman season and that's a stout combination for a South Georgia player. He associated the Georgia program with success, too. 'It is a winning program,' Lundy said. 'If you go there, then you know you are going to win. You are fighting for a national championship every year. Not only that, it has always been a dream to go to Georgia in my home state. It is just the brand. If you go to Georgia, you would be set or life.' DJ Lundy compares Georgia and Virginia Tech Georgia did not offer Lundy until late in the 2019 recruiting calendar. That offer came mere days before the early signing period. When that offer from the Bulldogs came, it changed up his recruiting outlook. Beyond blessed to say I received an offer from the University of Georgia. @ChadSimmons_ pic.twitter.com/MbStBWXeBc Dj Lundy (@djlundy01) December 17, 2019 'It was a dream come true really,' Lundy said. 'It made me hold off my decision and think about it a little bit more. I just wanted to make sure that I was making the best decision.' If Georgia had not offered, he said that he probably still would not have signed early. Virginia Tech was neck-and-neck with Vanderbilt at that time. 'My decision will be between Virginia Tech and Georgia,' he said. Beyond blessed to say I received an offer from the University of Georgia. @ChadSimmons_ pic.twitter.com/MbStBWXeBc Dj Lundy (@djlundy01) December 17, 2019 As stated earlier, he will make the decision next week and then release the decision on National Signing Day. When he left Athens, he felt he understood the message he had gotten from the staff pretty clearly. 'They really want me,' he said. 'They think I can contribute to the team and that it would be a good opportunity for me if I want it.' He sees an opportunity in Athens, too. The same as he does with the Hokies. 'I feel like I can help them on both sides of the ball,' he said. 'It really just going to depend on how I compete when I get down there. I plan on going down there to compete and getting straight to business. I'm fighting for a spot just like everybody else. Let the best man win.' Marshall laid out the deal in Athens. He was going to have to work. Players in the program will have their ups and downs. Just like at any college. 'At the end of the day, it is just competition,' Lundy said of what Marshall told him. 'I love to compete so why not? If you go to Georgia you are going to be competing against the best of the best.' How does he compare the vibe at Virginia Tech to what he just saw in Athens? 'It is different kinds of good,' he said. 'For sure. What I love about Virginia Tech is it reminds me of home. It is a big school but it has that small town feel to it if you know what I mean. Like country. It is backroad. It feels a lot like home.' That reminds him of Ocilla. 'Then what with Athens is it is a college town,' he said. 'So many people. It is just up there the networking you would meet so many new people up there every day.' He has not decided on a major, but feels that both schools check all the boxes or him academically. Lundy grew up an Oregon fan at Irwin County. Not Georgia. But he did have a breathtaking moment along his official visit. It wasn't another round of the 'Family Feud' or that hibachi grill. 'When I went downtown to Athens,' he said. 'Just to see all the students and the people. It is breathtaking.' What is he looking for in a college fit? 'Education is first and foremost,' he said. 'Then after that really you have got to find that fit. You have got to go somewhere that you can be for four years. Make sure that the coaches have your best interests at heart and that you get your degree no matter what. I feel like at both schools that will happen.' He said he will make 'a gut feeling' over the next week about his eventual college choice. He does not have that figured out. 'I still have got to work on that a little bit,' he said. The post DJ Lundy: South Georgia ATH is down to two schools after his UGA official appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Tears were shed around the globe as news spread of the tragic helicopter crash that claimed the life of 18 NBA all-star Kobe Bryant and four others in Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday morning. Women's Basketball Hall of Famer and three-time Olympic gold-medalist Dawn Staley heard the news shortly before tipoff of her No. 1-ranked team's game at Georgia. 'Now we get more details, it's horrific for Kobe; since he retired, he dedicated his life to his little girl and her career in basketball,' Staley said, referencing 13-year-old Gianna Bryant, who was among those killed in the crash. Bryant was traveling to basketball practice at the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks with his daughter, 'GiGi' and three other passengers when the Sikorsky S-76 helicopter crashed amid the foggy conditions some 30 miles Northwest of Los Angeles. In addition to enjoying post-NBA success as an author, producer and Academy Award winner, Bryant was also coaching his daughter's AAU team five times a week, per 'SLAM' basketball magazine. Bryant's basketball skills and competitive fire helped transcend the game, an example for players of both sexes to work to emulate. Staley and Georgia coach Joni Taylor pointed out how Bryant had also elevated the women's game and provided much-needed support. 'It's unfortunate that we don't get a chance to see him coach any more, to see him impact girls' lives,' Staley said. 'He just talked about WNBA players being able to play in the NBA.' Indeed, just last Thursday, Bryant said WNBA players could 'keep up' when asked if one day women could play in the NBA. 'I think there are a couple of players that could play in the NBA right now, honestly,' Bryant said. 'There's a lot of players that have a lot of skill that could do it. Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore, Delle Donne, there's a lot of great players out there. They could most certainly keep up with them.' Kobe Bryant says there's WNBA players that could play in the NBA right now, including Diana Taurasi, Elena Delle Donne & Maya Moore! pic.twitter.com/4jdCZ282j9 Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 22, 2020 Staley fought to keep her emotions in check as she put the importance of Bryant's in perspective. 'We need more people like Kobe Bryant sticking up for women's basketball,' she said. 'He did it at the highest level, and we're prayerful. Godspeed to his family and all of us who had a connection to him.' Taylor said she didn't personally know Bryant, but like most every other player associated with the sport, she was influenced by him. 'You grow up watching him, he just means so much not only to the game of basketball, but to the game of women's basketball,' Taylor said. 'He was a fan, he was at the Final Four, his daughters played. 'He supported college basketball, the WNBA, all levels. He was a champion for us.' The Associated Press contributed to this story South Carolina coach Dawn Staley Georgia coach Joni Taylor SEC Network Twitter USC women's basketball coach @dawnstaley, who grew up in Philadelphia like Kobe, shared her thoughts on his passing and what he meant to the game of women's basketball https://t.co/sT30v0mnrU Mike Uva (@Mike_Uva) January 26, 2020 The post WATCH: Kobe Bryant death draws strong reactions from hall of famer Dawn Staley, Georgia's Joni Taylor 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. 1,117 (Jan. 24, 2020) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about how new offensive coordinator Todd Monken might use Zamir White and UGA's other running backs. Georgia football podcast: Examining how Todd Monken might use Zamir White and UGA's running backs Beginning of the show: Georgia coach Kirby Smart's decision to bring in Todd Monken as offensive coordinator was seemingly made with an eye toward upgrading the Bulldogs' passing attack which floundered in 2019. However, as UGA transitions to a new-look scheme in 2020, there are questions about what that might mean for UGA's running backs, and the program's tradition of being known as 'Running Back University.' I'll address that topic on today's show. 10-minute mark: I preview a major recruiting weekend for the Bulldogs. 15-minute mark: DawgNation's recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show. Some of the topics covered include The official visits for UGA offensive line commits Broderick Jones and Sedrick Van Pran-Granger The announced unofficial visit for five-star 2021 wide receiver Agiye Hall And the latest on five-star running back Zach Evans 30-minute mark: I take a look at the latest SEC headlines including an update on Clemson transfer quarterback Chase Brice, a possible transfer on his way to play for Mike Leach at Mississippi State and a big raise for Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele. 35-minute mark: I preview a big weekend for some of UGA's other athletic programs. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: Examining how Todd Monken might use Zamir White and UGA's RBs appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football fans are counting down to the end of the 2020 recruiting cycle on National Signing Day, and DawgNation is chronicling all the buildup with the Signing Day Spotlight presented by Kroger. Each day, host Brandon Adams will recap the big news for UGA fans from around the recruiting trail as the Bulldogs attempt to once again assemble one of the country's top classes. On this edition of the Signing Day Spotlight, BA shares details of how four-star wide receiver signee Justin Robinson has apparently already made an impression at UGA. An early enrollee has apparently already made an impression at UGA One of the most-prolific players in Georgia football history has high hopes for a UGA newcomer. Former Bulldogs wide receiver Terrence Edwards recently joined DawgNation Daily to evaluate UGA's 2020 receiver signees, and what Edwards said about one of the early enrollees, former four-star prospect Justin Robinson, is the subject of this edition of the Signing Day Spotlight (video linked below). Edwards left quite a legacy at UGA. He remains the program's all-time leader in career receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns, and in 2002, he became the only Bulldog ever to surpass 1,000 yards in a season. Edwards has also maintained his passion for the receiving position working as a personal coach for many UGA players, including Robinson. In other words, his perspective carries a lot of weight. Therefore, UGA fans are likely to enjoy Edwards' explanation of why Robinson's stature will bring value to the Bulldogs and give him a chance to contribute. Wide receiver is obviously an important position for UGA this season after the position group struggled in 2019, and fortunately for the Bulldogs, Robinson isn't the only incoming freshman with promise. UGA also signed four-star prospects Marcus Rosemy, Arian Smith and Jermaine Burton the nation's No. 7, 9 and 13 receivers respectively. They along with Robinson are expected to add to a new-look offense which will feature a starting quarterback other than Jake Fromm for the first time in three seasons, and a new offensive coordinator in Todd Monken as well. The post An early enrollee has apparently already made an impression at UGA appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Looking back on the past decade of Georgia football brings to mind the old introduction to ABC's 'Wide World of Sports,' with its touting of 'the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat the human drama of athletic competition.' Yeah, Dawgs fans experienced all of that during 2010-2019: 10 years of incredible highs, heartbreaking lows and some mediocre days not worth mentioning. Reading over the Blawgs I wrote in that decade has brought back some extremely fond memories and a few that still make me shudder. Or wince ( should-have-spiked the ball with 15 seconds left the Prayer-at-Jordan Hare and second-and-26 being three prime examples). Wallowing in misery isn't what I'm undertaking today, however. This is a look at the best of the decade for the Dawgs. I have to admit, compiling the most memorable players, games, plays and moments of that decade was easy on some counts, and much more difficult on others, particularly when it came to deciding who should make an all-decade team at certain positions where the Dawgs have enjoyed a bounty of top-notch talent. (Can you easily choose between Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb and Sony Michel?) Other choices were clear-cut (at least, to me), especially the quarterback position , about which I wrote a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps you'll agree with my choices, or maybe you'll think I'm way off-base on some of them. That's the fun of this sort of exercise; feel free to share your own thoughts on the best of UGA football in the 2010s. Now, first up, my All-Decade Dawgs: Offense Center: David Andrews. Runnerup: Ben Jones. Tackles: Andrew Thomas, Isaiah Wynn. Honorable mention: John Theus. Guards: Cordy Glenn, Lamont Gaillard (who also played center). Tight ends: Orson Charles, Jeb Blazevich. Wide receivers: Malcolm Mitchell, Javon Wims, Tavarres King, A.J. Green. * Honorable mention: Chris Conley, Terry Godwin. QB: Aaron Murray. Runnerup: Jake Fromm. Tailbacks: Todd Gurley, Nick Chubb, Sony Michel (a tossup, but a fully healthy Gurley gets the starting nod). Fullbacks: Christian Payne, Quavon Hicks. ( What the heck, Georgia had fullbacks for most of the decade and, unlike Kirby Smart, I'm a fullback guy. The toss would be more effective with a FB leading the way, I believe.) Defense Defensive line: John Atkins, Jonathan Ledbetter, John Jenkins. Linebackers: Roquan Smith, Jarvis Jones, Justin Houston* Alec Ogletree. Honorable mention: Davin Bellamy, Leonard Floyd. Cornerbacks: Deandre Baker, Sanders Commings. Runnersup: Damian Swann, Maurice Smith, Aaron Davis (the latter two both played nickel back). Safeties: Baccari Rambo, J.R. Reed. Runnerup: Dominick Sanders. Specialists Punter: Drew Butler. Runnerup: Cameron Nizialek.* Placekicker: Rodrigo Blankenship. Runnerup: Marshall Morgan. Returner: Isaiah McKenzie. Runnersup: Mecole Hardman, Brandon Boykin. *Green, Houston and Nizialek only played one season each for Georgia during the decade, but they deserve their spots. And now on to other highlights of the decade Most memorable games 2012: Georgia 17, Florida 9. A terrific Malcolm Mitchell run after catching a fourth quarter pass from Aaron Murray and breaking a tackle put Georgia ahead. However, the game against the No. 2-ranked Gators was dominated by a Georgia defense that forced six turnovers, including a gamesaver by Jarvis Jones at the end. 2013: Georgia 44, LSU 41. With ESPN's 'College GameDay' in town and the eyes of the nation on the quarterback showdown between former roomiesAaron Murrayand Zach Mettenberger,the resulting 'Redout' game was one of the most thrilling I've ever seen, and, to date, still the absolutely loudest I've ever heard Sanford Stadium from the first kickoff to the final whistle. 2014: Georgia 45, Clemson 21. Todd Gurley gained 293 all-purpose yards, scoring 4 touchdowns, and Nick Chubb literally ran out of one of his shoes in his freshman debut, as Georgia pulled away in the second half to beat Dabo Swinney's Tigers, who in the second half were held to only one first down, 15 yards passing and no yards on the ground. 2017: Georgia 20, Notre Dame 19. The first big road test for Jake Fromm, it wasn't a pretty game, as the two teams combined to punt the ball 17 times, eight by Georgia, in a largely defensive struggle. But, the Dawgs persevered, and finally won it on a Rod Blankenship field goal. The first of quite a few thrilling moments during that magical season. New Year's Day, 2018: Georgia 54, Oklahoma 48. The Dawgs' double-overtime Rose Bowl win over the Sooners in the College Football Playoff propelled them to the National Championship game against Alabama a week later. It's the highest scoring game ever in the history of the granddaddy of bowl games and, for me, ranks second only to the Sugar Bowl win over Notre Dame in January, 1981. Honorable mention: The SEC Championship 'revenge' win over Auburn in 2017 the absolute domination of Florida in Jacksonville during that same season and the Dawgs' tough win over Notre Dame Between the Hedges in 2019. Most memorable plays 2011, Florida: A tie between the two fourth-down touchdown passes against the Gators in 2011 to Michael Bennett and Tavarres King. Both admittedly were great catches, but Aaron Murray put the ball exactly where it needed to be. 2012, Florida: Jarvis Jones stripping the ball away from Florida's Jordan Reed as he was about to score, preserving the most important win of the season for Georgia. 2013, LSU: Trailing the No. 6 Tigers 41-37 with 4:14 left, Aaron Murray threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Justin Scott Wesley with 1:47 on the clock. 2014: Clemson: Todd Gurley's 100-yard-plus kickoff return was a thing of beauty, showing off his deceptive speed. 2017, Notre Dame: Terry Godwin's acrobatic one-handed, falling-backward third-and-goal touchdown catch was one of the best plays in a season of great plays. NBC Sports labeled it 'catch of the year.' Honorable mention: The flea-flicker play involving Jake Fromm, Nick Chubb and Terry Godwin that opened the 2017 game against a surging Mississippi State team; and Lorenzo Carter's block of an Oklahoma field goal attempt on the second overtime of the Rose Bowl game. Play of the decade Rose Bowl, against Oklahoma: Sony Michel takes a direct snap in the shotgun and, picking up a key block from quarterback Jake Fromm, streaks 27 yards down the left side for the winning score in the second overtime, sending the Dawgs on to the National Championship game. Memorable performances Jarvis Jones, with five solo tackles and four sacks in Georgia's 2011 come-from-behind win over Florida. Leonard Floyd, with eight tackles, a sack and two tackles for loss in Georgia's 2013 win over LSU. Nick Chubb, returning from knee surgery to run for 222 yards and 2 touchdowns in Georgia's 2016 Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game win over North Carolina. Roquan Smith, with 13tackles, 10 of them solo and two of them for losses, plus two fumble recoveries and a sack in the 2017 SEC Championship win over Auburn. He rightly was named the game's MVP. George Pickens, tying a Georgia bowl record with 12 catches for 175 yards and a touchdown against Baylor in the Jan. 1, 2020 Sugar Bowl. Favorite moments 2013, South Carolina: Georgia grinds out a 14-play drive to eat up the final 8:28 of a big win over the Top 10-ranked Gamecocks, and, midway through the drive, USC head coach Steve Spurrier throws in the towel by removing his headset and declining to call a timeout. Sweet. 2017, Notre Dame: Bulldog Nation taking over the Fighting Irish stadium, with NBC analyst Doug Flutie noting at one point, 'This is almost a 50/50 crowd.' At the start of the fourth quarter, you would have thought it was Sanford Stadium as Dawgs fans lit up the place with their cellphones, bringing with them a then-new tradition from Between the Hedges. Runnerup: Kicker Rod Blankenship being mobbed by his teammates in the locker room after the 2017 win over Notre Dame as Kirby Smart had the former walk-on announce that he was now on scholarship. MVP of the decade This is tough. Aaron Murray was a quarterback capable of putting the team on his back and somehow finding a way to win. Todd Gurleywas the most talented running back at Georgia since Herschel Walker and probably would have won a Heisman if not for injuries and asuspension. Sony Michel spent his career at UGA in tandem with Nick Chubb and, by the end of their senior year, was the more versatile of the two backs. But Chubb was awesome on a consistent basis, and came back from a devastating left knee injury to run for a career total 4,769 rushingyards, trailing only Walker in SEC history. He recorded his 24thcareer game running for 100 yards or more against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. So, Nick Chubb is my MVP of the decade. Damn good Dawgs, all of them. Let me hear from you! I'll be answering Junkyard Mail next time, so, if you have any comments or questions on any UGA sports topic, please email me at junkyardblawg@gmail.com . The post Picking the Dawgs' greatest players, games, moments of the decade appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football rising senior Malik Herring started the season on the bench and ended it as the top returning defensive linemen in the SEC, per advanced metrics. Coach Kirby Smart wasn't and isn't going to have it any other way. It is Smart who has pushed Herring to the verge of greatness, ensuring the Forsyth product get the best out of himself and make the most of his talents on the field. 'Malik can be a good player, (but) he's gotta hone in and do the little things right, and he's gotta be a little more mature and serious about things to be the player we want him to be,'Smart said last spring.'He's talented, though, and he's played well. He's just gotta mature some.' Pro Football Focus, which grades players each week, has Herring as the top-ranked SEC defensive lineman in its Top 25. Herring comes in at No. 7 with Alabama's Chritisian Barmore second among league players at No. 12. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound Herring showed just how much he'd grown in the 26-14 win over Baylor in the Sugar Bowl. Herring, starting in place of departing senior Tyler Clark, had five tackles, a pass break-up and 1.5 tackles for loss. Herring platooned all season in the Bulldogs' deep defensive front. It was a unit that set the tone for the nation's best run defense with its sound gap integrity. Georgia didn't allow a rushing TD until the 10th game of the season. But at the start of the 2019 campaign, on the road trip to Vanderbilt, Herring did not play. 'We talked about it after the game,' Smart said the next week. 'If he continues to use practice and get better, he'll play.' Herring did just that, earning nine starts and finishing with 24 QB hurries, third-best on the team. The Bulldogs have lost reliable seniors off the 2019 D-Line. Most notably, seniors Michael Barnett, David Marshall and Clark have moved on. But Herring is one of a handful of defensive linemen coming back with star potential that figure to play in the NFL one day. Nosetackle Jordan Davis was a Freshman All-American in 2018 and continued his run-stuffing ways last season. Freshman Travon Walker overcame in-season wrist surgery to make highlights, including the game-clinching sack at Auburn. Then there are the fellow seniors. Devonte Wyatt was second on the team with 27 QB hurries. Justin Young played in nine of 14 games and had his moments. Then there's Julian Rochester, a fifth-year senior after qualifying for a redshirt, playing just four games after coming off knee surgery. Amazingly, none of the Georgia defense was named first-team All-SEC by the Associated Press last season. This, even though the Bulldogs finished the regular season leading the conference in total defense, scoring defense, rushing defense and pass efficiency defense. Ultimately, safety J.R. Reed was named an All-American by one outlet, and linebacker Monty Rice and cornerback Eric Stokes were second-team All-SEC picks by the AP. But all was silent among the defensive tackles, nosetackles, and defensive ends from an awards perspective. WATCH: Dan Lanning champions no-name' Georgia defense Smart has said he prefers his players make noise with their helmets, so UGA players won't likely be tooting their own horns during the offseason. But those who watch and grade film have taken note, and Herring leads the way on a defensive front that could dominate the SEC in 2020. DawgNation Georgia football Herring makes time for Kids Fun Day in hometown Georgia offseason has produced fascinating offensive change Football stars endorse Todd Monken hire at Georgia WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post Georgia's Malik Herring rated top returning D-linemen in SEC, spearheads dominant front appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia suffered a 70-60 home loss to Ole Miss, a sellout crowd and decisive rebounding advantage not enough to get the Bulldogs back on track. The Rebels (10-9, 1-5 SEC) snapped a a six-game losing streak with the upset over Georgia (11-8, 1-5), which has lost two of its last three at home after opening the season 8-0 in Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia freshman Anthony Edwards continued his struggles with 13 points on 3-of-12 shooting. Ten of Edwards' attempts came from behind the arc, his inability to get to the rim out of the half court offense surfacing once again. Senior Jordan Harris led the Bulldogs with 15 points and eight rebounds in a game that saw UGA hold a decisive 38-28 advantage on the boards. Georgia however, couldn't overcome its poor shooting (17 of 55, 30.9 percent) while Ole Miss was an efficient 26 of 50 (52 percent). The loss marks UGA's first three-game losing streak of the season, sending many of the10,523 in attendance to the exits early as Ole Miss pulled away late. The Rebels threatened to run away at the start of the second half, scoring the first five points after intermission to make a 40-29, before Tom Crean called time out with 17:17 left. The Bulldogs responded with a 9-0 run sparked by a Harris 3-pointer and consecutive drives to the basket by Sahvir Wheeler (11 points) that resulted in a bucket and two free throws that cut the lead to 40-38 with 13:44 left. Moments later, Edwards pulled the trigger on a 3-pointer from the wing that put Georgia up 43-42 with 12:31 left and sent the crowd into a frenzy. It was the Bulldogs' first lead since a 13-12 advantage early, and Edwards first points since the 16:07 mark of the first half. It proved to be the final lead for Georgia. Ole Miss wrestled the lead back on a pair of J.J. Buffen (14 points) free throws the next trip down and didn't trail again. Breein Tyree scored 20 points to lead the Rebels. Georgia was down 35-29 at the end of the first half, a victim of its own 9 turnovers and 33 percent shooing (9 of 27). Ole Miss led by as many as 10 points, 32-22, before the Bulldogs battled back. Harris scored on a drive to the basket and hit a trey, and then Edwards capped the 7-0 run with a pair of free throws to make it 32-29. The Rebels scored the final three points of the half, the Bulldogs missing four shots on their final possession, squandering offensive rebounds. Georgia returns to action at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Missouri (9-10, 1-5 SEC) before returning to Athens to play host to Texas A&M (9-9, 3-3) next Saturday. DawgNation Georgia Basketball Georgia comes up short in hard-fought loss at Kentucky Mississippi State wins battle of Bulldogs in Starkville, decisively Anthony Edwards puts the squeeze on Tennessee in blowout win Georgia falls in first SEC road game of season at Auburn Freshman Anthony Edwards discloses injury, status Sahvir Wheeler on clutch game-winner, 'been there a ton of times' Tom Izzo on Georgia: 'That was an incredible comeback' Anthony Edwards lights up Michigan State for 37 in 93-85 loss Rayshaun Hammonds wrecks Georgia Tech Anthony Edwards draws standing ovation in opener The post Anthony Edwards struggles against Ole Miss, Georgia basketball hits three-game skid appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS The Georgia football offensive staff gyrations have continued into the weekend, and the next one could be processed as early as next week. Former Bulldogs' director of player personnel Marshall Malchow is headed to Texas A&M.DawgNation reported on Friday that former offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach James Coley was headed to work for the Aggies. RELATED: James Coley leaves Georgia football staff, as expected The 247Sports network was first to report the news on Malchow on Saturday. Georgia coach Kirby Smart made Coley expendable when he hired former NFL offensive coordinator Todd Monken on Jan. 17 to take over the offense and play-calling. Monken was in attendance at the Bulldogs' basketball game on Saturday, part of UGA' big weekend filled with key visitors. RELATED: Todd Monken trades 'total mess' for championship quest The writing was on the wall for Coley and other assistants closely tied to him last Monday. The hiring of former Southern Miss offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Buster Faulkner last Monday temporarily as an offensive analyst was more evidence Coley was likely on his way out. RELATED: Kirby Smart hires QB coach Buster Faulkner to offensive staff Faulkner is the odds-on favorite to fill the staff position vacated by Coley, though nothing is official at this point. Former UGA All-American Jon Stinchcomb told DawgNation that Faulkner was the right fit to work with Monken. 'You just brought in someone with experience with the NFL ranks who knows what it looks like when you have some of the elite athletes on the planet playing for you,' Stinchcomb said in regard to Monken. 'Buster comes from a background where you have to create a little more opportunities because you don't have that same level of talent. 'I think this new role for him is a great compliment to coach Monken being hired and the rest of the staff.' The departure of Malchow, an Alabama graduate, represents more collateral damage from Coley taking his recruiting prowess to Jimbo Fisher's staff in College Station. Coley has previously worked for Fisher at Florida State. Smart, who has stayed silent throughout the changes, traditionally holds a February signing day press conference, at which point he could address the new Georgia staff. More from DawgNation Georgia offseason has produced fascinating offensive change Football stars endorse Todd Monken hire at Georgia WATCH: 2021 commit Brock Vandagriff shares story with DawgNation Podcast: Brandon Adams shares his take on Brock Vandagriff addition Kirby Smart has turned Georgia offense upside down Why Buster Faukner a perfect complement to Todd Monken The post Georgia football changes continue, another staff member leaves for Texas A&M appeared first on DawgNation.