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College

    ATHENS Georgia coach Kirby Smart is all about improving his Bulldogs during the bye week. But the fourth-year UGA coach has seen enough of Florida to expect a challenge in Jacksonville on Nov. 2. 'I think our whole team is looking to the opportunity to play at Top 10 team in Jacksonville, regardless of how we have played or what we have done offensively, defensively or special teams,' Smart said on the SEC teleconference on Wednesday. 'You're always looking forward to playing a Top 10 team that's a well-coached good football team.' It will be the second Top 10 matchup for the No. 10-ranked Bulldogs this season when they play the No. 7-ranked Gators. Georgia beat Notre Dame 23-17, in the first non-conference matchup of Top 10 teams at Sanford Stadium since 1966 on Sept. 21. The Bulldogs are coming off a 21-0 win over Kentucky last Saturday. It was a game that saw Jake Fromm complete 9-of-12 passes for a career-low 35 yards amid windy, rainy and cooler conditions. Fromm had a career-high three interceptions the week before in a 20-17 overtime loss to South Carolina, leading some outsiders to suggest there may be a trend. Smart, however, indicated on Wednesday he wouldn't evaluate the passing game's performance against the Wildcats the same way he would judge the breakdowns against the Gamecocks. 'With the Kentucky game probably the biggest struggle is it was tough for anybody to palm a ball, throw a ball and effectively, catch it,' Smart said. 'We had DBs dropping balls all over the place out there. It was tough on both sides of it. 'When you go back to South Carolina there was a lot of passes in that game for a Georgia football team.' Indeed, Fromm attempted a career-high 51 passes. It seems in hindsight, Smart clearly felt was too much. At that, two of Fromm's interceptions were the result of receivers' failure to execute. One perfectly thrown ball in overtime popped out of the hands of the intended target. On another interception, the receiver ran the wrong route. Smart made it clear there was plenty of blame to go around. 'Some of it was route running, some of it was quarterback decision-making, it was a lot of things,' Smart said. 'But there was a lot of opportunities in the South Carolina game to throw it, and some it was continuity and chemistry, and some of it was accuracy, and some of it was protection. So it was a combination of things.' Georgia is still working to iron out the wrinkles on offense and defense. Smart said on Tuesday the defense was 'atrocious' at times in its win over Kentucky. 'Our guys are preparing for just getting better right now, we're going to see the doctor, as I call it, because we're trying to get better at everything we do, not just Florida,' Smart said. 'We're working on Georgia more than anything these practices to try to get fundamentally better.' DawgNation Georgia football Kirby Smart says atrocious' Georgia defense must improve UGA practice observations on Tuesday Bulldogs' defense says it has offense's backs RELATED: D'Andre Swift stands up for team after 21-0 win Georgia game recap, how the Bulldogs beat Kentucky WATCH: Kirby Smart proud Bulldogs able to chop wood' The post Kirby Smart: Georgia looks forward to playing Top 10' Florida appeared first on DawgNation.
  • This is the big day for 5-star TE Arik Gilbert. For prospects and their families, it is akin to Christmas Eve. Except they are handing out gifts, too. One of Gilbert's five finalists will land the services (a likely 3-year acquisition) of a rare prototype today. Looks like an NFL first-round DE or OLB. Has a heart for making big catches. Built like a first-round TE. Breaks off routes like an A-plus receiver. Gilbert announced five finalists abruptly on Tuesday morning. He will make his decision known sometime in the six o'clock hour on Wednesday from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta. He'll be on hand to receive his All-American Bowl with 11 other Atlanta-area standouts. I will be commiting live at the All American Jersey presentation on October 23rd. Shoutout to @BUnterwagner and @TheiSmooth for the collaboration on my official top 5 edit. pic.twitter.com/oY31035m8S Arik Gilbert (@arik_gilbert) October 22, 2019 What was last night like for his family? His mother, Akiba, granted DawgNation a chance to chronicle her views as her 6-foot-5, 255-pound son prepares to make his decision. 'I thought it was really far off when he was in the eighth grade,' she said. 'But it is here. It is definitely here. It feels almost like graduation.' What is the first big thing to know? That would be that this decision has been made. It was vetted. Hashed out. Chopped up. The second? She doesn't care to know what that decision is. 'Truthfully, I don't want to know until he reveals to everyone else,' she said. 'I feel my role is to just give him the right things to think about while he makes his decision.' That's because Gilbert is an educator. She's always instilled the degree is going to come first in this. That's the way it has always been since he picked up his first offer from UGA right in that summer span between middle school and high school way back in 2016. What did she feel his final decision came down to? 'Core criteria number one was the school,' she said. 'Did it feel like the right fit? Did the football program fit with his relationship with the coaches? Did he feel he would be utilized the right way in that program? I feel like those were the key things here.' Arik Gilbert: A few interesting things about today's decision Let's step through these as quickly as Gilbert glides down the field. The decision was not finalized as of late Tuesday evening. He was still processing things. When he decides, this will be it. Gilbert and his family are the antitheses of a family that will entertain, stomach or even tolerate a flipped commitment. Georgia got the last official visit. That was by design. The Gilbert family hoped to give the program the last at-bat out of respect to the way assistant Dell McGee and head coach Kirby Smart have represented UGA through a three-and-a-half-year process. The Bulldogs requested that last official. The family wanted to honor that. Gilbert plans to graduate early and up in January of 2020 as a mid-year enrollee for his next team. The family is grateful for the opportunity to visit with great coaches, administrators, programs and staffers during their walk to figure out his decision. Team Gilbert is blessed and grateful for that. There have been many youthful moments in this recruitment where Gilbert was ready to make an impulse decision and commit to a certain school. Or schools. The 5-star prospect was able to receive counsel from his family and inner circle to not be in a rush to make his commitment. This should be not regarded as stress-filled recruitment. Gilbert's personality is not wired that way. The first stressful night might have been Tuesday night. Which Georgia staffer made the biggest impact during that last at-bat during that Kentucky official visit? That was offensive coordinator James Coley. What did Coley say? 'He just really kind of emphasized that Georgia was home,' she said. 'I really think it was a moment that he really started to think about how that looks for him in the future. In regard to staying at home and family being able to come to the game. But not just that. But being able to represent Georgia as an athlete.' 'I think that was probably one of the most memorable moments of the visit.' What has happened over the last year with Arik Gilbert? Alabama now appears to be one of Gilbert's top choices. The Crimson Tide received his first official visit back in June. That SEC West giant is now the popular pick for his decision on the 247Sports 'Crystal Ball' feature for Gilbert's decision. It will come at approximately 6 p.m. today. It seems the more Gilbert looked around, the more his scope has changed. A lot of that, his mother feels, had to do with his continuing maturity. 'He's been fortunate enough to really enjoy the process,' she said. 'As he has matured and made decisions about what he really wanted to see out of a school or a program, I think his choices didn't necessarily get bigger. I think they became more purposeful. They just became a lot more intense and carried a lot more purpose in it.' This process once focused on which schools gave him the best experiences on visit days. It evolved into trying to find the school which would best shape the future successes ahead of him in life. 'Everyone might look to this as areas where Arik has found a lot of stress deciding over all of this, but I think it has been more about gratitude,' she said. 'He's been grateful to just have all these options and receive all of this attention from these elite schools. When you take that perspective, I think all the stress kind of disappears.' The appeal with Alabama also can't be ignored. 'I think the thing with Alabama is how could anybody discount them,' she said. 'They are legendary. Coach [Nick] Saban and what he has done with that program has been tremendous. I think that you just can exclude them from the conversation.' Arik Gilbert: The Georgia pitch Did Georgia do everything it could to try to land Gilbert here? That's what the DawgNation reader still hopes to learn by this point of the narrative. She shared her viewpoint on that topic. 'I think so,' she said. 'I definitely think so. You have to look at all of this. We are going back to the summer before the beginning of his ninth-grade year. That was the first time we met Coach Smart and Coach McGee. Man, that relationship has been going for three and a half and almost four years solid.' 'I think there's a real bond. A real connection. I think that's something that goes outside of just football and recruiting.' The Bulldogs tried to show exactly how he would be used on the visit. While she shared that she doesn't really know the Xs and Os of everything the Bulldogs had for him, she conveyed the general idea. 'They were showing him exactly how he would be used,' she said. 'Not just from a hypothetical situation but guys they are actually playing right now and that are making plays for them right now. How he would line up. Where he would line up in different manners. I can't get into all the football stuff, but I think he liked what he saw.' The post Akiba Gilbert, mother of 5-star Arik Gilbert, shares her view on decision day 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. 1,057 (Oct. 23, 2019) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about what some ESPN personalities said about Florida ahead of its showdown in two weeks with Georgia. Georgia football podcast: ESPN analysts provide UGA with some bulletin board material Beginning of the show: Florida is the best one-loss team in the country according to a number of ESPN analysts who debated the topic on TV Tuesday night. I'll share audio of what Kirk Herbreit, David Pollack, Joey Galloway, Jesse Palmer and Reece Davis said on today's show. I'll also discuss why that praise for the Gators might help Georgia build the edge it needs to earn the win next Saturday. 10-minute mark: I'll play audio of a surprising comment from UGA coach Kirby Smart critical of his team's defense after shutting out Kentucky Saturday. 15-minute mark: DawgNation's Mike Griffith joins the show. Some of the topics covered include Smart's comments about the UGA defense Reaction to ESPN praise of Florida And an update on key UGA injuries including left guard Solomon Kindley, cornerback Tyson Campbell and wide receiver Lawrence Cager 30-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin's Twitter plea for willing non-conference opponents, an update on some injuries to Gators players, South Carolina coach Will Muschamp's continued anger at the officials after his team's loss to Florida Saturday, the Gamecocks being placed on probation for a year and Auburn's attempt to snap a long losing streak at LSU this Saturday. 35-minute mark: I discuss 5-star tight end Arik Gilbert's upcoming commitment announcement. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: ESPN analysts provide UGA with some bulletin board material appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Jake Fromm doesn't get surprised by too many things on the football field, but on Wednesday morning the Georgia quarterback was caught off guard by a media blitz. Fromm was reading to students at Barrow Elementary School in Clarke County when the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team surprised him with a trophy and a brief recognition ceremony. 'This is a huge honor and a huge blessing to receive something like this,' Fromm said. 'I want to make other peoples' lives better and serve.' Fromm has done his best for the No. 10-ranked Bulldogs on the field, too. Even when things haven't gone ideal for him, Fromm has shown the maturity to to keep things in perspective and maintain his role as a team leader. 'For me, it's knowing who I am and where my identity lies,' Fromm said following a 21-0 win over Kentucky last Saturday. 'What I do is I play football, I'm a hunter, I'm a student, that's what I do. Who I am, I'm a child of God, and I'm a brother and I'm a son of my dad, and that's kind of who I am. 'I love this game, and I want to give the game all I can and I want to glorify my God doing that.' Part of Fromm's identity as Georgia is community service. Fromm is one of just 22 student-athletes in the country to be named to the 2019 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his leadership in his local community and overall commitment to giving back. In addition to multiple trips to Barrow Elementary School, Fromm has devoted time to the Extra Special People Organization, assisting individuals with disabilities and their families. 'When I was in middle school, I had an unbelievable connection with the special needs kids in my school,' Fromm said. 'They took to me, and I took to them, and I loved every minute of it. For me to do that for ESP here has been awesome.' Fromm has also provided support for sick children through hospital visits and volunteering at Camp Sunshine, a program for children with cancer. No doubt, being the starting quarterback at Georgia the past three seasons has put Fromm in a different light than most all other student athletes. Fromm, a junior from Warner Robins, said he's grown to become comfortable handling the attention he receives in the community. 'It' was pretty gradual over time,' Fromm said. 'I had to get comfortable in my own skin. Everywhere I went, I was representing someone: myself, my family, and my school. 'I want to represent everyone with the utmost respect, and that's what I'll try to do from this day on.' Fromm is 30-6 as the Bulldogs' quarterback. Georgia has a bye this week before returning to action at 3:30 p.m. on Nov. 2 against Florida in Jacksonville. Fromm is 2-0 against the Gators. Georgia QB Jake Fromm Surprise award session DawgNation Georgia football Kirby Smart says atrocious' Georgia defense must improve UGA practice observations on Tuesday Bulldogs' defense says it has offense's backs RELATED: D'Andre Swift stands up for team after 21-0 win D'Andre Swift gets game ball, carries Bulldogs to victory Georgia game recap, how the Bulldogs beat Kentucky WATCH: Kirby Smart proud Bulldogs able to chop wood' The post WATCH: Georgia's Jake Fromm honored, wants to make peoples lives better and serve' appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia coach Kirby Smart said cornerback Tyson Campbell 'practiced for the first time' on Tuesday after being limited in his return to the practice field last week. The No. 10-ranked Bulldogs (6-1, 3-1 SEC) have a bye this week before turning to action to play No. 7-ranked Florida (7-1, 4-1) in Florida at Jacksonville's TIAA Bank Stadium. ' Hopefully we're gonna get some guys back from injury and get them back working,' Smart said following practice on Tuesday. Smart said receiver Lawrence Cager, who has been out since the second half of the South Carolina game on Oct. 12, remains 'week to week.' Cager had been playing through a separated shoulder when a rib injury sidelined him. Defensive lineman Travon Walker, who has had his wrist in a cast since after the Tennessee game, will 'be cleared probably by Monday' Smart said. As for Campbell, who was playing the best football of his career when he left the second quarter of the Sept. 14 win over Arkansas State, Smart remains uncertain of his return. 'I don't think there's any way I can answer that to put the odds on it, there's just no way,' Smart said, asked about Campbell returning from the turf toe ailment. 'I ask every day the medical staff, when is he going to be back, just like you guys do. I was very encouraged today. The time off has helped, but his repetitions have helped, he got back out there. 'He's very mentally, he's into the practice. He always has a sheet of paper, he's always watching the script, but there's nothing like the speed of the game, but that's important. He'll have to be going 100 percent by next week to be able to play.' Junior college transfer DJ Daniel has stepped up to take Campbell's place opposite starting cornerback Eric Stokes. Freshman cornerback Tyrique Stevenson and senior Tyrique McGhee are also competing for repetitions at the position. Smart indicated that even if Cager can't play in the game in Florida against Florida, he might still board the plane for the neutral site contest. 'He's been like Javon Wims, he's been an impact player for sure, but he's probably been more of an impact on that room,' Smart said. 'We want him around is what I'm saying, even though we knew he wasn't going to be playing against Kentucky, he was still in the room, impacting those guys. 'He's just very mature, he's played a lot of football in his career, and he's a positive impact on other those guys in the room.' Offensive guard Solomon Kindley was back working with the first team. Kindley has not started on the offensive line since injuring his ankle in the first half of the 23-17 win over Notre Dame on Sept. 21. Offensive lineman Justin Shaffer remains out. Georgia football injury report CB Tyson Campbell (foot) questionable DL Travon Walker (wrist) questionable WR Lawrence Cager (shoulder) doubtful WR Tommy Bush (groin) out OL Justin Shaffer (neck) out QB D'Wan Mathis (head) out DawgNation Georgia football Kirby Smart says atrocious' Georgia defense must improve UGA practice observations on Tuesday Bulldogs' defense says it has offense's backs RELATED: D'Andre Swift stands up for team after 21-0 win Georgia football winners and losers from Kentucky game D'Andre Swift gets game ball, carries Bulldogs to victory Georgia game recap, how the Bulldogs beat Kentucky WATCH: Kirby Smart proud Bulldogs able to chop wood' The post Georgia football injury update: Tyson Campbell practiced for the first time' 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. ESPN has one big question for Georgia football While Georgia hasn't been perfect to this point in the season, the Bulldogs will enter the month of November with a 6-1 record and everything still on the table. The Bulldogs can still reach some of their preseason goals, but they'll have to make improvements from a less than stellar October that saw them lose to South Carolina and struggle with Kentucky. And Georgia's November slate is much more difficult, as the Bulldogs play No. 7 Florida, No. 9 Auburn, as well as games against Missouri, Texas A&M and Georgia Tech. If Georgia is going to make it through that gambit clean, the Bulldogs have to improve in one area. Well, it's a number of areas according to ESPN's Alex Scarborough, but it's all contained to one side of the ball. ESPN identified the biggest question for each top-25 team for the remainder of the season. And for Georgia, the question is simple: 'Can the Dawgs fix their offense?' 'Something's wrong with Georgia's offense. The line isn't playing up to par, the running game has been inconsistent and wide receivers haven't been doing a great job getting open,' Scarborough wrote. 'Jake Fromm, who has been as steady as any quarterback in the country the past three seasons, isn't himself. Down the stretch, and especially against Florida, the Bulldogs need to start scoring points in order to carry this team back to the SEC title game.' The Georgia offense is coming off two lackluster performances, as the Bulldogs scored only 17 points in the South Carolina loss and 21 in the win over Kentucky. Georgia did figure some things out in the second half of the Kentucky contest, as the Bulldogs final four drives of the game ended touchdown, touchdown, touchdown and kneel down. The Bulldogs have also been battling injuries across the offense. Brian Herrien missed the South Carolina loss with back spasms. Lawrence Cager left the South Carolina game and did not play against Kentucky. The offensive line has been a revolving door as the Bulldogs have had a number of injuries across the front. Of course, last year there where many of the same questions about Georgia entering a daunting stretch run. And the Bulldogs responded by beating Florida, Kentucky and Auburn as they were able to bounce back from a loss to LSU and make it back to Atlanta as SEC East champs. The Bulldogs ultimately lost to Alabama, which kept them out of the College Football playoff last year. To get back there, Georgia is going to have to improve offensively against better competition. Though it does help to have the league's best defense, as Georgia ranks No. 1 in the SEC in scoring defense and total defense. And the Bulldogs have long had this upcoming stretch of games circled on their schedule. 'We've known that for a long time. All offseason we've worked for it to be a three-part season. There's part one. Part two in the middle,' Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. 'And then part three was going to be the meat and potatoes. We've known that. We're building up this week to work on it.' Wednesday to be a big day for Georgia recruiting as Arik Gilbert announces his commitment While the Bulldogs don't play this weekend, the recruiting front should see some movement starting on Wednesday, as 5-star tight end Arik Gilbert is set to announce his college decision. Gilbert has long been a Georgia target, and the Bulldogs did make the top-5 for the nation's No. 10 player. I will be commiting live at the All American Jersey presentation on October 23rd. Shoutout to @BUnterwagner and @TheiSmooth for the collaboration on my official top 5 edit. pic.twitter.com/oY31035m8S Arik Gilbert (@arik_gilbert) October 22, 2019 He ranks as the No. 2 player in the state of Georgia. The Bulldogs also got Gilbert on campus this past weekend for an official visit. It is believed that Alabama is the biggest competitor for Gilbert's services, as the Crimson Tide have seen the likes of O.J. Howard and Irv Smith Jr. become high draft picks in recent seasons. LSU, Texas A&M and Clemson are the other finalists for Gilbert. Should Gilbert end up picking Georgia, he would be their highest-rated commitment in the 2020 class. Georgia is also recruiting tight ends Theo Johnson and Darnell Washington, as Charlie Woerner and Eli Wolf will exhaust their eligibility after this season. Johnson and Washington both visited for the Notre Dame game and spent a lot of time chatting with Georgia quarterback commit Carson Beck. Gilbert's announcement is expected to come during the 6 p.m. hour on Wednesday. DawgNation will be live on the scene to stream the announcement. You can watch on the DawgNation Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. The latest on the Georgia-Florida rivalry in Jacksonville DawgNation's Brandon Adams recaps the latest regarding the news that Georgia and Florida are having ongoing discussions about the future of the Georgia-Florida game and it's place in Jacksonville, Fla. As Adams states in the video below, multiple reports state that an extension for the game to remain in Jacksonville could be announced as early as next week. When Smart was asked about where things stand regarding the status of the rivalry, the Georgia coach maintained the company line on Tuesday. 'All I can say is there's ongoing discussions,' Smart said. 'I'll be dead honest with you. I am focused on our team, making sure our team is trying to improve and get better in every facet of it and that's my single-minded focus. It's not a single-minded focus on Florida. It's not a single-minded focus on Jacksonville, it's a single-minded focus on us.' Georgia and Florida will meet in Jacksonville, Fla., on Nov. 2 this year. The game should be a matchup between two top-10 teams. More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Georgia football podcast: UGA-Florida rivalry showdown has massive implications for Bulldogs WATCH: Kirby Smart reveals Georgia defense atrocious' in shutout win Stick with Oklahoma? UGA flip? 4-star ATH Mikey Henderson Jr. breaks that down Georgia football practice observations: Urgency' the word of the day Tuesday Former Georgia running backs have no problem finding the endzone in Week 7 of NFL season Georgia football coach Kirby Smart shares concerns, two involving pass game BREAKING: Nation's No. 1 TE Arik Gilbert sets quick turnaround for his decision right after his UGA official visit Georgia's offense, and championship aspirations, will go as far as D'Andre Swift can go Georgia football winners and losers following victory over Kentucky Dawgs on Twitter Wrote about a guy who is quickly approaching 'Todd Gurley in 2014 before all the bad things happened' status https://t.co/KH1zXG8FYo Connor Riley (@Kconnorriley) October 22, 2019 This is huge part of Georgia's run game that isn't talked about. George Pickens I you. @AtlantaSportsX @680TheFan pic.twitter.com/rGV8RCWQb8 Hutson Mason (@HMason14) October 22, 2019 'We expect all 3 of those guys (Greenard, Zuniga, Kadarius Toney) to be back for the Georgia game' @CoachDanMullen just now on #SECThisMorning. Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsESPN) October 22, 2019 Weeks with five teams in the Top 10: SEC: 20 All other conferences: 0 pic.twitter.com/fuhR7qlzlw SEC Network (@SECNetwork) October 21, 2019 Good Dawg of the Day It me! Check out my account for more howls that will brighten your day pic.twitter.com/NR3Wln43um Willo the Corgi (@CorgiWillo) October 22, 2019 The post ESPN has one big question for Georgia football as Bulldogs enter tough November stretch 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. 1,056 (Oct. 22, 2019) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about what's at stake when Georgia takes on Florida next Saturday. Georgia football podcast: UGA-Florida rivalry showdown has massive implications for Bulldogs Beginning of the show: Georgia's Playoff odds will greatly improve if it beats Florida next Saturday according to FiveThirtyEight. I'll share that data on today's show, and discuss 5-star tight end Arik Gilbert's announcement about his Wednesday commitment ceremony. 10-minute mark: I'll share the outpouring of support shown to former UGA coach Mark Richt after Richt announced he'd suffered a heart attack, and discuss details regarding our DawgNation Invasion tailgate for the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party. 15-minute mark: DawgNation's recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show. Some of the topics covered include Thoughts on Gilbert Update on 4-star Oklahoma commit Michael Henderson who took an official visit to UGA this past weekend Reaction to 4-star linebacker Trenton Simpson's de-commitment from Auburn And an update on UGA running back commit Kendall Milton 35-minute mark: I discuss other SEC headlines including the latest on Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's ankle injury, a preview of Auburn-LSU and a look at some of the league's coaches who are possibly on the hot seat. 40-minute mark: I share audio of UGA coach Kirby Smart discussing his plea for the Bulldogs defense to force more turnovers, and I celebrate the performances of a few 'top Dawgs' in the NFL. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: UGA-Florida rivalry showdown has massive implications for Bulldogs appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Kirby Smart says the Georgia football defense is 'not close' to playing as well as the numbers might indicates. The Bulldogs rank in the Top 10 in the nation in total defense, run defense, pass efficiency defense and scoring defense. Georgia is coming off its second shutout of the season, a 21-0 victory over Kentucky last Saturday. But just as Smart said his offense shouldn't be judged on its performance in the rainy, cold and windy weather, neither should the Bulldogs' defense. 'You can't judge (UGA defense) based on, number one, statistics,' Smart said following Georgia practice on Tuesday night. 'You can't judge it based on a kid playing in the pouring down rain that's not a quarterback (UK's Lynn Bowden), so, we haven't been tested in that regard. 'And we've got to get better, and that's what we're doing this week.' Smart said his defense was 'extremely sloppy in the last game.' Upon further review, Smart said his Georgia defense was 'atrocious.' 'When you watch that tape, there's a lot more concern,' Smart said. 'Tackling, gap fits, if you went to a coach and said watch this game,' they would come in and say, that is atrocious, tackling, fits, eye discipline, leverage, blockers.' 'But walking around, whistling by the graveyard that everything is fine and we're just OK, and we've got good defensive numbers, and that's not the case when you watch the true integrity of it.' To Smart's point, the meat of the Bulldogs schedule is still ahead of them starting with the neutral site game in Jacksonville, Fla., against the No. 7-ranked Florida Gators on Nov. 2. Here's a look at the total offense rankings of the teams Georgia has played, compared to the total offense rankings of the team's still ahead: Vanderbilt (30-6 win)..109th Murray St. (63-17 win)..FCS, 46th Arkansas St. (55-0 win)44th Notre Dame (23-17 win).. 30th Tennessee (43-17 win)108th S. Carolina (20-17 loss)..T-67th Kentucky (21-0 win)102nd At Florida57th Missouri..34th At Auburn.50h Texas A&M.64th At Ga.Tech.119th Georgia coach Kirby Smart DawgNation Georgia football UGA practice observations on Tuesday Bulldogs' defense says it has offense's backs RELATED: D'Andre Swift stands up for team after 21-0 win Georgia football winners and losers from Kentucky game D'Andre Swift gets game ball, carries Bulldogs to victory Georgia game recap, how the Bulldogs beat Kentucky WATCH: Kirby Smart proud Bulldogs able to chop wood' The post WATCH: Kirby Smart reveals Georgia defense atrocious' in shutout win appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That's what the Intel brings. The play sheet today calls for an introduction to a big UGA target that's been hiding in plain sight. That would be Oklahoma commit Mikey Henderson Jr. out of Texas. There's a line lifted from the 2012 film 'Django Unchained' which is now immortal. That's because there is now a GIF of said dialogue available on every smartphone. That Quentin Tarantino line goes: 'Gentlemen, you had my curiosity. But now you have my attention.' It serves as a fitting introduction for DawgNation regarding Georgia's chances to flip Oklahoma commitment Mikey Henderson Jr. in the 2020 class. The transplanted Texan was once a QB on the 247Sports Composite, but he now aligns on those rankings as the nation's No. 10 ATH and No. 263 overall prospect. The 6-foot-2.5, 238-pounder was in Athens last weekend on an official visit. He took his official to Norman late last month. Those are the only two schools he is considering. At all. He feels he can still chuck a pigskin about 60 or 70 yards. This is his first year playing in the slot and at wide receiver and tight end for Ranchview High. The senior missed most of 2018 (all but three games) with an injury. Henderson plays all over but has developed into a red-zone specialist. This explosive athlete can really elevate for jump balls.Recent clips on social media have also shown him to be a ready and willing blocker. He can erase his assignments from the play. I've been thinking about this clip of OU athlete commit Michael Henderson for the last 48 hours. (via @JLMcCuistion) pic.twitter.com/bzBom02FNB Eddie Radosevich (@Eddie_Rado) October 19, 2019 Check out his senior film first below. His junior tape is embedded after that. The thought of Henderson attached to the edge or flexed out intrigues in the Georgia offense. He can hammer away in multiple sets in the Bulldog rushing attack. And yet when it is time to go deep and race downfield, he has that, too. It, as we shall finally say, tugs at our curiosity. That attention-grabbing part: Mikey Henderson Jr. There's a 540-pound squat to Henderson to unpack here. Plus his mid-4.6 times in the 40. Maybe it is his 350-pound bench press. The eyebrows raise when he shares he broke his school's record in the power clean as a sophomore. They arch like a volcano peak after learning he can now explode off the ground with 370 pounds. (For those that don't know, that is a serious power clean. Nick Chubb stuff.) 'I'm coming for Saquon [Barkley] and his 405 [pound power clean] and I'm trying to get that my freshman year,' he said. @RanchviewPTR Jr QB & @OU_Football commit @nolimitmikey7 Power Cleans 365lbs! #PTR #CODE pic.twitter.com/sEt75x48uk Coach Whitaker (@coach_whitaker) February 28, 2019 While scanning around the Sanford Stadium crowd on Saturday, there were maybe 10-12 recruits left in the West End Zone bleachers by halftime. Henderson, Oklahoma commit and all, was one of those. His parents had opted to go inside, but he was proud to note his recruiting ambassador was there with him, too. 'She was there,' Henderson told DawgNation. 'She was a soldier, too. It was me and her. Everyone else was inside.' The dots begin to connect. Why would an out-of-state prospect sit amid conditions fit for a reenactment of that 'Forrest Gump' upside-down and the sideways-rain scene if he wasn't seriously interested? As it turns out, he clearly is. If this was a match race between the schools in a 40, Oklahoma still leads. Let's put them on the 35. He is still committed to the Sooners. But what about Georgia? 'Georgia is in there,' he said. 'It is a close race. Georgia is on the 34. It is close.' 5 interesting things from Mikey Henderson Jr. Henderson also said several more thingsthat grab the attention. Pretty much like Mikey Henderson did that 25-yard touchdown in overtime to beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa back in 2007. Georgia got into the picture with Henderson when tight ends coach Todd Hartley came to the staff. Hartley is recruiting him. The most simple way to say things is that Georgia views him as a tight end. Oklahoma is recruiting him to be an athletic H-Back in Lincoln Riley's points-a-palooza. 'Georgia and Hartley really started recruiting me heavily in the summer,' Henderson said. 'I'd say that was when Georgia began to have a serious shot. From talking to coach [Kirby] Smart and coach Hartley over the summer.' He plans to major in communications. Sports broadcasting could be his 40-year plan. He has the tools for it. When he speaks, he conveys his points clearly. ' I'm done,' he said on the subject of taking any more officials other than Oklahoma and Georgia. 'I've got three left but I'm not taking anymore, though. Those are really the only two schools. I'm committed to OU, well, but I'm still looking at Georgia like this is a school I am heavily talking to. It is between those two schools so there's really no point in taking them. I know that one of those two schools is where I want to be at.' ' That's something right there with my situation at Oklahoma,' answering a question on how much he likes to block. 'They want me to play H-back and I don't feel that's what I am. I don't feel like I can showcase my talent enough playing that position. I feel like they block a little too much for my liking at Oklahoma. I feel like on their route concepts and pass plays they do a lot of blocking. If they do run a route, it is like a late check-down route. That's not my game.' 'I just like how they are real,' when asked what he likes most about UGA. 'I talked to coach Smart and I don't feel like they are going to BS' you. I feel like whatever they have to say is real. Georgia, a top program like that, I don't feel like they have a reason to lie to recruits. Because they don't need anybody. They already are elite. They are just real with that and they are down-to-earth people.' 'I've already talked to OU about my concerns with the offense and they know how I feel about Georgia,' Henderson added. 'I was talking to them about it. So they want me to come up there again and sit in the film room and talk about it. So I probably have another visit up to Oklahoma. Do one more and then a decision will be made by the end of the month of November.' 'Just when I was sitting own in that film room with Coach Smart,' he said on the biggest reason why Georgia might flip him. 'He was telling me just how much of a priority I am to them. Just the situation in their tight end room next year. I know the situation. It would be a great opportunity to get on the field early. There's a lot of positions where you can't come to Georgia now and get on the field early. But I feel like the tight end is one of them. They told me that. They pulled the depth chart up and that was the stuff to back it up.' He would like to make his final decision known at the All-American Bowl in Texas. If he gets a late invite to that game, then he will share it there. That was his first trip to Georgia, too. It kind of shocked some members of his family they were in Athens at all. He said they kind of felt that he was all Oklahoma. What is this starting to sound like? Is Oklahoma is the stone-cold fox he's always wanted to be with? But maybe Georgia might just be the better choice for a long-lasting relationship? 'That's exactly like a perfect comparison,' he said. 'I would say that. That's spot-on right there.' It seems that UGA has Henderson's attention, too. OU and UGA: The position fits for Mikey Henderson Jr. His favorite route is the corner post. That is a tell to what position he thinks would be his best Saturday fit. 'I'm not necessarily like a tight end,' he said. 'I'm definitely not an H-back. I would say I'm more like a bigger slot receiver. Because if you look at my film, I can line up in the slot. I can line up outside. I'm just like a bigger receiver and I can run every route in the route tree. I know it well because I played quarterback. Then I've got my hands.' 'I would say I'm like a bigger receiver.' When that discussion continued, the January enrollee said the term 'Flex End' fits his toolbox. Henderson shared his view on what the Bulldogs have at tight end. 'They have a lot of tight ends in that room that would be the traditional tight end,' he said. 'They block and they are good. But they don't have that yards-after-catches thing to them. That's what I feel like. That's what I feel like Georgia is looking for. If you watch my film, that's what I bring. I feel like Georgia is a good opportunity for me to showcase what I do in that offense.' Check that film. Henderson is making plays on balls in the air. Jump balls especially. 'I love going up in the air to get that ball,' Henderson said. 'I feel like when that ball is in the air, I expect to come down with it every time. I like going deep and coming down with it to catch those jump balls. I just like catching the ball, getting it in space, taking that deep shot with my quarterback and going up over somebody.' Can he block? That 370-pound power clean shows he can lift Jordan Davis-sized men off the ground. 'I don't mind blocking at all,' he said. 'That's something that I take pride in. That is all part of being a complete player.' Mikey Henderson Jr. compares Georgia and Oklahoma He likes the winning tradition at both schools. 'I just like the people at Oklahoma,' he said. 'That was my first offer. So like obviously that's the school that I have the best relationship with the coaches. I've done been down there ten times so I know it. In my heart, I would say that it is OU. They show gratitude and love towards my family. But it is not just about the relationship with the people.' Henderson knows Smart can get testy. There are plenty of viral 'GIFs' about that, too. But he views it as a positive. 'I just like how he doesn't sugarcoat anything,' he said. 'He is going to tell you that once you get there when you do something wrong and something goes wrong he is going to get on you. He is going to coach you hard. You can tell it. You can tell it in the locker room after the games. I bet at halftime, too. He's going to coach his players hard. That's what you want. He isn't going to lie about it. He is going to tell you that when you are sitting in his office with your parents and your family.' 'He is going to tell you if something goes wrong, he is going to get into you. But it is only to make you better. If you can say something to a recruit like that and let them know that you are going to rip into them when they mess up, that's something that I liked about him.' Do some film scouring of your own. Check those reels. There's an Easter Egg that has nothing to do with blocking or route running or catching. He was given the ball on a jet sweep. There were 7-8 defenders with a chance to bring him down. He took that one to the crib. 'When folks see a guy do something like that, then they can tell he a man is a big-time ballplayer' he said. 'I should have been tackled like 10 times on that play. That's when you see a guy is really a ballplayer. You can't coach stuff like that.' Here's a lasting image of Henderson's official: He's out. Real late. His player host, D'Wan Mathis, is leading him around the most expensive nightclub in Athens. That was the William Porter Payne and Porter Otis Payne Indoor Athletic facility. 'We went to the indoor at like 3 a.m. and he was throwing me routes,' Henderson said. 'Had cleats on and everything. All strapped up.' That's another thing about Henderson that screams potential. He doesn't believe in rankings or stars. 'I'm at the field every day,' he said. 'Every chance I get. I trust my preparation and I don't believe the hype. I believe in my preparation and I know me. That way I know I'm going to do what I have to do when the challenges come.' Miss any Intel? The DawgNation recruiting archive will get you up to speed just as fast as former Georgia All-American LB Roquan Smith found the ball after the snap. The post Stick with Oklahoma? UGA flip? 4-star ATH Mikey Henderson Jr. breaks that down appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS 'Urgency' sounded like the word of the day, Georgia coaches urging the players to perform at peak levels during the practice on Tuesday. Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm appeared to be spot on. Fromm was whistling passes through a 12 mph wind, the benefit of a dry football seeming to make all the difference. RELATED: Kirby Smart shares concerns, two passing related Fromm was 9-of-12 passing for 35 yards in the 21-0 win over Kentucky. The Bulldogs QB said after the game that a wet football and inclement weather had affected the game plan significantly. The No. 10-ranked Bulldogs (6-1, 3-1 SEC) play No. 7 Florida (7-1, 4-1) in Florida at Jacksonville's TIAA Bank Field on Nov. 2. Both Georgia and the Gators are idle this weekend. Georgia coach Kirby Smart said he's hoping to get some players back healthy this week. Cornerback Tyson Campbell would be at the top of the list. Campbell was working at full speed in drill work with the second team on Tuesday. Campbell is looking to come off the turf toe ailment that's sidelined him since the second half of the Arkansas State game on Sep. 14. Cornerback Tyrique Stevenson was going through drill work with first team players after seeing extensive action against Kentucky last Saturday. Smart has said the competition is deep at cornerback behind Eric Stokes, with DJ Daniel and Tyrique McGhee also working atop the depth chart. Junior Solomon Kindley was back working with the first team at left guard. It's worth noting Cade Mays and Trey Hill were both snapping the football from center during the media viewing portion of practice. Mays has played every position on the offensive line this season except center. Receiver Lawrence Cager, sidelined since the second half of the 20-17 overtime loss to South Carolina on Oct. 12, was not seen at practice. Cager has been playing with a separated shoulder this season, and he suffered a rib injury that sidelined him against the Gamecocks. DawgNation Georgia football Bulldogs' defense says it has offense's backs RELATED: D'Andre Swift stands up for team after 21-0 win Georgia football winners and losers from Kentucky game Georgia football stock report, lock-down defense gets shutout D'Andre Swift gets game ball, carries Bulldogs to victory Georgia game recap, how the Bulldogs beat Kentucky WATCH: Kirby Smart proud Bulldogs able to chop wood' The post Georgia football practice observations: Urgency' the word of the day Tuesday appeared first on DawgNation.