Friday, July 29, 2011

Quarterback

FOOTBALL

DSC_7334The success of most teams lies in the hands of the quarterback and the only question this fall will be, how much better can Aaron Murray get?

Murray, (6-1, 211) begins his sophomore campaign as the pre-season first team All SEC quarterback after being voted both the coach’s and media’s choice based on his record setting freshman year. Murray is the unquestioned leader of the team and knows the playbook well enough to run the entire offense, there will be no hesitation by the coaching staff this year, no need to ease him into a game.

At Media Days last week coach Richt had the following to say about Murray,
“He's really a coach's dream in how he approaches the game. He understands preparation. He understands team. His motivation is for Georgia to win. His motivation is to see his teammates have success. His motivation is not to promote self. When you have a guy like that, it just makes your life a whole lot easier.”

Murray started all 13 games last year, he threw for 3,049 yards and 24 touchdowns, he completed 61.1% of his 342 attempts with only 8 interceptions. Add in another 167 yards rushing and 4 TD’s and you have the all time UGA record for freshman quarterbacks of 3,216 yards of total offense. (2nd in SEC)

DSC_1598Hutson Mason completed the first pass he attempted in college to former quarterback Logan Gray for a touchdown. The 6-3, 196 pound sophomore will backup Murray again this season, he appeared in four games completing 9 of 17 passes for 102 yards and a TD.

Mason may have the best arm on the team, as a senior at Lassiter in Marietta, he set state records for passing yards (4,560) and touchdowns (54) in a season as well as for passing yards (552) in a single game against South Gwinnett.

Christian LeMay did not play football his senior year in high school but did enroll early and participated in spring practice with the Dawgs. The 6-2, 195 pound freshman from Matthews, North Carolina was a high school All American his junior year. He completed 3-for-6 passes for 38 yards in the G-Day game. LeMay will battle Mason for the number two position on the depth chart but is likely to take a redshirt this year due to Mason’s familiarity with the play book.

Redshirt freshman Parker Welch (6-3, 204) completed 5 of 10 passes for 71 yards in the G-Day game. He and fellow redshirt freshman Greg Bingham (6-4, 223) worked with the scout team last season. Bingham completed 1 of 2 passes for 13 yards and carried seven times for six yards in the G-Day game.

Behind Murray there’s not a lot of game experience but there is plenty of talent, the quarterback position is in very capable hands.

Grade:

 GeorgiaLogoGeorgiaLogoGeorgiaLogoGeorgiaLogoGeorgiaLogo

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Burrows To Have Surgery

FOOTBALL

Redshirt freshman linebacker Brandon Burrows of Marietta will undergo right shoulder surgery on Tuesday at St. Mary¹s Hospital in Athens for chronic shoulder instability.

According to UGA Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine Ron
Courson
, Burrows of will miss the 2011 football season; however, a full
return to football is anticipated following rehabilitation.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Richt On 2011

FOOTBALL

DSC_2939Coach Mark Richt spoke to the national media last week at SEC Media Days in Birmingham.

He was asked what it means to the program to be able to play in the Chick-Fil-A kickoff game.

Coach Richt: Well, I'll say this: when we we’re making the decision, should we play this Chick-Fil-A game, should we play against Boise State, a lot of things went through my mind personally.

Where we were at that time was a decline in our record, a decline in how people perceived our program, a place that I didn't really like, I wasn't very comfortable in, wasn't used to. I said, ‘What better way to send a surge of energy into this program than to schedule a game like that?’

So now to play Boise State, as I mentioned earlier, opening game, in the Georgia Dome, with hopefully a bunch of wild and crazy rabid Dawg fans giving us energy, it's going to be great for us. But there's risk in playing a team that can whip your tail because they might whip your tail. But in order for us to get back where we want to be, which is highly ranked and highly thought of, we need to play this game.

How much pressure and how important are freshmen such as Isaiah Crowell, Malcolm Mitchell, Ray Drew and John Jenkins?

Coach Richt: Well, we don't really expect a freshman to come in and carry our program. We expect him to come in and compete. We expect him to learn what to do. If they have the talent base, they're mature enough to be prepared to play, we'll play them.

When it comes to junior college guys like Jenkins, we expect a junior college guy to come in and play. We don't expect him to redshirt. We don't expect him to be hanging around a while. We know he's two years older, more mature, playing at a high level of football in the junior college ranks. We're expecting Jenkins to come in and play right now and maybe become a starter for us if he can beat out Kwame Geathers.

But there is question we will need help from our freshman class to become a championship team, I don't have any doubt about that.

I don't know if you guys get a chance to talk to our other players, asking Aaron Murray, Brandon Boykin, Ben Jones about those young guys, they've seen them more than we have. They're running those summer workouts. But I think they've got some high expectations from some of the guys that are coming in, and a few that you

Most coaches talk about taking one game at a time. You said you were looking forward to your opening 'games,' plural. How good do you think South Carolina is?

Coach Richt: I think they're a great football team. I think they have tasted what it's like to be a champion. They've tasted what it's like to play in the dome for the Southeastern Conference championship. They have a lot of guys returning in the middle of all that. They have a head coach who understands how to win, who understands how to win championships. I think the players are beginning to understand it, too.

That's part of the problem, is when teams believe. That's one of the biggest issues with Boise State. All they do is win. They don't know anything else. They don't know how to lose, so to speak. When you play teams that really get in the habit of winning and are talented and well-coached, it's very, very problematic.

But that's where we want to be, too.

Coming off a seven-loss season, why do you think expectations are so high?

Coach Richt: Why?

Because of a few thing. Number one, we know we've got an outstanding bunch of football players and some outstanding coaches. We know we have a great fan base. We know that six of our losses were within a touchdown in the fourth quarter. If we just finished better, we'll have a better season. We're not getting blown out of the water, we just didn't win. We know that.

We had a tremendous recruiting class. There's tremendous momentum that was gained by the young men who decided to become a Dawg. I can't talk about names or whatever, but we're getting guys that are committing to us not only for the 2012 class, but 2013 and even 2014. So people have faith in our program and our leadership.

There's a lot of reasons to be very optimistic about what's going on.

This is your 11th year, how difficult is it being at a school in the SEC for over a decade?

Coach Richt: It's not difficult if you win (laughter).

It's not difficult if you win 9, 10, 11 a year, win the Eastern Division every other year, win the SEC every three or four years. It's not a problem at all.

It's when you go 6-7, that's when it's a problem.

But greater days are coming. The best is yet to come.

Kasyn’s Fight

Dawgs inside linebacker coach Kirk Olivadotti has had more on his mind than football for the past month. His daughter, four year old Kasyn, has been battling leukemia since the middle of June at Atlanta’s Egleston Children's Hospital.

Olivadotti was the longest tenured defensive assistant with the Washington Redskins when he accepted the offer from Coach Mark Richt to join the staff in February. He is the son of long time NFL defensive coach Tom Olivadotti and had been with the Redskins for 11 years.

The Olivadotti’s had just moved into their home in the Athens area when they were given the devastating news about Kasyn’s illness. Fate seemed to smile in the face of sorrow though as they soon discovered that the doctors and staff at the Egleston Children's Hospital were more prepared to face the challenge before them than any other hospital in the world.

Kasyn has been receiving chemotherapy since the diagnosis and with the early detection and treatment the survival rate is over 90% for children her age.

Football is just a game, this is the fight the Dawg Nation wants to win.

Monday, July 25, 2011

40 Days To Kickoff

FOOTBALL

Fall camp will open in less than 10 days and the Dawgs will put on the pads for the first time on August 8th. There will not be as many questions about this years team as we heard last season.

DSC_7334A year ago today, the Dawg Nation was barking loudly about what to expect from a freshman quarterback, untested but talented. Aaron Murray enters his sophomore season as the first team pre-season All SEC quarterback and the only question is, can he top his freshman campaign?

Ben Jones will anchor an offensive line that is excited about the opportunity of opening holes using Coach Will Friend’s old school approach of firing off the ball and drive blocking.

The only questions offensively will be the tailback rotation and which young receivers will rise to the challenge of competing in the SEC?

Defensively the front seven will be much bigger and faster than what we saw last year. The secondary has three starters returning and after being in Coach Todd Grantham’s 3-4 scheme for a year, everyone is more comfortable with their assignments.

The kicking game may be the best in the country, both Blair Walsh and Drew Butler are pre-season first team All SEC performers.

The off season has been relatively quiet compared to the past three or four. One player suspension has been announced due to a violation of team rules and rumblings out of Butts-Meher indicate a second is about to be announced.

Over the next 40 days, we’ll preview each position and take a look at how the Dawgs will match up with Boise State.

Richt On Offense

FOOTBALL

DSC_2944Coach Mark Richt spoke to the media Thursday morning in Birmingham at the annual SEC Media Days.

He was asked how concerned he was about depth this year, particularly at running back and offensive line and how much pressure he felt personally to get the program to the 9 or 10 wins a year where it’s accustomed to being?

Coach Richt: That's a lot of questions (laughter).

Asking about depth up front. I think it's fine if we don't get anybody hurt. We actually had a pretty good lineup. Cordy Glenn, I think, is one of the finest offensive linemen in the country at left tackle. Kenarious Gates at left guard who played as a freshman and has got great ability. Ben Jones, I think he's going to win the Remington, I think that much about Ben at center.

Then at right guard we got Chris Burnette, who we've had high hopes for who has been banged up a little bit in his career. He was able to go through spring healthy, looks great. Justin Anderson, another senior who played a lot of football for us, at the right tackle. That starting lineup gives me a lot of confidence that we can get a lot of things done up front. If we get too many injuries up front, we can struggle with some guys that have to play with the inexperience.

At running back, we're really only one guy shy of what we thought we were going to be going in. We lost Washaun Ealey and Caleb King recently. We took Richard Samuel and put him back at the position. He spent his first two years at running back. He knows how to play the game. He's a more mature man than he was a couple years ago. Back then he was 6'2", 225, and ran sub 4.5. Now he's 6'2", and 240, and runs a sub 4.5. I'll say this about him. His style of running is not a guy who is going to spend a lot of time trying to dodge people. He's going to try to mow them down, run them over, bring a lot of physicality to the position.

I think we have plenty of depth at that position right now. The question is how productive will we be, you know. But a year ago I didn't leave the season thinking, ‘Man, we were ultra-productive at the tailback position.’ I left the season saying we fell short at the running back position. My feeling is when this season is over, I'm going to feel better about how the running backs did this year than a year ago.

DSC_2949Coach Richt, do you trust the offensive line this year (question asked by Ben Jones)?

Coach Richt: Let me say this. You weren't in here when I was bragging about the offensive line. They're worried about the depth of our offensive line. I'm not worried about the depth if nobody gets hurt.

I think Ben Jones, I said it a minute ago, I'll say it again, he is the best center in America. I think he's going to win the Remington. I think he's a great competitor. I'll never forget when we were recruiting this guy. He got in our camp. We're doing a little pass-rush drill. He's just whooping everybody.

Finally I stepped in and I said, Look, I want every defensive lineman to line up. One by one, I want you to go against Ben, play after play after play. After about, I don't know how many, 10 or 12, he was finally exhausted and somebody beat him. But he is a fierce competitor. He's mean as a snake on the field. But he knows what he's doing. He's a great leader. He's a great football player. I'm glad we got him.

When you got him at the center of your offensive line, you know you're going to have a good line. I have a lot of faith in you guys, and you personally.

Good question, by the way, Ben (laughter).

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Nike Pro Combat Uniform….?

FOOTBALL

Could one of these be the Nike Pro Combat uniform that the Dawgs will wear in the Dome?

UGA officials have been hesitant to say anything about the uniforms even though the players have already seen them and reportedly really liked what they saw.

Boise State will also have the Combat uniform for the game and they have not said if the jersey’s will be blue or white.

The fully integrated uniform system, which the University of Oregon debuted during the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, incorporates the latest in performance innovation and design from the world's most renowned athletic outfitter.

The redesigned base layer facilitates the uniform's overall innovation, delivering the ultimate in lightweight protection for maximum speed.

Strategically placed seams, pads and cooling zones also help minimize
distraction and optimize protective coverage.

The other option being mentioned is a red jersey with silver pants and a silver helmet similar to the picture below.

4902027897_c37b3c90f5_b5272731634_a9270f182f_o

UGA would not confirm what color UGA will wear in the Dome, the official announcement on the uniform should come in mid August.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Richt On Defense

FOOTBALL

DSC_2932Coach Mark Richt answered question before the medial Thursday morning at SEC Media Days.

Richt was asked about this years defensive expectations:

Coach Richt: I'm excited about it. I think we all know that when you learn something new, it takes a while to get good at it, takes a while to understand it.

Usually when it comes to football, the first thing you have to understand is, learn what to do. Our guys spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to do, what is my assignment, maybe not enough time on how do I do my job well, how do I become a master of my trade, how do I perfect my technique. We're spending a lot more time perfecting technique than figuring out what to do, so that's really healthy for us.

We've also had a chance to have an entire recruiting cycle to recruit towards the type of guys we need. One of the young men we recruited from last year's class is Johnathan Jenkins, a big giant nose guard who we think can do a great job of helping us make the 3-4 go. If you don't have a nose guard that demands double-teams and triple-teams once in a while, you're not going to free up your linebackers to do the things you want them to do. Just by virtue of the fact that Johnathan Jenkins was signed in February, I think it put a fire under Kwame Geathers, another giant nose guard we have in our program, he ended up being the MVP of the defense for our spring practices.Now we've got more confidence that we've got the type of guys up front to make it go.

Do I think it's a good matchup against a Boise State? I think the 3-4 really can match up well against any type of offense. It is very versatile. Todd understands it well. He spent the last 11 years in the league. He's been a coordinator in the NFL. He certainly is the man for the job. I have all the faith we're going to play so much better.

We played pretty darn good. Where we didn't play good last year is third-and-long. I can't tell you how many times we got people to that moment of truth where you want them, and teams were getting those third downs converted, and we ended up staying on the field another down or another series.

If we can get off the field when we get them in the third-and-long, we're going to be a whole lot better team.

With some of the depth issues, what is going to be your approach regarding the amount of life tackling? How will that differ from previous years?

Coach Richt: We have days scheduled where we'll be in full pads and we'll hook it up, tackle to the ground. We're going to block below the waist. It's basically called a competition day. There will be days we're in shorts, days we're in shells, days we're in pads. The days we're in pads, we'll get after it.

I'm hoping I don't lose my nerve, I don't get in a position to lose my nerve because of injuries. I pray that everybody stays healthy. But one of our issues a year ago was the fact that we didn't compete hard enough and we didn't finish well enough. In order to get good at those types of things, I think you have to practice that way.
So that is the plan going in.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Media Days

FOOTBALL

DSC_2930Coach Mark Richt spoke to the national media Thursday morning in Birmingham at the annual SEC Media Days. Here’s what he had to say.

Good to be here. Year 11. It's amazing. It's an exciting time for me to be here, exciting time at Georgia.

We are looking forward to our opening games. Start out with Boise State, a big deal for us. The winningest college football team in America over the last 10 seasons, a team that as you watch their film, you realize that they are a special football team in the way they approach it. I've probably never seen anybody play any harder than they play as a team down after down, film after film. They are a very confident team.

We have our opener in the Southeastern Conference against South Carolina. Of course, everybody is kind of picking them to win the east. So what a tremendous challenge for us.

But it has energized the program in a big way. I think that everybody understands what it's going to take prepare-wise. I think everybody has been willing to pay the price.

I say 'everyone.' There have been a few guys that have gotten off the bus, so to speak, from a year ago. Some guys have chosen to move on and a couple guys got a little bit of help. The guys that are still here are really excited about the future and are willing to pay the price to play the kind of football that everybody in our Dawg Nation expects.

That's where we're at and I'll just open it up to you guys to ask anything you want.

I asked Coach Richt about the possibility of more moves involving the tailback position.

You mentioned you were one player shy of where you wanted to be at tailback. Orson Charles is arguably one of the best athletes on the team. Do you foresee any design that might put him in the backfield carrying the football? What about Big Jenkins? Is he going to be a wham back during the year?

COACH RICHT: You said that I said we're one player short at the tailback position. All I'm saying is we had Washaun and Caleb in the fold and we lost two of them, but we added one in Richards. We're one short on scholarship. We do have some walk-on backs that will help us throughout camp.

The question was, Would we possibly take Orson Charles and put him in the backfield? I don't see that at all. But the question also was with Johnathan Jenkins, could he end up playing some kind of a wham back in a short yardage goal line situation? That's possible. He's a big boy. He's athletic. Got good hands, too. Who knows, might do that.

I know this, he's wearing a single digit number, No. 6, so he thinks he's a skill player. That '6' will look about this big (laughter).

DSC_7407Coach Richt was asked by a Tennessee reporter about Aaron Murray and Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray being in the same class.

Do you think as a former quarterback and quarterback coach we could be on the cusp of a Manning/Wuerffel type great young quarterback rivalry this year?

COACH RICHT: I hope they are. I hope they're both that good. I hope ours is better. But I do have a lot of respect for Tyler Bray. He really has a lot of ability. Looks like he's got a lot of moxy, a lot of belief in himself, outstanding receivers to throw to. I can't imagine them not having a big year offensively over there at Tennessee.

Aaron, he's really a coach's dream in how he approaches the game. He understands preparation. He understands team. His motivation is for Georgia to win. His motivation is to see his teammates have success. His motivation is not to promote self. When you have a guy like that, it just makes your life a whole lot easier.

A year ago, he just did such a great job, and Mike Bobo along with Aaron, the way he trained him to create some habits that is going to help him protect the ball, help him make some good decisions, be a great ball-handler, all those things you want a quarterback to do. He did a super job of it.

He's had a season to live through it. I think all those great habits are going to serve him well the rest of his career.

You probably do have two young quarterbacks that will make a lot of headlines in the next few years.

Dawgs Get First 2012 Basketball Commit

BASKETBALL

Coach Mark Fox received a phone call today that brought a huge smile to his face, Charles Mann called to tell Fox he wanted to be a Dawg.

The 6-5, 193 pound point guard is considered by most to be the best in the state at his position for the class of 2012 and he is the Dawgs first commitment in the class.

Mann had offers from some of the biggest names in college basketball but chose the Dawgs over Florida State. He will finish his high school career at Milton High School after transferring from Union Grove where he averaged over 20 points a game last season.

Dawgs Named To Pre Season All SEC Team

FOOTBALL

Eight Dawgs were selected for nine spots on the annual Southeastern Conference Media Days Preseason All-SEC teams, according to a league announcement on Friday.

DSC_2965The Dawgs are fourth in the league with nine selections behind Alabama (16), Arkansas (14) and South Carolina (10). Georgia had six players who were named to the First Team, second only to Alabama's nine First Team selections.

Georgia was picked to finish second in the SEC’s Eastern Division with South Carolina winning the division crown. Alabama was selected to win the Western Division as well as the league title.

DSC_2952The Dawgs voted to the First Team offense include redshirt sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray, junior tight end Orson Charles and senior offensive tackle Cordy Glenn. Senior place kicker Blair Walsh, senior punter Drew Butler and senior return specialist Brandon Boykin also grabbed First Team honors on special teams.

Senior center Ben Jones was voted to the Second Team, while senior defensive end DeAngelo Tyson and Boykin were named to the Second Team defense.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Dawgs To Wear Nike Pro Combat Uniform

FOOTBALL

Before "Glory, Glory" rings through the Georgia Dome and the Dawgs storm the field against Boise State on September 3rd, Georgia's players will lace their cleats and buckle their chin straps while donning uniquely designed, highly advanced Nike uniforms.

Georgia one is nine of the top college football programs slated to wear the uniforms in at least one game during the 2011-12 season. The fully integrated uniform system, which the University of Oregon debuted during the 2010 BCS National Championship Game, incorporates the latest in performance innovation and design from the world's most renowned athletic outfitter. The redesigned base layer facilitates the uniform's overall innovation, delivering the ultimate in lightweight protection for maximum speed. Strategically placed seams, pads and cooling zones also help minimize distraction and optimize protective coverage.

"Nike takes pride in giving athletes an advantage by providing them with cutting edge innovation. The Nike Pro Combat system of dress uniform delivers unparalleled on-field performance benefits while inspiring the team through each uniform's unique design," said Todd Van Horne, Nike's Creative Director for Football. "It is a privilege to collaborate with the coaches and student-athletes to develop a look that's truly distinctive to each university and their teams."

The other teams selected to sport the 2011 Nike Pro Combat system of dress uniforms include the United States Military Academy (Army), Boise State University, Louisiana State University, Michigan State University, the United States Naval Academy, The Ohio State University, University of Oregon, and Stanford University.
While each school's uniform delivers the same superior lightweight performance and protection, each will tell a different story through its design. Nike worked closely with each university to bring relevant elements of the school's rich heritage into a distinguished, modern uniform design.

The uniforms capture each team's unique character. The integrated uniform system provides enhanced durability and innovation from the inside out. Robust padding without the bulk offers optimal low-profile impact protection specifically throughout the crucial "hit zone" between the knees and shoulders. Nike Pro Combat Deflex padding has also been integrated in the hip and knee areas of the pant for crucial impact protection that stays in place. The base layer now features customizable
protection, incorporating a thin, incredibly strong carbon fiber plate that can be placed on the thigh padding where needed.

The uniform system design also emphasizes improved thermoregulation, including the Nike Pro Combat Deflex padding layer, which is constructed with fabric selected for its ability to help keep the body cool and wick away sweat - making the uniform, and player, lighter and dryer. The jerseys are made of four-way stretch woven twill that sheds moisture. A Flywire collar eliminates two layers of fabric for improved  breathability, providing a more stable anchor to keep the jersey in place.  The uniforms will hit the field on opening day of the 2011-12 college football season and throughout the year during some of fiercest rivalries in college football. Dates include Oregon vs. LSU at Cowboys Stadium (9/3), Boise State vs. Georgia at the Georgia Dome (9/3), Michigan State vs. Michigan (10/15), LSU vs. Auburn (10/22), Ohio State vs. Wisconsin (10/29), Stanford v. Notre Dame (11/27) and the annual service academy bragging rights matchup between two of the nation's most prestigious football programs - Army vs. Navy (12/10).

Dawgs Pick Up Commitment Number 12

FOOTBALL

The Dawgs added the twelfth member to the class of 2012 today when, as had been rumored all weekend, Chester Brown informed the staff that he wanted to play between the hedges.

Brown is a massive 6-5, 340 pound offensive guard, he participated in Dawg Night last Friday and was offered by Coach Will Friend following the camp.

Brown plays for Bradwell Institute in Hinesville, Georgia.

Coastal Carolina Kickoff Set

FOOTBALL

Kickoff for the game against Coastal Carolina on Sept. 17 has been set for 1 p.m. ET and the contest will be televised regionally on a pay-per-view basis.

The game will be offered to all cable and satellite companies in Georgia and
South Carolina at an individual subscription price of $34.95. Commercial establishments may purchase the telecast for $400.

Additional information on the telecast will be released at a later date.

The Coastal Carolina contest is the fourth game time to be confirmed for the
upcoming season. Georgia's first two matchups versus Boise State at the
Georgia Dome on Sept. 3 and against South Carolina on Sept. 10 in Athens
will air on ESPN at 8 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., respectively. The Dawgs' Oct.
29 game with Florida in Jacksonville is slated for 3:30 p.m. and will be
broadcast by CBS.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Murray On Camp Watch List

FOOTBALL

DSC_7404Quarterback Aaron Murray has been named to the Walter Camp Player of the Year Watch List, according to an announcement by the Walter Camp Football Foundation on Monday.

The watch list, which is made up of six players from the Southeastern Conference and 40 players overall, will be narrowed to 10 semi-finalists in mid-November. The 2011 Walter Camp Player of the Year recipient, voted on by the 120 NCAA Bowl Subdivision head coaches and sports information directors, will be announced live on ESPN Sports Center on Thursday, December 8.

The winner will then receive his trophy at the Foundation’s annual national awards banquet on January 14, 2012 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven.

Murray, a native of Tampa, Fla., was tabbed a Freshman All-American following last season when he set a UGA freshman record with 3,049 passing yards, which ranks second in SEC history for freshmen. Murray's passing efficiency of 154.48 was also the best in the country among all freshmen quarterbacks and second best in school history among all quarterbacks.

Murray has already been named to the watch lists for the Maxwell Award, Davey O’Brien Award and the College Football Performance Awards-Quarterbacks.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dawgs Reeling In Recruits

FOOTBALL

In what may well go down as the biggest single recruiting night in Georgia football history, the Dawgs get commitments from John Theus, a top ten national recruit at offensive tackle for the class of 2012 from the Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida.

DSC_2639Moments later Brice Ramsey from Camden County tells the staff that his heart has always been at UGA and he becomes the first member of the class of 2013. Ramsey is likely to be the number one quarterback in the country.

Derrick Henry is just down I-95 from Camden County in Yulee, Florida, he’s 6-4, 225 pounds with above average speed, he will get strong consideration as the number one player in Florida in 2013 and is on track to break the all time rushing record for the state. Henry committed to Coach Richt right after Ramsey did.

Tramel Terry has been working with Ramsey most of the summer at various 7 on 7 camps, he’s a 6 foot, 180 pound speedster with great hands and quickly became the go to receiver for Ramsey. Terry became the third member of the 2013 class. Terry, like Henry will be strongly considered for the top player in the state of South Carolina.

2014 seems a long way away but for running back Stanley Williams it can’t get here fast enough. Williams became the first member of the class of 2014 shortly after running a 4.28 forty for the coaching staff. Williams is only 5’8’’ and 175 pounds but he is lightning quick, he attends Apalachee High School in Bethlehem, Georgia.

Murray On O’Brien Watch List

FOOTBALL

DSC_7327Redshirt sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray has been named to the Davey O’Brien Award Watch List, according to an announcement by the Davey O'Brien Foundation on Friday.

The O’Brien Award is given annually to the nation’s top quarterback. It honors candidates who exemplify Davey O'Brien's enduring character while exhibiting teamwork, sportsmanship and leadership in both academics and athletics.

Murray, a native of Tampa, Fla., was tabbed a Freshman All-American following last season when he set a UGA freshman record with 3,049 passing yards, which ranks second in SEC history for freshmen. Murray's passing efficiency of 154.48 was also the best in the country among all freshmen quarterbacks and second best in school history among all quarterbacks.

Murray has already been named to the Maxwell Award Watch List and the College Football Performance Awards Quarterbacks Watch List.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dawgs Place 9 On Coaches All-SEC Team

FOOTBALL

Nine members of the Georgia football team have been voted to the 2011 Southeastern Conference Coaches' Preseason All-SEC team, it was announced Thursday by the league office.

The Dawgs are tied with South Carolina with the third-most players selected to the team behind Arkansas with 14 and Alabama with 13. Georgia had six players who were named to the first team, second only to Alabama's seven first team selections.

The Dawgs voted to the first team offense include sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray, junior tight end Orson Charles and senior lineman Cordy Glenn. Senior place kicker Blair Walsh, senior punter Drew Butler and senior return specialist Brandon Boykin also grabbed first team honors on special teams.

Senior center Ben Jones was voted to the second team, while senior lineman DeAngelo Tyson and Boykin were named to the second team defense.

This marks the eighth straight year of the SEC Coaches Preseason All-SEC Team. The team is announced each year in advance of the SEC Football Media Days. This year, the event will be held next Wednesday through Friday at the Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama.

Samuel Moves Back To Tailback

FOOTBALL

DSC_7926Junior linebacker Richard Samuel of Cartersville will return to the tailback position according to an announcement Thursday by coach Mark Richt.

Samuel, who played tailback as a freshman and sophomore, had been moved to linebacker a year ago but injuries led to a redshirt season in 2010.

“After discussions with Richard, his family, and our coaches I’m excited that Richard wants to make the move,” said Richt. “He’s one of our fastest and most powerful players, is very mature, has a strong character and is a man we can count on. I’m proud of him for always putting the team first and I look forward to seeing what he can do.”

“I’m excited about the opportunity at tailback,” said Samuel. “I’m
ready to do anything that will help the team win.”

In his two seasons at tailback (2008-09), Samuel played in 22 games including six starts (all in 2009). He carried 114 times for 528 yards and three touchdowns.

Everybody Is Watching Ben Jones

FOOTBALL

DSC_7813Senior center Ben Jones has been named to the Rimington Trophy Watch List, according to an announcement by the Rimington Trophy committee on Wednesday.

The Rimington Trophy is given annually to the country’s most outstanding center. The winner will be honored at Rimington Trophy Presentation banquet at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln, Nebraska, on January 14, 2012.

Jones, a native of Centreville, Ala., has already been selected along with fellow senior lineman Cordy Glenn as one of the duos on the Pony Express Award Watch List for being a dominant tandem. Jones has 34 starts during his three-year career, including all 13 in 2009. Jones, who has been named to UGA’s Team of the Decade, is one Phil Steele’s preseason All-SEC Second Team and is ranked the No. 7 center in the country by Lindy’s going into 2011.

Jones has already been named to the Outland Trophy Watch List and the Lombardi Trophy Watch this preseason.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Glenn & Jones On Lombardi Watch List

FOOTBALL

DSC_0525Georgia senior offensive linemen Cordy Glenn and Ben Jones have been named to the Rotary Lombardi Trophy Watch List, according to an announcement by the Rotary Lombardi Award Committee on Tuesday.

The Lombardi Trophy is given annually to the nation’s top collegiate lineman on either offense or defense. The Rotary Lombardi Award Watch List, intended as a reference tool for the Selection Committee, will be periodically updated and revised up to the first round of voting to determine the 12 Semifinalists for 2010. The candidates earned a place on the Official Watch List by earning All-American honors last season, by being named to their respective all-conference first team last season as selected by the conference’s head coaches, by being projected to be an All-American or first team all-conference player for the coming season, or by nomination approved by the nominations committee.

DSC_8190Jones, a center from Centreville, Alabama, and Glenn, a tackle from Riverdale, have already been selected as one of the duos on the Pony Express Award Watch List for being a dominant tandem. The pair has combined for 71 starts during their three-year careers, including 10 starts during each of their freshman seasons in 2008. Jones, who has been named to UGA’s Team of the Decade, has been named to Phil Steele’s preseason All-SEC Second Team and the No. 7 center in the country by Lindy’s going into 2011.

Glenn, a preseason All-SEC First Team selection by Phil Steele and Lindy’s, was selected to the Pro Football Weekly All-America Team following the 2010 season. He has started every game the last two seasons for the Dawgs and is expected to man the left tackle spot in 2011.

Jones and Glenn have already been named to the Outland Trophy Watch List as well.

David Pollack claimed the 2004 Lombardi Trophy while suiting up for the Dawgs.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Brantley & Saye In G-F Hall Of Fame

FOOTBALL

Former University of Georgia football standouts John Brantley and Bill Saye have been selected for induction into the City of Jacksonville’s Georgia-Florida Hall of Fame for 2011 according to an announcement by the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission Sports and Entertainment office.

The Georgia pair will be recognized at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Friday, October 28, the day before the annual Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville.

John Brantley 13491A four year letter-winner for the University of Georgia, Brantley was a standout linebacker during the mid-1980’s. He recorded two of the top four single season tackle totals in Georgia history with 160 tackles in 1986 and 154 in 1987. His 415 career tackles stills stands as the fourth best career total for any Dawg defensive player.

A native of Wildwood, Florida, Brantley was named All-SEC and Georgia's Most Outstanding Defensive player following both the 1986 and 1987 campaigns. He was also elected by his teammates as the Dawgs' defensive captain in 1987, the same season he was named the Defensive MVP of the Liberty Bowl after leading the Georgia defense in a 20-17 victory over Arkansas.

Brantley played some of his best football when the Dawgs returned to his home state. Most notably, he recorded a team-high seven tackles and notched both a tackle-for-loss and a sack when the Dawgs upset the top-ranked Gators, 24-3, in 1985. He also helped Georgia to a 23-10 win in Jacksonville as a senior in 1987.

Brantley was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the 1988 NFL draft and also played with the Washington Redskins and the Cincinnati Bengals during a four-year NFL career. After retiring from football, Brantley returned to the Athens area. He remains an active supporter of the program and helped spearhead the Dawgs' initial involvement to build a home through Habitat for Humanity in 2002.

Saye.BillSaye was born in Athens, played in the culvert which runs underneath Sanford Stadium and later played on the field for eight years—four as a Trojan at old Athens High School and four as a Dawg. At Athens High, he made All-State and played in the 1952 Georgia High School All-Star game

Saye’s goal was always to play between the hedges for the University of Georgia. However, he reserved his greatest performance in the old Gator Bowl in Jacksonville in 1954 against favored Florida. Bill intercepted three passes (one was taken away when an official ruled he stepped on the sideline when he caught the ball) from his linebacker position, recovered a fumble and got his hand on a PAT attempt which was the difference in the game, Georgia winning 14-13.

Herman Hickman, sports columnist for Sports Illustrated, covered the game and wrote: “The Gators’ hopes of gaining a conference title and bowl bid turned dark. A Georgia center named Bill Saye (hey) turned out the lights.” Saye was the difference in the game, playing every snap in the game from scrimmage and also was the long snapper throughout the afternoon.

After lettering three years for the Dawgs and earning a degree, Saye coached high school football and enjoyed a successful business career with General Wholesale in Atlanta. He retired to his hometown of Athens in 2006.

Inductees from the University of Florida will be Kevin Carter and Nat Moore.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Caleb King To Enter NFL Draft

FOOTBALL

DSC_1295Coach Mark Richt confirmed this afternoon that projected starting tailback Caleb King will not be academically eligible to play football this fall.

King was unable to participate in the Liberty Bowl due to academics and with NCAA rules requiring a student athlete to complete 80% of the requirements toward graduation after four years, King was unable to acquire enough credit hours this year to regain his eligibility.

Richt released the following statement;

"It's unfortunate Caleb will not be with us this season, we wish him the best in whatever he decides to do; however, we have to move forward and this will provide more opportunities for others to step up."

In three seasons with the Dawgs, King played in 29 games, starting 10. He rushed for 1,271 yards on 255 carries, his longest touchdown, 75 yards, came against Georgia Tech in 2009.

King entered Georgia as one of the top high school running backs in the country. He attended Greater Atlanta Christian for his senior year after having set the state single season rushing record of 2,768 yards at Parkview High School as a junior.

King has reportedly decided to enter the NFL supplemental draft and will not attempt to transfer to another school for his final year of eligibility. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Butler And Walsh Being Watched

FOOTBALL

CSC_7309For the third consecutive year, Georgia senior place-kicker Blair Walsh has been named to the Lou Groza Award Watch List while senior punter Drew Butler has been included on the Ray Guy Award Watch List, according to announcements on Thursday.

Walsh was a finalist in 2009 and a semifinalist in 2010 for the Lou Groza Award, which is given to the nation’s most outstanding place-kicker. Butler won the 2009 Ray Guy Award, which is given to the country’s top punter, and was a finalist for the 2010 honor.

Butler is one of only five names (all 2010 semifinalists) on the Ray Guy Watch List currently and the only one from the Southeastern Conference. The number of eligible candidates for this season will grow when the award opens for nominations in mid-August and the complete list of candidates will be released on Oct. 28. Ten semifinalists will be revealed on Nov. 11 before the three finalists are selected and announced on Nov. 21.

DSC_7912The Groza Award will announce its 20 semifinalists on Oct. 28. Three finalists for the award will then by announced on Nov. 21 following the decision from a panel of more than 300 experts.

The 2011 Lou Groza Award and Ray Guy Award will be presented live at the Home Depot ESPN College Football Awards Red Carpet Show on December 8, 2011 at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.

A native of Boca Raton, Fla., Walsh has already been named to Phil Steele and Lindy’s Preseason All-America First Team. The winner of the 2009 College Football Performance Awards Place-Kicker Trophy ranks fourth in UGA history with 303 point scored and has eight field goals over 50 yards in his career.

Walsh has been named to UGA’s Team of the Decade following three years as the Dawgs’ kicker. He has the highest field goal percentage for any active kicker in the SEC (81 percent) and has drilled 138 of 139 PATs, including his first 119 in a row.

A native of Duluth, Butler became only the seventh Dawg in school history to be named an All-American both athletically and academically after being named a 2010 ESPN Academic All-American. He is on pace to become the career leader at UGA for punting average with a 46.1 mark through three seasons.

In 2010, Butler averaged 44.5 yards on 50 punts, 15 that went for 50-plus. The son of former NFL standout and Dawg All-American Kevin Butler, he helped put the Dawgs at second in the SEC and fourth in the nation in net punting with an average of 40.6 last year.

King Named To Biletnikoff Watch List

FOOTBALL

DSC_0139Georgia junior receiver Tavarres King has been named to the Fred Biletnikoff Award Preseason Watch List, according to an announcement made by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club.

King is among 12 players from the Southeastern Conference on the 75-man list. Former Dawg A.J. Green, who was the fourth overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, was a semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award in 2010.

The Biletnikoff Award is given annually to the nation’s most outstanding college football receiver. The 2011 Biletnikoff winner will be presented live at the Home Depot ESPN College Football Awards Red Carpet Show on December 8, 2011 at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.

King, a native of Mount Airy, Ga., is Georgia’s leading receiver who returns to the 2011 lineup after hauling in 27 catches for 504 yards and three touchdowns last season. He had a season-high 104 yards receiving against Florida in 2010, including a 63-yard touchdown catch.

A preseason All-SEC Second Team pick, King has started 14 of the last 24 games for the Dawgs and is only 53 yards shy of recording 1,000 yards receiving in his career.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Charles On Mackey Watch List

FOOTBALL

DSC_8279Georgia junior tight end Orson Charles has been named to the John Mackey Award Preseason Watch List, according to an announcement made by the Nassau County Sports Commission.

Charles is one of only four players from the Southeastern Conference on the 34-man list.

The Mackey Award is given annually to the best collegiate tight end, as selected by vote of the John Mackey Award Selection Committee. The 2011 Mackey winner will be presented live at the Home Depot ESPN College Football Awards Red Carpet Show on December 8, 2011 at 6 p.m. on ESPNU.

Charles, a native of Tampa, Fla., is the second-leading returning receiver for the Bulldogs after starting 12 of 13 games in 2010. Charles hauled in 26 catches for 422 yards and a pair of touchdowns last year and has already been named the nation’s fifth-best tight end by Lindy’s earlier this preseason.

The All-SEC Second Team performer was named the Mackey Award National Tight End of the Week in 2010 following his career-high six catches for a career-high 108 yards and a touchdown versus Florida.

Earlier this week, Charles was also included on the College Football Performance Awards Tight Ends Preseason Watch List.

NFL Hall of Fame member John Mackey is considered to be the best to have played the tight end position. A tight end by whom all others are measured, Mackey was a role model on and off the field as demonstrated by his Super Bowl Championship, his commitment to community and his place in history as the first President of the NFLPA.

Murray And Boykin On Watch Lists

FOOTBALL

Georgia redshirt sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray has been named to the Maxwell Award Watch List while senior cornerback Brandon Boykin has been included on the Bednarik Award Watch List, according to an announcement by the Maxwell Football Club.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced October 31st and the three finalists for each award will be unveiled November 21st. The winners of the 2011 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show held on December 8th.

All members of the Maxwell Football Club, NCAA sports information directors, head coaches and selected national media are eligible to vote for the awards.  

DSC_6919Murray, a native of Tampa, Fla., was tabbed a Freshman All-American following last season when he set a UGA freshman record with 3,049 passing yards, which ranks second in SEC history for freshmen. Murray's passing efficiency of 154.48 was also the best in the country among all freshmen quarterbacks and second best in school history among all quarterbacks.

The Maxwell Award has been given to America's outstanding collegiate football player since 1937 and is named in honor of sportswriter Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell. Both Georgia’s Charley Trippi (1946) and Herschel Walker (1982) won the Maxwell Award.

DSC_6786Boykin, a native of Fayetteville, finished 2010 with 44 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for loss, and tied for the team lead with three interceptions. Boykin is Georgia’s active leader with six career picks. He is also UGA’s leader in career kickoff return yards with 1,813 and is the only player in SEC history to have three 100-yard plays of any kind.

The Bednarik Award has been presented to the nation's top defensive player since 1995. A former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, Chuck Bednarik is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame's Class of '69 and the NFL Hall of Fame's Class of '67.

David Pollack is the only Dawg to win the Bednarik Award after earning the honor in 2004.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Two Tight Ends On Watch List

FOOTBALL

University of Georgia senior tight end Aron White, junior tight end Orson Charles and redshirt sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray have all been named to the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Watch Lists at their respective positions.

DSC_8280Charles and White, who have 32 starts between them at tight end, are two of only four players from the Southeastern Conference on the 39-man Tight End Watch List.

Charles, a native of Tampa, Florida, is the second-leading returning receiver for the Dawgs after starting 12 of 13 games in 2010. Charles hauled in 26 catches for 422 yards and a pair of touchdowns last year and has already been named the nation’s fifth-best tight end by Lindy’s earlier this preseason.

DSC_6881White, a native of Columbia, Mo., appeared in all 13 games last season and finished with nine catches for 125 yards. He graduated in December 2010 with a degree in Management and was the commencement speaker for the undergraduate ceremonies. White is now pursuing a graduate degree at UGA.

Murray is one of only four SEC players on the 40-man Quarterback Watch List.

Murray, also a native of Tampa and a teammate of Charles at Plant High School, was tabbed a Freshman All-American following last season when he set a UGA freshman record with 3,049 passing yards, which ranks second in SEC history for freshmen. Murray’s passing efficiency of 154.48 was also the best in the country among all freshmen quarterbacks and second best in school history among all quarterbacks.

Senior place-kicker Blair Walsh and senior punter Drew Butler were already named to individual 2011 watch lists for the CFPA.

In addition, senior cornerback/kickoff returner Brandon Boykin was named to both the Defensive Back Watch List and the Kickoff Returner Watch List while junior Bacarri Rambo was included on the Defensive Back Watch List as well.

Former Dawg Justin Houston was named the CFPA’s National Linebacker of the Year following the 2010 season.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Dan Magill Honored

TENNIS

Former Georgia tennis coach Dan Magill has been named a recipient of the Tennis Educational Merit Award presented by the International Tennis Hall of Fame. The award is given annually to individuals who are United States citizens and have made notable contributions in the tennis education field at the national level.

Widely regarded as the most influential man in the history of collegiate tennis, Magill served as Georgia’s head tennis coach for 34 years from 1955-1988. He led the Dawgs to two national championships (1985 and 1987) and remains active in the collegiate tennis community, serving as curator and director of the ITA Men’s Collegiate Hall of Fame at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens.

In his 34-year tenure as head coach of the Dawgs, Magill posted a record of 706-183, which at the time made him the all-time winningest coach in NCAA Division I history. Magill’s teams won a record 13 SEC outdoor championships and eight indoor league titles, while five of his players won national collegiate individual titles.

Magill originated the State Collegiate Championships, the Southern Collegiate Championships – the oldest fall collegiate tournament in the nation – and the SEC Indoor Tournament. 

In 1996, he was inducted into the Circle of Honor, the UGA Athletic Association’s Hall of Fame, and in the fall of 1999 the Sanford Stadium press box was dedicated in his honor. Magill currently serves as chairman of the ITA Collegiate Hall of Fame Selection Committee.

The two other recipients of the Tennis Educational Merit Award include Leslie Allen of New York and Dale Caldwell of New Brunswick, N.J.

Boykin & Rambo Being Watched

FOOTBALL

University of Georgia senior cornerback Brandon Boykin and junior safety Bacarri Rambo have been named to the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) Defensive Back Trophy Watch List, according to a recent announcement.

DSC_5971Boykin, a native of Fayetteville, finished 2010 with 44 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for loss, and tied for the team lead with three interceptions. Boykin is Georgia’s active leader with six career picks. He has started 24 games during the last two seasons as cornerback for the Dawgs.

Boykin is also one of 38 players on the CFPA’s Kickoff Returner Watch List. UGA’s leader in career kickoff return yards with 1,813, Boykin is the only player in SEC history to have three 100-yard plays of any kind.

DSC_6797

Rambo, a native of Donalsonville, also had three interceptions last season, including one that he returned 39 yards for a touchdown versus Idaho State. Rambo started all 13 games at safety and is the top returning tackler after recording 82 stops in 2010, which was second on the team behind NFL draftee Akeem Dent (126).

Senior place-kicker Blair Walsh and senior punter Drew Butler were also already named to individual 2011 watch lists for the CFPA. Former Dawg Justin Houston was named the CFPA’s National Linebacker of the Year following the 2010 season.

The Offensive Watch Lists are expected to be released on July 5.