Saturday, January 23, 2010

Secondary Coach Hired


University of Connecticut secondary coach Scott Lakatos has been named to coach the defensive backs at the University of Georgia.

"We re very pleased that Scott has accepted the offer to join our defensive staff, said Richt. He has an outstanding resume of success over the course of his career and will bring a great deal of experience and expertise to our coaching staff."

The Huskies defeated South Carolina, 20-7, in the 2010 bowl in Birmingham which represented the fifth bowl game in Lakatos career.

I would like to thank the University of Connecticut for giving me the opportunity to work with a great group of coaches and players in our football program, said Lakatos. My family and I will be forever grateful for the great memories and wonderful friendships we now have.

I am now very excited to begin our next journey with the University of Georgia. We are excited to become a part of a great university community as well as a nationally respected program and an SEC power.

In 2008, the UConn secondary helped the Huskies achieve a national ranking of No. 9 in pass efficiency defense. Cornerback Darius Butler was selected in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots while safety Dahna Deleston signed a free agent contract with the Chicago Bears.

Led by Oakland Raiders draftee Tyvon Branch, UConn was 10th nationally in passing efficiency defense in 2007 and 17th in passing defense en route to the BIG?EAST?Championship.

In 2005, UConn again led the BIG EAST in total defense. The major reason was its passing defense, where the Huskies ranked fourth nationally in least yards allowed per game and seventh in passing efficiency defense. UConn was 25th nationally in passing defense in 2006.

In 2004, the Huskies ranked first in the BIG EAST, and in the top 20 nationally, in passing defense, yielding just 190.0 yards per game. The low sum helped UConn also lead the BIG EAST in total defense in 2004. Leading the unit was first-team All-BIG EAST selection, and Kansas City Chiefs signee, Justin Perkins, who made five interceptions on the year and tied for 14th in the nation in passes defended.

Lakatos came to Storrs in 2004 after spending the previous three seasons as the secondary coach at Rutgers. He was a part of a Scarlet Knights program which improved from 2-9 in 2001 to 5-7 in 2003. In 2003, Rutgers ranked second in the BIG EAST in passing defense, yielding 216.42 yards per game, a total surpassed in the conference only by national-leader Miami. Meanwhile, the Scarlet Knights' passing efficiency defense improved each of the three years under his tutelage before jumping up sharply in 2004 following Lakatos' departure for UConn.

The 2003 season saw corner back Nate Jones earn CoSIDA Academic All-America honors for the second year in a row and was drafted in the seventh round by the Dallas Cowboys. Also that year, a second cornerback, Brandon Haw signed with the Seahawks. Lakatos also coached free safety Shawn Seabrooks who earned a spot on the All-BIG EAST second team in 2002.

Lakatos graduated from Western Connecticut in 1988 after earning four varsity letters on the gridiron, three of them under the tutelage of former Syracuse head coach Paul Pasqualoni. The 1985 Colonial squad went 10-2 and advanced to the NCAA Division III Playoffs. Immediately after earning his degree in Justice & Law Administration from WCSU, Lakatos began his coaching career at the Danbury school, working with the Colonials' defensive backs during the 1988 and 1989 seasons.

Just before the start of the 1990 season, Lakatos left his alma mater for Boston University where he coached the Terriers' outside linebackers from 1990-91. Lakatos left Boston to reunite with Pasqualoni as Syracuse's defensive graduate assistant during the 1992 and 1993 seasons, working mainly with the team's safeties. In Lakatos' first season with the Orangemen, the team went 10-2 and defeated Colorado, 26-22, in the 1993 Fiesta Bowl to finish the season ranked sixth in the nation. The 1994 season saw Lakatos serve as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at the University of New Haven.

Lakatos spent the 1995-2000 seasons at Maine, serving first as secondary coach for the 1995 season before adding the title of special teams coordinator for the 1996-99 campaigns. In 2000, Lakatos was named the Black Bears' defensive coordinator and linebackers coach.

A native of Long Valley, N.J., Lakatos graduated from West Morris Central High School in 1983 where he played both linebacker and fullback, earning All-County honors on defense. He and his wife, Amanda, have a daughter, Sarah Bailey (9), and a son, Cole (7).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Let's Talk Recruiting


Fun 101's annual recruiting show is this Thursday, January 21st, from 6 pm to 9 pm live from O'Charlie's in Griffin.

Mickey Thrasher and I will host the show and guest will include Barry Every, National Recruiting Analyst for Rivals along with Coaches Robert Davis, Tommy Perdue and Steven Devoursney.

Barry Every is a national recruiting analyst for the Rivals network and travels the country evaluating high school players, prior to joining Rivals he was an Administrative Assistant with the Dawgs, after serving as an Administrative Assistant in Recruiting at Florida State from 1997-2000.

Prior to joining the Florida State staff, Every served as Administrative Assistant in Football Operations and Recruiting at the University of North Carolina from 1995-97. His responsibilities included game day operations, away game logistical planning, obtaining academic information on recruits, initial prospect research, and gathering high school video.

Every held the position of marketing assistant at New Mexico State University (1994-95) where he worked in the promotion of football, men's basketball, women's basketball, and volleyball. He served as an administrative assistant at the Educational Foundation at the University of North Carolina (1993-94) where he had duties in athletic fund-raising.

He is a 1992 undergraduate of the State University of New York at Brockport and received his master's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1994). Every is married to Sylvia from Sylvester, Ga. They have one son, Adam.

Robert Davis, the winningest football coach in Middle Georgia history retired from Westside High School this past March, he won more than 100 games after coming to Westside in 1997. He led the Seminoles to the Georgia Dome twice for the state playoffs and to five 10-win seasons.

Davis came to Macon after a legendary career in Warner Robins where he led the Demons to three state championships and two mythical national championships. This past season, Davis passed longtime Mary Persons coach Dan Pitts as the winningest coach in Middle Georgia history. He trails only Lincoln County coach Larry Campbell in wins statewide.

Coach Tommy Perdue and his R. E. Lee Rebels began the 1988 season ranked # 1 in the state and maintained that position for the entire year. They finished the season with a perfect 16-0 record, a Region 4AA Championship, and the AA State Football Championship. This team was the only undefeated team in Lee history and won the school's only state football championship. He was the first head coach of Upson / Lee after the schools were combined.

Coach Steven Devournsey has been the head coach of the Griffin Bears for nine years and led them to the playoffs each season. The Bears look to be loaded again for the 2010 campaign.

O'Charlie's is located at 1512 McIntosh Road (Georgia Highway 92) next to Wal Mart just off of US 19/41 north of Griffin.

It's the "Biggest Recruiting Show On The Radio" as we break down each recruit from Georgia in the ACC and SEC before taking an in-depth look at the 2010 class for the Dawgs.

Listen in on Fun 101 fm or catch us live on the web at

Friday, January 15, 2010

Grantham Named Defensive Coordinator


Dallas Cowboys defensive line coach Todd Grantham, an 11 year NFL veteran coach with nine years college experience, has been named new defensive coordinator at the University of Georgia according to an announcement Friday by coach Mark Richt.

Grantham is in his second season with the Dallas Cowboys after spending three seasons as defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns (2005-07), and six years as defensive line coach for both the Houston Texans (2002-04) and Indianapolis Colts (1999-01).

"I'm excited the search is over, we have our man, and look forward to what Todd will bring to our defense, our team, and our University," said Richt.

"I think it is particularly valuable that he has a wealth of experience on the defensive side of the ball at both the NFL and collegiate levels. Now we look forward to moving ahead with the home stretch of recruiting, finishing out the defensive staff, and getting ready for spring practice."

Prior to his stint in Indianapolis, Grantham served three seasons as the defensive line coach at Michigan State (1996-98). He added the title of assistant head coach in his final season in East Lansing in 1998. Grantham also spent six seasons (1990-95) at his alma mater, Virginia Tech, coaching defensive ends and inside linebackers from 1990-91 and defensive tackles from 1992-93.

At the conclusion of the 2009 regular season, the Cowboys' defensive unit ranked second in the NFL in scoring defense (15.6 points per game), fourth in rushing defense (90.5 yards per game), seventh in sacks (42.0 per game), and ninth in total defense (315.9 yards per game). The Dallas defensive unit finished eighth in the NFL in total defense in 2008 and led the league with 59 sacks - 13.5 coming from the defensive linemen.

In addition, Dallas noseguard Jay Ratliff, a sixth round draft choice, has been named to two consecutive Pro-Bowls and was named Thursday to the sportswriters All-Pro team. In addition, All-Pro Demarcus Ware recorded a career high 20 sacks in 2008.

"I would like to thank Coach Mark Richt and Damon Evans for the opportunity for myself and my family to be part of the University of Georgia community," said Grantham.

"I'm very excited about being part of a staff that will work tremendously hard to return Georgia football to one of the premier teams in the SEC. To the fans and boosters of the University of Georgia, I understand the passion and standard of excellence expected. I look forward to developing an aggressive, physical, attacking style defense that offenses will not look forward to playing against."

During his career Grantham has worked under several successful head coaches and defensive coordinators on both the pro and college levels including Frank Beamer and Bud Foster at Virginia Tech, Nick Saban at Michigan State, Romeo Crennel at Cleveland, Dom Capers at Houston, and Wade Phillips at Dallas.

While at Michigan State the Spartans ranked 19th in total defense in 1996 and 13th in 1997, making consecutive bowl trips.

In 1995 the Hokies ranked first nationally in rushing defense, fifth in scoring defense and 10th in total defense. Virginia Tech racked up 50 sacks en route to the Big East title and a Sugar Bowl triumph over Texas in 1995.

In 2007, Cleveland surfaced as one of the most improved teams in the NFL by compiling a 10-6 record after posting a 4-12 mark in 2006. Under Grantham's watch as defensive coordinator, the Browns 2007 secondary tandem of cornerback Leigh Bodden and former Georgia safety Sean Jones recorded a combined total 11 interceptions. Bodden's six tied for fifth in the league, while Jones' five tied for ninth.

Grantham's defensive unit ranked 15th in the NFL in pass defense (202.6
yards-per-game) during the 2006 season, despite his secondary being decimated with injuries (defensive backs Daylon McCutcheon, Gary Baxter and Bodden). His secondary witnessed the emergence of safety Jones and defensive back Daven Holly, who tied for the team lead with five interceptions each.

In his first season with the Browns in 2005, Grantham's defensive unit finished first in the AFC in red zone defense (44.0 touchdown percentage), fourth in the NFL in pass defense (179.2 yards-per-game), 11th in points allowed (17.7 points-per-game) and tied for 16th in total defense (316.8 yards-per-game).

Prior to joining the Browns, Grantham served as the defensive line coach for the Houston Texans. In 2004 the Texans defense ranked 13th in the NFL against the run and had a streak of seven consecutive games without allowing a rushing score (10/10/04 - 11/28/04).

In 2003 Grantham's defensive line unit was devastated by injuries, as nose tackle Seth Payne suffered a season ending knee injury in week two and Pro Bowl defensive end Gary Walker played in just four games due to shoulder and toe injuries. Despite the injuries, Grantham was able to mix and match his defensive linemen effectively as defensive tackle Jerry Deloach collected a career-high 109 tackles and nose tackle Steve Martin racked up 92 stops in only 14 games. In 2002 Grantham's three starters (Walker, Payne, Deloach) all produced career-high numbers in tackles and Walker earned his second Pro Bowl invitation after recording 115 tackles and 6.5 sacks.

At Indianapolis, Grantham's 2001 defensive line registered 96 sacks over three seasons, helping the Colts post a 29-19 record and advance to the playoffs twice. Indianapolis' 10-win improvement from 1998 to 1999 marked the greatest one-season turnaround in league history. In 1999 and 2000, the Colts posted 56 sacks, the highest two-year total for the club since it moved to Indianapolis.

Grantham played guard and tackle for the Hokies from 1984-88. He earned second-team All-South and honorable mention All-America honors as a senior. He earned a bachelor's degree in sports management.

Grantham was born Sept. 13, 1966, in Pulaski, Va. He and his wife, Paige, have a son, Corbin, and a daughter, Olivia.

Welcome to the Dawgnation.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Curran Makes Official Announcement


All-Southeastern Conference junior linebacker Rennie Curran announced today plans to forego his final collegiate season and enter the NFL draft.

A 5-11, 225-pound native of Snellville, Curran has appeared in 37 games for the Dawgs including 30 starts. In three seasons Curran amassed 298 tackles. In 2009, Curran led the SEC in tackles with 130, collected All-SEC honors for the second straight year and was named a permanent team captain. He was a finalist for the Rotary Lombardi and Chuck Bednarik awards.

"This has been a really difficult decision," said Curran. "I love the Dawgs and my time at Georgia has been great. But weighing all the factors over the last couple of weeks, I finally reached the decision Saturday that entering the NFL draft this year is the right decision for me at this time."

Curran is the first Dawg to have back-to-back seasons with 100+ tackles since Greg Bright in 1997. Curran had a career-high 16 stops versus No. 4 LSU and tallied 15 tackles in the road win over No. 7 Georgia Tech.

"Rennie has been a cornerstone of our defense over the last couple years and even as a freshman, made tremendous contributions,² said UGA head coach Mark Richt. ³I think our team¹s fondness for Rennie was demonstrated by his election by his teammates as one of our permanent defensive captains for 2009. He will be sorely missed not only on the field but in the locker room and at the University. We certainly wish him the very best.²

Curran arrived at Georgia in 2007 from Brookwood High School and made an immediate impact. He appeared in 11 games with five starts in 2007, tallying 53 tackles and three sacks as the Dawgs went 11-2 and won the Sugar Bowl over No. 10 Hawaii.

As a sophomore in 2008, he earned All-SEC honors after starting all 13 games and finished second in the SEC with a team-best 115 tackles. His tackle total was the most by a Bulldog in 10 seasons. Also, Curran was a finalist for the Butkus Award. He received the team's Most Valuable Defensive Player Award. He helped Georgia to a Capital One Bowl victory over No. 19 Michigan State as the Bulldogs finished 10-3.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dawgs Beat The Jackets.....Again!


The Dawgs finished their non-conference schedule in a big way tonight, defeating the 20th ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in front of 6,275 raucous Stegeman Coliseum patrons. The win elevated the Dawg’s season record to 8-5 (0-0 Southeastern Conference) while dropping the Yellow Jackets to 11-3 (0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference).

“It means a lot to beat Georgia Tech and it means a lot to win a rivalry game”, said head coach Mark Fox. “It’s a big win for us in a lot of ways and I told the kids to leave the gym feeling good about themselves because they deserve to.”

Leading the way for the Dawgs was sophomore forward Trey Thompkins, who contributed 20 points and six rebounds. His mark was felt most in the second half, where he led a Dawg offensive attack with 14 points. Senior guard Ricky McPhee added 16 points, and was four of seven from beyond-the-arc. Sophomore guard Dustin Ware added 13 points, while sophomore forward Travis Leslie registered 12 points and four boards.

“We shot it well tonight, and Ricky is a great shooter”, Fox said about his senior guard. “He came in and shot a lot of shots the other day, and he probably made 80 percent. It was his last time to play against Tech, so it meant a great deal for him to play well and he did.”

Tonight’s contest marked the 186th times that these two teams have met, with Tech holding a 101-85 series lead over the Dawgs. The series was played at the Omni Arena in Atlanta for 14 straight years but returned to the home campus sites for the 1995-1996 season. Since then, the home team has won each year except for a 75-70 Dawg win at Georgia Tech in 2000. The Yellow Jackets last defeated the Dawgs in Athens on November 26th, 1976, in a 64-43 outcome.
The Dawgs came out firing against Tech with two Ricky McPhee three-pointers representing their first six offensive points on their way to a 31-26 halftime lead. The game, which was close throughout, saw nine lead changes and seven tied scores.

Next up for the Dawgs are the 3rd ranked Kentucky Wildcats this Saturday in Lexington, Ky. The game tips at 4:00 PM and can be heard on the Georgia Bulldogs Radio Network.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Jones And Curran To Enter Draft


Junior safety Rashad Jones and linebacker Rennie Curran will forgo their senior seasons and enter this year's NFL draft.

Curran led the SEC in tackles this year and was a finalist for several national awards, both will begin working to improve their draft potential at the NFL combine later this spring.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Lady Dawgs Equal Best Start


The No. 9-ranked Georgia Lady Dawgs defeated Alabama, 52-44, today to improve to 14-0 and equal the best start in school history. But they didn't make it easy on themselves.

The Dawgs rallied from a double-digit halftime deficit to outscore the Crimson Tide (9-5) 32-14 in the second half.

Ashley Houts scored a game-high 14 points and Porsha Phillips hauled down a career-high 17 rebounds to lead the Lady Bulldogs. Angel Robinson chipped in a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Alabama native Meredth Mitchell chipped in 10.

"I thought in the first half we made mistakes and everybody on the team was disappointed with themselves and we got mired down in that – all the way from the seniors right down the freshman," Andy Landers said. "I told them at halftime something we talked about at the very first meeting in the fall. 'This is not about you, it's about us. It's not about what you do individually, it's about how we play together as a team."

The Dawgs return home for a two-game homestand this week, hosting Kentucky at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday and Florida on Sunday at 6:00 p.m.