Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wednesday Practice Report


The 19th-ranked Dawgs had the first of two dress rehearsals Wednesday, working out for 90 minutes in jerseys, shorts and helmets.

“Today was all about assignments, and we jogged through everything,” said Georgia coach Mark Richt. “There was no throwing, we’re getting everybody rested up. On Thursday, we’ll go over everything again and time it up at the stadium with crowd noise and see how we execute.”

Richt added that this season opener has a “little more juice added to it” because of several factors.

“When you look at who we’re playing, where we’re playing and what we’re wearing plus the national television, there’s a lot of people interested in this game,” said Richt. “We know a lot of people will be there and will be watching on television.”

This will be the first time since 1965 that the Dawgs will open a season against top five-ranked team. That year, the unranked Dawgs upset fifth-ranked and defending national champion Alabama 18-17 in Athens.

Georgia and Boise State have tangled just once before. It was the 2005 season opener, and the Dawgs registered a 48-13 season-opening win in Athens. Georgia has won 13 of its last 14 season openers, including 9-1 under Richt. The lone blemish in the Richt era came in 2009, falling to ninth-ranked Oklahoma State 24-10 in Stillwater.

Richt provided an update on a couple of projected starters in tailback Richard Samuel and cornerback/punt returner Branden Smith, saying they are ready to go.

“They were able to do everything today and looked fine, we’ll ask for more tempo from everybody Thursday,” said Richt. “Branden got some reps at returning punts, and I expect him to be back there.”

Samuel returned to the tailback position after spending a year on defense and redshirted in 2010. Due to attrition in the backfield, Samuel moved back to offense during the offseason. He has appeared in 22 games including six starts with 528 career rushing yards. Smith has eight career starts and averaged 14.3 yards on 10 punt returns last season.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Game Week Media Conference


DSC_0259Head Coach Mark Richt

Opening Statement...

“It’s finally here – game week. It’s been a long time waiting for this ballgame. The minute we announced we were playing this game, I think it created a buzz. I know it created a buzz here in the Butts-Mehre building with our players. I remember when we first announced it to the team, looking at the excitement on some of the guys’ eyes and even the disappointment on some of the seniors’ eyes that they weren’t going to be able to be a part of it. It’s been a big deal to us to know that we are going to play Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. So it’s here. I can remember when it was 104 days away, and now it’s four days away. It’s moving right along.

“Boise State, as we all know, is the winningest team in college football since 1997. Coach Chris Peterson has done a tremendous job of getting those guys to believe, getting those guys to play with confidence, swagger and intensity. They are great fundamentally. They just play so hard. They know what they are doing, and they believe in what they are doing, and for good reason. Because they are a team that wins, they will be a very difficult team to beat. Teams that are in the habit of winning are hard to beat, there is no doubt about that.

“Offensively, they were No. 2 in the country in total offense last year. Over the last few years they have been in the top five in scoring nationally. They are just in the habit of doing that. When you look at their scores it’s 51 points, 57 points, 49 points, 42 points. Every once in a while they will play a game in the 30s. Every time they play they just rack it up. They are used to doing that. One of the big reasons for that is their quarterback Kellen Moore, who we know is a senior. He is an extremely accurate passer. He is a guy that you can tell understands the system extremely well, and he has all the confidence in his skill people to make plays. He is complimented by Doug Martin, their great running back. D.J. Harper also plays a good bit. I was sorry to hear about the No. 3 back who is injured. I know what it’s like to have one of your players to have an ACL for the second or third time and cost a guy another season. That’s tough on those guys.

“Doug is very, very physical back. He is a guy who always gets positive yards after contact. I’ve seen him break big runs. He has good speed. I’m sure he loves his fullback, Dan Paul. He’s a real physical guy, another senior who is a big part of what they do in their offense. He may not have a lot of yards, but of course they use their fullback similar to what we do as far as being a big-time blocker and a guy who sets the tone physically.

“Up front, Thomas Byrd, their center, and Nate Potter, their left tackle, are probably their two finest. They are breaking in a couple of guys on the right side, and I’m sure they will be just as good as the ones who played a year ago. Their tight end is back. Tyler Shoemaker, more of a slot receiver, is back. I’m assuming that’s the role he is going to continue to play for them.

“Defensively, it’s just as impressive if not more impressive what they’ve done. Last year they led the nation in sacks and led the nation in red zone defense. They were No. 2 in the nation in total defense and had a few shutouts along the way. The thing that is interesting about this defense, as far as we’re concerned, is they are returning just about everybody. They are going to have nine or 10 seniors starting on that defense and one or two juniors starting on that defense, guys who have played a lot of football and played a lot together.

“Billy Winn is a beast inside. He is a certain first round draft pick in my opinion and in most everybody’s opinion. Really across the board, their front is super physical. They all have a bunch of sacks and tackles for loss. I think they might have been first or second in the nation in tackles for loss. Their front seven is very tough.

“The 4-3 is their base defense, but they will get into a 3-4 look when they begin to play more of the spread set. It’s a lot like what other people do across the country. They have an outstanding linebacking corps. I know Tommy Smith is a Georgia boy from North Atlanta High School. He is going to get an opportunity to possibly start. Either he or Byron Hout will start at the “mike linebacker.” Their safety is George Iloka, he led the team in tackles last year with 63 on the perimeter and does a great job.

“From what I understand they aren’t sure who is going to be their place kicker yet, but they do an outstanding job on special teams as well, so we know it’s going to be a challenge there.

“Again, they are a great football team, a team that we have to get ready to do battle with. We are excited about it, and we’re thankful to be in this game. We’re glad that the Georgia Bulldog fans have risen to the occasion as far as getting ready to show up and cheer on the Dogs.”

On if he puts Georgia's Aaron Murray and Boise State's Kellen Moore in a similar mold…

"I wouldn't put Murray in his category yet. Kellen has done so much. He will end up being the winningest quarterback in the history of college football. It's not a slight against Aaron, but Aaron just hasn't played as many games and won any championships or anything like that. This guy right now I would say is deadly accurate. There's a difference between completions and hitting a guy on the dead run and hitting a guy exactly where they need to be hit. He throws it so accurately that he allows his receivers to really get some good yards after catch. I have not seen him use his wheels like Aaron has, but part of the reason why Aaron ran last year was maybe not being 100-percent sure he wanted to throw it into a certain coverage so he took off running. He actually did a pretty good job of it. I think Kellen would be less likely to cross the line of scrimmage, although he's mobile and can make plays moving around. He's a little bit more mature than Aaron in his play. I think Aaron is a heck of player, and I think Aaron is going to play extremely well for us this season. Kellen is the leading passer in the country returning as far as QB rating and things of that nature. I think he hit 70-percent of his passes. Aaron is getting there, but I don't know if he's there yet.

On the culture of change at Georgia, offseason training and having a 240 pound running back in Richard Samuel…

"We had a great offseason I believe. I have seen the results. I've seen guys bulked up pretty good. I've seen guys that have a lot of stamina in practice. I will say that when we did move our practices to the a.m. during came that it helped our guys. It was cooler in the morning, but we've had a couple weeks of the heat in the afternoon once school began and I still see guys that are holding up pretty darn good. Richard Samuel being 240 pounds is a very big physical, fast guy. He's not much for dodging people. He's an outstanding pass protector too. Every once and a while there will be a guy or two that will make the whole team look tough, and he's one of those type of guys. I think the offseason went extremely well. I think guys are in a really good frame of mind right now, and like everybody else in the nation ready to hit somebody besides their teammates."

On the physical factor in games last year…

"I personally think we just didn't finish well last year, so there are a lot of things that we could do better. We lost the close games. In years' past, we've won the close games. Is it because of the physical nature? Is it because guys didn't make a play here? Or the ball bounced the wrong way? Whatever it may be, the bottom line is we just didn't get the job done. So we are looking forward to turning that around and getting it done this season."

On the buildup for the Georgia-Boise State game and if it will determine how the rest of the season goes…

"It is a big build up for an opening game I think because of who we are playing, where we are playing and maybe a little bit of the uniform issue and all that kind of thing. So there's an awful lot of hype going into this ball game compared to some other opening games. I don't personally think that the season is riding on the one game. It's really not. It's a game that we absolutely want to win. It's a game that we expect to win. We talk a lot about winning the Eastern Division, and that is the one thing that we can control. It really has no bearing on the Southeastern Conference race, so it doesn't really get in the way of that goal or the goal of winning the Southeastern Conference. What I do think it's going to do is give us a pretty good feel of what we are made of right away. It's also going to be a great teacher of what it's going to take to win in our league down the road. I think it's very positive that we are playing the game, and I certainly would love to win it because we can create some really good momentum from that but I don't think the season is riding in the balance."

On contrasting now compared to when Georgia played Boise State in 2005…

"At that time, I know that that was kind of the upset special. That was kind of the game that a lot of people were pointing to say what's going to be the upset of the week or the opening game of the season. A lot of people were picking Boise State to win that game. But I didn't blame them. I looked at the film. They had quite a few pros on that team. We did them here (in Athens). We did get them on a really blistering hot day and humid day. I think that was a factor that day. We started well and grabbed momentum early and never looked back. They never really got a chance to get it going. On any given day, if we had got the ball first and thrown a pick on the first play of the game who knows what would have happened to us that day. You just never know. The score that day I don't think was indicative of the difference in the teams as much as the momentum that was taken early, and we never relinquished it so to speak.

On if Georgia has learned anything on Boise State from transfer Michael Tamburo…

"You would have to ask coach Todd Grantham on that. I don't know if he's really spent a lot of time with him on that. It's very obvious that we have everyone's film. We can study all the film. We can talk to other coaches that have played them. That's where we get all our information from. Todd might have spent time with him, but I really don't know. You'd have to ask Todd on that."

On Michael Tamburo's outlook…

"It's early for him, but he's got ability. The one thing he did get to do and that I got a taste for his abilities is in our practice games. He was one of the quarterbacks that played on that day, and you can see he has got some nerve staying in the pocket. The pocket wasn't all that great at times, but he stood in there and made some really fine throws and seemed to be very accurate. He hasn't got an awful lot of reps at all with our offensive units. I've seen him throw a few passes here and there when we throw with our receivers, but at this point, the guys who are getting the most work are the guys that are going to play right now."

On what other opposing coaches have said about Boise State…

"I'd say opposing coaches say 'get ready.' They say 'these guys know how to play the game of football.' They're going to get after you. You better be prepared. They are relentless in their play. They are well coached. They believe. Lately, they've started fast and furious on both sides of the ball."

Monday, August 29, 2011

2011 Top 25–Week Number 1








0 - 0




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Kent State



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Florida State

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Louisiana - Monroe



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San Jose State


Oklahoma State

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Louisiana – Lafayette



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Missouri State



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Boise State


Texas A&M

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Penn State

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Indiana State


Virginia Tech

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Appalachian State


South Carolina

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East Carolina



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Mississippi State

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Boise State

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Ohio State

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Miami – Ohio


Michigan State

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Youngstown State



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Arizona State

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West Virginia

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Oklahoma starts out number one simply due to the more experienced QB, Bama’s defense will carry them to Atlanta no matter who the QB is.

Oregon should win the first PAC-12 title after expansion and Nebraska will be too good for the rest of the Big 10, Florida State should easily win the ACC title this year.

The second best team in the SEC is still better than the ACC and PAC 12 champs, the next four are the second best in the PAC 12, Big 12, Big 10 and #3 in the SEC west.

From 10 to 25, it’s more about scheduling and staying healthy, I don’t think that Boise State is as good as they think they are and LSU could make a huge statement with a win over Oregon.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday Practice Report


The 19th-ranked Dawgs focused on special teams for a majority of their 90-minute workout Thursday.

Georgia spent much of the practice working on kickoff coverage and kickoff returns. Also, the final 20 minutes featured 11-on-11 where the offense and defensive units went against each other. After practice, several of the assistant coaches met with the media.

“I’m seeing a lot of improvement, the guys are focused,” said offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo. “We’ve still got to clean up some of the little things and do a good job with our assignments. We need to be able to execute at full speed because we open up against a really solid team in Boise State. We’ve got to be able to match their effort. They are an experienced team that’s played in some big games.”

Sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray had the nation’s highest passing efficiency rating for a freshman at 154.48. He finished the year with 3,216 yards of total offense, the second best total by a freshman in SEC history. Boise State’s offense is directed by veteran signal-caller Kellen Moore. The senior was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy last year and led the nation in passing efficiency at 182.63. He has 38 career wins.

The Dawgs feature a veteran secondary led by senior Brandon Boykin. He has 24 career starts and six interceptions plus is a dangerous return specialist with four touchdowns on kickoff returns.

“We’ve got some veterans like Brandon Boykin, Bacarri Rambo, Sanders Commings and and Shawn Williams and we’re still deciding on some of the younger guys,” said secondary coach Scott Lakatos. “Every day we can see them developing and getting more comfortable with our system.”

Redshirt sophomore cornerback Jordan Love continues to impress the staff.

“Jordan has done a good job, he’s fired up and playing well right now,” said Lakatos. “He’s doing a nice job of communicating out there, and he’s playing fast. He can play in the nickel and he’s able to play both corner spots which gives us some depth.”

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday Scrimmage Report


The 19th-ranked Dawgs held their third scrimmage of the preseason Wednesday at Sanford Stadium.

Coach Mark Richt provided a few statistical standouts from Wednesday’s action that included a pregame warm up, a coin toss with captains and full-speed tackling on all plays. Georgia’s No. 1 offense and defense battled the scout team that ran Boise State’s system.

“When you do these scrimmages, Georgia should do well against the scout team,” said Richt. “If you start 0-0, then there’s no drama and it could be 38-3. There’s no sense of urgency so we started out down 31-0 in the second half.”

The Dawgs rallied for a 38-34 victory, scoring a touchdown with 11 seconds left in the contest. Junior flanker Tavarres King caught a four-yard pass from sophomore Hutson Mason for the win. Mason finished 7-for-9 for 98 yards while King had three receptions for 21 yards. Sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray started and was 5-for-9 for 79 yards. Sophomore tight end Orson Charles had three catches for 31 yards.

Richt announced the captains for the season opener in senior center Ben Jones senior cornerback Brandon Boykin, senior defensive end DeAngelo Tyson and senior punter Drew Butler. They served as captains in today’s scrimmage too.

“It means a lot to me, especially opening up in the Georgia Dome, in my hometown,” said Boykin on being named a captain for the first game. “We’re getting ready for Boise State, and it’s starting to hit us. It’s really here.”

Defensively, Boykin was on his way to a couple of long touchdowns Wednesday on an interception and a fumble return had Richt not blown the whistle.

“We didn’t want him to pull a hamstring, but the interception was going to be 75 yards and the fumble return was for more than 80,” Richt added.

Sophomore outside linebacker Jarvis Jones made four tackles and one sack while junior defensive end Abry Jones had three tackles and two sacks. Sophomore cornerback Jordan Love tallied three tackles, one sack and caused a fumble. Also, junior strong safety Shawn Williams and junior cornerback Sanders Commings notched interceptions.

Richt was not pleased with the opening drive, calling it “sloppy,” however it did result in points. Senior Blair Walsh nailed a 56-yard field goal.

Overall Richt said it was a good day as he got to put the guys in certain situations and made them have some long drives on offense and made the defense stay out there a while too.

“We’ll watch the film and see who is ready to play football for Georgia,” Richt added.

“We really played fast today, and that’s what Coach Bobo wanted us to do,” said Ben Jones. “Boise State’s front seven is supposed to be one of the best, and it makes us work that much harder.”

“I thought we had a really good scrimmage on both sides of the ball,” said Murray. “Coach Richt moved the ball around, and we had to drive the field a few times and the defense created some turnovers. I thought we executed plays all around.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Practice Report


The No. 19-ranked Dawgs conducted a brief practice in shoulder pads and shorts on Tuesday afternoon in Athens, with their primary goal being to prepare for Wednesday's scrimmage.

"We went really short today, an hour in shoulder pads and shorts," coach Mark Richt said. "About 90-95 percent of it was scout work. We wanted to give them a little bit of a break from the hitting and full-speed running and get the scout team ready for tomorrow's scrimmage and Boise State. It was a good day, short and sweet."

The Dawgs will face pseudo-Boise State at Sanford Stadium. "We're going to play half a football game," Richt said. "I want to get our game warm up ready and go into a coin toss. We may have some captains by then. We'll probably make sure Boise State kicks off and we'll play football. We're going to play full-speed and tackle to the ground. We'll tackle on kicking teams."

The intent of the scrimmage will be different than Georgia's previous two. "What happens some times in scrimmage you script certain situations...a drive starts from the 20-, 30- or 40-yard line...maybe have some 3rd and long or goal line or coming out from the 1-yard line," Richt said. "What I want to do in this one is put is all together and play a game to make sure we're ready to go from offense to punt team to defense...the transitions you have to have. I want to play it as it happens to make sure everybody has to respond quickly, coaches don't have a clipboard with what to do on it. That's as much for the coaches as the players.

While "Georgia" will be comprised of the No. 1 offense and defense, Richt said he will have a keen eye on the "Broncos."

"I really want those guys who are playing for Boise to try to win a position," Richt said. "A lot of times someone from the opposing team gets discovered in the game scrimmage. A guy may make a great special teams play or have 20 tackles and we're like 'We have to get this guy ready to play.'" After Richard Samuel and Isaiah Crowell, the Dawgs' top two tailbacks, missed last week's scrimmage due to injuries, Richt is hopeful at least Crowell will be able to go full speed.

"Isaiah is looking like he's ready," Richt said. "I don't know if Richard is ready. He did get some work in today, but I do not think Richard will go tomorrow."

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Practice Report


The 19th-ranked Dawgs continued preparations for the 2011 season opener with a two-hour practice on Monday at the Woodruff Practice Fields.

According to Coach Mark Richt, the full-pads session was “kind of a pretty long fundamental practice.”

“I see certain guys really fighting through the monotony of it,” Richt said. “It’s the time of camp where the guys want to play an opponent. Some guys have done a better job of being mature enough to fight through being tired, sore, bored, whatever it is, to get better. A few guys still need to learn that. It wasn’t an awful practice by any means, but it was not as good as some.

“We’ll watch the films and talk to the guys about fighting through it. Overall, we got done what we needed to get done. We got it on film, and we’ll teach from it. We got some value out of it.” Richt then quickly added, “We as coaches want to play a game, too.”

The Dawgs will practice in shorts on Tuesday and then will have a practice game against scouts assuming the roles of Boise State players.

“The practice game will liven things up,” Richt said. “We’re beginning to spend time with the scouts and have a steady installation of the plan.”

Richt said receiver Marlon Brown “tweaked” his ankle on Saturday and did not practice on Monday. Said Richt, “We don’t think it’s anything real serious.”

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday Practice Report


Saturday marked another busy day for the 19th-ranked Dawgs as they began with a two-hour morning practice followed by the annual fans picture day in the afternoon.

Coach Mark Richt said the team had a really productive practice filled with spirited competition.

“Everybody was locked in and excited, and we had a lot of tightly contested drills,” said Richt. “Guys wanted to win each drill, every play was meaningful and nobody got hurt.”

The offense emerged the winner in a majority of the drills Saturday, according to Richt.

While the defense came out on top during the pass skeleton drill, the offense won the rushing, play-action pass, one-on-one and 11-on-11 in the red zone segments. In fact, most of the red zone featured passing plays as it began with 3rd-and-seven or 3rd-and eight plays.

Aaron Murray had good protection all day and was able to make very comfortable throws,” Richt said. “The offense scored four straight touchdowns during the red zone drill.”

Freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell returned to practice Saturday and made some plays.

“It was a competition day, and Isaiah wanted to be a part of it, and he contributed,” said Richt.

Also on Saturday, the Associated Press (AP) college football preseason top 25 was released, and the Dawgs debut at No. 19 while their season-opening opponent Boise State checks in at No. 5. Oklahoma will start out at No. 1. When asked during his post practice media session if he felt like the Dawgs were a top 20 team, Richt said, “we are now.”

“It’s nice to be ranked right now, and we knew Boise would be highly-ranked, and this is an opportunity to play a top five team to open the season,” Richt said.

The Southeastern Conference has a record eight teams in the preseason AP poll. Alabama is No. 2 followed by LSU (No. 4), South Carolina (No. 12), Arkansas (No. 15), the Bulldogs (No. 19), Mississippi State (No. 20), Florida (No. 22) and Auburn (No. 23). The SEC has won five consecutive BCS titles.

The Dawgs are ranked No. 22 in the USA Today coaches' poll.

Nike Pro Combat Uniform


The new Nike Pro Combat Uniform will be worn in the opening game against Boise State in the Dome two weeks from today.


Much better than I expected after all the rumors.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Practice Report


After wrapping up the first week of fall semester classes, the Georgia football team held a two-hour practice in full pads Friday as the Dawgs continue to close in on the season opener against Boise State on September 3rd.

It marked Georgia’s return to the Woodruff Practice fields for the first time since Wednesday’s scrimmage and a special teams practice on Thursday – both at Sanford Stadium.

DSC_1319“It was a pretty good practice,” said offensive coordinator Mike Bobo. “The guys came out and responded well. It was a little difficult today with third-and-long situations, but we did a good job picking up the blitzes and converting a higher percentage than we usually do.”

Bobo had particular praise for the receiving corps. Despite losing last year’s top two statistical leaders, Bobo said he has been pleased with that unit during preseason practice.

“There was obviously a concern losing Kris Durham and A.J. Green, but those guys have worked extremely hard,” Bobo said. “They came in in shape, and they have made plays. Tavarres King, Marlon Brown, Rantavious Wooten, Michael Bennett and Malcolm Mitchell have all done a nice job, and throw Taylor Bradberry in there. Israel Troupe has been fighting a groin injury, and Chris Conley has also been fighting to get in that top six. I feel good about the guys out there. There is a lot of talent there, and a lot of guys have played games. All of them are doing a nice job of responding well.”

Georgia will return to practice Saturday morning before taking part in the Dawgs’ annual Fans’ Picture Day later in the afternoon in the Reed Plaza area of Sanford Stadium. (see story below)

Nose tackle Kwame Geathers did not practice today after suffering an undisclosed injury and John Jenkins left practice early after tweaking his left hamstring, neither injury is considered serious enough to jeopardize their availability for Boise State.

Running backs Richard Samuel and Isaiah Crowell were both in green jerseys today but should be ready to return to contact early next week.

Picture Day


The annual University of Georgia Fans’ Picture Day will be held tomorrow in the Reed Plaza area of Sanford Stadium and will feature coach Mark Richt, players, cheerleaders, other UGA athletic teams and interim mascot “Russ.”

The new Nike Pro Combat uniforms that the Dawgs will wear against Boise State in the opening game will be revealed.

Special ticket coupons are required for access to the location for Russ and Coach Richt. Those tickets will be distributed to the first 150 fans at 8:00 a.m. from the East End ticket windows on East Campus Road.

  • The Georgia cheerleaders and Hairy Dawg will be available from 1-5 p.m.
  • Russ and other University of Georgia sports teams will be available from 1:00-3:00 p.m.
  • Georgia football players will be on hand for photos and autographs from 3:00-5:00 p.m. in Reed Plaza on the north side of the stadium between Gates 2 and 4.
  • Head Coach Mark Richt will also be available from 3-5 p.m. for those with ticket coupons.

Concessions and merchandise sales will be available in several areas of Reed Plaza.
Fans will be able to enter Reed Plaza through through Gate 2 in the northwest corner of the stadium across from the Tate Student Center and Gate 4 through the East Campus Road entry into Reed Plaza. Both gates open at 1:00 p.m.

Parking is available to the general public in all campus lots surrounding the stadium. Handicapped parking will be available in the Tate Center lots.

Due to recent public issues surrounding student-athlete autographs across the country, no outside items may be brought to Picture Day. The Georgia Athletic Association will provide each with two free schedule posters to be signed by the players and Coach Richt. No other items will be permitted.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thursday Practice Report


NOTE: The new Nike Pro Combat uniforms that the Dawgs will wear in the opening game will be revealed on Picture Day this Saturday.

The Dawgs held a 90-minute workout Thursday at Sanford Stadium, focusing mainly on special teams.

It was the second straight day of practice “Between the Hedges.” On Wednesday, Georgia went through a two-hour scrimmage at Sanford Stadium.

“It was a real productive day,” said coach Mark Richt. “We worked on punting, punt return with starters going after each other to simulate game speed. Also, we got about 20 minutes of 11-on-11 drills. Normally, we don’t do that on a kicking day but we caught up on a few reps.”

Richt added that the offensive and defensive lines got some work on fundamentals including run blocking and pass protection. When talk turned to the options at punt returners, Richt indicated that junior Branden Smith and senior Brandon Boykin are the top choices with freshmen Malcolm Mitchell  and Damian Swann in the mix too.

“Smith and Boykin have both handled the ball in big games as punt and kick returners,” said Richt. “Malcolm and Damian are battling for the number three spot and are both very talented.”

Richt was asked about the kick return plan but he said, “we’re not giving away that.”

As the season approaches, Richt added that the Dawgs have the potential to be a good team and the difference between being good and just average is the ability to finish games and make big plays at the end of the game. When pressed on potential starters and an updated depth chart, he said that is still being discussed among the staff.

“To start is important, but it’s more important to earn playing time,” said Richt. “You have to see how someone does in the heat of a game and you may leave them in there, and they end up playing a lot, sometimes more than the starter.”

The annual Fans Picture Day will be held this Saturday in the Reed Plaza area behind the north side of Sanford Stadium from 1-5 p.m. Members of Georgia teams other than football and interim mascot Russ will be available from 1-3, and the football players and coaches will be in attendance from 3-5 p.m.

Due to recent public issues surrounding student-athlete autographs across the country, no outside items may be brought to Picture Day. The UGA Athletic Association will provide each fan with two free schedule posters to be signed by the players and Coach Richt. No other items will be permitted.

Dribble Dawgs Schedule Announced


Fox, Mark1As many as 17 of Georgia's 30 regular-season games could come against teams that played in the 2011 postseason, according to the complete 2011-12 men's basketball schedule, announced today by coach Mark Fox. Additionally, the Dawgs are slated for at least seven national television appearances on the ESPN family of channels. Further TV dates will follow upon completion of the non-conference broadcast schedule.

"We're very excited about the challenge this schedule will present to our young team," Fox said. "I think we have established a schedule that first, should prepare us well for SEC play and second, should give us with the strength of schedule needed in the eyes of the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, if we are successful this season. A lot of this schedule was completed before Trey Thompkins and Travis Leslie decided to enter the NBA Draft, so it should be a real task for the team that we have."

Among the highlights of the 14-game non-conference slate includes the Dawgs' participation in the 11th annual CBE Classic. The first two rounds will be played at campus sites, including Athens, where Georgia will open with Bowling Green on November 13th and follow three nights later against South Dakota State. The Dawgs will play a third-round game against California on November 21st in Kansas City, Missouri, and finish against either Notre Dame or Missouri the following night.

The CBE Classic is named after the College Basketball Experience in Kansas City, the nation's only facility that celebrates the sport of men's collegiate basketball. The tournament, held in partnership with the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), was initially established in 2001 as the Guardians Classic.

Another new opponent added to the non-conference schedule this season will be Southern California, Georgia will travel to Los Angeles on December 17th for the second-ever meeting between these two schools, and they will meet again in Athens next season.

"The national exposure of the CBE tournament was the most attractive part of playing in it," Fox said. "Playing that many games on national TV is a great opportunity as we build our program. The USC game is another step in the building process. The series is a way to get name teams to come back to Athens and play, and the game out there will certainly be fun and challenging trip for our team."

The Dawgs will tip off their SEC schedule against the same team with which they ended it last season. This time, they'll play host to Western Division foe Alabama on January 7th in Athens. Other features of the league schedule include three consecutive home games in January, followed by a difficult stretch of four road games in a stretch of five early-February contests.

Season tickets, which include a reserved seat to all 17 regular-season home games, are $240 for BEF (Basketball Enhancement Fund) contributors and general public and $120 for UGA faculty and staff. Season tickets can be ordered online HERE.

All renewable men's basketball season tickets ordered by September 15 will be assigned based on your Basketball Enhancement Fund cumulative score and all non-renewable seats will be assigned on best available and in the order they are received. For more information on the BEF, please contact The Georgia Bulldog Club by calling 1-877-GA-DAWGS or online at

2011-12 Georgia Basketball Schedule
Nov. 4 vs. Exhibition (Opponent TBA) 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 11 vs. Wofford 8:00 p.m.*
Nov. 13 vs. Bowling Green (ESPN)# 6:00 p.m.
Nov. 16 vs. South Dakota State# 7:00 p.m.
Nov. 21 vs. California# (@Kansas City, Mo.) 9:45 p.m.
Nov. 22 vs. Missouri/Notre Dame# (@K.C.) TBA
Nov. 25 at Xavier TBA
Nov. 28 at Colorado TBA
Dec. 2 vs. Cincinnati (ESPNU)& 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 7 vs. Georgia Tech TBA
Dec. 17 at Southern Cal 8:00 p.m.
Dec. 20 vs. Mercer 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 23 vs. Furman 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 27 vs. Winthrop 7:00 p.m.
Dec. 30 vs. Delaware State 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 7 vs. Alabama (FSN) 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 10 at Florida (ESPN) 7:00 p.m.
Jan. 14 at Vanderbilt (SECN) 4:00 p.m.
Jan. 18 vs. Tennessee (SECN) 8:00 p.m.
Jan. 21 vs. Ole Miss (SECN) 4:00 p.m.
Jan. 24 vs. Kentucky (ESPN) 9:00 p.m.
Feb. 1 at Auburn (SECN) 8:00 p.m.
Feb. 4 at Tennessee (FSN) 8:00 p.m.
Feb. 8 vs. Arkansas (SECN) 8:00 p.m.
Feb. 11 at Miss. State (SECN) 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 15 at South Carolina (CSS) 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 19 vs. Vanderbilt (FSN) 1:00 p.m.
Feb. 22 at LSU (SECN) 8:00 p.m.
Feb. 25 vs. Florida (SECN) 4:00 p.m.
Mar. 1 at Kentucky (ESPN/ESPN2) 9:00 p.m.
Mar. 3 vs. South Carolina (SECN) 1:30 p.m.
Mar. 8-11 at SEC Tournament (@New Orleans, La.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Scrimmage Report


The Dawgs conducted their second preseason scrimmage of the fall on Wednesday afternoon, working out for just over two hours at Sanford Stadium.

Head coach Mark Richt was pleased with his team's performance and with the
fact that the Dawgs suffered no significant injuries. "We didn't have any injuries, which is always good," Richt said. "We did have a little cramping going on from the heat afterwards with Ben Jones. It's nothing too serious. Ben had an hour aerobics class today, and he probably didn't do a good job of hydrating. After aerobics and scrimmaging and running wind sprints, it got to him."

Starting quarterback Aaron Murray connected on 11 of 16 passing attempts for 108 yards, with a touchdown and an interception, while back-up Hutson Mason completed 13 of 27 passes for 125 yards. "I thought it was a pretty good scrimmage," Murray said. "The offense made a lot of plays here and there. There were some lulls, but that's going to happen. I'm very proud of both sides of the ball and how they played today."

Rantavious Wooten caught five passes for 61 yards, including a 20-yard TD. Israel Troupe also had five receptions for 50 yards. Brandon Harton, a former walk-on who was awarded a scholarship last Thursday, was the top rusher with 51 yards on 12 carries.

Richard Samuel and Isaiah Crowell, Georgia's top-two rushers in the first scrimmage, missed the session due to slight injuries. "I do think Isaiah is a little closer than Richard," Richt said. "We have a kicking practice tomorrow and a regular practice on Friday. I'm not going to say Isaiah will be ready for Friday but there's a chance. Richard would probably be more like early next week. As you watch them moving around, Isaiah looks closer."

Linebacker Alec Ogletree led the defense for the second consecutive scrimmage, with eight tackles including a sack and tackle for loss. Safety Shawn Williams recorded seven tackles, and safety Bacarri Rambo notched six stops and an interception. Ogeltree played safety last season as a true freshman before moving to
linebacker in the spring. "'Tree' is playing good," Richt said. "He's playing fast and physical. He likes football and has had a very good camp. I don't have any doubt it was the best move for him and for Georgia."

"'Tree' gets after it," linebacker Jarvis Jones said. "He loves the game of football. He loves to work hard. He works hard every day. He would've been successful at safety, but I think moving him to linebacker is one of the best decisions our coaches could've made for the overall success of our defense and our team. He can get off blocks. He can run sideline to sideline. He can make big plays. He's a high energy guy and brings it every day."

Murray complimented the defense and the progress it has made this fall. "From day one to now they've made a lot of improvement," Murray said. "There are so many young guys, defensive backs, linebackers and linemen. They've learned so much and are starting to play faster and with more confidence. They're getting a lot better and giving us much better looks right now."

Placekicker Blair Walsh made 4 of 6 field goals, with a long of 49 yards. "Our snapping wasn't that keen today,"

The annual Fans Picture Day will be held this Saturday in the Reed Plaza area behind the north side of Sanford Stadium from 1-5 p.m. Members of Georgia teams other than football and interim mascot Russ will be available from 1-3, and the football players and coaches will be in attendance from 3-5 p.m.

Due to recent public issues surrounding student-athlete autographs across the country, no outside items may be brought to Picture Day. The UGA Athletic Association will provide each fan with two free schedule posters to be signed by the players and Coach Richt. No other items will be permitted.

Hamilton Out For Season


DSC_6802Senior safety Jakar Hamilton will miss this season due to a fractured ankle, the announcement was made following today’s practice by coach Mark Richt.

“Jakar has a fracture that historically takes two or three months to heal," Richt said. "My guess is he won't play this year. He does have the opportunity to redshirt. That's my best guess on what will happen. It's in his leg down toward his ankle. It's something he's been having issues with but the pain was moving a little on a daily basis. A bone scan showed it. It was something we couldn't detect otherwise.

"Jakar is a very good special teams player and competing for downs as a safety," Richt added. "A young guy like Corey Moore will have a better opportunity to play on specials and is one step closer to the field as a safety. Maybe this will light a fire under him."

Statement From UGA


The University of Georgia has released the following statement in regards to the recent revelations of alleged violations committed by a booster of the University of Miami.

"The University of Georgia is aware of the article mentioning Orson Charles
and has been in communication with the NCAA. There are no issues with UGA or
eligibility issues with Orson Charles. UGA will have no further comment
regarding this matter."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Signing Deadline Passes


Ace pitcher Michael Palazzone, closer Tyler Maloof along with outfielders Peter Verdin and Johnathan Taylor will return to the University of Georgia as the deadline to sign professional contracts passed at midnight Monday.

Palazzone (24th round/Milwaukee), Verdin (39th round/Washington) and Taylor (33rd round/Texas) enter their senior seasons while Maloof (34th round/Cleveland) will be a junior. Also, senior second baseman Levi Hyams and junior shortstop Kyle Farmer round out the nucleus of what will be an experienced team in 2012. Georgia advanced to the final of the NCAA Corvallis Regional in 2011, posting a 33-32 record. The Dawgs finished fourth in the rugged Southeastern Conference that featured national champion South Carolina, CWS finalist Florida and No. 3 Vanderbilt.

Additionally, the Dawgs saw five out of their 11 signees that were selected in the draft opt to come to Georgia.

Left-handed pitcher Jarrett Brown (23rd round/Boston), right-handed pitcher Mike Mancuso (46th round/Chicago White Sox), right-handed pitcher David Sosebee (48th round/Boston), outfielder Hunter Cole (49th round, Washington), and outfielder/pitcher Heath Holder (50th round/Colorado) chose not to sign professional contracts. Also, infielder Tyler Palmer (4th round/Florida) did not sign a contract due to a serious arm injury. He is recovering at home in Odum, Georgia. The Dawgs had a school record 18 players (seven current and 11 signees) selected in the 2011 MLB draft.

Palazzone (10-5, 3.14 ERA) was one of the top pitchers in the SEC in 2011 with seven wins over ranked foes and a league-best four complete games. Also, Georgia welcomes back sophomore left-hander Alex Wood (6-7, 4.44 ERA). In his first season as a closer, Maloof finished third nationally with 18 saves which tied a school record. Verdin has been a three-year starter with a .291 career batting average and 32 stolen bases. Taylor sustained a serious neck injury last March and plans to return to school and continue rehabilitation in January.

Hyams (.332-5-38) indicated to MLB teams he would return for his senior season and was not drafted. He led the team in batting and set a school record with a .983 fielding percentage for a second baseman. Farmer (.308-8-58) ranked fifth in the SEC in RBI and led the team in home runs. Both made the NCAA Corvallis Regional All-Tournament team.

“The fact that we have several key juniors that decided to come back for their senior year is going to make a huge impact for us this coming season compared to what the freshmen who didn’t show up could’ve done for us,” said coach David Perno. “The biggest part of this recruiting class was the pitching, and we feel good about who made it. We lost some bats overall, and hoped to keep a few of those but when you look at the signing bonuses, they had their number, and they got it. Overall, our coaches did a nice job with this class. I look at the veterans we’re going to have in 2012; they know how close we were last year and they battled all season. It reminds me of the team we had in 2008 that featured a good mix of veterans with some talented freshmen.”

The Dawgs will begin fall practice on September 19th, and the college baseball season will open on February 17th.

Dawgs In the 2011 MLB Draft

Zach Cone, OF, Texas, 1st Round Compensation, 37th overall; Signed pro $873K

Cecil Tanner, RHP, Oakland, 23rd Round, 706th overall; Signed pro

Michael Palazzone, RHP, 24th Round, 731st overall; DNS

Johnathan Taylor, OF, Texas, 33rd Round, 1,014th overall; DNS-Jan.

Tyler Maloof, RHP, Cleveland, 34th Round, 1,028th overall; DNS

Peter Verdin, OF, Washington, 39th Round, 1,177th overall; DNS

Chase Davidson, OF, Houston, 41st Round, 1,240th overall; Signed pro

Ben Cornwell, RHP, Seattle, Graduated, Signed as a free agent

Dawg Recruiting Class Members In the 2011 MLB Draft

Dante Bichette, Jr., INF, N.Y. Yankees, 1st Round Compensation, 51st overall; Signed $750K

Tyler Palmer, INF, Florida, 4th Round, 133rd overall; Injured, did not sign

Patrick Leonard, INF, Kansas City, 5th Round, 156th overall; Signed $600K

Matthew Taylor, LHP, Baltimore, 5th Round, 155th overall; Signed $160K

Nick Delmonico, C/INF, Baltimore, 6th Round, 185th overall; Signed $1.525 million

Tyler Greene, INF, Philadelphia, 11th Round, 361st overall; Signed $375K

Jarrett Brown, LHP, Boston, 23rd Round, 712th overall; DNS

Mike Mancuso, RHP, Chicago White Sox, 46th Round, 1,401st overall; DNS-Jan.

David Sosebee, RHP, Boston, 48th Round, 1,462nd overall; DNS

Hunter Cole, OF, Washington, 49th Round, 1,477th overall; DNS

Heath Holder, OF/RHP, Colorado, 50th Round, 1,518th overall; DNS

DNS=Did not sign, enrolled at Georgia; DNS-Jan. Did not sign, plans to enroll in Jan.

*Signing bonus amounts according to Baseball America

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Practice Report


The Dawgs continued preparations for the 2011 season with a 90-minute workout Monday in helmets, jerseys, shoulder pads and shorts on the opening day of the fall semester.

“It was the first day of school, and you wonder how focused everybody is going to be at practice, and we had a good day,” said coach Mark Richt. “We had them for 12 days straight with no distractions and now they have some other responsibilities, and it can be tough especially on the freshmen. I liked our leadership and the energy flow out there today.”

Richt provided an update on injured junior tailback Richard Samuel, saying the 6-2, 243-pound native of Cartersville, is not quite ready to get back to practice yet.

“I’d say it will be early next week before we think about him being back out there, and Richard knows what he’s doing, so there’s no set timetable,” said Richt. “If Richard is ready, he will go.”

Richt also commented on freshman outside linebacker Ray Drew who sustained a right shoulder sprain in a scooter accident Sunday while on his way home from church.

“We’re thankful that Ray had his helmet on; he had a shoulder separation but not a dislocation so no surgery is necessary,” said Richt.

The Dawgs will not practice Tuesday to give the team a chance to make sure they are all set for the beginning of the new semester and then resume practice on Wednesday for the remainder of the week.

“We’re still on track to get 29 practices in, we’ve built the schedule to have one off day in there and we asked our academic counselors which would be the better day for the student-athletes, and they said Tuesday,” Richt added. “It gives everyone a chance to make sure they got the right classes, their books and lets them regroup after that first day.”

Drew Injured In Scooter Accident


University of Georgia freshman outside linebacker Ray Drew suffered a right shoulder sprain in a scooter accident Sunday while on his way home from church.

He was evaluated and treated at St. Mary's Hospital in Athens. UGA Director of Sports Medicine Ron Courson said he is "day-to-day" in terms of returning to practice.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday Practice Report


The Dawgs’ two-hour practice at the Woodruff Practice Fields on Saturday morning marked the first of two practices for the day as the team prepares to wrap up their preseason camp.

The players practiced in shorts, jerseys and helmets. Following what coach Mark Richt described as a “spirited” practice on Friday afternoon, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo thought the team responded well to its 11 consecutive practices in a short period of time.

“I thought the guys might struggle mentally a little today,” said Bobo. “But I was pleased to see the energy today. I was dragging a little this morning and seeing the players’ energy got me rolling.”

Bobo singled out junior receiver Marlon Brown as a player who has caught his attention this preseason. Brown played in 12 games last year and finished with 11 catches for 133 yards and a touchdown. The Memphis, Tennessee, native will be one of quarterback Aaron Murray’s targets with the departure of A.J. Green and Kris Durham to the NFL.

“I have been really, really pleased with Marlon’s play this preseason,” Bobo said. “His conditioning, his flexibility and his overall shape have impressed me. He is making some great catches out there on a daily basis.”

Another offensive position in question this offseason has been at tailback. With both junior Richard Samuel and freshman Isaiah Crowell missing snaps during the last two days of practice with minor injuries, Bobo discussed who has been working in the backfield.

“I think this is a good opportunity for Brandon Harton and Carlton Thomas,” continued Bobo. “We are going to have to put someone in there and see who makes the best out of their opportunities. I though Carlton had more energy than anyone out there on the field today which was nice to see.”

Additional targets for Murray this fall are expected to come from the tight end corps. Junior Orson Charles led this group in 2010 with 422 yards receiving and a pair of scores while senior Aron White, who graduated in the fall of 2010 and delivered the commencement speech, started four games and had nine catches for 125 yards.

In addition, sophomore Arthur Lynch is returning to the playing field after redshirting last year. Tight ends coach John Lilly is expecting Lynch’s return to be another boost to the Dawgs’ offense.

“It is always difficult when a guy redshirts after his freshman year and it was hard on Artie,” said Lilly, adding that he has also been pleased with freshman Jay Rome. “But Artie really worked hard and tried to get better, even though he was on the scout team during that year. The spring was big for Artie since Aron missed some time and I think Artie made up some ground and I can tell that he is hungry after redshirting last year.”

School beings for all of the University of Georgia’s students on Monday so Saturday’s two-a-day marks the end of the preseason camp.

Tray Matthews Is A Dawg


The class of 2013 could potentially rival the Dream Team of 2011 as one of the most heralded in UGA history.

Newnan safety Tray Matthews has committed to coach Mark Richt, the 6-1, 192 pound rising high school junior becomes the fourth member of the class, joining quarterback Brice Ramsey, running back Derrick Henry and wide receiver Tramel Terry.

Matthews returned to Athens today after a recent visit to Alabama, he held offers from most of the major programs in the southeast and chose the Dawgs over the Tide.

Defensive Line


The difference in this years two deep defensive line and last years is 168 pounds, give or take a cheeseburger or two, that’s an average of 28 pounds per player more than last season. Granted, most of that is the addition of Jonathan Jenkins but the effect of the new strength and conditioning program will likely show the greatest dividend on the DL.

Nose Tackle

DSC_8281Kwame Geathers (99) had a tremendous spring and was named the defensive MVP, he is still listed as the starter at nose tackle. The 6-6, 350 pound redshirt sophomore became the dominate player that has been characteristic of his family’s football heritage. Geathers appeared in eight games last year, if he continues to play like he has since the spring, he may exceed his season total of seven tackles in the first game.

Jonathan Jenkins is big, (6-4, 351 pounds)
and fast, (sub 5 second 40), he is expected to rotate with Geathers at the nose position. Jenkins’ size enables him to dominate the middle, his speed may put him in the Dawgs offensive plans a few times this year. The junior college transfer is quickly learning the 3-4 defensive system and will be critical to the Dawgs defensive success.

Redshirt freshman Mike Thornton (6-1, 287 pounds) will be utilized as a third and long specialist at the nose position this year, his quickness is an advantage in obvious passing situations.

Defensive End

DSC_6011Senior DeAngelo Tyson (94) has played in every game (39) since stepping onto campus as a freshman in 2008, he started 12 games last year at the nose tackle position. The emergence of Geathers and the addition of Jenkins has allowed Tyson to move to his natural position of defensive end. He’s added 16 pounds since December and at 6-2, 306 pounds, is in the best condition of his career. He has recorded 59 tackles, 10 sacks, 19 tackles for a loss and forced one fumble in his first three seasons.

Derrick Lott (6-4, 305 pounds) played in three games last year, recording seven tackles. The redshirt sophomore has the size and speed to become a dominate player, he will back-up Tyson on the right side of the defensive line.

DSC_5998Abry Jones (93) has a firm hold on the starting left end position, the 6-3, 309 pound junior has appeared in 25 games for the Dawgs, starting 6 of them. He has 42 tackles, 6 sacks, 16 tackles for a loss and has forced a fumble. Jones added 14 pounds since last season and has shown the speed to pressure opposing quarterbacks.

Garrison Smith appeared in seven games as a true freshman last season, recording 3 tackles, one for a loss. The 6-3, 294 pound sophomore will back-up Jones at the left end position.

The emergence of Geathers and the addition of Jenkins elevated this group to above average, the two will demand double teams on the majority of snaps and prevent the offensive linemen from reaching the linebacker level. Tyson sliding over to end and Jones already having considerable experience should enable the Dawgs to not only do a better job of stopping the run, but pressure the quarterback without wholesale personnel changes.

The only thing keeping the defensive line from maxing out the grade system is the availability of just seven players. This personnel group is a step up from last season’s smaller lighter front three.



Friday, August 12, 2011

Edwards Inducted Into Hall Of Fame


imagesCA0XKUC5Teresa Edwards delivered a heart-felt and emotional induction speech to celebrate her inclusion into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night.

Upon taking the stage at Springfield's Symphony Hall, Edwards immediately spoke to Andy Landers, her coach and mentor at the University of Georgia.

"OK, Coach Landers....I'm nervous now," Edwards joked. "I never knew I could be here. I'm beginning to feel the prestige of the moment."

Edwards went on to thank numerous influences.

"Tonight is about the Hall of Fame," Edwards said. "It's about all the women who played before I came. It's about Lucia Harris. It's about Lynette Woodard. It's about the All-American Red Heads. It's about the women who played 3-on-3 in skirts. It's about all who played who we'll never know their names."

Edwards then talked about watching Julius "Dr. J" Irving and attempting to emulate his abilities on a "basketball goal" consisting of a bicycle tire nailed to a pine tree and Michael Jordan, whom she called the greatest player ever.

She then thanked her mother, Mildred, for the sacrifices she made and told the crowd that making her mother proud is what drove her the most throughout her career.

"After tonight, I'm forever changed because you recognized my name with my game," Edwards said. "For Coach...the University of Georgia...for everyone from Cairo...we're in the Hall of Fame, baby."

Edwards led Cairo High School's Syrupmaids to a state championship before helping Lady Dawg Basketball ascend among the nation's premier programs from 1983-86.
Edwards became a three-time All-American for Georgia, including consensus first-team honors in 1985 and 1986. She helped the Lady Dawgs compile a 116-17 record, capture the 1983, 1984 and 1986 SEC Championships, reach the 1983 Final Four and finish as 1985 NCAA runner-up.

The summer after her sophomore year in Athens, Edwards was the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic team that won the Gold Medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. She went on to become the only American basketball player to participate in five Olympics, winning additional Gold in 1988, 1996 and 2000 as well as a Bronze Medal in 1992.

Ranked No. 22 overall among Sports Illustrated's 100 greatest sportswomen of the 20th century, Edwards has now been inducted into seven halls of fame. Previously, she was inducted into the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the U.S. National High School Sports Hall of Fame, the UGA Athletic Association's Circle of Honor, the Grady County (Ga.) Hall of Fame, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame.

Friday Practice Report


With the start of school just three days away, Georgia’s football team continued preparations for the 2011 season at the Woodruff Practice Fields on Friday morning.

The Dawgs practiced for just more than two hours under partly overcast skies and following the session, coach Mark Richt was pleased with what he had seen.

“This was what I could call a very spirited practice with some great competition,” said Richt. “Guys were hustling, competing and trying their best to finish the drill.”

Richt noted that the final 11-on-11 drill that featured the offense versus the defense was tied going into the final four plays. The offense ended up winning the competition by a score of 10-8 with freshman wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell playing a key role in the victory.

“Malcolm made some big plays today at crunch-time,” Richt said. “He caught a touchdown pass late in the 11-on-11 drill that gave the offense another two points and helped them win the deal. Going by today, I would say Malcolm has had a really good progression.

“During the scrimmage on Wednesday, he missed too many assignments, which is typical of the freshmen. But that’s why we keep practicing and I think he is doing a great job so far.”

The Dawgs are scheduled to have two practices on Saturday with the annual watermelon cutting at the conclusion of the second practice late in the afternoon.

The annual Fans Picture Day will be held Saturday, August 20th, outside Sanford Stadium. Georgia football players and coaches will be available for autographs from 3-5 p.m.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dawgs Awarded Scholarships


The attrition that has occurred since signing day opened the door for eight walk-ons to be placed on scholarship. UGA officials announced that seniors; Matthew DeGenova (linebacker), Jason Veal (linebacker), Eric Elliot (cornerback), juniors; Josh Bodin (offensive guard), Taylor Bradberry (wide receiver), Wes Van Dyk (tailback) along with sophomores; Brandon Harton (tailback) and Blake Sailors (cornerback) have all been placed on scholarship by coach Mark Richt.

DSC_7973Harton (20) has moved up to the number three position on the depth chart for the Boise State game and Sailors is a special teams superlative that played in all 13 games last season.

“I’ve been here three years and working hard to try and earn a scholarship,” said Sailors. “I wasn’t expecting it, but either way I was going to keep working as hard as I could on the field and in practice so they would give me an opportunity to get one.”

Bradberry caught a touchdown pass in yesterday’s scrimmage and has had an outstanding fall thus far. Bodin at 6-6, 321 pounds has the size to push the freshmen for a back-up spot on the offensive line.

Richt was also pleased with the team’s reaction to the announcement about the scholarships.

“I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it, but I ended up lining the eight guys up in front of the team and then said something about all of them receiving their scholarships,” said Richt. “The place went nuts and everyone came down to celebrate with them. I know there were some other walk-ons who were also worthy of getting one and those guys were probably hurting a little bit, but they were still down there congratulating these eight guys.”

Scholarships are currently one year offers for financial assistance, the NCAA is currently considering legislation that will allow each conference the opportunity to extend scholarships to four year commitments.

Thursday Practice Report


The sun burned through the morning cloud cover just as Mark Richt finished his pre-practice instructions for the Dawgs on Thursday, clearing the way for a spirited, two-and-a-half-hour workout in shoulder pads and shorts.

The session, which began with temperatures in the 70s and finished with the thermometer inching into the 90s, came a day after Georgia's first full scrimmage of the fall and left Richt pleased on several fronts. "After a scrimmage you tend to have a kind of lackluster day, especially the next day," Richt said. "We didn't have that today. They got after it. I'm proud of the energy and the effort. We definitely got better today."

Several players donned green, non-contact jerseys on Thursday; however, Richt said the team had not suffered any serious injuries to date. "When you hit really hard for 125 plays, you'll have some of that," Richt said. "To this point, we've been pretty good on the injury front. There's nothing that's going to keep a guy out for a really long time. Overall, the injury front is pretty good. When we're in shorts, even guys in green jerseys can get a lot of good work in. Brandon Boykin was in a green jersey
but got a lot of work in. Derrick Owens was in a green jersey but got a lot of work in today."

DSC_6792When asked if anyone caught his attention while reviewing film of the scrimmage, Richt singled out several players including fullback Zander Ogletree and linebacker Christian Robinson.

"Zander Ogletree (46) had a really great scrimmage, especially on the goal line," Richt said. "He delivered a lot of physical shots across the board, but isolation blocking is I think the toughest to do over and over and over. Zander got the best of it yesterday. He did his job better than the other guy.

"Christian Robinson has had a really fine camp in his ability to recognize things, communicate things and get guys lined up quickly so that we're in position to play and to play fast," Richt added. Georgia's defensive newcomers were available to the media for the first time on Thursday, including linebacker Amarlo Herrera, a linebacker from College Park who returned a fumble 65 yards for a touchdown in the scrimmage at Sanford Stadium.

"I wasn't focused on me. I was just trying to do something for the defensive team to beat the offense," Herrera said. "I've just been studying the playbook hard and adjusting to the speed. We go fast all the time."

The annual Fans Picture Day will be held Saturday, August 20yh in the Reed Plaza area behind the north side of Sanford Stadium from 1-5 p.m. Members of Georgia teams other than football and interim mascot Russ will be available from 1-3, and the football players and coaches will be in attendance from 3-5 p.m. Due to recent public issues surrounding student-athlete autographs across the country, no outside items may be brought to Picture Day. The UGA Athletic Association will provide each fan with two free schedule posters to be signed by the players and Coach Richt. No other items will be permitted.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday Scrimmage Report


The Dawgs held a two-hour scrimmage in full pads Wednesday morning at Sanford Stadium as they continue preparations for the 2011 season.

“In the first half, the offense had very little success as we defended well,” said coach Mark Richt. “In the second half, we ran more situational plays, and the offense had more success, like in the red zone. However, the number one defense had a very good goal line stand at the end.”

On offense, the statistical leaders included freshman running back Isaiah Crowell (13 carries, 84 yards, 1 TD) and junior Richard Samuel (11 carries, 82 yards) while the leading receivers were senior tight end Aron White (3 receptions, 47 yards) junior split end Marlon Brown (2 receptions, 46 yards) and Samuel (3 receptions for 32 yards). The lone touchdown reception was made by junior flanker Taylor Bradberry covering 20 yards from sophomore Hutson Mason (5-for-19, 59 yards). Sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray was 9-for-15 for 100 yards including a 35-yard strike to Brown.

“I thought the running backs ran well,” said Richt. “They have a physical edge to them, and it was good to get out there in the scrimmage and see that. I feel better about how we will be able to run the football after seeing our backs today and how the offensive line and tight ends blocked.”

“It was a little warm out there, and that was a bit of a change because we’ve been going outside at 8:30 every morning,” said senior center Ben Jones. “In the second half we really turned it on as an offense. The defense played well all day. They were going against our No. 2 offense, and they took it to them. Overall it was a great day. It’s always a great experience to be in Sanford Stadium.”

On defense, sophomore inside linebacker Alec Ogletree posted a team-high eight stops followed by seven each by junior linebacker Michael Gilliard and freshman linebacker Amarlo Herrera. Sophomore outside linebacker Jarvis Jones tallied six tackles including team-best three sacks. Herrera earned praise for the defensive highlight of the day by registering a 65-yard fumble return for a touchdown.

“Every time I step on the field, I try to make myself better and try to make my team better,” said sophomore Jarvis Jones. “That’s what we did today. I also just had fun today. The scrimmage was good, and we learned a lot. It was hot out there, and we got a little tired, but it was our first time to really be in the stadium. We had fun running around, and we definitely got better running the ball. We were just learning and having fun.”

Senior place-kicker Blair Walsh finished the day 7-for-8 in field goal attempts including making a 58-yarder. Senior Brandon Bogotay was 1-for-2, and he turned heads when he booted a 68-yarder in pregame warm-ups.

“There was no rush on Brandon’s kick but we thought that was cool when he made it,” Richt added.

Finally, another positive from Wednesday’s scrimmage was that there were no injuries.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tyson Named To Hendricks Watch List


DSC_1958Georgia senior defensive end DeAngelo Tyson has been named to the Ted Hendricks Award Watch List, which is an award given to the nation’s top defensive end.

Tyson is one of only three players from the Southeastern Conference on the 35-man list.

A mid-season watch list for the Hendricks Award will be issued in November and the 2011 winner will be announced on December 7th. Members of the national media, head coaches, professional scouts and former winners are included in the award’s voting committee.

A native of Statesboro, Tyson started 12 of 13 games last season and finished with 36 tackles, including 4.0 tackles for loss. A UGA highlight for Tyson was tallying a career-high 16 tackles during the win over Georgia Tech in 2010. He has been named to the 2011 SEC Coaches Preseason All-SEC Second Team after earning 2008 Freshman All-SEC honors.

Tyson played nose tackle in the Dawgs’ 3-4 defense in 2010 after lining up his first two seasons at defensive tackle.

Former Georgia All-American defensive end David Pollack is the only two-time winner of the Hendricks Award. Pollack was awarded the honor in 2003 and 2004 during a career where the Snellville native finished with 36 sacks and four interceptions.

Dawgs Land Basketball Recruit


Kenny Gaines, a 6-4 shooting guard from Whitefield Academy in Mableton committed to Coach Mark Fox today.

Gaines is the second top Georgia player to become a Dawg, he joins Charles Mann, another guard from Alpharetta in the class of 2012.

Tuesday Morning Practice Report


With few clouds dotting the sky and temperatures rising, Georgia’s football team practiced for just over two hours on the newly planted grass fields at the Woodruff Practice Fields on Tuesday morning.

The morning session marked the sixth practice of the preseason. Following lunch, a break from football activities and then meetings, the team will return for a Tuesday evening session at Sanford Stadium.

“I thought we did a pretty good job today,” said coach Mark Richt. “We had a good tempo and the guys handled the first of two practices today well. Everyone will be doing something constructive in our second session today as we work on our fundamentals and kicking team.”

The Dawgs practiced in shorts in shoulder pads as they ready for a scrimmage on Wednesday. Junior nose guard Jonathan Jenkins had one of the highlights during drills in the morning after intercepting a pass and returning it for a score.

“Jenkins tipped it to himself and then the big boy just rumbled down the field,” senior tight end Aron White said. “It was only about 12 yards, but a touchdown for a guy that size is still impressive. He kind of reminded me of that guy for the Packers B.J. Raji running for that touchdown.”

In addition to Georgia’s high hopes for its defense and offense, the Dawgs are also banking on their special teams units. Punter Drew Butler and place kicker Blair Walsh, who are both seniors and preseason All-Americans, join return specialist Brandon Boykin and snapper Ty Frix as four proven members of Georgia’s special teams.

“There are high expectations for us and we have high expectations for ourselves,” said Walsh. “We all put in hard work this summer and preseason and hope it pays off. Drew and I had a goal after our freshman seasons that we wanted to be the No. 1 special teams unit on this team and in the country and I think we are approaching that goal.”

The Dawgs are scheduled to have their first scrimmage at the stadium on Wednesday morning.

Jarvis Jones Cleared By NCAA


The University of Georgia compliance office was notified late Monday by the NCAA that it had reviewed the University’s report on UGA linebacker Jarvis Jones and found no violation of NCAA rules.

Statement from UGA head coach Mark Richt:

"I appreciate the work of our compliance office for its time and effort in
providing a thorough, comprehensive report and I'm thankful for the timely
manner in which the NCAA reviewed and evaluated all the facts to reach a
decision. We're ready to move on with preparations for our season opener."

Monday, August 8, 2011

“Pretty Darn Good First Day”


Georgia coach Mark Richt knew his Dawgs were excited about the first day in full pads even before they took the field.

“I overheard one of the freshmen say, ‘We get to wear the silver britches today,’” Richt said. “I thought that was kind of neat.”

Under mostly overcast skies, the Dawgs practiced for approximately two hours Monday morning. In addition to strapping on the pads for the first time, the Dawgs went through what Richt called “a competition day,” meaning points were assigned to each drill. Afterward, he said the defense emerged as the day’s winner.

“I thought it was a pretty darn good first day in pads,” Richt said. “In full pads, you’re able to compete. The defense won a close, spirited competition. ... There were some plays made. When you compete, you get after it and you try to win. And that’s OK because it gets the blood flowing.”

DSC_6011Senior defensive end DeAngelo Tyson said he was impressed with what he saw from his teammates.

“We have a good defense and good players on defense,” said Tyson, who had 36 tackles playing nose last season. “I thought it was a good practice today on both sides of the ball. When you keep score like that, it makes it more exciting and you’ve got even more motivation and focus. I was pleased with the energy today. I saw guys on defense running to the ball and making plays.”

The Dawgs are scheduled to practice twice on Tuesday.

Georgia, which was ranked No. 22 in the preseason edition of the USA Today coaches' poll, will open the season against No. 7 Boise State on September 3rd.

The annual Fans Picture Day will be held Saturday, August 20th, outside Sanford Stadium. Georgia football players and coaches will be available for autographs from 3-5 p.m.

Offensive Line



A strong offensive line usually translates into a successful season and the anchor of this years line is unquestionably center Ben Jones (60).

The 6-3, 316 pound senior has been named to the Coach’s Pre-Season All SEC second team, the Remington Award watch list, the Rotary Lombardi Trophy watch list, the Outland Trophy watch list, the Pony Express Award watch list and Coach Mark Richt called him the best center in the nation.

Jones has appeared in 39 games, starting 35 of them.


Cordy Glenn (71) has moved over to left tackle and the 6-5, 348 pound senior is being counted on to protect quarterback Aaron Murray’s blindside. Glenn has been named to the Coach’s Pre-Season All SEC first team, the Rotary Lombardi Trophy watch list and the Pony Express Award watch list with teammate Ben Jones.

Glenn is a versatile player that has played both guard positions as well as left tackle, he has appeared in 39 games making 36 starts.

DSC_8273Justin (Bean) Anderson (79)
is very happy about his move back to the offensive line, the 6-5, 342 pound senior played in one game last year as a defensive lineman before undergoing season ending surgery for a turf toe injury.

Bean has played both guard and tackle and may see time at both positions this season, he has appeared in 26 games, starting 12 of them.

Anderson is a road grader of a tackle, he will be vital to the Dawg’s running attack.

Kenarious Gates
became a Dawg in February of 2010, by October he was the starting right guard. The 6-5, 328 pound sophomore has moved over to left guard and looks to have a solid hold on the position. He is the most athletic offensive linemen and has the ability to get out in front of running plays as well as protect the quarterback.

Gates appeared in 7 games last season, starting 3 of them.

Chris Burnette is the new member of the starting five, the 6-2, 313 pound redshirt sophomore had a good spring and enters fall camp as the number one right guard. Burnette is big, strong and smart, he’s already made the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll three times, the only question he has to answer is, can he maintain the weight necessary to play in the SEC every week?

Redshirt freshman Kolton Houston (6-5, 291) will be pushing Burnette for a starting position and is capable of playing tackle if needed. Houston does not have any game experience but is currently listed as the number one reserve.

Redshirt sophomore Austin Long (6-5, 304) has recovered from the back injury that cost him two seasons, he is currently listed as the number two right tackle and has been cross training at guard. If Long can stay healthy, he will provide much needed depth.

Dallas Lee (6-4, 300) has recovered from an asthmatic like condition that sidelined him for much of the spring. The redshirt sophomore can play either guard position.

Freshman David Andrews (6-2, 286) is the heir apparent to Ben Jones at center, he has already moved into the number two slot on the depth chart. Unless injured, he will play early and often this year. His temperament and style of play is much like Jones’.

Watts Dantzler (6-7, 310) has the size and athletic ability to dominate, he entered camp in good condition and is currently listed as the number two left tackle. The freshman needs to gain as much experience as possible this season, he will likely be counted on to step in and start next year.

Freshman Zach DeBell (6-7, 295) has added thirty pounds since signing day, the offensive tackle from Tampa, Florida has a ferocious attitude on the field and if he improves his technique, could push for a backup position this year.

Hunter Long (6-3, 305) is the younger brother of Austin, he is a freshman interior lineman that will probably take a redshirt this year unless an injury forces the staff to make changes. Long has the size and with a year in the weight room should push for considerable playing time next year.

Walk-on’s John Bodin (RJr., 6-6, 321), Ben Reynolds (RSo., 6-2, 255), Hugh Williams (RFr, 6-5, 254), Caleb Drake (Fr., 6-1, 275) and Eddie McQuillen (Fr., 6-8, 264) will handle the scout team duties. Bodin has appeared in two games, he has been with the program long enough to know the playbook and has the size to play if needed, Reynolds has also played in two games and will likely see action in one or two this season. The group will handle scout team duties this year.

Senior Trinton Sturdivant suffered his third season ending knee injury during the spring, he is currently rehabbing the injury and has not made a decision on applying for a sixth year of eligibility. Freshman Xzavier Ward will redshirt this year as he recovers from an ACL injury suffered his senior year in high school.

Overall the offensive line under new coach Will Friend will be solid if the starting five can remain healthy. The three seniors will provide solid leadership and with only one inexperienced starter, they have the potential to be very good. There are plenty of big bodies among the second five but none of them have ever taken a snap in college. At least three of the freshmen must be ready to contribute and if the Dawgs can get through the first two games injury free, the opportunity to gain some playing time will be there for the younger group.

Coach Friend’s philosophy of firing off the line and attacking the defense is more suited to a sustained running attack and should result in a higher time of possession than the past two seasons.

The lack of experienced depth is the only factor that gives this group an average grade.