Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday Press Conference


Coach Richt OrlandoCoach Mark Richt participated in a Capital One Bowl press conference on Monday at the Renaissance Hotel in Orlando. Richt discussed Tuesday’s bowl game matchup with Nebraska and answered questions on additional topics.

Opening statement:

“We’ve had a good week. We certainly had a mix of work and fun. I was reading some of Jarvis Jones’ comments, and it sounds like he really nailed it. There’s the time to focus on the game and focus on the practice. That’s what we asked of them. For the 15 practices, we wanted the focus to be 100 percent. We also didn’t mind them having the chance to enjoy themselves and doing it the right way. Was what we did good enough? We’ll find out tomorrow. But I’m pleased with how it’s gone.”

On how important it is to end the season with a win:

“This game is very important. We lost the last two bowls, and this is another opportunity to win and finish the season on a high note. On a personal level, after the game, we’ll all be in there and I’ll talk to the team one last time. You want that last memory to be a good one.That’s a big motivating factor. And since we’ll be playing in 2013, in some ways it’s the beginning of next year too.”

On Nebraska’s defense:

“Nebraska’s defense is very sound in what it does. They do a great job mixing coverage's and they don’t give you clues pre-snap. If a defense shows too soon, the offense knows. But Nebraska does a good job of disguising as long as they can. They are good, sound tacklers, and they do a lot of things right.”

On tackling Nebraska’s runners:

“You don’t knock good backs down. If that’s your way of tackling, they’re going to bounce off you more times than not and keep running. You’ve got to come with pace and attitude and you’ve got to wrap up. You’ve got to do a good job of that, especially the first guy there. If the first guy goes for a strip and misses, that guy’s still running. That first guy has to be sound, face him up, butt him up and get help from his teammates.”

On Nebraska’s loss to Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship Game:

“That was one of those games that got away from them. We had a game like that against South Carolina. They got hot and got momentum, and we never did much to stop that momentum. That’s what happened to Nebraska. It just got away from them. Which Nebraska team will we see tomorrow? It’s the same with us. If they just studied the South Carolina game, they’d be licking their chops. But we had other performances that were better – and they have as well.”

On if not playing for the national championship is a missed opportunity based on how many players Georgia will lose on defense:

“Every year you don’t make it is a missed opportunity I think. We’ll have very good defensive players sticking around and we have young guys waiting in the wings. I think we’ll be a very athletic, fast defense. It’s just a matter of how quickly can they play a championship style of defense. That’s the big push. Starting this year, we had questions about the offense and people said, ‘Wow, Georgia could be in trouble.’ But we played better than expected. I think the defense can be the same way next year.”

On having motivation for the bowl game:

“We have enough veteran guys that know this is the last moment they’ll be wearing the red and black. I can’t imagine them not playing with great effort. Will they play a great game? I don’t know. But I know they’ll play with great effort. As the seniors do that, the others will take notice and do the same. Nebraska also has a lot of seniors and they care about how they finish and I’m sure they’re tired of hearing about their last game. Both teams have plenty of motivation. I watched enough bowls to see guys get excited and want to be there. I just hope we can start with a lot of emotion.”

On Georgia’s defense:

“We’re a defense that has got a really strong talent base. We have a lot of seniority, we have guys who are physical, we have guys who are fast, we have guys with cover skills and we have guys with pass rush skills. If we put it all together and play our best ball, I expect us to have a big performance.”

On when it hits Richt that the seniors’ careers are almost over:

“It starts at the gala when we honor those guys and we know they’re going out the door. At the bowl practices, you know it’s the last time you’re on this field or that field or it’s the last practice period. You think about that. I could tell they had that feeling too. There’s no doubt they’re excited about their future, but they realize they’re going to miss everybody. When the offseason begins and we set the seating chart, all the juniors move to the front seat. When you have a front row seat, you know it’s on your time. In the locker room, I thank all the seniors and immediately tell next year’s group that their watch has started and it’s their responsibility to lead this team.”

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Final Practice Before Capital One Bowl


The fifth-ranked Georgia football team took the Celebration High School football field on Sunday afternoon for the final time during the program’s last full practice in preparation for Tuesday’s Capital One Bowl versus 23rd-ranked Nebraska.

Georgia has had a variety of conditions to practice in this week including warm, cool and rainy weather situations. This time around, the Dawgs dealt with winds reaching 15 miles per hour under sunny skies with temperatures lingering in the mid-50s.

Dawgs At DisneyGeorgia joined the Cornhuskers at the DisneyQuest Indoor Interactive Theme Park on Sunday morning following a Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfast. The Dawgs had the opportunity to interact and play video games with a large group of Orlando youth before Georgia’s afternoon practice. Long snapper Ty Frix, tight end Arthur Lynch and linebacker Christian Robinson (right) shot some promos that ABC will air during the Capital One Bowl.

After arriving to town on December 26th, head coach Mark Richt is now ready for his team to kickoff.

“We feel like we have done everything we can do to get ready for this game,” said Richt. “We are going to have to get after it because I’m sure Nebraska has been preparing just as hard. It will be interesting to see how the game develops after it gets going. I’ve been watching some of the other bowl games and it seems like one team might come out with the juice and then the other team ends up coming up with it later in the game. We have to make sure we channel our emotions and concentrate throughout the game.”

The Dawgs’ final regular season game was a 42-10 win over Georgia Tech. Georgia last took the field on December 1st versus #2 Alabama in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game.

“It has been a month since we last played and would have been even longer than that had we not played in our conference championship game,” Richt said. “I think that’s the reason for the bowl game looking a lot like the first game of the season sometimes with fumbles, interceptions and slips in the special teams. But we hope that we have created enough good habits during the regular season to carry over to this game.”

Richt also mentioned the availability of senior defensive end Abry Jones. Jones injured his ankle in late October at Kentucky and has been sidelined since having surgery on the ankle.

We don’t know how much he’ll go, but he hasn’t been flying around the field this week,” said Richt. “Abry has been working hard to get back in action. Not sure of his conditioning or how quickly he can move around the field. We don’t want to have him out there if we're rushing him back, or if he is not playing at the level he is capable of playing or playing true Georgia football.”

The Dawgs face the Cornhuskers on January 1st at 1:08 p.m. in the Capital One Bowl. It will be televised by ABC.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Bowl Press Conference


Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham plus defensive end Garrison Smith and quarterback Aaron Murray took part in a Capital One Bowl press conference Saturday.

The coaches and players agreed preparations have been going well, and that they have been enjoying their time in Orlando. However, they are ready to play the game against No. 23 Nebraska.

“The players have been doing a good job of preparing for the game, working when it’s time to work, and they’ve been able to enjoy the parks too,” said Grantham. “They understand they need to play well and get ready to play a tough, physical game against a talented offense. We’re looking forward to an exciting game on January 1st.”

The Nebraska rushing attack includes dual-threat quarterback Taylor Martinez who tallied 973 yards on the ground while passing for 2,667 yards and 21 touchdowns.

“We’re going to do our best against him (Martinez) because he’s a great player,” said Smith. “We’ll have to be disciplined and play as a team. Everybody will have to do their job because he is hard to contain.”

When talk turned to the Cornhusker defense, Bobo said he sees a veteran team that features eight seniors and three juniors in their starting 11.

“Nebraska’s defense plays well together, and they are like us in coming off a disappointing loss in their conference championship game,” said Bobo. “I know both teams will be ready to compete.”

Murray said he hopes to send the seniors out with a victory, and personally, he’d like to get his first bowl win too.

“We’ve got tremendous leadership on this team, a great group of senior leaders and a few juniors, and it’s been a couple of years since we’ve won a bowl game,” said Murray. “We have a chance to crack the top five with a victory so we’re making sure we stay focused. I’ve yet to win a bowl game, and I’ll do what I can to lead the offense. We’ve got a good game plan, and we’re looking to be balanced and make plays. We didn’t make enough plays as an offense in our last two bowl games.”

Currently with an 11-2 record, Georgia is aiming to become only the third team in school history to register at least 12 wins in a season. Vince Dooley’s national championship team in 1980 went 12-0 while the 2002 Dawgs under Mark Richt finished 13-1. Both of those squads won the SEC and a Sugar Bowl.

“We have a chance to win 22 games in two years, and in the history of Georgia football, that hasn’t happened very often so that would be unique plus there a chance to finish in the top five,” Grantham added. It’s important to send our seniors out the right way and for the guys coming back too. The seniors are a special group. The fun part of my job is to see how they’ve gotten mentally and physically tougher over the past few years.”

Saturday Practice Report


The fifth-ranked Georgia football team practiced for two hours in off-and-on rain during the fourth session of the week as preparations continued for Tuesday’s Capital One Bowl versus 23rd-ranked Nebraska.

“The plan was to have two regular Wednesday practices, Friday and today, but the guys did such a good job yesterday that we knocked out the competitive portions of practice and focused on the fundamentals today,” said coach Mark Richt. “We basically focused on fundamentals and scout team stuff like a regular Thursday.”

Richt said the wet conditions should help his team polish certain portions of the game that are always important during the postseason.

“We got it in without too much rain today,” Richt said. “It could always rain on game day, although it’s not predicted to right now. But a little rain never hurts in the preparation since ball concentration, ball security and special teams always seem to play a role in bowl games. Since we have had a little layoff, it is kind of like playing in the first game of the season again so we have to concentrate on those things.”

The Dawgs had the opportunity to visit SeaWorld on Friday and will get the chance to attend one of the Disney World parks later Saturday. Sophomore defensive end Ray Drew has enjoyed his time in Orlando, but is aware of the business nature of this trip as well.

“Orlando has been a great place and even though this is a little short of our goal, I think it’s a great backup,” Drew said. “It’s been nice to spend some time with our teammates. The key is to find a balance between the time for work and the time to play here.

“Coach Todd Grantham told us when we got here that there were going to be a lot of distractions but when it was time to play football, it was time to play football. He reminded us that when we look back at this trip, we will remember the Shamu shows. But what is important is looking back at this trip and remembering a win.”

The Cornhuskers come into this game with a 10-3 record after dropping the Big Ten Championship Game 70-31 to Wisconsin. According to Drew, Georgia is zeroed in on what the goal is for this bowl trip after the Dawgs have lost their last two bowl matchups.

“We respect Nebraska,” said Drew. “As usual, we fear no one but respect everyone. I think we know what we need to do down here to leave with a ‘W’.”

Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Practice Report


Fifth-ranked Georgia continued preparations for its Capital One Bowl contest with No. 23 Nebraska by holding a two-hour practice Friday.

Coach Mark Richt said the Dawgs know they’re going to face an excellent Nebraska rushing attack along with a talented quarterback in Taylor Martinez who tallied 973 yards on the ground while passing for 2,667 yards and 21 touchdowns too. Richt said he is aiming for a strong start and a complete game from the Dawgs against the Cornhuskers.

“We had good energy, everybody was locked in and ready to work today,” Richt added. “I feel good about preparations so far, I really like how we prepared in Athens, then got a little break and so far so good here in Orlando. It’s still a game of emotion and momentum, and hopefully we’ll start out with the right type of emotion, but we have to play for 60 minutes.”

“Taylor Martinez can take it the distance on any play, he’s a very mobile quarterback, he does a great job, and we have to keep pressure on him,” said All-American linebacker Jarvis Jones. “We’ve faced a couple athletic quarterbacks that are gifted with speed. He’s explosive. We understand we have to execute our game plan and prepare to do our best when it’s game time. The coaches have been doing a great job of putting us in situations to make plays this season. We know Nebraska is very capable of going the distance on some plays.”

After practice, the team had a pair of afternoon activities planned. The Dawgs visited SeaWorld, and they had the option of attending the Russell Athletic Bowl at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, site of the Capital One Bowl too. Friday’s contest was between Virginia Tech and Rutgers.

The team’s Saturday’s schedule begins with another morning practice followed by a day at various Disney Parks including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, MGM Studios and Animal Kingdom. Also, offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham plus Jones and junior quarterback Aaron Murray are slated to attend a bowl press conference during the day.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Thursday Practice Report


Fifth-ranked Georgia conducted a two-hour practice in full pads here Thursday as it continued preparations for its upcoming bowl game with No. 23 Nebraska.

Coach Mark Richt said the Dawgs are busy preparing for the Cornhuskers now in Orlando and not dwelling on how the SEC Championship game turned out.

“They won’t forget about it, but life goes on, they’ve gotten back to work, we know there’s been a lot of time between that last game and this one,” said Richt. “We had some great practices on campus, then home for Christmas for a few days, which was great, but now everybody is back. They know we’ve got a serious bit of business to take care of here. But in between the business time, there’s going to be some time for fun too.”

“Today was one of the most crucial practices because we want to stay focused on our business,” said offensive guard Chris Burnette. “We want to enjoy our time after practice at the parks, but we’re here to win a football game. It’s going to be a tough battle, and we need to make sure we’re ready. It was good to have Wednesday’s night practice to get everybody back in the right mindset. We were on the road all day and having that one helped get everybody back in the swing of things today and remind everybody this is what we’re here for. It was tough for some of the guys, especially when you’ve had a couple days off, eating all that Christmas food, but we got through it.”

After practice, the team had the option of attending Universal Studio starting in the afternoon followed by a special opportunity at 10 p.m. titled “Dawgs on Top Night at Universal Studios.” On Friday, the team will have another morning workout, and the afternoon entertainment options include visiting SeaWorld and attending the Russell Athletic Bowl pitting Virginia Tech versus Rutgers.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dawgs Arrive In Orlando


C1B_logo_2008Fifth-ranked Georgia began on-site bowl preparations in Orlando Wednesday following a four-day break for the holidays.

The Dawgs held a one-hour night workout in jerseys, shorts and helmets at a local high school. The team arrived earlier in the day and had a series of meetings and dinner at their hotel.

Coach Mark Richt and selected players held a brief media session at the hotel before a team dinner. Richt announced that senior starting nose John Jenkins would not be participating in the bowl game.

John Jenkins won’t be here,” said Richt. “It’s academic related, he will not be at the bowl, and that will be all I’ll say about that. … I think John Jenkins has been awesome for Georgia. I’m really proud of everything he’s accomplished for us. Just really want to wish him the very best. He’s been a blessing for our program.”

Richt added that a handful of Dawgs will look to fill the void with the 6-3, 358-pound senior Jenkins out. The backup at nose is 6-6, 355-pound junior Kwame Geathers.

“A little will depend on Abry Jones, and how much he can play, we’ll see the type of condition he’s in and number of plays he’s available. It could create some more opportunity for Michael Thornton and Ray Drew.”

Abry Jones, a 6-3, 308-pound senior defensive end, has missed the past five games with an ankle injury and has not played since the opening quarter against Kentucky on Oct. 20. John Jenkins had started all 13 games and tallied 50 tackles.

On Thursday, the team will have a morning practice and then plan to attend Universal Studios in the afternoon.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dawgs Hold Final Bowl Practice In Athens


Fifth-ranked Georgia held its final bowl practice in Athens in what was deemed “Ragamuffin Friday” as players had the option of getting creative with their workout attire.

A handful of Dawgs garnered attention for their accessories, most notably junior cornerback Blake Sailors for his raccoon skin hat taped to his helmet, freshman running back Todd Gurley’s red riding hood cape and senior flanker Taylor Bradberry’s vintage electric blue-striped jumpsuit straight from the 1980s.

The Dawgs did practice for 90 minutes in chilly, windy conditions as they get set to face No. 21 Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl.

At 9:30 a.m. Friday, practice was halted for a few minutes as the team observed a moment of silence when the UGA Chapel Bell rang 26 times in memory of the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting victims.

At the end of practice, coach Mark Richt made a few announcements and what has been tradition over the years, a member of the team volunteered to sing a tune in hopes it would be good enough to excuse the squad from its final conditioning run.

Junior defensive end Clint Kirk stepped up and belted a rendition of “I Believe I Can Fly,” an R. Kelly song that made its debut in 1996. Richt deferred the decision to director of strength and conditioning Joe Tereshinski who paused briefly and then said “Merry Christmas.” The Dawgs roared mightily and then hustled inside as temperatures hovered around the 30s with winds up to 20 miles per hour throughout practice.

Georgia will take the next four days off for the holidays. Then, the team will reconvene in Orlando on December 26th to resume workouts. Kickoff for the Capital One Bowl on January 1st will be at 1:08 p.m. ET, and ABC will televise it.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thursday Practice Report


The fifth-ranked Georgia football team had a two-hour practice in cold, rainy weather on Thursday morning as the Dawgs continued their preparations for the Capital One Bowl game against No. 21 Nebraska on New Year's Day in Orlando.

After starting the day with overcast skies, a light rain and temperatures in the low 50s arrived shortly after practice started. Coach Mark Richt was pleased with his team’s effort following a session that he was not impressed with on Wednesday.

"Wednesday there was not as much energy as there was out there today,” Richt said. "There was a lot of really good energy out on the field today. I think when it’s cold and rainy, the guys tend to move a little bit quicker. We bypassed the breaks today and just kept rolling which gave us a good pace. We had a little ‘bull in the ring’ drill and a couple mild fights so I thought it was a good day with energy."

Georgia will now practice on Friday morning before releasing the team to go home for a Christmas break. The Dawgs will reconvene December 26th in Orlando for the final preparations.

When Georgia takes the field in 2013, a pair of junior college players will also be in on the roster. Defensive lineman Chris Mayes (Griffin, Ga.), who originally signed with the Dawgs out of high school, and receiver Jonathon Rumph (Cayce, S.C.) both signed a National Letter of Intent with Georgia over the last two days.

It was also announced that junior offensive lineman Austin Long underwent outpatient surgery on Thursday after fracturing his right hand in practice on Wednesday. Long is expected to make a full recovery.

Following practice, the media who cover the Dawgs awarded their recipient of their G.A.T.A (Gracious Attitude Toward Answering) Award. Junior tight end Arthur Lynch earned the honor. The media also announced that the award would now be permanently named for senior inside linebacker Christian Robinson, who was the inaugural winner in 2011.

Long Has Surgery


Georgia junior offensive tackle Austin Long underwent outpatient surgery at St. Mary's Hospital on Thursday for a fractured right hand.

Long, a 6-foot-5, 304-pound native of native of Memphis, Tennessee, fractured his hand on Wednesday. According to UGA Director of Sports Medicine Ron Courson, Long is expected to make a full recovery.

Long appeared in all 13 games this season for the Dawgs, who will face Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl on New Year's Day in Orlando, Florida.

Dawgs Sign Two


The Dawgs received signed letters of intent from two junior college prospects this week, both are expected to push for immediate playing time next season.

Projected as a Nose Tackle, 6-4, 330
Griffin, Spalding HS/Mississippi Gulf Coast CC

Junior College:
Had 17 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery for Mississippi Gulf Coast CC in 2011Sredshirted in 2012SJunior College Coach: Steve Campbell. High School: Spalding...2010 PrepStar All-Region Team...SuperPrep All-Dixie team...PrepStar All-Southeast Region four-star prospect, #26 DT nationally, #22 overall prospect in three-star prospect, #50 DT nationally... four-star prospect, #23 DT nationally...2010 Griffin Daily News All-Area a senior recorded 34 total tackles, nine tackles-for-loss, two QB sacks, and two blocked a junior recorded 32 total tackles, 18 tackles-for-loss, three QB sacks, 10 QB pressures, and 3 blocked kicks in his first year playing organized football...also lettered in basketball...High School Coach: Clint Ashmore.

Wide Receiver, 6-5, 215
Cayce, S.C., Holmes (Miss.) CC

Junior College: Holmes CC… Named to the First-Team All-State Team and First-Team All-Region XXIII Team…ESPN No. 7 JUCO prospect… four-star prospect… four-star prospect… three-star prospect, ranked #55 among JUCO prospects nationally, #10 wide receiver and #14 player in Mississippi. Finished his sophomore season with 45 catches for 569 yards and three touchdowns. Had 42 catches for 778 yards and 4 touchdowns during his freshman campaign. Holmes CC Head Coach: Jeff Koonz…High School: Brookland-Cayce High School…In addition to football, averaged over 18 points and 6 rebounds a game on the basketball court as a high school senior…High School Coach…Matt Gonzalez.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday Practice Report


Fifth-ranked Georgia held a two-hour practice Tuesday as the team continued preparations for its Capital One Bowl game against No. 21 Nebraska.

The Dawgs were greeted with clear, blue skies Tuesday and temperatures in the mid-50s, quite a change from the rainy conditions on Monday that forced the team indoors to the Nalley Multipurpose Room.

“We had a good practice today on the FieldTurf; the grass fields still were a little soggy from the rain,” said coach Mark Richt. “We had a high energy level today and that’s because we haven’t had a real practice in two days so there’s no excuse not have a good one.”

Richt was asked about how he expects the seniors, especially the ones that are projected to be playing in the NFL, will perform in the upcoming bowl game.

“We’ll have to play the game before you can judge their effort, but they have been practicing well, and I know they want to be proud of their senior season,” said Richt. “They are working hard to get ready for their last game.”

Recently, there has been talk of sophomore Malcolm Mitchell’s role next season after he began this year as a starting defensive back before returning to split end. Currently, Mitchell has a team-best 40 catches for 572 yards and four touchdowns.

“I doubt he’ll play any more cornerback, I think he needs to play one position,” said Richt. “At first, he wanted to do it (play defense) and then we needed him to do it. If he wants to be the best he can be, he needs to stick with one and that’s receiver.”

Three of Georgia’s four starters in the secondary are seniors with sophomore Damian Swann the exception. Richt said he’s not sure what the secondary will look like next season except for Swann who has proven himself.

“Just because your next in line, don’t think it’s yours because you have to earn it,” said Richt on the starting jobs in the secondary. “I don’t think the guys we have behind our starters now are mature enough. They are going to be competing with guys that aren’t even here yet. Every year we want guys to come in and compete. Swann is a proven player but the rest haven’t yet.”

Georgia will have three more practices in Athens before taking four days off for the holidays. Then, the team will reconvene in Orlando on Dec. 26 to resume workouts.

Kirkland Signs With Dawgs


Elizabeth Ann Kirkland of Moultrie has signed a national letter of intent with the Georgia diving team, Lady Dawgs coach Dan Laak announced on Tuesday.

Kirkland attends Colquitt County High School and competes for Moss Farms under Coach Ed Goodman. Kirkland will be the latest diver to come through the Moss Farms program, including current Lady Dawgs Ann-Perry Blank and Haley Goodman.

"She will be a big asset to our program, and she will make an already great team that much better," Laak said of Kirkland. "I am looking forward to watching her dive the next few months and then getting her up here in Athens to start her next chapter. Moss Farms has been very good for Georgia diving. They not only have provided us with great divers but also with great kids."

Kirkland is the reigning Georgia High School Association state champion in the highest classification after scoring 486.80 points to win last year’s meet. She was second as a sophomore and was third as a freshman. Kirkland will try for her second straight state title in February in Atlanta.

Kirkland qualified for USA Diving’s Age Group National Championships in August in Greensboro, North Carolina and placed fifth on the 1-meter springboard and was 18th on 3-meter. She had a strong summer Region meet, placing third on 1-meter and fourth on 3-meter.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Thursday Practice Report


Fifth-ranked Georgia held a 90-minute practice in full pads Thursday as the team continues preparations for its Capital One Bowl game against No. 21 Nebraska on New Year’s Day in Orlando.

Thursday’s session marked the second bowl practice of the week as the fall semester ended Wednesday. Junior offensive guard Chris Burnette said the Dawgs are looking forward to the bowl and facing the Cornhuskers.

“We’re excited about going to the Capital One Bowl, we’ve heard it’s a great bowl game to go to,” said Burnette. “I remember my freshman year some of the guys who went there in 2008 said they had a great time. We’re going to visit a lot of the parks, but at the end of the day, we know it’s a business trip, and we’re there to play Nebraska and want to finish the season with a victory.

“We’ve got our school work taken care of, and that feels good,” Burnette added. “We’ve had a couple of practices now after focusing on exams, and we got a chance to knock the rust off and get back to work on the practice fields.”

Georgia will have eight more practices in Athens before taking four days off for the holidays. Then, the team will reconvene in Orlando on December 26th for final preparations.

On Friday, UGA will hold 2012 Fall Commencement exercises in Stegeman Coliseum. The undergraduate ceremony will begin at 9:30 a.m., and Arthur Blank, who co-founded The Home Depot and currently owns the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, will deliver the commencement address. Seven football players will be among the 39 UGA student-athletes who will receive their degrees Friday.

The Dawgs who will be graduating Friday include: Luis Capella, Augusta, Finance; Sanders Commings, Augusta, Communication Studies; Terrence Edwards, Sandersville, Housing; Jonathan Owens, Blountsville, Alabama, Housing; Bacarri Rambo, Donalsonville, Consumer Economics; Christian Robinson, Norcross, Sport Management; Cornelius Washington, Hephzibah, Sport Management.

Jones, Gurley & Theus Named To Sporting News All American Teams


Junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, true freshman tailback Todd Gurley and true freshman right tackle John Theus have all been named to Sporting News All-American teams.

Jones was named to the All-American Team while Gurley and Theus were included on the Freshman All-American Team.

Jones has already been named a Walter Camp, an Associated Press and an AFCA All-American this season. There are 10 players from the Southeastern Conference on this year’s Sporting News All-American squad.

Gurley and Marshall become the sixth and seventh Dawgs to be named to the publication’s Freshman All-American Team in the last six years. Tailback Knowshon Moreno and left tackle Trinton Sturdivant were the last Georgia pair to receive the honor in the same season in 2007. Nine of the 26 players on this year’s Freshman All-American Team are from the SEC.

Bowl Press Conference ~ SEC Championship Questions


Coach Mark Richt and a delegation of players met with the media Wednesday during the Dawgs’ Capital One Bowl press luncheon. They offered the following comments:

Coach Mark Richt

On whether he would have done anything different in the final 15 seconds against Alabama…

“No. When you no-huddle you go with tempo. You want to go with pace. That’s what we’ve been doing all year long. Part of going no-huddle is when you have the defense on the run you snap the ball again. You don’t need to stop play. Play was stopped because we had a first down. With 15 seconds, strategically if you are able to call a play and it’s incomplete you have time for two more plays. You can run three plays. You want to give yourself as many opportunities as you can. If you clock the ball you probably only get two shots, and hopefully you only need one. If we had clocked the ball we would have called the same play. It was the play that we wanted to call.”

“The problem was the ball got tipped and landed in play. It was not intended for Chris Conley, or at least to us it wasn’t intended for him. When a guy runs a fade and a guy runs a speed out, if it’s zone coverage cornerbacks are taught not to go to the back of the end zone. They are only going to go so far. If you put a guy in front of him and a guy behind him you kind of put a stretch on him, so you’re trying to throw the ball to what looks like might be the shorter guy, and he freezes and the ball goes over the top. That’s if it’s zone. If the QB thinks it’s man coverage, then you are going to throw the best ball to the receiver.”

“In this case, Murray didn’t feel like we ran by him. He felt like it was more of an even race, and that’s when we throw those back-shoulder throws. Because he threw a back-shoulder throw it was a lower trajectory throw, which is why the ball was able to get batted. If he thought the receiver had beaten him and was going to throw it more over the top, that ball would have probably not been batted. You throw the ball according to what you see. Murray did right. It was more of a tight coverage. We throw the heck out of that back shoulder throw. Even the catch that Tavarres King had on third-and-one – that was a back shoulder throw. Watch the last two seasons. He’s as good at doing that as anybody. That’s what he was doing. If you run a system when you are used to going fast, it’s no big deal to just call the next play. It’s what we do. If we spike it, strategically you give them time to gather up and get their senses and get their calls in.

“That’s how close games are sometimes. I’ll go all the way back in time with clock management. We had that Auburn game years ago where we didn’t manage the clock well, and that offseason we go see Homer Smith. Homer Smith – if you read his stuff – Homer is not going to clock the ball. He says clocking the ball is for people who don’t have a plan. If you’re prepared and you’ve moved the chains, the clock is stopped and you’ve got the play that you like, then call it. Because if you call it you have a greater chance of getting three plays compared to clocking it and probably only get two plays. That was part of the issue in the Auburn game. We ran a play and could’ve scored, but if we had thrown the ball and incompleted it, I could have given our team two chances. That was the issue; coach didn’t give us enough opportunities to score. In this game it was a matter of two plays or trying to get three plays. Making that a part of what we’ve done that last 10 or 11 years as far as a two-minute drill. Then also once we went to no-huddle it’s not a big deal for us to go to the line and snap the ball. It’s what we do.”

On Malcolm Mitchell's positioning during the final play against Alabama...

"He's just trying to get off the jam and trying to get deep. Sometimes you beat them off the jam. To us offensively, there is no shut-down corners. There's no coverage that if the ball is placed properly, the guy can win. If the guy does a good job on the jam and doesn't get beat deep, than he's more vulnerable to the back-shoulder throw. If he's lagging for that or trying to be a hero, than he can get run by, so the quarterback has to recognize the coverage and throw the ball according to what he sees."

On the possibility of Murray rolling out on the last play against Alabama...

"The play is not designed for Murray to roll out. It was a pocket pass - a quick passing game. You throw it where hopefully we catch it for a touchdown or if it's incomplete, you've got two more plays. So you don't want to complete it to anybody in play, but that play is not designed to go to that guy. That guy is basically a decoy in a zone coverage to try to get the corner to bite the cheese a little bit, so to speak. In man coverage, he's not in play at all because the ball is going either over the top fade or a back-shoulder throw."

On Chris Conley's catch in the final seconds of the Alabama game...

'"For every receiver, his reaction would obviously be to catch the ball. A wide receiver catches the ball. That's his nature. For any wide receiver, if that ball hits in front of his face, he's going to go get it and go catch it."

On the challenges of stopping Alabama's run game...

"Some of it was just wrapping them up better. I told them, "You're not going to be able to knock these guys down. You might knock them down a time or two, but if your goal is to knock them down, you're not going to knock them down. You're going to get embarrassed. You've got to wrap up and run your feet until you get them on the ground." Sometimes it might get ugly, but you have to be able to do that. Really the goal is not to provide a whole lot of space to begin with to get it going. It's just like our backs. If you give them a little bit of space and a little momentum, it's tough for one man to bring them down. But that's just football, and that's defense. We had a couple times where we could have made some stops I think if we just wrapped up better."

On watching film of the Alabama game…

“It might have been Monday when I watched the film. I watched the coaches’ copy and TV copy and saw some things that were obvious to people and some things that might have happened in the middle of the game on second down that could’ve changed. Alabama could look at the film too and say if this would’ve happened or that would’ve happened we would’ve done even better. That’s every game.”

On practicing end-of-game plays...

"We do it two ways. One way is that we go against the defense. We'll call it a situation. 60 yards to go, one minute, one time out, and a field goal wins it, and you just play. You play it out. Whatever happens, happens. You just react to what happens in the practice itself. There are other times that you'll script what you do against your scout team. If we have a first down and the clock is stopped, and we're lined up ready to go, you can snap and spike it or you can snap and call a play. As we're hustling down to the ball, the play was called. It's exactly what we would have called if we had spiked it. It was the same call. The problem was that the ball got tipped and they caught it in play. Do you want to throw it to a guy in play? No. Murray wasn't throwing it to the guy in play. He was trying to throw a back-shoulder ball because it was man coverage. The other thing is why even have a receiver in play? Well, like I said, if it's zone coverage, it will affect their cornerback. It was tight coverage, and that's when you throw on the back shoulder."

On Abry Jones...

"I know his intention is to rehab and get ready to play. He was making progress towards that goal. Do I know whether he'll be ready to or not? I don't know that. We've not counted him out by any means for this bowl."

On the linebacker rotation against Nebraska...

"I don't know how we're going to line it up. Normally, Amarlo Herrera and Michael Gilliard are more apt to play in more of your base defensive looks, and Christian Robinson gets more opportunities in more nickel type situations, so I guess it'll be something like that. Alec Ogletree is pretty much in there the whole time."

Linebacker Christian Robinson

On what the bowl game means to the team…

“I think it’s just another opportunity for us to show that we can finish the season. We haven’t won a bowl game in three years, so I think that if we can do that and go out on the right note and prove that this team is different and win 12 games then that would be a great accomplishment for us.”

On how the bowl game effects the offseason…

“Depending on how the bowl game goes, if you finish a close one then it is motivation and going out on a good note is very positive for the younger guys. They get to experience winning a big game like that. This season, the way we finish will determine how next season goes because guys will learn from this senior class as they move forward.”

On finishing this season on a high note…

“We want to be a team that finished, we don’t want to be a great team that just gave up and laid down because their ultimate goal didn’t happen. We were five yards from being somewhere else but we don’t want to show that we weren’t worthy of it by not finishing.”

Defensive Lineman John Jenkins

On what has Georgia has accomplished during his two seasons with the team…

“When I got here, the program was a little different. It wasn’t the program that we see today but at the same time we all felt that we were going to do whatever we could to turn this program around. That was my job for two years and now we get to leave here having accomplished a lot. If we win the bowl game then we’ve won 22 games in two years, which hasn’t been done in a long time. From three years ago to now, there’s been a huge turnaround.”

On the future of the defensive line…

“I see good things for the line. A lot of people don’t know about the guys we have coming in and the guys we already have. Ray Drew is a great player; we’ve seen a lot of great things potentially from him during the season. We’ve got Jonathan Taylor; he’s going to be a massive guy and someone to look out for. We’ve got Sterling Bailey; he’s an athlete. We have Garrison Smith who’s going to lead them next year and we have two new guys coming in that are supposed to be great guys. You can’t count the line out yet because we are going to have a lot of leadership around next season.”

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bowl Press Conference


DSC_6818Coach Mark Richt and a delegation of players met with the media Wednesday during the Dawgs’ Capital One Bowl press luncheon. They offered the following comments:

Coach Mark Richt

Opening Statement…

“I had a brief press conference in Orlando and got a chance to meet Bo Pelini, Nebraska’s head coach. We were just kind of sharing the things that head coaches share about that time of year, all the recruiting things that are going on and managing practice and classes and final exams. I had a really good visit with him. I was born in Nebraska and I was a Nebraska fan. I was a Nebraska Cornhusker fan until high school when I started getting opportunities to go visit schools. Of course I became a Miami Hurricane out of high school. I’ve known about Big Red for a long time. It’s been engrained in my family. My mom and dad were born in Nebraska, and all of their families are from there. All of my siblings except one were born in Nebraska, so I’ve got a lot of ties there. To be able to play them is exciting for me on a personal note.

“Nebraska is a team that one their division, just like we did. They were 7-1 in league play; we were 7-1 in league play. Their losses were to the Pac-12 runner-up, an undefeated Ohio State team and to Wisconsin – a team they actually beat in the regular season. They beat them one time and lost to them one time. That’s it. Right before the championship game they had won nine out of 10 games and really had been playing extremely well.

“They’re a veteran football team. Aside from the two wide receivers listed as starters, everybody is a junior or senior. Defensively there are eight seniors and three juniors. Offensively it’s a little bit more of a mix. It’s a very veteran football team, a team I’m sure with a lot of good leadership and a lot of pride, very similar to ours as well.”

“I know that it’s kind of hard to get things going again. Today is the first practice back in a while. You get out of that mode of every single week having a job to do and having every minute of your day planned out. Coaches are out on the road recruiting. Players have been studying for final exams. Some guys’ exams might have ended early and they might have found time to go home. There are a lot of things that are a change of the routine, now we have to get back in the routine. We’re going to have 10 bowl practices here. Starting today we’ll go 10 consecutive days. We’ll let them go on the 21st after a morning practice, and we’ll report back to Orlando the day after Christmas. We’ll have a practice that night. We’ll have five practices there and 10 practices here to get 15.

“The great majority of our bowl practices have always been based on game planning our opponent and practicing the plan. We will take some time at the end of a lot of our practices – maybe half of our practices at least here – to scrimmage some of the younger guys and the guys who aren’t getting as much work. We’ll get a little bit of that, but it’s not like a full-blown spring practice for us. It’s getting ready for the opponent and doing everything we can do to try to secure the victory and play the best we can possibly play and send our seniors off with the greatest experience possible, and also try to build that momentum for the future. It’s a unique game in that you’re finishing with one group and you’re starting a new year. It’s actually on New Year’s Day, so there’s a lot of truth to it being the beginning of next year as far as our season is concerned. That’s kind of what we’re working on. Our coordinators have done a good job of preparing a plan. Not every bit of it is knocked out, but we have enough to start working on that will be valuable, so we’re not just out there practicing for the heck of it. We’ll be installing some things on day one.”

On the emotional state of the team entering bowl practice…

“I haven’t been around them much lately. We did have a big team meeting the Monday after the Alabama game, and we talked about all those kinds of things and talked about what was going to happen in the future. We knew at that point where we were going and who we were playing. We talked about the logistical plan and talked a little bit about Nebraska. I think most of them understand that you can’t turn the clock back. We fought hard, we had a great plan, we did what we could do that day. We just couldn’t get it done. We didn’t do enough to get it done, but everybody knows that you have to move on. There are still things that are worth playing for. Number one we get to play another football game. I think our guys enjoy playing football, so I think that in itself is going to be enough motivation. I think landing where we landed as far as the Capital One Bowl, being in Orlando in a warm weather climate, knowing we were going to play on Jan. 1 against an outstanding football team – I think all those things have been positive. I will be challenging our leadership to finish better than we did a year ago and to solidify the job that they’ve done, because I think they’ve done an outstanding job to this point. I think they need to put an exclamation point on it or at least finish strong in a manner worthy of the way they led the entire offseason from January until now. That will be a big part of it. I’ll be talking a lot to the younger guys - the guys who know they are going to be coming back - to honor those guys the way they play. Bowl games tend to shape people’s opinion of your team and your program. There is a lot of that we’ll be talking about as well.”

On the team's mentality about the Capital One Bowl...

"In some ways I appreciate the media saying Georgia got this or Georgia got that, as far as they didn't get what they deserved and they should be a BCS team and all that kind of thing, but the bottom line is only two per conference can go. Is Florida deserving of an opportunity? I think they are. I think we are, and LSU might be, and South Carolina might be as well. Do we have teams that are good enough to play in BCS bowls? Yes, but the rules say that only two teams can go. I understand the deal, and that's just kind of the way it is. But I think we landed in a tremendous place. The Capital One is a great bowl, and Nebraska is a great football program."

On the attitude of the Georgia people following the SEC Championship Game…

“Everything has been extremely positive. I think the Georgia people, the recruits, our own players – no one likes to lose, but I think everybody felt like we were there in the game that meant everything. Not many people were in a game like that. There were three teams left and we were one of them. We played a great football team and played a great game. I’d say the same thing I said after the game. I was extremely disappointed in the outcome of the game, but not disappointed one bit in our players and coaches and how we battled.”

On whether or not other schools have contacted him about his assistant coaches...

"I think our coaches are worthy of that, and I think our coaches have obviously been courted, but no one has called me. Have I been contacted? No. I've not had one call."

Wide Receiver Tavarres King

On his legacy at UGA…

“I think the class before me, and my class, we’ve changed the culture a little bit here. We’ve gotten Georgia back to a place where you expect to win. That’s satisfying – the way Georgia used to be thought of is back. People knew they were playing Georgia and they had to buckle down, and I think that is back.”

On his career…

“I’ve progressed every year and gotten better, that’s because of Coach Bobo and Coach Ball. They coached me, and put me in the position to succeed, and I can’t thank them enough for that. I will work on continuing to get better, learning and growing as a football player.”

On getting to play in the Senior Bowl…

“It’s exciting. I’m looking forward to it. To me it’s one of the most prestigious all-star games to get chosen for, and it’s a chance for me to showcase my talents, get out there and make a name for myself.”

On being ready for the Capital One Bowl…

“We will have to be. Any time you put on the pads and helmets and wear that G, we’re coming to play. We’ll be excited and we’ll go out there and compete to get this bowl win.”

Flanker Chris Conley

On his progress this year…

“I feel like now I can say I can play in this league. When I came here I knew about the tradition and all the talent, and I wanted to be able to add to that. I think now I know I can, and I want to continue that.”

On the Capital One Bowl…

“I feel like I, personally, have been given more opportunities as the season has progressed, the coaches trust me, and I’m thankful. I feel good about this game and as we head into bowl practice, we’ll get back to fundamentals and play the best game we can.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jones Named AP All American


University of Georgia junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones has been named to the Associated Press All-America First Team for the second consecutive season, according to an announcement Tuesday.

Jones has already been named a Walter Camp, an AFCA and a Sporting News All-American this season.

This marks the second straight year Jones has been named to the AP All-America First Team. Jones is only the fourth Georgia player to garner this honor at least twice in his career. There have been eight first team selections for UGA since Mark Richt was named head coach in 2001 and 30 since the Dawgs’ first in 1927.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Jones Named Walter Camp All American


University of Georgia junior linebacker Jarvis Jones has been named to the Walter Camp All-America first team, according to an announcement Thursday by the Walter Camp Foundation.

The 122nd edition of the nation’s oldest All-America team was honored on ESPN’s The Home Depot College Football Awards Show Thursday night.

A 6-3, 241-pound native of Columbus, Jones has 77 tackles, 22.5 tackles for a loss, 12.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception in 11 games this season. Currently, Jones leads the NCAA in forced fumbles per game and tackles for loss per game. He was named the Associated Press’ Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year on Monday and was a unanimous selection to the All-SEC first team. On Tuesday, he was named to the All-SEC Coaches’ first team.

This marks the second straight year Jones has been named to the Walter Camp All-America first team. There have been nine first team selections for UGA since Mark Richt was named head coach in 2001 and 36 since the award began in the late 1800s.

Jones was also selected as a finalist for the Bednarik, Nagurski, Butkus and Lombardi Awards along with the Lott IMPACT Trophy. He was named the Walter Camp National Player of the Week twice this season after his performances against Missouri and Florida.

Gurley & Theus Make SEC All Freshman Team


University of Georgia freshmen Todd Gurley and John Theus were voted to the SEC Coaches’ All-Freshman Team, it was announced Thursday by the league office.

A 6-1, 218-pound tailback from Tarboro, North Carolina, Gurley has rushed for 1,260 yards and 16 touchdowns this season. He became the 12th Georgia player to rush for 1,000 yards in a season and joined Herschel Walker as the only Dawgs to tally 1,000 yards in their true freshman campaign. Currently, Gurley is second in the SEC in rushing yards per game (96.9), tied for second in scoring (102 pts.) and third in all-purpose yards per game (124.3).

A 6-6, 309-pound native of Jacksonville, Florida, Theus has started all 13 games at right tackle, becoming the first UGA true freshman to start at tackle since Trinton Sturdivant in 2007. He has helped pave the way for 184.2 rushing yards per game for the Dawgs and the SEC’s second-leading rusher in Gurley. Theus also helped quarterback Aaron Murray rank in the top-five in the SEC in both total offense and passing yards per game.

The entire team is listed below:

(*-Ties) (Coaches could not vote for their own players)

TE - Jerell Adams, South Carolina
OL - John Theus, Georgia; D.J. Humphries, Florida; Brandon Shell, South Carolina; Vadal Alexander, LSU
C - Ryan Kelly, Alabama
WR - Amari Cooper, Alabama; Mike Evans, Texas A&M
QB – Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
RB – Todd Gurley, Georgia; T.J. Yeldon, Alabama
AP - Trey Williams, Texas A&M


DL - Dante Fowler, Florida; Jonathan Bullard, Florida; Issac Gross, Ole Miss; D.J. Pettway, Alabama
LB - Denzel Nkemdiche, Ole Miss; Benardrick McKinney, Mississippi State; A.J. Turner, Arkansas*; Otha Peters, Arkansas*; Antonio Morrison, Florida*
DB - Jalen Collins, LSU; T.J. Gurley, South Carolina; Rohan Gaines, Arkansas; LaDarrell McNeil, Tennessee


PK - Andrew Baggett, Missouri
P - Landon Foster, Kentucky
RS – Trey Williams, Texas A&M

Murray & Frix Named Academic All-America


University of Georgia junior quarterback Aaron Murray and senior snapper Ty Frix have been named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America Division I football team, it was announced Thursday by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Murray and Frix are among 24 players selected to the second team.

The Capital One Academic All-America program recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom. This marks the fifth time two Dawgs have earned the honor in the same year and the first time since Matt Stinchcomb and Kirby Smart in 1998. Georgia is the only SEC school with more than one representative on the 2012 Academic All-America team.

To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his current institution and be nominated by the sports information director.

Murray and Frix garnered Capital One Academic All-District honors for the second consecutive year. District winners advanced to the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration.

Murray, a Tampa, Florida, native, graduated in May with a GPA of 3.30 in Psychology and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Psychology. He is the SEC’s leading active player in total offensive yards (9,871), completions (678), TD responsibility (100, which is tied for fifth SEC history), TD passes (a school record 90, which is second in SEC history) and passing yards (9,664).

Frix, a Calhoun native, graduated Magna Cum Laude in Biological Engineering in May and is now pursuing his MBA. He has been accepted for medical school for Fall 2013. A four-year starter at snapper, Frix won a Peach of an Athlete Award for the state of Georgia, honoring those who excel in academics, athletics and community service. He also earned football's overall Scholar-Athlete Award and won the 2012 Dick Copas Leadership Award.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Six Dawgs Make Coaches’ All-SEC Team


Six members of the Georgia football team were voted to the All-SEC Coaches’ Team, according to announcement by the league office on Tuesday.

Junior linebacker Jarvis Jones was named to the first team, while junior guard Chris Burnette, freshman tailback Todd Gurley, senior nose guard John Jenkins, junior linebacker Alec Ogletree and senior free safety Bacarri Rambo were named to the second team.

Jones has recorded 77 tackles this season, including 22.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks, one interception, seven forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 11 games. Jones currently leads the NCAA in forced fumbles per game and tackles for loss per game, and he is one tackle for loss shy of David Pollack’s single season school record.

Gurley has rushed for 1,260 yards and 16 touchdowns this season, becoming just the second true freshman in Georgia history to rush for 1,000 yards. He currently ranks second in the SEC and first among tailbacks with 96.9 yards rushing per game.

Burnette has helped pave the way for 184.2 rushing yards per game for the Dawgs and the SEC’s second-leading rusher in Gurley. He also helped quarterback Aaron Murray rank in the top-five in the SEC in both total offense and passing yards per game.

Jenkins has accumulated 50 tackles this season, including 17 in Georgia’s last two games against Georgia Tech and Alabama. He has registered two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery to go along with 15 quarterback pressures.

Ogletree leads the Georgia defense with 98 tackles in just nine games. He has been the Dawgs’ leading tackler in the last five games, including a career-high 15 stops against Georgia Tech on Nov 24. Ogletree also has 8.5 tackles for loss, an interception, fumble recovery and returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown in the SEC Championship Game.

Rambo leads the team with three interceptions in nine games this season and has 16 for his career, which is tied for the most in UGA history. He is ranked second on the team with three forced fumbles to go along with 67 tackles.

The SEC individual award winners will be released on Wednesday and the SEC All-Freshman Team will be announced on Thursday.


(*-Ties) (Coaches could not vote for their own players)



TE - Mychal Rivera, Tennessee
OL - Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M; Chance Warmack, Alabama; D.J. Fluker, Alabama;
      Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
C - Barrett Jones, Alabama
WR - Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas; Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt
QB - Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
RB - Mike Gillislee, Florida; Eddie Lacy, Alabama
AP - Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee


DL - Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina; Sam Montgomery, LSU;
       Damontre Moore,Texas A&M; Sharrif Floyd, Florida
LB - Jarvis Jones, Georgia; C.J. Mosley, Alabama; Kevin Minter, LSU
DB - Dee Milliner, Alabama; Matt Elam, Florida; Eric Reid, LSU
       Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State


PK – Caleb Sturgis, Florida
P – Kyle Christy, Florida
RS – Ace Sanders, South Carolina



TE - Jordan Reed, Florida
OL - Larry Warford, Kentucky; Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
       Chris Burnette, Georgia; Dallas Thomas, Tennessee
C - T.J. Johnson, South Carolina
WR - Ryan Swope, Texas A&M; Justin Hunter, Tennessee
QB - AJ McCarron, Alabama
RB - Todd Gurley, Georgia; Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt
AP - Ace Sanders, South Carolina


DL - Barkevious Mingo, LSU; Sheldon Richardson, Missouri; John Jenkins, Georgia
Corey Lemonier, Auburn
LB - A.J. Johnson, Tennessee; Jon Bostic, Florida;
      *Cameron Lawrence, Mississippi State; *Alec Ogletree, Georgia
DB - D.J. Swearinger, South Carolina; Bacarri Rambo, Georgia;
       Robert Lester, Alabama; Darius Slay, Mississippi State


PK - Drew Alleman, LSU
P - * Dylan Breeding, Arkansas; * Richard Kent, Vanderbilt
RS – Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee

Monday, December 3, 2012

Jones Named Defensive Player Of The Year


University of Georgia linebacker Jarvis Jones of Columbus, has been named the Associated Press SEC Defensive Player of the Year, as the 2012 AP All-SEC team was announced Monday.

Jones has accumulated 77 tackles, including 22.5 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks, one interception, seven forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 11 games this season. He is the current NCAA active leader in forced fumbles per game and tackles for loss per game. Jones’ 22.5 tackles for loss this season ranks second in school history behind David Pollack’s 23.5 in 2002.

Jones was joined on the first team by tailback Todd Gurley, who is the first UGA true freshman to be named to the All-SEC first team since A.J. Green in 2008. Gurley has rushed for 1,260 yards and 16 touchdowns this season, and he is just the second true freshman in school history to rush for 1,000 yards. He is second in the SEC and first among running backs with 96.9 rushing yards per game.

Senior nose guard John Jenkins, junior linebacker Alec Ogletree and senior safety Bacarri Rambo were voted to the second team, while junior quarterback Aaron Murray was named honorable mention All-SEC.

Jenkins has tallied 50 tackles this season, including 17 in the last two games against Georgia Tech and Alabama. He has registered two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery in addition to 15 quarterback pressures.

Ogletree leads the team with 98 tackles in just nine games. He has been the team’s leading tackler in the last five games, including a career-high 15 stops against Georgia Tech. Ogletree has 8.5 tackles for loss, an interception and a fumble recovery.

Rambo has recorded three interceptions in nine games this season and 16 for his career, which is tied for the most in UGA history. He is second on the team with three forced fumbles to go along with 67 tackles.

Murray has passed for 3,466 yards and 31 touchdowns this season, becoming the first quarterback in SEC history to throw for 3,000-plus yards in three straight seasons. He ranks first all-time in school history with 91 career touchdown passes, and has thrown for 1,302 yards with 15 touchdowns and just one interception in the last five games. Murray is second in the NCAA in passing efficiency.

The Dawgs (11-2) will face Nebraska (10-3) in the Capital One Bowl on January 1st.

2012 Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference Team



WR — Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas, 6-3, 209, Sr.

WR — Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt, 6-3, 205, Jr.

L — Chance Warmack, Alabama, 6-3, 320, Sr.

L — Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M, 6-6, 310, Jr.

L — Jake Matthews, Texas A&M, 6-5, 305, Jr.

L — Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State, 6-4, 320, Jr.

C — Barrett Jones, Alabama, 6-5, 302, Sr.

TE — Jordan Reed, Florida, 6-3, 243, Jr.

QB — Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, 6-1, 200, Fr.

RB — Todd Gurley, Georgia, 6-1, 218, Fr.

RB — Mike Gillislee, Florida, 5-11, 209, Sr.

K — Caleb Sturgis, Florida, 5-11, 184, Sr.

All-Purpose — Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee, 6-3, 205, Jr.


T — Sharrif Floyd, Florida, 6-3, 303, Jr.

T — Sheldon Richardson, Missouri, 6-4, 295, Jr.

E — Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina, 6-6, 256, So.

E — Damontre Moore, Texas A&M, 6-4, 250, Jr.

LB — Jarvis Jones, Georgia, 6-3, 241, Jr.

LB — C.J. Mosley, Alabama, 6-2, 232, Jr.

LB — Kevin Minter, LSU, 6-2, 245, Jr.

CB — Johnthan Banks, Mississippi State, 6-2, 185, Sr.

CB — Dee Milliner, Alabama, 6-1, 199, Jr.

S — Matt Elam, Florida, 5-10, 202, Jr.

S — Eric Reid, LSU, 6-2, 212, Jr.

P — Kyle Christy, Florida, 6-2, 199, So.



WR — Justin Hunter, Tennessee, 6-4, 200, Jr.

WR — Chad Bumphis, Mississippi State, 5-11, 200, Sr.

L — D.J. Fluker, Alabama, 6-6, 335, Jr.

L — Larry Warford, Kentucky, 6-3, 343, Sr.

L — Antonio Richardson, Tennessee, 6-6, 332, So.

L — Dallas Thomas, Tennessee, 6-5, 310, Sr.

C — Travis Swanson, Arkansas 6-5, 305, Jr.

TE — Mychal Rivera, Tennessee, 6-3, 244, Sr.

QB — A.J. McCarron, Alabama, 6-4, 210, Jr.

RB — Eddie Lacy, Alabama, 6-0, 220, Jr.

RB — Zac Stacy, Vanderbilt, 5-9, 210, Sr.

K — Carey Spear, Vanderbilt, 5-10, 190, Jr.

All-Purpose — LaDarius Perkins, Mississippi State, 5-10, 190, Jr.

All-Purpose — Ace Sanders, South Carolina, 5-8, 175, Jr.


T — Jesse Williams, Alabama, 6-4, 320, Sr.

T — John Jenkins, Georgia, 6-3, 358, Sr.

T — Bennie Logan, LSU, 6-3, 295, Jr.

E — Sam Montgomery, LSU, 6-5, 260, Jr.

LB — Alec Ogletree, Georgia, 6-3, 232, Jr.

LB — Cameron Lawrence, Mississippi State, 6-3, 230, Sr.

LB — Barkevious Mingo, LSU, 6-5, 240, Jr.

LB — Denzel Nkemdiche, Mississippi, 5-11, 203, Fr.

CB — Andrew Hal, Vanderbilt, 6-0, 184, Jr.

CB — Marcus Robertson, Florida, 6-0, 178, So.

S — D.J. Swearinger, South Carolina, 6-0, 210, Sr.

S — Craig Loston, LSU, 6-2, 205, Jr.

S — Bacarri Rambo, Georgia, 6-0, 210, Sr.

P — Dylan Breeding, Arkansas, 6-1, 211, Sr.



La'el Collins, L, LSU, 6-5, 321, So.; Josh Dworaczyk, L, LSU, 6-6, 300, Sr.; Wesley Johnson, L, Vanderbilt, 6-5, 285, Jr.; Marcus Lattimore, RB, South Carolina, 6-0, 218, Jr.; Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia, 6-1, 210, Jr.


Robert Lester, S, Alabama, 6-2, 210, Sr.; Chris Smith, E, Arkansas, 6-3, 251, Jr.


Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M


Jarvis Jones, Georgia


Kevin Sumlim, Texas A&M


Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Dawgs Accept Capital One Invitation


C1B_logo_2008The Dawgs have accepted an invitation to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Florida to play Nebraska on January 1st at 1:00 pm. The game will be televised on ABC.

The Cornhuskers are returning to Orlando after losing 30-13 to South Carolina in the last Capital One Bowl. Nebraska won the Legends division with a 7-1 conference record and finished 10-3 after losing 70-31 to Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship on Saturday.

The Dawgs are 3-1-1 in previous trips to the Orlando Bowl. The Dawgs lost to Miami (Ohio), 21-10, in the 1974 Tangerine Bowl; tied Florida State, 17-17, in the 1984 Citrus Bowl; defeated Ohio State, 21-14 in the 1993
Florida Citrus Bowl; defeated Purdue, 34-27 (OT), in the 2004 Capital One Bowl; and defeated Michigan State, 24-12, in the 2009 Capital One Bowl.

This will mark only the second time Georgia and Nebraska have squared off. Nebraska defeated the Dawgs, 45-6, in the 1969 Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

“We are delighted with the selection of our team to represent the Southeastern Conference in the Capital One Bowl,” said Director of Athletics Greg McGarity. “Our team and fans have not been to Orlando in four years and I know they will be excited to again visit one of the nation’s greatest bowl sites that is unsurpassed for warm weather, world’s greatest family attractions, and outstanding team facilities.”

“I’m really excited for our team and especially our seniors with the opportunity to play in the Capital One Bowl which is one of the premier January bowl games in the greatest of entertainment areas,” said coach Mark Richt. “And to play a team with the history and tradition of Nebraska will be an exciting experience for our team and coaches but also for our fans. Very few of our current players were on the 2008 team so this will be the first time most members of our team have the opportunity to play in Orlando and enjoy the fantastic attractions. The opportunity to play a top quality opponent like Nebraska will be a challenge we’ll look forward to.”

This will be Georgia’s 48th bowl game―sixth most of any team in the country. The Dawgs’ all-time bowl record is 26-18-3.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

“The Clock Ran Out”


Third-ranked Georgia fell 32-28 to second-ranked Alabama in its fifth all-time SEC Championship Game appearance. Coach Mark Richt summed up the Dawgs effort simply stating “The clock just ran out.” The Dawgs (11-2) are 2-3 in these games, all under Mark Richt. Georgia, which saw its six-game winning streak end tonight after driving to the Alabama 5 yard line before time ran out, will learn its bowl destination Sunday. The Crimson Tide (12-1) now own a 37-25-4 edge in the series.

To The House: Defensive end Cornelius Washington bullied his way through the Alabama front to block his first career field goal in the third quarter. Inside linebacker Alec Ogletree scooped up the block and returned it 55 yards for a touchdown, which is the first of his career, to put Georgia up 21-10. This is the first blocked field goal since John Jenkins blocked one versus South Carolina this season. The Dawgs have now turned two blocked punts, one blocked PAT and two blocked field goals into 16 points this year.

Ground Attack: True freshman tailback Todd Gurley rushed for 122 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown. This marks Gurley’s eighth 100-yard rushing game this season and gives him 15 touchdowns on the year (same as Herschel Walker his true freshman season). His touchdown was only the eighth rushing score that the Tide has allowed this season. He has 1,260 yards on the season.

100 Through The Air: Flanker Tavarres King hauled five catches for 142 yards. He now has six 100-yard receiving games in his career. He is now 4th in school history with 2,498 career receiving yards.

Jones Adding To Sack Total: On the defensive side of the ball, outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (playing with the flu) added two sacks to go along with six tackles versus the Tide. He is now tied for fifth in school history with 26 (Freddie Gilbert) and has 12.5 this season. Jones also had a forced fumble and leads the nation with seven this year. He has 22.5 TFL this season, which ranks second in school history behind David Pollack (23.5 in 2002).

Fake Punt: Tight end Arthur Lynch took the snap on a fake punt and converted his first career pass attempt (a 16 yarder) to defensive back Sanders Commings for a first down to the Alabama 20-yard line. Commings’ first career catch marked the first converted fake punt for since punter Gordon Ely-Kelso ran 34 yards against Kentucky in 2005.

Rome Grabs His Second: Georgia used the fake punt conversion to go up 7-0 as quarterback Aaron Murray connected with tight end Jay Rome for a 19-yard touchdown. It was Rome’s second career touchdown catch and second in as many games. Murray now has 90 touchdown passes in his career and 31 in 2012. The Dawgs’ 13-play scoring drive equals the longest drive for UGA this season (Tennessee).

Getting Defensive: Georgia held Alabama to 10 points in the first half. This is the lowest scoring output in two quarters for the Tide this season. The Tide scored 14 points on LSU and Texas A&M in the opening half. Neither team scored in the opening period for the first time in SEC Championship Game history. The Dawgs gained 86 yards and four first downs while the Tide recorded 71 yards and three first downs in the first quarter. Alabama finished with 246 yards to Georgia’s 157. Alabama scored 22 in the second half, the most allowed this year.

Points off Turnovers: Georgia forced two turnovers but did not convert them into any points. Alabama intercepted Aaron Murray with 1:15 left in the second quarter and converted a field goal as time expired in the half. For the Dawgs, outside linebacker Jarvis Jones forced a fumble against QB AJ McCarron on a sack that inside linebacker Christian Robinson recovered at the 9:33 mark in the first period. The Dawgs missed a 50-yard field goal after getting the ball. In the second quarter, Commings had his third interception of his career in the end zone with the Tide on the Dawg 5-yard line. Georgia failed to convert a first down after getting the ball. For the year, Georgia is now +9 in turnover margin and has scored 65 points off 25 turnovers. Opponents have turned 16 Dawg miscues into 56 points.

Leading Tacklers: Junior inside linebacker Alec Ogletree led the team with 11 tackles including nine solo stops. He has a team-high 98 tackles this year. Jarvis Jones had two sacks and and John Jenkins added another, and they both had six tackles apiece. Senior safety Shawn Williams had nine stops.

Captains: Junior offensive guard Chris Burnette, senior free safety Bacarri Rambo, junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones and senior nose tackle John Jenkins served as the game captains for the coin toss.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dribble Dawgs Dropped By Bulls 64-53


Despite having the game’s top scorer, the Georgia men’s basketball team dropped a 64-53 decision to the South Florida Bulls on Friday night. The game, however, was much closer than the score would reflect. The game, played in front of 5,167 at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla., was part of the SEC/Big East Challenge. The loss saw the Dawgs season record fall to 2-5.

Sophomore guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the team and the game with 19 points, he was the only Dawg to score in double digits. Junior forward Marcus Thornton led Georgia in rebounding with 6 boards. Sophomore center John Cannon record a career high eight points and was Georgia’s second highest scorer.

The Dawgs took their first lead of the game mid-way through the first half on a Caldwell-Pope lay-up that put Georgia up 13-11. After the Bulls retook the lead, sophomore forward Tim Dixon gave the Dawgs a 15-13 lead before USF rallied to go into the locker room at half-time leading 27-24.

After hanging with the home team for the early part of the second period, it was Caldwell-Pope again giving the Dawgs the lead on 11:32 with an explosive dunk. The Bulls rallied again, however, but were not able to separate themselves from the Dawgs with junior forward Donte’ Williams hitting a 2-pointer while falling down to tie the contest at 50-points apiece. The game, however, got away from Georgia as the USF took advantage of being in the double bonus with free-throws down the stretch seeing them secure the 64-53 final.

“It felt like what really failed us in the game was our defense. We started the game poorly but then we settled down, ground things out and got the lead. In the gut of the game, when it was decided late in the second half, our defense and our rebounding failed us. We just didn’t get the stops we needed to get,” said coach Mark Fox. “Offensively in the second half we were playing very well until the end when we had to fire up some desperation shots. I thought offensively we had some pretty good numbers.”

The game was the first time Georgia and South Florida have played each other; it was also Georgia’s third straight appearance in the annual SEC/Big East Challenge. The defeat marked Georgia’s third loss in the annual event.

The Dawgs return to action on Tuesday when they travel to face in-state rival Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga. The game tips off at 7 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNU.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jarvis Jones Named A Lott IMPACT Trophy Finalist


Lott TrophyGeorgia junior outside linebacker Jarvis Jones has been named one of four finalists for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, according to an announcement from the Pacific Club IMPACT Foundation on Thursday.

Jones, who was named an AFCA All-American for the second consecutive season this week, joins Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, Stanford’s Chase Thomas and Kansas State’s Arthur Brown as the award’s finalists.

The award goes to the defensive player who has had the biggest IMPACT on his team, both on and off the field. The IMPACT acronym is Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.

The winner will be announced at the annual Lott IMPACT Trophy banquet on December 9th at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach. The event will be televised live by FOX Sports beginning at 10 p.m. ET. The keynote speaker will be former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

The IMPACT Foundation will award $25,000 to the general scholarship fund of the winner’s university with each of the runner-up’s school receiving $5,000.

Former Bulldog All-American David Pollack won the inaugural Lott IMPACT Trophy in 2004.

A 6-3, 241-pound outside linebacker from Columbus, Jones has accumulated 71 tackles, including 19.5 tackles for loss of 107 yards and 10.5 sacks, one interception, six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in only 10 games this season. He is the current NCAA active leader in sacks per game (1.0) with 24 in two seasons and is tied for the lead in tackles for loss (1.6) with 39 through this season and last.

Jones has also been named a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Rotary Lombardi, Bednarik and Butkus awards.

He has twice been named the National Defensive Player of the Week by the Lott IMPACT, Nagurski and Walter Camp awards in 2012 and the SEC Defensive Player of the Week twice this season following his performances during wins at Missouri and versus #3 Florida.

Jones has sparked a defense that has given up a combined 19 points (one touchdown, four field goals) during the team’s last three SEC victories. During that span, Jones has tallied 20 tackles, including five sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Jones earned All-America honors last season after leading the SEC and tying for fifth nationally with 13.5 sacks to go along with 70 tackles, including 19.5 tackles for loss.

Tuesday Press Conference ~ Defense


Coach Mark Richt and a delegation of football players met with the media during the Dawgs’ weekly press luncheon on Tuesday afternoon. They offered the following comments:

Coach Mark Richt

On the importance of emotion for the defense…

“If they get their blood high, I think they play better.”

On the emotion of the defensive players…

“They’re all young and excited, and they say what they want to say sometimes. I don’t think it’s going to matter much what everybody says before the game. I think it’s going to matter when we kick it off, so I’m not too worried about that.”

On Damian Swann…

“Damian is a very talented guy, and he’s really the youngster in our defensive backfield right now. As soon as this class leaves, he’s going to be the veteran. He has ball skills of an offensive player. He’s got good length, and he’s got great coverage skills. He can make acrobatic interceptions, and he made a big jump in his physicality from a year ago. He got very serious about getting in the weight room and getting stronger and about playing more physical. He’s been in the nickel position which is a run-support guy to the field side, more so than your field corner. Of course your boundary corner is a support guy, as well. I think Swann has the cover skills to play in the field, and he’s got the physicality to play the nickel or the boundary corner. I think he could play safety, as well. He’s really a pretty good player.”

On the play of special teams this season…

“My goal this year was for us to be solid on our special teams. My goal wasn’t to try to lead the nation in any one category. I wanted to make sure that every time we force them to punt, I want to make sure we have the ball. If someone makes a fair catch, that’s okay with me. At the end of the kickoff, I want to make sure we have the ball in our hand. Let’s have a good, solid return, secure the football, and do well. Of course when you punt, you have to make sure you protect. My goal is just to kick that sucker high and have the least amount of big plays in that situation. We did have the one returned for a touchdown, but other than that, we’ve given up very few return yards. Now is our net punt quite as high as Alabama’s, which is almost 44 yards? No, but even if it’s 38 or 39 yards and it’s got good hang time and we fair catch it, we can then move the ball for four downs and get a good play out of it. My goal was for a really solid kicking unit this year, and I think we are solid. In the kickoff return, Malcolm Mitchell returns it back to the 50. It’s not like we’re not trying to get a touchdown. We had Todd Gurley return one for a touchdown, and we blocked a couple punts this year. We’ve done some good things in there, but the big thing is to make sure that they don’t become a huge momentum play for the other team.”

Linebacker Amarlo Herrera

On being labeled as one of the best defenses in the nation…

“I feel the same as some of my teammates that have been saying we’re the best, I back those guys up. I haven’t seen anybody play as well as we have in the second half of the season. You can probably say that we were lacking some confidence early in the year because we weren’t playing as well as we should have been, but now we have the swagger back and we’re feeling like the best again.”

On playing with emotion…

“We just have to play with more confidence and keep up the same level of confidence that we’ve been playing with these past couple of weeks. It all goes back to what Shawn [Williams] said earlier this season, and that whole week of practice leading up to the Florida game. It has a lot to do with the way we prepared for that week and how we’ve been preparing from that day on and really playing up to par.”

On playing in the SEC Championship…

“It wouldn’t matter where we’re playing at. It doesn’t matter how big the stage or where we’re playing, we’re just going to go out there and keep playing the way we have been all year, especially the second half. We’re going to play just like that. It’s a big difference having gone through the same experience last year, because now we know what to expect. We know to try and control our emotions and not let them overwhelm us because I think that’s what happened last year. Our emotions ran out and we stopped playing with confidence and with the crowd emotion. I think we’re feeling more confident going into this game because we’ve had a great year and we’ve been playing together for a long time now”

Linebacker Christian Robinson

On turning around the defensive play in the second half of the season…

“It’s kind of a tale of two seasons. The first half of the season we didn’t really live up to anybody’s expectations on defense, and now we’re winning the way people thought we should have been winning all along. Now we have a chance to really do something special, something that hasn’t been done here in a long, long time so now we have to see it all the way out.”

On getting to play in the SEC Championship game…

“When you live around the metro Atlanta area, getting a chance to play in the Georgia Dome is something that you dream about. Especially on this stage, and with what this game means, everybody from around that area knows the significance of this game. This is huge. This is everything that we’ve dreamed of our whole lives and now we’ll have the world watching us. “

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Practice Report


Third-ranked Georgia held a two-hour practice in jerseys, shorts and helmets Wednesday as the team finalizes preparations for its game against second-ranked Alabama for the SEC Championship.

Coach Mark Richt said preparations have been going well this week as Georgia (11-1) is focused on the Crimson Tide (11-1).

“I thought the energy level was good, and the scouts did a good job and we competed well during 11-on-11 at the end,” said Richt.

When asked if the excitement of the upcoming championship game was evident in the players as Saturday approaches, Richt said he saw it a bit today and reminded the team to stay in the moment and focus on the process, and their job.

“I’ve been practicing what I’ve been telling the players, and for me it’s to think about my job and certain situations that may come up during the game,” Richt added. “It was called the ‘iffy’ meeting that Coach Bobby Bowden had. If this comes up…if this happens… you have to have a plan now of what you’re going to do and not try to deal with it for the first time during a game with the emotion. It’s all about preparation.”

Richt said during Friday’s practice at the Georgia Dome, the freshmen specialists might get there early to get some work. He felt like both freshmen punter Collin Barber and freshmen placekicker Marshall Morgan have improved as the season has progressed. This year, Barber is averaging 41.2 yards a punt while Morgan has tallied 78 points on eight field goals and a school record 54 extra points.

On Wednesday, cornerback Damian Swann (cervical strain) and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell (shoulder contusion) were in green jerseys and limited to no contact in practice. However, Richt said they will be fine and ready to go Saturday.

Alabama features the nation’s top scoring defense (9.25 ppg) and one of the most balanced offenses (2,570 yards rushing and 2,626 yards passing). Alabama is making its eighth appearance in the SEC Championship game while the Dawgs are making their fifth. Georgia is 2-2 while the Crimson Tide is 3-4. Overall, Alabama holds a 36-25-4 edge in the series history with Georgia. However, the Dawgs are 3-1 against the Crimson Tide under Richt.

Murray Named A Manning Award Finalist


Georgia junior quarterback Aaron Murray has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2012 Manning Award, according to an announcement from the award and the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Murray, Alabama junior AJ McCarron and Texas A&M freshman Johnny Manziel are three players on the list from the Southeastern Conference. During the regular season, Murray was one of the award’s Stars of the Week twice.

The winner will be announced after the bowls on Wednesday, January 9th, and will be honored at a ceremony in New Orleans. The Manning Award was created by the Allstate Sugar Bowl in honor of the college football accomplishments of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning. It is the only quarterback award that takes the candidates’ bowl performances into consideration in its balloting.

Murray, a 6-1, 210-pound native of Tampa, Florida, has developed into one of the nation’s elite at his position. He has been named a finalist for Wuerffel Trophy and a semifinalist for the Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award. He became the first SEC quarterback in history to have three consecutive 3,000-yard passing seasons after completing 14-of-17 for 215 yards and two touchdowns versus Georgia Tech last week.

Currently, Murray leads the SEC in passing efficiency at 177.2. In his 27 wins as a starter, he has 69 TDs to just 15 INTs. Murray is the SEC’s leading active player in total offensive yards (9,618, which is 10th in SEC history), completions (660), TD responsibility (99, which is fifth in SEC history), TD passes (89, which is tied for second SEC history) and passing yards (9,399).

Diamond Dawgs Ink Eight More To Close Out Early Signing Period


University of Georgia head baseball coach David Perno announced the signing of eight additional student-athletes during the early signing period for the 2013-14 academic year. Here is a glance at the latest group of signees that completes this year’s early class.

Michael Carpin: Went 5-2 with a 2.02 ERA for the Wando High School Warriors and coach Dirk Thomas as a junior in 2012…He struck out 54 in 45 innings pitched in helping the team to a 20-6 mark and the district playoffs…Son of Tracey and Dennis Carpin.

“Michael is a solid right-handed pitcher with a plus breaking ball, and he’s got very good command with a bright future as a Dawg,” said Perno.

Jarrett Freeland: An All-Region left-handed hitting catcher/infielder/pitcher that batted .371 with four home runs and 23 RBI for the national champion Parkview Panthers and coach Chan Brown…Team went 31-6 en route to region and state titles…Also named a Georgia Dugout Club All-Star and to Team Georgia squad…Hit .417-5-28 as a sophomore as Panthers won state title with a 29-10 record…Played summer baseball with the East Cobb Astros…Son of Tina and Buddy Freeland…“I grew up watching the UGA baseball team, and I had always dreamed of wearing the ‘G’ on my chest,” said Freeland. “I am very humbled and honored for the opportunity to fulfill my dreams of playing at Foley Field for the Dawgs!”

“Jarrett is a physical, big body, versatile student-athlete,” said Perno. “He is a catcher, can play the infield and has a stiff fastball on the mound so he’s got a lot of possibilities for our program.”

Wesley Jones: Ranked No. 31 in the ESPN High School Top 60 and No. 83 among Baseball America Top 100 High School Prospects for the 2013 MLB Draft…A three-year starter at shortstop/pitcher for the Redan Raiders and coach Marvin Pruitt…Batted .566 with 30 RBI as a junior and hit .400-3-27 as a sophomore…Named preseason 1st Team Perfect Game Underclass All-America in 2011 and 2012…Also plays shortstop for the East Cobb Astros summer league team…Son of Lana and Emmett Jones.

“Wesley is one of the best defenders in the Southeast with good action, arm strength, and his bat is coming along,” said Perno. “He is a pro prospect so we’ll see how the draft goes.”

Nick Senzel (Sen-ZELL): An Honor Roll student and All-State selection, batted .407 with seven home runs and team-high 46 RBI as a junior for the Admirals and coach Matt Buckner in 2012…In the 2012 state playoffs, he hit .600 (6-for-10) with seven RBI in helping Farragut post a 35-9 record…Part of state championship team as a sophomore in 2011, batting .341-1-27 to earn All-Region and All-District honors…Played on Diamond Baseball/Simcox Academy 17U summer league team and named to 2012 Perfect Game World Wood Bat All-Tournament team…Son of Jeff Senzel…“I felt like the University of Georgia was the right fit for me,” said Senzel. “It’s going to be a great place to attend school and play baseball.”

“Nick is a blue-collar baseball player who comes from a tremendous program that is used to winning,” said Perno. “He is a versatile infielder, a plus runner and a good student-athlete.”

Zack Sims: A three-sport standout in baseball, football and basketball and preseason All-State selection as a first baseman by the Georgia Dugout Club…A two-time First Team All-Region 8-AA selection and First Team All-State pick by the Georgia Dugout Club as a sophomore…Hit .313 with one home run and 13 RBI as a junior for the North Oconee Titans and coach Dwayne Sapp…Led Titans offensively as a sophomore by hitting .408-7-30 in 25 games…Part of Titan Leadership Club and EPOCS (Excellence Promoted in Oconee Co. Schools) Award for 2010 and 2011…Played summer baseball for Team Elite including second place finish in tournament in Jupiter, Fla. And third in Perfect Game 17U event in East Cobb…Son of Lori and Mitch Sims…“I am excited to be a Georgia Bulldog and look forward to the opportunity to play SEC baseball,” said Sims.

“Zack is a strong, athletic, left-handed hitter who suits our ballpark well,” said Perno.

Blake Shouse (like House): A Dean’s List student and All-Region hitter who batted .349 with nine doubles, three triples and 35 RBI in 57 games and made one appearance on the mound for Middle Georgia College and coach Craig Young…Helped the Warriors go 46-13 and win the conference and runner up in the region…A 2011 Honor graduate of Rutland High School in Macon where he played for coach Wally Pritchard…Tossed school’s first no-hitter as a senior against Veterans…A four-time All-Region selection for the Hurricanes…Son of Tammy and Steve Shouse…“I’m excited and honored to have the opportunity to join the UGA baseball program,” said Shouse.

“Blake is a two-way guy for Middle Georgia, and pitching is in his future but he does swing a good bat too,” said Perno. “He is a potential star on the mound.”

Robert Tyler: Ranked No. 98 among Baseball America Top 100 High School Prospects for the 2013 MLB Draft… Participated in the Perfect Game All-America Classic at Petco Park in San Diego as well as the Under Armour All-America game at Wrigley Field…Went 8-0 with a 0.73 ERA and averaged 10.9 strikeouts per game in the regular season for the Crisp County Cougars and coach Bill Pate…Also batted .377 with a team-best 24 RBI…Named Region Player of the Year along with Scholar Athlete of the Year…Son of Andrea and Rob Tyler…Played summer baseball for the Savannah Chain.

“Rob is the most projectable right-hander in the state with a 93-to-95 mile per hour fastball,” said Perno. “He’s a guy who can log many innings in his career at Georgia if he gets through the draft.”

Stephen Wrenn: Ranked No. 36 in ESPN High School Top 60 and No. 53 among Baseball America Top 100 High School Prospects for the 2013 MLB Draft…A scholar-athlete and outfielder/pitcher for the Walton Raiders and coach Shane Amos…Batted .404-3-21 with a team-high 25 stolen bases as a junior plus went 5-2 with a 2.82 ERA and team-best 60 strikeouts in 44.2 innings pitched…Two-time MVP selection, also won Hustle Award and team’s Cy Young Award…Led team in batting as a sophomore at .422-3-23 and posted a 6-3 record, 2.03 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 64 innings pitched…Earned 2012 East Cobb Offensive Player of the Year in summer baseball league and won WWBA National Championship for East Cobb Yankees…Son of Lisa and Steve Wrenn…“I can’t wait to join the Georgia baseball family and compete for a College World Series title,” said Wrenn.

Stephen is an impact freshmen who can step in and play the outfield,” said Perno. “He has great tools and is one of the fastest players in his class who will be one to watch in the pro draft.”

Along with the five members announced earlier this month, this year’s early class features a total of 11 high school seniors and two from the junior college ranks. Eleven of the 13 new Dawgs hail from Georgia with one each from South Carolina and Tennessee.

2013 Georgia Baseball Early Signing Class

Name POS. B-T HT. WT. HOMETOWN (Previous School)

Mike Bell INF R-R 5-11 180 Union City, Ga. (Langston Hughes HS)

Michael Carpin RHP L-R 6-2 200 Mt. Pleasant, S.C. (Wando HS)

Clint Frazier OF R-R 6-0 195 Loganville, Ga. (Loganville HS)

Jarrett Freeland C/INF/P L-R 6-6 210 Lilburn, Ga. (Parkview HS)

Connor Jones LHP R-L 6-3 185 Johns Creek, Ga. (Johns Creek HS)

Wesley Jones INF R-R 6-2 185 Lithonia, Ga. (Redan HS)

Ryan Lawlor LHP L-R 6-0 185 Savannah, Ga. (Middle Georgia College)

Nick Senzel INF R-R 6-0 185 Knoxville, Tenn. (Farragut HS)

Blake Shouse P/INF R-R 6-2 185 Macon, Ga. (Middle Georgia College)

Zack Sims 1B L-L 6-3 215 Bogart, Ga. (North Oconee HS)

Robert Tyler RHP L-R 6-4 195 Cordele, Ga. (Crisp County HS)

Skyler Weber C L-R 5-10 175 Gainesville, Ga. (Gainesville HS)

Stephen Wrenn OF R-R 6-2 175 Marietta, Ga. (Walton HS)