Saturday, February 17, 2018

No. 1 Georgia Tops No. 8 South Carolina

UGA Sports Communications

No. 1 Georgia equestrian defeated No. 8 South Carolina, 12-7, on Saturday afternoon at One Wood Farm.

Highlighting the meet was Bailey Anderson (Horsemanship) and Grace Bridges (Equitation on the Flat) who earned Most Outstanding Performance honors for their rides.

“It’s great to get a win on the road,” head coach Meghan Boenig said. “We put down some really strong rides that saw great scores. I am proud of our MOPs. We handled things better today (compared to last week against Auburn). We’ve made great progress as we head into the rest of the season. There is no taking the foot off the gas.”

Competition began with Reining where the Dawgs (7-1, 4-1 SEC) rode to a 4-1 advantage over the Gamecocks (2-6, 0-5 SEC). Graysen Stroud was Georgia’s high scorer of the event, earning the first point of the day with a 75. Julia Spreng and Annabeth Payne each earned a point with scores of 70 and 73, respectively, before Kyndall Harper closed the event with a 72- 70.5 point for the Dawgs.

The Dawgs and Gamecocks split points in Equitation Over Fences. Maddy Darst led off with a team-high 82 to earn a point for Georgia. South Carolina took the next two points before Ali Tritschler rode to a tie against her opponent with a score of 78. In the anchor position, Addyson Cord rode to a 77 to edge Louisa Brackett’s 76.

Georgia led 6-3 at the half-way point of the meet.

Georgia took a 3-2 advantage in Horsemanship. After South Carolina took the first two points of the event, Stroud rode to a 76-70 win over Caroline Gute. Bailey Anderson followed with an MOP-earning ride that scored a 78.5, before Payton Anderson earned a 77 for her ride and a point for Georgia.

Competition concluded in Equitation on the Flat, claiming three more points. Maddy Darst started the event with an 85-74 win. Bridges followed suit, also scoring an 85 for her ride, and taking home MOP honors. Cord also won her point, 70-66.

Georgia returns to action on March 2 against SMU. Competition is slated to begin at 1 p.m. and the meet will serve as Senior Day.

HOW TO FOLLOW GEORGIA EQUESTRIAN: For complete information on Georgia equestrian, follow the team on its social media channels via @UGAEquestrian on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Dribble Dawgs Beat Tennessee

UGA Sports Communications

The Georgia men’s basketball team (15-11, 6-8) out-hustles the No.18 Tennessee Volunteers 73-62 on Saturday night in Stegeman Coliseum.

Senior forward Yante Maten has his 25th double-digit game of the season in addition to being the high scorer with 19. Junior forward Derek Ogbeide notched 16 points and a season-high 11 rebounds to record his second-straight double-double and his ninth double-digit game of the season. Junior guard William Turtle Jackson II, red-shirt senior guard Juwan Parker, and sophomore guard Tyree Crump all inked double-digit games with 10, 10, and 11 respectively.

Georgia increases its win streak against Tennessee to five games and the ranked win marks the Dawgs third of the season. Georgia out-shot the Volunteers 42.6 percent to 34.9 percent, making it the fourth time Georgia’s SEC opponent shot below 35 percent.

"We played very determined,” said head coach Mark Fox. "These kids have been through a lot but being at home and having a great crowd, beautiful crowd, makes a huge difference. We were able to play through fatigue, find that extra gear and effort defensively and that was important."

Tennessee (19-7, 9-5) opened the competition with a jumper by Grant Williams. A pair of free throws from Maten tied the game up shortly after. A huge lay-up from Maten, which drew a Volunteer foul followed by a free throw, gave Georgia its first lead 5-2. The two teams went back and forth several times until a huge three from Maten at the top of the key added to the Dawgs five point run over Tennessee. Two free throws from freshman forward Nicolas Claxton lengthened the Dawgs lead to 21-12. Tennessee fought back from a nine point deficit but was two points shy of tying the game before halftime trailing 28-26.

Coming back to action freshman forward Rayshaun Hammonds posted the first points in the paint. A three by Parker launched Georgia over the 30 point mark, 33-26. A three by Jackson brought Georgia 10 points, 38-28, over the Volunteers. Parker stole the ball and went up for a shot drawing a Tennessee foul in which he converted both free throws to combat a 6-0 Volunteer run. Later in the half, a huge lay-up by Ogbeide drew a Tennessee foul that pushed Georgia into the bonus at 5:33 and the made free throw put Georgia up six at 57-51. This, followed by a Crump three brought the sold-out crowd to its feet. Ogbeide scored his fifth consecutive lay-up for the half bringing the edge to 59-51. Three offensive Georgia rebounds brought the ball to Crump who knocked a three widening the margin to eight. Tennessee foul trouble entered Georgia into the double-bonus and a pair of Maten free throws topped the score at 65-58. Georgia came back to the line five more times with Jackson, Crump, thrice, and Ogbeide scoring a combined eight points for a 13 point lead in the last minute of the game. The Volunteers made their way to the line but it wasn’t enough to topple the Georgia lead. The Dawgs secured victory over the Volunteers 73-62.

From the free throw line, Georgia went 27-for-38 including 10 made free throws in the first half. The 27 made free throws marks the second highest total for Georgia this season. The Volunteers were limited to 10 of 15 from the line.

The Dawgs return to action at South Carolina on Wednesday, February 21, at 6 p.m. in Columbia.

Head Coach Mark Fox

On the keys to tonight's win...

"Our team has had a good week and we had a lot of guys contribute. Derek had a big double-double. Tennessee has a terrific team, we have a lot of respect for them and it was a good win for us.”

On the key to slowing down Tennessee's offense...

"Grant Williams is a great player and having a terrific year and we tried to slow him down. I'm not sure we did great in other places we wanted to, but I thought we did a good enough job on Williams to give us a chance to win."

On answering multiple Tennessee runs..

"I was really proud of our team because we had to answer one time with Yante on the bench. We had a lot of guys chip in. Turtle played well, Tyree had a good second half. They're a good team and you're going to have to answer and we did that."

Senior Forward Yante Maten

On the game...

"We’re a capable team and coach said to not give up so that’s what we’ve got to do every time we play well it it’s going to be a ball game. We’re a good basketball team and we proved that this week now we’re just looking to go to the next game and do the same thing. I think it was more of a we’re a good team, let’s go prove it situation so that’s what we focused on we’ve got to start a roll and get on a winning streak."

Junior Forward Derek Ogbeide
On the game...

We’ve definitely boosted team morale and you know it was much needed, at the end of the season it’s been a quite boost for us.

On his second consecutive double-double… 

"It comes down to attention to details and you know whatever my role is I want to make sure I can help the team the best that I can and give my best effort to produce the factor of winning."

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Legendary player, coach Billy Henderson Dies

UGA Sports Communications

Former University of Georgia multi-sport athlete and legendary high school coach Billy Henderson died Wednesday at the age of 89.

Henderson, a two-sport standout for the Dawgs in the late 1940s, earned a total of eight letters. He played on the 1946 and 1948 SEC Championship football teams and was a three-time MVP in baseball. Following graduation, he was drafted and signed by the Chicago Cubs. He spent two years in their organization before deciding on a teaching and coaching career.

His illustrious coaching career included stints at Jefferson High School (1951-53), Athens High (1953-55), Furman University (1956), University of South Carolina (1956-57), Willingham High (1958-70) and Mount DeSales High (1970-73) in Macon before returning to Athens and Clarke Central High School in 1973. He became an icon for the Gladiators, compiling a record of 222-65 and three state championships over 23 seasons. His overall head coaching record was 285-107-16.

Over the years, the success of his teams were not limited to football, owning three state championships in baseball, one in swimming and numerous region titles in all three sports. Also, well over 125 of his players earned college scholarships.

He was named the recipient of the 1995 Bill Hartman Award —the highest honor a former UGA student-athlete can attain. Named for Georgia’s long-time kicking coach and chairman of the Georgia Student Educational Fund, the award recognizes former Dawg student-athletes who have distinguished themselves as alumni. At the time, Henderson was the sixth recipient, joining former NFL quarterback and Atlanta businessman Fran Tarkenton, Atlanta Olympic Committee CEO Billy Payne, former Gov. Carl Sanders, Atlanta developer Tom Cousins and the Dawgs' legendary assistant athletic director Dan Magill.

For his lifetime of contributions to young people, Henderson was honored in March of 1993 by more than 800 people who came together at Clarke Central in “A Tribute to Billy” and in celebration of Billy Henderson Day in Athens. Then Gov. Zell Miller, Sen. Paul Broun and Rep. Louise McBee were among those who sent congratulatory letters and resolutions honoring him.

He also founded the Athens Hall of Fame and conducted youth football camps at the YMCA.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

UGA Indoor Athletic Facility named for Billy and Porter Payne

UGA Sports Communications

The University System Board of Regents Tuesday approved the naming of the University of Georgia’s Indoor Athletic Facility in honor of former UGA all-star football player Billy Payne and his father, the late Porter Payne.

The official name of the facility will be the William Porter Payne and Porter Otis Payne Indoor Athletic Facility. The naming opportunity is the result of gifts totaling $10 million secured from friends of Billy and Porter Payne.

“Billy Payne and his late father Porter hold a very special place in the storied history and tradition of the University of Georgia,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “It is a great honor to have their names forever tied to one of the most prominent athletic programs in the country.”

Former CEO of the Atlanta Olympic Games and chairman of Augusta National, Payne graduated from UGA in 1969 with a degree in political science, and he earned his law degree from Georgia Law in 1973. Both he and his father lettered in football at UGA, Billy from 1966-68 and Porter from 1946-49.

“It is a great day for the University of Georgia to honor Billy Payne and his father, Porter,” said UGA J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity. “We are exceptionally proud to have the Payne family name honored by placement on one of our most significant athletic facilities.”

Payne launched a successful bid to bring the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games to Atlanta and was named president and CEO of the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games in 1991. He continued in his leadership role, and became the first person in modern history to land an Olympic bid and then to remain president and CEO during the games.

A founding member and chairman of Centennial Holding Company, a privately held real estate investment company in Atlanta, Payne became chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament, in 2006. He retired from that position following the annual tournament in 2017.

Twice named Georgian of the Year, Payne was recognized in 1997 with the Theodore Roosevelt Award, the most prestigious honor given to an individual by the NCAA. The National Football Foundation named him as the 2009 recipient of the NFF Distinguished American Award, which is presented only on special occasions to honor an individual who has applied character-building attributes learned from amateur football in their business and personal life. He was inducted into the UGA Circle of Honor in 2012.

Porter Payne was an All-SEC offensive lineman in the late 1940’s and was elected as the team captain of the 1949 team. While at Georgia, the Dawgs won two SEC championships (1946 and ’48) and played in three bowl games—1947 Sugar Bowl, 1948 Gator Bowl, and 1949 Orange Bowl. Payne was also an All-City, All-State, and team captain as a fullback at Boys High in Atlanta.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Dawgs Earn First SEC Weekly Honors of the Season

UGA Sports Communications
Kendall Buton

The Southeastern Conference has named Georgia softball student-athletes Kendall Burton and Brittany Gray the SEC Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively.

The pair led 25th-ranked Georgia to a 4-1 start in the 2018 campaign over the weekend in Arizona at the Kajikawa Classic. The Dawgs defeated top-20 teams in #15 Utah and #19 BYU. Georgia outscored its opponents 51-12 in five games including 12 home runs and hitting .418 as a team.

At the plate, Burton hit .722 on the weekend with 13 hits including a pair of home runs. She touched home six time and drove in five runs. Her home run against #3 Oregon was the first of her career in a Dawg uniform. The senior outfielder from Missouri City, Texas had multiple hits in all five games. She began the season going 4-for-4, a career best, in the 23-2 win over San Diego State. She finished opening weekend with a .722 on-base clip and a 1.056 slugging percentage.

Gray made three starts in the circle for Georgia on opening weekend. She pitched two scoreless, hitless innings in the opener against San Diego State. On Friday, she worked a complete game against #15 Utah, allowing one unearned run on five hits, striking out five and walking none. She capped the weekend with a complete-game shutout of Oregon State on Saturday. The Beavers only got four hits off the Greenwood, Indiana native while she struck out 10 in the process, one shy of tying a career high. She recorded a 0.00 ERA in 16 total innings with 17 total strikeouts.

The SEC weekly honors are firsts for both Burton and Gray. The last time Georgia had both the player and pitcher of the week was May 4, 2009 when Taylor Schlopy (player) and Chelsea Hamilton (pitcher) both won.

Georgia opens its home schedule this weekend when the Dawgs host the 11th Annual Red & Black Showcase. Evansville, Samford, and Winthrop will all be in Athens for the 10-game tournament, beginning Friday.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Signing Day Press Conference

UGA Sports Communications

University of Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart met with media Wednesday afternoon to talk about the Dawgs’ signees in the 2018 class. 

He offered the following comments. 

Head Coach Kirby Smart

Opening statement … 

“Excited about today. You know, it was kind of anti-climactic with the fact that we had had most of the guys signed as mid-year guys. A lot of early enrollees, a lot of early signees, but I think one of the things that helped us today was the fact that we knocked a lot of the work out in December, and I think any time you're able to do that, you're really able to focus your attention on 2019, 2020. We had a lot of junior days and sophomore days in here on the Saturdays leading up to today, so that was a big advantage for us to get ahead. But we were able to focus a lot of our contact attention on the four or five guys we needed to target for the remainder of our class.

Obviously, I'm excited about the class, and I know all you guys want to talk about the ranking. That really does not float my boat or this staff's boat. I don't think that's what's important. What's more important is the quality of kids we were able to get, both academically and athletically. That's what excites me most about them, the fact that 10 of these guys got over a 3.0 core GPA. We haven't had that in a long time. The fact that three of these guys got offered scholarships to Ivy League schools, that impresses me a lot. 25 of these 26 played multiple sports, and I think we all know the indicators of playing multiple sports. Thirteen of the 26 played for a state championship, so when you start looking at those things, they're winners. They're a tight-knit group, really unselfish. Some of these kids went and watched other kids in the state championship game. Several of them went to other guys' surgeries when they had surgeries for injuries, which we had several guys have. They're a unique group. I'm excited about them. 

But the chore for them is to get past this and move on, and I'm excited about what they bring to our team, but they've also got a lot of big shoes to fill of some great young men that just left our program.

With that, I'll open it up to questions.”

On how the early signing period affected today and how the process worked for him … 

“That's tough. It's hard to argue with the results we were able to achieve. I think it was a blessing to be in the situation we were in, meaning we lost a week on the road recruiting because of the SEC Championship game. I would think people that didn't play in the SEC Championship game would get a huge advantage by being out that week, that close to a signing date. That was really kind of two weeks or three weeks from a signing date, and they were able to get a little bit of an advantage. We lost that, but we also gained the momentum of the exposure. So I liked that part of it. Preparing for a College Football Playoff and having that early signing period is really challenging to focus and get the attention of the coaching staff and the support staff in the right direction. There were some challenges there for us, but I really don't think it's about us, I think it's about the student athletes, was it better for them, and I think if you asked that question, for some it may have been. I actually think what happened is it narrowed the scope of a lot of top programs onto certain guys, and it created more pressure on the remainder of the people who weren't signed, so the pressure went from being dispersed among 20 players to being on three or four players for every team, and that was tough to go through that with some of the families of the guys you finished with, because they had a big burden on them. But I think you'd have to poll those other kids out there and say, hey, was it beneficial for you. High school coaches, I think they think it was beneficial.”

On if he expects most players to sign early every year … 

“I think it'll be interesting. I think to each his own. I think some kids enjoyed that. Some kids wanted to take their visits. We had these 13 to 26 that played in state championship games, they lost their ability to go on visits, especially in the state of Georgia where the state championships got extended another week due to weather. So that whole time period was really tough for a lot of kids because they lost chances to go on visits; they had to make a quick decision. I think there was a lot of pressure from -- I don't want to lower-tier programs, but there was a lot of kids we came across that said, they're telling me if I don't sign right now, I'm going to lose my scholarship. So there was no ability to go back and reevaluate or go on visits. They knew they had to sign if they wanted their spot, and that's good for those other programs. They were able to get their work done and be done and have their classes signed.”

On wide receiver Tommy Bush … 

“I fell in love with Tommy the first time that I met him and saw him. He was coming through doing a southeastern tour, and he came with his mother and father. They were very serious about the process. They were very professional. They came and wanted to see different parts of academics. They wanted to look around, walk around campus, and we got to spend a lot of time with him. I knew right away that he was a great kid. Obviously his stature is a big thing for us. We were able to have success with Javon this year, and you're sitting there going, how do you replace those back shoulder throws, how do you replace those catches. You've got to find somebody, and here's a kid that probably was -- didn't get as many throws in high school as you'd like to have, but when he was on the camp circuit, he was on a lot of the workout circuits, he did a tremendous job. He's a 21.4, 21.3 200-meter guy that I know and have a lot of respect for track speed, and when you have that much size and that much speed, you're a pretty good football player, and he's got great academics, too. He comes from a good family.”

On signing players late and if he knew he was getting them … 

“Have you looked at my face? I have not slept much lately, so I mean, it was a sleep deprivation. It was a lot of work. I want to give our staff and the support of this university academically a lot of thanks because without the support of the people on this campus, this university academically and athletically, none of this would be possible, but our coaching staff did a tremendous job. There was some time yesterday that we might have only signed one guy today, and it all changed throughout the last really 48 hours. That's kind of the thing I was talking about with the amount of pressure these kids are under at the finish line, and it's really tough on them. But excited about the guys we were able to get.”

On how these six players fit into his system… 

“We felt like we needed a receiver, and we were going to go out and say, who's the best receiver still available and try to target those guys, and we needed that, only bringing one in, losing four next year. So one of the biggest needs we have on our board is for wide receiver after next year. So we're sitting here saying, here's two coming in, and both those guys will compete and have a chance to come in and play, but we're going to need that moving forward in the 2019 class. So that was big. Obviously I think the corner position was a position, and DB position was one that we wanted to fill. We felt like we kind of had every box checked. Maybe the safety box was one that was missing, and we were able to fill some of those needs today, as well.”

On signing so many guys the past few years who meet the 300-pound threshold … 

“I wouldn't say it's a priority to get them over 300 pounds, it's a priority to get really good football players. Isaiah Wynn was not a guy that was over 300 pounds when he came out, and he proved to be an excellent football player. So I think it's more about the guys we're going after, we don't target them based on weight. We do target them based on some height and some specific descriptions for each position we have. I think Sam Pittman has proved again that he does a tremendous job recruiting the offensive line, and same thing with our defensive line. We were able to get some guys we think are really big, and in our league, the best teams you play are the teams that got size and stature and able to win the line of scrimmage. We've made no bones about it that you've got to win the line of scrimmage in this conference, and that's an area we've tried to target.”

On what it says for the University of Georgia to have a class that is ranked No. 1 nationally … 

“I think it's great. I think it's great for the fan base, but I'd trade that No. 1 ranking for the last No. 1 ranking in the college football poll. That's what's important is what you do on the field, and that's what we'll be measured by as coaches, what we're able to do with this class, what they're able to do in development. That's the key ingredient is what can you do with these guys nutritionally, strength and conditioning, academically and even mentally. Mental conditioning is a big part for us. I'm a lot more concerned with that than how many stars they've got by their name.”

On if he was sweating from a numbers standpoint today … 

“No, we don't sweat numbers. I mean, we do the best we can to get the best players we can, and we do a real good job of evaluating them. We try to get every good football player we can that can make our program better, and that's our goal each and every year is to upgrade that in character, academics and on the football field.”

On how recruiting has changed with this program over the last three years … 

“I don't think it ever changes when you've got a great product. I think you've got to kind of morph that. You've got to change the message. I think sometimes you've got to be able to tell them, hey, look, when we were 8-5, a lot of this signing class sat in my office and said, where's this program headed. And for us to have the timing of the momentum we had and the season we had, combined with what we thought was a tremendous class, it was a perfect storm because here you are winning at the end when all kids got to decide, which is early signing period. Boom, we do that; we go out and have one of the most visible games in all of college football this year in the Rose Bowl, and that's when a lot of kids, they are very impacted by those games. They watch those games. To watch the National Championship, there's so many kids that talked about how they viewed that game and saw that game and they were pulling for the University of Georgia. They wanted us to be successful and win, and when you've got leaders in your class like a guy like Justin Fields, it helps tremendously.”

On DB Tyson Campbell and OLB Otis Reese … 

“Tyson Campbell, what's not to love? First of all, he's an extremely high-character kid. This process took its toll on he and his family because he's a great kid. He's from a wonderful school that's supplied the University of Georgia with some really good players, from American Heritage, and he's a bright-eyed kid that enjoyed the process. He's a great track athlete, 10.4 100 meters, and I don't know if you know much about that, but that's faster than pretty much anybody we've got on our team right now, and he's big. So he's big and he's fast. He's a 20.8 200 meters. I mean, the guy can fly, and he's really competitive. Obviously we know what the stature and the size bring, but more important than that on Tyson Campbell is his intangibles. There's some other good DB's that we're able to bring in. We're really excited about the DB's as a whole. It's an area that we felt like we could improve our team, and we were able to do it through recruiting.

And then Otis, he brings a force. He brings some contact toughness. He brings some size and stature to the safety position that -- we've had success, both Coach Tucker and myself, coaching big guys at safety. So a lot of people list this guy at outside linebacker and inside linebacker. He's the size that the safeties should be. He could grow into something else, but his first position is going to be safety, and we expect him to excel there. He did it at a really high, competitive level in high school.”

On how competitive the recruiting trail is and if it is exciting to flip a player from one school to another … 

“I got that question earlier when I was doing an interview. To me, there's no great sensation in flipping a kid because I don't think it teaches kids the right thing. I think we as the coaches, and coaches in the profession understand I have tremendous respect for the guy on the other side of that flip. A lot of those guys are my friends. A lot of those guys I worked with. So it's great for the fans, and they all want to make a big deal about it. But ultimately, it's really about the relationships we've built with that kid all along. The fan thinks that Otis Reese decided last night that he was going to go to Georgia. That wasn't the case; there was a relationship that was developed over the last year. Same thing with Quay. These are kids that -- they're torn. It's a tough decision. We make it hard. We make it hard as coaches on them. When they do the flip, I know there's somebody on the other side of that. I've been on the other side of that. So I'm not one to get into enjoyment of that. I think it's more about what's right for the kid and how is his future going to be best served by going to the University of Georgia academically so he can set himself up for success in life.”

On recruiting ILB Quay Walker … 

“It was a long recruiting battle. It was not overnight. I mean, it was a situation where Quay has been a good player for a long time. A lot of the times these guys commit early. All you do is become the target. And rarely when a kid decommits or gets ready -- they're not going to go back to that same place they just were at. When you're sitting there with Quay, we knew all along that we were just as much in it as Alabama. We're not deterred by the fact he's committed to somebody. We did a good job. He's in a community down there that's near the University of Georgia, that's got a lot of University of Georgia fans, so we just did our job, kept being consistent with him and sending him consistent messages. As far as a player, this guy might be the most versatile because you could say he's an outside backer, you could say he's an inside backer. He's a really good pass rusher. He brings a lot of different things to the football field, and when you see him run around the basketball court, you realize that he's got great athletic ability, and it's a position where -- let's be honest, we lost four starters, right; two guys on the edge, two guys inside in Reggie and Roquan, so it gave him an opportunity to come in here and compete at four different positions.”

On Walker tossing a hat … 

“I didn't see it. I never saw it. I was watching 2019 and 2020 tape at the time, so I didn't actually see it. I did get a text from my wife that she was scared to death when he did that. That's their moment in the sun, and some kids know how to handle it and some don't. To each his own. When they get here, we're going to try to teach them the correct way to handle some things, and that's their moment in the sun. That's their family's time and opportunity to be on TV and give the University of Georgia some publicity, and I'm happy for Quay and his family.”

On Scott Fountain and Cortez Hankton… 

“We're excited about both the guys coming on the staff. Scott, obviously you guys know and are familiar with from being in our area. I think Scott Fountain does a tremendous job. He was probably one of the biggest assets in our program last year. Everybody has made a big deal about the turnaround in special teams. He was really responsible for coaching our coaches, and he was able to bring us, and me, some ideas to how we practice and some innovative things that he's done, changing what days we did different things, and just organizational things that I thought really helped us. With that, we were able to move up in special teams rankings and do a lot better, and to have him back I think is phenomenal for us. I think he's proven to be a really good recruiter throughout the state of Georgia and also in Florida where he's had some success. So we're excited to get him and his family back to University of Georgia. I know the coach over at Prince Avenue is really excited because he gets his kids back, so he'll have two starters returning there. 

And then Cortez, we got to visit and meet with and just thought the world of him. He carries himself in a first-class manner, the way we want to do things at University of Georgia. He's a very intellectual guy. He also played the position, and any time you play the receiver position, I think it helps you tremendously with kids. He was an overachiever as a player. Here's a guy that played on several teams, and he kept making teams. He made them through toughness, his route running, his special teams play, and those are all things we want in our wide receiver room. So we're excited about both those guys.”

On structure of the offensive staff … 

“That will be to be determined, so we'll determine that in the coming weeks. We've got a lot of possibilities there because a lot of guys have worked with a lot of different positions.”

On the status of Natrez Patrick and Deangelo Gibbs … 

“I think both those kids are working really hard, doing the things we've asked them to do, and to be honest we're trying to help them as much off the field as on the field right now.”

On defensive linemen Jordan Davis and Tramel Walthour … 

“Absolutely. We think Jordan is a tremendous football player. Has great size and great toughness. Same thing with Tramel. I think it's a position of need for us, so those guys are going to fill a great role for us because when you start looking at the SEC, the defensive line is what makes a difference in all these teams, and that's where we want to be. We want to have big, physical guys that can rush the passer and push the pocket, and we think both those guys give us that.

I do want to finish up with one note. I want to call out the Dawg Nation and call out all the fans because you really think about the tremendous job and give them a thanks, as we went across the country and played literally across the country, and we went to Notre Dame and played, played at Vanderbilt, played a lot of games where our fan base turned out and did a tremendous job of supporting, I think that really helped us with recruiting. But now G-Day is on Saturday, April 21st. As we all know, every team that gets a new head coach in the SEC, what is the mantra, what is the battle cry for their fan base to turn out and really represent their teams. We need our fan base, who has done everything we've asked them to do, to turn out April 21st at 4:00 and be out there for G-Day in what we expect to be another sellout, packed opportunity to go out and represent University of Georgia and show these kids in recruiting that it does matter and it is special here.

Thanks again. Go Dawgs.”

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Spring Game Schedules

ESPN Networks to Televise Every Southeastern Conference Spring Football Game for Third Straight Season

  • 13 Live Games Across Four Weekends 
  • Alabama and Georgia Spring Games Set for ESPN
For the third consecutive year, every* Southeastern Conference Spring Football Game will be televised live on an ESPN network, including College Football Playoff National Champion Alabama and national finalist Georgia on ESPN.

SEC Network’s coverage begins with South Carolina’s Garnet-Black Spring Game on Saturday, March 31 and continues every weekend through April 21. In addition to televised action, every game will be available for streaming on the ESPN App.

Talent assignments and additional details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Date Time (ET) Programming Network
Sat, Mar 31 Noon South Carolina: Garnet-Black Spring Game SEC Network
Sat, Apr 7 2 p.m. Ole Miss: Grove Bowl ESPNU
Arkansas: Red-White Spring Game SEC Network
4 p.m. Auburn: A-Day SEC Network
Fri, Apr 13 6:30 p.m. Kentucky: Kentucky Blue-White Game SEC Network
Sat, Apr 14 1 p.m. Missouri: Black & Gold Game SEC Network
3 p.m. Florida: Orange & Blue Debut SEC Network
5 p.m. Texas A&M Spring Game SEC Network
Sat, Apr 21 2 p.m. Alabama: A-Day ESPN
Tennessee: Orange & White Game SEC Network

4 p.m. Georgia: G-Day ESPN
Mississippi State: Maroon-White Game SEC Network
6 p.m. LSU: National L-Club Day SEC Network

*13 of the 14 SEC Football Teams elected to play a spring game this year