A few reasons for UGA fans to look on the bright side

UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has been named one of the nation's Top 25 recruiters. (University of Georgia)

UGA defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has been named one of the nation's Top 25 recruiters. (University of Georgia)

The gray skies outside have reflected too much of how my winter has gone so far, so it’s time for a few mood brighteners, of the red and black variety.

Some might choose to be focusing on those potential signees that Georgia didn’t manage to flip last week, but the Dogs still will have some pretty impressive fresh blood coming to Athens, and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham reportedly had a big hand in making that happen. Rivals.com has noticed, and named Grantham one of the nation’s 25 best recruiters, which bodes well for replenishing the senior-laden defensive secondary after this season.

Speaking of which, David Ching of ESPN’s DawgNation notes that while Georgia could have depth problems in its defensive secondary in the wake of last week’s dismissals, the returning starting lineup is pretty awesome, with Bacarri Rambo, Shawn Williams, Branden Smith and Sanders Commings.

Ching quotes Williams as saying, “The whole defense, it’s going to be one of our goals to finish as the No. 1 defense in the country this year.” If they’re successful, the Dogs might well be able to kick it up a notch from a 10-win season.

At any rate, I like the way Rambo is thinking in putting off the NFL for another year: “God put it on my heart that I need to stay my senior year so I can get better and improve at the small things that I need to and just be a complete safety. I’m going to do my best this offseason to try to get better, work hard, be a leader and hopefully help my team get to Miami next year.”

Meanwhile, in the wake of signing day, ESPN’s Mark Schlabach has updated his 2012 Way-Too-Early Preseason Top 25 and UGA has moved up a spot to No. 5. Notes Schlabach: “Georgia has to run the ball more effectively and learn how to finish games, but there might not be a more inviting schedule in 2012 than the one the Bulldogs will face. Georgia is expected to bring back 10 starters from a much-improved defense, including All-American linebacker Jarvis Jones and safety Bacarri Rambo. Incoming freshmen Josh Harvey-Clemons, Jonathan Taylor and John Atkins might provide some immediate help. Quarterback Aaron Murray and receiver Malcolm Mitchell are coming back, and UGA signed two highly regarded tailbacks — Keith Marshall (already enrolled at UGA) and Todd Gurley — to push sophomore Isaiah Crowell. Georgia doesn’t play SEC West favorites Alabama, Arkansas and LSU during the regular season and plays four of its first five games at home.”

And let’s top it off with one of my all-time favorite Dawgs, Hines Ward, who recently told 11 Alive he would like one day to return to Athens as a coach. “I tease Coach Richt if he wants to hire me, hire me,” Ward said. “I would love that. That would be my ultimate dream.”

Wouldn’t you just love to see that?

Yeah, I’m definitely feeling better now. How about you?

Got something on your mind concerning UGA athletics or a question for the Junkyard Blawg? Send it to junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

264 comments Add your comment

Logan Walker

February 8th, 2012
10:15 am

Go Dawgs!! And please hurry and pull the trigger on this kid at GMC he seems like a heck of an athlete.

31-17 Dawgs STILL Run This State!

February 8th, 2012
10:17 am

Go Dawgs! GATA

St. Louis Dawg

February 8th, 2012
10:19 am

Thanks Bill, it does make me feel a little better knowing that we have all this experience and talent returning on D. Can’t wait for that first game here in Missouri.

F. Sinkwich

February 8th, 2012
10:22 am

Great blog post, Bill, as always.

I would love to see Hines on the sideline. He’d be a real inspiration to the team.

faithfuldawg86

February 8th, 2012
10:25 am

Hines Ward (aka easily one of the Top Five Dawgs EVER) would be an awesome addition in Athens. He has had a huge hand in helping develop countless young receivers in Pittsburgh… And, he’s a truly good guy! GO DAWGS!

cb

February 8th, 2012
10:25 am

What’s the over/under on how many more players will be arrested or leave the team of their own accord before September 1 ? So far, the trend is less than favorable.

Fulmer Cup 2012, here we come!

schmeckdawg

February 8th, 2012
10:34 am

And how are you feeling Mr. King?

sogadog

February 8th, 2012
10:35 am

Since we have four seniors in the back field, why did we only recruit one DB this year?

Also, if UGA does not sign 25 players and has 7 slots left open, will those 7 slots carry over to next year or are they lost?

Frank Lane

February 8th, 2012
10:35 am

Ward was my favorite player when he was in Athens. Would love to have him back as coach when the time comes.

Dawg_Mike

February 8th, 2012
10:36 am

I would love to see Hines Ward on our sideline coaching our receivers and providing something we desperately need- enthusiasm !! As long as he will not have his G cap on backwards. Something tells me he is above that.

Bill King

February 8th, 2012
10:38 am

schmeckdawg :

Doing pretty well, thanks. Feedback from the Blawg about Dad was really gratifying.

ARdawg

February 8th, 2012
10:39 am

It looks much brighter than did this time last year Bill. You didn’t mention most of the “dream team” of 2011 should be in place to contribute this year. This is a definite plus. The definite negative is we’ll have the same offensive coaching

sogadog

February 8th, 2012
10:40 am

Ward could coach receivers running backs and quarterbacks. He played all three positions well. Heck let him call plays too.

AC

February 8th, 2012
10:41 am

I was never feeling bad in the first place. We signed a great class after a very good bounce back season and we will be ranked in the top ten to start the year. Future and present are both incredibly bright.

JB

February 8th, 2012
10:46 am

Hines being there ” mentally and emotionally preparing the Dawgs all week to play would really really help.
The guy is a warrior. Can you imagine our receivers with his coaching and attitude?

JB

February 8th, 2012
10:49 am

Where is GTBob telling us that Hines is overrated? And does anyone know where Tech’s class landed? Last I heard was 74 th with Rivals. Lot of coach’n up to do.

Supes

February 8th, 2012
10:49 am

Hines Ward should be given a chance once he retires from the NFL…can you say WR coach? UGA would have the toughest group of WR…He would also help recruiting.

GTBob

February 8th, 2012
10:50 am

I say hire Hines Ward and Knowshon Moreno. They fit in well with the UGA culture Mark Richt has created.

old dog

February 8th, 2012
10:53 am

If there is no o-line improvement, we’ll get exposed by the good teams………..a UGA team should never get whipped at the line of scrimmage. I’m glad for all the positives, and am a dawg through and through, but lets don’t forget the elephant in the corner……

old dog

February 8th, 2012
10:53 am

p.s.-hope your familly is doing well Mr. Bill.

Lindsey

February 8th, 2012
10:54 am

Great article to left away the winter blues!! I love what Rambo is saying, after he continued playing with all his heart after the death of his son last season and staying his senior year to help the Dawgs win, I really think he has the heart of a champion Bulldog. I would love Hines to come back and coach, GO DAWGS!!!

Ssidawg

February 8th, 2012
10:56 am

Enter your comments here

wes

February 8th, 2012
10:57 am

Bill thanks for all you do! Sorry about your loss.

Ssidawg

February 8th, 2012
10:57 am

Oops…meant to say:
I LOVE the idea of Hines Ward in Athens!!

TDF

February 8th, 2012
10:59 am

sogadog

February 8th, 2012
10:35 am

We didnt just recruit 1 DB. We looked at 4 or 5 really hard. And didnt want any plan B guys. Alford will be a great pick up. JHC will also start out at safety most likely and move into LB just like tree did.

We dont have 7 spots AJC is retarded (Minus Bill King) we gave 4 schollys to walk ons 3 months ago. The extra slots are for early enrollees next year, and all 3 current commits for 2013 want to come in early.

TDF

February 8th, 2012
11:00 am

GTBob

February 8th, 2012
10:50 am

Here we go more of your moronic statements.

You act as if no one from GT has ever gotten a DUI. get over yourself you loser

GTBob

February 8th, 2012
11:00 am

Congrats UGA for being the preseason NC for the past 30 years!! No one plays better in the off-season than the dawgs.

It’s too bad all the teams actually play the games and screw up your perfect season EVERY year! Whose fault will it be this year……ESPN?…Saban?…..Crowell?…..Obama?…..The Stay-Puff Marshmallow Man?

JB

February 8th, 2012
11:00 am

We will have 3 new starters on the OL this year…and for most schools, that is bad news. For Dawgs, that’s good news. Our line last year was big, but it stopped there ( Say Ben Jones). Hopefully these new starters will have more talent and remember what they were taught in High School, because what ever is going on in Athens on the OL coaching area, ain’t working.I’m rooting for them. players and Coach Friend.

TDF

February 8th, 2012
11:01 am

old dog

February 8th, 2012
10:53 am

there is no elephant ppl. We have 14- 17 OL for next year that will ALL be competing for the starting positions.

TDF

February 8th, 2012
11:02 am

GTBob

February 8th, 2012
11:00 am

As usual no one but you is claiming it retard. but keep saying it maybe someone will be dumber than you might believe you.

JB

February 8th, 2012
11:04 am

Having Tech on our schedule means the worst we will ever do is 1-11.

TDF

February 8th, 2012
11:04 am

cb

February 8th, 2012
10:25 am

2 arrests since the end of 2010 season clown, but keep talking its fun to tell ppl like you how stupid you are.

The rest of the SEC

February 8th, 2012
11:05 am

Nothing like the fresh optimism of the dawgs before the season starts and they falter yet again. They might finish #1 in defense? Uh. I don’t think so. Not while Alabama and LSU each return 5 or 6 starters on D plus boatloads of talent at both of those programs. The only thing the dawgs got for them is a pathetically weak schedule. They did have the Bammers scheduled for 2012 before conference realignment saved the dawgs from another humiliation from Satan. Nevertheless this is a team that couldn’t even beat a middling Big 10 team in a bowl game. They aint got nuthin.

JB

February 8th, 2012
11:09 am

Having Hines on staff would immediately keep 4 or 5 more of the bluest of the blue chippers from leaving the state…..at any position. Bet it would be hard to say no to that guy. He would sell the cause pretty well.

GTBob

February 8th, 2012
11:10 am

That wasn’t me at 11:00 am. I have an imposter who is also taking shots at UGA. That’s weird.

JB

February 8th, 2012
11:11 am

Would like a crack at Bama next year, but with Bama losing 12 starters, looks like the rematch will be us and LSU.

JB

February 8th, 2012
11:11 am

GTBob……………how would we know?

GTBob

February 8th, 2012
11:12 am

You act as if no one from GT has ever gotten a DUI. get over yourself you loser

You have to admit. It happens a lot more frequently with UGA alumni.

JB

February 8th, 2012
11:14 am

Tech Alum get arrested for curfew at a pajama party

BullDawg

February 8th, 2012
11:18 am

Saban is 1 and 3 against Richt. Be careful what you wish for!!

Taco Meat

February 8th, 2012
11:19 am

Bobo OUT, Hines Ward IN! Enough said!

GTBob

February 8th, 2012
11:23 am

Bobo OUT, Hines Ward IN! Enough said!

Yes, one ex UGA player bombed as a coach so lets replace him with another ex UGA player with no coaching experience. Sounds genius.

Douglas Dawg

February 8th, 2012
11:23 am

I see us in a BCS bowl game……. just not the BCS game….. as much as I love CMR, I’m not sold we are on the level of Alabama, LSU, and heck even Oregon….

PMC

February 8th, 2012
11:39 am

I actually think the depth will be fine, they could give scholarships to some of the walkons like Sailors and do just fine. Health is always a concern, but so is having thieves on the team.

Jacket99

February 8th, 2012
11:55 am

Didn’t Hines Ward win “Dancing With The Stars” before he was arrested for DUI?

WDE

February 8th, 2012
12:01 pm

@The rest of the SEC I assure you no one wants to play Bama more than we do. What’s the worst that could happen we play they win and the Bama fans show up pounding their chest cause they won…actually that would be better than the current state of affairs where the Bama fans show up pound their chests and they haven’t played us let alone beat us.

Bama=greyshirting U

February 8th, 2012
12:03 pm

UGA will have a top 5 D.

Tech will have top 90 D.

Jacket99

February 8th, 2012
12:06 pm

WDE….just don’t pass out in a Krystal. You know how Bama fans are.

GreasedStar

February 8th, 2012
12:07 pm

It’s pretty depressing when you look at this team.

Defense:
Grantham’s D beat up on the losing teams, but coughed up a league worse 39 points a game against the best teams we played (Mich St, Boise, South Carolina, LSU).

Red zone defense was beyond awful and last in SEC.

Offense:
On offense, couldn’t find a running game, and Murray ended up leading the SEC in sacks and interceptions.

Special teams:
Last in SEC in punt return defense, kick return defense, and field goal percentage.

Bama=greyshirting U

February 8th, 2012
12:08 pm

GTBOB: you are one lonely dude. As much time as you spend on this site I would beat that you are a troll UGA fan. We DAWG fans will not apologize for the lousy GT program and will continue to own the GT program. UGA loves CPJ and hope that he stays for many years with his big ego and all. The guy would not a OC at any program but GT hires him as the head cheese. WOW.