Archive for April, 2010

Injury risk won’t stop Dogs from using A.J. Green on punt returns

A.J. Green might or might not return punts for Georgia this year. But if he doesn’t, it won’t be because of the risk of injury.

“People talk about, ‘Well, gosh, what if he got hurt?’” coach Mark Richt said Thursday. “Well, he can get hurt running down the sideline and getting hit while he’s trying to catch the ball. So I don’t know if there’s any more risk factor [returning punts] than any other play.”

The deciding factor, then, on whether Georgia’s star receiver doubles as a punt returner will be:  Is he the best player for the role?

Richt isn’t sure.

“I wouldn’t be against him doing anything for us that would help us win,” Richt said. “But the bottom line is, is he the best at that skill? If he is, then we’ll let him play. Or if there are certain times we feel like it’s important to get him in there and do that, we might do that, too.”

Green returned punts at Summerville (S.C.) High School -– he returned 12 for touchdowns –- and he told Richt during spring practice that …

Continue reading Injury risk won’t stop Dogs from using A.J. Green on punt returns »

Richt says no timetable for Gray decision but position switch possible if he stays

Georgia coach Mark Richt said Thursday afternoon that if quarterback Logan Gray “wants to stay at Georgia, I’ll work with him on what position he plays.”

Gray, the No. 2 quarterback on Georgia’s post-spring depth chart, met Monday with Richt to discuss his status on the team and the possibility of transferring to another school. Richt said Thursday there is no timetable for Gray to make a decision.

Richt reiterated that Gray still has a shot to be Georgia’s starting quarterback but said he also would have the option of playing another position. Gray previously expressed interest in playing wide receiver if things did not work out at quarterback. He was listed behind redshirt freshman Aaron Murray at quarterback on the depth chart released last week.

Gray “wants to play, and right now he’s not sure that he can,” Richt said. “I made it real clear, as clear as a bell, that we just had a post-spring depth chart that did not name anybody a starter at any position, including …

Continue reading Richt says no timetable for Gray decision but position switch possible if he stays »

Richt in Savannah: Logan Gray still ‘looking over his options,’ still has shot to be Dogs’ starting QB

Mark Richt’s tour of Bulldog Club meetings took him Wednesday night to Savannah, where he was, of course, asked about quarterback Logan Gray’s stay-or-go status.

Richt said Gray is still “looking over his options” and still has a chance to win Georgia’s starting quarterback job in preseason camp, according to published and broadcast reports from Savannah.

Gray, the No. 2 quarterback on Georgia’s post-spring depth chart, met with Richt on Monday to discuss his status on the team and the possibility of transferring to another school.

Aaron Murray is listed as the No. 1 quarterback on the post-spring depth chart, but Richt has emphasized that does not guarantee Murray will be the starter in the Sept. 4 season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette.

“Like I’ve said numerous times, Aaron has not won the job,” Richt said in Savannah. He told reporters before the speaking engagement that Murray, Gray or “for that matter” incoming freshman Hutson Mason might win the job in August.

Richt …

Continue reading Richt in Savannah: Logan Gray still ‘looking over his options,’ still has shot to be Dogs’ starting QB »

The UGA notebook: Richt on turnovers, Fox on tournament and draft

Cleaning out the notebook:

  • A couple of months back, while many college basketball coaches were pushing to swell the NCAA tournament from 65 teams to 96, Georgia’s Mark Fox argued for a much more modest expansion to 68 teams. As you’ve heard, the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee last week recommended an expansion . . . to 68.

Didn’t realize how much clout you had, I said to Fox. . . .

“How about that?” he replied with a laugh. “I was the only one preaching that [a while ago]. I’m glad they expanded. Certainly, as you know, I supported 68 before people were talking a lot about it. I do think it eventually will go to 96.”

Actually, Fox said, his opposition to 96 has softened as he’s learned more about how it could work.  “It will still preserve the magic of the tournament,” he said. But his guess is that March Madness will stay at 68 teams for “at least two years.”

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors is expected to approve the expansion to 68 at its meeting on …

Continue reading The UGA notebook: Richt on turnovers, Fox on tournament and draft »

UGA walk-on lineman arrested, suspended

Georgia walk-on offensive lineman Josh Parrish was suspended indefinitely from the team after an alcohol-related arrest, coach Mark Richt announced Monday night.

Parrish, 19, was charged with underage possession of alcohol and possession of false identification, according to Clarke County Jail records. He was booked into the jail at 4:15 p.m. Monday and released on bonds totaling $3,000 about 1 1/2 hours later.

Parrish, from Norcross, was redshirted as a freshman last season. He has not played in a game for the Bulldogs. He was listed as the third-string right guard on the depth chart released last week.

He is the fourth Georgia football player to be arrested this spring. Quarterback Zach Mettenberger was arrested in the South Georgia town of Remerton on March 7 on charges of underage possession/consumption of alcohol, disorderly conduct, obstruction and possession of false ID. Outside linebacker Montez Robinson was arrested in Athens  on April 4 on a charge of simple …

Continue reading UGA walk-on lineman arrested, suspended »

QB Gray meets with Richt; no decision yet on transfer (UPDATED)

(Updated 8 p.m.)

Logan Gray, Georgia’s No. 2 quarterback, met Monday with coach Mark Richt to discuss his status on the team and the possibility of transferring to another school.

Gray remained with the Bulldogs as of Monday night, associate athletics director Claude Felton said, but “he is weighing options for the remainder of his playing career.”

The uncertainty about Gray’s future surfaced four days after Richt revealed the Bulldogs’ post-spring depth chart, which has Gray, a junior, behind redshirt freshman Aaron Murray at quarterback.

Richt’s dismissal of Zach Mettenberger from the team on April 18 left Murray and Gray as the only quarterbacks in the Georgia program until recruit Hutson Mason arrives this summer from Marietta’s Lassiter High.

So if Gray decides to transfer, that would leave a true freshman, Mason, as Murray’s apparent backup in the fall.

There was no indication Monday night that Gray has made a decision. He was not available for comment.

Gray has two …

Continue reading QB Gray meets with Richt; no decision yet on transfer (UPDATED) »

The buzz begins about A.J. Green, Clint Boling and the 2011 draft

  • NFL mock drafts for 2011 are already out there, and two Georgia players figure prominently. Wide receiver A.J. Green, widely expected to enter the draft after his junior season, is a consensus top-10 pick, and offensive tackle Clint Boling, who’ll be a senior in the fall, isn’t far behind Green in some 2011 mocks. In fact, one site, nepatriotsdraft.com, has Green going No. 2 overall and Boling No. 5. As ESPN’s coverage of the 2010 draft wound down Saturday afternoon, Mel Kiper Jr. rated Green the No. 4 prospect for 2011. Another ESPN analyst, Todd McShay, rated Green the eighth best prospect for ‘11.
  • Back to the 2010 draft: The SEC sent word that it had more players selected (49) than in any previous seven-round NFL draft.  The Big Ten was second with 34 selections, followed by the ACC with 31, the Big 12 with 30 and the Pac-10 with 29. All 12 SEC schools had at least one player picked.
  • SEC picks by school: Florida 9, Alabama 7, LSU 6, Tennessee 6, Georgia 5, Ole Miss …

Continue reading The buzz begins about A.J. Green, Clint Boling and the 2011 draft »

Dogs in the draft: Five players picked, including three defensive tackles

Five former Georgia players were selected in the NFL draft the past two days, including the top three defensive tackles on last season’s team.

The tackle trio was picked on Saturday: Geno Atkins in the fourth round by Cincinnati and Jeff Owens and Kade Weston in the seventh round by Philadelphia and New England, respectively.

They joined former teammates Rennie Curran, the linebacker chosen by Tennessee late in the third round Friday night, and Reshad Jones, the safety selected by Miami in the fifth round Saturday, as Georgia’s draft class.

The Bulldogs wound up with the 97th (Curran), 120th (Atkins), 163rd (Jones), 243rd (Owens) and 248th (Weston) picks of the draft. Jones was selected a bit lower than expected and Owens much lower than some projections.

Entering the seven-round draft, there was no consensus on who would be the first player picked from Georgia. That turned out to be Curran, who was watching the draft with family and friends at his Snellville home when he …

Continue reading Dogs in the draft: Five players picked, including three defensive tackles »

An excited Curran says ‘my heart skipped a beat’ when drafted by Titans (UPDATED)

(11:20 A.M. SATURDAY UPDATE: The Cincinnati Bengals selected former Georgia defensive tackle Geno Atkins in the fourth round Saturday morning. He was the 120th pick of the NFL draft — and just the second from Georgia. Atkins said he went about where he expected to go in the draft — late third or fourth round — but that he was surprised to be chosen by the Bengals because they had not worked him out or interviewed him.)

(1:25 P.M. SATURDAY UPDATE: The Miami Dolphins drafted Georgia safety Reshad Jones late in the fifth round. Jones was the 163rd pick of the draft, the third from UGA.  Jones was drafted later than projected — he had expected to go in the second or third round — but it wasn’t a surprise the Dolphins picked him. They had brought him to Miami for a workout and interview a month or so ago. The Dolphins moved up in the draft to get Jones, trading sixth- and seventh-round picks to the Washington Redskins.)

(4:40 P.M. SATURDAY UPDATE: Finally, Jeff Owens has been …

Continue reading An excited Curran says ‘my heart skipped a beat’ when drafted by Titans (UPDATED) »

Murray finds life as Georgia’s No. 1 quarterback ‘pretty cool’

So what was it like, Aaron Murray’s first day on campus as Georgia’s No. 1 quarterback?

“It was cool,” Murray said Friday afternoon. “A couple of people said, ‘Congratulations.’ It was in the paper, I guess.

“It’s pretty cool. It’s exciting. It’s definitely something I’ve always looked forward to, taking this job. I’ve just got to keep working and make sure I solidify my spot for that first game of the year.”

Murray got another taste of the celebrity that comes with being Georgia’s quarterback when the school set up a mid-afternoon conference call Friday for him to speak with a half dozen reporters.

Coach Mark Richt announced Thursday that Murray is the No. 1 quarterback on the Bulldogs’ post-spring depth chart but cautioned that being the top Dog at this point doesn’t guarantee starting the season opener Sept. 4. Murray understands that caveat, even as he receives congratulatory calls and texts.

“I heard from family and friends who just said, ‘Congratulations thus far, just …

Continue reading Murray finds life as Georgia’s No. 1 quarterback ‘pretty cool’ »

Richt: Aaron Murray reminds me of Heisman runnerup Weldon

COLUMBUS -– Mark Richt reviewed Georgia’s newly released depth chart, player by player, for the Chattahoochee Valley Bulldog Club here Thursday night. When he got to the quarterbacks and reiterated the several-hours-old news that Aaron Murray is No. 1 on the depth chart, the gathering burst into applause.

Someone asked Richt to name a quarterback he has coached, either at Georgia or Florida State, who was similar to Murray.

“I personally think he’s a lot like Casey Weldon,” said Richt, referring to the former Florida State quarterback who was the Heisman Trophy runnerup in 1991.

“Casey Weldon was a really fine quarterback at Florida State. . . . [Murray] reminds me of him,” Richt said. “[Murray] has got a very quick release. He’s got a very strong arm. He moves well. I think he can move well enough to make plays in the pocket, but he will cross the line of scrimmage and get you a first down when you need them. He’s a leader. He’s a hard worker.”

Richt added that Murray …

Continue reading Richt: Aaron Murray reminds me of Heisman runnerup Weldon »

Georgia football depth chart

GEORGIA’S POST-SPRING FOOTBALL DEPTH CHART

(Note: Players who were injured at the end of spring practice are not included on the depth chart but are listed separately.)

OFFENSE

SPLIT END

12 Tavarres King (6-1, 180, RSo.)

16 Kris Durham (6-5, 209, Sr.)

15 Marlon Brown (6-5, 200, So.)

25 Rhett McGowan (6-0, 182, RFr.)

23 Greg Lanier (6-1, 185, RFr.)

LEFT TACKLE

60 Clint Boling (6-5, 304, Sr.)

67 Jonathan Owens (6-4, 294, RSo.)

LEFT GUARD

71 Cordy Glenn (6-5, 328, Jr.)

64 Dallas Lee (6-4, 296, RFr.)

65 John Bodin (6-6, 300, RSo.)

CENTER

61 Ben Jones (6-3, 300, Jr..)

68 Chris Burnette (6-2, 290, RFr.)

58 Ben Reynolds (6-2, 245, RFr.)

RIGHT GUARD

63 Chris Davis (6-4, 295, Sr.)

76 Ben Harden (6-3, 300, Jr.)

55 Josh Parrish (6-4, 290, RFr.)

RIGHT TACKLE

78 Josh Davis (6-6, 300, Sr.)

66 Kolton Houston (6-5, 270, Fr.)

TIGHT END

7 Orson Charles (6-3, 230, So.)

81 Aron White (6-4, 236, Jr.)

89 Bruce Figgins (6-4, 260, Jr.)

88 Arthur Lynch (6-5, 250, So.)

86 Derek Rich (6-5, 245, Sr.)

Continue reading Georgia football depth chart »

Aaron Murray is No. 1 quarterback (PLUS: FULL DEPTH CHART)

(Updated 7 p.m.)

COLUMBUS –- The question that had consumed Bulldog Nation for months was answered Thursday: Aaron Murray is Georgia’s No. 1 quarterback.

The answer came when coach Mark Richt unveiled the Bulldogs’ post-spring depth chart, which shows Murray, the redshirt freshman from Tampa, ahead of Logan Gray, the junior from Columbia, Mo., at quarterback.

Richt cautioned that being No. 1 on the depth chart at this point “by no means” guarantees starting the season opener against Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 4, but he conceded that it does represent a significant step in that direction for Murray.

“He’s in good shape, I’ll say that,” Richt said before speaking to the Chattahoochee Valley Bulldog Club here Thursday night.

Richt said Murray earned the No. 1 spot with his performance in spring practice.

“We see Murray ahead of Logan right now,” Richt said. “It’s just a matter of, on a consistent basis, [Murray] performed better than Logan at this point. That’s really all …

Continue reading Aaron Murray is No. 1 quarterback (PLUS: FULL DEPTH CHART) »

Richt dismisses arrested punter from team

Georgia backup punter Trent Dittmer has been dismissed from the team by coach Mark Richt as a result of his alcohol-related arrest in downtown Athens early Tuesday, UGA said Thursday.

Dittmer, 21, was arrested on a charge of public intoxication.

A senior walk-on from Cartersville, he  has never punted in a game for the Bulldogs.

Dittmer  is the third player to be kicked off the Georgia team this spring after an arrest, following outside linebacker Montez Robinson and quarterback Zach Mettenberger.

“The bottom line is, I want to do what’s best for this football team, and I want to do what’s best for the young men too,” Richt said.  “And sometimes if a young man loses his opportunity to play for your team, a lesson will be learned by him and everyone else who is watching.”

Athens-Clarke County Police spokeswoman Hilda Sorrow said the 2:30 a.m. arrest of Dittmer occurred after an officer heard a loud disturbance near the corner of Clayton and Jackson streets. She said the …

Continue reading Richt dismisses arrested punter from team »

Georgia safety transferring

Makiri Pugh, a reserve safety on Georgia’s football team, will transfer to another school in search of more playing time, UGA said Wednesday night.

“We are appreciative of Makiri’s contributions during his two years at Georgia,” coach Mark Richt said in a statement. “We understand and support his decision to transfer and wish him great success the remainder of his career.”

Pugh, who was redshirted as a freshman in 2008 and appeared in nine games (no starts) last season, was behind at least four other safeties in spring practice: Bacarri Rambo, Nick Williams, Jakar Hamilton and Shawn Williams. The Bulldogs also have rising senior Quintin Banks at safety, and prized recruit Alec Ogletree will join the crowd at the position this summer.

Pugh, from Charlotte, had two tackles last season. He played in Georgia’s G-Day spring scrimmage on April 10, recording two tackles.

Today’s other UGA news:

Backup punter arrested.

Study reveals athletes’ SAT scores.

Wake Forest announces hire of …

Continue reading Georgia safety transferring »

Georgia’s backup punter arrested on public intoxication charge

The backup punter on Georgia’s football team was arrested on a charge of public intoxication early Tuesday. Trent Dittmer, 21, was arrested around 2:30 a.m. in downtown Athens, Athens-Clarke County Police spokeswoman Hilda Sorrow said.

A senior walk-on from Cartersville, Dittmer has never punted in a game for the Bulldogs.

Sorrow said the arrest occurred after an officer heard a loud disturbance near the corner of Clayton and Jackson streets. She said the officer saw several men trying to get another man to leave the area. As the officer approached, the man –- allegedly Dittmer –- broke free from his friends and hit a male in the face with his fist, Sorrow said.

Dittmer was taken to Clarke Couny Jail and was released several hours later on $500 bond.

In Georgia’s recent G-Day intra-squad scrimmage, Dittmer punted three times.

Other UGA news today:

What do Georgia football players make on the SAT? New study reveals answer.

Continue reading Georgia’s backup punter arrested on public intoxication charge »

What do Georgia football players make on the SAT? New study reveals answer

For the past year, a University of Georgia committee has been conducting a “self-study” of the school’s athletics program — a review required every 10 years by the NCAA from Division I schools. The resulting report is 148 pages long, and you can read it all here if you like.

Here are a few things that jumped out at me:

  • The report compares the standardized-test scores of UGA student-athletes to the general student population.

All male students who entered UGA in 2007 -– the most recent year covered by the report -– had an average standardized-test (SAT and converted ACT) score of 1250. By comparison, male student-athletes who initially enrolled in 2007 had an average score of 998. Football players had an average of 916 and men’s basketball players 906.

All female students who entered UGA in 2007 had an average standardized-test score of 1201, compared to 1058 for female student-athletes. Women’s basketball players averaged 955.

The report also provides comparisons of …

Continue reading What do Georgia football players make on the SAT? New study reveals answer »

Who will be first player from UGA taken in this week’s NFL draft?

In last year’s NFL draft, two players from the University of Georgia were chosen in the first dozen picks, Matthew Stafford No. 1 and Knowshon Moreno No. 12.  You’ll have to wait a lot longer for a UGA player to be drafted this year.

And when the first player from Georgia’s 2009 team is taken –  no sooner than the second round and possibly as late as the fourth, the experts tell us –- who will it be?

Tough question.

I perused a sampling of five mock drafts/prospect boards Monday — all subject to change,  of course — and found three different players projected as the first pick from UGA in this year’s draft, which runs Thursday through Saturday:

  • Sporting News: Defensive tackle Jeff Owens is projected to be taken with the eighth pick of the second round, No. 40 overall, by San Diego – one spot behind Tim Tebow, by the way.
  • ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.: Another defensive tackle, Geno Atkins, is the first Georgia player in Kiper’s latest mock draft. But the dean of draft …

Continue reading Who will be first player from UGA taken in this week’s NFL draft? »

QB Mettenberger kicked off team; Remerton police investigation ’still ongoing’

(Updated 10 a.m. Monday)

On the day after Zach Mettenberger was kicked off the University of  Georgia football team, the police chief in the South Georgia town of Remerton said the investigation continues into the incident there involving the former Bulldogs quarterback.

“Our investigation into the case involving Zach Mettenberger is still ongoing and I don’t have anything further at this time,” Remerton Police Chief Mike Terrell wrote in an e-mail to the AJC Monday morning.

Mettenberger, who had been in a three-way competition for Georgia’s starting quarterback job, was kicked off the team Sunday by coach Mark Richt.

Richt made the announcement in a brief news release that said only that Mettenberger was dismissed for violation of team rules.

The dismissal apparently is related to Mettenberger’s March 7 arrest outside a bar in Remerton,  which is near Valdosta. Mettenberger, 18, was charged with underage possession/consumption of alcohol, disorderly conduct, obstruction and …

Continue reading QB Mettenberger kicked off team; Remerton police investigation ’still ongoing’ »

Bulldogs ride off with a national championship

Thought you’d like to know . . . the University of Georgia won a national championship Saturday night.

The Bulldogs, for the third year in a row and the fifth time in eight years, won the national title in equestrian.

UGA beat runnerup Texas A&M in a tiebreaker to win the overall title at the Varsity Equestrian National Championships in Waco, Texas.

The victory continued the remarkable success of Georgia’s equestrian program, which in its brief eight-year history already has amassed more national team championships than any UGA sport except gymnastics (10), men’s tennis (8) and women’s tennis (also 5). (Tennis championships include indoor and outdoor.)

Twenty-three Division I and II college athletics programs compete in equestrian, which is classified as an emerging sport by the NCAA.

Georgia equestrian coach Meghan Boenig’s reaction to her team’s latest championship (from a UGA release late Saturday night):

“This was just an incredible day and, I believe, the most special, …

Continue reading Bulldogs ride off with a national championship »

UGA’s Pope headed to Wake Forest as assistant coach (and other notes)

  • Mark Pope left medical school for an entry-level position on Georgia’s basketball staff in hopes it would lead to a coaching job.  And it has.

Pope, the former Kentucky and NBA player who joined the UGA staff in a non-coaching capacity last year, is expected to become an assistant coach at Wake Forest any day now.

There were whispers at the UGA Tipoff Club’s end-of-season banquet Thursday night that Pope had accepted an assistant’s job at Wake Forest, and the Winston-Salem Journal reports the announcement will come next week “after he completes Wake Forest’s hiring process.”

Pope was not in attendance at the Georgia banquet.

“Mark has done a phenomenal job for us,” Georgia coach Mark Fox told the audience.

Pope was in his third year of medical school at Columbia when he persuaded Fox to hire him last year as operations coordinator, a $35,000-a-year staff position. That job, as detailed by colleague Steve Hummer in this excellent article on Pope earlier this year, is to …

Continue reading UGA’s Pope headed to Wake Forest as assistant coach (and other notes) »

Trey Thompkins says he’ll skip NBA draft, remain at UGA

ATHENS -– Georgia sophomore forward Trey Thompkins has made his decision: He’ll forgo the NBA draft and remain at UGA for his junior season in 2010-11.

Thompkins revealed the decision in impromptu fashion Thursday night at the UGA Tipoff Club’s end-of-season banquet at Athens Country Club.

“Don’t worry, Coach, I’m coming back,” Thompkins said when coach Mark Fox alluded from the podium to the stay-or-go decision facing the first-team All-SEC player.

Thompkins’ words drew a long, loud ovation from the crowd of 200-plus and this reaction from an unsuspecting Fox: “God bless you, Trey.”

Thompkins, Georgia’s leading scorer and rebounder this past season, said in an interview immediately following the banquet that his decision is firm and final, although the deadline to enter the draft is 10 days away.

“I’m coming back,” he said.

Thompkins had been considering for the past month whether to enter the draft or remain at Georgia for another season.  He said he reached his decision …

Continue reading Trey Thompkins says he’ll skip NBA draft, remain at UGA »

Richt has ‘big news,’ but not about QBs (PLUS: Hoops transfer finds new home)

(Updated 3 p.m.)

Buck Belue and John Kincade were hoping for big news from Mark Richt on their 680 The Fan show Wednesday afternoon.

“Coach, let’s cut right to the chase today,” Belue said. “We’re expecting this big announcement on the quarterbacks. You want to go ahead and make that today live on our show?”

“Well, I do have big news,” Richt responded. “I got big news.”

And the news is . . .

“We got at least eight or nine guys,” Richt said, “graduating in this semester.”

As for that other piece of news Bulldog Nation awaits: No news yet.

Richt said after the G-Day game that he hoped to have a post-spring depth chart (at quarterback and all other positions) available by the end of this week. But Georgia sports information director Claude Felton sent out an e-mail this morning with word that the depth chart shouldn’t be expected this week after all.

Maybe next week.

The position coaches are still in the process of “exit interviews” with their players. Those one-on-one meetings …

Continue reading Richt has ‘big news,’ but not about QBs (PLUS: Hoops transfer finds new home) »

Dogs add two recruits as spring signing period starts

ATHENS — Donte Williams and Sherrard Brantley officially became Bulldogs on Wednesday.

Williams, a 6-9 forward from Miller Grove High School in Lithonia, and Brantley, a 6-2 guard from Dublin by way of a Florida junior college, signed letters of intent with Georgia on the first day of  college basketball’s spring national signing period. Williams had committed to Georgia late last month and Brantley early this month.

Williams was the AJC’s Class AAAA Player of the Year this past season, averaging 13.1 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks per game as Miller Grove won a second consecutive state championship.

Georgia coach Mark Fox’s statement on Williams: “We’re excited to have signed a player of Donte’s length and athleticism, but also a person of his caliber. He has the ability to affect a game from both ends of the floor. He’s well-coached, comes from a great program at Miller Grove, and he’s been a big part of their success during his career.”

Brantley played one year at …

Continue reading Dogs add two recruits as spring signing period starts »

Writer: Oregon should hire Mark Fox (PLUS: Time again for Dogs-Jackets)

  • You knew it was just a matter of time before someone would suggest that someone should hire Mark Fox away from Georgia. FoxSports.com senior college basketball writer Jeff Goodman does so, opining in a column that Oregon should hire Fox for its vacant coaching job. Important distinction: Goodman does not list Fox as a “candidate” for the Oregon job -– he lists four others in that category -– but as his “pick” for the job. Goodman on Fox: “He went to a trio of NCAA tournaments in five years at the helm at Nevada and has West Coast ties. The guy can coach, as further proven by taking a pitiful Georgia team to a 14-17 record this past season, and can also evaluate. . . . “
  • It’ll  be Georgia vs. Georgia Tech on Wednesday night at Foley Field. It’s a baseball game both sides of the rivalry would love to win, of course, but it’s still secondary to conference games. So, mindful of the upcoming weekend series at Arkansas, Georgia will start a pitcher, Eric Swegman, who has …

Continue reading Writer: Oregon should hire Mark Fox (PLUS: Time again for Dogs-Jackets) »

Grantham wants fans ‘as loud as they can be’; position battles other than QB

Finishing off the G-Day leftovers:

  • Not quite sure how Georgia came up with its announced attendance figure Saturday, since there are no turnstile counts and there were no ticket sales for the free-admission game, but the announced 38,742 seemed about right. The north side of the stadium was closed because of construction behind it, but the south side was pretty full.

The turnout was enough for Todd Grantham to envision what the place will be like with 92,000-plus in the fall.

“We need to make sure the stadium becomes a benefit to our defense,” the new defensive coordinator said in the locker room after G-Day. “If [it's] loud, with the things we’re going to be doing, it can be very difficult for an offense to change plays [and] protections.

“When you’re loud at home, the offense has to go on a silent count. That means everybody’s moving on the ball. Basically, the advantage that the offense has is no longer there. I’m definitely going to encourage our fans to be as loud as …

Continue reading Grantham wants fans ‘as loud as they can be’; position battles other than QB »

What we learned from spring practice (PLUS: injury update, Bulldog Club tour)

If you’re looking for definitive answers about a football team, spring practice isn’t the time or place. That’s what fall is for.  Yet Georgia’s spring practice, which ended with the G-Day game on Saturday, provided a few revealing threads:

1. The offensive line is benefiting from the experience young players gained the past couple of years.

Example: Cordy Glenn. When the offensive coaches named their spring MVP, they chose the left guard, who enters his junior season with 23 UGA starts already.

“Early on, obviously as a freshman, he had to depend on a lot of guys next to him to help him out,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “Now he pretty much knows what we’re doing, and he’s able to execute and then use his God-given ability to dominate. And that’s what kind of player we think he can be.”

Bobo said the entire first-team offensive line -– left tackle Clint Boling, Glenn, center Ben Jones, right guard Chris Davis and right tackle Josh Davis –- had a strong spring. …

Continue reading What we learned from spring practice (PLUS: injury update, Bulldog Club tour) »

Who’s No. 1 QB? Answer this week, Richt says (PLUS: more from G-Day)

(Updated 7 p.m.)

ATHENS – The G-Day game produced no immediate answer to the No. 1 question in Bulldog Nation: Who is Georgia’s  starting quarterback?

“I know everyone wants to know what’s going on, wants to know who the starter is, and I couldn’t name the starter right now if I wanted to,” coach Mark Richt said after Saturday’s intra-squad game. “I really don’t think I could.”

But Richt said hopes to have a new quarterback depth chart by the end of this coming week.

Between now and then, he and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo will review video of the quarterbacks’ performances throughout spring practice, which concluded with the G-Day game.

And Richt cautioned that whoever is No. 1 on the post-spring depth chart won’t be guaranteed of keeping the position into the Sept. 4 season opener against Louisiana Lafayette.

In the G-Day game, won by the “Black” team 17-7 over the “Red” team before a crowd of 38,742, strong-armed redshirt freshman Zach Mettenberger had the best …

Continue reading Who’s No. 1 QB? Answer this week, Richt says (PLUS: more from G-Day) »

G-Day chatter: Marlon Brown ‘will definitely be a major player for us this year’

ATHENS — Hello from Sanford Stadium, where the weather is beautiful (mostly sunny, 65 degrees)  for the alumni flag football game underway between the hedges and, oh yes, for the G-Day intra-squad game that starts at 2 p.m.

A couple of pregame notes (check back for more):

  • A lot of eyes will be on wide receiver Marlon Brown today.  After playing less last season than many folks had expected, he impressed coaches and teammates early this spring, then had a setback when a shoulder injury kept him sidelined or limited for close to two weeks. He participated fully in practice Thursday and is expected to play today. Thin at receiver, the Dogs need a breakout season from Brown this fall.

“I tell you, Marlon is coming along,” offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said a couple of days ago. “He’s smoothing out. When I say ’smoothing out,’ I mean ability to run routes, get in and out of cuts. He just looks more fluid. A lot has to do with being more comfortable with the offense and …

Continue reading G-Day chatter: Marlon Brown ‘will definitely be a major player for us this year’ »

G-Day lineup: New coaches, new defense, new quarterback

ATHENS – G-Day, always a rite of spring for Georgia football fans, also will be a celebration of change this time.

Three new coaches.

A new defensive alignment.

A new starting quarterback, even if his identity remains unrevealed.

And no Willie Martinez to kick around.

Georgia’s annual spring intra-squad football game will be played Saturday afternoon in Sanford Stadium, which will be open for business for the first time since the nadir of the 2009 season –- a Nov. 21 game in which the Bulldogs committed four second-half turnovers and lost at home to Kentucky for the first time in 32 years.

The G-Day game, which starts at 2 p.m. and will be televised on CSS, completes Georgia’s spring practice and provides the first open-to-the-public glimpse of the team’s overhaul for 2010:

  • The new coaches: Other than a couple of closed scrimmages, this will be the first time coaching between the hedges for Todd Grantham, who replaced Martinez as defensive coordinator, and Scott Lakatos, …

Continue reading G-Day lineup: New coaches, new defense, new quarterback »