THE MONDAY MORNING REWIND
For the 12th time in the past 14 seasons, and fifth year in a row, the Southeastern Conference had the most players selected in the NFL draft. And, once again, Georgia was among the league’s leaders in producing professional football players.
The Bulldogs had six players taken during the three-day draft. That tied LSU for most in the conference this year. It marked the second time in three years that six Bulldogs were drafted.
UGA was also fourth overall in the nation, tied with Clemson, LSU and Iowa. North Carolina had the most players drafted with nine followed by Miami (8) and Nebraska (7).
The SEC had 38 players selected, including 10 in the first round. The Big Ten was second among the conferences with 36, followed by the ACC (34), Pac-10 (29), Big 12 and Big East (22), WAC (16), Mountain West (8), Conference USA (7), Sun Belt (5) and MAC (3). It was actually a down year in the conference. They had 49 players selected last year.
The official SEC website has a page called “Draft Central,” which can tell you virtually anything you want to know about the league’s NFL draft history.
A.J. Green well-received in Cincy
With NFL/Falcons reporter D. Orlando Ledbetter having to chronicle Cam Newton’s No. 1 overall selection as well A.J. Green’s first-round call and all the Atlanta Falcons stuff, I’m not sure our voracious Georgia readers got enough on Green. So let me direct you to some of the coverage Green received in Cincinnati.
Let’s just say the soft-spoken, always-humble was a smash hit with in Cincinnati — he’s being embraced as the “Anti-Ochocinco” — and his selection as the No. 4 overall pick was widely lauded throughout NFL circles. Here’s a story at Cincinnati.com that reports on his first press conference with the Bengals. You can also CLICK HERE to see a video of that first media session.
A little bit on Shaun Chapas
Likewise, I didn’t get a chance to report on the Dallas Cowboys’ selection of Georgia fullback Shaun Chapas this weekend other than a one-line mention in my Sunday story written Saturday night. But if you’d like to listen to an interview, there’s some good audio from DallasCowboys.com of his interview with Cowboys’ media members. Also at that site is something called “Secret Audio,” which is a tape-recording of the actual phone call Chapas received from owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett when the Cowboys drafted him late Saturday. Kind of neat, I thought.
Chapas (6-2, 247), a native of St. Augustine, Fla., went to the Cowboys with the 17th pick of the seventh round, 220th overall. He started 22 of 48 games at Georgia, finishing with 155 yards rushing on 40 carries and two touchdowns and 221 yards receiving on 26 catches and four TDs.
Diamond Dogs win yet another SEC series
This baseball thing is starting to get real interesting at Georgia.
The Diamond Dogs (24-21, 13-8 SEC) messed around and won another SEC series. This one came in dramatic fashion against No. 14 Arkansas (29-13, 10-11). Zach Cone was hit by a pitch with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to plate the winning run in a 6-5 decision. That capped a three-run, ninth-inning rally for the Bulldogs, who have now taken at least two-of-three games from a conference opponent for the fifth time in seven series.
“Of all the great things we’ve done this year, we haven’t won like that, so it was exciting,” Georgia coach David Perno said. “To get a good inning in the ninth was huge.”
If things keep heading this direction, the Bulldogs are going to pose a real interesting dilemma for the NCAA selection committee. They have played the No. 1 toughest schedule, have won an SEC-best 13 games vs. Top 25 teams and have an overall RPI in the teens. But they may have barely 30 wins at the end of the regular season. They have 11 games left (starting at Auburn this weekend) then the SEC tourney.
Basketball team adds another signee
Funny story about transitioning from my recruiting gig to cover UGA again. Georgia added another basketball commitment — in fact, he might actually be a signee by now — in center John Cannon of Burnsville, N.C., over the weekend. Well, news of Cannon’s decision started to circulate Saturday afternoon. So when I heard it I commenced to tracking down Cannon’s number and called his house in North Carolina. His mother answered and said her son was eating. After I identified myself, she said, “didn’t you just call here?” I hadn’t, but AJC recruiting reporter Michael Carvell had.
I told Ms. Cannon there was no sense in calling us both back. So, in case you missed it, CLICK HERE to read Carvell’s report on coach Mark Fox’s Hoop Dogs picking up their fifth player for the Class of 2011.
In a nutshell, Cannon rated three stars from Rivals and two stars from Scout. Northwestern was his only other major college offer but he was invited to attend North Carolina as a preferred walkon. He averaged 23 points and 12 rebounds as a senior at Mountain Heritage High School this past season.
At Georgia, Cannon will join Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tim Dixon, Tim Florveus and Nemanja Djurisic. The Bulldogs have room to sign one other recruit if they choose.
Bubba Watson wins again
In case you missed it, UGA alum Bubba Watson won a PGA golf tournament for the second time this year on Sunday. He defeated Webb Simpson with a birdie on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff in the Zurich Classic in New Orleans. Watson hit a 220-yard shot out of a fairway bunker to reach the par-5 green in two and two-putt for victory.
As luck would have it, I’m scheduled to interview Watson tomorrow at the University of Georgia Golf Course. He’s honorary chair of this year’s Stadion Classic at UGA, a Nationwide Tour event. So tune in tomorrow to hear more from him. Maybe he’ll still have his latest trophy with him.
By Chip Towers, The UGA Blog