Archive for May, 2011

Georgia football signee Chris Mayes heading to junior college

Georgia can now expect 25 football signees to enroll in camp this summer instead of 26.

Chris Mayes, a 6-foot-5, 295-pound defensive tackle from Griffin, will be heading to junior college instead. Mayes has accepted a scholarship offer from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Spalding High School officials confirmed.

Mayes

Mayes

“Yes, he’s going to Mississippi Gulf Coast,” said Jeff Hyland, athletic director at Spalding. “That’s what the plan is.  They’re going to try to get him in summer school. He’ll play his freshman and sophomore years, he’ll graduate in December and be at Georgia that spring. That’s the plan. That’s what they try to do down there.”

Mississippi Gulf Coast is the same school that produced fellow Georgia  signee John Jenkins and former Alabama star Terrance Cody. It’s actually good fortune for Mayes to be able to get into the school because it offers only a very limited number of scholarships to out-of-state players.

“They’re only allowed so many …

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Bama’s Nick Saban gets help for tornado victims from Chick-fil-A Bowl

Alabama coach Nick Saban shows his follow through Tuesday at the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge. (Photo from Chick-fil-A Bowl)

Alabama coach Nick Saban shows his follow through Tuesday at the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge. (Photo from Chick-fil-A Bowl)

Greensboro — Nick Saban didn’t finish anywhere near the top of the leaderboard in the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge at the Oconee Course at Reynolds Plantation. But the Alabama football coach was fairly distracted.

Saban briefly considered not making his annual appearance in this ACC versus SEC golf event on Lake Oconee due to the post-tornado relief efforts in Tuscaloosa. But the Chick-fil-A folks made it worth his while.

The bowl presented the “Nick’s Kids Foundation” with a check for $70,000, all of which Saban said would go to tornado victims in Alabama.

“We really appreciate all the support we’ve gotten from the Chick-fil-A Bowl and all the people who are doing what they can to help,” Saban said. “The devastation in Tuscaloosa is more than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. So we’ve all pitched in to help everywhere we can.”

Saban got it twice by the …

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Georgia assistant football coaches Tony Ball, Bryan McClendon, get significant raises

Georgia assistant football coaches Tony Ball and Bryan McClendon received significant pay increases recently, but they were the only members of the Bulldogs’ football staff to get raises following the Bulldogs’ 6-7 season.

Ball

Ball

McClendon

McClendon

McClendon, Georgia’s running backs coach since 2009 and its youngest assistant, saw his pay more than double from $90,000 a year to $200,000 annually, according to documents obtained by the AJC under the Freedom of Information Act. Previously McClendon was one of the lowest-paid assistants in the SEC.

Ball, Georgia’s wide receivers coach and a member of coach Mark Richt’s staff since 2006, will now make $200,000 after earning $165,480 last year.

The raises, which were enacted in February and March, respectively, were the results of “competitive counter offers” from UGA, according to Athletic Director Greg McGarity. Both coaches were offered positions at other schools, but he declined to say from whom.

“All I can say is they were legit offers,” …

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With NFL on hold, A.J. Green, Matthew Stafford play a little golf with friends at UGA

Georgia’s A.J. Green just got drafted this past Thursday by the Cincinnati Bengals with the fourth pick of the NFL draft. Matthew Stafford was the No. 1 overall pick two years ago. But at the moment, neither one has anywhere to play football. So what to do?

Play golf, of course.

Green and Stafford were among several Georgia football lettermen who came back to Athens on Monday to participate in a celebrity pro-am for the Stadion Classic Tournament at UGA. They were joined by recent graduates Mohammed Massaquoi, Kris Durham, Shaun Chapas and David Greene and older graduates such as Lindsay Scott and Kevin Butler.

I talked to several of them and will share their thoughts and comments eventually. But A.J. Green was a particularly fun interview, seeing how he effectively just hit the lottery this past week.

I found it surprising and somewhat refreshing that Green was here helping raise money for his alma mater instead of sunning in the South of France or trying to strike an …

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Bubba Watson back at UGA after second PGA victory of year

Bubba Watson, who won $1.1 million at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans on Sunday, warms up with Matthew Stafford on Monday before playing in a celebrity event for the Stadion Classic at UGA. (Photo from Stadion Classic)

Bubba Watson, who won $1.1 million at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans on Sunday, warms up with Matthew Stafford on Monday before playing in a celebrity event for the Stadion Classic at UGA. (Photo from Stadion Classic)

Q&A WITH BUBBA WATSON

What a stroke of good fortune for the Stadion Classic at UGA golf tournament. For months, they had Bubba Watson lined up to be the honorary chairman of this year’s annual Nationwide Tour event at the UGA Golf Course. It just so happened Watson arrives as the hottest American golfer and a top 10 player in the world.

Watson, who played college golf at Georgia, hit a 7-iron 210 yards out of a fairway bunker to the reach the par-5 18th hole in two and two-putt for a victory over Webb Simpson in a sudden-death playoff at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans on Sunday. It was the second victory of the year for Watson and third in his last 19 tournaments over 11 months.

Less than 24 hours later Watson was in Athens to donate $50,000 of his Ryder …

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Rewind: Bulldogs prevalent in NFL draft, baseball team keeps rolling

A.J. Green, here with Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis, waas extremely well-received in Cincy. (Photo by Gary Landers/The Enquirer)

A.J. Green, here with Cincinnati coach Marvin Lewis, was extremely well-received in Cincy. (Photo by Gary Landers/The Enquirer)

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), …

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