Archive for August, 2011

OLB Ray Drew ready get back on his scooter and play

Outside linebacker Ray Drew of Thomasville says he's fully recovered after a Aug. 14 scooter accident left him with a sprained right shoulder. (UGA photo by Rob Saye)

Outside linebacker Ray Drew of Thomasville says he's fully recovered after a Aug. 14 scooter accident left him with a sprained right shoulder. (UGA photo by Rob Saye)

ATHENS – The good news is Ray Drew seems to have recovered completely from his Aug. 14 scooter crash. The bad news is he plans to ride again!

Drew, a five-star freshman from Thomasville, said he’s just waiting to get his scooter out of the repair shop, which he was hoping to do this week.

“That’s the plan,” he said. “It’s just something I need in order to get to where I need to be because they make you run for everything here. If you miss an appointment, there’s going to be some consequences. So I need to make sure I’m where I need to be at what time I need to be there.”

On Aug. 14 Drew was traveling south on Jackson Street downhill toward Baldwin Street when he wiped out after applying the brakes on his 50cc scooter. Wearing a helmet, he landed on his head and right shoulder. He suffered a sprained a.c. joint …

Continue reading OLB Ray Drew ready get back on his scooter and play »

‘Time management’ the toughest part for Georgia’s Isaiah Crowell

ATHENS — Isaiah Crowell is learning lessons right and left these days, sometimes the hard way.

Crowell

Crowell

Take Tuesday, for instance.

Tuesdays of game weeks are always extremely busy. Georgia holds its weekly press conference, which brings dozens of media members into town, all needing content in advance of that week’s game. The Bulldogs, of course, open the season Saturday against Boise State. Crowell, a freshman phenom who will play a significant role in the game, is the subject of much interest. So everybody wants to talk to him.

Crowell was instructed to be available for interviews after practice on Tuesday. But instead of showing up for 10 minutes as instructed, Crowell blew them off.

This did not sit well with Georgia.

So UGA sports communication personnel tracked down Crowell, reportedly at an academic tutorial appointment, and brought him back to Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall afterward. It was after 10 p.m. when he finally showed up. He was greeted by seven reporters who had …

Continue reading ‘Time management’ the toughest part for Georgia’s Isaiah Crowell »

Georgia’s Columbus connections paying dividends for season opener

There is a very good chance recent Carver-Columbus grad Isaiah Crowell could end up starting on Saturday. (UGA photo by Steve Colquitt)

There is a very good chance recent Carver-Columbus grad Isaiah Crowell could end up starting on Saturday. (UGA photo by Steve Colquitt)

ATHENS – Georgia’s game against Boise State on Saturday will command attention from a lot of places, but none more than Columbus.

Five players from the southwest Georgia bordertown will represent the Bulldogs during Saturday’s game, four of them with Carver High connections. Three of those guys – tailback Isaiah Crowell, outside linebacker Jarvis Jones and tight end Bruce Figgins – could end up starting in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Saturday the Georgia Dome.

Freshman defensive back Quintavious Harrow and walkon quarterback Greg Bingham are also from Columbus.

Needless to say, the Bulldogs are a hot topic this week at Carver.

“The whole school’s excited, not just that they’re playing well but because they’re that doing well,” Carver High principal Christopher Lindsey said. “Especially considering the difficult backgrounds some of them …

Continue reading Georgia’s Columbus connections paying dividends for season opener »

Richt: ‘I don’t personally think the season is riding on this one game’

Georgia coach Mark Richt said excitement over playing Boise State on Sept. 3 has been building since he first told the team about the matchup.

Georgia coach Mark Richt said excitement over playing Boise State on Sept. 3 has been building since he first told the team about the matchup.

Here’s some quick quotes from Georgia coach Mark Richt and several players  from Tuesday’s press conference. Dozens of media gathered at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall to hear what Richt and a handful of players had to say about Saturday’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game matchup between the No. 19 Bulldogs and No. 5-ranked Boise State.

On the big buildup for the opening game in the Georgia Dome:

“Well, it is as big of a buildup for an opening game as we’ve had, because of who we’re playing and where we’re playing and maybe a little bit of the uniform issue and all that kind of thing. There is an awful lot of hype going into this ballgame compared to maybe some other opening games.

“I don’t personally think the season is riding on this one game. It’s really not. It’s a game that we absolutely want to win. It’s a game that we expect to win. We talk …

Continue reading Richt: ‘I don’t personally think the season is riding on this one game’ »

Q&A: Boise’s Chris Petersen has ‘put ‘05 Georgia game out of my mind’

Boise State coach Chris Petersen exults after the Broncos beat TCU in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl to finish the 2009 season 14-0. (AP photo)

Boise State coach Chris Petersen exults after the Broncos beat TCU in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl to finish the 2009 season 14-0. (AP photo)

Q&A WITH BOISE STATE COACH CHRIS PETERSEN

Boise State coach Chris Petersen visited with Georgia media via teleconference call on Monday. Following is most of the pertinent stuff he had to say. You’ll see some of these comments in a story I’m doing later today or tomorrow, but I wanted to go ahead and share with the loyal blog followers.

Meanwhile, Georgia coach Mark Richt will get a chance to put his spin on Saturday’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game later today. His weekly pregame press conference is scheduled for noon. I’ll share what he and selected Bulldogs players have to say shortly after that session wraps up early this afternoon. I’ll tweet out the really good stuff as soon as I hear it.

Now, from Petersen, 46, who was Boise State’s offensive coordinator when it visited Athens in 2005. He’s 61-5 since succeeding Dan Hawkins as the Bronco’s …

Continue reading Q&A: Boise’s Chris Petersen has ‘put ‘05 Georgia game out of my mind’ »

Practice update: The latest on Samuel, Smith, Rambo and Boykin

ATHENS — Georgia held its final full-pads practice of the preseason Monday, with two key players still limited by injuries.

Tailback Richard Samuel sat out half of the practice to protect a quadriceps injury, and cornerback/punt returner Branden Smith did only some jogging and rehabbing because of a foot injury.

Both, however, said they expect to play in Saturday night’s season opener against Boise State in the Georgia Dome.

“I’ll be ready by Saturday, no doubt about it,” Smith said. “It’s not a major injury. Just trying to be on the safe side.”

Smith has not practiced since injuring the foot on Thursday but vowed that it won’t slow him against Boise.

“I’m still at a 4.3,” he said, referring to his 40-yard dash time. “I still have my speed.”

Samuel, meanwhile, said he has “no doubt” he’ll play Saturday despite the quadriceps injury that has bothered him for 2 1/2 weeks.

“I went half of the practice [Monday],  so it was not too much of a setback,” he said. “It felt fine. …

Continue reading Practice update: The latest on Samuel, Smith, Rambo and Boykin »

UGA alum Bob Behler is calling Boise State over the Bulldogs

Because the voice of the Boise State Broncos happens to be a UGA graduate, people assume Bob Behler must be torn about how he wants Saturday’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome to turn out.

Think again.

Behler

Behler

“There’s no question about it, I want Boise State to win,” Behler said Sunday. “That’s my team; it’s where I live; I know those kids.  I don’t know Mark Richt. He seems like a nice guy. But I’m friends with Chris Petersen. I’m wearing blue and orange to the stadium and I think Boise State is going to win the game.”

So let’s just go ahead and get that out of the way.

While extremely proud of his broadcast journalism degree from UGA’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and very grateful for his two productive years in Athens, Behler has put in a lot of miles at a lot of places since 1985. Most recently that has been Boise, Idaho, where he came to succeed Paul J. Schneider as the play-by-play voice in 2008.

You could say Behler’s timing is pretty good. He …

Continue reading UGA alum Bob Behler is calling Boise State over the Bulldogs »

Saturday’s practice report: Branden Smith day-to-day with foot injury

ATHENS — A week away from its season opener, Georgia’s football team practiced Saturday without one of its starting cornerbacks, its No. 1 punt returner and an occasional offensive playmaker.

Branden Smith, who is all of the above, missed the practice with a foot injury sustained in practice on Thursday.

Coach Mark Richt described Smith’s status as a day-to-day matter, but -– with the days dwindling before the season opener against Boise State -– expressed optimism he will be able to play.

“We don’t think it’s serious,” Richt said of the injury. “Nothing that would require surgery. I guess the ol’ day-by-day is the best way to describe it.”

Asked specifically if he expects Smith to play against Boise State, Richt said: “I do, yes.”

If Smith is healthy, he will join Brandon Boykin as Georgia’s starting cornerbacks, with Jordan Love the third corner in nickel packages. Richt said freshman Damian Swann would be next in line for playing time at cornerback if Smith were …

Continue reading Saturday’s practice report: Branden Smith day-to-day with foot injury »

Aaron Murray to Isaiah Crowell: Don’t worry, I’ve got your back

In case you missed it, here is my practice report from Friday . . .

ATHENS – Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray said freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell need not worry about forgetting an assignment when the Bulldogs face No. 5 Boise State next Saturday. If Crowell is not sure what to do, all he has to do is ask.

“Especially in the first few games,” Murray said this week. “Those are going to be like home games for us, without a bunch of crowd noise. So we should be able to communicate a lot and I think that’s going to help with him getting his feet wet. I told him, ‘I’m right there with you. No matter what, you just look at me.’ I’m right beside him most of the time anyway or he’s right behind me.”

That said, Murray added that he doesn’t believe Crowell is going to need much assistance. Not from what he has seen in practices the last month.

“Isaiah’s looking great right now,” Murray said. “He’s working. He’s going a great job studying playbook and watching film. He’s meeting with …

Continue reading Aaron Murray to Isaiah Crowell: Don’t worry, I’ve got your back »

Former UGA All-American David Pollack weighs in on state of college football, his Dogs

In case you missed it, here’s the take of former Georgia All-American and new ESPN staffer David Pollack on the current state of college football, and his Bulldogs, of course. . . .

Continue reading Former UGA All-American David Pollack weighs in on state of college football, his Dogs »

Practice report: Boise State’s Tommy Smith will feel at home in the Dome

ATHENS – Everybody in Boise, Idaho, is excited about playing Georgia in the Georgia Dome on Sept. 3, but no one is more excited than Tommy Smith.

Smith

Smith

Smith is a junior inside linebacker for the Broncos and, thanks to quarterback Michael Tamburo’s transfer to UGA, the only Boise State player from Atlanta, or Georgia, for that matter. As such, he has been the No. 1 thorn-in-the-side of his teammates the past few weeks.

Players get just two tickets apiece for away games. Smith said he needs 27 — at least.

“I’ve got 17 right now,” Smith said in a telephone interview this week. “I thought this would be an easy game to get tickets for but it’s been pretty hard. Hopefully I can get 10 more.”

It’s a problem Smith is happy to have. Playing Georgia in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game – playing Georgia anywhere, in fact — is something Smith never dreamed of when he signed with the Broncos out of North Atlanta High.

“Definitely not in the Georgia Dome,” Smith said. “I’m really excited about …

Continue reading Practice report: Boise State’s Tommy Smith will feel at home in the Dome »

Q&A: Derrick Lott making way back from yet another setback

After yet another setback, defensive end Derrick Lott is no longer wearing green and ready to contribute for the Bulldogs. (UGA photo by Chris Collins)

After yet another setback, defensive end Derrick Lott is no longer wearing green and ready to contribute for the Bulldogs. (UGA photo by Chris Collins)

Q&A WITH DERRICK LOTT

Derrick Lott has had a hard-luck career at Georgia so far. No sooner did he show up from North Cobb High than he had to have ankle surgery that assured a redshirt year. Then Todd Grantham shows up with his 3-4 defense and suddenly he’s a tackle trying to become an end. After playing in just three games last season in what would have to be described as a transition year, Lott had a solid spring and was heading into camp as a legitimate player in the defensive line rotation. Then he sliced his leg open parking his scooter at the Butts-Mehre Building and Lott thought for just moment that his football career was over.

It wasn’t. After being sidellined a month following surgery to repair a 12-inch gash in his lower right leg and suffering a sprained wrist almost as soon as he returned, Lott is back competing …

Continue reading Q&A: Derrick Lott making way back from yet another setback »

Practice report: Georgia rallies to defeat ‘Boise State’ 38-34

ATHENS – Down 31-0 at halftime, Georgia rallied in the second half and scored a touchdown with 11 seconds remaining for a dramatic 38-34 win over Boise State Wednesday in Sanford Stadium.

OK, so it wasn’t the real Boise State. It was the Bulldogs’ scout team posing as the No. 5-ranked Broncos and going against Georgia’s varsity offense and defense in a practice game at Sanford Stadium.

Georgia coach Mark Richt said he spotted “Boise” the 31 points — they only played one half –  to “create some drama.” And it did.

The Bulldogs were trailing by three inside the Boise 5-yard line late in the fourth quarter when Quantavious Harrow, playing the role of a Broncos’ defensive back, flew in and forced a turnover. But Boise was unable to run out the clock and had to punt the ball back.

Georgia won when Hutson Mason hooked up with Tavarres King on a fade route on third-and-goal.

“We had a great second half and just rolled right through them,” quarterback Aaron Murray quipped.

Richt was …

Continue reading Practice report: Georgia rallies to defeat ‘Boise State’ 38-34 »

Practice report: TB Isaiah Crowell in line to get start in opener

Walking wounded: NG John Jenkins (66) and SE Marlon Brown couldn't practice Tuesday due to injuries. (Photo by Guy Prokay/DawgTime.com)

Walking wounded: NG John Jenkins (66) and SE Marlon Brown couldn't practice Tuesday due to injuries. (Photo by Guy Prokay/DawgTime.com)

ATHENS Isaiah Crowell doesn’t know whether he will start at tailback in Georgia’s season opener against Boise State, but he probably won’t know what to do with himself if he doesn’t.

“I haven’t ever not started,” Crowell revealed Tuesday after practice.

And when he says ever, he means it.

The true freshman from Columbus said he started as a safety on defense in his first game as a 6-year-old little leaguer with the Eastway Cherokees. By Game 2, “Coach Buckner” (Crowell couldn’t recall his first name) came to his senses and moved Crowell to running back. And Crowell has been toting the rock with the first team ever since.

Of course, Georgia coach Mark Richt famously hinted on national signing day that Crowell could start his first game. “I wouldn’t be shocked to see him running that rock in the Dome against Boise State on the opening play …

Continue reading Practice report: TB Isaiah Crowell in line to get start in opener »

15 of Georgia’s 25 ‘Dream Teamers’ likely to play this season

ATHENS — The Georgia coaching staff is currently going through the process of determining which players will be on the scout team and which will end up on the varsity, or travel squad.

Barring injury, this freshman is likely to play and play a lot. (UGA photo by Steve Colquitt)

Barring injury, this freshman is likely to play and play a lot. (UGA photo by Steve Colquitt)

As coach Mark Richt pointed out recently, this is always a difficult time for the coaches. While being placed on the scout team doesn’t guarantee a redshirt year, it’s a strong indication you won’t be counted on this season and often that can be a bitter pill to swallow. But you have 125 players per team, 85 on scholarship, dress out only 60 in conference games and can only play 11 at a time. So it’s a numbers game in which everybody can’t play.

While the coaches are still making their decisions, let’s go ahead and take a crack, centering on the freshman class. I encourage you guys to weigh in as well. This is a hypothesis at best.

Here’s a rundown of the first-year guys:

1. David Andrews, OL 6-3, 276 …

Continue reading 15 of Georgia’s 25 ‘Dream Teamers’ likely to play this season »

Practice update: Dallas Lee well, starters injured, Nick Marshall on hoops

ATHENS – Dallas Lee is feeling like himself again, and that’s a really good thing for both him and the Bulldogs.

Lee

Lee

Lee had spent the better part of the last 18 months not knowing what was wrong with him and that’s especially bad when the problem involves breathing. Now he’s well and just in time to work himself into Georgia’s rotation on the offensive line.

“Dallas has had a great turnaround,” head coach Mark Richt said. “He’s the sixth guy [on the offensive line] right now. He’s the putty man for any guard or center situation. And he’s not done competing for a starting job either.”

That’s pretty amazing considering Lee hadn’t even played in front of first-year line coach Will Friend until the first practice on August 5.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been around him in six months,” Friend said. “Two weeks ago was the first time I’ve gotten to work with him because I couldn’t do anything with him in the summer. So that was good to get him. Dallas has played good at times. …

Continue reading Practice update: Dallas Lee well, starters injured, Nick Marshall on hoops »

Poll: Georgia’s Nike Pro Combat unis, love ‘em or hate ‘em?

uganotes.0821I had to step away from work fairly quickly this past Saturday, not long after I posted my practice update. That update, of course, included a brief report on the new Nike Pro Combat uniforms Georgia is going to wear in the opener against Boise State.

Well, it wasn’t until late Sunday that I got to review what some of the reaction was to that piece. There seemed to be more than a few folks bothered by me using the phrase “generally negative” to describe fan reaction to the new uniforms. A few people, in comments on the blog, asked me to what poll was I referring and accused me of just trying to “stir up trouble” between UGA and its fans without having any real data to support it.

So what do you think about the Nike Pro Combat uniforms Georgia is going to wear against Boise State?

  • Love them.
  • Hate them.
  • Don’t really like them but it’s for the players.
  • Don’t care one way or another

View Results

Loading ... Loading …

So let’s clear this up. My determination was …

Continue reading Poll: Georgia’s Nike Pro Combat unis, love ‘em or hate ‘em? »

Practice report: Dogs 19th, Crowell wows and uniform debate

UGA and Nike showed off the Bulldogs' Pro Combat uniform that the team will wear for its opening game against Boise State. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

UGA and Nike showed off the Bulldogs' Pro Combat uniform that the team will wear for its opening game against Boise State. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

ATHENS – Online fan reaction to Georgia’s new Nike Pro Combat uniforms, publicly unveiled on Saturday, was generally negative. This came as no surprise to Bulldogs coach Mark Richt.

“I think there are a lot of people that just don’t want to get away from [tradition] and I don’t blame them,” Richt said. “That’s the reason we’re sticking it out there two weeks in advance, so everybody can get over it.”

The new design features a silver helmet with a wide red stripe down the middle, red jersey, red pants, llong black socks, all in the Nike “Pro Combat” style. UGA and Boise State both agreed to wear the specially-designed uniforms for one game only when they play in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game on Sept. 3 in the Georgia Dome.

Georgia has a 2-2 record under Richt when it has changed its uniforms. The Bulldogs famously beat …

Continue reading Practice report: Dogs 19th, Crowell wows and uniform debate »

Nike beats UGA to punch and unveils Pro Combat uniforms

uganotes.0821

UGA and Nike showed off the Bulldogs' Pro Combat uniform that the team will wear for its opening game against Boise State. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

ATHENS – UGA was claiming to offer the first glimpse at noon today of the new Nike Pro Combat uniforms on its Facebook page (facebook.com/georgiabulldogs). But apparently Nike didn’t get the memo. The sneaker giant went ahead and posted pictures earlier this morning of the uniforms they’ll wear against Boise State in the Chick-fil-A game.

Click RIGHT HERE to take a look for yourself. In general, it’s all red with a silver helmet and black socks. Reaction on Twitter and Facebook and on fan sites this morning has been somewhat divided with more dislikes than likes, from what I can see. Some of the comments have been hilarious.

UPDATE: Here’s A LINK to UGA’s gallery and a video at georgiadogs.com.

Let’s hear what you guys think.

Continue reading Nike beats UGA to punch and unveils Pro Combat uniforms »

Practice update: Big John goes down, TBs return, Wooten impresses

ATHENS – As for A.J. Green fans, there are none bigger than Georgia’s Rantavious Wooten. The junior wide receiver from Belle Glade, Fla., spent two seasons getting to know Green up close and personal and witnessing his daily feats in games and on Woodruff Practice Fields.

That said, Wooten doesn’t feel the wide receiver position is suddenly the weak link of the Bulldogs’ football team. He has heard it described that way and doesn’t much care for it.

“The whole receiving corps takes that personally,” Wooten said. “Of course, A.J. and Kris Durham came here and made plays. But as a group of receivers, we all can make plays. Actually I think we have more depth this year than we did last year and I think we made big strides in this camp. We’re going to show the Bulldog Nation what we can do and we’re going to show everybody we can get it done without A.J.”

Wooten has been one of reasons for optimism. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound speedster from Belle Glade, Fla., is showing the same …

Continue reading Practice update: Big John goes down, TBs return, Wooten impresses »

Video blog: Defense looks promising, tailback questions unanswered

Noah Coslov of Cinesport called this morning to ask me some questions about Georgia’s preseason football camp.

Continue reading Video blog: Defense looks promising, tailback questions unanswered »

Practice report: Emergence of Shawn Williams eases pain of losing Hamilton

ATHENS – The bad news is the Bulldogs lost one-time starting safety Jakar Hamilton to a season-ending ankle injury this week. The good news for Georgia is there was a good chance Hamilton wouldn’t have started had he been healthy.

ShawnWilliams(UGA)

Williams

That’s chiefly because of the emergence of Shawn Williams. The junior from Early County has been one of the success stories in year two of defensive coordinator Todd Grantham’s 3-4 defense. With Hamilton sidelined for the entirety of preseason, Williams has been as solid as a block of granite in the back third of the No. 1 unit.

And he knows it.

“I pretty much know each and every play what I’m supposed to do,” said Williams, who started three games and played in all 13 last season. “I’ve got it down pat. I’d say [I'm grading] at least 95 percent.”

Not only has the light come on for Williams in terms of understanding schemes and knowing responsibilities, but his confidence has gone through the roof.

In regard to his ability to field the …

Continue reading Practice report: Emergence of Shawn Williams eases pain of losing Hamilton »

UGA hoops schedule set; includes trip to USC

The Georgia men’s basketball team will travel to Xavier, Colorado and Southern California, among other places, under an ambitious 2011-12 schedule announced Thursday.

The Nov. 25 game at Xavier and the Nov. 28 game at Colorado are rematches of dates in Athens last season. The Dec. 17 game at USC will be Georgia’s second ever against the Trojans, who will return the cross-country trip the following season.

Other highlights of Georgia’s non-conference schedule include games against California and either Missouri or Notre Dame in the CBE Classic on Nov. 21-22 in Kansas City, a game against Cincinnati in Athens on Dec. 2 as part of the Big East/SEC Challenge and the annual meeting with Georgia Tech on Dec. 7 in Athens.

“I think we have established a schedule that, first, should prepare us well for SEC play and, second, should give us the strength of schedule needed in the eyes of the [NCAA tournament] selection committee, if we are successful this season,” Georgia …

Continue reading UGA hoops schedule set; includes trip to USC »

FS Jakar Hamilton out for season, TBs out for scrimmage

ATHENS – Georgia has likely lost free safety Jakar Hamilton for the season.

Hamilton

Hamilton

The senior, who started five games last season and played in all 13, was diagnosed Wednesday with a stress fracture in his right ankle. Since it will require two to three months to heal, “my guess is he won’t play this year,” coach Mark Richt said.

Hamilton has been sidelined since the beginning of preseason camp with a hamstring pull. Richt wasn’t sure if Hamilton had suffered a new injury but said it required a bone scan to detect Hamilton’s fracture.

Hamilton will be able to redshirt. He transferred to UGA from Georgia Military College last year.

Meanwhile, junior Shawn Williams appears to have locked down the starting job at free safety. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound graduate of Early County High continues to draw praise daily for his good work in practice. He was second among defenders with seven tackles in Wednesday’s scrimmage.

Junior Sanders Commings and freshman Corey Moore will provide …

Continue reading FS Jakar Hamilton out for season, TBs out for scrimmage »

Georgia TE Orson Charles cleared by NCAA on Miami matter

ATHENS – Neither Georgia nor tight end Orson Charles will face any NCAA repercussions with regard to Charles’ inclusion in the Yahoo! Sports report on a rogue Miami booster he is alleged to have met during recruiting.

So says UGA in a brief statement it released about the situation late Wednesday morning.

“The University of Georgia is aware of the article mentioning Orson Charles and has been in communication with the NCAA. There are no issues with UGA or eligibility issues with Orson Charles. UGA will have no further comment regarding this matter.”

Georgia contacted the NCAA shortly after the Yahoo! Sports report was published online late Tuesday. Charles, a junior from Tampa, was listed among recruits alleged to have had had impermissible contact with notorious booster Nevin Shapiro in 2008. The report said Charles, then a rising senior at Plant High, was taken to Shapiro’s home by a Miami assistant coach to be given a “recruiting pitch.” Charles signed with Georgia in …

Continue reading Georgia TE Orson Charles cleared by NCAA on Miami matter »

UGA’s Orson Charles mentioned in report on NCAA violations at Miami

Georgia tight end Orson Charles has been mentioned in the mess that Yahoo! Sports is reporting about the University of Miami and its relationship with a notorious booster named Nevin Shapiro. Shapiro is a convicted felon who, in several prison interviews, claims he provided impermissible benefits to dozens of Miami players and recruits.

Charles is listed among those recruits with whom Shapiro claims to have had impermissible contact. But, on face value at least, it doesn’t look like he is anything but a bystander in all this.

The bombastic report, written by Yahoo! Sports reporter Charles Robinson, merely alleges that Charles was escorted by a Miami assistant coach to Shapiro to be given “a recruiting pitch.” As we all know, Charles rather famously signed with Georgia. Shapiro is incarcerated in federal prison in Atlanta after being convicted for his role in a $930 million Ponzi scheme.

Current and former Miami players and student-athletes from all over are implicated by …

Continue reading UGA’s Orson Charles mentioned in report on NCAA violations at Miami »

Richt: Drew ‘very fortunate’ scooter accident wasn’t worse

ATHENS — Another Georgia football player is sidelined with an injury from a motor-scooter accident — the second this summer.

Ray Drew, a highly touted freshman outside linebacker, suffered a separated right shoulder when he lost control of his scooter while returning to his dorm from church on Sunday. He is expected to miss practice until at least next week.

According to Athens-Clarke County Police, the accident occurred when Drew was driving downhill on Baldwin Street around 11:50 a.m., applied his brakes and was ejected from the scooter.

He was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital, where he was treated and released. No charges were filed and no other vehicles were involved in the incident, police said.

“Very thankfully, he wore his helmet,” coach Mark Richt said Monday. “He landed on his helmet and his shoulder. Another good thing was the shoulder won’t require any surgery. It was a separation, not a dislocation; the separation was not severe enough to warrant surgery. … He’s …

Continue reading Richt: Drew ‘very fortunate’ scooter accident wasn’t worse »

UGA 5-star LB Ray Drew injured in Sunday scooter accident

Ray Drew poses for his AJC Super 11 photo last summer. (Photo by Jason Getz)

Ray Drew poses for his AJC Super 11 photo last summer. (Photo by Jason Getz)

ATHENS – Another weekend, another scooter crash.

The latest victim is linebacker Ray Drew. The star freshman from Thomasville apparently wiped out on his scooter Sunday coming home from church and suffered a sprained shoulder as a result. UGA announced the accident in a two-sentence news release sent out at 9:01 a.m. Monday morning. The exact extent of Drew’s injuries is unknown but availability for practice is “day-to-day,” according to UGA director of sports medicine Ron Courson.

Drew was a five-star-rated recruiting prospect and high school All-American coming out of Thomas County Central. He’s currently running second-team weakside (or Will) linebacker behind junior Cornelius Washington.

Drew was not available for comment but sent out a tweet on Twitter.com indicating his was going to be OK. “I’m so glad I don’t look like what I’ve been through . . . praise God.”

Defensive end Derrick Lott …

Continue reading UGA 5-star LB Ray Drew injured in Sunday scooter accident »

Q&A: Blair Walsh plans to get a big kick out of his senior season

Georgia kicker Blair Walsh needs to average 8.75 points per game -- or about two field goals and three extra points a game -- to become the Bulldogs' all-time leading scorer. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Georgia kicker Blair Walsh needs to average 8.75 points per game — or about two field goals and three extra points a game — to become the Bulldogs' all-time leading scorer. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Georgia’s position players aren’t the only ones who benefited from Joe Tereshinski’s new strength and conditioning regimen this summer. Place-kicker Blair Walsh has pumped iron to the point that he now gets some ribbing from teammates for rolling up his jersey sleeves to expose his biceps. He states proudly that he’s in the best shape of his life and feeling stronger than ever as the Bulldogs embark on the 2011 season. And if the previous three are any indication, the senior from Boca Raton will be breathing some rare air once the year is over. He’s already fourth on Georgia’s career scoring charts with 304 points and needs 105 to run down Billy Bennett. He has averaged 104 the last two seasons and will need only 10 points to pass Herschel Walker. A Lou Groza Award finalist …

Continue reading Q&A: Blair Walsh plans to get a big kick out of his senior season »

Practice update: UGA TBs Isaiah Crowell, Richard Samuel battle injuries

Richard Samuel, in the dreaded green jersey, the latest Georgia tailback to be sidelined with injury. (Photo by Kyle Sears/DawgTime.com)

Richard Samuel, in the dreaded green jersey, the latest Georgia tailback to be sidelined with injury. (Photo by Kyle Sears/DawgTime.com)

ATHENS – Despite appearances, Georgia running backs coach Bryan McClendon said the Bulldogs’ tailback situation is not dire as one might think.

McClendon opened Saturday morning’s practice with just one scholarship tailback that will be available for the season opener against No. 7 Boise State in three weeks. The top two players at the position – Isaiah Crowell (groin) and Richard Samuel (thigh) – were both sidelined with injuries.

McClendon said that’s no cause for concern.

“It dwindles down in camp. That’s normal, especially with [running backs],” McClendon said. “Those guys take a beating every practice in pads, it doesn’t matter if it’s just shoulder pads and helmets, shells or full pads, those guys are getting hit on. You want to minimize it when you can.”

As for Crowell, McClendon said he returned later in the practice and was able to …

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