Archive for August, 2011

UGA legend Teresa Edwards enters Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame

In case you missed it, Teresa Edwards, the legendary Georgia basketball player and Olympic gold medaliist was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night in Springfield, Mass.

Edwards will go down in history as one of the greatest women’s basketball players of all time. She’s the only American basketball player to have represented her country in teh Olympics five times. Of course, she was an All-American at Georgia and led coach Andy Landers’ Bulldogs to three SEC championships and two Final Fours, including a runner-up finish in 1985.

Mike “Jiggs” Mobley of the UGA Sports Communiations office — a legendary figure himself — accompanied Edwards, Landers and a UGA entourage of dignitaries to Springfield for Friday’s ceremonies. Following is his account of the night.

Congratulations Teresa. . . .

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Teresa Edwards delivered a heart-felt and emotional induction speech to celebrate her inclusion into the Naismith Memorial Basketball …

Continue reading UGA legend Teresa Edwards enters Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame »

UGA freshman WR Malcolm Mitchell ‘a little bit’ surprised by quick success

Here are some excerpts from interviews I had with freshman offensive players on Friday:

WR MALCOLM MITCHELL, VALDOSTA

  • On impact he’s having so far: “I’m just trying to work hard and get better each and every day. We had a competitive day and I just wanted to show the team I was all in and work as hard as I can.”
  • On whether he has surprised himself: “I did a little bit. It’s a lot different than high school. It’s a lot more difficult. Coach Ball, a lot of other assistant coaches, are helping me grasp the concepts of what I need to do and everything.
  • On adjustments he must make: “In high school the tempo is a lot slower. So catching up with the pace, that’s the biggest difference. And knowing what I need to do. You want to get to the line and know it and not have to think it and stuff like that.”

TE JAY ROME, VALDOSTA

  • On college football life: “It’s all been a great experience since I made it here in June, going through Coach T’s workouts during the summer, waking up every …

Continue reading UGA freshman WR Malcolm Mitchell ‘a little bit’ surprised by quick success »

UPDATE: UGA TB Isaiah Crowell ‘day-to-day’ with groin injury

Georgia freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell stands next to coach Bryan McClendon as he sits out "The Chute" drill due to a gimpy left leg. (Photo provided by Guy Prokay/dawgtime.com)

Georgia freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell stands next to coach Bryan McClendon as he sits out "The Chute" drill due to a gimpy left leg. (Photo provided by Guy Prokay/dawgtime.com)

***UPDATED***

ATHENS — Georgia freshman tailback Isaiah Crowell is battling a groin injury that severely limited his participation in Friday’s practice, the Bulldogs’ 10th of preseason camp.

However, both Crowell and UGA head coach Mark Richt insist that the injury is not serious and should not significantly hamper Crowell’s preparation for the No. 22-ranked Bulldogs’ season opener against No. 7 Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome in three weeks.

“It’s not really that serious,” said Crowell, speaking to reporters Friday for the first time since arriving at UGA. “It was just weak or whatever, but it’s not serious.”

Crowell was not dressed in a green jersey, which signifies an injured player. However, he moved slowly and gingerly through the Bulldogs’ drill work early in …

Continue reading UPDATE: UGA TB Isaiah Crowell ‘day-to-day’ with groin injury »

UPDATED: UGA awards scholarships to 8 walkons, Kent Turene out

ATHENS – For decades, coaches have enjoyed awarding what they call the “battlefield scholarship.” It’s that special moment  enjoyed at least once a year when they get to call up a walkon before the team and deliver some good news.

“Son, you’ve really showed us something the last few weeks and we want to show our appreciation by putting you on scholarship,” or so it goes.

Thanks to some drastic attrition since last season, Georgia coach Mark Richt got to do that eight times on Thursday. During a team meeting at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall late in the evening, Richt awarded one-year renewable scholarships to eight different players: junior guard John Bodin of Covington; junior wide receiver Taylor Bradberry of Winder; senior outside linebacker Matthew DeGenova of Kenner, La.; senior cornerback Eric Elliot of Kennesaw; sophomore tailback Brandon Harton of Reidsville; sophomore cornerback Blake Sailors of Athens; junior tailback Wes Van Dyk of Highland Park, Texas; and senior …

Continue reading UPDATED: UGA awards scholarships to 8 walkons, Kent Turene out »

Georgia freshmen holding their own physically, overwhelmed by playbooks, meetings

ATHENS — Here’s some of the freshman defensive player interviews. This is not a comprehensive transcription, just some of what I considered highlights, for lack of a better word, from the conversations I had with some of the guys.

I already provided a pretty comprehensive account of my entire conversation with John Jenkins. Here I’ll share some nuggets from outside linebacker Ray Drew, linebacker Amarlo Herrera, safety Corey Moore, cornerback Damian Swann and cornerback Chris Sanders. I haven’t had a chance to transcribe Quintavious Harrow yet.

If there was any type of theme I noticed from all these guys it’s that they’re heads are pretty much swimming at this point from all the information that’s being thrown at them. They’re all confident they can hang physically but all the meetings and the sheer size of the playbook they’re expected to master has been a little overwhelming for them.

So here’s a little bit from each guy. . . .

CB DAMIAN SWANN, ATLANTA

  • On difficulties so …

Continue reading Georgia freshmen holding their own physically, overwhelmed by playbooks, meetings »

Georgia’s ‘Big John’ Jenkins dealing with the heat of expectations

ATHENS – Reporters covering UGA talked to freshmen and first-year defensive players for the first time this morning. I think I may have interviewed a half-dozen in all. I will be slowly rolling them out here as I get around to transcribing them and writing them up.

Let’s see, there was Ray Drew, Damian Swann, Corey Moore, Amarlo Herrera, Chris Sanders, Quintavious Harrow.  Oh yeah, and some big guy named “Jenkins.”

Below is a little taste of my interview with junior college transfer nose guard Jonathan “Big John” Jenkins. Jenkins said he’s down to 342 pounds after first reporting to UGA at 357. This is not the whole interview, just part to get you started. I’ll add the rest as soon as I can get it down in print for you.

Now, here’s Big John:

Are you able to handle the heat better since falling out that first practice?

“Yes sir. Coach Richt and the rest of the guys believe in me and they feel like I’m capable of doing to job they’re asking me to do. To be honest with you, when …

Continue reading Georgia’s ‘Big John’ Jenkins dealing with the heat of expectations »

Morning update: New injured players replace old ones for Bulldogs

ATHENS — Greetings from steamy-hot Woodruff Practice Fields. It’s considerably warmer out there today as the Bulldogs went through Practice 9 of 29 they’ll have during preseason camp. It was seven degrees hotter at the start (87) today than it was for the last regular practice.

Today Georgia is in “shells,” as in shoulder pads and helmets and shorts. The good news is a lot of injured guys are getting back on the field. The bad news is there are some new injured guys.

CB Brandon Boykin (hamstring), OLB Cornelius Washington (hamstring), FS Jakar Hamilton (hamstring), OLB Sterling Bailey (shoulder), TB Brandon Harton (concussion), CB Derek Owens (neck) remain in green jerseys, signifiying no contact, but were dressed out and running through drills and participating in teamwork. That’s not surprising since the Bulldogs are entering the second third of camp, which is the point they start to settle on personnel for the opening game. Boykin and Washington are starters, of course, and …

Continue reading Morning update: New injured players replace old ones for Bulldogs »

Q&A: UGA LB Jarvis Jones ‘never really stressed’ about NCAA probe

Q&A WITH JARVIS JONES

Once again, here’s the quick version of what I heard from Jarvis Jones regarding the NCAA’s ruling yesterday that he’d done nothing wrong and would be eligible to play this season. In a nutshell, Jones said he was never concerned about it because he knew his family background and knew he hadn’t done anything against NCAA rules. So he kind of downplayed the “big relief” angle. Here’s some of his comments (will update with story later):

Q: What are your feelings on getting the favorable ruling from the NCAA yesterday?

JJ: “It’s great to finally get it over with. I can go on into the season and prepare the best we can for the Boise State game. I had great support with compliance and everybody in the whole building. So it’s out of the way now and we can move on now and get ready for the first game.”

Q: Big relief to get news?

JJ: “It’s been the same for me. I’ve been preparing the same way. It never bothered me. I never stressed about it, not one day. Now …

Continue reading Q&A: UGA LB Jarvis Jones ‘never really stressed’ about NCAA probe »

Practice update: Crowell, Samuel, Herrera star in Georgia’s first scrimmage

ATHENS – OK, here’s a raw rundown of the Georgia Bulldogs’ first scrimmage of preseason, conducted Wedneday at Sanford Stadium.  . . .

  • Isaiah Crowell had 13 carries for 84 yards and a touchdown with a long run of 15 yards.
  • Richard Samuel had 11 carries for 82 yards with a long run of 33 yards. However, Samuel fumbled once and Amarlo Herrerra scooped it up and returned it 65 yards for a TD.
  • Ken Malcome had 12 carries for 19 yards with a long run of eight yards.
  • Carlton Thomas had eight carries for 21 yards with a long run of six.
  • “It was evident who was working with the No. 1 unit and who was going against the No. 2 defense,” coach Mark Richt said. “It was rougher going for the 2 offense.”
  • Quarterback Aaron Murray was 9-of-15 for 100 yards with no TDs or interceptions. Hutson Mason was 5-of-19 for 59 with a TD and Christian LeMay was 2-of-4 for 17 yards with the No. 3 offense.
  • Receiving: Aron White 3-47 (32); Samuel 3-32 (14); Marlon Brown 2-46 (35); Jay Rome 2-22 (12), …

Continue reading Practice update: Crowell, Samuel, Herrera star in Georgia’s first scrimmage »

Morning update: Bulldogs go through full-scale scrimmage at Sanford Stadium

ATHENS — Good late-morning to you. I’m over here at the Butts-Mehre football complex waiting for the Bulldogs to get back from Sanford Stadium.

Georgia is holding its first scrimmage of preseason camp over there this morning. Warmups began a little before 10 a.m. and it’ll probably be noon or after before the team buses back.

Of course, as seems to be the case often these days, the scrimmage was closed to the media. We’ll be provided with statistics from the scrimmage afterward but otherwise we’re left to the feedback we get from interviews with coach Mark Richt and selected players and coaches to draw any conclusions about how they looked as a team or as individuals. I’ll share those with you just as quickly as I can this afternoon.

One person we’re hoping to talk to afterward is linebacker Jarvis Jones. Jones, of course, just found out from the NCAA yesterday that he’ll be fully eligible to play this season. He’s been off-limits to us media-types to this point but UGA …

Continue reading Morning update: Bulldogs go through full-scale scrimmage at Sanford Stadium »

UGA hires heavy-hitting NCAA attorney for represention on Jarvis Jones, other cases

ATHENS – Whether it’s the reason Georgia received such a quick and favorable response from the NCAA in the Jarvis Jones case will probably never be known, but hiring Mike Glazier to lead its investigation certainly didn’t hurt.

Glazier

Glazier

Glazier is an attorney who specializes in NCAA litigation and works for the law firm Bond, Schoeneck & King of Overland Park, Kan. He’s a former NCAA investigator who has been called “The Fixer” and “The Cleaner” – nicknames he takes issue with — for his unique ability to handle NCAA infractions matters in a swift and effective manner.

The Bulldogs, it turns out, have been working with Glazier since March of this year. In the past, UGA has been represented almost exclusively by Athens attorney Ed Tolley on NCAA matters.

Tolley remains on retainer. But Greg McGarity, who took over as Georgia’s athletic director about a year ago, has known Glazier for many years and felt like the Bulldogs could benefit from his firm’s level of NCAA …

Continue reading UGA hires heavy-hitting NCAA attorney for represention on Jarvis Jones, other cases »

LB Chase Vasser ready to fill in for Jarvis Jones when needed

Funny how these things work out sometimes. I interviewed Chase Vasser yesterday with the plan to profile the guy most likely to fill in for Jarvis Jones should Jones have to miss any playing time this season. That’s a moot point now. But Vasser is an interesting guy and he’ll definitely be a contributor for the Bulldogs this season. So I’m going to go ahead and share this story for your edification. . . .

Chase Vasser is best known for his abilities on the football field, but he also has some skills that are displayed on another stage.

Vasser hopes to eventually make a living on a literal stage literally. As it turns out, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound linebacker from Gainesville is quite the acting buff.

“I’m majoring in consumer economics but I’m minoring in film,” said Vasser, who also is interested in modeling. “I’ve always loved the theater and plays and I’ve always like the whole setup of acting. I love watching behind-the-scenes stuff on the ‘Fast Five’ movies and ‘The Green …

Continue reading LB Chase Vasser ready to fill in for Jarvis Jones when needed »

UPDATED: Georgia LB Jarvis Jones cleared to play by NCAA

ATHENS – Georgia not only got good news from the NCAA regarding the eligibility of Jarvis Jones, it got it fast.

Jones, a sophomore linebacker from Columbus, was determined to have not violated any NCAA rules and therefore will be eligible to play every game for the Bulldogs this season, UGA confirmed on Tuesday. Georgia received the news from the NCAA on Monday night, exactly one week after filing the report on its internal investigation with the SEC.

“I think the NCAA is making a concerted effort to turn things around as quickly as possible,” Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We’ve been hearing in these various meetings they were going to try to do a better job of that. So we’re just thankful NCAA was able to do that in this case. Whether the decision was up or down, we’re able to move forward now. At the end of the day that’s all schools want.”

Last year the Bulldogs had to wait until the second week of the regular season to …

Continue reading UPDATED: Georgia LB Jarvis Jones cleared to play by NCAA »

Updated practice report: Big John Jenkins makes play of day

ATHENS — Junior nose guard Jonathan Jenkins had the highlight of Georgia’s morning practice Tuesday as he intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown.

“[Jenkins] tipped it to himself and then the big boy just rumbled down the field,” senior tight end Aron White said. “It was only about 12 yards, but a TD for a guy that size is still impressive. He kind of reminded me of that guy for the Packers [B.J. Raji] running for that touchdown.”

Tuesday’s practice was conducted in shorts and helmets and is number six of 29 the Bulldogs will go through in preseason camp. Number 7 will be at 5 p.m. this afternoon as Georgia experiences if two-practice day of the preseason. The other time is Saturday.

“I thought we did a pretty good job today,” coach Mark Richt said. “We had a good tempo and the guys handled the first of two practices today well. Everyone will be doing something constructive in our second session today as we work on our fundamentals and kicking …

Continue reading Updated practice report: Big John Jenkins makes play of day »

Georgia players work hard to avoid ‘Energy Vampire’ distinction

ATHENS – There are lot of things Georgia players don’t want to be called but one of the main ones this season is “energy vampire.”

“Energy vampire” is a new distinction the Bulldogs have come up with for somebody on the team who doesn’t meet certain standards or who complains. If a teammate nominated by another player for the “energy vampire” board and coach Mark Richt approves, he ends up with his pictured plastered all over video boards in the weight room, usually photo-shopped to include fangs and other unflattering enhancements.

“If you say something negative, if you’re not doing something positive when we’re doing activities as a team, you can be called an ‘energy vampire,” explains sophomore linebacker Chase Vasser. “Anybody who hears you say something like ‘I don’t want to be here,’ you can be turned into the coach and you’ll get your face on the board. They’ll take a picture of you and put a wig on you with some vampire teeth and crazy-looking eyes.”

Actually it’s a …

Continue reading Georgia players work hard to avoid ‘Energy Vampire’ distinction »

UGA practice update: Defense wins day on first day of full contact

ATHENS — A quick post-practice update. . . .

  • S Shawn Williams on first day of full contact: “All I know is Branden Smith came up and hit somebody so hard he knocked their helmet off.”
  • DE DeAngelo Tyson said Isaiah Crowell so quick and shifty that nobody got a good shot on him today.
  • CB Branden Smith confirms he’ll be returning punts again, or at least intends to. “There’s competition there. Me, Boykin, TK and some freshmen. But I’m not going to make it easy for them.”
  • B. Smith on sharing No. 1 with Crowell: “Me and Isaiah are both all right with No. 1. He plays offense and I play defense so it’s not a problem. If they asked me to I’d wear another number if they needed us together on offense. . . . The number doesn’t make me. I make the number.”
  • Injuries: TB Brandon Harton out with “mild concussion.” Will return later this week “hopefully,” Richt says. . . . CB Chris Sanders held out of contact due to bruised shoulder suffered yesterday. . . . Boykin and Jakar Hamilton still …

Continue reading UGA practice update: Defense wins day on first day of full contact »

‘Real football’ underway as Bulldogs go through first full-contact practice

ATHENS – Greetings from Woodruff Practice Fields. It’s time for real football!

The Bulldogs’ fifth practice is underway and this is the first of 11 in which they’ll be in full pads and hitting. I just got my first look at the 2011 team in full gear and, without question, it’s an athletic-looking group. Unfortunately they didn’t give media but 15 minutes access this morning and all that was their standard drill work they do every day.

The first full-contact practice is one the returning lettermen always look forward to. They look at it as their opportunity to “indoctrinate” the freshmen and first-year players on the ways of SEC football. It’s a chance for them to give the “Dream Teamers” a little dose of reality, if you will.

We’ll have an opportunity to talk to Coach Richt and selected defensive players around lunchtime so I’ll get you an update then on how they think things went.

Couple of quick observations from my short time out there this morning:

  • Looks like the same guys …

Continue reading ‘Real football’ underway as Bulldogs go through first full-contact practice »

Practice report: Georgia TB Isaiah Crowell now in his element

ATHENS — For the last three months there has been a lot of talk about Isaiah Crowell the person and the high-profile recruit. But over the last four days, Georgia has been able to get a close look at Crowell as a football player and early reports are the Bulldogs like what they’re seeing.

Crowell’s energy and focus, running backs coach Bryan McClendon said, have reminded him what drew the Bulldogs to recruit Crowell in the first place.

“I went to a practice, it may have been his sophomore year in high school, and I saw then how much he loved just to practice,” McClendon said of Crowell, then at Carver High..”He’s out there clapping and being excited about playing and having fun just going out there and playing football. That’s one of the things that excited me the most, to see a guy that talented that didn’t take practice for granted. He goes out there and he wants to get better.

“He’s been the same way out here. He’s focusing on getting better, focusing on every rep. He’ll …

Continue reading Practice report: Georgia TB Isaiah Crowell now in his element »

RBs coach Bryan McClendon likes what he’s been seeing out of Crowell

ATHENS — I’m busy cobbling together some notes from this morning’s rain-soaked practice. But in order to hold you over I figured I’d just go ahead and share some of the observations of running backs coach Bryan McClendon with regard to a certain freshman tailback everybody seems to be expecting something from this season.

In a nutshell, McClendon — who recruited Crowell to UGA– believes that the five-star prospect out of Carver-Columbus High is finally back in his element. That is, working out and practicing football on a daily basis.

Following is a rough transcription of my conversation with Coach Mac that I’m attempting to get to you fast (so pleae take it easy on me, Typo Police):

UGA RUNNING BACKS COACH BRYAN MCCLENDON ON ISAIAH CROWELL:

How’s he doing?

“He’s doing a good job of studying; He’s doing a good job of learning it. That stuff comes pretty quick to him. And that happens when you have a guy that, one, wants to be as good as he wants to be; and, two, football is …

Continue reading RBs coach Bryan McClendon likes what he’s been seeing out of Crowell »

Practice report: Bruce Figgins no ordinary fullback for Bulldogs

ATHENS – They call it “The Chute.” It’s one of the drills Georgia running backs must negotiate early every practice and Bruce Figgins dreads it like a daily root canal.

The object is to zigzag as fast as possible through a series of metal gates while stepping over dummies and holding the football “high and tight.” This is not much of a challenge for 5-foot-7 tailback Carlton Thomas or even the 5-foot-11 Isaiah Crowell. But for the 6-foot-4, 274-pound Figgins, slipping under the metal bar maybe four feet from the ground can be problematic.

“I don’t know how high they are but ‘CT’ can almost stand straight up to them. They come up to his nose,” said Figgins, a senior fullback.”You can imagine how hard it is for me to get under them. Me and Richard [Samuel] have the toughest time. Our heads are always clinking it.”

Trouble is, if you “clink” the metal bar, you have to repeat the drill. So often running backs coach Bryan McClendon is yelling at Figgins, “run it again!”

“I’ll be …

Continue reading Practice report: Bruce Figgins no ordinary fullback for Bulldogs »

Practice update: Dogs get another break with overcast morning practice

ATHENS -- After opening preseason camp with a 103-degree practice on Thursday, the Georgia Bulldogs have enjoyed relatively mild conditions with overcast skies and temperatures barely in the 80s.

That was the case again Saturday as the Dogs got Practice No. 3 underway. UGA didn’t give reporters much time to observe today’s morning workout. Three five-minute periods is all we got. So, sorry, but there’s not a lot I could discern in that span.

What I did see was cornerback Derek Owens in a green jersey, signifying injured or no contact allowed. Fellow DBs Brandon Boykin and Jakar Hamilton were working off to the side. Not sure what their deals are but it’s usually in the first week of camp you start seeing hamstrings pop up everywhere for a lot of the skills guys. We’ll find out exactly what after practice.

Also noticed that wide receivers coach Tony Ball just three days in is hoarse to the point of almost being inaudible already.

All the assistant coaches were extremely intense …

Continue reading Practice update: Dogs get another break with overcast morning practice »

Georgia has to report more secondary violations due to inadvertent calls

ATHENS — Inadvertent telephone communication once again has forced UGA to report secondary NCAA violations to the Southeastern Conference office.

This time it involves Georgia running backs coach Bryan McClendon. According to Athletic Director Greg McGarity’s Aug. 1 letter to SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, obtained by the AJC via state and federal open records laws, McClendon thought he was calling a friend named Jay Harris when he accidentally called recruiting prospect Drew Harris instead. Harris is a four-star running back prospect from Exton, Penn.

What made this a violation is McClendon’s call was made on May 29, 2011. Fellow UGA assistant coach Scott Lakatos had made a recruiting call to Harris on May 3. Therefore the second call was deemed to be a violation of two NCAA bylaws that restrict telephone contact with recruits.

According to UGA’s report, “Jay Harris” appears right below “Drew Harris” in the speed dial directory in McClendon’s cell phone and he accidently hit …

Continue reading Georgia has to report more secondary violations due to inadvertent calls »

Big John Jenkins goes down but rest of ‘Dream Team’ survives scorching first day

New Georgia noseguard John Jenkins is helped off the field after becoming overcome by the heat midway through the Bulldogs' first practice Thursday in Athens. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

New Georgia noseguard John Jenkins is helped off the field after becoming overcome by the heat midway through the Bulldogs' first practice Thursday in Athens. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

This was supposed to have posted at 5:30 a.m. this morning but “missed schedule” for some reason. Sorry. . . .

Athens — Day One of preseason camp is in the books for the Georgia football team as the Bulldogs endured a heat index of 103 degrees to get in 90 minutes of work on Woodruff Practice Fields on Thursday. And make no bones about it, the first day was mostly about survival.

Big John Jenkins, the highly-touted junior college transfer, was one of the first to succumb to the stifling conditions. The 6-foot-4, 350-pound nose guard from Meriden, Conn., was overcome by the heat about halfway through the practice and had to be helped off the field by team trainers. Jenkins did not return and there was no immediate word on the extent of his condition as no access was given to players or …

Continue reading Big John Jenkins goes down but rest of ‘Dream Team’ survives scorching first day »

Much on minds of Georgia players, coaches at ‘Media Day’

Just finished up interviews with Georgia players to wrap up today’s “Media Day” session at UGA. Media met with head coach Mark Richt for about a half-hour before that.

Time is limited before the Bulldogs take the field for their first practice of preseason camp, so I’m going to just run out some of what I deem “highlights” or most pertinent news to come out of the sessions. I have not had time yet to transcribe the audio of the interviews so some of the quotes may not be exact.

For what it’s worth, here are the players that were made available to us: DB Brandon Boykin, TE Orson Charles, DB Sanders Commings, DE Abry Jones, WR Tavarres King, OT Cordy Glenn, C Ben Jones, QB Aaron Murray and DE DeAngelo Tyson.

OK, let’s get to it. . . .

*** Richt confirmed to the AJC that offensive lineman Austin Long will be out for the first part of camp with an illness. However, he held out hope that it might not be for as long as originally reported.

“What [director of sports medicine] Ron …

Continue reading Much on minds of Georgia players, coaches at ‘Media Day’ »

It’s always a numbers game for Georgia’s newcomers

One of the things I’ve learned covering college football all these years is numbers — as in jersey numbers — are of great interest to fans. So to hold you over until I get through with today’s press conferences, I figured I’d share the numbers the new players will be wearing this season.

I also found it interesting that nobody leaped to grab the numbers left available with the departures of Washaun Ealey and Caleb King. Sophomore walkon Luis Capella snagged Caleb King’s No. 4 and Ealey’s 3 remains unclaimed.

So here ya go:

1 — TB Isaiah Crowell

5 — DB Damian Swann

6 — NG John Jenkins (that’s no typo)

6 — QB Michael Tamburo (transfer from Boise State)

8 — DB Chris Sanders

16 — QB Christian LeMay

20 — TB Brandon Harton

24 — TB Ken Malcome (just noteworthy because he chose to keep it)

26 — WR Malcolm Mitchell

27 — DB Nick Marshall

29 — LB Jarvis Jones

31 — WR Chris Conley

37 — DB Devin Bowman

39 — DB Corey Moore

43 — DQ Quintavious Harrow

47 — LB Ray Drew

51 — LB Ramik Wilson

52 …

Continue reading It’s always a numbers game for Georgia’s newcomers »

What do you want to know as Georgia Bulldogs open camp today?

Athens — Georgia is holding its annual preseason “Media Day” later today. After lunch in the new multipurpose facility at Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, we’ll get a 30-minute, question-and-answer session with head coach Mark Richt followed by a session with selected players.

Actually, us media types don’t get to select the players. We don’t know just yet which players will be made available to us. But we do know none of them will be true freshmen. They’re off limits for interviews until August 11th.

You can expect the usual team leaders to be in attendance. Just guessing here but I suspect guys like quarterback Aaron Murray, linebacker Christian Robinson, center Ben Jones, defensive back Brandon Boykin, wide receiver Tavarres King, tight end Orson Charles and tackle Cordy Glenn will be there. Doubtful big John Jenkins will be available but it’d be nice if he was.

Anyway, I need your help. I’m looking for some feedback. There are a lot of obvious storylines heading into the 2011 …

Continue reading What do you want to know as Georgia Bulldogs open camp today? »

Georgia wide receiver cited by police but avoids arrest

Athens — Georgia didn’t quite make it to the season without a player having a brush with the law. Its zero arrests mark, however, remains intact.

Troupe

Troupe

Israel Troupe, a senior wide receiver from Tifton, failed to appear in Athens-Clarke County Municipal Court on Tuesday on a charge of urinating in public. However, court officials told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Troupe showed up and paid his fine on Wednesday and his case is now closed.

Troupe was fined $210 and paid a $50 late fee, a court clerk said.  Records show he was issued a citation for public urination by Athens-Clarke County Police on April 9, 2011. He was not arrested at that time, however, so no incident report was filed. The Bulldogs would have been in the midst of spring practice.

At this point is still not known whether Troupe, a backup split end, will miss any playing time as a result. UGA spokesperson Claude Felton said head coach Mark Richt “is aware of the situation” but could not say what, if …

Continue reading Georgia wide receiver cited by police but avoids arrest »

Report: Georgia may be down another offensive lineman as camp opens

Georgia apparently has lost another offensive lineman, at least for a while.

DawgPost.com, the Scout/Fox Sports website that covers the Bulldogs, cited sources in reporting that sophomore tackle Austin Long will miss at least the first two weeks of preseason camp after being diagnosed with mononucleosis. Two persons familiar the situation have confirmed that report to the AJC, but I haven’t gotten any official confirmation from UGA yet. Spokesperson Claude Felton said he was unaware of Long being sidelined.

If it’s true, that means the Bulldogs are down to six scholarship offensive linemen who have even one snap of experience, including the five starters. Georgia has lost three other offensive linemen since spring practice. Redshirt freshman guard Brent Benedict and junior tackle A.J. Harmon transferred to other schools and senior tackle Trinton Sturdivant was lost to a knee injury.

Georgia signed five freshmen offensive linemen in its 2011 recruiting class: David Andrews, …

Continue reading Report: Georgia may be down another offensive lineman as camp opens »

Q&A: Former Bulldog Thomas Davis returns to graduate, comments on defense

Q&A WITH THOMAS DAVIS

Yes, Thomas Davis knows a thing or two about tackling. Ask Charlie Whitehurst. (AJC photo)

Yes, Thomas Davis knows a thing or two about tackling. Ask Charlie Whitehurst. (AJC photo)

Just got off a teleconference call with former Georgia football star Thomas Davis. An All-American safety for the Bulldogs (2002-04), Davis now plays linebacker for the Carolina Panthers, who just last week signed him to a five-year contract extension. Thanks to the NFL lockout, Davis recently completed coursework for his UGA degree in housing and consumer economics. He’s getting a pass out of training camp this weekend in order to return to Athens and walk in graduation ceremonies on Saturday. Following is the what Davis had to say to reporters on the eve of that special occasion.

Q: How did you go about finishing your degree requirements from a logistics standpoint?

A: “The good thing for me is I was a redshirt guy. I left school after being in school for 3 ½ years and I didn’t have a lot of work left to complete in order to reach my degree requirements. …

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UGA’s ‘bus’ less crowded as Bulldogs report for preseason camp

Linebacker/defensive back Nick Williams would have been a significant contributor for Georgia had he remained with the Bulldogs. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Linebacker/defensive back Nick Williams would have been a significant contributor for Georgia had he remained with the Bulldogs. (AJC photo by Brant Sanderlin)

Athens — Georgia coaches and players have spent a lot of time this summer talking about mass transportation. Specifically, buses.

As in, “You’re either on the bus or you’re not,” as coach Mark Richt has said more than once this offseason.

As the Bulldogs get set to open preseason camp this week, one thing is evident: Their bus is less crowded now.

The Bulldogs will open the 2011 season well below the NCAA maximum of 85 scholarship players. Seventy-eight scholarship players are expected to check in when players report for tonight’s mandatory team meeting. That includes 54 returnees and 24 newcomers. Another 27 walkons will join them.

Not included in that number are 10 former players that are no longer with the team but had eligibility remaining (see chart below). Some of those are not in Athens by choice, …

Continue reading UGA’s ‘bus’ less crowded as Bulldogs report for preseason camp »