THE TEN AT 10:
1. Georgia is about to have another change within its strength and conditioning program. Rex Bradberry, who has served in one capacity or another in that department since 2002, is leaving UGA after accepting a position as a strength and conditioning specialist for the U.S. Army. Bradberry, 29, will be training Special Forces troops at Fort Bragg in North Carolina.
“I can’t go into much detail other than I will be handling all their physical training,” said Bradberry, who has already signed a contract but is awaiting security clearance. “I’ll be preparing those teams for battle and hopefully will prevent them from injury and help them save their lives. I’ll also be working with the ‘Wounded Warrior’ project. I’m doing a rehabilitation program for them to help bring them back to a more functioning way of life.”
Bradberry will be a civilian contractor and is not enlisting. He actually signed the contract two weeks ago but was told his security clearance could take 30 to 60 days or “could be any day now.” In the meantime, Bradberry remains at UGA and is helping Georgia’s new strength coaches make the transition while fulfilling his normal duties with the Bulldogs.
2. Bradberry becomes the fourth member of this past year’s strength staff to leave UGA. Thomas Brown took a job as an assistant football coach at UTC, Keith Gray accepted a position with the Philadelphia Eagles and John Kasay returned to retirement after the bowl game. Only Tony Gilbert, a former UGA linebacker (2000-02) who joined the staff before this past season, remains on coach Joe Tereshinsiki’s staff.
Bradberry said the massive turnover should not be viewed in a negative light.
“There’s definitely no hard feelings,” he said. “Georgia has been very good to me. I love Georgia. I’ve got a masters from Georgia and a Ph.D. from Georgia. I’ve coached here for a long time, we’ve won a games and I’ve got a lot of great relationships with Georgia people. I’m a Georgia guy. . . . This is just an opportunity that doesn’t come along very often and I’m humbled to have the opportunity to go serve my country.”
Tereshinski already has hired John Thomas from Penn State as senior associate director and Sherman Armstrong of Tampa as an assistant and speed specialist. The NCAA has enacted legislation that limits strength staffs to five full-timers. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the Bulldogs are in the market for one more full-timer.
“It’s up to Joe,” Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity said Monday. “We haven’t really talked about it that much since Rex is still here. Five’s the max, but there are other ways you can handle it, with graduate assistants and student assistants and things like that. We’ll visit that at the right time.”
3. Meanwhile, the protracted search for a new director of on-campus recruiting drags on. It was thought that the Bulldogs were close to a hire for the position, which has been advertised since mid-February. But McGarity told The AJC on Monday that he has “re-posted” the position.
“We just haven’t hired a person in that spot,” McGarity said. “We’ve still got the original list of applicants and the bottom line is no one was hired. So we’re re-opening it again and we’ll see if some other names appear. It’s just normal operating procedure.”
According to records obtained by The AJC, 126 people submitted applicatons for the job previously occupied by Charlie Cantor, who resigned last summer. Among those that were brought in for interviews included national recruiting analysts Jamie Newberg of ESPN.com and Chad Simmons of FOX Sports/Scout.com. However, indications are the Bulldogs now may have decided to go in a different direction.
“I don’t know who’s out there talking on it but Mark hasn’t commented on it and I haven’t commented on it,” McGarity said. “We’re the only two that are thoroughly involved with the process. We just haven’t made a hire at this point. There will be an announcement when a hire is made. Mark will identify that person and we’ll close that chapter and move on.”
4. Not having an on-campus director of recruiting doesn’t appear to have held back the Bulldogs so far. They had a multi-commitment day for the second time in as many days on Monday. Less than 24 hours after landing three commitments on Easter Sunday, Georgia added two more on Monday in linebacker Reggie Carter of South Gwinnett and athlete JJ Green of Camden County.
That gives the Bulldogs 14 commitments 10 months before national signing day. They signed only 19 all of last year. According to several recruiting sites, it is more commits than Georgia has ever had this early in the recruiting process. Richt acknowledged this past weekend that Georgia could sign 28 or more in the Class of 2013.
Meanwhile, AJC recruiting reporter Michael Carvell believes the Bulldogs will stay active this week. J.P. Vonashek, a 6-foot-6, 270-pound offensive lineman from Camden County, was offered a scholarship on Monday and may accept it as early as Tuesday.
5. It has been a month since Richt and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham agreed to contract extensions from UGA. Richt agreed in principle to a five-year extension, while Grantham accepted three more years. But those deals have yet to be finalized and signed by both parties. Without their signatures, it means nothing.
McGarity seems unconcerned.
“It’s between the two legal representatives,” he said. “It’s going back and forth with them as far as getting the terminology and what have you. That’s where it is right now.”
6. Of course, Georgia’s annual spring intrasquad football scrimmage — better known as “G-Day — will be held Saturday at 3 p.m. at Sanford Stadium. Admission is free, but UGA and several other groups are trying to use the occasion to raise money and food for charity. The Food Bank of Northeast Georgia is accepting canned goods at Gates 2, 4, 6 and 9 as soon as gates open at 12:45 p.m. There is a letterman’s flag football game at 1 p.m. and all kinds of other activities. Here’s a link to a site with all the details.
7. Also, the “UGA Footlball Coaches Wives” are hosting a “Lunch with the Legends” tailgate at Legion Field to benefit the Kasyn Cares Fund at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Kasyn Olivadotti is the 4-year-old daughter of Georgia linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti and she was diagnosed with a form of Leukemia last summer. The Bulldogs currently boast three families that produced multiple football All-Americans — Champ and Boss Bailey, Drew and Kevin Butler and Jon and Matt Stinchcomb. For $200 you can purchase one of 250 limited edition Nike footballs signed by all six men. Zaxby’s will cater the event so lunch is available.
After the G-Day Game, Bulldog lettermen and current NFL stars Jarius Wynn (Green Bay Packers) and current Corvey Irvin (Jacksonville Jaguars) are hosting a charity benefit at the Loco’s on Timothy Road at 5:30 p.m. Several other “surprise NFL guests” will be on hand, according to organizer.
8. On Friday, Georgia will be hosting “Charley Trippi Day” at the Georgia Center for Continued Education. The legendary halfback, MVP of the 1943 Rose Bowl and star of the 11-0 1946 team with be recognized with commendations from Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal and Athens Mayor Nancy Denson during a luncheon that will also be attended by Arizona Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill and Cardinals president Michael Bidwill, Maxwell Club executive director Mark Wolpert, UGA president Dr. Michael Adams, representatives of the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame, and former Bulldog coach Vince Dooley. Former Georgia cornerback Brandon Boykin will also be honored at the luncheon as the first recipient of the Charley Trippi Most Versatile Player Award.
9. There will be more than football going on Saturday in Athens. The Georgia track teams are hosting the annual Spec Towns Invitational at Spec Towns track and a very special race is being conducted there at 11 a.m.
Jarryd Wallace, an Athens native who won the gold medal at the 2011 Parapan American Games, face off against against the defending world champion Jerome Singleton in a head-to-head race to kick off the trial season for the 2012 Paralympic Games. Wallace is the son of Georgia women’s tennis coach Jeff Wallace. A former high school state champion distance runner, Wallace had to have the lower half of one of his legs amputated due to a medical condition. He clocked a 11.31-second time last yearto become the fastest single amputee for the 100 metersin 2011.
10. THIS & THAT: After winning the Auburn regional this past weekend, the fifth-seeded Georgia gymnastics team found out this week it will compete in the second semifinal session of the NCAA Championships April 20 at 6 p.m. ET at the Gwinnett Arena. The Gym Dogs will face No. 1 Florida, No. 4 Alabama, No. 8 Arkansas, No. 9 Oregon State and No. 12 Ohio State. . . . Georgia’s Diamond Dogs will be offering free baseball on Monday at 3 p.m. when they play host to Liberty. The game was scheduled late to make up for rainout versus Western Carolina.