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Business Headlines

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro raised wages for the fifth time this year and said he wanted to peg prices to the nation's fledgling cryptocurrency as part of a package of measures that economists say is likely to accelerate hyperinflation. Maduro made the announcement in a televised address Friday night ahead of a previously announced monetary overhaul next week that will see five zeros lopped off from the nation's currency, the bolivar, in a bid to fight inflation forecast by the International Monetary Fund to top 1,000,000 percent this year. Maduro set the new monthly minimum wage at 1,800 sovereign bolivars, the new currency that goes into effect Monday. That's a 3,300 percent increase over the wage of just over 5 million bolivars set in June with the old currency but still around $30 at the widely used black market rate. Adding to confusion, he said he wanted to peg wages, prices and pensions to the petro — a cryptocurrency announced in February but which has yet to start circulating. He said one petro would equal $60, or 3,600 sovereign bolivars, with the goal of moving toward a single 'floating' exchange rate in the future tied to the digital currency. The embattled socialist leader is trying to rescue the OPEC nation's economy from the brink against a backdrop of crippling U.S. financial sanctions, a foreign debt crisis and a plunge in oil production to levels unseen since the 1940s. Widespread shortages of food and medicine, as well as rolling blackouts that have kept the country's second-largest city largely in the dark the past week, are adding to social tensions. Maduro has long contended that Venezuela's crisis is the product of an 'economic war' waged by his enemies and the U.S. and he took the same line Friday. 'The U.S. government has been carrying out a war, in several ways, to stop the Republic from making international purchases and asphyxiating us internationally,' Maduro said as his top advisers looked on. Venezuelans have grown accustomed to ambitious economic announcements that fall flat and Maduro's long televised address Friday night was short on details. But in raising wages so aggressively and announcing the crypto-pegged exchange rate he appeared to be acknowledging that the government was losing the battle to prop up the currency, economists said. In setting a rate for the petro, Maduro was implicitly taking the country's exchange rate to 6 million bolivars per U.S. dollar, on par with widely used black market exchange rates compared with the current official DICOM rate of 248,832 bolivars per dollar. Economists said they expect more financial turmoil. 'The next few days will be very confusing both for consumers and the private sector,' said Asdrubal Oliveros, director of Caracas-based think tank Ecoanalitica, which is highly critical of the government. 'It's a chaotic scenario.' Maduro said the government would help small businesses and industry absorb the financial hit from the wage hike. He also hiked the nation's sales tax four points to 16 percent and said he would take other measures to eliminate Venezuela's fiscal deficit, which is believed to be about 20 percent of gross domestic product. Oliveros called the goal admirable but illusory so long as the government continues to print money to finance runaway spending and hike wages.
  • Christa reads listener posts about how Clark has missed the mark in his advice this week. If you have a “Clark Stinks” to share you can leave it here. Very few Tesla’s get stolen. And if they do, 99% are recovered. Clark discusses why that is and offers tips on how to prevent your car from being stolen. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Watch the video
  • Justice Department lawyers asked a federal judge Friday to let them file a legal appeal that could, for now, keep President Donald Trump's critics from getting access to financial records related to his Washington, D.C., hotel. Trump has been fighting multiple lawsuits that argue that foreign representatives' spending money at the Trump International Hotel is a violation of the U.S. Constitution's emoluments clause, which bans federal officials from accepting benefits from foreign or state governments without congressional approval. U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte, who is based in Maryland, ruled last month that one of those lawsuits could go forward. In a sally to prevent the case moving on to legal discovery — which would potentially unearth financial records such as Trump's income tax returns — Justice Department lawyers asked Messitte on Friday to put the case on hold while they appeal his decision to a higher court in Richmond, Virginia. The plaintiffs, the state of Maryland and the District of Columbia, have said they plan to move forward quickly with discovery — for example, seeking information from the hotel, a Trump hotel steakhouse and the General Services Administration as well as the president's financial records. In court documents, the Justice Department objected to any discovery on a sitting president in his official capacity because of separation of powers concerns, in order to avoid a 'constitutional confrontation' between two branches of government. Justice lawyers argued that the 'public interest is decidedly in favor of a stay because any discovery would necessarily be a distraction to the President's performance of his constitutional duties.' D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine responded: 'After winning two major rulings in this case already, we anticipated President Trump's most recent motion. Nonetheless, our case is still moving forward. We are on track to propose a schedule for discovery by September 14, and we hope to request relevant documents shortly thereafter.' The emoluments clause has never been fully tested in an American courtroom. Two other lawsuits accusing the president of violating the emoluments clause are also being heard in other federal courts. Neither has reached the discovery stage. Messitte's ruling last month that an emolument 'extends to any profit, gain or advantage' was the first time a federal judge had defined the term's application to the president. It is that definition, and the argument that the plaintiffs have suffered actual harm and have a right to sue, that the Justice Department wants reviewed by a higher court. The plaintiffs have argued that Trump — who has declined to divest from his assets as president — is capitalizing on the presidency and causing harm to businesses trying to compete with his Washington hotel, which is just steps from the White House. The Justice Department has said earnings from business activities, including hotel room stays, don't qualify as emoluments. Its attorneys have argued that under Maryland and D.C.'s interpretation, no federal official would even be able to own stock from a foreign company that provides profits or collects royalties. The case raises important questions and should provide 'clarity on the boundaries of what a president can do while in office,' said Ted Boutrous, a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP who's been keeping an eye on all the cases, but isn't involved. 'The discovery would be interesting too,' he added with a laugh. __ Follow Tami Abdollah on Twitter at https://twitter.com/latams
  • If you grew up during the 1980s, you may remember a time when heavy metal music filled the airwaves on the radio and MTV. But heavy metals in the baby food you feed to your infant?!? That’s not good. Yet it’s more common than you might think, according to a startling claim made by Consumer Reports in newly published research. RELATED: Retailers are pulling this potentially deadly product — is it in your home? Is your baby and toddler food safe? The magazine checked 50 nationally distributed baby foods for cadmium, lead, mercury and inorganic arsenic, which is the type most harmful to humans’ health. Some 68% of products they tested had “worrisome” levels of one or more heavy metal. Meanwhile, 15 products may pose a “potential health risk” if just one serving was consumed daily on a regular basis. Scientific evidence suggests lower IQ and behavior problems may be exacerbated by exposure to dangerous heavy metals at an early age. There are also known links to autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. One of the most shocking elements of this report is the amount of brands on the naughty lists that have “organic” in their name! Meals and Entrées Naughty list Consumer Reports recommends less than one serving a day unless otherwise noted. Earth’s Best Organic Chicken & Brown Rice Earth’s Best Turkey, Red Beans & Brown Rice Gerber Chicken & Rice Gerber Turkey & Rice Sprout Organic Baby Food Garden Vegetables Brown Rice With Turkey Gerber Lil’ Meals White Turkey Stew With Rice & Vegetables* * Less than half of one serving a day is recommended Nice list Gerber Lil’ Entrées Chicken & Brown Rice With Peas & Corn Fruits and Vegetables Consumer Reports recommends less than one serving a day unless otherwise noted. Naughty list Gerber Carrot, Pear & Blackberry Gerber Carrots Peas & Corn With Lil’ Bits Plum Organics Just Sweet Potato Organic Baby Food Beech-Nut Classics Sweet Potatoes* Earth’s Best Organic Sweet Potatoes, 1st Stage* * Less than half of one serving a day is recommended Nice list Beech-Nut Classics Apple, Pear & Banana Beech-Nut Naturals Carrot, Broccoli, Apple & Strawberry Beech-Nut Organic Peas, Green Beans, and Avocado Gerber Grabbers Strong Veggies, Broccoli, Carrot, Banana, Pineapple Gerber Organic Peas, Carrots & Beets Happy Baby Organics Purple Carrots, Bananas, Avocados & Quinoa See which Cereals and Snack Food are on he naughty and nice lists in the full report from Consumer Reports. More stories you may like on Clark.com Two legitimate ways to get free Disney World tickets How kids can get free eyeglasses How to prevent ‘forgotten baby syndrome’ and hot car deaths Related Articles from clark.com: Discover is eliminating another credit card benefit in 2018 Read More Search Read More Need more cash? | 35 easy ways to make extra money each month Read More
  • A privacy group said in a letter sent to the Federal Trade Commission on Friday that Google has violated the terms of a 2011 settlement because of practices exposed in an Associated Press report this week. The Electronic Privacy Information Center said in the letter to the FTC that Google's recording of time-stamped location data — even after users have turned off a setting called Location History — 'clearly violates' the 2011 settlement. The center lobbied the FTC to take action on Google nearly a decade ago. That helped lead to the settlement in which Google agreed to a 20-year monitoring regime and vowed to not misrepresent the degree to which users have control over private data. Three days after the AP story was published Monday, Google altered a help page explanation but didn't change its tracking. The AP investigation found that even with Location History turned off, Google stores user location when, for instance, the Google Maps app is opened, or when users conduct Google searches that aren't related to location. Automated searches of the local weather on some Android phones also store the phone's whereabouts. Critics say Google's insistence on tracking its users' locations stems from its drive to boost advertising revenue. It can charge advertisers more if they want to narrow ad delivery to people who've visited certain locations.
  • The Princeton Review recently released its 62nd annual college rankings lists, which are based wholly off what students attending the schools have said in response to their surveys. After tallying answers to 80 different questions from more than 138,000 students at 384 schools, they produced the book The Best 384 Colleges which gives a comprehensive look at things like campus life, student body and even financial aid. Princeton Review lists top schools for financial aid on ‘Best Colleges’ lists Financial aid is a key factor in whether or not many students are able to attend college or university. Without it, some simply can’t afford higher education. When it comes to financial aid, here are the colleges that have the best packages, according to the what the students who attend them told the Princeton Review: #1. Vanderbilt University #2. Bowdoin College #3. Colgate University #4. Vassar College #5. Washington University in St. Louis #6. Princeton University #7. Yale University #8. Pomona College #9. Williams College #10. Thomas Aquinas College #11. Rice University #12. California Institute of Technology #13. Stanford University #14. Grinnell College #15. University of Wisconsin-Madison #16. Lafayette College #17. Brown University #18. Skidmore College #19. St. Olaf College #20. Cornell University One thing to note is that the Princeton Review says the schools aren’t ranked overall #1 to #384, but rather there are several lists and the institutions are organized into the top 20 for each of its 62 different ranking list categories. When it comes to whether a person can attend college or not, much of their decision may be based on finances. Will they take out a loan? When will they have to pay it back? If you want to know more about borrowing money for college, here are some key things to know about the student loan forgiveness program. Keep up to date with the latest cybersecurity news and more at Clark.com. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter and Facebook! More Clark.com stories you may like:  9 ways to pay for college without student loans These sites can help you save money on text books 7 money tips every college graduate ought to know Related Articles from clark.com: Discover is eliminating another credit card benefit in 2018 Read More Search Read More Need more cash? | 35 easy ways to make extra money each month Read More
  • The sales and marketing director of Backpage.com pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring to facilitate prostitution, acknowledging that he participated in a scheme to give free ads to prostitutes in a bid to draw them away from competitors and win over their future business. Dan Hyer is the second Backpage.com employee to plead guilty in cases in Arizona in which the site has been accused of ignoring warnings to stop running prostitution ads, some of which involved children. Authorities say the site has brought in $500 million in prostitution-related revenue since its inception in 2004. Some of the site's operators also are accused of laundering money earned from ad sales after banks raised concerns that they were being used for illegal purposes. In all, six others affiliated with Backpage.com, including founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, still face charges in the case. Hyer, 49, faces a maximum fine of $250,000 and up to five years in prison for his conviction. As part of the plea, prosecutors will dismiss 50 charges of facilitating prostitution and 17 money laundering charges against Hyer. It's unclear whether the plea deal calls for Hyer to testify against others in the case. Hyer said about 10 or 11 years ago his company would copy ads from the adult section of Craigslist and other sites, repost them on Backpage.com and then offer client a free ad, which prosecutors say was offered for a trial period. Hyer also said the ads were sometimes illegal because they contained links to another site that lets customers post reviews of their experiences with prostitutes. The object of the strategy was to compete with Craigslist and increase Backpage.com's revenues, Hyer said. An indictment filed in the case alleged Backpage.com used the strategy in Nashville and other cities and planned to expand such efforts in Los Angeles and New York. Asked by U.S. District Judge Steven Logan whether he was agreeing to the plea deal because he believed he was guilty of the conspiracy charge, Hyer responded, 'Yes, your honor.' Moments before pleading guilty, an emotional Hyer lifted his glasses to wipe his eyes with a tissue. Backpage.com is a Dutch-owned limited liability corporation. Its principal place of business is in Dallas, and federal officials say it kept its bank accounts and servers in Arizona. Another employee of the site, CEO Carl Ferrer, has previously pleaded guilty to a separate federal conspiracy case in Arizona and state money laundering charges in California. In addition, the company pleaded guilty to human trafficking in Texas and in a money laundering conspiracy case in Arizona. Ferrer has agreed to testify against others. The six remaining defendants in the Arizona case are scheduled for trial in January 2020. They have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Sentencing for Hyer is scheduled for Nov. 19. ___ Follow Jacques Billeaud at twitter.com/jacquesbilleaud. His work can be found at https://bit.ly/2GGWEPO.
  • Environmentalists have lost their latest legal bid to block a major redevelopment project at a Lake Tahoe-area ski resort that hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics. Placer County Superior Court Judge Michael W. Jones rejected Sierra Watch's claims this week that the expansion of the Village at Squaw Valley would violate the California Environmental Quality Act. He ruled in favor of Squaw Valley Real Estate and Placer County's approval in November 2016 of the project's Environmental Impact Report that the opponents said was inadequate. The project would add about 1,500 lodging units, an indoor recreation area and commercial space on about 93 acres (38 hectares) of mostly developed land in Olympic Valley between Truckee and Tahoe City, California. It also would add thousands of additional vehicles to the roads in and around the valley. 'The court's unequivocal ruling in favor of Placer County demonstrates that Sierra Watch's claims were false, there was no CEQA violation as it relates to the Village at Squaw Valley redevelopment plan,' said Whit Manley, a lawyer for Squaw Valley Real Estate and Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. 'Sierra Watch employed false and inflated claims to divide and damage the broader Squaw Alpine community,' added Ron Cohen, president and COO of Squaw Valley Ski Holdings. Judge Jones ruled Aug. 13 the project is outside the Tahoe Basin, rejecting Sierra Watch's claims that it must be evaluated against development standards inside the basin. He concluded that the environmental assessment adequately assessed traffic, emergency evacuation, climate change and noise impacts. Sierra Watch leaders say they intend to appeal. 'This setback in our Squaw CEQA case is temporary; our commitment to the Sierra is timeless,' the group said on its web site.
  • Federal regulators are alleging that Facebook's advertising tools allow landlords and real estate brokers to engage in housing discrimination. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said in an administrative complaint this week that Facebook violated the Fair Housing Act because its targeting systems allow advertisers to exclude certain audiences, such as families with young children or disabled people, from seeing housing ads. 'When Facebook uses the vast amount of personal data it collects to help advertisers to discriminate, it's the same as slamming the door in someone's face,' HUD Assistant Secretary Anna María Farias said in a statement Friday. Service providers such as Facebook typically aren't liable for the actions of their users. In a separate, civil lawsuit filed by housing advocates, the Justice Department says Facebook doesn't fall under that category because it mines user data, some of which users have to provide, and customizes ads for specific audiences. The government says that counts as being a content creator, rather than merely a transmitter of user content. Facebook said the company doesn't allow discrimination and has strengthened its systems over the past year to prevent misuse. The company added that it is working directly with HUD to address its concerns. Facebook has an opportunity to respond to the HUD complaint before the agency determines whether to file formal charges. The HUD action is separate from the federal lawsuit, filed in March in New York by the National Fair Housing Alliance and other organizations. The lawsuit says investigations by fair housing supporters in New York, Washington, D.C., Miami and San Antonio, Texas, show that Facebook continues to let advertisers discriminate even though civil rights and housing groups have notified the company since 2016 that it is violating the federal Fair Housing Act. It seeks unspecified damages and a court order to end discrimination. The Justice Department's position came in a filing in that case. Facebook said it plans to respond in court.
  • Hundreds of people, among them scores of chefs and students of the culinary arts from around the world, gathered Friday to pay their respects to one of the masters of French cuisine, the late French chef Joel Robuchon. The chefs, many wearing white uniforms but some clad in black, paid homage to Robuchon at a ceremony in Poitiers, the western French town where he was born just before the end of World War II. He died of cancer on Aug. 6 at 73. A large photo portrait of Robuchon, who in 2016 held a record 32 Michelin stars for his restaurants, was suspended outside Poitiers' Saint Pierre's Cathedral where a religious ceremony was held. Friends, family and dozens of chefs said a final farewell later at the town hall. Prominent Michelin-starred French chef Alain Ducasse and a delegation from Japan were among those who attended. Celebrity chef Thierry Marx told BFM-TV that Robuchon 'was an example of what can be achieved through hard work. He showed that you can grow a lot in society through the fruits of your labor.' Robuchon, who was buried at a private funeral last week, was named among the best craftsmen in France in 1976, crowned cook of the century in 1990 and chosen to be one of the cooks at the 'dinner of the century.' He was a master chef who shook up the stuffy world of French haute cuisine by showing diners the delights of the simple mashed potato and a peek at a restaurant kitchen. Robuchon was known for constant innovation and playfulness in the kitchen, qualities that made him a revelation to the hidebound world of French cuisine. He built a gourmet empire that included restaurants in Paris, Tokyo, Las Vegas and New York City.

Local News

  • The Georgia House Rural Development Council, created by the House to find ways to boost rural Geiorgia's economic fortunes, is looking to encourage multi-county industrial partnerships. Committe co-chair State Rep. Terry England says that came out of a meeting in Elberton this week. He notes one such authority covering several counties east of Atlanta attracted a Facebook data center this year. He says this would particularly benefit smaller counties without the resources to land such an economic plum. He says those counties would share the cost of building industrial parks-and then share the revenue. The Council plans more meetings and will report recommendations back to state lawmakers by year's end. 
  • Colorado State football coach Mike Bobo released a statement after news broke of his hospitalization due to numbness in his feet. In his statement released on Twitter, Bobo said he was thankful for the support he and his family have received while he’s undergone testing is looking forward to the upcoming football season. “I am currently in the process of a multiple day treatment for a peripheral neuropathy, and continue to be encouraged by the results of the ongoing medical testing,” Bobo said in part. “While I’ve been hospitalized, I have been able to remain in close contact with our staff and watch practice film in preparation for our season opener against Hawaii.” Colorado State released a statement Monday from Bobo and Colorado State athletic director Joe Parker which announced Bobo was hospitalized after a Rams scrimmage Saturday and then admitted to a hospital to undergo further testing after consulting doctors. A former Georgia quarterback, Bobo coached at the University of Georgia under Mark Richt as the quarterbacks coach from 2001-2006 and offensive coordinator from 2007-2014. In three seasons at Colorado, Bobo holds a 21-18 record.
  • Did you miss all the rain, thunderstorms and risk of severe weather? Well, it’s all expected to return Friday, whether you missed it or not.    It’ll also set the precedent going forward for the weekend and beginning of next week, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz said. Friday morning should be free of rain, and drivers should only have to contend with some light fog, Nitz said.  However, storms should roll into North Georgia around 2 p.m., and those should run through the evening commute, potentially causing problems for drivers. “We're looking at isolated to scattered (storm) coverage through 5 p.m.,” Nitz said. “As they come in, they could pack a punch.”     The risk of isolated severe thunderstorms is mostly north of I-20 and includes most of North Georgia and eastern Georgia, Nitz said. The storms present the possibility of 60-mph winds, small hail, downpours and frequent lightning. The worst of the storms should be over before the Braves take on the Colorado Rockies at 7:35 p.m. at SunTrust Park.  Friday’s 60 percent chance of rain increases to 70 percent Saturday, Nitz said. The rain chance remains above 60 percent through Tuesday. The cloud cover should lower temperatures into the mid-80s Saturday and beyond, but the added humidity and moisture should thicken the air, increasing how hot it feels outside, Nitz said.
  • There are now indictments for two men from Madison County, charged in a deadly shooting in Athens: David and Martin Garcia are cousins, 22 and 18 years old, from Hull. They’re accused in the June 4 death of Saheed Snow, who was shot and killed on Nellie B Avenue in Athens. Athens-Clarke County Police say it was apparently a drug-related shooting.  There are now indictments for Jonathan Herbert: the 30 year-old former Gwinnett County school teacher was arrested last month in Hall County, accused of biting a 14 year-old girl in the buttocks while she swam in Lake Lanier on the Fourth of July. Herbert is facing criminal counts that include sexual battery and public intoxication.    A Dawson County man is indicted on charges stemming from allegations that he stole money from a baseball umpire’s association and used it to pay prostitutes: Timothy Ryan is 55 years old, from Dawsonville. 
  • Athens-Clarke County Police say gunshots that were fired into a home off Linda Avenue were apparently in retaliation to earlier shootings that happened on Oak Hill Drive and Pamela Drive in Athens. A suspect in those shootings—identified now as Johntavious King—was arrested and booked into the Clarke County jail earlier this week. The search for suspects in the most recent shooting was, at last report, ongoing. There have been no injuries in any of the shootings. 

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — My debut for the Georgia football “ask the expert” feels very appropriate in that the subject matter in running backs. Of all the positions I’ve covered in college football, this is the one where I feel most qualified based on the fact I have covered some of the best running backs in SEC football history. While a journalism student in college I covered the Detroit Lions when Barry Sanders was the running back. Every handoff brought me to the edge of my seat in the Pontiac Silverdome, and I’ve only seen a few backs since then that can do that. Some of them I’ve had the good fortune of covering. The Stephen Davis-James Bostic duo on undefeated 1993 Auburn was special, and Shaun Alexander is the most talented running back in Alabama history in my opinion. The Jamal Lewis-Travis Henry-Travis Stephens trio at Tennessee was dynamic, and later, a Vols’ backfield with two 1,000-yard rushers in Gerald Riggs Jr. and Cedric Houston was among the most underrated. Arian Foster came along later for Tennessee, and you could see his talent his true freshman yea. I moved to the Michigan State beat in 2012 where Le’Veon Bell and Jeremy Langford were waiting to impress. My return to cover the Vols saw Jalen Hurd, Alvin Kamara and John Kelly sharing the backfield. They are all NFL talents, and I believe current UT back Ty Chandler could be special, too. Now, Georgia, and the first thing I did was look at the games last year and review the recruiting tape of Zamir White and “Little” James Cook. RELATED: Georgia LB raves about running back James Cook That brings us to today’s question:   @ChipTowersDN here’s one for you both.  With all the depth at running back, what are the chances of seeing more 2 back sets this year?  Saw it a few times last year, but not much. #keepemguessing — Michael McCollum (@mgmccollum) August 17, 2018   I’ll come right out and say it: Cook has captivated me from the time I saw his highlights. Not because of what he did — most all FBS backs are run away from the competition in high school. It’s where Cook did it. You don’t see guys run away that easily on the high school football field of South Florida. But there was Cook, electrifying and dazzling against future FBS players. Usually I put the videos at the bottom of the story, but you got to watch this — look at the change of direction and acceleration from Cook: James Cook High School Highlights Now you know why Monty Rice said: “I’ve never played against a running back like Cook before, he has his own little style, and it’s very unique.” Question is: What does Jim Chaney think? My guess is Georgia’s base offense will be single back, three-wide and one tight end. When two backs are in the game, I’d guess it would be in shot gun, and sometimes one might go in motion as a receiver. That’s what I saw on video from last year’s games, and it worked well. I could see Chaney doing it most often in passing situations or in the two-minute offense. D’Andre Swift looks strong and appears to be the starting back. Elijah Holyfield has had some camp moments, but I’m always somewhat skeptical of junior and senior backs having breakout years — seems their star would have already shined. But if you go with a second back, whether it’s Cook, Holyfield, Brian Herrien or White, who do you take off the field? RELATED: Kirby Smart explains why Georgia football offense personality still unsresolved Do you subtract a Demetris Robertson or Mecole Hardman? Because it sure looks to me like Riley Ridley is emerging as a go-to guy and Terry Godwin is proven. Ideally Cook will grow to be the same size as his big brother, 6-foot, 210-pound Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings. But for now, “Little” Cook — as Monty Rice calls him — is listed at 5-10, 190. Not big enough to be a three-down back in the SEC. I’m of the Alabama football mindset of utilizing bigger, stronger backs as primary ballcarriers. If anyone can appreciate that, it’s Georgia fans who have first-hand memories of the greatest SEC back of all time, Herschel Walker. So my answer isn’t as definitive as maybe you’d like, but hopefully it provides some perspective. Oh, and for those who wonder what I think of White, I’m reserving judgement until he gets that bulky knee brace off.       The post Georgia football likely to utilize 2-back formations in shot gun most often, but when and who? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • GEORGIA’S OWN #11: RB ZAMIR WHITE ATHENS — The term “freak” probably is overused in sports. But with regard to Georgia’s Zamir White, it suits him perfectly. And that goes beyond the Adonis-like body and size/speed combination White showed up with to UGA. No, White is a bit of a medical freak. It goes back to the very beginning with him. As detailed by DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell during White’s recruitment, doctors recommended White’s mother abort her pregnancy due to severe underdevelopment around the end of the first trimester. When he was born, the first 100 days of White’s life were spent in intensive care. As a newborn, White’s tiny body endured multiple surgeries. They had to address issues such as cleft lip, cleft jaw, kidney function, cysts, and other minor and major malformations. Initially, he was given 10 days to live. From his first breath, White was having to overcome adversity. But as all the world can see he turned out considerably better than “just fine.” “I’m really just happy he’s here,” said his mother, Shanee White. “It is not all this football stuff.” Zamir White has not missed a preseason snap despite wearing a significant metal brace to protect the right knee that required ACL surgery last December. (Steven Colquitt/UGA)       With that context, it’s easy to understand why White wasn’t about to let a little ol’ torn ACL slow down his development as the next great back to sign with Georgia. And he hasn’t. To cut to the chase, White will be available to play in the Bulldogs’ season opener against Austin Peay on Sept. 1. And word is, he would’ve been ready if that game had been played on August 1 as well. That’s when Georgia opened preseason camp, and White has been “full go” since the first whistle. The only thing limiting him is a somewhat cumbersome metal brace on his right knee. He longs for the day in the not-too-distant future when he’ll be able to play without it. “He could take the knee brace off and practice, but it’s precautionary,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said after the Bulldogs’ first scrimmage of the preseason. “It’s a little rigid and it’s not comfortable for him. He’s not out there feeling like he’s his old self yet. … But he is cleared and he’s safe to practice. He just doesn’t like having that knee brace on.” That he’s already working out full speed with the Bulldogs does not make White a medical miracle. His timeline to recovery from a simple tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is not unusual in modern-day sports medicine. But White was fortunate to have been able to enlist Georgia in his treatment and recovery. White actually incurred the knee injury in a playoff game with Scotland High School on the night of Nov. 17 last fall. It came on his last carry in the fourth of quarter of game his team led by 25 points. White came out of the game knowing he’d taken a helmet blow to the knee, but didn’t realize he was seriously injured. White remained on the sideline the rest of the game and signed autographs for fans for at least a half-hour afterward in 30-degree temperatures. Then he went home and crashed inn advance of an early wake-up call for an unofficial recruiting trip to UGA. It was only after walking around Sanford Stadium and up and down the stands that White realized he might have more than a bruise. He mentioned it to Ron Courson, Georgia’s director of sports medicine, and a routine examination on the spot revealed that a ligament indeed was torn. A month later, surgery was performed by UGA doctors in Athens. As an early enrollee with the Bulldogs, White’s rehabilitation began in earnest upon his arrival on campus. White’s progress was evident in April during Georgia’s spring practices. By the end of them, he was already running full speed through position drills with the rest of the backs. He was held out of contact and any competitive scrimmage situations, but otherwise was getting in work and learning the offense. Fast forward to the summer, and a video was released by UGA of White high-kicking and hitting and moving in a Taekwondo workout in the Payne Athletic Center. It was on Aug. 2, the first official day of Georgia’s preseason camp, that Smart pronounced White “full go.” “I don’t know in this day and age you would say (White’s recovery) was quick,” Smart said. “I think he’s on schedule or a little ahead of schedule. He got injured last year in football season. It’s not a miracle he’s back going. He is pretty special when it comes to rehab, buying in, doing wrestling, doing karate. He does all these extra things like Nick (Chubb) did. That part — his effort and all the work — is incredible.” As a result, Georgia fans will get to see what all the fuss is about. And with White, there has been a lot of fuss made. That’s what happens when one is a consensus 5-star prospect and the No. 1-rated running back in high school. His numbers at his little school in Laurinburg, N.C., were ungodly — 2,086 yards and 34 TDs in 11 games as a senior and a gaudy per-carry average of 14.1 yards. White regularly draws comparisons to a couple of other great Georgia backs from small-town North Carolina, Todd Gurley of Tarboro and Tim Worley of Lumberton. Both of them wowed the masses with the Bulldogs and earned riches in the NFL. The thinking is that this young man who has come to be called “Zeus” is on a similar path. First, White will have to get through one of the most intense running back competitions in Georgia history, which is saying something. Sophomore D’Andre Swift is the heir apparent to succeed the last greats, Chubb and Sony Michel. Talented juniors Elijah Holyfield and Brian Herrien have been patiently biding their time and awaiting their opportunities. And fellow freshman signee James Cook, brother of Dalvin, has turned heads with his quickness and broken-field running. But White is thought to have all the characteristics Georgia looks for in great backs. He has the size and strength to punch the football into the A and B gaps of the defense while also possessing the speed get around the end and outrun defensive backs to paydirt. That script has yet to be written. But optimism abounds. The early chapters in the Book of Zeus certainly have been incredible, especially that first one. If White plays the way coaches and recruiting analysts expect, he’ll be another reason Georgia “Owns the East.” The post Own the East: Georgia’s Zamir White has been overcoming adversity from the start appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart isn’t exactly sure how his offense is going to look from play to play this season right now. Smart, however, said he’ll have a better idea following the Bulldogs’ second scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday. “ Scrimmage two is kind of a defining moment,” Smart said this week. RELATED: Kirby Smart explains why Georgia offense a work in progress Georgia is loaded with talent across the board, but particularly at the skill positions where running backs, tight ends and receivers are vying for play calls. “You want your best players on the field, so if our best players on the field are four wideouts and no tight ends, we better have some good tackles and be able to block well because we don’t have edges,” Smart said. “But if our best players are tight ends, then we’ll have three of them out there. If our best are backs, we’ll have two of backs and maybe two receivers.” The intense competition playing out in fall camp will go a long way toward determine who is on the field. Once that’s determined, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney can play Dr. Frankenstein with the playbook, the Bulldogs’ operating behind a monstrous offensive line. RELATED: Georgia football 5-star receivers getting outplayed in practice “We’ve got a set of plays, our core belief that we always have, which is balance, being powerful, being able to run the ball at our will, not somebody else breaking our will,” Smart said. “[But] as far as having it formed by any shape or form, I don’t think we’ll have that until the two-deep is set on the offensive line and how the top 10 shake out and the alignment that we’re going to be able to work with this season. I don’t think that will play out until even after scrimmage two.” RELATED: Georgia gets receivers back on the field from injury Some questions were answered in the first scrimmage, both quarterbacks proving they can manage the huddle, and running backs breaking loose on substantial runs. But Smart wants to see who can do it consistently, and the second scrimmage will go a long ways toward determine how Georgia will open the season at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 1 against FCS Austin Peay at Sanford Stadium. Georgia football Kirby Smart 8-16-18     The post Georgia football second scrimmage ‘defining moment’ in offensive evolution appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia football true freshman James Cook opened eyes at the Bulldogs’ open practice on Aug. 4,  and apparently he has continued to excel through fall drills. RELATED: James Cook catches Kirby Smart’s eye at open practice Georgia linebacker Monty Rice made it clear on Thursday that he has been impressed with all of the backs, and particularly Cook. “I’ve never played against a running back like Cook before, he has his own little style, and it’s very unique,” Rice said. “He’s very tough to cover …   you can’t be looking at the quarterback when you cover him, or you’ll watch them complete the pass.” Rice has had an impressive offseason himself, making a team-high 14 tackles in the G-Day game to put himself in position to win a starting job. Rice said nothing has been determined at linebacker yet, himself working at both “Mike” and “Will.” From the sounds of it, Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will have a hard time sorting through the offensive weapons. RELATED: Kirby Smart explains offensive personality still evolving Elijah Holyfield tore through the first-team defense in the first scrimmage, and Rice said the defense is eager to atone in the upcoming second scrimmage on Saturday. “I don’t want to see Brian Herrien, Holyfield or [D’Andre] Swift run for 60 yards on a play, not against us,” Rice said. RELATED: Watch Elijah Holyfield run through first-team defense They’ve all impressed, Rice indicated. “Little Cook never stops running, he’s fast, I mean, just fast,” Rice said. “Then you’ve got Holyfield   Brian, Swift, Prather [Hudson], Zamir [White], there’s a bunch of them, and they are all pretty good.” Cook, 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, is the younger brother of NFL tailback and former Florida State star Dalvin Cook. He was one of the last freshmen in the 2018 class to arrive on campus. RELATED: Kirby Smart confirms James Cook on campus Cook and the Georgia backs could find the going tougher on Saturday. “We just have to get better on our techniques,” Rice said, “and if we get our techniques right, we can prevent those big runs.” Georgia football LB Monty Rice The post WATCH: Georgia linebacker Monty Rice raves about ‘Little (James) Cook’ appeared first on DawgNation.
  • PRACTICE OBSERVATIONS ATHENS — It was another stifling hot day on Woodruff Practice Fields on Thursday as the Georgia Bulldogs conducted their 12th practice of preseason camp in full pads. Good thing for the hard-working, and always-running receivers that they welcomed two back to their number. Senior Terry Godwin and freshman Kearis Jackson, each were dressed out and going through position drills during the 15-minute media viewing period. Godwin, the Bulldogs’ leading returning receiver from last year, has been out for most of camp with what coach Kirby Smart has described as a “not too serious” knee injury. Jackson, an early enrollee who turned some heads last spring, has been battling a hamstring injury. While Georgia’s offense got back those two targets, they were missing one other one from the tight ends group. Luke Ford, a 6-foot-6, 252-pound true freshman from Carterville, Ill., was reportedly involved in a minor motorcyle accident Thursday morning, according to ugarivals.com. Ford was not seriously hurt but did suffer some sort of foot injury, the fan site reported. UGA has yet to confirm the report. Other observations: Redshirt freshman receiver Matt Landers seems to have added significant weight to his 6-foot-5 frame, though he’s still listed on the roster at 200 pounds. Landers also seems to have moved up in the rotation. Georgia’s defensive backs were really getting after it during position drills. Defensive coordinator and secondary coach Mel Tucker was having them work on moving toward the ball carrier even though engaged in a lock-down block by the wide receiver. It made for some great individual matchups, with freshman Otis Reese facing off against fellow freshman Tyson Campbell and senior Deandre Baker locking up with J.R. Reed. Cornerback Tyrique McGhee (broken foot) was still sidelined as expected. Freshman corner Divaad Wilson, who suffered a knee injury in the spring, continued to run on the side under the guidance of team trainers. Georgia continued to mix and match on the offensive line. Kirby Smart said Wednesday the Bulldogs are simply trying to identify the best fill-ins in the case of an injured starter. The top five still appears to be LT Andrew Thomas, LG Kendall Baker, C Lamont Gaillard, RG Ben Cleveland and RT Isaiah Wilson. Speaking of Wilson, the 6-7, 340-pound redshirt freshman from Brooklyn appears to have completely remade his body. More importantly, there have been no reports of him falling out of preseason workouts due to the heat, as was often the case a year ago. The post Practice report: Key wide receivers back on the field for Bulldogs appeared first on DawgNation.