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    ATHENS Georgia quarterback D'Wan Mathis was back in his home state of Michigan over spring break when the coronavirus pandemic began to take effect. Some of the Bulldogs' players would end up staying home when UGA suspended and then canceled face-to-face spring semester classes. But not Mathis. 'D'Wan came back on spring break and told me he loves where he is from, but that he needed to go back to Georgia,' Terence Mathis told DawgNation on Friday. 'He said, Daddy, I love you, but I'm leaving.' 'For us, we're just happy he was granted the exemption to stay near campus where they have the best doctors in the world keeping up with him.' The former Ohio State quarterback commit from metro Detroit has had a challenging rehabilitation period after an emergency brain surgery procedure last May 23 put him in the ICU unit at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center. 'I want the public to know this, please write this: Georgia could have given up on my son,' Terence Mathis said. 'But instead, Kirby and his staff have treated D'Wan as though he was their own son. They've used every possible resource to stay behind him and keep him engaged with the team after saving his life.' RELATED: Georgia saved my son's life, medical director Ron Courson praised Indeed, Coach Kirby Smart made it clear last May that Georgia would not rush Mathis' comeback, and they planned for a complete recovery. 'We are expecting a full recovery, and the timeline is the least of our concerns,' Smart said at SEC spring meetings. Mathis' comeback has come in stages. He was cleared to run and lift last July. By the start of the 2019 season, he was participating in limited drill work. By last November, Mathis running the scout team offense and playing with such passion that coaches and doctors had to reel him in and remind him to use some restraint. Mathis was cleared to go through spring football drills, though it's important to note he's not yet been cleared for game action. There's an MRI test scheduled for May that could provided the all-important clearance for total contact (UGA doesn't tackle its quarterbacks in spring drills). More good news came on Friday, when the SEC added some provisions for coaches to instruct players. Mathis, along with fellow Georgia football quarterbacks Jamie Newman, Caron Beck and Stetson Bennett, has the benefit of chalk talks starting at 1 p.m. next Monday. RELATED: SEC moves toward resuming football preparations Terence Mathis maintains the football will take care of itself. He said the most important thing to the Mathis family is how D'Wan has been accepted into the Georgia football community. 'I'm indebted to Georgia, they have extended this incredible opportunity to D'Wan,' Terence Mathis said. 'Especially during these tough times, and you know it's bad up here in Michigan. 'It means everything to us as a family for him to now have the opportunity to be involved with the football planning while still pursuing academics. 'Coach (Todd) Monken has reached out to me and let me know that D'Wan is having positive progress.' Mathis' upside was obvious to all who watched last year's G-Day Game. The 6-foot-6, 205-pounder was 15-of-28 passing for 113 yards and provided one of the biggest highlights of the Georgia football spring game. Mathis, who ran a 10.8-second time in the 100 meters in high school, showed his speed when he caught a double-reverse pass from Matt Landers for a 39-yard touchdown. TRICK PLAY ALERT #GDay #GoDawgs Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) April 21, 2019 'D'Wan, he's explosive,' Jake Fromm said of his former understudy. 'I think he converted three or four first downs in a row with his legs. 'The guy can run the ball, he can throw it 70 yards, he's going to be a great player.' The strong performances in spring drills kept Mathis going during the dog days of last summer and into the season. But there were also frustrating times when D'Wan Maths didn't know what to do without football, unable to travel to away games. That's when Georgia came up biggest, according to his father. 'As frustrated as he got, the more they wrapped their arms around him,' Terence Mathis said. 'Those coaches could have said they were too busy trying to win the SEC East again and play for another league title. But they didn't say that. 'They believed in D'Wan, and they have stayed behind him, and the DawgNation fans have stayed behind him, too.' There is no timetable for college football to return at the time of this publication (March 28). The coronavirus has put all group activities around the world on hold. But Terence Mathis said his son will remain in Athens. 'That's what he considers his home now,' he said, 'and it's where we believe he belongs.' DawgNation D'Wan Mathis stories Mind Game: D'Wan Mathis ready to compete for starting job Mathis tipped by social media Ohio State misled him on Justin Fields D'Wan Mathis recovering after emergency brain cyst surgery Jake Fromm shares observations of D'Wan Mathis The post Georgia quarterback D'Wan Mathis continuing comeback home' in Athens, granted exemption appeared first on DawgNation.
  • We've now reached the Final Four. Not of the NCAA Tournament but of the top Georgia football moments that have occurred under Kirby Smart. We now have the representatives for each season 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 that Smart has guided the Georgia program. The 2016 winner was the top seed, being Nick Chubb's return against North Carolina. The game also gave Smart his first career win, while Chubb ran for over 200 yards in his first game back. The 2017 pick is the runaway favorite to win, as that year is being repped by Sony Michel's game-ending touchdown run against Oklahoma. It's hard to imagine this moment somehow not winning the whole bracket, given how dominant that moment is been in voting up to this point. The 2018 selection was D'Andre Swift's touchdown run against Auburn, which capped Swift's best-career game in a Georgia uniform. And the representative for the past season was Georgia's 23-17 win over Notre Dame. The big highlight from that game was the light show that took place between the third and fourth quarters, though Lawrence Cager's touchdown catch. The Swift run will take on the 2019 Notre Dame game, while Chubb's return has the unfortunate matchup against Michel's final Rose Bowl touchdown. You can vote on the results below, as well as see the full brackets as to how we got to this point. Full Bracket 2016 vs. 2017 region No. 1 Sony Michel's walk-off against Oklahoma vs.No. 1 Nick Chubb's return Breakdown:Michel dominated again, winning 92-8 over the 2017 Notre Dame take over. Michel's game-winning touchdown run is the heavy favorite to win the entire bracket. Think back to how great it felt in that moment for the Bulldogs to punch their ticket to Atlanta. Chubb's return also advanced to this point with relative ease, beating Jacob Eason's winner against Mizzou by a 72-28 margin. This was Chubb's first game back after a horrific knee injury against Tennessee in his sophomore season. He came out and ran for 222 yards, the second-most in his illustrious Georgia career. The result also gave Georgia a win over North Carolina in Smart's first-ever game as Georgia's head coach. In the first matchup, 2017's top moment against 2016's top moment DawgNation (@DawgNation) March 28, 2020 2018 vs. 2019 region No. 2 D'Andre Swift's touchdown run against Auburn vs.No. 1 The Notre Dame lights show The 77-yard touchdown run by Swift capped not only his best career game but also a three-game stretch that saw the Bulldogs beat three straight-ranked opponents in Florida, Kentucky and Auburn. It got the final four by beating Kirby Smart's post-Florida celebration. Auburn has one of the best run defenses in the country. @DAndreSwift has 186 yards against it, including this 77 yard touchdown. Dayne Young (@dayneyoung) November 11, 2018 The Notre Dame win is on the shortlist of best home games of the past decade. It advanced with a 58-42 margin over HBTFD. And in the other matchup, 2018 against 2019 DawgNation (@DawgNation) March 28, 2020 More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Georgia football podcast: CBS writer says UGA among teams most hurt by missing spring practice SEC steps toward resuming football preparations, approves online chalk talks Jonathan Jefferson: 5 things to know about this week's 2021 Georgia commit Opinion: Kirk Herbstreit's reckless speculation does college football a disservice WATCH: If you don't like Todd Gurley on the Atlanta Falcons, you're anti-fun ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. breaks down D'Andre Swift draft stock Georgia football podcast: 5 things to know about UGA's chances of making Playoff Tony Grimes: Nation's No. 1 CB was set to see UGA amid a flurry of spring visits The post Bracket season: Discussing the top moment of each Georgia football season under Kirby Smart appeared first on DawgNation.
  • DawgNation has four staffers who cover Georgia football from every angle: Beat, live streams, photos, podcasts, recruiting, etc. The 'Cover 4' concept is: 1) Present a topic; 2) Offer a reasoned response; 3) Share a brisk statement on that opinion. 4) Pepper the page with photos for the big picture. For this edition, we discuss what Georgia fans would have been talking about now had COVID-19 not put our way of life on hold. DawgNation continues with the 'Cover 4' concept. The focus is always a timely look with each of our guys manning the secondary on a pertinent topic. We're looking at our now useless Georgia spring practice schedule from earlier this year. It makes us wince. Poof. All of that is gone. But football will return. Someday. Hopefully soon. That schedule says the 2020 Bulldogs would have been six practices deep into their spring drills after today. What would have DawgNation been talking about right now? We closed our eyes and imagined what that would have looked like. It resulted in another 'Cover 4' discussion of four different aspects of the team. It was fun to do amidst a time of great renewal for the Georgia program. Well, except for a salty defense which should be the best of the Kirby Smart era in Athens. The quick in-and-out game remains. The Cover 4 is designed to come out as quick as everyone is to try to maintain their social distancing these days. What would have been the big Georgia football spring practice storyline right now? Brandon Adams: Jamie Newman The 'why' from 'DawgNation Daily' here: 'The quarterback is almost always the biggest story, and this certainly would've been the case with Newman. The absence of spring practice only increases our anticipation to see Newman's debut this fall .' Mike Griffith: The offensive line The 'why' from 'On the Beat' here: 'This is the area Kirby Smart is most concerned about, and he'll say it. There will be discussion about different players lining up in different places, and injury updates . ' Connor Riley: Todd, Todd, Todd Monken The 'why' from 'Good Day UGA' here: ' Between Smart and some offensive players, we'd have gotten to hear more about working with the new offensive coordinator and what he brings to the table, as well as the working dynamic with Smart.' Jeff Sentell: The need for more playmakers at receiver. Again. The Intel here: 'Kirby Smart made it clear last spring he didn't have enough playmakers at receiver. He wanted to see what Dominick Blaylock, Lawrence Cager and George Pickens could add to the unit. It would have been the same chorus this year. The only differences between the receivers practicing last spring would have been the subtraction of veterans J.J Holloman and Tyler Simmons and the addition of Pickens and Justin Robinson. The Bulldogs will again await the arrival of Jermaine Burton, Marcus Rosemy, Ladd McConkey and Arian Smith with great anticipation. When they hit the field, that's when we will get a glimpse of where Monken's new offense can take Georgia this fall.' The post Georgia football: What would have been the talk of spring practices by now? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia and its new quarterback will be among the favorites when college football resumes, per the latest online odds from Wake Forest graduate transfer Jamie Newman is ranked fifth among the Heisman Trophy contenders without having even taken his first snap for the Bulldogs. To boot, Newman along with the rest of SEC players has just now gotten approval to receive online 'chalk talk' instruction from quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator Todd Monken starting at 1 p.m. on Monday. Former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy at Ohio State (+450), followed by Clemson's Trevor Lawrence (+475), Oklahoma's Spencer Rattler (+1000), Texas' Sam Ehlinger (+1200) and then Newman (+1400). Other SEC quarterbacks among the favorites include Florida's Kyle Trask, who is tied for ninth with USC QB Kedon Slovis (+2500), Alabama QB Mac Jones and North Carolina QB Sam Howell. Tailback Zamir White is tied for 25th among the Heisman Trophy contenders listed (+6600). But White, like Newman, has yet to secure the starting spot at his position entering into what will be a unique yet still very competitive offseason. SEC teams are currently suspended from any on-campus activities and are social distancing amid the coronavirus pandemic. Once play resumes, Georgia figures to be in as good as shape as any program in the nation. RELATED: 4 reasons why Georgia football set for title run in 2020 The Bulldogs, as a team, rank fourth among the national championship contenders, per the online odds. Clemson is the favorite to win the national championship (+275), followed by Ohio State (+350), Alabama (+550) and then Georgia (+900). LSU is No. 5 on the preseason odds list (+1000), with Florida No. 6 (+1200), Oklahoma No. 7 (+2000) and Auburn, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, Texas and Texas A&M tied at No. 8 (+2500). Georgia football offseason reads WATCH: Monty Rice shows proof of 'invisible progress' at Georgia The post Georgia football, Jamie Newman stand tall among preseason favorites in updated odds appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss coach Kirby Smart's quest to return the Bulldogs to the top of the SEC. On episode No. 1,162 (March 27, 2020) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about why one CBS writer thinks UGA was hurt by missing spring practice. Georgia football podcast: CBS writer says UGA among teams most hurt by missing spring practice Beginning of the show: Georgia's new offensive coordinator Todd Monken and quarterback Jamie Newman lead to a scenario in which the Bulldogs are among the teams most harmed by missing spring practice according to a recent article by a CBS Sports writer. I'll discuss more on that topic on today's show. 10-minute mark: I share my response to ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit's prediction that the upcoming season will be canceled due to coronavirus concerns. 15-minute mark: DawgNation's Connor Riley joins the show. Some of the topics covered include The fun the Atlanta Falcons are having after signing former UGA and Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley How UGA is impacted by not having spring practice And how college coaches should respond to the unprecedented challenges presented by dealing with the coronavirus 30-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC teams who didn't have the benefit of a spring practice including teams with new quarterbacks such as LSU and Alabama, and teams with new coaches such as Mississippi State and Missouri. 35-minute mark: I discuss Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly's proposed timeline for when coaches need access to their players in order to begin the season on time. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: CBS writer says UGA among teams most hurt by missing spring practice appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS SEC administrators took the first step toward resuming football-related activity, giving the OK for online instruction beginning at 1 p.m. (EDT) on Monday. It's a small step, but it shows the intent for preparation leading into the 2020 season, even as some have become skeptical amid the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. 'What they will be allowed to do now is what they could have been doing in campus football meetings, from an instruction standpoint,' Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity told DawgNation on Friday. 'Coaches are obviously not able to provide any physical delivery of information, or conduct any physical activity,' McGarity said, referring to the current SEC policy which runs through April 15. 'But if you want to sit down online with a group of wide receivers and show vide0, and teach and have chalk talks, all that is fine.' Big for Georgia Obviously it's key for Georgia football, which has a new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in Todd Monken and is replacing three-year starter Jake Fromm at quarterback. Wake Forest graduate transfer Jamie Newman is the favorite to assume controls of an offense that will have RPO and Pro Style principles. The modification for online instruction applies to all sports. There remains a strong likelihood the SEC's ban on team activities on campus will be extended beyond April 15, with schools finishing their spring academic courses online. The Big Ten announced on Friday itwill extend the previously announced suspension of all organized team activities through May 4. Student-athletes who have not yet enrolled in school will not be eligible for the online chalk talk interaction, per the modifications' stipulations. Georgia true freshman quarterback Carson Beck was an early enrollee, so he will be eligible. reported on Friday there have been 2001 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Georgia, including 29 in Clarke County, home to the University of Georgia. RELATED: Coronavirus dashboard, real-time stats in Georgia of cases Timeline in place? Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said on ESPN that he considers July 1 a deadline of sorts, as far as getting the players engaged in physical activity leading into the season. 'There's going to be a day where we all, as college football administrators and coaches, come up with a date where, from a player safety standpoint, we have to say this is the date that we can live with to get these young men physically ready to go into camp,' Kelly said earlier this week on SportsCenter. 'If you can't start training your football team by July 1 .the realistic goal is minimum of four weeks of conditioning before you put them in camp,' Kelly said. 'College football is going to be affected if we're not playing in 90 days, in terms of the conditioning element and getting these young men ready.' Georgia coach Kirby Smart has yet to issue a public statement on his thoughts about the return to football, other than a video. RELATED: UGA Kirby Smart releases coronavirus-related video SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said the league meetings and annal SEC Media Days remain on schedule. RELATED: Greg Sankey full steam ahead' approach amid coronavirus uncertainty SEC Memo The new allowance permitting the 'online chalk talks,' so to speak, comes with stipulations outlined in an SEC memo first obtained by 247Sports and confirmed by McGarity: 1. All required physical athletic activities (e.g., strength and conditioning workouts, sport- specific workouts) shall be prohibited. This prohibition includes both in-person involvement, and any virtual involvement by institutional staff such as remotely watching, directing, or reviewing physical workouts. 2. Required virtual film review, chalk talk, etc. that does not include physical activity shall be permissible. Any required activity of this nature shall be limited to two (2) hours of activity per week in all sports, shall be scheduled in accordance with the institution's established Time Management Policy, and shall not interfere with required class time for online instruction. These activities may not include a review by or live monitoring of film/video of a student-athlete engaging in workouts or physical activity occurring after March 13, 2020. Institutions may not suggest or require a student-athlete to make film/video of his/her workouts or physical activity available by other means (such as social media). 3. Prospective student-athletes may not be involved in any way in such required, countable activities conducted by the institution. 4. Only countable coaching staff members may be involved in providing technical or tactical instruction to student-athletes as part of such virtual activity. 5. Student-athletes may continue to be provided strength and conditioning workouts and/or sport-specific drills; however, coaches and other athletics staff may not observe the activity (virtually or in-person). Student-athletes may not be required to workouts and/or drills, nor may they be required to report back on such activity to any athletics staff member. 6. These modifications shall be effective as of 12:00 pm Central/1:00 pm Eastern on Monday, March 30. 7. Further assessment of off-season and/or summer activities will occur in the coming weeks. 8. Athletics programs are expected to comply with public health directives governing workplace activity and limitations on gatherings. This policy does not impact the Conference's earlier statement that you may continue to 'provide student-athletes with care and support in the areas of academics; medical care; mental health and wellness; and housing, as needed.' Consistent with normal practice, violations of this SEC policy are to be reported to the Conference office and will be subject to penalties at the discretion of the Commissioner. If you have any questions, please contact our office. In the meantime, Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning made it clear the Bulldogs' assistant coaches will continue to spend time with family, practice social distancing and encourage fans and players to wash their hands. Hunker Down! #GoDawgs @GeorgiaFootball Dan Lanning (@CoachDanLanning) March 27, 2020 The post SEC steps toward resuming football preparations, approves online chalk talks appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit offered a bleak projection of an autumn without football Thursday night. 'I'll be shocked if we have NFL football this fall, if we have college football. I'll be so surprised if that happens,' Herbstreit said on ESPN radio as reported by TMZ. 'Just because from what I understand, people that I listen to, you're 12 to 18 months from a [coronavirus] vaccine. I don't know how you let these guys go into locker rooms and let stadiums be filled up and how you can play ball. I just don't know how you can do it with the optics of it.' Herbstreit's reasoning stems from a concern about players' health as the world battles the coronavirus. 'Next thing you know you got a locker room full of guys that are sick. And that's on your watch? I wouldn't want to have that, Herbstreit said. 'As much as I hate to say it, I think we're scratching the surface of where this thing's gonna go.' Herbstreit's comments might've come with good intentions, but we'd all be better off not knowing his opinion. The college football season is still more than five months away. The only people who think we need to be deciding now whether games will be played this fall are media personalities looking for content to fill an otherwise barren void. They should be ignored Herbstreit included. Most of the major sports leagues that have been forced to suspend play due to the coronavirus are having their own conversations about when to resume. It's quite possible that the NBA, Major League Baseball, the PGA TOUR and other entities could be back holding competitions with or without fans well before the time college football teams typically begin their practices in late July or early August. If those sports aren't able to return at some point this summer then it obviously predicts a problem for football, but the time to deal with that will be when and if it actually happens. Which is not to say Herbstreit's concern is completely unfounded. It's fair to ask how we're supposed to know when it's okay for our country to return to normal. What will be the indicator that we're all safe to gather together in public again? The answer to that is unclear, but it's a safe bet that the decision shouldn't be made by a sports broadcaster. Furthermore, Herbstreit's declaration that there won't be a season is reckless. It comes across as callous to the gigantic ramifications of what college athletics would look like if football disappeared for a year. 'From a financial standpoint, if we're not playing football games in the fall, it will shake the foundation of college athletics.' Florida athletics director Scott Stricklin recently told the Orlando Sentinel. 'As everyone knows, football pays for the enterprise to go forward.' It's not often that the host of DawgNation Daily and the founder of the Gator Hater Updater would say this, but count me in agreement with Stricklin on this one. If there is no football in 2020 then it's quite possible that some coaches at certain schools from a variety of sports could be in danger of losing their jobs because there's no budget to pay them, and some scholarship athletes could lose their spot in school because their sport is going away. Not to mention the various businesses around college towns that count on football game day revenue to keep their doors open. An ESPN personality making millions of dollars might be able to absorb a year with no work, but plenty of others in the college athletics community won't be so lucky. Which is not to say football should be played no matter the consequences. It's simply an acknowledgement that something that stands as crucial to our societal framework as football should only be canceled as a last resort, and it should only be done at the last possible moment. DawgNation isn't the place to deliberate on how well our society is doing at battling the coronavirus, nor is the place do debate how much better or worse things are likely to get in the immediate future. I don't know enough about the subject to offer expert analysis on either of those fronts. However, I do feel well-informed enough to say that if things haven't progressed enough that we feel comfortable getting back to the sport we all love come September then God help us all in dealing with the aftermath. The post Opinion: Kirk Herbstreit's reckless speculation does college football a disservice appeared first on DawgNation.
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  • Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That's what the Intel brings. This entry is about all things Jonathan Jefferson after the 4-star DL committed to UGA early this week. Jonathan Jefferson committed to Georgia earlier this week . It was a big commitment for the Bulldogs because Jefferson will add a great deal to the defensive front in the years to come.Here's a few quick things to know here: Jefferson is now up to 6 feet, 4 inches tall and 270 pounds. He rates as a 4-star strong-side DE.The 247Sports Composite rating has him as the nation's No. 11 SDE and the nation's No. 143 overall prospect for 2021. The Douglas County High (Douglasville, Ga.) standout will enroll early in January of 2021. He is the fourth public commitment of the 2021 class for UGA at this time. Those players all currently reside and play high school football in the state of Georgia. Jefferson is also a very impressive basketball player for Douglas County. He's a guard. Not in the post. What sparked the Jonathan Jefferson commitment? Georgia was the very first program to offer Jefferson. That offer came way back in November of 2017. Blessed to receive my first offer from the University of Georgia #GoDawgs Jonathan Jefferson1 (@Jon_thadon1) November 3, 2017 Was this decision to commit to Georgia planned? Or sparked by the events of the world this week? 'I think it is a little of both actually,' Douglas County coach Johnny White said. 'A little bit of both. When he took his visit to see Georgia about a month ago or so, he really said that it felt like home. He had a couple of things scheduled before we went on this quarantine break. After that though, I think he had already had his mind made up.' 'We didn't talk about it. He just called me [Sunday] and said Coach I am committing' and I said to who and he said to Georgia. Then I said Do you like it?' and I said If you like it, then I love it' with that.' Jonathan Jefferson: Look for him to slide inside in college Jefferson plays basketball for Douglas County, too. He was grabbing steals, pulling down rebounds and swishing some three-pointers at that. Check out the first play of his junior highlight tape from the football field. He flashes some of that impressive athleticism on the first clip. He's flanked way out wide as the 'X' receiver. Despite that level of athleticism, his coach does not feel he will be a defender on the edge out in college. 'No, he's going inside,' White said. Jefferson lost the second half of his sophomore year to an injury. He had a meniscus tear that did not require surgery. It just didn't allow him to play. That's why his junior tape was labeled as 'The Bounce back' for the 2019 season. It meant that the three-year starter played defensive end and wide receiver as a junior. 'We didn't use him too much at defensive tackle last year but this year we are going to use him there,' White said.'We are going to play him strictly at d-tackle and I think his advantage there will be his athleticism. He is a freakish athlete to be that size. You should see him on the basketball court.' Everyone should. Check those clips out below. Those clips reflect exactly what White meant. It should certainly delight DawgNation to know that an athlete with those skills will be playing the interior defensive line at UGA. 'He doesn't play on the post,' White said. 'He plays on the wing. He brings the ball up in the press. He's that type of an athlete.' His commitment should be seen as a major plus here for the recruiting efforts of defensive line coach Tray Scott. Jefferson, due to injuries, started the first scrimmage of his freshman year at Douglas County. He had to line up for the first time on the varsity against Georgia powerhouse Grayson High School. That was the fall of 2017. He came away with 2.5 sacks working at defensive end. The 4-star prospect showed what he could do. The early potential he displayed allowed White and his staff to moves one of their starting defensive ends inside to tackle. There was just that clear sense to get Jefferson on the field. He was ready to not just hold his own, but to make plays. 'He actually came over to [Douglas County] for the basketball program,' White said. 'I can remember sitting his Mom down and saying this boy is going to be a big-time football recruit. She said you really think so' and I said yes and by the end of his [freshman] season he got an offer from Georgia. I always felt that Georgia had a special place in his heart and in his home.' Had a great time this weekend and blessed to be a #Risingsenior @artink67 @Subzero06 @RisingSeniors Jonathan Jefferson1 (@Jon_thadon1) December 30, 2019 The Jefferson family is all about toughness Discipline. Toughness. Those traits are inherent in the Douglas County program. That's just what White and his teams have always been about. His players are expected to excel in the classroom and show discipline in all facets on their lives. Jefferson reflects all of those traits, but also the work ethic of his family, too. His father was a former heavyweight boxer. Jefferson's father, Derrick, actually fought for the heavyweight title during his time as a professional boxer. The 'D-Train' foughtWladimir Klitschko for the WBO heavyweight championship of the world. lists his professional record at 28-4-1. He had 21 knockouts. Wikipedia lists that date as March 24, 2001. Klitschko won that bout by a TKO in the second round. It was almost the exact same day his father fought for the title. 'That mindset carries over with Jonathan,' White said. 'He's always been hard-nosed and a worker.' It is also unique that Jefferson committed to Georgia one day prior to the day his father fought Klitschko for the WBO heavyweight title. 'Jonathan's work ethic has never been a problem for us with our program,' White said. 'We try to put them through the woodwork. I just think with him going to the next level I think the sky is the limit for him.' White deems this to be a very secure commitment for the Bulldogs. 'He's done,' White said. 'The one thing that I can say about him is that his parents are real good people. He talked to his parents about it. His parents are really big on his word being his word. Do you know what I mean? About being honest and respectful. So for him to make this decision this early, I am almost certain to say that he is done. I feel that he is done.' Jefferson carries a 3.2 grade-point average in the classroom. He has a qualifying score on his standardized test, but that probably won't be good enough for the Jefferson family. 'He took the [SAT] test for the first time and scored a 980,' White said. 'He's already qualified but with his parents the way they are of course I know they want him to score at least an 1100. So I know he is going to take it again. But he's good to go. He can walk in right now and be ready to go academically.' You asked for it. We heard you. Our weekly live DawgNation 'Before the Hedges' recruiting show is now up on Apple podcasts. Check it out. More than football: An important bit of perspective for Jonathan Jefferson and his family right now There are many things of greater important than college football recruiting across our country right now. Yet if you believe in the power of prayer, then kindly consider saying a word tonight for Jefferson and his family. He told me earlier this week his father had been hospitalized for what he believed to be the coronavirus. There was no rush to make it a big bold headline. Or to make a huge deal out of it. It is just a part of his story now. When Jefferson made his commitment known to Georgia, his father was fighting the effects of that virus that affects every waking hour of our daily lives. It gives us all a little bit of perspective we all need. It does provide a stark contrast to the happiness that should have swirled around his commitment day earlier this week. Like most commitments when an elite player makes his decision. He's going to be a Bulldog. Jefferson will be a great football player in college. He will be a monster in the middle for Georgia. Some day. But there are just greater things affectinghis family and our entire world right now, too. Georgia football recruiting on DawgNation Nation's No. 1 CB Tony Grimes had three UGA visits set prior to COVID-19 outbreak Dylan Fairchild: The UGA offer for the elite OL was like 'drinking from a fire hydrant Elijah Jeudy: Has Georgia found another future Bulldog in Philadelphia? Pulling Bulldogs from the Bronx, Brooklyn and Jersey? HS coach raves about UGA Devin Willock: The 2020 signee and the surgical scooter which rolled him to UGA Georgia adds a key 2021 commit in Peach State product Jonathan Jefferson Amarius Mims: 5-star priority OT sets his commitment date Donovan Edwards: Priority 4-star RB feels UGA probably' gets an official visit The post Jonathan Jefferson: 5 things to know about this week's 2021 Georgia commit appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Todd Gurley will be playing football in the state of Georgia once again, as the former Georgia star signed a one-year deal to play for the Atlanta Falcons. And while many Georgia fans are thrilled about the move, there are some out there that are skeptical of the move, wondering why the Falcons would sign a running back that appears to be somewhat past his prime. But as we explain in the video below, people who don't want to see Gurley succeed with the Falcons are probably anti-fun. Related: Todd Gurley hype video will give Georgia fans chills Gurley gave Georgia fans plenty to celebrate during his time as a Bulldog, as he rushed for 3,285 yards and added 36 rushing touchdowns. And that's despite missing multiple games in both his sophomore and junior seasons. The Los Angeles Rams, then located in St. Louis, took Gurley with the No. 10 pick int he 2015 NFL Draft. He shined instantly, winning the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. He was named an All-Pro three times and in 2017 won the NFL's Offensive Player of the Year award. Gurley also played a key part in leading the Rams to the Super Bowl during the 2018-19 season. But he began to suffer knee problems toward the end of that campaign. Gurley did have surgery on a torn ACL he suffered during his junior year. Those knee issues continued into the 2019 season, where Gurley posted his lowest rushing total of his career. Factor in the monster contract the Rams were paying him he signed a $60 million deal prior to the start of the 2018 season and he just became too pricey and too dinged up for the Rams. They released him halfway through the contract he signed. The Falcons figure to be a perfect landing spot for Gurley, as they released Devonta Freeman this offseason. Factor in that he'll get to play with Julio Jones and Matt Ryan, and Gurley does have the possibility for a real bounce-back season. And that would certainly excite a lot of Atlanta and Georgia fans. It's not hyperbolic to say that Gurley might be the most popular player on the team next year. The Falcons haven't had much of a history of signing or drafting Georgia Bulldogs, but signing Gurley and seeing him do well would make a number of Georgia fans forget about that. More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. breaks down D'Andre Swift draft stock Georgia football podcast: 5 things to know about UGA's chances of making Playoff Tony Grimes: Nation's No. 1 CB was set to see UGA amid a flurry of spring visits How Georgia football can maintain its gap over Florida and Dan Mullen Bracket season: Kirby Smart's Florida celebration pulls upset in top Georgia football moments tournament Georgia football podcast: National analyst calls UGA's victory vs. Georgia Tech a bad win' The post WATCH: If you don't like Todd Gurley on the Atlanta Falcons, you're anti-fun appeared first on DawgNation.