ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-day
89°
Partly Cloudy
H 88° L 70°
  • clear-day
    89°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 88° L 70°
  • cloudy-day
    71°
    Morning
    Partly Cloudy. H 88° L 70°
  • cloudy-day
    88°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 91° L 71°

Latest from Abby Jessen

    A crane fell into Millstone Granite Quarry located on Allgood Road in Oglethorpe County on Monday, May 13, at around 11:30 a.m. This incident killed crane operator, 58-year-old Danny Roth of Carlton. Oglethorpe County Coroner Howard Sanders says Roth was pronounced dead at the scene. The Elbert County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Medical System assisted the Oglethorpe County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Medical Service in recovering Roth’s body. 
  • The University of Georgia released a statement Thursday afternoon saying that officials are monitoring the weather for Friday’s undergraduate commencement ceremony that is set to be held outside in Sanford Stadium. The inclement weather plan on UGA’s website says that the ceremony will be held rain or shine and will only be rescheduled in the event of severe weather, which UGA defines as rain “accompanied by high wind, thunder, and lightning.” Changes will be announced by 10 a.m. on Friday morning. The alternate ceremony time is 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, though thunderstorms are predicted for that day as well.  Here is the full statement:  We continue to monitor the weather closely in anticipation of the Friday, May 10, 2019, Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony, scheduled to be held outdoors at 7pm in Sanford Stadium. Our sincere hope is that the evolving forecast will allow us to continue with the ceremony as scheduled. Due to numerous individual school and college convocation ceremonies and other Commencement-related activities scheduled for Friday afternoon, our ability to modify the start time for the Undergraduate Commencement ceremony is extremely limited. We have plans in place to address rain or severe weather, should either occur. The inclement weather plan may be found on the Commencement website at https://commencement.uga.edu/undergraduate#inclement-weather-plan. The Undergraduate Commencement ceremony is held rain or shine and will only be rescheduled in the event of severe weather. Severe weather is defined as rain accompanied by high wind, thunder, and lightning. Changes to the Commencement ceremony will be announced by 10am the day of Commencement, and the information will be placed on the UGA homepage by 10:30am. The alternate ceremony time is 10am the following day (Saturday, May 11). At present, unfortunately, the weather forecast also predicts thunderstorms for Saturday. If it is raining on the morning of Commencement, but not declared severe weather, the ceremony will be held as planned in the stadium. The degree candidates will not process onto the field, but will report directly to their assigned seats on the field. The seating chart can be viewed on the commencement website. Each student will be provided a poncho to wear. The clear bag policy is in effect for all guests. Family and friends may bring umbrellas into the stadium for Undergraduate Commencement. The morning Graduate Commencement ceremony for master’s and doctoral candidates is scheduled for 9:30am at Stegeman Coliseum, an indoor arena. The weather forecast for Friday morning does not indicate any changes to the Graduate Ceremony will be necessary. In case of unexpected inclement weather affecting UGA’s Graduate Commencement ceremony, however, a notice will be placed on the University’s homepage. Thank you for your understanding as we work to provide the best means to celebrate our graduates safely, given the changing weather conditions. Another message will be sent tomorrow announcing finalized ceremony details and any changes if necessary.
  • Officials with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department say they’ve obtained a sexual assault warrant for Clarke Central math teacher Kara Coalson, 23, of Athens following an investigation into a “potentially inappropriate incident between a Clarke County District high school teacher and a student.”  The Clarke County School District released the following statement: The school district was recently informed of a potentially inappropriate incident that took place off campus involving a student and a teacher. District officials immediately contacted local law enforcement and the teacher was placed on administrative leave, pending an investigation. The police investigation is ongoing and an arrest warrant has been issued for the teacher. The school district has also notified state officials at the Georgia Professional Standards Commission of the investigation and the circumstances surrounding it. While we cannot share more information due to our need to protect the student and the nature of the investigation, we want to reiterate that our first and most important responsibility is the safety of all students. The district takes these situations very seriously and acted quickly upon learning of the potentially inappropriate relationship. The Athens-Clarke County Police Department encourages any victims of similar sexual assaults to contact The Cottage Sexual Assault Center at (706) 353-1912
  • Beer drinkers noticed that Thor was drinking a familiar Athens beer in the new “Avengers: Endgame” trailer. Creature Comforts confirmed on Twitter that it was indeed their Athena beer.  You can watch the full trailer here. The movie will premiere on Apr. 26.
  • The Athens-Clarke County Police Department arrested Justin M. Robinson, 23, on Mar. 7 for motor vehicle theft and the kidnapping of an 11-month-old infant. Authorities say the incident occurred on Feb. 10, 2019, at a residence off Windy Hill Place in  Athens and that they were able to recover the vehicle with the infant unharmed in a rear car seat that same day.  With help from the public, ACCPD officers say they were able to identify Robinson as the suspect in the kidnapping and car theft after they asked help identifying him for a separate Feb. 28 burglary. Robinson was apprehended on Mar. 7 after a traffic stop when he was pulled over for driving erratically on Dougherty Street near College Avenue. In addition to the two warrants, Robinson was charged with failure to maintain lane, giving false name to LEO, driving without a valid license, possession of methamphetamine and open container.  Robinson was arrested and transported to the Clarke-County Jail. 
  • The Athens-Clarke County Police Department says they’ve arrested the suspect wanted for the December murder of Rodriguez Rucker. Police believe that Philmon Chambers, 30, killed Rucker, 32, on Royal Court in east Athens on the afternoon of Dec. 14, 2018. On Dec. 18, 2018, ACCPD identified a truck they believed to be driven by the murder suspect. The truck was then connected to Chambers and detectives obtained a malice murder warrant for his arrest.  Chambers was located and arrested in Kileen, Texas on Mar. 6, 2019. ACCPD will seek to extradite Chambers to Athens to face the charge. Authorities also arrested Andrea Browner, 24, in connection with Rucker’s murder and will charge her with felony murder. Browner and Chamber are known associates according to police.  From the Athens-Clarke County Police Department: “This is an ongoing investigation and the ACCPD asks anyone with information about the case to contact Det. Sean McCauley at 706-613-3330, ext. 312 or Michael.McCauley@accgov.com.”
  • In his annual State of the University address, University of Georgia President Jere Morehead began by touting successes ranging from an increased graduation rate to the school’s economic impact on the state of Georgia. Morehead said that in addition to expanding major scholarship programs that began last year, the University of Georgia’s big focus for this year will be on innovation. The  UGA President said that plans are moving forward to create an “Innovation District” at the intersection of UGA’s North Campus and Downtown Athens. This district will be supplemented with initiatives that include an Innovation Fellows Program for faculty, a “Startup-Mentor-in-Residence Program” for industry executives and an extended orientation program for new students that has an entrepreneurial focus. Finally, Morehead said that the University is developing a new five-year plan to expand its impact across the world.  The full address can be found here. 
  • The University of North Georgia Oconee Campus says it will close at 4 p.m. on Oct. 10 and will remain closed for Oct. 11. As of now, the scheduled reopening for normal campus hours will be on Friday, Oct. 12. All other campuses are open with normal hours. The UNG administration says it’s monitoring the weather throughout the region.  Sylvia Carson, the Executive Director of Communications for the University of North Georgia, released the following statement:  Inclement weather notifications may be segmented by campus location, as weather conditions may vary widely in the university's five-campus area. As is the case when we experience inclement weather, students, faculty and staff should use their best judgment about weather and travel conditions in their immediate area and should not be penalized for missing work or school assignments if they feel roads are unsafe in their area. In addition to UNG Alert, the university will provide information and updates at www.ung.edu/emergency
  • The Athens-Clarke County Police Department is seeking information about an incident that occurred on Stonehenge Way. They say officers were dispatched to a local hospital on the evening of Oct. 1 to meet a victim with three gunshot wounds that were said to be non-life threatening. Officers say that other individuals heard multiple gunshots on Stonehenge Way but did not see the incident. Officers and the Forensics Unite responded to the scene and gathered evidence. There is an ongoing investigation. Authorities ask that anyone with information contact Detective McCauley at (706) 613-3300 ext. 312 or Michael.McCauley@accgov.com. 
  • The University of Georgia Office of International Education closed 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2 because of a gas leak on S. Lumpkin Street. The Director of UGA Immigration Services says that the International Family Potluck dinner at the Church of Christ nearby is cancelled due to road closures caused by the gas leak. If you have an urgent situation, you can reach Director Robin V. Catmur at (706) 202-2546. The office is set to reopen on Oct. 3.  A little after 4 p.m., a special safety update was sent out by UGA:  “A gas leak has been detected adjacent to South Lumpkin Street near Brittain Avenue, across from the UGA Track. First responders and utility personnel are on scene and actively working to resolve the issue. Until the leak is repaired, the public should avoid the area. Once the leak has been repaired, further notification will be shared.”
  • Abby Jessen

    Abby is the WGAU Program Director. She is a Roswell native and an alumna of the University of Georgia with Broadcast Journalism and Digital Marketing degrees. Abby loves to know what is going on at all times, which is why she loves reporting news in and around Athens. In her free time, you can catch her watching Georgia sports teams, Tweeting way too much, and pretending to be a foodie because she can’t actually cook. 

    Read More

Local News

  • The annual conference of North Georgia United Methodists wraps up today in Athens: the conference began Tuesday at the Classic Center. From the Methodist Conference website…   Friday, June 148 a.m. | Session 72 p.m. | Session 8, Closing Worship4 p.m. | Adjournment   Comprised of more than 800 churches, more than 1,300 clergy members, and approximately 350,000 lay members, The North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church seeks to develop principled Christian leaders, to engage in ministry with the poor, improve global health, advocate for justice, respond to disasters, and fulfill the mission of the denomination: “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Currently, it is the largest United Methodist Conference in the United States. 
  • Troopers with the Georgia State Patrol and agents of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said they made a marijuana bust Tuesday afternoon worth more than $200,000. The GBI sent Channel 2 Action News a photo of the 70 pounds of marijuana officials said agents discovered during a traffic stop in Gwinnett County near the Hamilton Mill Road exit on Interstate 85 northbound. Three men from Charlotte, North Carolina, were arrested and charged with trafficking marijuana: Phetprasong Souriyo, 34, Brandy Souriyo, 28, and Somphone Thongkhamdy, 30. The GBI said their arrests are part of an ongoing investigation into marijuana trafficking via the I-85 corridor from metro Atlanta north to neighboring states.
  • Minicamp ended for the Falcons on Thursday, and players, coaches and staff have about a month away from the facility in Flowery Branch before training camp begins.  Though he didn’t practice all three days, wide receiver Julio Jones said he will be ready for the season and is happy with his place on the team. Jones told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday that he and the Falcons are continuing to work on a long-term contract. Jones, who’s also nursing a foot injury, is scheduled to be the 13th highest paid receiver in the league in 2019, according to NFL stats. Tampa Bay’s Michael Evans ($20 million) is set to be highest paid, while Jones is at $13.4 million. The six-time Pro Bowler took more of a leadership role this minicamp, acting as a coach on the field and mentoring younger receivers during and after drills. Former Georgia Tech and Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson was in attendance for practice today, as coach Dan Quinn invited him in hopes of providing inspiration for the team’s younger players.  Even if his production has slipped, Falcons pass rusher Vic Beasley said he doesn’t feel intimidated heading into an important season — both financially and on the field. The 2015 first-round pick skipped all team offseason programs after the Falcons picked up the $12.8 million fifth-year option on his contract instead of offering a longer-term deal. Beasley, who compiled 15.5 sacks in 2016, has had only 10 sacks in the previous two seasons combined. Quinn said his project over the season is to help Beasley develop more moves off the line of scrimmage, so Beasley has different ways to get to the passer. After skipping OTAs, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett reported for minicamp, but wore a hat instead of a helmet for all three days. Jarrett, too, skipped OTAs while he and the Falcons work out a long-term deal. The Falcons placed the franchise tag on the former Clemson Tiger in March and will pay him $15.2 million this season. On Tuesday, Jarrett deflected all questions from the media regarding his contract to the media. Heading into training camp, it’s possible Grady may continue not to participate if a long-term deal isn’t reached.   Matt Ryan has a problem every player in the league would dream of: How do you get better when you are already one of the best? The Falcons quarterback said he will continue to work on his strength and flexibility this season, and has enlisted professional help to do so. He also plans to organize a players-only camp to help the team create bonds together without coaches present.
  • What makes a great teacher? Aspiring English teachers from the University of Georgia saw one in action this year at Classic City High School in Athens, according to their professor Peter Smagorinsky. Smagorinsky is a Distinguished Research Professor of English Education in UGA’s Department of Language and Literacy Education (English Education). Smagorinsky has profiled many amazing teachers for his Great Georgia Teacher series here on the blog over the years. This time, he lets his UGA education students do most of the talking about what makes teacher Stephanie Johns so effective and so inspiring.   By Peter Smagorinsky   At the University of Georgia, I teach the educational foundations course for undergraduates who hope to become English teachers. The course, Service-Learning in Teacher Education, involves three main components. On campus, they lead one another in discussions of books they choose to broaden their understanding of students, families, and communities. At Classic City High School, the non-traditional school in Athens, they tutor and mentor to learn about school from students on the margins. Finally, they make sense of their experiences in a paper in which they reflect on their learning during the semester.  When I completed my reading of my students’ course papers, I was struck by how many of them talked about what they learned from observing Classic City High School English teacher Stephanie Johns. She’s a great Georgia teacher in a setting where students need her support and love to succeed.  I’ll let my UGA students do most of the talking from here on out. Without being prompted to talk about her, they did quite a bit, and I can only excerpt a small amount of what they wrote:  Love, Encouragement, Respect, and Support “Mrs. Johns . . . really cares about her students and wants them to succeed. She talked to her students as people rather than as a superior to an inferior, which I really appreciated seeing because I’ve definitely seen teachers who come across as condescending or patronizing. Mrs. Johns seemed to really know her students and what they struggled with and tried to provide as much help as she could. She was also understanding of students who might not be having the best day, which was really great to see.”  “I was able see the unconditional love that a teacher has for her students. . . . She recognizes potential in students and pushes them to do their best.”  Going Above and Beyond “All of the extra stuff she was doing for her students was all just extra work and more grading that she was going to have to do, but she was always willing to do that and go above and beyond for her students, which I just found to be very inspirational for my future career as an English teacher.”  Attentive to Students’ Heritages, Needs, and Interests “Mrs. Johns’ class made me realize how important it is to have a variety of diverse materials for the students. I noticed the change in the atmosphere when she brought out information about Hispanic and African American individuals. The atmosphere changed simply because they had something to relate to. I really enjoyed how Mrs. Johns asked the kids what types of poems interested them to keep them focused. When she asked them what they wanted to read, they perked up and were more engaged. . . . I respect Mrs. Johns for recognizing how unmotivated these kids are and have been in previous times. Yet, she still goes out of her way in order to keep them focused and learning.”  Compassion, Energy, Patience, and Positive Outlook “Ms. Johns has a great level of student awareness. . . . I’m particularly inspired by her level of compassion and patience with her students. I can tell that she enjoys her job, which is so important.”  “She approached every lesson and activity with enthusiasm, even when the students were not responding or refused to do work. . . I found the lack of effort from certain students to be frustrating and distracting, but Mrs. Johns only continued to try harder, taking the extra time to reach out individually to those students, until she was able to break the barriers they had put up.”  “Students within institutions such as Classic City High School need teachers like her, who bring a positive attitude and outlook on life into the classroom. . . It’s important for these students to realize that people do truly care and that if school isn’t necessarily working out, there are other pathways that lead to success and happiness.”  Calm Demeanor for Stressful Times “I feel lucky to have been able to witness her in action the week before what some might say is the most stressful time of the year: standardized testing. Mrs. Johns brought a sort of calm to her students that isn’t really describable. It is almost as if there is a tone shift as soon as they walk in the door.”  “It is apparent to the students that she trusts them and that she really cares about them and their families. With all of the stress of graduation and testing coming up, she had meaningful conversations with multiple students about what else is going on in their lives. I feel lucky to watch Mrs. Johns mentor and teach during such a busy time of the school year, and it really gave me perspective on how to navigate preparing your students for big changes. Just because it is an important and stressful time, doesn’t mean you need to escalate or apply more pressure that is already there. There is a way to get people to take things seriously without completely stressing them out. I feel like ultimately, the confidence she was instilling in them will have the biggest impact on their performance.”  Flexibility and Respect for Individuals “She instructs in a way that the students feel comfortable opening up to her and asking questions. . . . It is apparent that she values each student as an individual and their opinions. . . . She is constantly reminding them that they are more than capable and gives them flexibility to work on whatever is at the top of their priority list.”  “I can tell she truly cares about her students and their success. She is not a pushover teacher, but she is very flexible which I think is a great attribute she possesses when dealing with students. . . Her personality is very approachable and she allowed her classroom to be a safe space for students to air out anything that was bothering them; it didn't matter if it had to do with their course work or not. Ms. Johns explained to me if they can’t have a place to comfortably express their issues, then they will not be completely focused on their course work.”  An Inspiring Model “She reminded me of my 12th-grade English teacher who inspired me to become an English teacher. My mentorship allowed me to meet another amazing English teacher who can get through to any student, even the hard ones.”  “I learned a lot from Mrs. Johns, as she was a perfect model of what a teacher should be. I found her attitude and outlook for these students to be inspiring and I hope to one day carry myself like her. I think that without teachers like her in these schools, the success of the students would suffer. She was a true testament to what it means to care and engage your students, no matter the response they give you. One piece of advice she gave me was to remember that as a teacher, you cannot hold a grudge against a student, not even for a minute because when that student is ready and needs you, you have to be ready. I truly believe this was the most important takeaway for me, because I found myself often getting frustrated for her when students failed to complete assignments or participate in class.”  “Mrs. Johns seemed to really care about her students and knew how to motivate them to do their work. When I am a teacher one day, I hope to have the same understanding and ability to connect with my students.”  “I also was able to learn hands-on beside Mrs. Johns, who I know will be an inspiration to me throughout my teaching career. If one day I’m half as amazing of a teacher as she is, I’ll be in pretty good shape. Because of having the opportunity to work one-on-one with these students, I am more understanding, patient, and supportive, all of which will be wonderful things for me to carry into my classroom and the rest of my life.” My Brief Conclusion My UGA students found much to admire in working with Ms. Johns. The qualities they talk about are largely interpersonal. They speak to her care, flexibility, love, respect, compassion, patience, positive outlook, and other non-technical aspects of teaching. Her students in turn tend to work for her, because she makes the effort to connect with and reach out to them. The academics follow from the relationships she cultivates.  That’s the most important trait my students observed again and again, and it rarely makes an impression on policy. But it should. 
  • The 19th annual North Georgia Folk Potters Festival is set for Saturday in Homer: the festival, organized by the Banks County Recreation Department, starts at 9 and lasts til 2 on Thompson Street in Homer. Following is a list of potters expected to take part…   Steve Turpin Abby Turpin David Meaders Wayne Hewell Dwayne Crocker Sid Luck Shelby West Stanley Ferguson Mary Ferguson Jami Ferguson Kris London Marvin Bailey Roger Corn Rex Hogan Carolyn Simmons Rob Withrow Walter Aberson Rodney Leftwich Kim Leftwich Joyce Branch Mike Ledford (Joes Lake Pottery) Mike Craven Bo Thompson Mike Williamson Lynn Thrurmond Michael Ball Michel Bayne Joe Craven Dal Burtchael Stanley and Kathy Irvin Brian Wilson Bobby Gaither · Mike Hanning

Bulldog News

  • Georgia junior defensive end Malik Herring is one of the players Kirby Smart is counting on to step up on the football field this season. But on Saturday, the 6-foot-3, 280-pound Herring took time to give back to his home community, taking part in a “Kids Fun Day” in Forsyth. Kickball, face painting and water slides were all part of the good times Herring shared with family, friend and youngsters at the Monroe County Rec Department. Macon’s WMAZ-13 was on hand to interview Herring, who explained his motivation for the event. “I saw kids like outside on the porch just bored, and it was just like I called my mom, and was like ‘hey mom we gotta do something for the kids, they don’t have nothing to do,” Herring said in the WMAZ-13 interview. “I just wanted to have something  for the kids to give back, and give them something we’d never had growing up.” UGA defensive lineman and former @MPHSFootball player @HerringMalik came back to his hometown and held a Kids Fun Day. He just wanted kids in his neighborhood to have fun and do something in the summer. At the end you’ll see how he dominated in kickball. He didn’t go easy on them pic.twitter.com/ruzpFMNPXY — Jonathan Perez WMAZ (@_JonathanMPerez) June 15, 2019 Herring, a 6-foot-3, 280-pounder, is one of the more pivotal pieces on a Georgia football team that’s greatest weakness is considered by many to be the defensive line. Smart knows all about Herring’s talent and ability. Herring was part of Smart’s first recruiting class, which this season makes up the nucleus of what’s expected to be a national championship contender. “ Malik can be a good player, (but) he’s gotta hone in and do the little things right and he’s gotta be a little more mature and serious about things to be the player we want him to be,” Smart said in the midst of spring drills. “He’s talented, though and he’s played well. He’s just gotta mature some.” Smart, it should be noted, typically saves his public challenges for the most talented players on his team. It’s an indication the head coach has high hopes set for Herring this season. Herring has made 30 tackles in the 29 games he has played the past two seasons, with 1.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. “Everything I do, I feel like I wouldn’t have gotten here if it wasn’t for this community, they all supported me throughout it all, with my ups and downs,” Herring said. “I just want to give back and show them that I really appreciate what they have done for me.”   TODAY IS THE DAY‼️‼️‼️ we’re here ready to have a great time‼️‼️ come out and have some fun ‼️‼️‼️ #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/MVlAYILbLP — Malik Herring (@HerringMalik) June 15, 2019 The post Georgia football DE Malik Herring makes time for ‘Kids Fun Day’ appeared first on DawgNation.
  • SUNDAY READER ATHENS — The general thought on the Georgia Bulldogs heading into the 2019 season is they’re going to be better offensively than defensively. There’s data beyond tackles and touchdowns that backs that up. The Bulldogs already have been established as a consensus Top 4 team and one of the favorites to contend for the College Football Playoff spot this coming season. Obviously, that means coach Kirby Smart has put together a talented football team for the third year in a row. Georgia’s 2020 recruiting is going the way of the Kirby Smart’s last three classes. That is, among the top in the country including the likes of No. 1 running back Kendall Milton (second from left). (Charles Felder/Special to DawgNation) But DawgNation has taken a closer look and broken down the projected starting lineup for the Bulldogs’ season opener on the road at Vanderbilt (Aug. 31, 6:30 p.m., SEC Network) to examine exactly what is the recruiting profile and makeup of what’s expected to be perhaps Smart’s best team so far. Some of the revelations are surprising, some not so much. For instance, we all know that Smart and his staff have been all-star recruiters since they arrived in town. His first four classes at Georgia have carried an average national recruiting ranking of No. 3 (6, 3, 1, 2, respectively). The one currently being assembled for 2020 is ranked No. 4 at the moment. So it follows that Georgia is should be fielding good teams. Accordingly, the majority of the projected starting lineup for this year’s opener comes from the last three classes. While some from the 2016 class might be considered holdovers from the previous regime, Smart gets full credit for the last three and, by extension, the majority of this year’s squad. That will be reflected in the projected lineup against the Commodores. Only six of the starting 22 came from the 2016 class or before. Linebacker Tae Crowder holds the distinction as the sole Mark Richt recruit in the starting lineup. Then again, there just aren’t that many redshirt seniors on the team period. A few other observations from the accumulated data: Fifteen of the 22 projected offensive and defensive starters (68.2%) are from the state of Georgia. That includes guys from places like IMG Academy in Florida. That’s where they attended high school briefly, not their residence. The other starters are from Florida (2), Alabama (1), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Pennsylvania (1) and Texas (1). The average star-rating for Georgia’s offensive players versus its defensive players is 4.09 to 3.82. That’s based on the industry-accepted composite ranking of 247Sports, which takes into account the rankings of all services. Therefore, to be considered a 5-star, one must be a consensus 5-star and not just garner the rating from one service. It’s a moving target by the Bulldogs at one time had the most 5-star recruits on its roster. Six are expected to be in the starting lineup versus Vandy, three on offense and three on defense. Stars aren’t the best measure for one’s recruiting pedigree, however. There are high-4-stars and low-4-stars are everything in between. Fortunately, the 247 composite goes deep in their assessment and gives each individual prospect a national prospect. And that’s where the makeup of Georgia’s lineup gets really interesting. On offense, the average national ranking of each individual player is 181. That includes a high of No. 1 for receiver Demetris Robertson and a low of 1,051 for left guard Solomon Kindley. The average national position ranking on that side of the ball is 21.09, though not every player plays the same position now at which he was projected as a prospect. The defense is notably lower-rated on all counts. The average national prospect ranking is a fluffy 555.4. The average national position ranking is 50.18, though many of the players aren’t playing those projected positions. The lowest, or worse, ranking on defense belongs to Tae Crowder, who was rated the 1,863rd prospect in the Class of 2015. But that was as a wide receiver. Crowder actually was signed by the Bulldogs as a running back and now he’s a middle linebacker. So do with that what you wish. Senior J.R. Reed was actually rated just seven spots higher than Crowder at 1,856. He was considered a cornerback then. Now he’s an All-America candidate at free safety. The highest ranking on the defensive side of the ball belongs to cornerback Tyson Campbell. He’s was rated 12th overall and No. 2 at his position when he signed with the Bulldogs out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Of course, he lost his starting position last year to Eric Stokes, ranked 668th and 63rd at cornerback out of Covington’s Eastside High. What’s it all mean? Really, only that good players come from everywhere in all shapes and sizes and with widely varying prospect profiles. That’s why scouting and development are so important, and the Bulldogs seem to be scoring well on both counts. Also, we can quibble all summer and into the fall about who will actually be in the starting lineup. There’s not a lot of argument to be made about quarterback Jake Fromm or running back D’Andre Swift. But, otherwise, Georgia has a bunch of other unresolved position battles heading into preseason camp, and Smart likes to mix-and-match situationally, especially on defense. So that’s moot exercise. For the sake of transparency, though, we went with Demetris Robertson in the slot. He may not end up actually being in the starting lineup and his No. 1 ranking might’ve inflated the overall offensive rating. But if he’s not, his playing time might default to either of two 5-star signees Dominick Blaylock or George Pickens, or at least high 4-star Kearis Jackson. Conversely, though, the low-rated offensive line prospect Kindley could be supplanted in the starting lineup by anyone of several 5-stars, which would take the overall ranking higher. Defensively, there’s still a lot to be sorted out, too. We went with 5-star signee Brenton Cox at the jack outside linebacker, but that could easily have gone to fellow 5-stars Adam Anderson or Robert Beal. Should freshman Nolan Smith end up winning the position, it’d inflate the ranking even more as he was considered the No. 1 overall prospect in America. Same with Nakobe Dean at inside linebacker. There are many other conclusions to draw from this data. And, of course, Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State could make many of the same claims. But breaking it down this way and debating who’s going to be where is a fun exercise during the dog days of summer. Please check out the breakdown below and share your own observations in the comments section. ANATOMY OF THE LINEUP — OFFENSE — QB Jake Fromm As a prospect: 4-star ranking, 44th nationally, 3rd at position As a player: Played in all 29 games in his first two seasons, including 28 starts. Georgia is 24-5 in those games. Fromm has completed 64.8 percent of his passes for 5,364 yards and 54 touchdowns with 13 interceptions. Realistic candidate for all national awards, including Heisman Trophy and All-American. RB D’Andre Swift As a prospect: 5-star rating, No. 23 national ranking and No. 4 at position As a player: Swift rushed for 618 yards and 3 touchdowns as an understudy to Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. He overcame early injury issues last year to lead the Bulldogs with 1,049 yards and 10 TDs and added another 32 catches and 3 scores as a receiver. If he can stay healthy and be Georgia’s featured back all year as expected, he’ll be a Heisman Trophy contender. WR J.J. Holloman As a prospect: 4-star ranking, 125th nationally, 18th at position As a player: Played in 19 of 29 games, including five starts and all 14 games as a sophomore. Was team’s fifth-leading receiver last year (24-418-5 TDs) but enters his junior season considered Georgia’s top wideout. TE Charlie Woerner As a prospect: Signed as a wide receiver.  4-star rating, 138th nationally, No. 25 at position As a player: Switched to tight end as a freshman. Played in 32 of 39 games in first three seasons with five starts. Nine catches each of last two seasons with 23 for 271 for his career. Yet to score. Sidelined with broken leg at end of 2017 season. With early departure of Isaac Nauta for NFL, only experienced tight end LT Andrew Thomas As a prospect:  4-star rating, ranking 45th nationally, No. 9 at position As a player: Started every game he’s played in his career, all 15 at right tackle as a freshman and all 13 at left tackle as a sophomore. Missed one game last year due to ankle injury from previous contest. Consensus all-conference and All-American. LG Solomon Kindley As a prospect: Signed as offensive tackle. 3-star rating, ranked 1,051st nationally, 89th at his position. As a player: After a redshirt year in 2016, Kindley has played in every game the last two seasons, with 21 starts, including every game last season. Played 75 percent of the snaps in SEC play last season. C Trey Hill As a prospect: 4-star rating, ranked No. 63 nationally and third at his position. Signed as guard. As a player: Played in all 14 games as a freshman, starting the last four at right guard as injuries sidelined Ben Cleveland and Cade Mays. Also filled in for starting center Lamont Gaillard. Won the center position in spring camp. RG Ben Cleveland As a prospect: 4-star rating, ranked No. 90 nationally and 10th at position. Signed as tackle. As a player: After redshirting his first year, Cleveland beat out Kindley for the starting job at right guard for the last four games of the 2017 season, which included an SEC championship and run through the CFB Playoffs. Started the first four games of last season before a broken leg against Missouri sidelined him for the season as an offensive lineman. Won back the starting job over Cade Mays and Jamaree Salyer in spring practice. RT Isaiah Wilson As a prospect: 5-star rating, No. 16 nationally, fifth at position As a player: Conditioning and heat acclimation led to first-year redshirt for the Brooklyn native. Earned freshman All-America honors last year after starting every game at right tackle WR Tyler Simmons As a prospect: 3-star rating, ranked 383rd nationally and No. 65 at his position. As a player: Simmons earned his place as a special teams player and blocking specialist on offense. He didn’t get his first of six starts as a receiver until his junior season. Now a senior, Simmons has 14 catches for 183 yards and two TDs in his career. But he’s one of the team’s fastest players and the thought is he has more to offer as a receiving target. WR Demetris Robertson As a prospect: 5-star rating, No. 13 nationally, No. 1 at position As a player: Robertson earned freshman All-America honors when caught 50 passes for 767 yards and 7 touchdowns at Cal. But he hasn’t been able to replicate that production since transferring to UGA before last season. He played in only nine games as a sophomore and, remarkably, did not record a catch. However, his blazing speed resulted in 109 yards rushing on four carries, including a 72-yard TD in the season opener. Continued improvement on the playbook, sight-adjustments and blocking must be demonstrated to earn more playing time as a junior. — DEFENSE — CB Eric Stokes As a prospect: 3-star rating, 668th nationally, 63rd at position As a player: A track star in high school, Stokes redshirted as a freshman, was pressed into duty due to an injury to Tyson Campbell, then edged Campbell in the battle for playing time opposite of star corner Deandre Baker. One of the fastest players on the team, his DB skills have started to catch up with his speed. CB Tyson Campbell As a prospect: 5-star rating, No. 12 nationally, No. 2 at position As a player: Campbell lived up to his lofty billing by starting the first 10 games of his freshman season. But as Baker’s star rose, Campbell found himself increasingly targeted on his side of the field. Loss of confidence and fundamental breakdowns led to Stokes getting three of the last four starts at corner and one for Tyrique McGhee. FS J.R. Reed As a prospect: 3-star rating; 1,856th nationally, No. 157 as cornerback As a player: Went to University of Tulsa out of Frisco, Texas, and only played sparingly before transferring to UGA and sitting out per NCAA rules. Quickly blossomed under the tutelage of former DBs coach/coordinator Mel Tucker and has started all 29 games he’s played at Georgia. Now serves as brains and brawn of the secondary. SS Richard LeCounte As a prospect: 5-star rating, 25th nationally, No. 2 at position As a player: Arrived somewhat raw in defensive fundamentals but with off-the-charts athleticism. Spent his freshman season as backup to Dominick Sanders, but moved into a starting role last season and started 13 of the 14 games. LB Monty Rice As a prospect: 4-star rating, 334th nationally, 18th at position As a player: Rice’s tremendous potential first became evident when he got his first start as a freshman filling in for an injured Roquan Smith. Rice had four tackles against Missouri that day and has been impressing ever since. He started five of nine games last year but has been dogged by injuries, which kept him out of the last four games. Could be a star with a full, healthy season. LB Tae Crowder As a prospect: 3-star rating, ranked 1,868th nationally and 221st at his position (actually wide receiver) As a player: Crowder became a prospect at Harris County High as a wide receiver, switched to running back during his senior season and signed with the Bulldogs as a back. However, he never recorded an in-game carry and, after a redshirt season in 2015, was moved to inside linebacker in the middle of the 2016 season. After playing in only one game that season, he has played in 28 of 29 the last two, including five starts last year. Slated to start this year at middle linebacker. OLB Walter Grant As a prospect: 4-star rating, 202nd nationally, No. 11 at position As a player: Grant has played in every game for Georgia since he arrived from Cairo High. His work came mainly on special teams as a freshman, but he started 8 games at Sam (strongside) linebacker last year. Unfortunately, Grant mans a position that is proving increasingly obsolete against today’s spread offenses. Got some looks at running back and tight end this spring. OLB Brenton Cox As a prospect: 5-star rating, No. 23 nationally, third at position As a player: This is an unresolved competition that just as easily could end up being Adam Anderson, Robert Beal, Azeez Ojulari or Nolan Smith. The interesting aspect is they all share similar recruiting profiles as top-rated, elite prospects. Cox did not distinguish himself when forced into action for an injured D’Andre Walker in the SEC Championship Game. But he has played more and been more productive than others in the competition for playing time. DE David Marshall As a prospect: 3-star rating, 433rd nationally and No. 19 as defensive end As a player: The senior Marshall has a lot of experience and playing time, but it has typically been in a specialized role as a run-stopper while sharing time with Jonathan Ledbetter. So his production of 58 tackles in 32 games and just seven starts doesn’t jump off the stat sheet. But Marshall’s absence was evident last season when he missed the last eight games with a broken foot. He was extremely limited in spring practice as well. Again, he’ll be sharing playing time with Malik Herring and Julian Rochester, at the least. DT Tyler Clark As a prospect: 4-star rating, 264th nationally and No. 27 at his position. As a player: Everybody is still waiting for the same Clark to emerge who dominated the second half against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl in 2017. He hasn’t been bad and actually has been the best of the Bulldogs’ tackles, but he hasn’t made enough of the impactful “havoc plays” coach Kirby Smart so desires from his defensive front. Clark has played in all but one game since arriving from Americus in 2016 and that includes 22 starts. But several young prospects will be trying to steal playing time, and Clark needs a big year to attract NFL attention. NG Jordan Davis As a prospect: 3-star rating, 424th nationally, No. 29 at position As a player: Davis is one of those great stories where he proved much better than his recruiting profile. The 6-foot-6, 330-pounder over game weight and conditioning issues to earn a starting job midway through his freshman season and, after recording 25 tackles and 1.5 sacks, was named a freshman All-American. He will need to continue to demonstrate that sharp rate of progress for the Bulldogs to take another step toward becoming an elite defense. The post Anatomy of a lineup: The makeup of the highly-touted 2019 Georgia Bulldogs might surprise you appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS-----University of Georgia All-American Aaron Schunk has been named the 2019 John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year, the College Baseball Foundation announced Thursday.   “In the end, we felt that Aaron’s impact on the mound, where he factored in the decision in 15 of his 17 appearances, his steady bat and his outstanding play at third base put him just a tick above the others,” said George Watson, chairman of the Olerud Award selection committee. “Plus his ability to positively affect the lives of others off the field makes him the perfect example of what the Olerud Award is all about. We are excited to see what the future holds for him.”   A second-round draft pick by the Colorado Rockies in last week’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, Schunk helped lead the Bulldogs to a No. 4 National Seed in the NCAA Tournament and a final record of 46-17. He became the first Bulldog in nine years to capture the “Triple Crown,” leading the team with a .339 average, 15 home runs and 58 RBI. On the mound, he tallied 12 saves to go with a 1-2 record and a 2.49 ERA in 17 appearances. Earlier this week, Schunk was named a first team All-American as a utility player by Baseball America along with other multiple All-America and All-Region squads by various outlets. Additionally, Schunk is a Dean’s List student and a three-year member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. He earned a spot on the 2019 SEC Community Service Team. Schunk signed a professional contract with the Rockies earlier this week.   “We are honored that Aaron has been selected as this year's John Olerud Award winner,” said Georgia’s Ike Cousins head baseball coach Scott Stricklin. “It's a tremendous accomplishment for him and well-deserved. He's been an outstanding representative of the Georgia baseball program on and off the field throughout his career.”    The John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award is named for the former Washington State University standout who achieved success both as a first baseman and left-handed pitcher during the late 1980s and who was inducted into the National College Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. The College Baseball Foundation (CBF) will present Schunk the 2019 award later this year. The other finalists this year were Will Mattiessen (Stanford), Alec Burleson (East Carolina), Tristin English (Ga. Tech) and Davis Sharpe (Clemson).   Schunk is the first Bulldog to win the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award. Previous winners of the award include Mike McGee (2010-FSU); Danny Hultzen (2011-Virginia), Brian Johnson (2012-Florida), Marco Gonzales (2013-Gonzaga), A.J. Reed (2014-Kentucky), Brendan McKay (2015-17-Louisville) and Brooks Wilson (2018-Stetson). For more information on the CBF’s John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, visit www.collegebaseballhall.org.
  • ATHENS — The Georgia football offense is loaded for 2019, from its experienced and vaunted front line, to a third-year starting quarterback in Jake Fromm and returning 1,000-yard rusher in D’Andre Swift. Sports illustrated is the latest to take note, listing Fromm and Swift among the Heisman Trophy favorites entering the 2019 season. Fromm was listed among four “Elite Quarterbacks on Elite Teams” along with Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts. Swift, meanwhile, was in the “Workhouse Running Backs” group with 20 other backs. WATCH: Kirby Smart plans heavy usage for D’Andre Swift Fromm and Swift have been among the Heisman Trophy favorites throughout the offseason, with BetOnline.Ag installing them at 12-to-1 back in January. Fromm, Swift among early Heisman Trophy online betting favorites BetOnline.com kept Fromm and Swift’s Heisman Trophy odds at 12-to-1 in February, too. It appears spring drills did nothing to remove Fromm and Swift from the frontrunners for the award. Georgia coach Kirby Smart sounds ready to give new offensive coordinator James Coley some latitude to open up the offense this season. “People think balance means 50-50, (and) balance is not 50-50,” Smart said this spring. “Balance is being able to run the ball when you have to run the ball and being able to throw the ball when you have to throw the ball. So can you do both? Yes, you can be successful at both. “That might be 70-30 one game and then 30-70 the other way the next game.” The good news for Swift — and Fromm — is that Coley’s offense is expected to include plenty of throws to the backs. RELATED: James Coley expected to put his spin on Georgia offense Swift has proven an effective receiver as well as runner. Swift caught four passes or more in five games last season. In the last two games, Swift had more than four catches two TD reception. That bodes well for Fromm, as well. UGA lost four of its top five pass catchers from last season to the NFL draft. Fromm finished fifth in the nation in passing efficiency lat season, with Tagovailoa the only returning QB who was ranked higher. RELATED: Kirk Herbstreit says Georgia offense starts with Jake Fromm Fromm ranked only 42nd in the nation in passing yardage (2,749), but that was with Smart looking to play former Georgia QB Justin Fields as much as possible in relief. That’s not as likely to be the case in 2019, meaning the Bulldogs could put up single-season record offensive numbers, and place Fromm and Swift squarely in the Heisman Trophy race.   The post Why Jake Fromm and D’Andre Swift are legit Heisman Trophy favorites appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Rankings are subjective, even so, it’s always interesting to ascertain how coaches and programs are judged from the outside. Take Georgia football coach Kirby Smart, for example. Smart, only 43 years old and entering this fourth year as the Bulldogs’ head coach, is already considered to be in rarified air by The Sporting News. Six-time national champion Nick Saban was ranked No. 1 among college coaches, while two-time national champ Dabo Swinney is at No. 2. Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher comes in at No. 3, and then there’s Smart at No. 4 with Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley No. 5. The rest of the top 10 includes Washington’s Chris Petersen at No. 6, Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly at No. 7, Florida’s Dan Mullen at No. 8, Texas coach Tom Herman at No. 9 and Jim Harbaugh at No. 10. Smart will go head-to-head with Fisher for the first time this season when Texas A&M plays at Sanford Stadium on Nov. 23. Here’s the Top 10-ranked coaches by Sporting News analyst Bill Bender, and how they compare in age and record at current school: 1. Nick Saban (67), 141-20 (.881) 2. Dabo Swinney (49), 116-30 (.795) 3. Jimbo Fisher (53), 9-4 (.692) 4. Kirby Smart (43), 32-10 (.762) 5. Lincoln Riley (35), 24-4 (.857) 6. Chris Petersen (54), 47-21 (.691) 7. Brian Kelly (57), 60-34 (.638) 8. Dan Mullen (47), 10-3 (.769) 9. Tom Herman (44), 17-10 (.630) 10. Jim Harbaugh (55), 38-14 (.731) Other SEC Coaches, and where they are ranked: No. 15 Ed Orgeron (57), 25-9 (.735) No. 19 Gus Malzahn (53), 53-27 (.663) No. 33 Mark Stoops (51), 36-39 (.480) No. 36 Will Muschamp (47), 22-17 (.564) No. 37 Joe Moorhead (45), 8-5 (.615) No. 40 Barry Odom (42), 19-19 (.500) No. 53 Derek Mason (49), 24-38 (.387) No. 54 Jeremy Pruitt (45), 5-7 (.417) No. 62 Matt Luke (42), 11-13 (.458) No. 65 Chad Morris (50), 2-10   (.167)   The post Georgia’s Kirby Smart chasing two SEC coaches in Sporting News rankings appeared first on DawgNation.