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Bulldog News

    ATHENS — Controversial college football coach Lane Kiffin is coming to Georgia as a guest speaker for Kirby Smart’s coaching camp next week. The camp figures to have it all with Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and New York Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams on  hand to talk football along with the entertaining Kiffin. Kiffin, as usual, is in the national headlines this offseason, commenting on the NCAA transfer portal and some of its unintended consequences. According to the Palm Beach Post, Kiffin says players entering the portal is “a sexy thing to do,” and he suggests it will have an adverse affect on college football. “You’re gonna see rosters around the country that are not at 85 (scholarships) and they won’t be able to get to 85. So what do you do if you have 25 seniors and 10 guys transferring?” Kiffin said in the Palm Beach Post article. “That’s 35 off your roster, but you’re capped at 25. “I think you have an issue and that’s really opposite of what has been the new thing to do, which is player safety and getting more players on the field so players don’t play as many snaps. And now, this portal is making that go backwards.” Georgia lost two valuable freshmen in the NCAA portal, freshman quarterback Justin Fields and tight end Luke Ford. Kiffin, who lost a quarterback to transfer after his Florida Atlantic team went 5-7 last season, said some players get in the transfer portal to get attention. “I can get in this portal so I can get some attention — we’re in a generation of just wanting attention no matter what — so now, I can go in this (portal), get an article written about me, and get re-recruited because I don’t like exactly how something’s going,” Kiffin said. The irony, of course, is that Kiffin knows how to get attention better than perhaps any coach in the country. Kiffin’s one-year tenure as a head coach in the SEC was filled with headlines, from his controversial departure from Tennessee after just one season, to the NCAA investigation he triggered that put a cloud over his successor, Derek Dooley. Smart coached on the same Alabama staff with Kiffin in 2014-15, serving as the defensive coordinator while Kiffin was the offensive coordinator.     The post Lane Kiffin discusses ‘sexy’ NCAA portal leading up to Georgia football camp appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia football practice No. 2 is in the books, the Bulldogs still working to establish a new identity and new leaders. There weren’t many clues in the open portion of practice on Thursday, but Kirby Smart will talk on Saturday and provide more insight into how he sees the Bulldogs developing. The early sentiment is this UGA team could throw the ball more, but it won’t come at the expense of being able to run the football. DawgNation reporters give their early takes on how Georgia is evolving in what will be Smart’s fourth season at the helm. Mike Griffith & Chip Towers   Georgia football practice headlines Kirby Smart sheds light on James Coley’s ‘balanced’ philosophy J.R. Reed puts NFL dreams on hold for title run Georgia football injury updates, Zamir White status James Coley ‘likes to throw more’ than Jim Chaney Offensive line, Brian Herrien look the part Complete Georgia early enrollee roster numbers   The post WATCH: DawgNation observations from Georgia football spring practice No. 2 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — The qualifier remains that “Georgia is going to be Georgia,” but it’s starting to sound more and like the Bulldogs are going to throw the football more in 2019. The Georgia players are all excited about James Coley taking over the offense from Jim Chaney. The consensus is that more of the playbook will be used, and more balls will fly through the air. The Bulldogs had the heaviest run ratio of any non-option team in 2017, and last season Georgia lead the SEC in rushing. But Coley could be a game-changer calling plays. “His first instinct would be to throw,” Bulldogs senior tight end Charlie Woerner said Thursday. “Just knowing him, every G-Day game (Coley) is the offensive coordinator on one team, and Chaney is the other, and you look at the stats and it’s a lot more pass-heavy on Coach Coley’s team than Chaney’s. “Chaney is just a little more old-school running the ball, which I didn’t mind that either, but (Coley) likes to throw more than Chaney.” Junior receiver J.J. Holloman agreed following Thursday’s practice. “I’m confident that he will throw the ball a lot more, and we’ll have more explosive plays to look forward to,” said Holloman, UGA’s leading returning receiver. Junior tailback D’Andre Swift is a returning 1,000-yard rusher and the Georgia offensive line is a powerful group capable or road-grading most any opponent. But Swift is also adept at catching the football out of the backfield, and that offensive line is talented in pass protection. Perhaps most importantly, Jake Fromm is a third-year starting quarterback, and Holloman said that factors in as much as Coley. “It’s a mix of both, (Fromm) having all the experience he has,’ Holloman said, “and Coley opening the playbook and making a lot of things happen.” Mecole Hardman is headed to the NFL, but the speedy junior receiver said he, too, expects more passing in the UGA offense. RELATED: NFL WR steal could be Georgia’s biggest loss “Probably a little more passing, I think Coley will bring a title bit more of that,” Hardman said after his pro day workout on Wednesday. “But they definitely are going to run the ball. “You got Swift back, Zamir (White) coming back from injury , (James) Cook here, and they just signed another running back, so it’s going to be a similar offense, we’ll play our brand of football, but probably a little bit more finesse, a little bit more passing there was well. I’m excited for Coley, I know he’s gong to do big things.” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said Tuesday the updated definition of “balance” has less to do with run-pass ratio and more to do with the ability to do both effectively. “People think balance means 50/50 — balance is not 50/50,” Smart said. “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.” Georgia TE Charlie Woerner   The post Georgia TE Charlie Woerner: James Coley ‘likes to throw more than (Jim) Chaney’ appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia has updated its roster to include all of the early enrollees football numbers with the Bulldogs this spring. The numbers are as follows: 2 QB D’Wan Mathis 4 LB Nolan Smith 7 DB Tyrique Stevenson 11 LB Jermaine Johnson 12 LB Rian Davis 13 QB Stetson Bennett 14 DB DJ Daniel 15 LB Trezmen Marshall 16 DB Lewis Cine 17 LB Nakobe Dean 60 OL Clay Webb 70 OL Warren McClendon 88 TE Ryland Goede 90 DL Tramel Walthour To recap, there were also number changes since last season: RB James Cook: No. 4, previously No. 6 WR Matt Landers: No. 5, previously No. 15 S Otis Reese: No. 6, previously No. 17 CB Divaad Wilson: No. 8, previously No. 16 OLB Azeez Ojulari: No. 13, previously No. 38 OLB Adam Anderson: No. 19. previously was No. 56 The post Complete Georgia football early enrollee roster numbers appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia redshirt junior Ben Cleveland was back running with the first team at right guard during Thursday’s limited media window of observation. The Bulldogs’ offensive linemen looked to have noticeably better body builds than their counterparts on defense, more than one of which appeared to have a weighty issue. Indeed, there’s a reason why some believe Georgia has the best O-Line in the country. As expected, the players working first team were: LT Andrew Thomas, LG Solomon Kindley, C Trey Hill, RG Cleveland, RT Isaiah Wilson. If there was a surprise in the depth chart, it was seeing Jamaree Salyer working as the backup right tackle with Cade Mays tucked inside at right guard. Offensive line coach is likely doing that to build depth at tackle, as Mays would surely be the first man in at either of the offensive tackle positions should a starter go down. Clay Webb appeared to be the No. 2 center, while Justin Shaffer was No. 2 at left guard and D’Marcus Hayes was No. 2 at left tackle for the purposes of drills. RB observations The most impressive physical transformation appeared to be Brian Herrien, who looked every bit the part of the power back Georgia will need him to be. Herrien, the most impressive UGA back in the Sugar Bowl, is listed at 6-foot, 210 pounds but looked bigger. D’Andre Swift was running at the front of all the drills, while James Cook was No. 3 behind Herrien. DB observations New Georgia secondary coach Charlton Warren very loud and frenetic, chastising cornerbacks for “wasting too much time” when the next ups weren’t ready to go in drills. “We’ve got 8 minutes to get better, men!” he yelled. “Eight minutes. Now quit wasting time!” Junior Ameer Speed continues to work with cornerbacks. He had a cast on his left hand but it did not seem limit him at all. Former UGA QB in attendance Former Georgia QB Faton Bauta, now an assistant at Monmouth, was among coaches observing Thursday’s practice. The post Georgia offensive line looks the part, Brian Herrien built for power game appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart has said before he doesn’t think there are many secrets in college football. That’s probably why Smart opened up Tuesday practice to the Oregon coaching staff, according to OregonLive.com. The Ducks’ staff, led by former Alabama assistant Mario Cristobal, was in Tuscaloosa on Monday and Athens, Ga., on Tuesday to watch practice and visit with staff members. Smart was at Alabama as Nick Saban’s defensive coordinator for three seasons while Cristobal was there serving as the line coach. Georgia places heavy restrictions on the media presence at practice, even while opening up practice for the well-trained eyes of staff members they might ultimately face in the College Football Playoff or in a bowl game. That’s what happened in the Sugar Bowl, as Smart allowed Texas coach Tom Herman and his staff to attend the Bulldogs’ spring practices last year. “We took a trip out there this spring just to pick brains and talk shop a little bit,” Herman said leading up to the Longhorns’ 28-21 victory. Herman said when the Sugar Bowl matchup was announced that he didn’t see the Georgia run game as “anything too formidable.” The confident Texas coach proved correct against what was the SEC’s top rushing offense. The Bulldogs rushed for just   72 yards on 30 attempts after averaging 259.8 yards per game. Smart said his new offensive coordinator, James Coley, has been working to improve the offense and talked with other coaches. Chances are, Coley spoke with Cristobal about what the Ducks do on offense in addition to visiting other programs that Smart chose not to name. “We’ve been working on us and saying, okay, what can we do better, and I think James brings a lot of that to the table,” Smart said on Tuesday. “They’ve gone and visited with a lot of people to get new ideas.” The post One year after opening practice to Texas, Georgia allows Oregon to observe appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart is hoping for a big NFL draft for his Bulldogs, the better for future recruiting. WATCH: Kirby Smart shares thoughts on UGA Pro Day But it was clear as Smart spoke on Wednesday’s pro day in the so-called “House of Payne” indoor facility he regretted the one recruit that got away after the bowl game. Mecole Hardman. Perhaps no UGA player would have benefitted more from returning for a senior season than Hardman. It’s fair to say the speedy Hardman  would have challenged tailback D’Andre Swift for total yardage honors in 2019. Instead, Hardman — who had just 12 catches in his last 8 games in former coordinator Jim Chaney’s offense at Georgia — could be the steal of the draft. “I still think he has great upside at the wide receiver position, so he’s a guy that’s going to flourish when he gets to that level,” Smart said on Wednesday. “I’m looking forward to seeing him do it, because he’s grown as a player for us, but he hasn’t even reached his full potential.” Hardman had just 34 catches last season for 532 yards and 7 TDs in 2018. He would have likely doubled those numbers in 2019 with UGA losing WRs Riley Ridley and Terry Godwin. Hardman said he told Smart after the Sugar Bowl he was going pro, and that’s when “it hit the fan.” There’s a strong chance Smart felt it would have been in Hardman’s best interests — ultimately — to return for another season. But where the team was concerned, it was the late decision that hurt Georgia in addition to losing such a great talent. Smart explained in an SEC Network interview that the Jan. 14 NFL declaration date puts college teams in a bind relative to the early December signing date. RELATED: Kirby Smart shares fascinating look into future “I’m finding out January 14 who’s leaving, but yet I’m signing kids in December who are coming in (January),” Smart said in February. “I think more and more teams, especially upper echelon programs, will have rosters full of freshman or sophomores and a few juniors, because your (would-be) seniors are coming out early, or they’re transferring, they’re going in the (transfer) portal if they’re not playing,” he said. “So your teams will always be loaded with youth, and probably whoever manages that best, is who’s going to remain at the top of college football.” That’s certainly true for Georgia at receiver.  Smart lamented not having an early enrollee at the position at the opening spring press conference. UGA has added signees Dominick Blaylock and George Pickens, but neither is on campus for spring drills. RELATED: Georgia 2019 football signing class list Hardman, meanwhile, appears to be the fastest-rising Georgia player in NFL draft rankings after running a 4.33-second 40-yard dash at the combine. WATCH: Mecole Hardman flashes SEC speed at NFL combine “I think a lot of people saw that speed, they expected me to run fast, they see that on film,” Hardman said. “They see the potential.” Smart helps NFL teams recognize just how much potential Hardman has by making it a point to mention that he’s only played the receiver position for two seasons. “I usually bring it up pretty quick, to me it’s an important thing to understand that here’s a guy that only caught snaps in high school (as a QB), then only caught interceptions as a freshman (as a DB) and then he spends two years catching the ball and he’s done a really good job doing that,” Smart said. “Especially in his pro days and his workouts,” Smart said. “That’s kinda the only thing that people could try to knock Mecole on (previously). “He’s fast, he’s elusive, he’s a great returner, well what about his hands? Well all he’s done is catch every ball thrown to him for the last two months, and I’m excited to see what he does.” Smart and Georgia fans just wish they could have seen Hardman do more to achieve his potential in Athens before departing for the NFL. Georgia receivers perform 3-Cone at Pro Day The post WATCH: Wide receiver steal in 2019 NFL Draft might also be Georgia’s biggest loss appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — It’s hard to know exactly how much goes into the decision to stay or leave when a college football player is contemplating entering the NFL draft. For some it’s a matter of filling out a little paperwork and waiting to see what comes back. For others, it’s a comprehensive study that entails numerous phone calls, meetings, detailed correspondences and thoughtful prayer. Count Georgia’s J.R. Reed’s contemplation among the latter. His wasn’t a decision that was arrived at easily. “It was probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve made, besides transferring out of the University of Tulsa,” said Reed, a fifth-year senior and two-year starter at safety for the Bulldogs. It just took a lot of praying and marking things down and doing logistics and talking it over with my parents. After weeks and maybe a month going in – because we thought about it before – we decided it’d probably be best for me to come back.” Reed certainly has plenty of good resources. His father, Jake Reed, was an NFL veteran who played 12 seasons at wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings and New Orleans Saints. He retired in 2002 having played in 155 NFL games and finished his career with 6,999 yards receiving and 36 touchdowns. So the Reed family was able to consult a number NFL executives in reaching their decision. J.R. said it ultimately came down to a good, old-fashioned list of pros and cons, and finally a very frank conversation with Georgia coach Kirby Smart. Reed and Smart agreed “it’d be best for me to come back for this team and get us to win a championship.” “It’s always been my goal since I came here to win a national championship,” said Reed, a 6-foot-1, 194-pound senior. “Coach Smart told me that’s what he wants this team to be; I told him I want to be a part of a championship team. So my goals haven’t really changed. That championship thing is always on your list, every time you play. If Georgia does win a championship in 2019, Reed will have had a lot to do with it. With cornerback Deandre Baker to an NFL career, Reed is the captain and unquestioned leader of what will be a young but talented secondary. And his experience factor at this point is through the roof. Reed didn’t arrive at Georgia from his hometown of Frisco, Texas, until his sophomore year when he transferred in from Tulsa and had to sit out per the NCAA’s Division I transfer requirement. But ever since he reacquired his eligibility, Reed has been on the field for the Bulldogs. He has started every game at safety ever since, logging 145 tackles, 4 interceptions, 7 pass break-ups and 2.5 quarterback sacks. Now he, rising junior Richard LeCounte and senior Tyrique McGhee combine to form defensive back line that will rival any in the SEC. That’s a good thing because the Bulldogs are going to be extremely young on the corners and throughout the rest of the depth chart in the secondary. Entering spring camp, sophomores Tyson Campbell and Eric Stokes are the starting cornerbacks. Sophomores Otis Reese and Christopher Smith step in as backups at safety while Mark Webb, a relatively inexperienced junior, will look to step up at the nickel position. Meanwhile, Georgia is welcoming in several other newcomers to the defensive backfield, including freshman early enrollees Lewis Cine and Tyrique Stevenson and junior college transfer D.J. Daniel. Reed has been asked to keep a close eye on the newbies. “A lot of the (DBs) haven’t really played that much, and I think they’re ready to show UGA and the world what they have,” Reed said. “Their talents are still developing. In the spring, I think we’ll find it.” Count Smart and first-year defensive backs coach Charlton Warren among those most pleased that Reed decided to return. With all the youth in the back third of the defense, to have been breaking in a new safety would have been challenging. But Smart said he never takes it upon himself to talk underclassmen out of turning pro. The Bulldogs had four juniors off last year’s 11-3 team make the decision to enter the draft in receivers Mecole Hardman and Riley Ridley, running back Elijah Holyfield and tight end Isaac Nauta. All four went through UGA’s Pro Day Wednesday before all representatives of all 32 NFL teams. Reed watched from a balcony in the Payne Indoor Athletic Facility. Smart said he generally doesn’t try to talk underclassmen into or out of the draft. He just tries to supply as much information as possible and will give them his opinion if it’s asked for. “We’re certainly very thrilled for the future of their careers,” Smart said of the early entries. “We’re looking forward to see how they do. … I’ve followed each one of them, communicated with each one of them, and we as a coaching staff and really organization are pulling really hard for those guys. The best thing that could happen for us is for each one of those guys to be drafted as high as possible, and for our program, and we’re looking forward to having a hell of a draft because we have the potential to have a lot of guys drafted. This time next year, Reed will be among the Bulldogs getting tested for the draft. He plans to do so with another championship ring in his pocket. “I have to take my role more seriously,” Reed said of his senior season. “It is just a different role than I have had in the past. … Now, a lot of it comes on your shoulders. We just have to get everybody leaning in the same direction.” The post Georgia safety J.R. Reed puts NFL dream on hold to pursue championship with Bulldogs appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia linebacker Jaden Hunter was arrested on Wednesday night and faces charges for illegally stopping, standing or parking a vehicle. The jail booking recap report on the Athens’ Clark County website revealed Hunter was booked at 9:04 p.m. by the UGA police and released at 11:33 p.m. after posting a $1,000 bond. Hunter, who is from Atlanta and attended Westlake High School, was also found to be driving with a license that was suspended or revoked. Kirby Smart has not commented on the arrest of Hunter, who is the son of the late Brice Hunter, an All-SEC receiver and team captain of the Bulldogs. The post Georgia linebacker Jaden Hunter arrested Wednesday night in Athens appeared first on DawgNation.

Local News

  • The man accused of helping burn the body of a south Georgia teacher asked for forgiveness as he was sentenced.  Bo Dukes was found guilty Thursday of lying to authorities in the Tara Grinstead case. Dukes' attorney didn't want to speak to Channel 2’s Tony Thomas as he walked out of court Friday following sentencing, but he sent Thomas an email that read, “While we appreciate the jury’s service we do not agree with the verdict reached and are weighing all appellate options.” That statement was greatly different than Dukes’ tone inside court.  [READ: Who is Tara Grinstead?] “I was more interested in self-pity and self-preservation than doing the right thing for Tara and for you. I pray for your forgiveness,” Dukes told the court Friday morning.  Grinstead’s family stared at Dukes as he directed his comments at them.  For years, Dukes had lied to investigators as they tried to solve Grinstead’s disappearance from Irwin County in 2005.  RELATED STORIES: Leaked confession reveals motive behind Tara Grinstead's murder, GBI says Judge considers removing gag order in Tara Grinstead case Man accused of murdering former beauty queen talks about alleged 'confession' Dukes said his friend, Ryan Duke, killed her, and that he then helped Duke move and burn her body in a pecan field. “He watched whole communities in turmoil because Tara was missing,” Grinstead’s stepmother, Connie Grinstead, said. “He did nothing. He just went on living his life, not caring about the pain he caused others.” Connie Grinstead spared no words as she asked the judge to give Dukes the maximum sentence of 25 years, and he did. [READ MORE:  Bo Dukes, charged in Tara Grinstead case, in custody after 5-day manhunt, police say ] “I just can't quite wrap my head around what was done,” said Judge Robert Chasteen. Dukes' mother stood up for her son but admitted he had problems. She asked for rehabilitation. Dukes also faces charges in neighboring Ben Hill County, where Grinstead’s body was burned, and in Houston County on unrelated charges. “I want each of you to know I am truly remorseful. Thank you,” Dukes told the court. The man charged with the actual killing of Tara Grinstead, Duke, faces a trial starting April 1.
  • The 2019 Alumni Weekend is underway at UGA: activities that began Thursday continue today and tomorrow at the University of Georgia. From the University of Georgia master calendar… The UGA Alumni Association wants to welcome alumni back to Athens and make them feel like students again. Come back to campus, relive the glory days with friends and loved ones, and experience what it's like to be a student in Athens today.Registration covers: * Thursday: Orientation Dinner with President Jere W. Morehead * Friday: Classes, meals, reception at Wall & Broad and TEDxUGA * Saturday: Commencement Brunch The University of Georgia’s curriculum committee meets today: it’s a 3:30 session at New College on Herty Drive in Athens. 
  • Georgia track and field’s Elija Godwin has been named the Southeastern Conference Men’s Freshman of the Week following his performance at the Yellow Jacket Invitational, according to a league announcement.   Godwin, a native of Covington, Ga., and graduate of Newton High School, is the Bulldogs’ first outdoor weekly award winner following the first collegiate outdoor meet of his career.   Godwin clocked a career best 10.47 into -0.4 wind to be the top 100-meter dash finisher in the 33-man field. This finish ranks No. 13 nationally (No. 8 nationally for wind-legal times under 2.0 meters/second), makes him the No. 4 freshman nationally and the No. 3 SEC performer in 2019. He returned to win the 200m with a 20.90, which is his fastest time of 2019 and second best of his career, to move to No. 3 nationally (No. 2 for wind-legal times) as the country’s top freshman and No. 2 competitor from the SEC.   Georgia trains through the coming weekend before splitting squads to the Florida Relays (March 28-30) and Raleigh Relays (March 29-30).
  • Barrow County Commissioners meet in a special session today: they’re scheduled to vote on a proposal that would place an ambulance station at Northeast Georgia Medical Center Barrow in Winder. It’s a plan to end a dispute between the Barrow County government and the city of Winder over who provides ambulance service inside the Winder city limits. This morning’s Commission meeting is set for 8:15 in Winder.  The Franklin County School Board is sending to the Georgia School Superintendent’s Association the list of 32 candidates who have applied to be the next school superintendent in Carnesville. The Board is looking to replace Wayne Randall, who will retire at the end of the current school year. Randall was told by the Board that his contract would not be renewed.  The Hall County city of Oakwood is getting a new top cop: Tim Hatch is now the police chief in St. Mary’s; he’ll take over in Oakwood, replacing former Chief Randall Moon, who retired last month. Hatch’s resume’ includes time on the force with the University of Georgia campus police department and the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office. 
  • The Georgia football team held its second practice of spring drills on Thursday on the Woodruff Practice Fields.   The Bulldogs practiced for approximately two hours in helmets, shoulder pads, and shorts. The practice was No. 2 of what is expected to be 15 during the spring, which will culminate with the annual G-Day Game on Saturday, April 20. The Bulldogs will return to the practice fields on Saturday.   Senior Charlie Woerner was asked how the transition is going for the tight ends with him as the elder statesman following the departures of Isaac Nauta and Jackson Harris and with the addition of new tight ends coach Todd Hartley.   “Things have started well,” Woerner said. “Day 2 is done, and we’re looking as good as we can two days in. I think we’re pretty far ahead on our installs. It’s a lot different (in the tight ends room), but it’s fine. We have a really good group, a lot of good guys in the room. It feels like it’s my time and I’m ready to have a big year, but I don’t feel any pressure. All I can do is my best for this team.”   Junior Jeremiah Holloman also finds himself in a potential leadership role on and off the field among the receivers since the Bulldogs said goodbye to the likes of Terry Godwin, Riley Ridley, Mecole Hardman, and Ahkil Crumpton.   “I feel like our whole room can step in and contribute,” Holloman said. “We have guys just waiting for a chance. I stepped in last year and made an impact (with 24 catches for 418 yards and five touchdowns), and we have plenty of guys like that. We have a load of guys capable of going out there and competing and making plays.”   On Wednesday, all 32 NFL teams were in attendance as the Bulldogs eligible for next month’s draft participated in Pro Day drills.   The G-Day Game is slated for Saturday, April 20, at 2 p.m. at Sanford Stadium. The game will be televised by the SEC Network.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — Controversial college football coach Lane Kiffin is coming to Georgia as a guest speaker for Kirby Smart’s coaching camp next week. The camp figures to have it all with Philadelphia Eagles head coach Doug Pederson and New York Jets defensive coordinator Gregg Williams on  hand to talk football along with the entertaining Kiffin. Kiffin, as usual, is in the national headlines this offseason, commenting on the NCAA transfer portal and some of its unintended consequences. According to the Palm Beach Post, Kiffin says players entering the portal is “a sexy thing to do,” and he suggests it will have an adverse affect on college football. “You’re gonna see rosters around the country that are not at 85 (scholarships) and they won’t be able to get to 85. So what do you do if you have 25 seniors and 10 guys transferring?” Kiffin said in the Palm Beach Post article. “That’s 35 off your roster, but you’re capped at 25. “I think you have an issue and that’s really opposite of what has been the new thing to do, which is player safety and getting more players on the field so players don’t play as many snaps. And now, this portal is making that go backwards.” Georgia lost two valuable freshmen in the NCAA portal, freshman quarterback Justin Fields and tight end Luke Ford. Kiffin, who lost a quarterback to transfer after his Florida Atlantic team went 5-7 last season, said some players get in the transfer portal to get attention. “I can get in this portal so I can get some attention — we’re in a generation of just wanting attention no matter what — so now, I can go in this (portal), get an article written about me, and get re-recruited because I don’t like exactly how something’s going,” Kiffin said. The irony, of course, is that Kiffin knows how to get attention better than perhaps any coach in the country. Kiffin’s one-year tenure as a head coach in the SEC was filled with headlines, from his controversial departure from Tennessee after just one season, to the NCAA investigation he triggered that put a cloud over his successor, Derek Dooley. Smart coached on the same Alabama staff with Kiffin in 2014-15, serving as the defensive coordinator while Kiffin was the offensive coordinator.     The post Lane Kiffin discusses ‘sexy’ NCAA portal leading up to Georgia football camp appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia football practice No. 2 is in the books, the Bulldogs still working to establish a new identity and new leaders. There weren’t many clues in the open portion of practice on Thursday, but Kirby Smart will talk on Saturday and provide more insight into how he sees the Bulldogs developing. The early sentiment is this UGA team could throw the ball more, but it won’t come at the expense of being able to run the football. DawgNation reporters give their early takes on how Georgia is evolving in what will be Smart’s fourth season at the helm. Mike Griffith & Chip Towers   Georgia football practice headlines Kirby Smart sheds light on James Coley’s ‘balanced’ philosophy J.R. Reed puts NFL dreams on hold for title run Georgia football injury updates, Zamir White status James Coley ‘likes to throw more’ than Jim Chaney Offensive line, Brian Herrien look the part Complete Georgia early enrollee roster numbers   The post WATCH: DawgNation observations from Georgia football spring practice No. 2 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — The qualifier remains that “Georgia is going to be Georgia,” but it’s starting to sound more and like the Bulldogs are going to throw the football more in 2019. The Georgia players are all excited about James Coley taking over the offense from Jim Chaney. The consensus is that more of the playbook will be used, and more balls will fly through the air. The Bulldogs had the heaviest run ratio of any non-option team in 2017, and last season Georgia lead the SEC in rushing. But Coley could be a game-changer calling plays. “His first instinct would be to throw,” Bulldogs senior tight end Charlie Woerner said Thursday. “Just knowing him, every G-Day game (Coley) is the offensive coordinator on one team, and Chaney is the other, and you look at the stats and it’s a lot more pass-heavy on Coach Coley’s team than Chaney’s. “Chaney is just a little more old-school running the ball, which I didn’t mind that either, but (Coley) likes to throw more than Chaney.” Junior receiver J.J. Holloman agreed following Thursday’s practice. “I’m confident that he will throw the ball a lot more, and we’ll have more explosive plays to look forward to,” said Holloman, UGA’s leading returning receiver. Junior tailback D’Andre Swift is a returning 1,000-yard rusher and the Georgia offensive line is a powerful group capable or road-grading most any opponent. But Swift is also adept at catching the football out of the backfield, and that offensive line is talented in pass protection. Perhaps most importantly, Jake Fromm is a third-year starting quarterback, and Holloman said that factors in as much as Coley. “It’s a mix of both, (Fromm) having all the experience he has,’ Holloman said, “and Coley opening the playbook and making a lot of things happen.” Mecole Hardman is headed to the NFL, but the speedy junior receiver said he, too, expects more passing in the UGA offense. RELATED: NFL WR steal could be Georgia’s biggest loss “Probably a little more passing, I think Coley will bring a title bit more of that,” Hardman said after his pro day workout on Wednesday. “But they definitely are going to run the ball. “You got Swift back, Zamir (White) coming back from injury , (James) Cook here, and they just signed another running back, so it’s going to be a similar offense, we’ll play our brand of football, but probably a little bit more finesse, a little bit more passing there was well. I’m excited for Coley, I know he’s gong to do big things.” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said Tuesday the updated definition of “balance” has less to do with run-pass ratio and more to do with the ability to do both effectively. “People think balance means 50/50 — balance is not 50/50,” Smart said. “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.” Georgia TE Charlie Woerner   The post Georgia TE Charlie Woerner: James Coley ‘likes to throw more than (Jim) Chaney’ appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia has updated its roster to include all of the early enrollees football numbers with the Bulldogs this spring. The numbers are as follows: 2 QB D’Wan Mathis 4 LB Nolan Smith 7 DB Tyrique Stevenson 11 LB Jermaine Johnson 12 LB Rian Davis 13 QB Stetson Bennett 14 DB DJ Daniel 15 LB Trezmen Marshall 16 DB Lewis Cine 17 LB Nakobe Dean 60 OL Clay Webb 70 OL Warren McClendon 88 TE Ryland Goede 90 DL Tramel Walthour To recap, there were also number changes since last season: RB James Cook: No. 4, previously No. 6 WR Matt Landers: No. 5, previously No. 15 S Otis Reese: No. 6, previously No. 17 CB Divaad Wilson: No. 8, previously No. 16 OLB Azeez Ojulari: No. 13, previously No. 38 OLB Adam Anderson: No. 19. previously was No. 56 The post Complete Georgia football early enrollee roster numbers appeared first on DawgNation.