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Bulldog News

    ATHENS — Georgia sacks leader D’Andre Walker has pulled out of the Senior Bowl, not yet ready to compete on account of what has become a nagging groin injury. Walker has been projected as a third-round NFL Draft pick, but the Senior Bowl offered him an opportunity to improve his draft stock competing against top talent in the annual all-star event. The Bulldogs will be represented by defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter and long snapper Nick Moore. Practices and drills begin on Tuesday before the watchful eyes of hundreds of NFL coaches, scouts and general managers. Unfortunately, I won’t be attending the Senior Bowl. I will be getting a second opinion on my groin this week to ensure I’ll be ready for the combine. I am very disappointed because it’s such a great opportunity to showcase my talent. — D’Andre Walker (@DAndreWalker15) January 21, 2019 Walker was injured early in the fourth quarter of the SEC Championship Game against Alabama with Georgia leading 28-21. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound senior from Fairburn, Ga., was enjoying an MVP performance against the Tide before suffering the injury. Walker had five tackles, two TFLs, two QB hurries a forced fumble and a deflected pass in three quarters, wreaking havoc in the Alabama backfield. Georgia’s backup outside linebackers weren’t able to have the same sort of success. The Bulldogs young outside linebackers lost contain on crucial plays and allowed Jalen Hurts to buy time and make game-winning plays in Alabama’s 35-28 win. Walker practiced on a limited basis and dressed out for the Sugar Bowl, but he declined to play. Bulldogs’ cornerback Deandre Baker also had an invitation to test himself against the nation’s best in the Senior Bowl, but Baker declined his invitation. Baker also skipped the Sugar Bowl, which, coupled with injuries to Walker and Freshman All-American defensive tackle Jordan Davis, severely hampered the Georgia defense in the 28-21 loss to Texas. The post Georgia football OLB D’Andre Walker uncertain of health, pulls out of Senior Bowl appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — If “Genius is patience,” as Isaac Newton once suggested, Georgia football coach Kirby Smart’s I.Q. must be off the charts. Smart has exhibited a deliberate approach at each turn in his young career, from not naming a starting quarterback during the 2018 offseason, to holding off on naming a defensive coordinator. Could there be more staff changes ahead? Perhaps, though it wouldn’t seem likely. The 43-year-old Smart named 41-year-old Charlton Warren his defensive backs coach on Saturday, shortly after crossing paths with him on the recruiting trail and conversing. RELATED: Georgia football adds ‘Mr. Intensity’ to defensive meeting room Warren’s hire comes more than six weeks after Colorado announced former UGA secondary coach and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker as its new head coach (Dec. 5). Some speculated Smart would elevate 32-year-old outside linebackers coach Dan Lanning or 28-year-old inside linebackers coach Glenn Schumann to defensive coordinator — or both, in a co-coordinator role. Here are three things that are next for Georgia football: Defensive coordinator It’s going to be Smart’s system on defense, regardless who gets the coordinator title, so the key here is how the staff chemistry shakes out with Warren added to the defensive meeting room. Lanning said in New Orleans that there could be an internal promotion to the coordinator position, but also, that Georgia would see how things shook out against Texas in the Sugar Bowl. RELATED: Georgia football assistant Dan Lanning shares insight into DC search Obviously, the Bulldogs didn’t fare well without Deandre Baker in the secondary, D’Andre Walker at linebacker and Jordan Davis on the defensive line. It’s hard to know how much of the defensive dropoff had to do with Tucker’s absence versus the team’s motivation after its gut-wrenching loss in the SEC title game and exclusion from the CFB playoff. It wouldn’t be surprising if Smart made the decision on his DC immediately. But it is also possible the Georgia head coach will wait until after signing day (Feb. 6), or even spring drills to name the defensive coordinator, after he gets a better feel for the chemistry and ability in the room. James Coley confirmation Coley’s promotion to play caller and full-fledged offensive coordinator from co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach wasn’t surprising. RELATED: Kirby Smart pulls trigger on elevating James Coley to OC, as expected It was, however, second-guessed by outsiders overlooking Coley’s experience as Jimbo Fisher’s offensive coordinator at Florida State and his work as Miami’s coordinator. Coley’s stock recently shot up, however, when NFL.com analyst Ian Rapoport reported last Friday that the Dallas Cowboys could consider Coley for their offensive coordinator position. As the #Cowboys dig into possible replacements for embattled OC Scott Linehan, they have one on their current staff — TE coach Doug Nussmeier — and may look to the college game to better utilize Dak Prescott’s talents. UGA OC James Coley will receive some consideration there. — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 18, 2019   A FOIA request for Coley’s new contract last week revealed that he doesn’t yet have one, leaving room for speculation that need soon be answered. Is Coley staying, or might   he be headed for the NFL? Big staff raises The bottom line for the Georgia football coaching staff is there is plenty of money available for raises and the new hires. So far, the Bulldogs’ offensive staff has traded Jim Chaney’s $950,000 salary for new tight ends coach Todd Hartley’s first-year deal of $300,000. RELATED: Details of Georgia football assistant Todd Hartley’s new contract The defense, meanwhile, has the $1.5 million Tucker was making to spread around. Warren was due to make $401,500 at Florida next season, per the USA Today salary database, but he’s sure to get a healthy boost at Georgia. Bulldogs defensive line coach Tray Scott has earned a raise up from $420,000, with Georgia’s defensive line showing more improvement than perhaps any other position group last season. Certainly, linebackers coaches Schumann and Lanning — both previously making $325,000 — will have deals worth more than a half-million annually next season. It’s more math for Smart to do, more pieces of the puzzle, and if the Georgia head coach has proven anything his first three seasons, it’s that he’’ll take his time to make sure he gets things right. Georgia football coaches 2018 annual salaries DEFENSE DC, secondary: Mel Tucker $1.5 million Defensive line: Tray Scott $420,000 Inside linebackers: Glenn Schumann $325,000 Outside linebackers: Dan Lanning $325,000 Special teams Scott Fountain $300,000 * Charlton Warren, new coach was due $401,500 at Florida in 2019 OFFENSE OC, tight ends: Jim Chaney $950,000 Offensive line: Sam Pittman $825,00 Quarterbacks, Co-OC James Coley, $850,00 Running backs: Dell McGee $550,000 Receivers Cortez Hankton $375,000 * Todd Hartley, new tight ends coach, will make $300,000 in 2019 at UGA   The post 3 things: What’s next for Georgia football and ever-patient Kirby Smart? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — The Georgia basketball challenges could be attributed to the brutal league slate assigned by the SEC office. Already, the Bulldogs (9-8, 1-4 SEC) have played the three top-ranked teams in the league in Tennessee, Kentucky and Auburn, and next up is a road trip to red-hot LSU. Georgia coach Tom Crean hasn’t mentioned the schedule since it was released in the preseason, instead focusing on what he can control, which would include the roller coaster play of forward Rayshaun Hammonds. The talented 6-foot-8, 235-pounder from Norcoss is the Bulldogs leading scorer this season — except when he isn’t, which would be against the better teams this season. Hammonds has been held scoreless in losses to Tennessee and most recently at home against Florida, running into foul trouble early in both games, offering little help to his teammates in other capacities. Georgia was outscored by 18 points with Hammonds in the game against the Gators, as shown below in the plus-minus category for UGA players: “ I am going to look around and see what we can do to help him and I talked to him a lot,” Crean said. “I am not down on him at all, I want him to continue to learn and want him to understand he is a lot more than just a guy who shoots and scores.” But yes, Crean admitted, “him not scoring and us not scoring are together.” Hammonds has at times shown the sort of growth and ability many projected when he was rated the No. 51 player in the nation by the 247Sports composite. It’s far too early for Hammonds to be considered a bust, especially when others have noted the growth they’ve seen from him under Crean’s direction. “I thought (Nicolas) Claxton and Hammonds have both blossomed this year under Coach Crean and that staff, and I told them both that after the game,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “They ask Rayshaun to do a lot, they don’t have a lot, they are kinda point guard by committee.” Hammonds’ issues involve fundamentals and decision making, Crean indicated. “Sometimes right now he makes the read and people are just lining up for the charge because he is going to go right into their chest,” Crean said following Saturday’s 62-52 home loss to Florida. “He is not low enough when he makes the move. “I am going to have really spend some time and be creative, look for creative ways to get him the ball in better spots than we are right now because we need him to score.” Georgia is 3-1 in its last seven games Hammonds has scored in double figures, and 0-3 when he’s been held to single-digit scoring. Rayshaun Hammonds against SEC teams 0 points Vs. Tennessee 0-for-4 shooting (0-of-2 from 3) 1 turnover 19 points Vs. Vanderbilt 6-for-13 shooting (2-of-6 from 3) 3 turnovers 9 points Vs. Auburn 2-of-6 shooting (1-of-2 from 3) 5 turnovers 11 points Vs. Kentucky 3-of-8 shooting (1-of-5 from 3) 2 turnovers 0 points Vs. Florida 0-for-4 shooting (0-for-2 from 3) 4 turnovers   The post Georgia basketball: Roller coaster Rayshaun Hammonds a key for Bulldogs appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Terry Godwin capped his collegiate career with an eye-opening performance at Tropicana Field in the East-West Shrine Game. Godwin, a Georgia football fan favorite, had four catches for 80 yards and 2 touchdowns and was named the offensive MVP on Saturday. “I came down here to show them I could play both outside and inside (receiver) and block downfield for my teammates,” Godwin said. Godwin wore different color shoe laces in the game to honor his family. 4 REC, 80 YDS, 2 TDs @FootballUGA‘s Terry Godwin II is your @Shrine_Game Offensive MVP! (via @AKinkhabwala) pic.twitter.com/L6fiTKl5nv — NFL Network (@nflnetwork) January 19, 2019   Godwin’s quarterbacks on the East Team were Purdue’s David Blough, Oklahoma State’s Taylor Cornelius and Ole Miss’ Jordan Ta’amu.   RELATED: Terry Godwin shares insight into new Georgia OC Godwin told DawgNation earlier this week the adjustment to the all-star team’s offense this week in practice wasn’t difficult. “Nothing is different except the terminology,” Godwin said. “It’s a Pro-Style offense.” Georgia, of course, also plays a Pro-Style offense under Kirby Smart, and Godwin said he was glad to see how it translates to the NFL game. “Yes sir, it’s was a huge advantage to play in this style offense,” he said. Godwin had 22 catches for 373 yards and 3 touchdowns last season, including a team-best 75-yard touchdown catch in what was arguably the Bulldogs’ most efficient offensive game, a 41-13 win over Vanderbilt.  Georgia All-SEC center Lamont Gaillard was also on the East-West Shrine Game East Team. Three more Bulldogs — OLB D’Andre Walker, DL Jonathan Ledbetter and LS Nick Moore — will be in Mobile for the Senior Bowl the upcoming week. The post Georgia WR Terry Godwin wins offensive MVP in East-West Shrine Game appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia coach Kirby Smart talks about the importance of intensity on the football field, so there was no one better to replace highly-esteemed veteran Mel Tucker than Charlton Warren. After all, Warren was Air Force’s “Mr. Intensity” Award winner his senior year at the Air Force Academy. Warren won the award for establishing himself as the most outstanding performer in the weight room. RELATED: Kirby Smart gets his man, steals Charlton Warren from Florida Warren has proven himself just as effective as an assistant coach and recruiter. Upon crossing paths with Warren earlier this week, Smart came to the conclusion that he was the perfect fit. Regardless of who gets named UGA defensive coordinator — Warren’s hire would seem to indicate a promotion with for either or both linebackers coaches Dan Lanning Glenn Schumann — Smart is the de-facto DC. Smart is also extremely active coaching the secondary and will work closely with Warren on a daily basis, further necessitating the need for him to find the right match. The fact that Warren (41) and Smart (43) are close in age is a positive. So is the fact that they were both accomplished FBS players. Smart was an All-SEC safety for the Bulldogs. Warren helped l ead the Falcons to consecutive 10-win seasons in 1997 and 1998 after a standout career at Forest Park High School in Atlanta. “His entire coaching career has been on the defensive side of the ball and especially defensive backs,” Smart said. “He has developed an outstanding record and reputation in the coaching profession and he’ll bring great knowledge and energy to our staff.”  Warren has been praised at each of his coaching stops, from Air Force, to Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee and most recently Florida. Warren broke into the SEC following the 2016 season when Butch Jones allowed then-Tennessee defensive coordinator Bob Shoop to hand-pick his secondary coach. Shoop, who this past season was defensive coordinator for the No. 2 scoring defense in the nation at Mississippi State, was quickly impressed with Warren. “Charlton’s brought credibility and leadership to the room,” Shoop said entering the 2017 campaign. “He’s done a really good job of developing a lot of the players throughout the course of the spring and summer.” Tennessee, despite a barrage of injuries, allowed the second-fewest pass yards per game in the SEC in 2017 and ranked seventh in the league in pass efficiency defense. Warren said after taking the job with the Vols that growing up in Georgia, he felt drawn to the SEC where he could recruit and compete against the best. “Being a guy from Georgia, growing up in the South, being in SEC Country …, “ Warren said. “For me as you go through where you would want to coach, being in the SEC, the SEC East, having a chance to compete gains the best and recruit against the best were things that drew me to Tennessee.” As excited as Warren was two years ago to join up with what was then a Top 25 program, he’s sure to be even more ecstatic about joining a top 5 program like Georgia. Warren’s jump into Power 5 football came when former Nebraska coach Bo Pelini hired Warren a[er the 2013 season. The Cornhuskers ranked fifth in pass efficiency the following year, leading to Warren being retained even after Pelini was fired. North Carolina hired Warren before the 2015 season and his impact was immediate. The Tar Heels had the most  improved pass defense in the nation in 2015 in efficiency and yards per a‚ttempt. Warren’s pass defense ranked 12th in the country in passing yards allowed per game, and both of his  starting cornerbacks earned All-ACC honors in 2016 at North Carolina. Florida’s defense made a gigantic jump last season, too, going from 81st in the nation with 17 takeaways to tied for 11th with 26. “I can never separate what I learned in those years in the military,” Warren told the Orlando Sentinel in a February, 2018 interview. “I think where that comes across for me is the discipline and accountability that I demand from those guys day in and day out.” Charlton Warren on-field at North Carolina The post WATCH: Georgia football has hired ‘Mr. Intensity’ in Charlton Warren appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart has named Charlton Warren as the Bulldogs defensive backs coach. “Charlton is from Atlanta and has a wide range of experience coaching defensive football at several universities and conferences around the country,” Smart said in a UGA release.   “His entire coaching career has been on the defensive side of the ball and especially defensive backs,” he said. “He has developed an outstanding record and reputation in the coaching profession and he’ll bring great knowledge and energy to our staff.”      The post Breaking: Georgia football coach Kirby Smart names Charlton Warren DB coach appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia coach Tom Crean took over a broken basketball program, and just when it looks like it’s fixed, the inconsistencies creep back onto the floor. The Bulldogs (9-8, 1-4 SEC) opened the second half with the sort of run Crean’s teams at Marquette and Indiana once displayed, hitting six straight shots to erase a 10-point halftime deficit. But as quickly as the offense came, it went, with turnovers mounting and bad shot selection down the stretch of a 62-52 home loss to Florida (10-7, 2-3). Crean continues to look for positives, but not at the expense of ignoring his team’s weaknesses. RELATED: Bulldogs drop third straight, fall at home to Gators “We could have folded it up at the start of that second half, and we didn’t,” Crean said. “Hopefully they learned something.” Crean is ready to teach more, and acknowledge in the problems and holding players accountable is where it starts. “The second half showed us what we have to learn about games,” Crean said, referencing Georgia’s 25-10 run the first 11 minutes of the second half. “We’re too much of a one half team right now, and that inconsistency is killing us,” Crean said. “Until we get to any type of competitive consistency, we’re going to have these type of situations. It’s not discouraging, but it’s disappointing, because we’re better than that.” Crean was also asked how he has dealt with the death of his mother, Marjorie, who passed away on Thursday. “It’s hard …. if you’d never had to go through it, I hope you don’t,” Crean said. “There’s no way to put it into words. We’re trying to do the best for my family and keep myself as locked in as we can possibly be.” Georgia did not miss any practice days, and Crean did not miss any games coaching during his mother’s illness. Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean     The post WATCH: Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean fiery after Florida loss appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Florida’s defense put the chomp on Georgia down the stretch, sending the Bulldogs spiraling down with their third straight loss. The Gators (10-7, 2-3 SEC) silenced the crowd at Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday with the 62-52 victory over Georgia (9-8, 1-4). The Bulldogs held a 48-43 lead with 9 minutes, 38 seconds left before going without a field goal over the next 9:16, Jordan Harris’ layup ending a 15-2 run. UGA missed six straight shots from the floor and turned the ball over six times during Florida’s decisive splurge. Harris led the Bulldogs with 10 points, and Nicolas Claxton had nine points and 10 rebounds. Rayshaun Hammonds, UGA’s leading scorer entering the game, was held scoreless for the second time in SEC play, 0-for-4 shooting with four turnovers. The Gators entered the day as the SEC’s top scoring defense (61.8 points per game) and held true to form, forcing 20 Bulldogs’ turnovers.   Georgia coach Tom Crean was back to coach the game, having returned from Michigan where his mother, Marjorie, had passed away on Thursday. The sellout crowd did what its could to encourage the coach and his team. The arena was rocking when Georgia hit its first six shots of the second half, including four from 3, to tie the game at 40-40 at the 15-minute mark. Moments later, the Bulldogs took their first lead of the game at 42-40 with 13:40 left on E’Torrion Wilridge’s put back. After Florida answered with a 3-pointer, Georgia went on a 6-0 run to take its largest lead of the game at 48-43 on Jordan Harris’ reverse layup. The Bulldogs went ice cold from there on. Florida held a 33-23 lead at the half as Georgia came out ice-cold shooting and struggling to run its sets against the Gators’ pressing, trapping defense. The Gators jumped out to an 8-0 lead before the Bulldogs finally scored at he 15:09 mark when Jordan Harris split a pair of free throws. Florida was threatening to make it a role when the Bulldogs put together a 7-0 run capped by Tyree Crump’s 3-pointer at the 10:25 mark that cut the deficit to 16-12. The Gators got back on a roll, however, controlling the tempo and leading by as many as 13 before taking a 10-point edge into halftime. Georgia returns to action at 7 p.m. on Wednesday at LSU before returning home for a sold-out home game against Texas at 2 p.m. next Saturday. The post Georgia basketball ice cold down the stretch, loses 62-52 to Florida appeared first on DawgNation.

Local News

  • A University of Georgia student was killed overnight while driving his car on I-20 just west of Atlanta. The Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office identified the victim as 20-year-old William Whitaker, of Carrollton. Whitaker was driving in the westbound lanes on I-20 when a tractor trailer crashed with two cars in the eastbound lanes. Debris from the wreck was sent into the westbound lanes, striking two vehicles, including the car driven by Whitaker,  who died on the scene.  The driver of the truck has been identified as Mario Polier, 53, of Hialeah, FL. He now faces numerous misdemeanor charges including second degree homicide by vehicle  
  • It's a mild start to Friday but big changes are coming this weekend.  Most people are experiencing fog and light rain this morning. A Dense Fog Advisory has been issued for most of north Georgia until 10 a.m. Some areas have visibility of less than a quarter mile. Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan said that on Saturday, we have a chance to see rain, storms and the coldest temperatures this year. 'As we head through the next 24 hours or so, we've got rain moving into north Georgia, we've got a chance for storms moving into north Georgia and then the coldest air of the season moving in,' Monahan said.
  • Athens-Clarke County Commissioners meet for a rare Friday afternoon work session: they say fair housing is the topic of talk in the session that starts at 1 o’clock at the Government Building on Dougherty Street.  The city School Board in Jefferson signs off on the purchase of a new emergency alert system, one that will be used on all four Jefferson schools. The price tag is $165,000.  There is a new City Administrator in Statham: Statham’s Mayor and City Council has signed off on the hiring of Mai Chang. Chang worked previously as City Clerk in Statham. She takes over for former City Administrator Michelle Irizarry. 
  • Deangelo Gibbs’ time in Athens has been up since December, when Georgia coach Kirby Smart said the defensive back was no longer with the team prior to the Sugar Bowl. And now it seems that he will be taking his talents to another SEC East program.  DawgNation can confirm that Gibbs is enrolled at Tennessee and will move to the other side of the ball and play wide receiver for the Vols. The news was first reported by 247Sports’ Grant Ramey. Gibbs was a major recruit coming out of Grayson High School, as he was rated as the No. 49 overall player in the 247Sports Composite. But he struggled to find playing time at Georgia and he was away from the team last spring as well.  Gibbs has a cousin on Tennessee’s team in safety Nigel Warrior. Another one of Gibbs’ cousins is J.R. Reed, who has become a standout safety for the Bulldogs since transferring from Tulsa. Reed made the decision to return to Athens for his senior season, bolstering what should be a strong secondary, even without Gibbs.  Gibbs had reportedly put his name in the transfer portal, as did Georgia safety Tray Bishop. In Georgia’s 2019 recruiting class, the Bulldogs brought in 4-star safety Lewis Cine, who is rated as the No. 61 player in the class.  Tennessee is coached by Jeremy Pruitt, who was the Georgia defensive coordinator from 2014-15.  Georgia visits Tennessee on Oct. 5. The Bulldogs beat Tennessee 38-12 in Athens last fall.
  • A former Athens-Clarke County police officer is suing the police chief who fired him last June. Former Chief Scott Freeman terminated officer Taylor Saulters for hitting a suspect with his patrol car, but a state investigation later cleared him. It happened after a police pursuit on Athens’ east side. Saulters, his lawsuit, is seeking financial compensation for what he says is emotional distress and slander. He is now working as a part-time reserve deputy in Oglethorpe County. 

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — Georgia sacks leader D’Andre Walker has pulled out of the Senior Bowl, not yet ready to compete on account of what has become a nagging groin injury. Walker has been projected as a third-round NFL Draft pick, but the Senior Bowl offered him an opportunity to improve his draft stock competing against top talent in the annual all-star event. The Bulldogs will be represented by defensive lineman Jonathan Ledbetter and long snapper Nick Moore. Practices and drills begin on Tuesday before the watchful eyes of hundreds of NFL coaches, scouts and general managers. Unfortunately, I won’t be attending the Senior Bowl. I will be getting a second opinion on my groin this week to ensure I’ll be ready for the combine. I am very disappointed because it’s such a great opportunity to showcase my talent. — D’Andre Walker (@DAndreWalker15) January 21, 2019 Walker was injured early in the fourth quarter of the SEC Championship Game against Alabama with Georgia leading 28-21. The 6-foot-3, 245-pound senior from Fairburn, Ga., was enjoying an MVP performance against the Tide before suffering the injury. Walker had five tackles, two TFLs, two QB hurries a forced fumble and a deflected pass in three quarters, wreaking havoc in the Alabama backfield. Georgia’s backup outside linebackers weren’t able to have the same sort of success. The Bulldogs young outside linebackers lost contain on crucial plays and allowed Jalen Hurts to buy time and make game-winning plays in Alabama’s 35-28 win. Walker practiced on a limited basis and dressed out for the Sugar Bowl, but he declined to play. Bulldogs’ cornerback Deandre Baker also had an invitation to test himself against the nation’s best in the Senior Bowl, but Baker declined his invitation. Baker also skipped the Sugar Bowl, which, coupled with injuries to Walker and Freshman All-American defensive tackle Jordan Davis, severely hampered the Georgia defense in the 28-21 loss to Texas. The post Georgia football OLB D’Andre Walker uncertain of health, pulls out of Senior Bowl appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — If “Genius is patience,” as Isaac Newton once suggested, Georgia football coach Kirby Smart’s I.Q. must be off the charts. Smart has exhibited a deliberate approach at each turn in his young career, from not naming a starting quarterback during the 2018 offseason, to holding off on naming a defensive coordinator. Could there be more staff changes ahead? Perhaps, though it wouldn’t seem likely. The 43-year-old Smart named 41-year-old Charlton Warren his defensive backs coach on Saturday, shortly after crossing paths with him on the recruiting trail and conversing. RELATED: Georgia football adds ‘Mr. Intensity’ to defensive meeting room Warren’s hire comes more than six weeks after Colorado announced former UGA secondary coach and defensive coordinator Mel Tucker as its new head coach (Dec. 5). Some speculated Smart would elevate 32-year-old outside linebackers coach Dan Lanning or 28-year-old inside linebackers coach Glenn Schumann to defensive coordinator — or both, in a co-coordinator role. Here are three things that are next for Georgia football: Defensive coordinator It’s going to be Smart’s system on defense, regardless who gets the coordinator title, so the key here is how the staff chemistry shakes out with Warren added to the defensive meeting room. Lanning said in New Orleans that there could be an internal promotion to the coordinator position, but also, that Georgia would see how things shook out against Texas in the Sugar Bowl. RELATED: Georgia football assistant Dan Lanning shares insight into DC search Obviously, the Bulldogs didn’t fare well without Deandre Baker in the secondary, D’Andre Walker at linebacker and Jordan Davis on the defensive line. It’s hard to know how much of the defensive dropoff had to do with Tucker’s absence versus the team’s motivation after its gut-wrenching loss in the SEC title game and exclusion from the CFB playoff. It wouldn’t be surprising if Smart made the decision on his DC immediately. But it is also possible the Georgia head coach will wait until after signing day (Feb. 6), or even spring drills to name the defensive coordinator, after he gets a better feel for the chemistry and ability in the room. James Coley confirmation Coley’s promotion to play caller and full-fledged offensive coordinator from co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach wasn’t surprising. RELATED: Kirby Smart pulls trigger on elevating James Coley to OC, as expected It was, however, second-guessed by outsiders overlooking Coley’s experience as Jimbo Fisher’s offensive coordinator at Florida State and his work as Miami’s coordinator. Coley’s stock recently shot up, however, when NFL.com analyst Ian Rapoport reported last Friday that the Dallas Cowboys could consider Coley for their offensive coordinator position. As the #Cowboys dig into possible replacements for embattled OC Scott Linehan, they have one on their current staff — TE coach Doug Nussmeier — and may look to the college game to better utilize Dak Prescott’s talents. UGA OC James Coley will receive some consideration there. — Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 18, 2019   A FOIA request for Coley’s new contract last week revealed that he doesn’t yet have one, leaving room for speculation that need soon be answered. Is Coley staying, or might   he be headed for the NFL? Big staff raises The bottom line for the Georgia football coaching staff is there is plenty of money available for raises and the new hires. So far, the Bulldogs’ offensive staff has traded Jim Chaney’s $950,000 salary for new tight ends coach Todd Hartley’s first-year deal of $300,000. RELATED: Details of Georgia football assistant Todd Hartley’s new contract The defense, meanwhile, has the $1.5 million Tucker was making to spread around. Warren was due to make $401,500 at Florida next season, per the USA Today salary database, but he’s sure to get a healthy boost at Georgia. Bulldogs defensive line coach Tray Scott has earned a raise up from $420,000, with Georgia’s defensive line showing more improvement than perhaps any other position group last season. Certainly, linebackers coaches Schumann and Lanning — both previously making $325,000 — will have deals worth more than a half-million annually next season. It’s more math for Smart to do, more pieces of the puzzle, and if the Georgia head coach has proven anything his first three seasons, it’s that he’’ll take his time to make sure he gets things right. Georgia football coaches 2018 annual salaries DEFENSE DC, secondary: Mel Tucker $1.5 million Defensive line: Tray Scott $420,000 Inside linebackers: Glenn Schumann $325,000 Outside linebackers: Dan Lanning $325,000 Special teams Scott Fountain $300,000 * Charlton Warren, new coach was due $401,500 at Florida in 2019 OFFENSE OC, tight ends: Jim Chaney $950,000 Offensive line: Sam Pittman $825,00 Quarterbacks, Co-OC James Coley, $850,00 Running backs: Dell McGee $550,000 Receivers Cortez Hankton $375,000 * Todd Hartley, new tight ends coach, will make $300,000 in 2019 at UGA   The post 3 things: What’s next for Georgia football and ever-patient Kirby Smart? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — The Georgia basketball challenges could be attributed to the brutal league slate assigned by the SEC office. Already, the Bulldogs (9-8, 1-4 SEC) have played the three top-ranked teams in the league in Tennessee, Kentucky and Auburn, and next up is a road trip to red-hot LSU. Georgia coach Tom Crean hasn’t mentioned the schedule since it was released in the preseason, instead focusing on what he can control, which would include the roller coaster play of forward Rayshaun Hammonds. The talented 6-foot-8, 235-pounder from Norcoss is the Bulldogs leading scorer this season — except when he isn’t, which would be against the better teams this season. Hammonds has been held scoreless in losses to Tennessee and most recently at home against Florida, running into foul trouble early in both games, offering little help to his teammates in other capacities. Georgia was outscored by 18 points with Hammonds in the game against the Gators, as shown below in the plus-minus category for UGA players: “ I am going to look around and see what we can do to help him and I talked to him a lot,” Crean said. “I am not down on him at all, I want him to continue to learn and want him to understand he is a lot more than just a guy who shoots and scores.” But yes, Crean admitted, “him not scoring and us not scoring are together.” Hammonds has at times shown the sort of growth and ability many projected when he was rated the No. 51 player in the nation by the 247Sports composite. It’s far too early for Hammonds to be considered a bust, especially when others have noted the growth they’ve seen from him under Crean’s direction. “I thought (Nicolas) Claxton and Hammonds have both blossomed this year under Coach Crean and that staff, and I told them both that after the game,” Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said. “They ask Rayshaun to do a lot, they don’t have a lot, they are kinda point guard by committee.” Hammonds’ issues involve fundamentals and decision making, Crean indicated. “Sometimes right now he makes the read and people are just lining up for the charge because he is going to go right into their chest,” Crean said following Saturday’s 62-52 home loss to Florida. “He is not low enough when he makes the move. “I am going to have really spend some time and be creative, look for creative ways to get him the ball in better spots than we are right now because we need him to score.” Georgia is 3-1 in its last seven games Hammonds has scored in double figures, and 0-3 when he’s been held to single-digit scoring. Rayshaun Hammonds against SEC teams 0 points Vs. Tennessee 0-for-4 shooting (0-of-2 from 3) 1 turnover 19 points Vs. Vanderbilt 6-for-13 shooting (2-of-6 from 3) 3 turnovers 9 points Vs. Auburn 2-of-6 shooting (1-of-2 from 3) 5 turnovers 11 points Vs. Kentucky 3-of-8 shooting (1-of-5 from 3) 2 turnovers 0 points Vs. Florida 0-for-4 shooting (0-for-2 from 3) 4 turnovers   The post Georgia basketball: Roller coaster Rayshaun Hammonds a key for Bulldogs appeared first on DawgNation.