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Criminal justice reform is focus of forum at Library

Criminal justice reform is focus of forum at Library

Criminal justice reform is focus of forum at Library

Criminal justice reform is focus of forum at Library

The public is invited to attend a roundtable discussion on local criminal justice reform at the Baxter Street library in Athens, Ga on Monday, June 10th. 5:30 p.m.

The conversation is part of a monthly podcast series hosted and moderated by Mokah Jasmine Johnson, a local activist and co-founder of the Athens Anti-discrimination Movement.

The AADM sponsored event welcomes Stephanie Maddox, Avery Murdie, and Jerry Nesmith to the table with Ms. Johnson and all Athenians committed to being a part of the rising community dialogue on criminal justice reform and race relations.


A breakout session with smaller groups is included in the event format.

Stephanie Maddox, charter officer and operational analyst for Athens-Clarke County Unified Government, will offer an unbiased review of the recent county jail audit released to the general public.

Avery Murdie is a founder of the Georgia Center for Transitional Justice and will engage with roundtable participants about critical insights on county arrest data by race the center compiled as part of the effort to forward criminal justice reform in our county.

Jerry Nesmith is a county commissioner and a strong advocate for mental health services so local residents can embrace healthy lifestyles and reduce arrest and recidivism in the system.


The monthly podcast series is titled "Mokah Speaks". 

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Local News

  • When University of Georgia professor Jason Locklin (pictured above) met Daniel Carraway over 10 years ago, neither of them knew their professional relationship would result in a substantial economic development investment in Athens.   Back in 2008, Locklin, who is now director of UGA’s New Materials Institute, was an assistant professor in chemistry and engineering at UGA. Carraway, a UGA alumnus and serial entrepreneur, was looking at universities, trying to find the perfect spot for one of his employees to attend graduate school.   “We met and hit it off, and after that he decided he wanted the student to work for me,” Locklin recalled. “We started working on projects together and haven’t stopped since.” About five years ago, Carraway co-founded RWDC, a company to commercialize microbially degradable polymers, which are combined with other materials to make resins, from which single-use articles are made. These polymers, co-developed by Carraway, Locklin and Dr. Branson Ritchie, aim to solve the environmental problem of petroleum-derived single-use plastics.   “Petroleum-derived plastics are a health and environmental nightmare,” said Ritchie. “And the solution is microbially degradable materials. A straw, a cup, a plate, a knife, a donut box. It’s your magazine coated paper. It’s your Tupperware container, etc. Look through your life. Our goal is to replace the items you use every day and discard, one by one with materials that don’t damage the environment.” In their current state, plastics can take multiple centuries to disintegrate in a process called micronization. Petroleum-derived plastic products manufactured since the 1950s still exist in some form in landfills and as trash on the Earth and in the sea. “No one knows how long the micronized particles that are not visible to us will persist on our planet, but our research is indicating that these tiny particles may be the most dangerous forms of environmentally persistent plastics,” said Ritchie. To provide a sense of scope, 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans per year, according to a 2015 landmark study by UGA professor Jenna Jambeck, who leads the institute’s Center for Circular Materials Management in the College of Engineering. Jambeck’s research also found that all plastic waste generated between 1950 and 2015, including plastics sent to recycling centers, totaled 6,300 million metric tons, of which 9% were recycled. Locklin’s and Ritchie’s solution to the plastic problem uses plant-based sources. “The beauty of the material is it’s truly a circle,” said Ritchie. “You use a product manufactured with one of our resins, and when you’re done with it can be discarded into a waste system where microbes chew it up and turn it back into carbon dioxide and water.” The ongoing development of resins, made from the base polymer, to create various single-use articles fuels the partnership between the New Materials Institute and RWDC. “Every single product uses a different set of ingredients based on how long that product has to be useful – shelf life to refrigerator – how fast it needs to break down and where it’s going to break down,” said Ritchie. “For a disposable good, the quicker it disintegrates after it has been discarded, the better.” One of UGA’s strengths is its interdisciplinary approach to research. Locklin is a polymer chemist. Ritchie is a veterinary researcher and director of the Infectious Diseases Laboratory in the College of Veterinary Medicine; he has a Ph.D. in medical microbiology. They met one another shortly after Locklin arrived at UGA when Locklin’s polymer expertise was needed for a problem Ritchie was trying to resolve. “With 17 schools and colleges, the breadth of research expertise and insight UGA can bring to bear on a problem is incredible,” said Derek Eberhart, executive director of UGA’s Innovation Gateway, a key Innovation District partner. It was Eberhart who suggested Ritchie work with Locklin on the project he was researching. Crystal Leach, director of industry collaborations at UGA’s Office of Research, said there are multiple touchpoints between UGA and RWDC, including collaborations with research and identification of talent. “That’s the best sort of partnership,” Leach said. “And the founder [Carraway] is a pretty inspiring guy. He is truly a visionary, and he has to be making a business prosper at a time like this.” Athens’ Mayor Kelly Girtz has followed the progress of RWDC and played a role in bringing the new manufacturing plant to Athens. “As soon as I knew they were looking for space, I reached out to them. This was before I was even mayor and was just a county commissioner. It’s enormously beneficial to Athens, particularly right now when we’re in a crisis period, to know there will be a couple hundred high-wage jobs coming to town.” The partnership between RWDC, which is planning on creating 200 jobs in Athens, and the New Materials Institute puts Athens in the center of a new economy that will have global impact. And this new economy will be based on biologically degradable disposable products, according to Ritchie. “From our perspective, with the correct infrastructure, what we are preparing to achieve is an applied definition of economic development.” Girtz added that Athens is an attractive place for biotech in general, given the relatively low cost of doing business here and the labor pool that exists here for every level of manufacturing. “I love that Athens is building this entire ecosystem with research and public sector starting on campus. Then the flame is being lit as it moves to places like the Innovation District then into our great community for its home. It’s really the perfect Athens economic development story.”
  • The Clarke County School District is updating plans for summer meals for students. From the Clarke Co School District website… Community Resources Please note the district will provide meals for students through the summer.   The CCSD Employee/Hospitality Industry Food 'Drive-thru' at the Athens Community Career Center will end Tuesday, 6/2/20.   MON, 6/1   3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Winterville Community Center 371 N Church St, Winterville   TUES, 6/2   CCSD Meals for Students  Bus delivery (click here to view routes)  'Drive-thru' at Chase Street Elementary/Hilsman Middle from 10:00 a.m. - Noon 9:00 a.m. Mt. Olive SDA Church 465 Nellie B Ave   1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Covenant Presbyterian Church 1065 Gaines School Road TUES, 6/2 3:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. CCSD Employee/Hospitality Industry Food Assistance Athens Community Career Academy 440 Dearing ExtensionLAST DAY = 6/2/20   THUR, 6/4   CCSD Meals for Students  Bus delivery (click here to view routes)  'Drive-thru' at Chase Street Elementary/Hilsman Middle from 10:00 a.m. - Noon 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. First AME Church of Athens 521 N. Hull St     1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Covenant Presbyterian Church 1065 Gaines School Road   FRI, 6/5   1:00 p.m. East Athens Community Center 400 McKinley Dr. Athens, GA 30601   SAT, 6/6 7:00 a.m. Pinewood Estates 1465 Highway 29 North ONGOING   Every Saturday -- 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 435 Hawthorne Ave Athens, GA 30606 Shifa Clinic Athens has opened a food pantry. Our team is distributing food boxes which contain Rice, Oil, Flour, Beans, Pasta, Pasta Sauce, Canned Soup, Fresh Produce, etc. In partnership with the Georgia Department of Health, the clinic is offering FREE pre-screening for COVID-19 via telephone hotline for anyone in the state of Georgia. Individuals potentially showing symptoms of COVID-19 can call (706) 431-7334 to communicate with clinical staff, free of charge. If an individual is determined to be at high risk, medical professionals will be available to advise patients on the next steps. The hotline is available each day between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. A hotline in Spanish will also be available at (706) 407-1864 The clinic is also distributing FREE backpacks with hygiene products, sanitary items, feminine products, toiletries, and food items for low-income residents.  Our Daily Bread will provide a brown bag lunch at noon every day at First Baptist Church of Athens: 355 Pulaski St, Athens, GA 30601. Food Bank of Northeast Georgia is open and distributing food. Visit foodbanknega.org to find one of their 230 agencies.
  • There are reports of 13 arrests—11 adults and two juveniles—in the aftermath of an early Monday morning attempt to loot a sporting goods store on Atlanta Highway in Athens. The front glass of Academy Sports was shattered by would-be burglars who were apparently unable to gain access to the store.  A similar attempted break-in, also unsuccessful, happened at a nearby pawn shop on Timothy Road. Police helicopters were hovering over the area in the early morning hours Monday, with the break-in attempts happening while police were busy with downtown demonstrators. 
  • University of Georgia president Jere Morehead releases to the University faculty, staff, and student body a statement in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd and the local, state, and national response to it. From UGA president Jere Morehead…   Dear UGA Community,  I want to start by saying directly to each of you, I condemn racism in all of its forms. The senseless acts of violence and hate that are taking place across our country have no place in our society. To our black students, faculty, staff, and alumni, I want you to know that I stand with you. The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, along with too many others, have caused grief and adversely affected our lives and the lives of those we care about in significant ways.   As these events have unfolded, I have worked with members of my administration to identify steps we can take to ensure that this institution is one where people are truly safe and supported. I want our University community to know that campus resources are available to support you. I encourage you to utilize them as needed to prioritize your wellbeing.  Again, I want to reinforce my firm belief that racism has no place in our society. During my presidency I have committed to working to create a UGA that is better tomorrow than it was yesterday. I know we don’t always get it right, and mistakes are made. However, together, we must continue to move this work forward in a constructive manner despite all the challenges. In the days ahead, let us move forward in seeking racial justice by engaging in thoughtful listening and constructive dialogue, showing care and understanding, and by demonstrating our ongoing commitment to do better while working together for a more united and just world.
  • A woman faces a murder charge in Elbert County: The Elbert County Sheriff’s Office says Carrie Peppers is also looking at allegations of child cruelty after the death of a 6-week-old child. The GBI is in on the ongoing investigation.  An assistant fire chief in Lavonia has been fired after his arrest on theft charges: 41 year-old Shane Bentley surrendered to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office after an investigation that involved the GBI. He’s accused of making unauthorized purchases using city money.  DeKalb County Police say they have found the SUV involved in a string of hit-and-run accidents, one of which killed a man in a park in DeKalb County. The driver of the vehicle was at last report, still at-large.  The man whose ATV struck and seriously injured an Atlanta Police Officer is now facing a DUI charge. It happened during last weekend’s protests in Atlanta.  The two Atlanta Police officers fired after dragging protestors out of a car this past weekend had, according to internal Atlanta Police records, each faced previous allegations of excessive force. 

Bulldog News

  • Former Auburn coach Pat Dye, who took over a downtrodden football program in 1981 and turned it into a Southeastern Conference power, died Monday. He was 80. Lee County Coroner Bill Harris said Dye died at a hospice care facility in Auburn from complications of kidney and liver failure. Dye, who played college football at Georgia, had been hospitalized in Atlanta last month with a kidney issue. He had tested positive for the coronavirus.  The news was first reported by 247Sports. » MORE: Notable sports deaths in 2020 Dye was born in Blythe, Ga. He was team captain of the 1956 Class AAA champion Richmond Academy in Augusta. He went on to play from 1957-1960 at Georgia where he was a two-time All-American, under head coach Wally Butts. When Dye came to Auburn, he inherited a program that was deeply divided after only three winning seasons in the previous six years. In 12 years, he posted a 99-39-4 record, Auburn won or shared four conference titles and the Tigers were ranked in The Associated Press’ Top 10 five times. Dye’s overall coaching record was 153-62-5 in 17 years at Auburn, Wyoming and East Carolina. His coaching career ended in November 1992 when he was forced to resign after a pay-for-play scandal rocked the program, which was placed on two years’ probation. Dye served as athletic director as well as coach for most of his career with Auburn. He remained associated with the university after his resignation and was a frequent commentator on football talk-radio shows. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005.  Dye is survived by four children — including Pat Dye Jr., an NFL agent — and nine grandchildren.
  • Longtime Auburn coach Pat Dye has died. He was 80. Dye, who played college football at Georgia, had been hospitalized in Atlanta last month with a kidney issue. He had tested positive for the coronavirus.  The news was first reported by 247Sports. Dye was born in Blythe, Ga. He was team captain of the 1956 Class AAA champion Richmond Academy in Augusta. He went on to play from 1957-1960 at Georgia where he was a two-time All-American, under head coach Wally Butts. Dye, a three-time SEC coach of the year, coached the Tigers to a 99-39-4 record in 12 seasons from 1981 to 1992. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2005. Before coaching at Auburn, Dye coached at Alabama, East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye is survived by four children — including Pat Dye Jr., an NFL agent — and nine grandchildren.
  • Tony Grimes included four teams in the long-awaited cutdown of his top four schools on Sunday afternoon. At this time, it looks like his choice is down to four schools: Georgia. North Carolina. Ohio State. Texas A&M. Final 4 @dhglover @Bubblesdnf @Giavanni_Ruffin @RivalsFriedman @BrianDohn247 @DemetricDWarren pic.twitter.com/oiINaCKm3U Tony Grimes (@757EliteDB) May 31, 2020 Grimes released that quartet of options via his Twitter account. He still has established a plan to make his college commitment on December 1, 2020. @Hayesfawcett3 pic.twitter.com/o63R0RlvwG Tony Grimes (@757EliteDB) May 31, 2020 The 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior from Princess Anne School in Virginia Beach rates as the nation's No. 1 CB and the No. 7 overall prospect for 2021 on the 247Sports Composite ratings. If you're looking for a quick refresh on all things Grimes, this DawgNation deep-drive profile will define his worth as a young man first and his abilities as a lockdown cornerback second. Grimes has been rated as the top of the board for months now on the weekly DawgNation 'Before the Hedges' program which airs every Wednesday on our Facebook and YouTube social channels. The 5-star prospect had planned to visit Georgia several times over the last few months prior to the global pandemic which sidelined all on-campus recruiting travel. That NCAA ban for both unofficial and official visits has since been extended to July 31. That decision was made by the NCAA over the last week. Grimes had only recently decided to start conducting the weekly zoom and recruiting contact calls he had been making over the last month during the coronavirus epidemic. He had taken a break from that activity. He had visits planned to see UGA in March, April and an official visit was already on the books for June 12. His father, Deon Glover, described an ascending interest level for the family in Georgia at that time. 'We've been to enough schools to say Hey if push came to shove and we need to make a decision now we can make a decision now' and we've been to enough schools multiple times to be able to say that,' Glover said. 'At least with the schools we like. We've been multiple times. With the exception of Georgia.' There is a clear interest here in Kirby Smart's program. 'What's going on at Georgia is elite mimic energy that you see in Clemson and some of the other top programs,' Glover said earlier this month. 'With the program itself. We learned a lot when we were down there the first time and of course, we were going to go back this time in March and go back again in April.' 'We had an official visit set up for June 12. We had put the gas in there with Georgia. Trying to get as much as we can about Georgia in a short period of time. But with those other schools, we have already got enough information on them. For real.' Check out the junior highlight reel for the Under Armour All-American selection below. Did you know the weekly DawgNation.com 'Before the Hedges' program is now available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download. DAWGNATION RECRUITING (the recent reads on DawgNation.com) BREAKING: All-American OL Dylan Fairchild has made his college decision Brock Vandagriff: How does that family feel about the JT Daniels transfer? The JT Daniels to Georgia buzz seems very real BREAKING: Elite 2022 DB Marquis Groves-Killebrew commits to UGA Who is Chaz Chambliss? Carrollton staff shares the goods on the new Bulldog commit BREAKING: Chaz Chambliss commits to Georgia football Taking a deep dive at how well Georgia has been recruiting Metro Atlanta of late Elite 2022 defensive athlete Daniel Martin already has a 'family' feel at UGA Brock Bowers: Nation's No. 3 TE knows what he needs to do before his college decision De'Jahn Warren: The 'nugget' for the nation's No. 1 JUCO prospect with UGA Decrypting that recent tweet from 5-star LB Smael Mondon Jr. Prince Kollie: The ILB target who had 1,085 yards as a receiver in 2019 Lovasea Carroll: DawgNation goes one-on-one with the 2021 RB commit The post BREAKING: Nation's No. 1 CB Tony Grimes includes UGA in his final four appeared first on DawgNation.
  • QB room is gonna be full.' That was one family member's response Thursday afternoon when a text from one of my brothers passed along the surprise word that the Dawgs are getting another quarterback. Actually, observations about Georgia having a 'crowded' quarterback room were a fairly widespread reaction nationally, even among sports media types, as former Trojans starting quarterback JT Daniels announced he was transferring to UGA from the University of Southern California. After all, Daniels, a redshirt sophomore, will be joining a position group that already included four scholarship QBs as well as several preferred walk-ons (including Will Muschamp's son, Jackson, who turned down a scholarship at Colorado State to walk on at UGA). Currently on the roster are presumed starter Jamie Newman, a recent graduate transfer from Wake Forest; junior Stetson Bennett, last year's backup; redshirt freshman D'Wan Mathis, who finally has been cleared to play after recovering from brain surgery; and incoming freshman Carson Beck. The Dawgs also have a commitment from 5-star Brock Vandagriff of Bogart, who's set to join Kirby Smart's team for the 2021 season. So, yes, that's a jam-packed QB room for new offensive coordinator Todd Monken to oversee , but I remain convinced of one thing: It will thin out. Let's face it, in an age when each of the past three Heisman Trophy winners and three of last year's Heisman finalists all had transferred from another school, you're not going to see any program stockpile highly rated QBs like FSU did in its heyday. You can carry a bunch of tailbacks successfully, because at least three of them probably will see considerable playing time, but that doesn't happen with quarterbacks, as the Dawgs have seen in recent years with Jacob Eason and Justin Fields transferring elsewhere when they couldn't dislodge Jake Fromm from the starter's spot. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if to see Georgia lose at least one of the quarterbacks currently on its roster before the season begins. And, looking ahead to next season, when Newman's one-and-done time at UGA is over, the eventual winner of the battle for the starter's job will be lucky to have even one of the current scholarship QBs sticking around to back him up. To borrow a phrase we've heard all too often over the past couple of months, that is the 'new normal' in college football. Very few elite QBs are inclined to wait on the sideline a couple of years for their chance to be the starter. That's why the transfer portal is so busy these days. So, yes, it's good for Georgia to have all these QBs on the roster right now, but it probably won't last very long. If Daniels gets his NCAA waiver, he'll be the most experienced QB on the roster after Newman, and he'll have three seasons of eligibility left. That's sparked a lot of speculation that Bennett may see the writing on the wall and decide he'll need to transfer elsewhere in order to see playing time. And, unless Mathis wows the coaches in camp and moves into starting contention, you've got to wonder if he'll stick around past this season, too. After Newman is gone, if the 2021 starting QB competition ends up being between Daniels, Beck and Vandagriff (assuming he doesn't take a redshirt year), you're talking about two 5-star players and a 4-star player. Nobody gets the luxury of carrying a QB roster like that anymore, so chances are that at least one, if not both, of the players who don't win the starting spot will move elsewhere as well. Yes, any coach would love to have a pair of highly rated backups as an insurance policy, but, again, that's not the new normal in college football: If you have an established starter, you're probably going to have to keep recruiting highly rated talent to compete with him, knowing that those who lose out are unlikely to be content sitting on the bench or playing mop-up duty more than one season. And, while Smart has been aces at drawing top QB talent to UGA, he so far hasn't been successful in keeping a highly rated backup from going elsewhere. CBS Sports' Barton Simmons summed it up nicely when he tweeted about Daniels' move: ' This is the way you have to recruit (if you're able to). Load the room with the best guys you can and assume some attrition.' Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly noted in 2018, 'When you're recruiting, you're going to have to have it in your mind that if your No. 2 doesn't feel like he's going to get a shot, you may lose him. I've come to grips with it a couple years ago. I don't see it changing.' As for what Daniels' arrival in Athens means for the 2020 quarterback situation, there's been a lot of speculation that he might challenge Newman for the starter's spot, if he's given a waiver by the NCAA to play immediately for UGA. Some even have floated the idea that Smart brought Daniels in because he has concluded he needs an option besides Newman. I'm skeptical about that idea, however. Yes, Daniels was the third highest rated QB in the 2018 class (behind Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields), and only the second true freshman quarterback to start an opener for the Trojans. And, he did that after graduating one year early from the vaunted Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California (which also produced Bama's Bryce Young ) . Still, his freshman numbers were solid, but not spectacular (the USC team wasn't very good that year). And, while he did win the initial battle to keep the starting job last season, he lost it due to injury. Rising sophomore Kedon Slovis, who stepped in for Daniels and proceeded to shatter USC's freshman records on his way to Pac-12 offensive freshman of the year honors, was widely expected to retain his starting job this year, leaving Daniels as the odd man out, according to Ryan Kartje, the USC beat writer at the Los Angeles Times. Thus, Daniels transferred. Meanwhile, Newman is a dual passing-running threat who put up some impressive numbers the past couple of seasons at Wake Forest, and already is drawing NFL interest. If Daniels is eligible and physically able to participate fully in preseason camp, I'm sure he'll be given a chance to compete for the starter's job, and competition usually makes the eventual starter better (certainly, Fromm played better the two seasons when he had to beat out highly rated competition). However, the biggest reason I'm skeptical about Daniels' chances of taking the starter's spot this season is simply the fact that he's coming back from a major injury. Assuming preseason practice begins sometime in July or August (based on the current prevailing wind favoring starting the season on time), it still will be less than a year since Daniels suffered a season-ending ACL injury in USC's first game of last season. Had USC been able to hold spring practice this year, Daniels wouldn't have been cleared to participate fully, because he still was recovering from a second clean-up surgery on his knee. He is expected to be good to go by August, but it's the rare athlete who gets back in top form that quickly after rehabbing a knee. Remember, as good as Nick Chubb was in 2016, returning from knee surgery, it wasn't really until the 2017 season that he was his old self. And it wasn't until late last season that Zamir White, also coming back from knee surgery, appeared to be regain his form fully. So, while Daniels might be available as a backup in 2020, if needed, I tend to think that, in bringing him in to the program, Smart really has his eye more on 2021, and the chance to have an experienced QB behind center when the Dawgs open with Clemson in Charlotte. Finally, there's one more reason for Bulldog Nation to celebrate Daniels' arrival in Athens: Tennessee, which has been drawing considerable hype with its own recruiting lately, was hoping he'd wind up in Knoxville after he entered the transfer portal in April. Instead, we get the latest example of the stratospheric level at which Smart is recruiting these days. The post UGA quarterback room likely won't stay crowded' very long appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Dylan Fairchild is a state heavyweight wrestling champion and an All-American football player out of West Forsyth High School. Needless to say, he is a priority target for the Georgia Bulldogs in the 2021 recruiting cycle. He was so well-regarded by Georgia line coach Matt Luke, that Luke wanted to make sure he offered him in person earlier this year. When he told DawgNation this week he was ready to make his college decision, he spoke with a conviction and a clear purpose that we rarely hear from a recruit. Especially not one rated as the nation's No. 2 OG and the No. 40 overall prospect (247Sports) for the class of 2021. Toss in the global pandemic denying all the college visits he thought needed to take. Sprinkle in the fact that he never thought he'd be committing this early regardless of the COVID-19 concerns. Fairchild just knows. He makes a very telling case. 'It was always Georgia and Auburn,' Fairchild said. 'I think it was those two. Those were the closest but I think that Georgia was there. I think I was sitting there and I don't think I had that two hour or three-hour conversation with other schools like I did with coach Matt Luke and coach [Kirby Smart] to get to know each other.' 'To get to really really know each other. The more I am around Coach Luke and I see his style and the way he coaches and takes care of his kids, the more I have grown closer with him. We've built a very good bond.' The 4-star prospect becomes the ninth public commitment of the 2021 recruiting class in Athens. That moves the Bulldogs up to the nation's No. 12 class for 2021 on the 247Sports Team Composite rankings. 'Georgia is going to be the best of both worlds for me,' he said. 'Even with football, I am picking a school that even without football I would want to go too. You never know what could happen. This football life could end in one moment. I think I am going to go to a place where I am going to be happy with football and I am going to be happy with school, too.' 'I think Georgia is really the best of both worlds. I think all the pieces of a national championship are falling right into Georgia's hands. I want to be a part of that and do something special over there. I think that me and a few other guys have that same mindset. I'm just ready to go.' 'I've been talking with Brock [Vandagriff] and Micah Morris and a few other guys and we are all with this. We are ready to be a part of something really special at Georgia.' Dylan Fairchild: This is one committed member of the class He actually knew he wanted to be a Bulldog before he got his first Georgia hat. The West Forsyth rising senior called the Georgia staff at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. That was a private chat and he made his commitment. He then joined DawgNation for a special recruiting announcement on its Facebook and YouTube social channels. When Fairchild sent out his tweet letting the world know he was a Bulldog, he was live on the air with DawgNation. 'If I were to do this without the whole coronavirus thing going around I would go see the Georgia coaches and do it in person,' Fairchild said. 'It just wanted to give them that respect and call them. Person to person. Just tell them I was 100 percent with this and ready to go. I'm ready to get to work already.' It was a bit unexpected here, but he said the fact he couldn't visit the Georgia coaches in person actually helped him come to that decision faster than he ever expected. 'The Zoom meetings really helped me more,' Fairchild said. 'It really made it feel like I was doing a one-on-one with the coaches on a recruiting visit. I don't think it would have been the same for me with that if I was on a recruiting visit on the campus at Georgia. You can really ask the questions you would really want to ask face-to-face and in some circumstances it helped even more than doing it when you are around a bunch of people and have a lot of activities going on.' 'I think in my case the Zooms actually helped me more.' Fairchild ranks as the nation's No. 7 OG and the No. 135 overall prospect on the 247Sports Composite ratings. He grew up a Georgia fan with his family barking at the TV every Saturday in the fall. His family is made up of mostly Bulldogs with a few Georgia Tech fans sprinkled in. 'I don't know it is just like it kind of all matches up,' Fairchild said. 'There's just no way that if I went to any other school. There's no way at any point that I would regret it if I went to Georgia. It was just meant to happen. All the recruiting put aside, I just think that degree from Georgia is just going to be the best fit for me. I've never been more excited about something.' Check out his junior highlight reel. Did you know the weekly DawgNation.com 'Before the Hedges' program is now available as an Apple podcast? Click to check it out and download. The post BREAKING: Elite OL Dylan Fairchild has made his college decision appeared first on DawgNation.