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News
Man wins $875K slot machine jackpot at Detroit casino
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Man wins $875K slot machine jackpot at Detroit casino

Man wins $875K slot machine jackpot at Detroit casino
Photo Credit: Greektown Casino-Hotel
A man won more than $875,000 playing a slot machine at a Detroit casino on Wednesday.

Man wins $875K slot machine jackpot at Detroit casino

A 50-year-old man turned a $20 investment into six figures Wednesday, winning $875,527 in a slot machine at a Detroit casino, WXYZ reported.

>> Read more trending news  

The man, who requested anonymity, won after putting $20 into the Wheel of Fortune Double Diamond slot machine at the Greektown Casino-Hotel, the television station reported.

The man was so shocked he was unable to move, the casino said in a news release.

The patro, a frequent visitor to the casino, said he plans to take his family on a trip, WJBK reported.

In 2015, a guest won $2 million while playing the Wheel of Fortune slot machine, The Detroit Free Press reported. In 2004, another guest won $1.77 million playing the game, WXYZ reported. 

Read More

Local News

  • Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful announces the date for this year’s Rivers Alive cleanup day: it will be held on Saturday October 5.    From the Athens-Clarke County government website…   Athens area residents wade into local rivers, lakes and streams as part of the continuing statewide campaign to clean and preserve over 70,000 miles of Georgia’s rivers and streams. The effort is part of Rivers Alive, a joint program of the Environmental Protection Division Outreach Education Programs and the Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation.  The annual Georgia Waterway Cleanup is the largest single volunteer effort to beautify Georgia’s water resources. Volunteers in Athens stage their cleanup in October at Dudley Park. Theyjoin an estimated 25,000 other volunteers statewide participating in the annual river cleanup. This fall over 200 cleanups will collect trash and similar debris in streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands and the ocean from Tallulah Gorge in North Georgia to the Satilla River in the South. Rivers Alive in Athens is organized by Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful, ACC Transportation and Public Works/Stormwater Division, ACC Leisure Services, ACC Public Utilities/Water Conservation Office, Keep Oconee County Beautiful, Upper Oconee Watershed Network (UOWN), Athens Land Trust, Oconee River Land Trust, UGA Office of Sustainability, UGA Office of Service Learning. 
  • The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office says scam artists are making phone calls demanding payments to keep warrants from being issued. The Sheriff’s Office in Athens says its deputies don’t make those kinds of calls. If you get one, you’re asked to file a report with the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.From the Clarke Co Sheriff’s Office…   SCAM ALERT - Please be aware the Clarke County Sheriff Office has been receiving reports that calls are being made to pay money or a warrant will be taken out on you. Clarke County Deputies will not make any calls to demand money to pay court fines and fees. The truth is that the Sheriff's Office DOES NOT collect money for court fines and fees. The Sheriff's Office is NOT a collection agency for the courts. If you receive a scam call similar to this please contact the ACC Police to make a report.
  • The third-ranked Georgia Bulldogs continued preparations Wednesday for their season opener with a two-hour workout in full pads.    Below are comments from Georgia coach Kirby Smart’s session with the media after Wednesday’s practice.    Head Coach Kirby Smart Opening statement 'We finished up practice yesterday and it was warm outside, it was after two days kind of off. We had a walk-through Monday. Sunday was off, Monday was walk-through and Tuesday was probably not the kind of caliber practice we needed to have. I thought it was one of our worst practices, which is typical because they come off the scrimmage, they come off the two days off and they've been in school, and also they think it's going to be easy, but it's not. We didn't practice very good Tuesday but we had a better practice today. The leaders stepped up and challenged them to have a better practice. I thought they had a better practice today.'   On the leadership role of the players with how the team practices 'Sometimes, I would call on the leadership group and talk about it. I didn't in this case. I just talked about it in the team meeting and just said we didn't practice very good yesterday. They saw it, and they knew it. We had clips and we had a lot of busts. That's what happens when you take two days away. It's almost like some of the information just evaporates. So the young players struggled. Nobody really hit anybody. I think that they're game-ready and they're not. So, we went out and had a more physical practice yesterday and today.'   On Eric Stokes 'He's done a nice job developing. He came in last year in kind of a backup role, and he ended up winning the starting job by the way he played, made some big plays in some big games and did a nice job. He's in competition right now. There are three or four guys out there at corner that will compete, and he knows it. He's got to step it up and play well every day, because we're only judged based on our last play. He's challenging to win a starting position.'   On Stokes providing leadership in the secondary 'Eric is a bright, conscientious guy. He's very different than [Deandre] Baker because they're just two different kind of players. Eric's been an asset for us. I think he understands our defensive concepts, and the best thing he does is lead by communicating.'   On injury status of Jamaree Salyer and Nakobe Dean 'They were both out there at practice halfway through. They worked with the trainers early on and they've both been dinged up, but both of them I expect a full recovery.'   On how the team his progressed to where they are now 'I'm never satisfied with where we are. I get that question a lot and I never know how to answer it. I really don't. Are we where we need to be? I don't know that. I think we could have done better at the practice before that and the practice before that. I want every practice to be good. When we're not good, I get frustrated with it, but I'm not disappointed with the way our team has practiced or where we are as a team. We've got a lot of work to do and we've still got time to do it. We're not working on Vandy yet. We as coaches are, but as the team and the players we're trying to sharpen iron. Iron sharpens iron. We're trying to go good on good and be competitive today.'   On D'Andre Swift practicing in a non-contact jersey 'That was just so y'all would focus on that. I see that it obviously worked. Y'all missed, at least I haven't seen it written yet, what I didn't want you to see. You've got that good. I'm glad y'all got that.'   On Quay Walker and Channing Tindall compared to freshman Nakobe Dean “I can tell you how Channing and Quay are doing, but it really has nothing to do with Nakobe. Channing's doing really well. He's explosive, he's valuable for us on third downs. He's one of our top special teams players on the whole team. Quay has improved immensely. He's in competition to play or start. He's very instinctive and a good blitzer. Quay has improved a lot from last year, but both of those are separate from Nakobe because whether Nakobe's there or not, they're practicing the same number of reps.'   On Jermaine Johnson 'I don't know that Jermaine's been full speed. Early in camp, he sprained his ankle a couple times. In practice, he'd hit everything but I don't think he was 100 percent. I thought in the scrimmage the other day, there were some plays where he showed burst and acceleration in kicking situations and edge situations. He did a really nice job. We were really pleased with his jump from scrimmage one to scrimmage two, but he's not where he needs to be. He has to continue to improve to be able to say, 'This guy is going to help us down into that.' Now, we do think that he can help us on special teams. He's fighting for opportunities to get reps and he's fighting with Azeez [Ojulari], Walter [Grant], Nolan [Smith], Robert [Beal Jr.] and Adam [Anderson] There's some dudes over there.'   On Saturday 'We won't have a scrimmage Saturday. We'll be moving to Vanderbilt, but we won't have a scrimmage. We'll have a good physical practice, but it won't be a scrimmage. The focus for Saturday will be Vanderbilt, but right now it's on us.'    On watching the Florida-Miami game 'I don't know what time it is. [7:00]... If we're done. We'll practice that day, but we'll have some work to do on Vandy, some game-planning. If I get home, I'll certainly watch it, but if I'm not at home, I'm back here working.'   On learning more about your team by playing a game versus practice “I do agree at some point you have to go play somebody to get better. We need practice, we need to improve but we need to play somebody else to do that because you get to a point, you want to go play somebody to grow and get better. We have to get some experience in some spots. I’m looking forward to that, and I know our players are too and they’re the same way at Vanderbilt. He’s not worried about us right now, but he’s also ready to go play somebody else other than himself. The kids are the same way.”   On his relationship with Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason “We’ve always had mutual respect for each other. He was a defensive coach at Stanford when we went out there and visited and talked ball with Coach Shaw. He goes on the Nike trip with some of the coaches that are Nike schools. I got to meet his wife and hear about his family. He met my wife. We got to experience some down time together. I got a lot of respect for Derek, and the way he runs his program.’”   On competition on the offensive line and at wide receiver “They are some tight battles on the offensive line and there are some that aren’t tight. There are some guys that deserve to play that we hope to play. {At wide receiver} Tyler Simmons is a starter for us assuming he’s healthy and ready to go but outside of him, there’s battles at every one of those positions.”   The battle at the “Star” position between Mark Webb and Divaad Wilson “They’ve both done a good job and both are competitive. Both kids deserve to play. They have worked really hard. They are different but similar in body types. We hope to keep guys fresh and play the best guy. Sometimes you go with the hot hand. Sometimes you go with the guy that had the best week of practice. The good thing is you can’t relax because the guy behind you is just as good as you and is trying to win the job too. They both play “Money,” they both can play “Star.” We’re going to get a lot of guys experience.”   On how Tyrique McGhee fits in the defense “He’s played a lot in the last couple of years especially last year. This year he hasn’t played as much “Star” for us. We had to get a little bigger and more physical at that position. He’s very similar to Aaron Davis. He can go play corner, he can play “Star,” he can play “Money,” he can play safety. Aaron played a lot for us because we didn’t have the depth when he was here. I expect Tyrique to play a lot. He is a very dominant special teams player. He is a very unique player, a utility guy that can play a little bit of everything, and we expect him to do that.”   After having a pair of 1,000 yard rushers the last two season, do you think the carries will be split up again in 2019 “In a perfect world, I want success, and I want success for each one of those players. If each one of those backs has success, you could end up with nobody getting 1,000 yards and have three or four guys get really close. The defense dictates sometimes what we do offensively. I’d love to have two 1,000 yards rushers again. I think it helps you recruit. It helps you have the guys that are the bell cows. But I’m not past playing four backs.”  
  • City Hall says there are vacancies to be filled on the Athens-Clarke County Board of Tax Equalization. It’s the Board that hears appeals on property values in Athens.    From the Athens-Clarke County government website…   The Grand Jury for the July 2019 Term of the Superior Court of Athens-Clarke County, Georgia, is required to make four appointments or reappointments to the Board of Tax Equalization of Athens-Clarke County. A regular member, an alternate member, and two additional alternate members will be appointed for a three-year term from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2022. The Board of Tax Equalization is responsible for hearing appeals on property values and exemptions. This independent board sets the date and time for hearings, hears evidence from both the taxpayer and the Tax Assessors Office, and makes an independent decision based on the facts presented in much the same manner as a courtroom jury. After hearing evidence from both the taxpayer and the appraisal staff, the Board of Tax Equalization renders a decision on the value of the property/exemption. Within the first year after this initial appointment to the Board of Tax Equalization, each member or alternate member shall complete at least 40 hours of instruction in appraisal and equalization processes and procedures, as prepared and required by the commissioner. On or after January 1, 2016, following the completion of each term of office, a member shall complete no less than 20 hours of continuing education training within the first year of appointment and thereafter in the term complete annually at least eight hours of continuing education in appraisal and equalization procedures. Failure to fulfill any of these requirements shall render that member or alternate member ineligible to serve on the board. Any citizen of Athens-Clarke County who owns real property and is a high school graduate is eligible for appointment to the Board of Tax Equalization. Interested citizens are encouraged to apply. Printable and an online applications are available at www.accgov.com/clerkofcourt or at www.athensclarkeclerkofcourt.com/legalforms.asp.  Applications must be submitted online or to the Appeal Administrator, Beverly Logan, Clerk of Superior Court Athens-Clarke County, 325 E. Washington Street, Room 450, Athens, GA 30601 or by email to beverly.logan@accgov.com no later than September 6, 2019. The process is pursuant to OCGA 15-12-81(b) and OCGA 48-5-311.    
  • The Georgia Department of Labor is partnering with Carvana to host an upcoming job fair.    The event will be held on Aug. 22 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Athens Career Center, 150 Evelyn C. Neely Dr., Athens, Georgia.   Carvana will be looking to hire auto body detailers, automotive technicians, and automotive painters.    Job seekers interested in attending the event may visit employgeorgia.com to create an account so you can prepare and submit a résumé. Having an Employ Georgia account expedites the interview process.    Applicants are encouraged to bring their résumés, driver’s licenses and dress business casual to improve their chances to be hired.   Visit dol.georgia.gov to learn more about career opportunities, Employ Georgia and other GDOL services and to connect with us on social media.

Bulldog News

  • Georgia football players have put training camp behind them and are working on Vanderbilt, precisely how Kirby Smart had planned. The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs play at Vanderbilt at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 31 in Nashville, their long-term goal a national championship, but the immediate focus on the Commodores. The good news at practice on Thursday was preseason All-American and Heisman Trophy candidate D'Andre Swift back in a red practice jersey. RELATED: Kirby Smart plays off D'Andre Swift jersey color This is where Smart would roll his eyes and tell the media that way too much is being made of what color jersey Swift is wearing in practices. But this is also where many Georgia fans, aware of Swift's injury history and his importance to the teams' title hopes, want to know more. Swift was nagged by injuries last season after undergoing sports hernia surgery in January of 2018. Swift was limited in spring drills, and then things got worse at South Carolina last season when Swift suffered a foot injury. Once healthy last season, Swift was seemingly unstoppable in November, averaging more than 9 yards per carry during a stretch of wins over Florida, Kentucky and Auburn. Georgia was arguably playing the best football in the nation last November, and many are expecting big things from Swift this season. So when Swift was late coming out for practice on Aug. 13, getting extra treatment on the heels of Scrimmage One, per NFL scouts, there were concerns. Had Swift aggravated the groin injury? Was it something else? Or, was it nothing. When Swift was back at practice later in the week, showing no-ill effects or wearing any added braces or tape, all seemed well. Then came Wednesday's practice this week, when Swift was in a black practice jersey. The non-contact jersey could have been as simple as making sure Swift didn't take any necessary hits in thud drills. But then, there might also have been more to the story and still might be as it has been a very physical fall camp and Swift saw hitting action in Scrimmage One like anyone else. Either way, Smart was saying when asked about Swift's non-contact jersey on Wednesday, playing off the question by claiming he was merely trying to distract the media. Speculation at this point isn't worth much, as even if Swift is nursing a bruised shoulder or sternum there's no reason to believe he couldn't be ready to play by Aug. 31. And, if for some reason the injury proves more serious, Georgia has tremendous talent and depth in the offensive backfield. Senior tailback Brian Herrien, who has been first through the drill work of late, was actually more effective running the ball in the Sugar Bowl than Swift. RELATED: Kirby Smart explains benefit of multiple 1,00o-yard rushers Further, sophomore James Cook has had a tremendous offseason of growth, drawing consistent praise from his hard-to-please head coach. Zamir White's comeback from ACL surgery last August has been well-documented, creating a sense of guarded optimism around the program that the No. 1 back in the 2018 signing class might indeed make a significant impact. Finally, incoming freshman tailback Kenny McIntosh has proven his skills, drawing praise from Smart after a strong Scrimmage Two performance. Other reported observations included Cade Mays continuing to work with the first-team offensive line, and inside linebacker Nakobe Dean (ankle) and Jamaree Salyer (lower leg) continue to be out of practice. Georgia football fall camp Versatile Cade Mays elevating his game, puts rough recruitment behind New DC Dan Lanning impressing early in fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof The post Georgia football practice: D'Andre Swift jersey watch (red) in full effect appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Kirby Smart had his game face on following Wednesday's practice, at times, downright edgy. The fourth-year Georgia football coach is typically no-nonsense when it comes to media sessions, but there was an added edge with the season-opening game less than a week-and-a-half away. 'We weren't very good Tuesday but we had a better practice today,' Smart said. 'The leaders stepped up, challenged them to have a better practice. I thought they had a better practice today.' Good thing, because positions remain up for grabs at most every spot on the team, it seems. Smart elaborated on several position battles, some more unexpected than others, such as in the secondary where Eric Stokes has yet to lockdown a starting job. 'He (Stokes) is in competition right now, there are four guys out there at corner who are competing and he knows that he has top step up and play well every day because you're only judged based on your last play,' Smart said. 'He's challenging for one of those starting positions.' Sophomore Tyson Campbell has been running opposite Stokes with the Ones. Freshman Tyrique Stevenson has been nicked up but he's one of the other corners pushing for playing time, along with junior college transfer D.J. Daniel. The 'star' position the fifth defensive back is another heated competition between Mark Webb and Divaad Wilson. 'They've both done a good job, they're both competitive, both of those kids probably deserve to play,' Smart said. 'They've worked really hard, and they're different. They're similar, they're similar in body types, they're physical, but they're different and they've both done a good job. 'We hope to be able to keep guys fresh and play the best guy. Sometimes you've got to go with the hot hand and sometimes you've got to go with the guy who had the best week of practice.' Smart said Tyrique McGhee, who played the Star last season, is playing more corner because the Bulldogs want to go bigger and more physical at the position. 'I expect Tyrique to play a lot, but Tyrique is a very dominant special teams player who can play strong safety, free safety, star, money, and corner, very unique player,' Smart said. 'A utility guy who can play a little bit of everything and we expect him to do that and he's in competition to get playing time at, really, all positions. 'He really hasn't played much star because we've got those other guys reps.' Georgia football coach Kirby Smart Kirby Smart talks up 'everyday' competition Versatile Cade Mays elevating his game, puts rough recruitment behind New DC Dan Lanning impressing early in fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof Leave a Comment The post Edgy Georgia football coach Kirby Smart breaks down cornerback battles appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS The Georgia football receiving ranks are wide open outside of senior Tyler Simmons locking down a spot. Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart elaborated on the position group following Wednesday's practice, making it clear the competition is alive and well with the season-opening game fast approaching. It has been well-documented that Georgia lost its top four receivers from a season ago, along with its top pass-catching tight end. 'Tyler Simmons is a starter for us, assuming he's healthy and ready to go, but outside of him there's battles at every one of those positions,' Smart said. 'The slot, the receiver opposite him, the two deep at receiver i t's everyday. 'Guys rotate positions and play all kinds of positions. Tyler's probably a little bit ahead of the other guys just in terms of experience, but outside of that, it's wide open.' Georgia most often uses a three-receiver set as its base formation in the media viewing portion of practice. Simmons has been taking first-team reps opposite Matt Landers, with Demetris Robertson first up in the slot. Smart pointed to the veteran nature Simmons brings when asked what gives him an edge. Simmons is the leading returning receiver from last season with nine catches in 2018. 'Other than experience,' Smart said, 'I'd say it's his practice habits and speed.' Smart said junior receiver Trey Blount has 'done a great job had some great scrimmages.' Blount, Smart said, is 'tough, makes the hard catches, one of our bestsellers blockers, very consistent.' Blount was lined up behind Landers and the outside receiver position opposite Simmons, with freshman George Pickens third. Smart said following last Saturday's scrimmage he has been impressed with Pickens, but the newcomer from Hoover, Ala., needs to learn the playbook. 'He's a talented player, but he's got to learn his assignments and learn what to do,' Smart said, 'because he could certainly help us.' Miami grad-transfer Lawrence Cager, a 6-foot-5 target, has been working behind Simmons at outside receiver and Smart has had good things to say about him through fall camp. Incoming freshman receiver Dominick Blaylock is expected to be another contributor in the slot, though he's currently working No. 3 at the position behind Robertson and Kearis Jackson. Georgia football coach Kirby Smart . Versatile Cade Mays elevating his game, puts rough recruitment behind New DC Dan Lanning impressing early in fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof The post Kirby Smart talks up everyday' competition for Georgia football in unsettled WR corps appeared first on DawgNation.
  • EDITOR'S NOTE: This original Andrew Thomas profile story continues a special series in partnership with Georgia Farm Bureau profiling homegrown talent from the state of Georgia. To access other HomeGrown Talent articles please visit the series hub on DawgNation.com. Andrew Thomas continues to catch the headlines. The junior left tackle is right in the midst of a few more this week with the news he was named to a pair of two preseason All-America teams. #ATD #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/GrGY51zzQ7 Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) August 20, 2019 The accolades are piling up for the Lithonia native these days. Those are well deserved. Thomas was asked by Kirby Smart to represent the team this summer at SEC Media Days. That simply reflected his status and worth on the team since his first season back in 2017. 'He started every game that he's been at the University of Georgia,' Smart said in Hoover. 'He's a tremendous leader, person. Charismatic. Doesn't say a whole lot all the time. That's why it's fun to bring him to this event. I told him today as we got off the plane: Andrew, you're going to have to talk today. And I think he's excited to do that.' Thomas started all 15 games of that magical season for Bulldog fans. That feat of starting 15 games for a team that went on to win the SEC championship, a national semifinal and then play in the national title game will likely never be duplicated by a true freshman again at Georgia. The Pace Academy alumnus will also see his name continue to pepper the top 5 and top 10 picks on all the 2020 NFL mock draft boards for the foreseeable future. Thomas is just that good. It was also interesting to see that Georgia coach Kirby Smart chose Thomas to be the Bulldog to represent the program when the West End Zone expansion ribbon-cutting took place. That's because Thomas has represented everything the Bulldogs hope to sign and enrich as a student-athlete matriculating to the program in his three-plus years at Georgia. Andrew Thomas: His path from Pace Academy to Georgia It is very hard to believe how quickly things have progressed for the former Army All-American since Georgia began to seriously recruit him in January of 2016. That was the first few months that Sam Pittman was on campus in Athens. Thomas certainly represents his first 500-foot home run for the program on the recruiting trail. Here's the crazy part: Thomas felt that he wasn't really being recruited by UGA until Pittman arrived. That's even though he was an outstanding lineman for a state championship team as a junior. That changed fast when Pittman came to Athens. He was one of the first in-state targets that the program prioritized once they arrived. There was a January visit in 2016 that changed things. 'It changed it a lot actually,' Thomas told DawgNation in February of 2016. 'Because I didn't talk to the old staff as much as the new staff just with them being here for this short of a time. So it seems like they are really interested in me.' Georgia brought in a senior transfer from Rhode Island in Tyler Catalina. Catalina would eventually on to the NFL at guard, but at that time he was the closest thing the program had to a tackle on campus. 'They really need tackles,' Thomas said back then. He actually grew up a Georgia fan. Thomas spoke then about what that pull might be for him as he was weighing out a decision. 'I guess everyone wants to be a hometown hero,' Thomas said. 'So I mean it seems like [they want] me to be one. But I've always been a Dawg fan and now especially meeting the new staff I think that will one of my schools I will be looking at in the future.' Clemson was another big contender here. For a long time. Yet it did sound like the famed '93KDay' meant a seismic change in his recruiting journey. It meant for a lot of current Bulldogs. Especially Thomas. 'It was just a overall great experience,' Thomas said. 'If you would have seen the fans there, it was ridiculous. The fire marshall was like had to deny people from coming in. But it was just a great atmosphere. I loved going on the field. It made me want to like to want to put on the pads and play so I just had a good feel about that.' It helped Georgia's chances. A lot. 'I already liked Georgia a lot,' he said. 'But it definitely moved them up a little bit farther.' The anchor moments were in place for a decision. He would commit to the Bulldogs less than three months later out at the Opening at Nike headquarters in Oregon. Why Andrew Thomas chose Georgia in the end His recruiting day news story for DawgNation still looms large today. That was back on July 10, 2016. He was rated as the nation's No. 9 prospect at the time. He was still recovering him a shoulder injury he was mending from he suffered at The Opening regional in Atlanta. That was a great week for the 2017 class. Thomas was the fourth prospect with a 4-star rating to choose the Bulldogs that week alone. 'The last times I have been up to visit Georgia there has always been Coach Sam Pittman [who] has always been saying I am feeling really good today but I would be feeling even better if I got my left tackle' whenever we hung out,' Thomas said that week. What made up his mind? His father, Andre Thomas, shared why the Bulldogs and Pitman stood out. Thomas said his son was sold on Pittman from the first meeting. That was important as Thomas was not deemed a recruiting priority by the previous staff. He was getting recruited harder by Alabama, Clemson, Florida State and Notre Dame. 'He said that he loved him,' Thomas said. 'He said he loved his personality and how he communicates with him.' Andre Thomas felt his son had that 'right feeling' from the jump with Pittman. The junior All-American candidate chose five factors to drive his decision. Those were academics, fit, coaching staff, distance and playing time. 'Georgia had most of those qualities as the very top,' his father said. 'They didn't have the best out of all of those, but they had the most at the top compared to those other schools.' The priorities there were the academics and coaching staff.Thomas said he was committed to letting his son make that decision. He never pushed him, but actually shared that he liked Notre Dame the most at first. 'But the main thing here is it was his decision,' Andre Thomas said. 'He was the one that was going to have to go to school and play football for four years.' Thomas and his family sat down every day and hashed out his decision about a month prior to his public commitment. 'We didn't establish a second team for Andrew,' his father said. 'There wasn't another school which finished right behind. There was just Georgia.' What Andrew Thomas now means for Georgia It is quite the sight to scroll through the DawgNation photo archives for Thomas from back in 2016 and compare it to the man that now mans that left tackle spot in Athens. Those moments seem like a ringing endorsement for Scott Sinclair's weight training program and the suit of armor he has chiseled around the 6-foot-5, 320-pound junior. Thomas is clearly one of the most important recruits of the Smart era. Perhaps even the most vital. Jake Fromm is essentially the only other signee since Smart arrived that has meant as much to the overall bottom line of wins and losses in the program. Look for Georgia to try to run more gap schemes this year on offense. Those zone schemes have been a staple of the Bulldog rushing offense in the past. Thomas hinted at that at Media Days. With all that, there is one clear goal. It is not to knock out the Alabama program that has kept the Bulldogs from even greater glories over his first two seasons. 'We want to win a national championship,' Thomas said. 'So whoever is in the way, that's who we want to beat.' Pittman has made a big difference in his growth while in Athens. His high school line coach, Kevin Johnson, also shaped his technique and understanding of the game prior to his arrival in college football. He has all the accolades, but it still means something to him to be playing for his home state. 'It is a dream come true,' Thomas told DawgNation this month. 'Like being able to represent the G.' Representing my family is pretty cool.' Homegrown Talents: The DawgNation series so far Warren McClendon: Family roots run 44 years deep for this Georgia family D.J. Daniel: Likely impact defensive back took a longer route to Athens Travon Walker: Big things are expected on the D-Line from 5-star freshman Dominick Blaylock:Talented freshman WR found a homegrown fit in Athens Nolan Smith: From 'Baby Boy' to a long-awaited Bulldog in Athens The post Andrew Thomas has grown into a 'hometown hero' for the Georgia Bulldogs appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia coach Kirby Smart seemed to play off the significance of preseason All-American tailback D'Andre Swift wearing a non-contact jersey in Wednesday's practice. 'That was just so you all would focus on that and not see the other stuff, it obviously worked,' Smart said. 'I'm glad you all got that.' Swift was wearing a black, no-contact jersey at the start of practice on Wednesday. It was an edgier version of Smart in Wednesday's press conference, an indication he head coach is likely as ready as anyone for the season to start. The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs open at Vanderbilt at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 31. It's early, but one gets the feeling Swift's health status might become a weekly item of note based on his injury history and the attention to detail he spends on maintaining his health. The talented junior tailback was late coming out to practice on Aug. 13, creating a bit of an Internet stir following Scrimmage One. But then Swift was back for the start of drills on Thursday showing no ill-effects in warmups no braces, not held out of drills, the usual red practice jersey and all seemed well. Indeed, Smart said following last Saturday's scrimmage that Swift was fine. 'D'Andre's been good, D'Andre's a leader in that group, he's very bright,' Smart said. 'And I say Brian (Herrien) is our most experienced (tailback) because Brian has been here longer, Brian doesn't have as much volume of carry as D'Andre has. But Brian has more practice experience probably more reps, because you've gotta remember he went through a whole spring when D'Andre was still in high school. But D'Andre's been good.' The Herrien input from Smart was unsolicited, and telling. Herrien has quietly had a strong fall camp and was first through the running backs line in drills even after Swift returned last week. Swift started the first four games last season before Elijah Holyfield replaced him in the starting lineup on account of Swift being slowed by nagging injuries. RELATED: D'Andre Swift says sky is the limit in 2019 Swift had double hernia surgery in January of 2018 and was limited in spring drills and at the start of last season. 'I was trying to save myself, I would say,' Swift said earlier in fall camp, explaining the mindset he brought into the 2018 season. 'Not trying to push it too much where I would hurt myself. 'But now I don't have any limits.' Swift made it clear he will go to the appropriate lengths to make sure he's healthy this season, too. 'I do a good job of taking care of my body, I'm always in the training room, I live in the training room, so I'm ready to go and I'm ready to get to work,' Swift said. 'Whatever workload the coaches throw at me, I'm ready for that workload.' Injury updates Smart said backup offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer and inside linebacker Nakobe Dean are expected to return soon from their injuries after missing the first half of Wednesday's practice. 'They were both out there at practice halfway though, working with the trainers,' Smart said. 'They are both dinged up, but I expect a full recovery soon.' Smart indicated that junior college transfer Jermaine Johnson has not yet been 100 percent coming off an ankle injury. 'eI don't know that Jermaine has been full speed,' Smart said. 'In the scrimmage the other day he showed burst, acceleration and some edge situations where he did a really nice job. 'We were pleased with his jump from Scrimmage One to Scrimmage Two but he needs to continue to improve.' Georgia football fall camp Versatile Cade Mays elevating his game, puts rough recruitment behind New DC Dan Lanning impressing early in fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof The post WATCH: Georgia football coach Kirby Smart makes light of D'Andre Swift in non-contact jersey appeared first on DawgNation.