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    British Prime Minister Theresa May announced her resignation Friday morning. >> Read more trending news In an announcement from 10 Downing Street, May said her resignation would become effective June 7. May had been under pressure to resign after a backlash by her own party against her latest Brexit plan, the BBC reported. This is a developing story.
  • A North Carolina high school student, less than three months from earning his high school diploma, won’t see it after dying in his sleep March 19. >> Read more trending news  But Philip Moore’s parents say he earned it and they are now engaged in a fight with the school he attended since the sixth grade. His father, Benjamin Moore, said Cochrane Collegiate Academy offered a certificate, but his parents say that’s not enough. “And I think, 'No I know he deserved that high school diploma,'” said Moore's mother, Yvonne Moore. “Phillip didn’t ask to die. He had excellent grades. Never been suspended from school from kindergarten through the 12th grade.” According to Moore’s parents, school officials said he didn’t meet the requirements. As to how he died, Moore’s parents say they still don’t know. The results of an autopsy aren’t due back until July.
  • After four decades, Sylvester Stallone still likes to show off his pet turtles. >> Read more trending news  The actor posted a photo of himself on Instagram with Cuff and Link, the two turtles that originally appeared in Stallone’s 1976 film, “Rocky,” People reported. The animals made their film comeback in Stallone’s 2018 movie, “Creed II,” the magazine reported. “In ‘Creed 2’ with my original buddies from the first Rocky ... Cuff and Link, now about 44 years old!” Stallone wrote in his May 5 post. >> ‘Beautiful Philadelphia day’: Sylvester Stallone on set of ‘Creed 2’ In “Rocky”, Stallone introduced the turtles to Adrian Pennino (Talia Shire) as, “the exotic animals I was telling you about. These are my friends, Cuff and Link,” Entertainment Weekly reported.  >> Sylvester Stallone buys replica of statue used in ‘Rocky III’ “I sold them to ya,” Pennino tells Rocky Balboa, reminding him she was working at a pet shop when the film’s star bought the turtles.
  • Street artist Banksy has taken his political statements to Italy. >> Read more trending news  The British-based artist showed up unannounced at the Venice Biennale and said he set up a stall, calling it “Venice in Oil,” the BBC reported. “Despite being the largest and most prestigious art event in the world, for some reason I’ve never been invited,” Banksy wrote on his verified Instagram account. In the video, a man is shown with a series of paintings depicting a large cruise ship in the Italian city, CNN reported. At the end of the video, police appear to be evicting the man from the piazza. The paintings refer to the controversy of large cruise ships docking in Venice’s canals, the BBC reported. Banksy’s identity has never been officially revealed. He is noted for a series of satirical graffiti pieces that appeared on buildings in the United Kingdom, the BBC reported. >> Banksy artwork self-destructs, sheds after sale at Sotheby’s  In October, Banksy’s painting “Girl With Balloon,” was sold at a Sotheby’s auction Friday night in London for more than $1 million, the BBC reported. But as soon as the winning telephone bid had been verified, the painting suddenly passed through a shredder that was installed in the frame. >> Banksy confirms he created artwork on Wales wall In December, Banksy confirmed he created a piece of graffiti that appeared on a wall in a south Wales town, with the caption, “Seasons greetings.” The image depicts a child with his arms outstretched with what appears to be snow falling on him, but the other side of the wall reveals a fire spewing ash.
  • Residents in a Houston neighborhood said they are worried about a man who puts strips of duct tape on his face and follows people on a jogging trail, KTRK reported.  >> Read more trending news  'We refer to him as 'duct tape dude,'' Middlebrook resident Linda Sansing told the television station. 'When you start chasing the residents and you're wearing duct tape on your face, it just sounds like something is not right.' While Sansing admitted she has not seen the man, she said she has kept up with a neighborhood message board that has documented several encounters with the man. According to KTRK, posters on the board have written the man “Wears duct tape on his face and acts very strange,' and 'He wore duct tape with sunglasses on his face.' There are more than 100 comments on the message board, the television station reported. 'It's quite unusual to be staring at people walking and jogging, and wearing that kind of stuff on your face,' Houston Police Clear Lake Division Sgt. Paulino Lozano told KTRK. 'It's a little frustrating because the citizens want more and expect more, but there's only so much that we can do. So we definitely want to get ahead of it and see what his intentions are.' Despite the creepiness of the “duct tape dude,” Lozano said the man has not broken any laws. Lozano did suggest vigilance, however. 'A lot of people like wearing those ear buds and not pay attention while they're jogging,' Lozano told KTRK. 'Just be aware of what's going on. Try to walk in pairs or in groups.
  • An Arizona man admitted to burying his 97-year-old mother in his backyard so he could continue to receive her Social Security and Veterans Affairs benefits, police said. >> Read more trending news  Daniel Shannon, 67, of San Tan Valley, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of fraud and improper disposal of a body, the Arizona Republic reported. Shannon’s arrest comes after authorities conducted an investigation into the disappearance of his mother, Leonie Shannon, KTVK reported. Daniel Shannon told detectives he did not report his mother’s death so 'he could continue to receive his mother’s Social Security and VA benefits,' Pinal County Sheriff’s Office officials said in a statement. The Sheriff’s Office first learned of Leonie Shannon's disappearance on April 5, when a person called and told deputies about a concern about the woman’s welfare. Leonie Shannon had not been seen since December, KNXV reported. When deputies made a welfare check, Daniel Shannon allegedly said his mother had walked away from their home and he did not want to report her missing, in case she returned home, the television station reported. After being questioned Wednesday, police said Daniel Shannon admitted his mother died Dec. 21 and that he buried her in the backyard, KSAZ reported. He told police he needed to keep cashing his mother’s checks to 'help pay for the patent on his invention,' officials said. While the patent was not specified, officials pointed to a 2008 story in the Casper Star-Tribune about a self-closing toilet seat Shannon developed as the possible invention, KNXV reported.
  • Three Wisconsin men accused of dealing drugs said they were recording a reenactment of the movie “Belly,” police said. >> Read more trending news  The three men were arrested Thursday in Mount Pleasant and charged with possession with intent to deliver THC and disorderly conduct, WJDT reported. Racine police said they received a 911 call that reported two men were wearing masks inside a Jeep. One of the men allegedly was holding a gun, the caller told the 911 dispatcher. Police located the car and stopped it. An investigation determined the firearm was a replica-type BB gun, WJDT reported. Police also found a mask, marijuana and money, the television station reported. “Belly,” a 1998 crime drama, focuses on two men who build a crime dynasty through robbery and drug dealing.
  • Two people were injured Thursday evening when a small plane crashed into the back of a suburban Dallas home, WFAA reported. >> Read more trending news  “It felt like an explosion,” Jamilah Foster said of the Piper-PA 28 Cherokee, which hit her home about 5:10 p.m., the television station reported. 'I think you'd be more likely to be struck by lightning than have a plane come through your house.” The crash occurred about a quarter mile west of the Aero Country Airport, according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration. The airport is located behind Foster’s home, KDFW reported. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are sending investigators to the site, FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory told The Dallas Morning News.  Authorities said two women aboard the plane survived and were responsive when paramedics arrived, KDFW reported. They were taken to an area hospital; no one on the ground was injured, according to WFAA. Foster, a mother of three, was cooking dinner when the plane crashed. Her youngest child, a 1-year-old boy, was hit by flying debris, WDFW reported. “My initial thing was ‘Where are my kids?’ Because they were in the living room,” Foster told the television station. “I’m in the kitchen. Thank God my 3-year-old was upstairs in his bedroom. But the baby saw the plane come in, and he’s got scratches all over his legs from the glass blowing.”
  • Nate Roman is trying to find out who broke into his Massachusetts home and cleaned it, and even left toilet paper in the shape of roses as a parting gift. “I walk in and immediately I can tell something is a little wrong,' said Roman, of Marlborough, who noticed something off when he got home from work recently.  Someone had been through his entire house — top to bottom, vacuuming rugs, cleaning bathrooms, even straightening up his son’s plush toy collection. “Just completely organized stuffed animals all lined up all of his toys neatly stacked. I’m just shocked to see that,' he said.  He is now searching for answers. Roman says he believes he forgot to lock his back door but also failed to activate his security alarm.  But his alarm system still tracked how many times the door opened and closed, giving a timetable of how long the intruder had been in and out. “I could tell from the sensors that the doors had been opened and closed over a period of about an hour and a half,' said Roman. Even more puzzling: Origami roses were crafted by the intruder, and left on the toilet paper rolls. “As toilet paper flowers go, I think it’s pretty nice,' Roman said.  After calming down and considering the possibilities, Roman now believes he has a somewhat logical explanation. 'I think it was probably the work of a professional that just showed up at the wrong house on the one day of the year I don’t lock my door!' he said.  Roman said there was one room in the house that wasn’t cleaned, the kitchen. Officers searched through the house and spoke with neighbors. Police said they still don’t have an explanation. 
  • Bobby Joe Long, a serial killer who confessed to 10 murders in Florida during the 1980s, was executed Thursday night by lethal injection, the Tampa Bay Times reported. >> Read more trending news  Long, 65, was pronounced dead at 6:55 p.m. inside the death chamber at the Florida State Prison, the newspaper reported. The execution was witnessed by a woman who survived one of Long’s attacks and helped police capture him. Long did not make a final statement before he was put to death. Long was executed for the 1984 slaying of Michelle Denise Simms, a 22-year-old former beauty pageant contestant from California, the Times reported. Simms’ body was found near an interstate overpass in Plant City that May, her body bound with a rope and her throat cut, the newspaper reported. The FBI linked Long to 10 murders over a period of eight months in 1984, WTSP reported. The victims were between the ages of 18 and 28, and most of them were strangled, the television station reported. One woman was shot and another had her throat slashed. “We thank God that this day has finally arrived,” Lula Williams, the mother of victim Chanel Williams, told the Times. “Now, after 35 years, we can say we had some peace of mind knowing that justice has been served.” Lisa McVey was 17 when she was abducted by Long in November 1984, the Times reported. McVey, who was riding her bicycle home from her job at a doughnut shop, was held in Long’s apartment and repeatedly raped for 26 hours, the newspaper reported. McVey convinced Long to let her go, but she left evidence of his crime at the scene and gave police details, which led to his capture, WTSP reported. McVey, now Lisa Noland, is a deputy with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the television station reported. Long confessed to the crimes and received 28 life sentences and a death sentence for Simms’ murder, according to court records. “I wanted to look him in the eye. I wanted to be the first person he saw. Unfortunately, he didn't open his eyes,' Noland told reporters Thursday night. 'It was comforting to know this was actually happening. “The peace that came over me is a remarkable feeling.” In the room overlooking the death chamber, Frank Elliott, the brother of victim Vicky Elliott, wore a shirt with the 10 victims’ photos screen-printed on the back, the Times reported. “The ones that matter,” it said above their faces.

Local News

  • Today is a mid-term day at UGA: it is the midpoint of the University of Georgia’s May session classes. This is also the last day to withdraw from the University of Georgia’s May classes. The Board of the University of Georgia Athletic Association is holding its annual spring meeting on St. Simons Island.  From Tim Hix, UGA Sports Communications... Reports by University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead, J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity, and an update on current and future facilities projects highlighted the first day of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors annual spring meeting here Thursday. Also on the first-day agenda was a special presentation, led by Deputy Director for Athletics Darrice Griffin, which described in detail the key objectives in the areas of student-athlete experience, compliance, community and academic success. Also presenting were Executive Associate AD Will Lawler (Compliance) and Deputy AD Magdi El Shahawy (Academics and Student Development). In his report, McGarity called attention to a number of athletic successes in the past year, some of which remain ongoing in post-season competition. In particular: • The baseball team, under head coach Scott Stricklin, is headed toward its second straight NCAA Tournament berth. • Other teams whose seasons are still in progress include the men’s golf, and track & field squads. • Also praised by McGarity for their successes were the Gymnastics, Equestrian, Football, Women’s Tennis and Softball teams, as well as the Men’s Basketball program, whose highly-rated recruiting class has generated much excitement in advance of the 2019-20 season. Deputy Director for Operations Josh Brooks updated the Board on three facility projects including: • The UGA Equestrian complex in Bishop, Ga., which will include meeting, sports medicine and locker rooms, as well as coaches’ offices, is projected for a September 2019 completion. • Construction of the new grandstand at the Magill Tennis Complex has begun. Completion of this project is scheduled for February of 2020. • UGA is currently in the midst of the schematic and conceptual design phase of the Butts-Mehre expansion and renovation project. Retired UGA professor Bill Barstow gave a presentation on the ‘’SilverDawgs,’’ a year-old hospitality group that he helped organized and still directs. The group is comprised mostly from UGA’s chapter of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), and provides assistance to visitors at various on-campus events, including home football games, UGA commencement and other athletic contests. Barstow said the group — the idea of which was borne from a similar group that received visitors at the 2017 UGA football game at Notre Dame — had grown from its initial membership of 30 to the current total of 100 for the 2019 football season. In other first-day Board activity, Faculty Athletics Representative David Shipley presented the academic report. His remarks included the following highlights: • The men’s cross country squad compiled a 3.44 GPA for Spring semester, the highest among all Bulldog athletic teams. • The Georgia Volleyball and Men’s Basketball programs received public recognition for having Academic Progress Rates (APR) that placed them among the top 10 percent nationally for their sports. • Ninety-seven student-athletes received their degrees at Spring commencement on May 10. Day two of the annual meeting on Friday will include reports from the Student Wellness Committee, the board’s student representatives and a review of the fiscal year 2020 budget, as well as a fundraising update from Deputy AD Matt Borman.
  • The Corps of Engineers says the West Bank Day Use Park and the Sawnee Campground on Lake Lanier will remain closed through the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The Corps is still working to repair damage from flooding earlier this spring.    The Sawnee Campground at Buford Dam is scheduled to reopen next month. Lake Lanier is expected to be extra busy through the Memorial Day weekend.
  • UGA opened Legion Pool Thursday: the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department says its pools open for the summer swim season tomorrow. The pools will be open through the first weekend of August.  From the Athens-Clarke County Government website… All ACC Leisure Services pools open Saturday, May 25 for the season. Memorial Day pool hours are 1:00 – 5:30 p.m. Pools close for the season Sunday, August 3. During the aquatics season, pools are open Tuesday-Friday and Sundays, 1:00 – 5:30 p.m. Pool hours are noon – 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays. The Bishop Park pool is open to the public on weekends, only. All pools are closed on Mondays for maintenance.Pool admission is $1 per person (cash only). Individual pool passes are available for $20 and a Family Pass (for up to four) costs $40. Passes may be purchased, cash only, at any department pool.ACC Leisure Services operates five public pools including Bishop Park, 705 Sunset Drive; East Athens Community Center, 400 McKinley Drive; Lay Park, 297 Hoyt Street; Memorial Park, 293 Gran Ellen Drive; and Rocksprings Park, 291 Henderson Extension. 
  • Tag offices around Georgia—including the Athens-Clarke County Tag Office on Lexington Road—are closed again today while the state upgrades its computer system. The offices will also be closed for Monday’s Memorial Day holiday and will reopen next Tuesday. Volunteers are wanted for a Saturday cleanup in Athens: they will gather at 9 o’clock tomorrow morning for about three hours of work in Trail Creek Park.  The Jefferson City Council signs off on plans for a facility for the Jackson County Humane Society and its new shelter. It is slated for construction on 31 acres off Martin Luther King Junior Drive in Jefferson.  The City Council in Winder approves a $6 million funding package for projects designed enhance the Jackson Street corridor in downtown Winder. There’s also money for upgrades to Jug Tavern Park in Winder, and the city’s new public works facility. The Winder City Council is looking to give final approval to a $17.4 million budget.  There is federal money for the airport in Canon: the Franklin-Hart Regional Airport is getting $2 million to help with an ongoing airport renovation project.
  • A steady stream of Hoschton residents filed into a rented hall next to City Hall Wednesday to fill out paperwork they hope will force Mayor Theresa Kenerly and Councilman Jim Cleveland out of office.   The chairs of the Jackson County Republican Party and the Jackson County Democratic Party joined forces in assisting residents in filling out complaints. The forms claim the two officials’ racially charged remarks subjected the town to public ridicule and violated city ordinances for behavior in office as well as state non-discrimination laws. The bipartisan effort is the latest attempt to ratchet up pressure on Kenerly and Cleveland following an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation into comments the mayor reportedly made during a search for a new city administrator. According to city documents and accounts by two members of the City Council, Kenerly said she withheld the application for one finalist “because he is black, and the city isn’t ready for this.”   Then, in an interview with the AJC, Cleveland defended the mayor’s comments and made matters worse by volunteering his opinion that interracial marriages were against his Christian upbringing. “I have black friends, I hired black people. But when it comes to all this stuff you see on TV, when you see blacks and whites together, it makes my blood boil because that’s just not the way a Christian is supposed to live,” the councilman said. In a subsequent interview, Cleveland walked those comments back a bit, saying they represented how he used to think and that he was much more tolerant now. However, he said he does believe interracial relationships “can create problems.” The words were hurtful to residents Anthony and Erica Osula, a biracial couple with two children, ages 10 months and 5, who were among those filing ethics complaints. “It touched me,” Anthony Osula said as his wife fought back tears. Kenerly and Cleveland’s comments “don’t have a place in our society,” he said. Keith Henry, the finalist who was the subject of Kenerly’s alleged remarks, has hired an Atlanta attorney and is working on filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a required first step if he intends to sue the city. Henry, who works as the assistant city manager in suburban Houston, Texas, said he received an unexpected call from the mayor on May 11, after the controversy drew national attention. “I immediately informed her that I could not speak to her without my counsel present,” he said. Henry said Kenerly apologized to him but said she was acting in the “best interests” of the city. “It was brief. She kept it simple,” he said. “I’m sure it wasn’t advisable that she gave me a call.” Kenerly did not return a phone call from the AJC seeking comment. Previously, she has denied making prejudiced comments but has refused to answer questions about the incident or why, a week later, she apologized to the council in a private meeting. Councilwoman Hope Weeks said the mayor’s denials are disturbing because Kenerly repeated the comments about Henry to her personally. The controversy comes at a critical time for Hoschton, which is in the midst of a massive residential building boom. According to new estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, Hoschton is the third fastest-growing city in Georgia, with a 2018 population of 1,916, a 15 percent increase over the previous year. So far, Kenerly and Cleveland have resisted all calls to step down, despite criticism from a wide number of organizations including the NAACP, the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, and the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus. On Wednesday, the Washington, D.C.,-based International City/County Management Association added its voice to the mix. ICMA is a century-old professional association for non-elected government workers which sets best practices for how government officials should behave. “Our job is to serve all people, notwithstanding racial background,” Executive Director Marc Ott said. “That should have been the entire basis of their decision in Hoschton rather than selecting a city manager or city administrator in this way.” Ott, who earlier in his career was the first African-American city manager of Austin, Texas, said the Hoschton story reminded him of an experience he had as he was building his career and was told that an elected official refused to hire him because he is black. “I can understand how he is feeling,” Ott said of Henry. “Things change, but they haven’t changed enough. What happened in Hoschton is an example.” Ott said his organization stands ready to help Hoschton move ahead with its understanding of how diverse leadership can improve government for its citizens.

Bulldog News

  • ST. SIMONS ISLAND — Georgia football is way ahead of the game when it comes to bringing in money for 2019. The Bulldogs already had collected $33 million in ticket revenue as of April this year as compared to $21.4 million by the same time last year, according to the 2019 treasurer’s report. That report was given to the Georgia Athletic Association’s board of directors at the annual end-of-year retreat, which is being held this year here at the King & Prince Resort. That increase is attributed to having a seventh home game this season as well as last year’s ticket price increases, according to board treasurer Ryan Nesbit. Georgia reports $29.6 million in actual ticket contributions, which exceeded the budgeted amount of $28.5 million. Expenses will also be up slightly to $5.3 because of the extra game and an ever-expanding support base. “When you have home games with Notre Dame and Texas A&M, that helps,” UGA President Jere Morehead said. “Our athletic fundraising has been exceptional this year, so I want to commend Greg McGarity and (director of development) Matt Borman and everybody involved,” President Jere Morehead said told the board during his report to open the meeting. Georgia did not reveal its budget for the coming fiscal year, but it is expected to set another record. That has been the case in each year since the advent of the SEC Network bolstered the league’s revenue distribution program. League members received an average of $43.1 million from the SEC in the revenue distribution, which divides profits equally between the 14 members plus the conference headquarters in Birmingham. Last year, the board raised Georgia’s average football ticket price from $50 to an average of $66.42 per game, on a two-tiered system. Games against Tier 1 opponents such as SEC and Power 5 opponents cost $75 per game. Games against Tier 2 opponents are $55 per game. That does not include the required donation for the right to purchase those tickets. Georgia’s budget was more than $143 million last year. It’s expected to approach $150 million this year when it is presented to the board for approval during Friday’s meeting. The Bulldogs approved the architects for its football facility expansion but provided few details beyond it will be started as soon as possible. Morehead used a portion of his opening marks to congratulate McGarity, Georgia’s athletic director, and his administration “for a fantastic year whether it be fundraising or on the competitive field of play.” “We’re continuing to see a great deal of success and accomplishment on and off the field,” Morehead said. The board responded with applause, which is unusual for these proceedings. Seventeen out of UGA’s 21 sports competed in NCAA postseason play this year. That includes baseball, men’s golf and track and field, which are currently active in postseason play. McGarity received a $25,000 raise last year to a salary of $700,000. He has chosen to work on year-to-year contracts going forward. Fifty-six percent of 511 student-athletes recorded a GPA of 3.0 or better in spring semester, according to faculty athletics rep Craig Shipley. That’s below the athletic department’s stated goal of 65 percent but above the national average. Twenty-seven athletes recorded a perfect 4.0 GPA. Men’s cross country led all sports with a 3.44 GPA. Georgia Athletic Association’s is called to order moments before conducting its final meeting of the 2019 Academic Year in the Retreat Room at the King & Prince Resort on St. Simons Island. (Chip Towers/DawgNation)   The post Georgia football is raking in revenue at record rate for 2019 season appeared first on DawgNation.
  • MACON — As the marquee outside the Hargray Capitol Theatre boldly stated to passers by on Second Street, it was the Kirby Smart and Tom Crean Show here on Monday. The Georgia Bulldogs Club’s annual Coaches Caravan made its first stop here in Central Georgia Monday night and it was a quick one. Smart spoke for 7½ minutes and Crean for about twice that before a gathering of a couple or few hundred fans. There was no question-and-answer opportunity for the fans, which typically produces the most entertaining exchanges. No salvos were sent back Florida’s way. Before the program, the coaches did give the local press and team beat writers about 10 minutes for a Q&A backstage. After that, the coaches and an entourage of officers from UGA’s development office led by director Matt Borman adjourned for a private dinner with donors. The group will repeat the process Tuesday night in Augusta. Then that will be it for a while. There was very little in the way of hard news that came out of the session. The most pertinent was that all Bulldogs, current and incoming, are expected to meet academic eligibility requirements. That’s particularly refreshing considering Georgia had “a number of guys” who were sweating out spring semester grades, according to Smart. Other nuggets to come out of the 90-minute affair: Smart said no players other than linebacker Jaden Hunter are currently in the transfer portal. “None that I can think of,” Smart said. Smart congratulated Vince Dooley and praised the university for naming the field after him. “Who better to do it for than for a man who gave his life to the university and did a great job,” Smart said. We’re probably not going to see a lot more of outside linebacker Walter Grant at running back. “A lot of it will depend on the freshmen coming in, Kenny (McIntosh), and other guys at the position and how we feel, and outside ‘backer depth, too,” Smart said. “It was an insurance policy at best. It was kind of a research project to see what he can do.” Crean said he remains in constant contact with sophomore Nicolas Claxton as he works out for NBA scouts and he attended all his events at the NBA combine last week. He interjected that Claxton “could be a lottery pick” if he returned. Crean also said that he expects to sign another player before next season. Headlines from Coaches Caravan QB Jake Fromm will have more ‘offensive input’ in 2019 Kirby Smart expects all players, incoming and otherwise, to be eligible RB Zamir White on pace to be cleared for preseason camp Georgia fans flock to Macon landmark to hear from Kirby Smart           The post VIDEO: Kirby Smart, Tom Crean update fans on Georgia Bulldogs during ‘Coaches Caravan’ appeared first on DawgNation.
  • CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Incoming Miami grad-transfer receiver Lawrence Cager had the unique experience of getting to know both Kirby Smart and Mark Richt as head coaches the past few years. Smart has elevated Georgia football into an annual national championship contender in his three years leading the program. RELATED: Kirby Smart ‘proud’ to have worked for Mark Richt The Bulldogs played in the College Football Playoff Championship Game after he 2017 season, and narrowly missed making the CFP last season in controversial fashion. Smart coached a season under Richt at Georgia in 2005 and inherited a program on solid footing in 2016. WATCH: Mark Richt praised by rivals Saban, Spurrier, Fulmer Richt was was 145-51 over his 15 seasons at Georgia, his .740 winning percentage second only to Smart’s .762 (32-10). The differences in the disposition of Richt and Smart, Cager indicted, are like fire and ice. “Kirby was an All-SEC performer, so he can relate to you and he’s a player’s coach, he’s a guy you want to play under,” Cager said. “He gets fired up, just like coach (James) Coley.” Coley is the offensive coordinator at Georgia under Smart. But on the front end of Cager’s career, he recruited against his current boss, back when Smart was the defensive coordinator at Alabama. Cager began his career at Miami in 2015 with Coley calling the plays under then-Hurricanes’ head coach Al Golden. But then Golden was fired midway through the season, and Richt took over the Miami after being let go from Georgia following he 2015 season and returned to his alma mater to coach the Hurricanes from 2016-2018. Cager said Richt was much more reserved than what he’s seen from Smart. “With Coach Richt it was like, ‘We’re here to do this and that and handle business,’ ” Cager said. “It wasn’t like, ‘Let’s turn it up!’ Kirby will say ‘Let’s turn it up on them!’ “Coach Richt was more like, ‘Look, we are coming here, it’s Florida State, we know what we have to do, we need to line up and beat them.” Cager said the 43-year-old Smart is personable and comes across as being more invested emotionally than the 59-year-old Richt, who delivered messages in businesslike, matter-of-fact tone. Miami hired Richt to replace Golden after Cager’s freshman season. Cager said most of the players on the Miami football team had a pretty good idea Richt would be the Hurricanes next head coach. “Once Georgia let go of Coach Richt, this is his alma mater and his name kept coming up so we all thought we will hire him,” Cager said. “Once we heard it was us or Virginia, we knew for sure.” Richt changed the culture immediately, Cager said. “Golden came in here from Temple, he was more laid back,” Cager said. “Richt changed everything. We used to wear anything we wanted to practice, but then Coach Richt came in and wanted everyone uniform. It was old school, everyone would look the same, no earrings, the little stuff. “It helped a lot of people in the end. He’s a great guy. We were focused on winning championships, but his mentality was we are here to bring the swag back and it’s all about business.” Now it’s Cager who is all about business. The 6-foot-5, 218-pound receiver is expected to challenge for a starting spot immediately in the Bulldogs’ young receiving corps. DawgNation in South Florida Kenny McIntosh draws comparisons to Sony Michel, Jordan Scarlett Lawrence Cager eager for Georgia touch down ’The Blueprint,’ championship plans for South Florida star The post Fire and ice: Incoming Miami transfer compares Kirby Smart to Mark Richt appeared first on DawgNation.
  • MACON — Jake Fromm grew up and played high school ball 19 miles from the famous Hargray Capitol Theatre in downtown Macon where Kirby Smart was Monday. Fromm’s mother, Lee, works as a nurse in the Coliseum Medical Center, just a mile away across the Ocmulgee River. The Fromm’s family hunting lease is just 19 miles the other side of the hospital over in Plum Creek. So Jake Fromm is a big deal around. Then again, Fromm is pretty much a big deal everywhere these days. So Smart, here to speak at a small gathering of Georgia fans and Georgia Bulldogs Club members, dutifully acknowledged his quarterback and the many other Central Georgia players who dot the Bulldogs’ roster. “We’ve gotten a lot good players from here,” Smart said at the opening of his brief remarks before a crowd of a few hundred. “The guy who takes a snap from center and the guy who snaps it.” Fromm, obviously, is the player who takes the snaps. Trey Hill, who was Fromm’s teammate at Houston County High in Warner Robins, is the center snapping the ball to him. Hill played left tackle most of the time in high school, but did have occasion to snap to Fromm every once in a while. But now he’s the one replacement on Georgia’s heralded offensive line. He must replace graduated senior and NFL draft pick Lamont Gaillard. About that, there’s some question. About Fromm, there is none. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound junior is considered a All-America candidate and Heisman Trophy as the Bulldogs head into their fourth season under Smart, once again as a Top 5 team. Fromm does so having played in every game, starting all but one and in position to set the school’s all-time record for completion percentage. This year, Fromm will be operating under a new offensive coordinator. James Coley succeeded Jim Chaney in the role after taking over as quarterbacks coach last year. Smart thinks that is a good thing. “I think we’ve got some more quarterback guys around him with Coley working with him and he’s excited about that,” Smart said. “For him, it’s been a transition through the coordinator position where he’s kind of a sponge, he’s got more of an opinion now. He understands what we’re trying to do offensively.” Fromm has completed 64.8 percent of his passes for 5,364 yards with 54 touchdowns and 13 interceptions at this point. The thought is the Bulldogs will throw the ball more under Coley, who did that as coordinator at Miami and Florida State. Smart believes Fromm can handle whatever Coley can dish out, and will also have a say-so on what the Bulldogs do as well. “Any time you’ve got a three-year starter,he can give you input on things he likes about the offense, things he dislikes and things he thinks he can be successful,” Smart said. “That input is helpful, it’s always helpful.” The post Kirby Smart expects QB Jake Fromm to have more ‘offensive input’ in 2019 appeared first on DawgNation.
  • MACON —  The biggest applause Kirby Smart got during his 7½-minute speech to a couple of hundred Georgia fans on Monday was when he said that every player slated to return for the Bulldogs had retained their academic eligibility. Smart had said essentially the same thing backstage earlier with regard to the 10 signees in the Class of 2019 that have yet to report to campus. Specifically, there has been a lot of concern and chatter about 5-star wide receiver George Pickens. But while the Georgia coach didn’t address Pickens specifically, he did say he expected all who signed to show up and be eligible when they arrive this summer. Most are expected to arrive at the end of this month and enroll for summer semester, which begins in early June. “We’ve got full expectations that everybody will be there in the summer to practice, to compete,” Smart said. “All of those guys are finishing up, right now they’re in their finals depending on what state they’re in or where they are. I know they’re looking forward to getting into our place and start working.” As for the returning players, Smart acknowledged that the Bulldogs were sweating out the spring semester grades of a more than a few. But, again, he said, there were no academic casualties. “And that’s an accomplishment,” Smart said as applause nearly drowned out his remarks. “As everybody in this room knows, academically at Georgia, it’s an unbelievable place. It’s unbelievably competitive. When you look at the average student coming in with a 32 ACT, a 1,300 SAT, a 4.1 GPA, you know when you walk into the classroom you’ve got to be at the top of your game. And that goes for our players, too.”   The post Kirby Smart says all returning players, all incoming recruits have made the grades to play appeared first on DawgNation.