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    A man aspiring to join the Army let his hair down last week. Rather, he allowed a barber to let his hair float to the floor as his locks were cut for the first time in 15 years. >> Read more trending news  Pvt. Reynaldo Arroyo, 23, got a regulation cut and donated 150 inches of his shorn hair to 'Locks of Love,' a Florida-based organization that gives hair prosthetics to children suffering from hair loss, according to KTMF. The hair loss could be caused from cancer treatments or alopecia areata, an autoimmune disease, CNN reported. In a video posted on the Salt Lake Army Recruiting Battalion Public Affairs Office's Facebook page, Arroyo, who is originally from California, said he was 'just really excited to be enlisting in the Army.' According to Army Times, a recruit's hair must have a 'tapered appearance' and has to be short, not touching the soldier's collar or falling over the ears or eyebrows. Arroyo enlisted in the airborne infantry at the U.S. Army's Missoula Recruiting Station, KTMF reported. Arroyo said he was happy to donate his sheared locks. 'Hopefully some little girl's gonna get it,' he said on the Facebook video.
  • At the start of the baseball season, Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis was hitless. He was 0-for-33 with 16 strikeouts and was in an 0-for-54 slump overall, the longest hitting slump in Major League Baseball. But on April 13, 9-year-old Henry Frasca, a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, was going to a game at Fenway Park, where his favorite team would play the Orioles. >> Read more trending news  Henry's father, Gabriel Frasa, told The Baltimore Sun that he's also a general baseball fan, and he was well aware of Davis' slump. He planned to write a letter to Davis to encourage him, but forgot about it until they were on the way to the game.  Henry and his family got to the park in time for batting practice, but Davis wasn't pitching that day, but Henry was still able to get his letter to him. 'Dear Mr. Davis, from Henry Frasca, a 9-year-old kid and diehard Red Sox fan,' the letter read. 'I want to tell you two things. How many hits you get has nothing to do with how good a person you are. You weren’t a better person when you were hitting more home runs. You aren’t a worse person now. 'Secondly, you’re incredible. Don’t forget you hit 50 home runs in a season. You’re really good. You’ve got to believe in yourself, and I’m going to believe in you,' he wrote. 'There’ll be one Red Sox fan rooting for you.' >> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news “When I started reading it, I got a little choked up,” Davis told The Baltimore Sun. “I just thought, ‘You know what? Today’s the day.'' Davis had the letter in his pocket when he broke the slump that day, and the Orioles won the game 9-5. Davis kept the letter in a Bible he carries and has had it with him for the rest of the season. USA Today reported that Henry was invited to a fun day with Davis Saturday as a token of appreciation for his letter. The two visited the club house, threw balls across the field and into the crowd, and spoke to reporters about the letter and the impact it has had on him.  'At that moment in time, going through what I was going through, to get a letter that was that encouraging, and from a 9-year-old, it was pretty special.
  • Eat’n Park restaurants' tag line is the place for smiles, and that couldn’t be any truer thanks to a server at their Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, location. A woman took to Facebook to share the story of a server named Dylan and a 91-year-old veteran who came into the restaurant on Saturday. >> Read more trending news  The veteran had trouble hearing because he had left his hearing aids at home, according to the post. Dylan took his time, helped the man figure out what he wanted and listened to his stories.  >> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news  The veteran thanked him for listening, according to the post, and he apologized for talking but said that he was alone and didn’t anyone to talk with.  The veteran thanked him for listening, according to the post, and he apologized for talking but said that he was alone and didn’t anyone to talk with.  After the man got his food, Dylan returned on his break and sat with him as he ate his meal and listened to more of his stories. People sitting nearby were so moved, one of them paid for the man’s dinner.
  • The first day of kindergarten can be emotional for any child and their family, but when one family member can't be there for the big send-off because of a cancer diagnosis, it is even more emotional.  But Andy Matteline's brothers and sisters in blue stepped up to make sure his son, Carmine Matteline, had someone there to make sure the first day was documented correctly.  >> Read more trending news  More than 20 police officers from 10 departments in Eureka, Missouri, lined the sidewalks to walk the 5-year-old to his first day of class, KTVI reported.  The elder Matteline is a police officer at Woodson Terrace and he's been in the hospital fighting esophageal and stomach cancer. If the officers weren't enough of a surprise for Carmine, his dad was granted a special, last-minute temporary release from his hospital room so he could be at the milestone moment for his son. Matteline was escorted by two nurses from St. Louis University Hospital and his brother-in-law who is also a doctor, KTVI reported. The fact Matteline's co-workers could be there, and Matteline was also able to be out of the hospital for a few hours was special because Carmine has autism, and his mom and dad have been getting him ready preparing him for his first day of school.  >> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news Matteline told KTVI seeing his son go off to school was a dream come true. 'This is one of the biggest days and I didn't want to miss this. He means the world to me. We've been through a lot together,' Matteline told KTVI. 
  • An Ohio boy is being hailed as a hero after he donated $15,000 in livestock premiums to help sick children. >> Read more trending news  According to WJW-TV, Western Reserve Schools seventh-grader Diesel Pippert is giving the premiums, which he earned Saturday in a Huron County Fair livestock sale, to St. Jude Children's Hospital. >> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 'A young man lives amongst us who should be an example to us all,' the school district said in a Facebook post Saturday, adding that the donation 'will help to find cures for young children and save lives.' 'Diesel, you are a hero!' the post concluded. Read more here or here.
  • Two good Samaritans from the U.S. Virgin Islands are making headlines for saving a cruise passenger after her wheelchair plunged into the water. >> Read more trending news  According to NBC News, Randolph Donovan and Kashief Hamilton, who work for the islands' Department of Tourism, sprang into action Monday when the Carnival Fascination guest fell off a dock. Donovan, 34, said he immediately jumped into the water. 'I removed her from the wheelchair because I didn't want the wheelchair to sink with her in it,' he told the news outlet. When Donovan began to tire, Hamilton went in after them, NBC News reported. Rescue workers and staffers threw down a rope and used it to lift the woman out of the water, according to CNN. >> Watch the moment here Posted by Jelani Ritter on Monday, August 12, 2019 Tourism Commissioner Joseph Boschulte praised Donovan and Hamilton in a Facebook post Tuesday. >> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 'Our team at the Department of Tourism truly value their heroic efforts, and thanks to them, a young visitor's life was saved,' the post read. 'We often say that 'Tourism Is All of Us,' and Kashief and Randolph truly embodied that message. The two young men are back at work today welcoming our guests after yesterday's selfless and heroic act. We're proud of you – well done!' I want to thank and acknowledge two members of our Visitor Experience team at the Department of Tourism - Kashief... Posted by Commissioner Joseph Boschulte on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 Read more here or here.
  • An anonymous shopper paid $1,000 at an Arkansas Kroger Sunday so others could buy groceries. >> Read more trending news  The man was inspired by a YouTube video and asked the store manager to use his credit card to pay for $1,000 worth of groceries, KARK reported. “It’s not every day that somebody comes in and tells you that they want to spend up to $1,000 and just bless people by taking care of their groceries,” store manager Tommy Mcelmurry told KARK. The man said he plans to do it again. 
  • An Indiana police officer who rescued an abandoned dog during a live television show in May has adopted the animal, who is now named for the man's favorite baseball player. >> Read more trending news  Lawrence police officer Stuart Bishop was being followed by the crew of: 'Live PD,' a show on the A&E cable network, WXIN reported. Bishop responded to a call about an abandoned Husky tied to a fence with only 2 feet of cord, the television station reported. “The caller said the dog’s been there about three days, it’s been tied behind the house. The way he was tied to that fence -- someone intentionally left him there,' Bishop told WXIN. Once Bishop freed the dog, he said he bonded quickly with the animal. “It was an instant bond between me and him. He took to me really well,' Bishop told WXIN. 'I just felt that instant connection with him.” Bishop contacted Indianapolis Animal Care Services, and when the agency could not find anyone to adopt the dog, the officer decided to take him in, the television station reported. He named the dog Rizzo, to honor his favorite player, Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, “He’s a loving dog,' Bishop told WXIN. 'He wouldn’t harm a flea,” Bishop said. Because Rizzo's story was documented on the television show, Bishop said he has set up a Twitter page for the dog to keep his fans up to date. “He’s got a pretty good life now,” Bishop told WXIN.
  • A Michigan brewery helped a school district wipe away its school lunch debt, donating $2,700 to square the accounts of all elementary, middle school and high school districts. >> Read more trending news  The Mitten Brewing Company made the donation Tuesday to the Suttons Bay Public School district, WPBN reported, paying off the debt incurred during the 2018-2019 school year. The district had 612 students last year, MLive reported. 'It was like. 'Wow, somebody's gonna do this for us.' The Mitten Brewing Company called and asked how much and it was just unbelievable that that would happen,' Suttons Bay Public Schools Superintendent Michael Carmean told WPBN. 'People see a need, and when people see a need in this community, they step up.' The donation is part of the brewery's nonprofit branch, Mitten Foundation, Inc., MLive reported. “We’ve been waiting for something, an opportunity to make a big gesture,' Chris Andrus, one of the owners of the Grand Rapids-based brewery, told the website. That opportunity arose when Joe Symons, a bartender for the brewery who is also a substitute teacher in the school district, mentioned the lunch debt to Andrus. “(Symons) told us that there’s a lot of shame with kids that can’t afford it,” Andrus told MLive. 'You can’t be your best at school when you’re worried about something like that.” Carmean said no student is denied lunch because of the inability to pay, but the amount owed is logged into their account, to be settled at a later date, WPBN reported. “If they can’t pay, we still give them lunch, but it goes on their accounts,” Carmean told MLive. “Some parents call to get it off, but some can’t.” Andrus said it was nice to allow students in the district to start the new school year with a clean slate. “This felt really good,” Andrus told MLive.
  • What's the key to staying together no matter what? One couple says it's matching outfits. Francis and Rosemary Klontz have been wearing coordinated couple's clothes since they were in high school. >> Read more trending news  'My mother got us matching shirts when we were in high school -- well, I picked them out -- and we've been matching ever since,' Rosemary Klontz told KOVR. That was more than 65 years ago. But their love story goes even further back. The lovebirds actually met in junior high school in Auburn, Washington. 'I thought she was the cutest little thing,' Francis Klontz said of his wife. 'By the time we were seniors, we started going together.' They will have been married 68 years next month, KOVR reported.  And every day Rosemary Klontz picks out their coordinated outfits before they go about their day as 'singing chaplains' who perform at their church and hospitals around their town.  >> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news  Francis Klontz apparently doesn't mind having his wife choose his clothes for the day. 'She just lays it out for me, and I don't have to worry about a thing!' Francis Klontz told KOVR.

Local News

  • They will travel from Cartersville to Cairo, and from Blue Ridge to Brunswick, with almost two dozen stops in all: the Peach State Tour, organized by the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech, and Georgia State University, is underway today. The college information events will continue through September 5. From Janis Gleason, UGA Today…   Many students and families in rural Georgia who live more than 25 miles from a Peach State Tour location will be able to take a free, chartered bus provided by the University of Georgia to one of the college information events planned across the state from Aug. 19 to Sept. 5. UGA’s Office of Admissions staff teams up with their counterparts from Georgia State University and Georgia Tech each year for the Peach State Tour, when the three institutions hold information sessions in 23 cities and towns across Georgia. The free transportation provides an additional opportunity for students to attend one of these events, which are hosted within 50 miles of every Georgian. The President’s Office at UGA is providing funding for the free buses to encourage all interested students to attend a tour event and learn more about higher education opportunities in Georgia. “The University of Georgia aims to develop leaders who represent Georgia’s diverse population, including students from rural parts of our state,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “Providing free transportation to the Peach State Tour information sessions is one of the many ways we are helping these students gain access to the outstanding education offered at UGA.” Currently the university has finalized plans with 15 rural high schools to offer the free transportation to their students, and that list will continue to grow. This initiative builds on the university’s ALL Georgia Program, launched in 2018 to support enrolled students from rural communities with a network of resources and common experiences to help them succeed and graduate from the university. In its first year, the program was made available to about 4,200 students. “More than 85% of undergraduate students at UGA are from Georgia, and the university is committed to serving students and families all across our state,” said Patrick Winter, UGA’s associate vice president for admissions and enrollment management. “During our outreach efforts, we answer questions about UGA’s programs and application process, but we also provide information about the University System of Georgia and emphasize that with its 26 schools, there’s one that will be a good fit for everyone.” The Peach State Tour begins on Monday, Aug. 19 and ends on Thursday, Sept. 5, with free sessions throughout the state. It offers specific opportunities for students and their parents, as well as for high school counselors, and will answer questions about academic opportunities and the application process. Last year, nearly 6,000 students, parents and counselors attended one of the statewide Peach State Tour events. 
  • A well-known fishing guide on Lake Lanier and his wife were indicted Monday on a combined 29 felony charges for allegedly running a large fraud scheme, court records show. Bradley Shane Watson and Pamela Jo Watson each face nine counts of theft by taking and one count of deposit account fraud, Forsyth County Superior Court records show. Bradley Watson also faces an additional count of theft by taking, seven counts of theft by deception and one count of theft by receiving. The couple is accused of reportedly defrauding investors out of more than $235,000. When Bradley Watson was arrested in July 2018, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said he took money from two people for a boat deposit and investments to purchase boats for resale, AJC.com previously reported.    However, after he gave the two a check for $45,000, the check bounced, the sheriff’s office said. Pamela Watson was arrested later in the month, and she’s accused of writing bad checks on her husband’s behalf. Since then, more victims have come forward, leading to the numerous other charges against the couple. The alleged theft incidents took place between February 2016 and December 2017. The check bounced in April 2018, according to court records. The two are also defendants in several civil lawsuits in Forsyth County, including one involving Carolina Skiff, which is a Waycross-based boat manufacturer, court records show. Bradley Watson allegedly had a marketing agreement with the company. Judge Philip Smith is presiding over their cases. Bradley Watson’s next court appearance is scheduled for September 10.
  • An Elbert County woman is sentenced in court in Madison County: Lois Sorrow is from Bowman; she gets five years in prison on a burglary conviction. We have this morning the name of the teenager killed in a car crash in Stephens County: Anna Whitlock was 18 years old, daughter of Joey Whitlock, the pastor at Toccoa Creek Church in Stephens County. The two-vehicle wreck happened on Highway 106 near the Franklin County line. The Georgia State Patrol is investigating. Two juveniles were shot and wounded outside a high school football stadium in Atlanta: it happened over the weekend at Lakewood Stadium in Southwest Atlanta. Police say the shootings came during a fight after a game. One of the shooting victims was 16 years old, the other was 12. Police were, at last report, still trying to find the gunman.
  • Dozens of demonstrators gathered in front of the University Arch on Broad Street in downtown Athens, staging a weekend protest and calling for new gun laws in the aftermath of recent mass shootings in El Paso Texas and Dayton Ohio. Members of the group Moms Demand Action staged rallies in Athens and in other cities around the state.   From WSB TV…     Hundreds of people gathered in Decatur Square on Saturday afternoon to demand tougher gun laws in the wake of two devastating mass shootings.  Moms Demand Action for Gun Violence hosted the rallies in 10 cities across the country in response to the recent shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas. At the event in Decatur, chart-topping music group the Indigo Girls performed for a crowd of people wearing red and holding signs.  Channel 2's Alyssa Hyman talked to Georgia organizers, who said they are fighting for background checks on all gun sales and want their senators to pass a strong red flag law.    Red flag laws would allow people to alert authorities if someone is concerned a loved one may harm themselves or someone else. 'These are smart steps to just ending gun violence,' one participant said. 'We could respect the Second Amendment, but with great power comes great responsibility, and we really need to be responsible and take common-sense steps to end the epidemic of gun violence.' Another speaker, Jeff Binkley of Dunwoody, said enacting changes should not be a partisan issue. Binkley and his wife, Margaret, started a foundation to promote 'positive social change.' His 21-year-old daughter, Maura, was one of six women shot outside a Florida yoga studio last year by a gunman police said hated women. Maura died in the shooting. 'This should not be cast as a matter of left or right, blue or red. It is rather one of red, white and blue,' he said. The events also honored the 100 Americans shot and killed every day. Several people at the rally were personally impacted by gun violence or lost a loved one.  Hyman talked to Sharmaine Brown, who lost her 23-year-old son Jared to a stray bullet in 2015. He was going to a friend's house for a barbecue in southwest Atlanta when he was killed.  'I'm here because I want to send a message loud and clear to our senators that something has to be done,' Brown said.  The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report. 
  • There is a morning meeting of the Athens-Clarke County Historic Preservation Commission, a 10 o’clock session at the Government Building on Dougherty Street.  Oconee County Planning Commissioners meet tonight, 7 o’clock at the Oconee County courthouse in Watkinsville.  The Oglethorpe County Zoning Board meets, 6 o’clock at the courthouse in Lexington.  Tonight’s Jackson County Commission meeting is underway at 6 o’clock at the Jackson County courthouse in Jefferson (pictured above).  Today marks the start of a three-day candidate qualifying period in municipalities in Jackson County: there are November 5 elections for mayor and city council seats in Arcade, Braselton, Commerce, and Hoschton; also in Jefferson, Maysville, Pendergrass, and Talmo. 

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS Can anyone stop Zamir White one-on-one in the open field? It's a fair question to ask after the redshirt freshman blew threw another tackle attempt in a two-on-two- drill that appeared to involved projected starting inside linebacker Tae Crowder and Quay Walker against Eli Wolf and White. Wolf tied up Walker just long enough for White to run through a strong tackle attempt at the goal line in one of many head-to-head battles captured by Georgia's award-winning film crew last Saturday. Teammates Isaiah Wilson and J.R. Reed have raved about White's fall camp. RELATED: Zamir White kicking and trucking' through offensive line holes 'I feel sorry for the guys that have to go against him,' Senior safety J.R. Reed said. 'He reminds me of (Nick) Chubb, especially running the ball, how physical he is and downhill ' Senior Brian Herrien was the Bulldogs' most effective runner in short yardage last season and remains among the most trusted. White's powerful style, however, raises questions as to who might get short-yardage and goal-line duties in the backfield. Three were other moments, such as when Kenny McIntosh ran through the tackle attempt of Trezman Marshall and then dragged Nate McBride into the end zone. RELATED: Kirby Smart says Kenny McIntosh delivered some blows' For those who enjoy watching the big guys battle, it appears Kirby Smart pitted freshman end Travon Walker (6-5, 290) against massive Xavier Truss (6-7, 330). Defensive back William Poole was tasked with trying to tackle Tyler Simmons, and then there's a clip of what appears to be an intense exchange between Malik Herring and Cade Mays. Freshman Dominick Blaylock had a chance to get his run on, too, running through Lewis Cine on a 2-on-2 drill with George Pickens leading the way on defensive back Christopher Smith. DawgNation Georgia football fall camp 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 Mark Webb's 'rough' start has proven beneficial Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof' The post WATCH: Zamir White runs through another Georgia linebacker in drill video appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS The Georgia defense has enjoyed a strong camp under the direction of new coordinator Dan Lanning, a young task master with seemingly boundless energy. Even in last Saturday's scrimmage, with the Havoc Rate not up to par, Lanning's defense earned praise from Kirby Smart for its Red Zone execution. RELATED: 5 takeaways from Georgia Scrimmage Two 'We had some big red area (inside the 20-yard line) stops,' Smart said. 'I thought, man, they're just driving down the field and then, boom! We hit the red area. 'Defensively, if you hold people to field goals, that's big.' The 33-year-old Lanning, promoted from within after veteran assistant Mel Tucker took the Colorado head coaching job, recently said fall camp represents his favorite time of year. ' You know, we really enjoyed the opportunity to work for our guys and this is really why you get in the profession, the opportunity to teach,' Lanning said at the start of fall drills. 'Every year, we do a self-scout, and we try to evaluate what things can we do better, what issues can be created for the offense, and what can we change schematically. 'And then I think every fall when you start, you say okay what are the points of emphasis, what are we really going to hammer home,' because if you try to do everything, you're going to be an expert at nothing, right? So, we want to really focus on how do we coach it and how do we create it.' Senior safety J.R. Reed said last week that stopping the run and creating Havoc are the two issues discussed every day in the team meeting rooms. Lanning and Smart a championship defensive coordinator during his tenure at Alabama have put their heads together to find some new approaches for the Bulldogs. Lanning's creativity is one of the reasons Smart elected to take a chance on the young assistant, rather than go outside the program and hire a more proven coordinator. Smart was gushing over Lanning's game plan for Kentucky last season. In hindsight, Smart's remarks about Lanning should have provided some strong hints the outside linebackers coach could be on deck for the coordinator position. ' He's got fresh ideas, he's been with different defensive coaches, he's got ideas in the room that are outside of our box,' Smart said last November. 'He does a great job with his presentations to our defense. 'He gave one last week that was epic on behalf of Benny Snell and Kentucky. He does a tremendous job and he's really helped D'Andre Walker become a better player.' The Bulldogs are loaded at outside linebacker, even after Walker's departure and Brenton Cox's transfer. Redshirt freshman Azeez Ojulari is currently a projected starter, but close behind 5-star true freshman Nolan Smith and top-rated JUCO transfer Jermaine Johnson are competing for snaps. Reed said Lanning's energy level make him a popular coach to play under. 'Most definitely his energy is phenomenal, no matter how it looks outside, he's going to bring that energy every day,' Reed said. 'We could be down by 40 and he'll still bring energy. 'Vocally, physically, jumping up and down, I don't know how he keeps his voice, he's like Coach Smart, his voice never goes out.' It's a good thing, because Lanning said he's planning to call on several players to step up on defense. ' I'll say this, especially going into this year, we're not going to play 11 players on defense,' Lanning said. 'We're going to play a lot of guys. We've got a lot of experience returning. I'm looking to play as many guys as we can that are ready to play.' DawgNation Georgia football fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Mark Webb's 'rough' start has proven beneficial Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof' The post Georgia football's new DC Dan Lanning outside the box,' impressing Kirby Smart appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia coach Kirby Smart was in a noticeably better mood this Saturday, his Bulldogs responding to his challenge to bring more energy and execution to Scrimmage Two of fall camp. ' I think we ended up with 135 snaps, which is basically two football games wrapped into one,' Smart said. 'We got a lot of special teams snaps mixed in, too. The guys really pushed hard. They were hurting at the end.' But they were also smiling with their head coach pleased entering into a day off on Sunday and a light walk-through scheduled for Monday. Smart has pushed his team hard in fall drills knowing there's no margin for error in a 2019 season that's aimed at winning the first national championship at Georgia since 1980. The Bulldogs are operating with two new coordinators, and while both hires came from within, the transitions have had hurdles because of changing personal. The pass game, in particular, has been challenged to replace the top four receivers and pass-catching tight end from a season ago. Most of the pressure falls on the shoulders of third-year starting QB Jake Fromm, and on Saturday, Smart indicate Fromm and his receiving corps came through. It's clear the pass game will be pivotal to Georgia's championship hopes, and while it improved on Saturday, it's far from a finished product. Here are five takeaways from Scrimmage Two: Receivers emerging Smart said 'a lot of the receivers' connected on explosive plays plays of 13 yards or more by the head coach's definition and many did it by making plays on the ball while being covered. Lawrence Cager, George Pickens, Tyler Simmons, Trey Blount and Kearis Jackson all got call outs from the head coach for their explosive plays in Scrimmage Two. 'There's been progress,' yeah,' Smart said. 'I'm very pleased with that group's effort, toughness, resilience ' D-Line depth Georgia doesn't have one standout defensive lineman at this point, Smart said, but there's plenty of depth and experience. 'We may roll out there with six seniors who have played football: Michail Carter, J.Y. (Justin Young), Tyler Clark, Julian Rochester, David Marshall,' Smart said. 'It jus seems like we've got guys that have played a lot of football that are out there.' RELATED: Defensive line among 3 biggest offseason Georgia questions Smart added Devonte Wyatt and Jordan Davis to the list of defensive linemen he'll be counting on, and he said Travon (Walker) is he freshman who has a chance to help the D-Line most this season. O-Line push back Smart called out Georgia's celebrated offensive line in Scrimmage One for not doing enough to spark the offensive efficiency, and apparently the so-called 'Great Wall' responded. 'I probably saw a little more toughness on the front of the offensive line,' Smart said. 'They were knocking us off the ball. There were some licks passed out there, there were some pops made . ' Rat traps vs. red zone Smart have his defense mixed reviews, pleased with the red zone defense, but disappointed with some missed assignments at times. It's not just safety Richard LeCounte who must focus on not forgoing assignments in search of big plays, something Smart refers to as 'Rat Trap' football. RELATED: Richard LeCounte explains Rat Trap' prodding 'We've just got to get our guys on defense to play within the system,' Smart said, shades of final play of the 2017 season likely still haunting him. 'We're got some guys on defense who still want to play rat trap and do what thy want to do instead of what they're supposed to do, and when they do that rat-trap stuff it hurts us.' The red zone defense, however, was up to par. 'We ha some big red area (inside the 20-yard line) stops,' Smart said. 'I thought, man, they're just driving down the field and then, boom! We hit the red area. 'Defensively, if you hold people to field goals, that's big.' Pivotal Pickens The Bulldogs' talented freshman receiver will be key for Georgia, but he's not where he needs to be and it's clear the head coach has his concerns. Smart acknowledged he was just as impressed by Pickens' one-handed catch in Scrimmage One as anybody, but he knows there are challenges ahead for the 5-star. WATCH: Amazing one-handed catch made by George Pickens 'He's a special player, great catch,' He's a talented player, but he's got to learn his assignments and learn what to do, because he could certainly help us.' Georgia's leadership will be tested, from the staff on down to Fromm and the receivers coach and players who share reps with Pickens and the other incoming receivers. The Bulldogs will be a better team if Pickens and the incoming receivers can learn their assignments and get into sync with Fromm. DawgNation Georgia football fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Mark Webb's 'rough' start has proven beneficial Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof' The post 5 takeaways from Georgia football Scrimmage Two: Pass game pivotal appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia freshman tailback Kenny McIntosh opened some eyes in Scrimmage Two, drawing unsolicited praise from Kirby Smart. A press conference question about tackling and toughness turned into a compliment for the 4-star freshman tailback from South Florida. ' I thought Kenny McIntosh did some good things today,' Smart said following Saturday's scrimmage. 'He continues to improve. He's got really good balance and he's been a good blessing. He's delivered some blows to people.' RELATED: Kirby Smart breaks down Scrimmage Two McIntosh, a 6-foot-1, 215-pound freshman, has seemingly been growing stronger as fall camp has gone on, bucking the trend of wearing down. That said, Smart made it clear McIntosh will need to perform well on special teams to 'make the bus' the 70-man travel squad for the season-opening game at Vanderbilt on Aug. 31. McIntosh said after signing he was willing to do whatever it takes to help the team his freshman season, and special teams contributions is part of what Smart has asked of all the UGA marquee backs. 'His value right now is going to be special teams, initially,' Smart said. 'He earns more value by how he plays on those teams. I think it's new for him. He's going trough the (Elijah) Holyfield effect, and the (D'Andre) Swift effect, and can I help on these teams, and how do I do it, because I didn't do it in high school. I don't know how to block somebody on punt, I don't know how to cover a kick.' 'But as you train those guys, by Game Five they're better than the guy that may have done it his whole life.' McIntosh might surprise his head coach on coverage units, as some schools were actually recruiting him as a safety. It's worth noting there was plenty of skill work done in the McIntosh's back yard and after practices. McIntosh's father, Richard, coached him and his brothers all the way through high school. Kenny's oldest brother, RJ, is a 6-foot-4, 283-pound defensive lineman who played at Miami and is now with the New York Giants. Deon McIntosh, another older brother, is a 6-foot, 190-pound speed back at Washington State. Kenny McIntosh has a running style similar to Le'Veon Bell, possessing great vision and footwork along with acceleration and power. 'We always brag about how Kenny will be the best out of all of us,' Deon told DawgNation last summer. 'We all knew he'd be something special. Kenny's high school coach predicted greatness, too. 'Now that Kenny is centered all on football, and it is Georgia football strength and conditioning year around, he's going to grow into the Incredible Hulk,' University School Daniel Luque said. 'He hasn't really been in a weight program like that year around because he was playing AAU with Team Florida through his junior year.' McIntosh, who looks up to fellow South Florida product and Georgia back Sony Michel, said before arriving in Athens he planned to play special teams. 'Sony was a first-round pick because he helped his team in a lot of ways,' McIntosh said. 'He ran the ball, but he could catch the ball, he could block, and he played special teams. 'So I'm ready to do whatever the coaches tell me to do at Georgia and win championships.' Kenny McIntosh stories from DawgNation Kenny McIntosh doesn't sweat comparisons to Sony Michel 'The Blueprint' for Kenny McIntosh involves special teams, championships Kenny McIntosh Produces Spins, Cuts and High School highlights The post Georgia coach Kirby Smart: RB Kenny McIntosh delivered some blows to people' appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Every UGA fan has their Bulldog buddies friends with whom they anticipate, relive, celebrate and anguish over every aspect of Georgia Bulldogs football. Two of mine are Joel and Scott, guys I've been talking Dawgs with for better than 25 years. Every August, shortly before Georgia opens the football season, the three of us get together for dinner to hash out what sort of season we think our team will have. This year's dinner is coming up the week before the Vandy game, but we don't wait until then to start making our predictions. We've been discussing the prospects for Kirby Smart's fourth year at the helm for the past couple of weeks. Plus, I've been talking Dawgs, as usual, with my brothers, Jonathan and Tim, and my son, Bill, all devout UGA fans. Among other things, we've discussed what we think will be the toughest games, and the most important ones that will be the key to Georgia getting to play for the SEC title again (and contend for a spot in the College Football Playoffs). Overall, we're pretty bullish (bulldoggish?) on the season, with the main debate being whether Georgia will make it through the regular season unscathed, and whether this is the year my brother Jon, who predicts an undefeated season and national championship every year, finally is right again. (He came awfully close two seasons ago.) So, here's how how my Bulldog buddies and I rank this year's opponents at this point, and how we see the season unfolding: Toughest regular season game? Joel thinks Georgia's toughest game will come against Auburn. His reasoning: 'It's at Auburn and it comes at a bad point in the season after two tough SEC East games, Florida and Missouri, and just before the Texas A&M game. So, the Auburn game worries me.' He thinks Texas A&M will be the second-toughest game. 'They have talent, and Jimbo [Fisher] is a good coach who will have them ready,' he said. 'But we play them at home, so I think we'll win.' As for the key, or most important, games on the schedule, Joel sees three: 'Notre Dame. It's our first real test, assuming we don't face-plant against Vandy, and it will set the tone for the rest of the season. Tennessee. It's at Neyland and they'll be improved. Florida. As always, it will probably come down to us and the Gators for the SEC East. And we just need to keep beating Florida. Every year.' Scott agreed that ' Auburn looks very difficult, but if the wheels start coming off the Gus Bus due to a brutal schedule early (Oregon, at A&M, at Florida, at LSU) then they could be in total disarray by November. That's always the thing about Auburn if they get rolling, it's Katy bar the door. But, if they stumble, the circular firing squad usually shows up.' Scott also pointed out that 'the toughest games are always hard to tell at beginning of the season, because depth becomes so key as the year wears on.' So, he decided to go with 'Notre Dame being the toughest game, despite being in Athens. They have a lot of talent, though they certainly lack our great depth. But that may not matter in September.' Tim, meanwhile, picked A&M as Georgia's toughest game, followed by Notre Dame, and then Auburn. He also sees Florida and Missouri as key games. Jon agrees with Scott that Notre Dame is the toughest opponent on the regular season schedule, followed by Texas A&M. My son considers four teams to be in contention for toughest opponent: Notre Dame, Florida, Auburn and A&M. 'I think, if we lose, it comes from there,' he said. 'Notre Dame has the best quarterback of those four, Florida has the deepest roster, Auburn has home field, A&M has a good coach and growing talent.' As young Bill sees it, 'the team that beats us figures out how to expose our defensive line and relative youth at linebacker, and forces [Jake] Fromm to beat them with young wide receivers, by stymieing the run game. Auburn fits that bill, because of its defensive line and offense, but I am also still not certain that team is any better than last year's version. A&M could be a scary one. I think Kirby rolls in Jacksonville.' As for me, overall I think the Georgia offense will be pretty awesome with Fromm and D'Andre Swift, and the defense should at least be on a par with last year. My own first inclination was to go with the knee-jerk Georgia fan reaction of always considering Auburn as likely to be the toughest game. However, I think my son has a point: I'm not sure Auburn, which may have a true freshman QB ( Bo Nix), is better than last year. And, while A&M's late spot on the schedule is a bit worrisome, I tend to think Fisher is still a year away from having a team up to his usual standards. So, I'm going with the early-season matchup of two Top 10 teams at night on national television as the toughest game: Notre Dame. After that, I'd say either Auburn or A&M will be the next toughest, with Florida occupying a spot right behind them. I'm still not sold on the Gators as a possible Top 10 team in Dan Mullen's second year, what with the depth problems he's going to be battling. Also, Mizzou and Tennessee both have been circled as possible 'trap' games by quite a few college football observers. As for the rest of the schedule, the season opener conceivably could be tricky for Georgia, because they'll be on the road against Vanderbilt, but it's Vandy, and there won't be any distractions ahead of time, so I think the Dawgs take care of business handily in Nashville. I don't see South Carolina being any better than they were last year, and apparently their fans don't, either. After the early departure of Benny Snell, the likelihood is that Kentucky won't be as good as they've been the past couple of years. And, without Paul Johnson's gimmick offense, which always was tricky to handle, I think Geoff Collins' Georgia Tech will get a stark reality check about the disparity between the Institute's talent level and that of UGA. The less said about the Murray State and Arkansas State games, the better. As for key games, a win over Notre Dame certainly could set the tone for the whole season. Winning in Jacksonville for a third consecutive year would be big, as well. And, the late-season game in Athens against A&M looms large. Season record prediction time! 'I'm in Pollyanna mode 12-0,' was Scott's prediction. 'On paper, we have more talent and depth than any team on our schedule.' Tim is even more optimistic, taking his prediction all the way to Jan. 13, 2020, in New Orleans: '15 and 0 baby!! National Champions!!' And Jon's prediction? 'Same as always.' Joel, meanwhile, thinks the Dawgs will go 11-1, but still win the SEC East. 'They have the talent to win them all, but it's tough for even the best teams to avoid a letdown during a 12-game season.' My son hedged his bets: 'I think we are either 11-1 or 12-0 in the regular season.' Looking beyond that, he said, 'Unfortunately, I don't think we beat Bama in SEC title game. Tua [ Tagovailoa ] was not healthy when we played him last year, and they have all the talent we have.' After squeakers over the Dawgs the past two times the schools have met, he said, Bama 'will be ready' for Georgia this time, even though 'I think we are good enough' to beat the Tide. As for the Dawgs' playoff chances if they lose in the SEC Championship game, Bill said, 'Beating Notre Dame will help a lot. It will be us, the Big 10 champ and the Big 12 champ vying for last two spots. If we go 12-0 in the regular season, I think we get the fourth slot,'even as the conference runner-up. My own season prediction? I'm also going with 11-1. Georgia should be favored in all its games, but I think the odds are they slip up at some point (hopefully, not due to another fake field goal attempt). I also agree that a regular season loss probably would mean Georgia has to win the SEC Championship in order to make the playoff. But, if they enter the SEC championship game undefeated, I think they make the playoff, win or lose. How do you see the Dawgs faring this season? And, would you be disappointed with a one-loss regular-season record? Other predictions Brother Tim's crystal ball is so finely tuned that it predicts the Dawgs' biggest margin of victory this season will be by 48 points in one of the easier games. 'It could be higher if Zeus is on the loose,' he said, referring to Zamir White. Tim also is predicting 'a game where we have three backs getting a 100-plus yards.' That would be fun! I have a few more predictions, too: If Georgia has a lead going into the fourth quarter of the Notre Dame game, I think the roar of the crowd as fans 'light up Sanford' might wind up being the loudest any of us ever have heard that stadium, topping even the ear-ringing final minutes of the 2013 win over LSU. I think freshman wide receiver George Pickens will be a national name by the end of the season. If the Dawgs win the SEC, and D'Andre Swift has the sort of season everyone's expecting, I think he'll be among the three players invited to New York City for the Dec. 14 Heisman Trophy presentation. I was asked recently if I think there'll be a black-jersey game this season. The Bulldogs haven't worn them since 2016 (Louisiana-Lafayette), but nearly every recruit that visits UGA gets their picture taken wearing the black jersey. And, Fromm and other players have indicated they'd love to wear black tops again in a game. However, I'm sorry to say I don't think that will happen this year. If there were a late-season cupcake game, or if Kentucky was the last conference game in Athens this year, I'd think there might be a chance, but I doubt Smart is going to want to shed the traditional home jerseys for a major game like Texas A&M. I suppose it's possible they might break out the alternate tops for one of the early cupcake games, but I get the impression Smart mainly sees the black jerseys as a recruiting tool, and prefers his Dawgs in red when they're Between the Hedges. With this past week seeing Tennessee and Vandy hopping aboard the bandwagon of SEC schools who plan on selling alcohol in public areas of their stadiums this season joining Arkansas, LSU, Missouri and Texas A&M I predict UGA will capitulate eventually, perhaps as early as next year. Cheers, everyone! The post UGA football 2019: Toughest games, season record and other predictions appeared first on DawgNation.