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World News Headlines

    An oil company in Nigeria is declaring a 'force majeure' shutdown after a fire. The temporary closure is expected to cut Nigeria's oil production by about 8 percent per day. Aiteo Oil Exploration and Production Company said the shutdown took place Sunday. The Nembe Creek Trunk Line has a carrying capacity of more than 150,000 barrels per day and is used to transport crude oil from the eastern Niger Delta to the Bonny Export Terminal in Rivers state in southern Nigeria. The company said it suspected the fire may have occurred through 'an illegitimate third-party breach.' Over the past two years, Nigeria has been steadily recovering in crude oil production, due to cessation of hostilities by the Niger Delta oil militants.
  • The president-elect of Ukraine does not have a political record that foreign governments and companies can search for clues. For now, a 51-episode TV sitcom might offer the clearest view of what kind of leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy will be. Zelenskiy, a career comedian, foretold his future when he took the starring role in 'Servant of the People.' The series, created by Zelenskiy's production company, follows a high school teacher who finds himself elected to Ukraine's highest office thanks to a recorded rant that goes viral. The show, which premiered in 2015, is the first Ukrainian series bought by Netflix. In an interview earlier this year, Zelenskiy told foreign journalists he wanted to put 'a dream country' on the small screen. The latest season was filmed and aired after Zelenskiy declared his candidacy for the real presidency on New Year's Eve. Further blurring the line between fiction and reality, he named his political party 'Servant of the People.' The TV character and the first-time candidate also overlapped at times on the campaign trail: SEPARATISM AND THE WAR IN THE EAST The dispute over Russia's annexation of Crimea and a deadly separatist war in eastern Ukraine are likely to dominate Zelenskiy's agenda. Zelenskiy, a Russian speaker from central Ukraine, said earlier this year he doesn't see military force as an option for bringing either area back under Kiev's wing. He said the government should reach out to welcome the eastern territories to a new Ukraine. 'We need to send a message that we are all Ukrainians,...that you're one of us,' he said. In the latest season of 'Servant of the People,' Zelenskiy's character, Vasyl Holoborodko, assumes the presidency of a country split into 28 independent states, some of which resemble actual separatist fiefdoms in eastern Ukraine. 'Enough with the old slogans: north, west, south. We're one country, we're all Ukrainians,' the fictional President Holoborodko tells two separatist leaders in one episode of the TV show. Holoborodko rejects the idea of bribing or intimidating the separatists into reuniting. At the end of the latest season, Ukraine's east and west come back together following a joint effort to help coal miners trapped underground. ___ OVERHAUL OF GOVERNMENT After an exit poll predicted he won nearly three out of every four votes, Zelenskiy on Sunday reiterated a campaign promise to fire Ukraine's prosecutor general for an appointee of his own. He called the chief prosecutor part of 'the old team.' In the first season of 'Servant of the People,' the president character pushes out existing officials with reputations for corruption and abusing power. 'You and your allies have been at the helm for nearly a quarter of the century,' Holoborodko tells the fictional prime minister in Episode 6. 'And what changes do we see? Zero. Zero changes, zero reforms.' But Holoborodko is despondent because he can't find a single honest professional to appoint. He ends up putting his school friends in top posts, attracting accusations of cronyism. During an actual presidential debate Friday, Zelenskiy was surrounded by literally the same people - the actors who played his Cabinet ministers on TV. The president-elect has not announced who he wants to appoint, but no peers from acting or comedy have shown interest in following Zelenskiy into politics. ___ PERKS AND PRIVILEDGES FOR OFFICIALS Zelenskiy said as early election returns came in that he would cut the presidential administration budget, get rid of the perks that come with public office and move the seat of government out of central Kiev so 'there is no traffic.' 'I would like to find a place in Kiev or outside Kiev so that there would be no motorcades, and I would like to get rid of the motorcades altogether,' the comedian said. The scripted president of 'Servant of the People' gives up his motorcade in Season 1 and takes the bus or taxis to work. He pushes through a bill to relocate executive branch offices to a Soviet-era pavilion on Kiev's outskirts. 'We will free the center of Kiev from those traffic jams.' Holoborodko tells lawmakers. The character ends up hiring back the bodyguard he fired and being driven in a car after he narrowly escapes a group of taxi drivers angry about his crackdown on gypsy cabs. RELATIONS WITH OUTGOING LEADER Zelenskiy spent a huge portion of his campaign lambasting traditional politicians for alleged corruption, the topic of the viral video that put his TV character in office. At Friday's debate in front of nearly 60,000 people, Zelenskiy called incumbent Poroshenko 'a wolf in sheep's clothing' and accused him of abusing power for personal enrichment. Poroshenko tweeted that the Kremlin would be 'celebrating' the election of a 'new, inexperienced Ukrainian president,' but also called Zelenskiy later Sunday to concede defeat and offer his assistance. Likewise, Zelenskiy on Sunday refrained from attacking Poroshenko and said of the president's offer to help, 'if I really need to call him, I will.' In the fourth episode of 'Servant of the People,' the teacher-turned-president must deal with a crestfallen predecessor who locks himself in his office, gets drunk and refuses to come out. 'They've stolen the country from me, an entire country,' the fictional outgoing president says. In the end, the new president convinces the outgoing leader to go peacefully.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called Afghanistan's president over the weekend to express Washington's disappointment over the indefinite postponement of Afghan talks with the Taliban, according to a statement released Monday. The talks were scheduled to start this coming Friday in Qatar, where the Taliban maintain an office, but were scuttled after a falling-out between the two sides over who should attend. The gathering would have marked the first time that Taliban and Kabul government officials sat together, a potential milestone in efforts to reach a negotiated end to the war in Afghanistan, America's longest, and the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops. The State Department said that in his call with President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday, Pompeo encouraged both sides to come together to agree on participants, saying the talks are Afghanistan's best chance for peace. U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who has met on several occasions with the Taliban and has pressed for Afghan-to-Afghan talks, had expressed hope the Qatar meeting would bring the sides closer to a 'roadmap' for a future Afghanistan. In a second statement released Monday, the U.S. State Department said Khalilzad would travel to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Qatar, as well as Russia and the United Kingdom, for further talks. It said the multi-country trip began Monday and will end May 11. It said that in Kabul, Khalilzad will 'consult with the Afghan government and other Afghans to encourage all parties to work towards intra-Afghan dialogue and negotiations to determine a final peace settlement.' In Qatar, Khalilzad will meet again with the Taliban to focus on 'national security issues,' an apparent reference to guarantees Washington is seeking that Afghanistan will not again be used as a staging area for terrorist attacks. The two sides have also been discussing a timetable for the withdrawal of an estimated 14,000 U.S. troops, a longstanding Taliban demand. Khalilzad has said they reached a draft agreement on both issues, without elaborating. The statement said Khalilzad will also press the Taliban to participate in 'inclusive' Afghan-to-Afghan talks. The U.S.-backed government in Kabul has been sidelined for months from the talks with the Taliban because the insurgents refuse to meet with government officials. The Taliban have said they will only meet with Afghans as private individuals and not as government representatives. Kabul had offered to send a massive delegation of some 250 representatives, including government officials, opposition figures and other prominent Afghans. But the hosts in Doha, at the urging of the Taliban, came back with a revised list that drastically reduced the number of women in the delegation and eliminated all government ministers. Each side blamed the other for scuttling the talks as violence continued. On the ground, Afghan government forces face not only a resurgent Taliban — who now hold sway over nearly half the country — but also militants from the Islamic State group, who attacked the heavily-guarded Telecommunications Ministry in Kabul on Saturday, killing seven people. A prominent figure on the Kabul list for the talks in Qatar said several senior participants had received calls from the president's office warning them not to express personal opinions at the talks with the Taliban, and to only speak on behalf of the state. The individual spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the sensitive negotiations. In another bid to project unity, Ghani is organizing a Loya Jirga — a traditional gathering of elders and prominent Afghans — to be held next week in Kabul. But Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah and others have refused to attend. Both leaders, who have served in a power-sharing government since disputed elections in 2014, are running in presidential elections planned for September. Ghani's envoy, Omar Daudzai, said the council would lay out the government's negotiating position for future talks with the Taliban. The council will be asked to formulate its position on a host of issues, including women's rights, Daudzai told The Associated Press on Monday. Whatever the council decides, 'that will be our position in negotiations with the Taliban,' he said. Some 2,500 people are to attend the Loya Jirga, including lawmakers and others chosen by district and provincial councils. The elections are non-negotiable and will be held in September, Daudzai said, even though Washington may be worried the vote could further undermine chances of a peace deal with the Taliban. 'A sustainable peace deal after presidential elections is very much possible, but it is close to impossible before presidential elections,' Daudzai said.
  • Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir, driven from power and now languishing in a prison where his opponents were once jailed and tortured, is more vulnerable than ever to a decade-old international arrest warrant for war crimes committed in Darfur. But the military, which forced him from power after four months of mass protests, says it won't extradite him to the International Criminal Court at the Hague. Even many of al-Bashir's opponents are reluctant to hand him over to the ICC, saying they prefer to bring him to justice in Sudan. Any attempt to hold him and other top officials accountable could pose risks to the transition to civilian rule sought by the protesters. The Darfur conflict broke out in 2003, eventually killing an estimated 300,000 people and displacing some 2.7 million.
  • Jim Irsay believes he is a lucky man who made the grade. That’s because the Indianapolis Colts owner is now the owner of the piano John Lennon used to compose songs from the Beatles’ 1967 classic album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the Indianapolis Star reported. >> Read more trending news  Irsay tweeted Saturday that he won the piano in an auction hosted by GottaHaveRockandRoll.com.  'I’m elated to now be the steward of John’s “Sgt. Pepper” upright piano,' Irsay tweeted. 'It’s a responsibility I take seriously, with future generations in mind. #GettingThemBackTogether #Beatles' According to the auction’s website, there was only one bid on the elaborately painted upright piano, and the winning price was $575,000. According to TMZ Sports, however, the price was $718,750. It is not clear whether either price includes the buyer’s premium. >> Photos: John Lennon through the years The piano also features a plaque that says, 'On this piano was written: A Day in the Life, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Good Morning, Good Morning, Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite and Many others. John Lennon. 1971.' “A Day in the Life,” which was partially about “a lucky man who made the grade,” was a piano-inspired song that was the final cut on the Beatles’ 1967 album. It ends with a slammed piano chord that ominously lingered for more than 30 seconds. The piano was made by John Broadwood & Sons and dates to around 1872, The Washington Post reported. The auction site said Lennon acquired the piano in 1966, just as the “Sgt. Pepper” sessions were beginning. Lennon, the founding member of the Beatles, was shot to death Dec. 9, 1980, outside his New York City apartment. He was 40. Irsay’s musical collection also includes an electric guitar used by Prince, Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia’s “Tiger” guitar, and the Fender Stratocaster guitar used by Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, the Star reported.
  • Turkey's interior minister says nine people have been detained in the assault of an opposition party leader, who was hit during a soldier's funeral. Several protesters threw punches at Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu at the funeral outside Ankara on Sunday. Kilicdaroglu was not injured. Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Monday nine people were detained for questioning. The soldier was killed Saturday in clashes with Kurdish rebels. Soylu appeared to justify Kilicdaroglu's assault by referring to the support a pro-Kurdish gave the opposition during Turkey's March 31 municipal elections. Soylu said: 'Everyone must take sides against the (rebels).' The Republican People's Party won the mayoral elections in Ankara and Istanbul, supplanting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party. Erdogan led a divisive campaign, equating opposition parties with terrorists.
  • Kosovo families waited Monday outside a shelter, trying to talk with relatives who have been repatriated from Syria and are eager to get home. On Saturday, 110 Kosovar citizens — four alleged foreign fighters, 32 women and 74 children — were brought back home with the assistance of the United States. The return of such a big group is a first for Europe. Experts say getting the families reintegrated into the society will be a hard challenge for Kosovo authorities and the families themselves. Hidajete Delia waited for hours Monday morning to meet up with her sister Dafina, 23, and her sister's two little children at the camp in Vranidoll, 10 kilometers (6 miles) from Pristina, the capital. She says her sister calls the six years she spent in Syria 'hell.' 'When she was 17, my sister was deceived to go there. She has a daughter and a son,' said Delia. 'She is back and we are so happy. I do not know how to describe our happiness.' She would not discuss Dafina's husband, except to say that she knew he was killed. Other people waiting at the main entrance to the camp were not ready to talk Monday. The four alleged foreign fighters have been arrested and sent to a high-security prison. They are charged with joining war zone conflicts and are awaiting trial. Authorities say the woman and children will be released from the camp in the next few days. Inside the camp, which was guarded by special police forces, medical personnel were seen intensively working with the returnees, while groups of children played behind the wire fences. Nine of the children from Syria are orphans. Prosecutors say so far they have charged 119 people from Kosovo for joining extremist groups in Syria and Iraq as foreign fighters, which means they could face up to 15 years in jail. Justice Minister Abelard Tahiri, head of a task force handling the operation, has said authorities plan to rehabilitate and reintegrate the returnees into society. Tahiri says the government will 'strongly continue to prevent and fight violent extremism and terrorism ... (and) not allow our citizens to turn into a threat to the Western world.' The U.S. embassy in Pristina has praised Kosovo's government for setting 'an important example' in taking back its citizens from conflict zones. Since 2012, more than 400 people have left Kosovo, a predominantly Muslim nation, to join extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, but authorities say no one has left in the past three years. Authorities say there are still 87 Kosovar citizens in Syria: 30 men who are still actively supporting militant groups and 49 women and eight children related to them. ___ Llazar Semini contributed from Tirana, Albania. ___ Follow Llazar Semini on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lsemini
  • British police say more than 1,000 people have been arrested since mass climate change protests began in London one week ago. Police said Monday the arrest total stands at 1,065 since Extinction Rebellion set out to paralyze parts of central London to emphasize the need for sharp reductions in carbon use. Only 53 of those people have been formally charged with criminal offenses. Police say Waterloo Bridge was reopened to vehicles overnight, having been occupied by the demonstrators since last Monday. Officials say protest sites at Oxford Street and Parliament Square had been cleared the day before. The non-violent protest group is seeking negotiations with the government on its demand to make slowing climate change a top priority.
  • Dozens of public housing advocates protested outside the gutted Notre Dame in Paris Monday to demand that France's poorest be remembered after donors pledged $1 billion to rebuild the cathedral and its destroyed roof. Around 50 people from a French homeless association gathered with placards reading '1 billion in 24 hours.' They chanted slogans directed at Bernard Arnault, the CEO of luxury group LVMH, who last week pledged 200 million euros ($226 million). Some chanted 'Notre Dame needs a roof, we need a roof too!' 'We are here ... to somewhat denounce these billionaires who show off by funding Notre Dame's rebuilding,' Jean-Baptiste Eyraut, the spokesman for the Right To Housing association, told The Associated Press. Paris police monitored the peaceful protest on the central Paris island on which Notre Dame is located but didn't intervene, and the protest dispersed after several hours. In addition to Arnault's pledge, another billionaire, Francois Pinault, and his son pledged 100 million euros for the reconstruction effort from their holding company Artemis, which owns the Christie's auction house and is the main shareholder in Gucci. After Easter Mass on Sunday, Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit said authorities ought to 'rethink the whole island and make a place for the poor.' He added: 'The poor and the homeless are at home here (in Notre Dame)... They can always go and get warm in a church and they know they won't be kicked out.' ___ Milos Krivokapic contributed to this report
  • Greek authorities say dozens of asylum-seekers have turned up at the home address of European border agency employees helping police the border with Turkey. Police say 61 men, women and children who had just crossed illegally from Turkey headed straight for the rented flats of German and Dutch employees of the Frontex agency in the town of Orestiada before dawn Monday, and started ringing doorbells. The migrants said they were from Syria and Iraq and wanted to register for asylum. Greek police were called to handle the process. Police said it was unclear how the migrants found the Frontex employees' home address, and why they didn't go directly to a police station. Syrian and Iraqi refugees have little trouble securing asylum in Greece.

Local News

  • A 22-year-old University of Georgia student was shot during an armed robbery in Athens, according to police. Athens-Clarke County police say they were called to the shooting on South Milledge Avenue near the 10 Loop just after 7:15 a.m. Monday. Shortly after, they received another call about an armed robbery at the same location. We have a reporter and photographer on the scene where police plan to hold a news conference to release more information within the next hour. WATCH it LIVE on WSBTV.com and stay with Channel 2 Action News for LIVE reports as this story develops. Channel 2 Action News obtained an email to students, faculty and staff Monday morning, in which a school official said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Georgia State Patrol are assisting the Athens Clarke County Police Department in investigating the two armed robberies that happened just off campus. #Breaking Witnesses tell me the UGA student was shot at this off campus bus stop. They told me they heard two gunshots then ran outside and saw the victim. More at noon. — Richard Elliot (@RElliotWSB) April 22, 2019 TRENDING STORIES: ‘Armed and extremely dangerous': Police search for gunman who ambushed officer Church pays $120K to bail out first-time offenders for Easter ‘You told me to': Video shows Charlotte police officer kill man following orders to drop gun The student was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. 'I was just laying in bed and I heard 'pow pow' and I was like 'whoa,' and it was (really) sad,' student Zac Ethridge said. 'We are deeply saddened by these tragic and shocking events,' the email said. Police are searching for a black male with dreads or twists driving an early 2000 model white Ford Mustang convertible with a tan roof.
  • There is a traffic heads up for drivers in Athens, a campus construction advisory from the University of Georgia: UGA says the southbound sidewalk and bike lane on the west side of East Campus Road will be closed from the current DEP2, Computer Services, and Museum of Natural History driveway entrance up to approximately mid-block for the temporary construction office entrance concrete pour. The sidewalk on the east side of East Campus Drive will still be accessible for pedestrians.
  • Senator Bill Cowsert and state Representatives Houston Gaines and Marcus Weidower are the scheduled speakers for tonight’s meeting of the Oconee County Republican Party. They’ll recap the legislative session that ended earlier this month in a 6:30 session at the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Watkinsville.  An Athens-Clarke County Commission work session is on tap for today, underway at 4 o’clock this afternoon at City Hall.  A town hall with Winterville Mayor Dodd Ferrelle is set for 7 o’clock tonight. It’ll take place at the Depot in Winterville.  Madison County Commissioners meet tonight: it’s a 6 o’clock this evening at the Madison County Government Complex in Danielsville. Jackson County Commissioners meet at 6 at the courthouse in Jefferson. 
  • A man was killed by an Athens-Clarke County officer after authorities said he brandished a shotgun at police while they were trying to talk to him.  Carlton Steve Brooks, 63, was shot and killed after he answered his door with a shotgun in his hands, authorities said. Athens police called the GBI to investigate the incident. Athens-Clarke police said the fatal police shooting happened about 11:40 p.m. Saturday. Officers were sent to a home on Hull Road on a “peeping Tom” call, the department said in statement. Officers spoke to the victim, who identified a suspect, the department said. The officers went to the suspect’s home, which was also on Hull Road, police said.  According to the GBI, officers knocked on the Brooks’ door and announced themselves. Before answering the door, one of the officers saw a man inside with a weapon, the GBI said. The officers moved back from the door and gave repeated commands to put down the weapon. That’s when Brooks opened the door with the gun in his hands. “Brooks pointed the weapon towards one of the officers, who then fired twice,” the GBI said.  According to the police department, officers administered first aid to the man, and he was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. No officers were harmed in the shooting.  The department said the officer involved has been placed on administrative leave with pay in “accordance with department policy.”  An autopsy will be conducted at the GBI Crime Lab.  This is the 29th officer-involved shooting investigation that the GBI has been requested to investigate in 2019. The last such investigation was opened April 15, when a police chase that started in Alabama ended near Fort Benning.  RELATED: Man shot by deputies after Alabama police chase ends near Fort Benning In other news: 
  • Officials with the National Weather Service have confirmed that an EF-1 tornado touched down early Friday morning.  The tornado formed in Hall County around 5:50 a.m. and was on the ground for an estimated 2.5 miles.  Channel 2's Richard Elliot was in Hall County Friday, where the storm ripped a steeple off Dewberry Baptist Church north of Gainesville and sent a tree crashing through the church's fellowship hall.  No injuries were reported. Storms left damage across north Georgia including downed trees and power lines, flooding and washed out roads.  Reporters from Channel 2 Action News fanned out all across the state to bring you live coverage of the worst-hit areas.  Road collapses in multiple spots, following storms. We’re live in Buckhead: Ch. 2, 6 p.m. pic.twitter.com/5hhEV5u10O — Rikki Klaus (@RikkiKlausWSB) April 20, 2019 RELATED LINKS: Download the FREE Severe Weather Team 2 App! Massive oak tree falls on box truck, trapping driver inside 4 Forsyth County firefighters injured during storm response Flooding leaves at least a dozen vehicles underwater at car dealership PHOTOS: Severe weather knocks down trees, washes out roads in metro Atlanta    

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — Stetson Bennett began G-Day with the Black Team on Saturday, but he ended it with the Red Team. In his mind, that meant he was going to have steak and lobster for dinner rather than the Beanie Weanies that go to the losing team. “I’m getting steak,” Bennett said after the 22-17 Red Team win this past Saturday. “I get to choose what I want. I made that rule; nobody has told me that for sure yet. But I’m definitely planning on having steak tonight.” J.J. Holloman turned this reception of a pass from Stetson Bennett into a 43-yard game-winning touchdown for the Red Team in the fourth quarter of the G-Day Game on Saturday. (Lauren Tolbert/UGA Athletics) Bennett could certainly make a good argument for eating with the victorious Red squad. After all, it was his 43-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Holloman with 8:09 remaining in the fourth quarter that proved to be the game-winner. The scoring play, which came on a post route by Holloman against starting cornerback Eric Stokes on second-and-8, gave the Red a 19-17 lead that would hold up the rest of the way. It came at the end of what was a pretty good day for Bennett, who exited spring practice as the Bulldogs’ No. 2 quarterback behind junior Jake Fromm. For the day, he went 12-of-23 passing for 210 yards and a touchdown while playing for both teams. That broke down as 4-of-9 for 82 yards with no TDs or interceptions with the Black squad and 8-of-14 for 128 yards and a score with the Red team. Bennett was charged with one sack for minus-5 yards with the Black as well. “It was pretty special,” said Bennett, who transferred back to Georgia after spending last season at Jones County (Miss.) Junior College. “I’ll probably look back over the summer and appreciate it more. This was my second game in Sanford Stadium and it was a little bit better than the first one. It was pretty cool.” It represented a much better day under much better circumstances than Bennett experienced during the 2018 G-Day Game. Bennett also played for both squads that day but left feeling like he wasn’t given a fair shake to compete with Justin Fields for backup duties behind Fromm. Fields has, of course, since transferred to Ohio State. Now Bennett is competing with true freshman D’Wan Mathis for the backup spot. “I felt more like a quarterback today than just piece like I did last year,” said bennett, who was a combined 5-of-9 for 73 yards for both squads in the 2018 G-Day Game. “I felt good coming out here and playing with my buddies and playing well, having them make plays. It was pretty cool I enjoyed it.” Mathis had a decent Saturday as well. Operating with a pared-down offensive package, the 6-foot-6, 210-pound Mathis was 15-of-28 for 113 yards throwing the ball and had a 20-yard run off a scramble. But he was also sacked five times and threw an interception. Fromm was disappointed with a day that saw him complete only 14-of-29 passes for 116 yards and throw a pick-6 on the Red Team’s first offensive possession. He threw got one 13-yard touchdown on a check-down throw to running back Brian Herrien in the third quarter. Overall, it was only a so-so day for quarterbacks and the Georgia offense. But nobody is expecting the outcome to affect the depth chart going forward. The Bulldogs will enter fall camp with the same pecking order it started spring camp. That is, with a depth chart the sets up as Fromm, Bennett and Mathis, in that order. “Both those guys did a nice job of managing it,” coach Kirby Smart said of Bennett and Mathis. “A lot of throwing situations, not a lot of (elaborate) defenses. … We scaled back a lot of the offense. A lot of the new things we’re doing weren’t in that package today. But I was pleased with the way Stetson and D’Wan managed the game and that’s important for their growth. They’re only going to get better through practicing and repping and playing in that kind of environment.” Bennett certainly came away feeling a lot more positive about his situation than he did this time a year ago. He said he knows he’s not about to unseat Fromm as the starter and that there is no guarantee that he’ll even be the primary backup ahead of Mathis by the time the season starts on Aug. 31. “I don’t really know,” he said of his role this season. “My goal is for us to win a national championship, win the SEC, win the East, beat Vandy up there in Nashville in the first game of the season. Just to win, play really well and play Georgia football, play for these fans who came out here today, 52,000 of them in not great weather. That’s really my goal for the season, just be the best I can be.” Bennett’s situation could be entirely different. After his season in junior college, he received multiple offers from non-Power 5 schools who offered him the opportunity to become a first-year starter. But playing football at Georgia always has been priority one for Bennett, who grew up in Blackshear as the son of a alumni parents. “Somebody asked me, ‘why’d you come back if you’re going to have all these 5-stars ahead of you?’ I’ll answer it the same way: I don’t really worry about who else is coming in,” Bennett said. “I don’t really worry about who’s here. If I can just do my part for the team and get better every single day, then I’m fine with it. So, you know, I’m just going to compete every day with myself and try to make the best throws at practice and we’ll see how it works out.” But no matter how you slice it up, it’s a better situation than Bennett had when he decided to transfer to junior college last summer. “I’m not going to transfer this summer; I’m not going to show up in the portal, so that’s different,” Bennett said with a laugh. “It was better. I got more reps this spring, played better, my team won, because I flip-flopped and was on the Red Team at the end.” The post WATCH: Role on team still undefined, QB Stetson Bennett in it for long haul Bulldogs appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Football is a game that’s amazing when shown live, and sometimes even more fascinating on replay. The cuts, catches and collisions that “wow” us in the moment are most often just as impressive — if not more so — in slow motion. The so-called “broken” plays can’t be explained in the moment, but film review tells all as Kirby Smart and his coaching staff could attest. The @UGAAthletics Twitter account put out a highlight reel from the G-Day Game that will excite Georgia fans who saw those plays for the first time — and inform those who were with family or on business and couldn’t watch the game. It’s worth the click, as several new faces and numbers appear on the verge of starring roles with the Bulldogs’ national championship contending 2019 team. It’s an impressive collection of Eric Stokes’ Pick-6, D’Andre Swift’s electric cut on soggy turf, Brian Herrien’s bulldozer run past J.R. Reed and the surprisingly effective passes from backup quarterbacks Stetson Bennett and D’Wan Mathis.   Couldn’t make it to #GDay? We’ve got you covered with the highlights. #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/hRCrxsekpP — Georgia Bulldogs (@UGAAthletics) April 22, 2019   Georgia football DawgNation G-Day Game Kirby comments on freshmen phenom linebackers Nakobe Dean, Nolan Smith WATCH: Brian Herrien looks strong in G-Day Game WATCH: Matt Landers discusses his G-Day performance WATCH: Georgia G-Day Game beat writers breakdown RELATED: Eric Stokes experiences good and bad at cornerback WATCH: Kirby Smart shares thoughts on G-Day Game Georgia football lands major commitment on G-Day Demetris Robertson illness revealed by Kirby Smart Stock report from Georgia G-Day Game Instant analysis of Georgia football G-Day Game Georgia G-Day Game football report card   The post WATCH: ‘Wow’ plays abound in Georgia athletics G-Day Game highlight video appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia hasn’t wasted any time testing freshmen early enrollee linebackers Nakobe Dean and Nolan Smith. The trend continued on Saturday in the G-Day Game, with Dean and Smith getting repetitions with the Black Team, which featured the first-team defense.. Coach Kirby Smart said it had to do with how repetitions were distributed. But it also provided the coaching staff with a look at how Dean and Smith would fare in reps against the first string offense of the Red Team. Dean proved active, making five tackles with a pass break-up against the first-team offense. Dean is an instinctive inside linebacker with great acceleration to the football, and he appeared surprisingly comfortable and agile in pass coverage. Senior Tae Crowder and junior Monty Rice exit spring drills with the upper hand at inside linebackers, both tested veterans. But Smart left the door open for Dean to continue to compete for a starting position. “His role could be as much as a starting linebacker, or his role could be as much a special teams player this year, he could be at third down guy,” Smart said when asked by DawgNation about Dean’s role moving forward. “It’s going to be determined by the other players and himself, and how much he grows and gets better.” Smith’s day was considerably quieter. The No. 1-ranked recruit in the 2019 signing class was often matched with Outland Trophy candidate Andrew Thomas. Still, it was worth noting how Smart and other UGA players praised Smith throughout much of spring drills. The UGA coaching staff talked Smith up to the SEC Network commentators during the G-Day Game broadcast prep. “Nolan Smith is a highly touted recruit, a guy who came up in a lot in our conversions with coaches,” former UGA lineman and College Football Hall of Fame 2018 inductee Matt Stinchcomb said. “He’s a guy who can bend the edge, but his work ethic was what really impressed.” Smart said both Dean and Smith have had a great “progression” this spring. “They are both very bright, they are both very sharp, intelligent, mature freshmen,” Smart said. “But they have not been through a college football fall, they have not been through a college football game. “They haven’t played in an SEC game, and they both have a lot of growing to do. But I’m pleased with where they are.” Georgia football DawgNation G-Day Game WATCH: Brian Herrien looks strong in G-Day Game WATCH: Matt Landers discusses his G-Day performance WATCH: Georgia G-Day Game beat writers breakdown RELATED: Eric Stokes experiences good and bad at cornerback WATCH: Kirby Smart shares thoughts on G-Day Game Georgia football lands major commitment on G-Day Demetris Robertson illness revealed by Kirby Smart Stock report from Georgia G-Day Game Instant analysis of Georgia football G-Day Game Georgia G-Day Game football report card   The post Georgia G-Day Game: Nakobe Dean active inside, Nolan Smith bottled up outside appeared first on DawgNation.