On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

heavy-rain-night
47°
Few Showers
H 61° L 57°
  • heavy-rain-night
    47°
    Current Conditions
    Few Showers. H 61° L 57°
  • rain-day
    55°
    Afternoon
    Few Showers. H 61° L 57°
  • cloudy-day
    58°
    Evening
    Cloudy. H 61° L 57°
College
Anatomy of a lineup: The makeup of the highly-touted 2019 Georgia Bulldogs might surprise you
Close

Anatomy of a lineup: The makeup of the highly-touted 2019 Georgia Bulldogs might surprise you

Anatomy of a lineup: The makeup of the highly-touted 2019 Georgia Bulldogs might surprise you

Anatomy of a lineup: The makeup of the highly-touted 2019 Georgia Bulldogs might surprise you

Georgia football-Anatomy of a lineup-Georgia Bulldogs

SUNDAY READER

ATHENS — The general thought on the Georgia Bulldogs heading into the 2019 season is they’re going to be better offensively than defensively. There’s data beyond tackles and touchdowns that backs that up.

The Bulldogs already have been established as a consensus Top 4 team and one of the favorites to contend for the College Football Playoff spot this coming season. Obviously, that means coach Kirby Smart has put together a talented football team for the third year in a row.

Kendall Milton-UGA recruiting-Georgia recruiting
Georgia’s 2020 recruiting is going the way of the Kirby Smart’s last three classes. That is, among the top in the country including the likes of No. 1 running back Kendall Milton (second from left). (Charles Felder/Special to DawgNation)

But DawgNation has taken a closer look and broken down the projected starting lineup for the Bulldogs’ season opener on the road at Vanderbilt (Aug. 31, 6:30 p.m., SEC Network) to examine exactly what is the recruiting profile and makeup of what’s expected to be perhaps Smart’s best team so far.

Some of the revelations are surprising, some not so much.

For instance, we all know that Smart and his staff have been all-star recruiters since they arrived in town. His first four classes at Georgia have carried an average national recruiting ranking of No. 3 (6, 3, 1, 2, respectively). The one currently being assembled for 2020 is ranked No. 4 at the moment. So it follows that Georgia is should be fielding good teams.

Accordingly, the majority of the projected starting lineup for this year’s opener comes from the last three classes. While some from the 2016 class might be considered holdovers from the previous regime, Smart gets full credit for the last three and, by extension, the majority of this year’s squad.

That will be reflected in the projected lineup against the Commodores. Only six of the starting 22 came from the 2016 class or before. Linebacker Tae Crowder holds the distinction as the sole Mark Richt recruit in the starting lineup. Then again, there just aren’t that many redshirt seniors on the team period.

A few other observations from the accumulated data:

  • Fifteen of the 22 projected offensive and defensive starters (68.2%) are from the state of Georgia. That includes guys from places like IMG Academy in Florida. That’s where they attended high school briefly, not their residence. The other starters are from Florida (2), Alabama (1), New York (1), North Carolina (1), Pennsylvania (1) and Texas (1).
  • The average star-rating for Georgia’s offensive players versus its defensive players is 4.09 to 3.82. That’s based on the industry-accepted composite ranking of 247Sports, which takes into account the rankings of all services. Therefore, to be considered a 5-star, one must be a consensus 5-star and not just garner the rating from one service.
  • It’s a moving target by the Bulldogs at one time had the most 5-star recruits on its roster. Six are expected to be in the starting lineup versus Vandy, three on offense and three on defense.
  • Stars aren’t the best measure for one’s recruiting pedigree, however. There are high-4-stars and low-4-stars are everything in between. Fortunately, the 247 composite goes deep in their assessment and gives each individual prospect a national prospect. And that’s where the makeup of Georgia’s lineup gets really interesting.
  • On offense, the average national ranking of each individual player is 181. That includes a high of No. 1 for receiver Demetris Robertson and a low of 1,051 for left guard Solomon Kindley. The average national position ranking on that side of the ball is 21.09, though not every player plays the same position now at which he was projected as a prospect.
  • The defense is notably lower-rated on all counts. The average national prospect ranking is a fluffy 555.4. The average national position ranking is 50.18, though many of the players aren’t playing those projected positions.
  • The lowest, or worse, ranking on defense belongs to Tae Crowder, who was rated the 1,863rd prospect in the Class of 2015. But that was as a wide receiver. Crowder actually was signed by the Bulldogs as a running back and now he’s a middle linebacker. So do with that what you wish.
  • Senior J.R. Reed was actually rated just seven spots higher than Crowder at 1,856. He was considered a cornerback then. Now he’s an All-America candidate at free safety.
  • The highest ranking on the defensive side of the ball belongs to cornerback Tyson Campbell. He’s was rated 12th overall and No. 2 at his position when he signed with the Bulldogs out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Of course, he lost his starting position last year to Eric Stokes, ranked 668th and 63rd at cornerback out of Covington’s Eastside High.

What’s it all mean?

Really, only that good players come from everywhere in all shapes and sizes and with widely varying prospect profiles. That’s why scouting and development are so important, and the Bulldogs seem to be scoring well on both counts.

Also, we can quibble all summer and into the fall about who will actually be in the starting lineup. There’s not a lot of argument to be made about quarterback Jake Fromm or running back D’Andre Swift. But, otherwise, Georgia has a bunch of other unresolved position battles heading into preseason camp, and Smart likes to mix-and-match situationally, especially on defense. So that’s moot exercise.

For the sake of transparency, though, we went with Demetris Robertson in the slot. He may not end up actually being in the starting lineup and his No. 1 ranking might’ve inflated the overall offensive rating. But if he’s not, his playing time might default to either of two 5-star signees Dominick Blaylock or George Pickens, or at least high 4-star Kearis Jackson. Conversely, though, the low-rated offensive line prospect Kindley could be supplanted in the starting lineup by anyone of several 5-stars, which would take the overall ranking higher.

Defensively, there’s still a lot to be sorted out, too. We went with 5-star signee Brenton Cox at the jack outside linebacker, but that could easily have gone to fellow 5-stars Adam Anderson or Robert Beal. Should freshman Nolan Smith end up winning the position, it’d inflate the ranking even more as he was considered the No. 1 overall prospect in America. Same with Nakobe Dean at inside linebacker.

There are many other conclusions to draw from this data. And, of course, Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State could make many of the same claims.

But breaking it down this way and debating who’s going to be where is a fun exercise during the dog days of summer. Please check out the breakdown below and share your own observations in the comments section.

ANATOMY OF THE LINEUP

— OFFENSE —

QB Jake Fromm

  • As a prospect: 4-star ranking, 44th nationally, 3rd at position
  • As a player: Played in all 29 games in his first two seasons, including 28 starts. Georgia is 24-5 in those games. Fromm has completed 64.8 percent of his passes for 5,364 yards and 54 touchdowns with 13 interceptions. Realistic candidate for all national awards, including Heisman Trophy and All-American.

RB D’Andre Swift

  • As a prospect: 5-star rating, No. 23 national ranking and No. 4 at position
  • As a player: Swift rushed for 618 yards and 3 touchdowns as an understudy to Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. He overcame early injury issues last year to lead the Bulldogs with 1,049 yards and 10 TDs and added another 32 catches and 3 scores as a receiver. If he can stay healthy and be Georgia’s featured back all year as expected, he’ll be a Heisman Trophy contender.

WR J.J. Holloman

  • As a prospect: 4-star ranking, 125th nationally, 18th at position
  • As a player: Played in 19 of 29 games, including five starts and all 14 games as a sophomore. Was team’s fifth-leading receiver last year (24-418-5 TDs) but enters his junior season considered Georgia’s top wideout.

TE Charlie Woerner

  • As a prospect: Signed as a wide receiver.  4-star rating, 138th nationally, No. 25 at position
  • As a player: Switched to tight end as a freshman. Played in 32 of 39 games in first three seasons with five starts. Nine catches each of last two seasons with 23 for 271 for his career. Yet to score. Sidelined with broken leg at end of 2017 season. With early departure of Isaac Nauta for NFL, only experienced tight end

LT Andrew Thomas

  • As a prospect:  4-star rating, ranking 45th nationally, No. 9 at position
  • As a player: Started every game he’s played in his career, all 15 at right tackle as a freshman and all 13 at left tackle as a sophomore. Missed one game last year due to ankle injury from previous contest. Consensus all-conference and All-American.

LG Solomon Kindley

  • As a prospect: Signed as offensive tackle. 3-star rating, ranked 1,051st nationally, 89th at his position.
  • As a player: After a redshirt year in 2016, Kindley has played in every game the last two seasons, with 21 starts, including every game last season. Played 75 percent of the snaps in SEC play last season.

C Trey Hill

  • As a prospect: 4-star rating, ranked No. 63 nationally and third at his position. Signed as guard.
  • As a player: Played in all 14 games as a freshman, starting the last four at right guard as injuries sidelined Ben Cleveland and Cade Mays. Also filled in for starting center Lamont Gaillard. Won the center position in spring camp.

RG Ben Cleveland

  • As a prospect: 4-star rating, ranked No. 90 nationally and 10th at position. Signed as tackle.
  • As a player: After redshirting his first year, Cleveland beat out Kindley for the starting job at right guard for the last four games of the 2017 season, which included an SEC championship and run through the CFB Playoffs. Started the first four games of last season before a broken leg against Missouri sidelined him for the season as an offensive lineman. Won back the starting job over Cade Mays and Jamaree Salyer in spring practice.

RT Isaiah Wilson

  • As a prospect: 5-star rating, No. 16 nationally, fifth at position
  • As a player: Conditioning and heat acclimation led to first-year redshirt for the Brooklyn native. Earned freshman All-America honors last year after starting every game at right tackle

WR Tyler Simmons

  • As a prospect: 3-star rating, ranked 383rd nationally and No. 65 at his position.
  • As a player: Simmons earned his place as a special teams player and blocking specialist on offense. He didn’t get his first of six starts as a receiver until his junior season. Now a senior, Simmons has 14 catches for 183 yards and two TDs in his career. But he’s one of the team’s fastest players and the thought is he has more to offer as a receiving target.

WR Demetris Robertson

  • As a prospect: 5-star rating, No. 13 nationally, No. 1 at position
  • As a player: Robertson earned freshman All-America honors when caught 50 passes for 767 yards and 7 touchdowns at Cal. But he hasn’t been able to replicate that production since transferring to UGA before last season. He played in only nine games as a sophomore and, remarkably, did not record a catch. However, his blazing speed resulted in 109 yards rushing on four carries, including a 72-yard TD in the season opener. Continued improvement on the playbook, sight-adjustments and blocking must be demonstrated to earn more playing time as a junior.

— DEFENSE —

CB Eric Stokes

  • As a prospect: 3-star rating, 668th nationally, 63rd at position
  • As a player: A track star in high school, Stokes redshirted as a freshman, was pressed into duty due to an injury to Tyson Campbell, then edged Campbell in the battle for playing time opposite of star corner Deandre Baker. One of the fastest players on the team, his DB skills have started to catch up with his speed.

CB Tyson Campbell

  • As a prospect: 5-star rating, No. 12 nationally, No. 2 at position
  • As a player: Campbell lived up to his lofty billing by starting the first 10 games of his freshman season. But as Baker’s star rose, Campbell found himself increasingly targeted on his side of the field. Loss of confidence and fundamental breakdowns led to Stokes getting three of the last four starts at corner and one for Tyrique McGhee.

FS J.R. Reed

  • As a prospect: 3-star rating; 1,856th nationally, No. 157 as cornerback
  • As a player: Went to University of Tulsa out of Frisco, Texas, and only played sparingly before transferring to UGA and sitting out per NCAA rules. Quickly blossomed under the tutelage of former DBs coach/coordinator Mel Tucker and has started all 29 games he’s played at Georgia. Now serves as brains and brawn of the secondary.

SS Richard LeCounte

  • As a prospect: 5-star rating, 25th nationally, No. 2 at position
  • As a player: Arrived somewhat raw in defensive fundamentals but with off-the-charts athleticism. Spent his freshman season as backup to Dominick Sanders, but moved into a starting role last season and started 13 of the 14 games.

LB Monty Rice

  • As a prospect: 4-star rating, 334th nationally, 18th at position
  • As a player: Rice’s tremendous potential first became evident when he got his first start as a freshman filling in for an injured Roquan Smith. Rice had four tackles against Missouri that day and has been impressing ever since. He started five of nine games last year but has been dogged by injuries, which kept him out of the last four games. Could be a star with a full, healthy season.

LB Tae Crowder

  • As a prospect: 3-star rating, ranked 1,868th nationally and 221st at his position (actually wide receiver)
  • As a player: Crowder became a prospect at Harris County High as a wide receiver, switched to running back during his senior season and signed with the Bulldogs as a back. However, he never recorded an in-game carry and, after a redshirt season in 2015, was moved to inside linebacker in the middle of the 2016 season. After playing in only one game that season, he has played in 28 of 29 the last two, including five starts last year. Slated to start this year at middle linebacker.

OLB Walter Grant

  • As a prospect: 4-star rating, 202nd nationally, No. 11 at position
  • As a player: Grant has played in every game for Georgia since he arrived from Cairo High. His work came mainly on special teams as a freshman, but he started 8 games at Sam (strongside) linebacker last year. Unfortunately, Grant mans a position that is proving increasingly obsolete against today’s spread offenses. Got some looks at running back and tight end this spring.

OLB Brenton Cox

  • As a prospect: 5-star rating, No. 23 nationally, third at position
  • As a player: This is an unresolved competition that just as easily could end up being Adam Anderson, Robert Beal, Azeez Ojulari or Nolan Smith. The interesting aspect is they all share similar recruiting profiles as top-rated, elite prospects. Cox did not distinguish himself when forced into action for an injured D’Andre Walker in the SEC Championship Game. But he has played more and been more productive than others in the competition for playing time.

DE David Marshall

  • As a prospect: 3-star rating, 433rd nationally and No. 19 as defensive end
  • As a player: The senior Marshall has a lot of experience and playing time, but it has typically been in a specialized role as a run-stopper while sharing time with Jonathan Ledbetter. So his production of 58 tackles in 32 games and just seven starts doesn’t jump off the stat sheet. But Marshall’s absence was evident last season when he missed the last eight games with a broken foot. He was extremely limited in spring practice as well. Again, he’ll be sharing playing time with Malik Herring and Julian Rochester, at the least.

DT Tyler Clark

  • As a prospect: 4-star rating, 264th nationally and No. 27 at his position.
  • As a player: Everybody is still waiting for the same Clark to emerge who dominated the second half against Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl in 2017. He hasn’t been bad and actually has been the best of the Bulldogs’ tackles, but he hasn’t made enough of the impactful “havoc plays” coach Kirby Smart so desires from his defensive front. Clark has played in all but one game since arriving from Americus in 2016 and that includes 22 starts. But several young prospects will be trying to steal playing time, and Clark needs a big year to attract NFL attention.

NG Jordan Davis

  • As a prospect: 3-star rating, 424th nationally, No. 29 at position
  • As a player: Davis is one of those great stories where he proved much better than his recruiting profile. The 6-foot-6, 330-pounder over game weight and conditioning issues to earn a starting job midway through his freshman season and, after recording 25 tackles and 1.5 sacks, was named a freshman All-American. He will need to continue to demonstrate that sharp rate of progress for the Bulldogs to take another step toward becoming an elite defense.

The post Anatomy of a lineup: The makeup of the highly-touted 2019 Georgia Bulldogs might surprise you appeared first on DawgNation.

Read More

Local News

  • ATLANTA Georgia football got the AllState Sugar Bowl invitation everyone expected and will face Baylor at 8:45 p.m. on Jan. 1 in New Orleans. The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) are making a repeat trip to Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where last year they came off an SEC Championship Game loss and were defeated by Texas, 28-21. Big 12 runner-up Baylor (11-2) is coming off a 30-23 overtime loss to College Football Playoff semifinalist Oklahoma on Saturday. This marks the fifth time the Bulldogs and the Bears have met, UGA holding a 4-0 series lead with all four prior meetings taking place in Athens. This marks Georgia's 10th Sugar Bowl appearance and fourth in the past 18 years. The Bulldogs have played in the Sugar Bowl more than any other postseason game. It's a rich history that includes the program's most recent national championship, a 17-10 win over Notre Dame on Jan. 1, 1981. Kirby Smart's current Bulldogs entered this season with national championship aspirations, but injuries took a toll, particularly in the receiver ranks where there was already heavy attrition. Georgia lost its top five pass catchers from the 2018 season, and the passing game took a major hit when go-to target Lawrence Cager suffered shoulder, rib and ankle injuries the second half of the season. Freshman Dominick Blaylock, another of the Bulldogs top targets, suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 37-20 SEC Championship Game loss o LSU on Saturday. Blaylock has a torn ACL. Georgia also figures to be without junior tailback D'Andre Swift, who was limited to five touches in the SEC title game on account of a shoulder injury. Swift is expected to declare himself eligible for the NFL Draft and not play in the bowl game. Bulldogs' junior All-American left tackle Andrew Thomas is also headed tor the NFL Draft, but Thomas might still decide to play in the Sugar Bowl as he has maintained his health throughout the season. DawgNation Georgia football D'Andre Swift discusses limits and pain in SEC Championship Jake Fromm makes no excuses after defeat in SEC Championship Game What's next for Georgia football: Bowl bid, players leaving, staff changes WATCH: Kirby Smart sheds light on LSU, Jake Fromm passing issues Bulldogs stock report, LSU crashes Mercedes-Benz Stadium How LSU beat Georgia in SEC title game, scoring, injuries The post Georgia football lands Sugar Bowl bid, aims for sweet ending against Baylor appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Joe Burrow collected a shiny award as the game's MVP. LSU's fans had another trophy on their minds. 'Heisman! Heisman! Heisman!' they chanted. The coronation is likely complete. Burrow turned in another dazzling performance on the big stage, leading No. 1 LSU to a spot in the College Football Playoff with a 37-10 rout of No. 4 Georgia in the Southeastern Conference championship game Saturday. “Joe is the heartbeat of this team,” running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire said. The Tigers, going for their first national title since 2007 season, will either return to Atlanta or head west to suburban Phoenix for a semifinal game on Dec. 28. They surely made a persuasive case to be the top overall seed when the four-team field. and pairings are announced Sunday. Burrow was all over the stat sheet for LSU (13-0, No. 2 CFP). He threw for 349 yards and four touchdowns. He was the Tigers' second-leading rusher with 41 yards on 11 carries, often leaving the Bulldogs grasping at air as he twirled this way and that. He even caught a pass on a ball that was batted down at the line and wound up his arms, taking off for a 16-yard gain. ''He's a great athlete, man,' Georgia safety J.R. Reed said. “We had a lot of plays out there we were supposed to make, and he'd just squeeze out of it.' The Heisman-worthy moment came late in the third quarter. With Georgia (11-2, No 4 CFP) bringing the heat, Burrow spun to his left to get away from lineman Travon Walker, whirled back to his right to send Walker sprawling to the turf, then delivered a pass on the run while sprinting toward the LSU sideline with another defender in hot pursuit. Justin Jefferson hauled in the throw just beyond midfield and took off down to the Bulldogs 9 for a 71-yard play. Three plays later, Burrow delivered his third TD pass of the game, hooking up with Terrace Marshall Jr., on a 4-yard touchdown pass that essentially finished off the Bulldogs. “It was all improvised,” Burrow said. “Justin ran a 6-yard hitch route and saw me scrambling and took off deep. We got a great feel for each other. I knew exactly where he was going to be when I got out of there.” Burrow wasn't done. Derek Stingley's second pick of Jake Fromm turned the ball back over to the prolific LSU offense at the 13, and Burrow wasted no time finding Jefferson for an 8-yard TD in the waning seconds of the third quarter to send many in the predominantly Georgia crowd heading for the exits. LSU left no doubt it is the king of the mighty SEC, completing its run through a gauntlet of the league's top teams. The Tigers had already knocked off Alabama, Florida and Auburn. Now, they can add the Bulldogs to the list, ensuring the SEC will only get one team in the national playoff. LSU came into the game as the second-highest scoring team in the country behind Ohio State. They figured to have a tougher time against Georgia's stellar defense, ranked No. 2 in points allowed. but Burrow kept the Bulldogs on their heels the entire game. It was by far the most points Georgia has given up their season. Until Saturday, they held every opponent under 20 except South Carolina, which stunned the Bulldogs in double overtime nearly two months ago. There was no such drama in this one. Just total domination by the Tigers. It was a painful loss — literally — for the Bulldogs, who were making their third straight appearance in the SEC title game. Two players were carted off the field with apparently major injuries. Another player wobbled off with a concussion after being leveled on a kickoff. Fromm twisted an ankle and had to go to the medical tent to get taped up, though he missed only one play. Not that it mattered. Fromm, who guided Georgia to the cusp of the national title two years ago as a freshman, was 20 of 42 for 225 yards with those two interceptions. He didn't get much help from his teammates: Tyler Simmons dropped a deep ball on the very first possession, and Matt Landers couldn't hang on to a throw in the end zone. Georgia finally reached the end zone with just under 12 minutes remaining on Fromm's 2-yard TD pass to George Pickens. “That is a really good football team,” coach Kirby Smart said. “We were going to have to make explosive plays. We were unable to do that.” INJURY REPORT Georgia's sideline looked like a M(asterisk)A(asterisk)S(asterisk)H unit. Receiver Dominick Blaylock crumpled to the turf after going up for a catch in the first quarter. He was carted to the locker room with a left knee injury. Outside linebacker Walter Grant suffered a concussion in the third quarter from a special teams hit. LSU’s Tory Carter was ejected for targeting. Backup middle linebacker Quay Walker (right shoulder) and cornerback Tyrique Stevenson (apparent leg injury) also left the field with injuries. Star running back D'Andre Swift clearly wasn't at full strength, either, after going out of the regular-season finale against Georgia Tech with should injury. He had just two carries for 13 yards. THE TAKEAWAY LSU: The Tigers could certainly take pride in putting up 481 yards on a defense of Georgia's caliber, but the most encouraging aspect of this game was another strong performance from LSU's defense. Maligned much of the season, they followed up a 50-7 rout of Texas A&M in the regular-season finale with another championship-worthy showing against the Bulldogs, who were held to 286 yards. Georgia: Fromm came into the season projected as a high NFL draft pick who would likely go pro after his junior season. Now, it's not a reach to say he might be better off returning for his senior season to try to boost his stock. He has now failed to complete even half his passes in five straight games. UP NEXT LSU: Makes its first appearance in the College Football Playoff, which began in 2014. The Tigers last played for a national title during the 2011 season, when they won 13 straight games before a dismal 21-0 loss to Alabama in the BCS championship game. Georgia: Appears likely to make its second straight appearance in the Sugar Bowl against Baylor, loser of the Big 12 championship game. ___ More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25 ___ Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963 His work can be found at https://apnews.com
  • 21 faculty members across UGA’s schools and colleges met to discuss the development of UGA’s Innovation District on Dec. 3 in the Peabody Board Room of the Administration Building. The Innovation District Faculty Advisory Council will meet throughout the year to provide input on the Innovation District initiative, with particular focus on programming, resources and support for research commercialization and university-industry engagement. The council will be led by the Innovation District leadership team: Kyle Tschepikow, special assistant to the president and director for strategy and innovation; David Lee, vice president for research; and Rahul Shrivastav, vice president for instruction. The members of the council are: Jenay Beer, Insitute of Gerontology Karen Burg, College of Veterinary Medicine Justin Conrad, School of Public and International Affairs Andrew Crain, Graduate School Joseph Dahlen, Warnell School of Forestry Naola Ferguson-Noel, Poultry Diagnostic and Research Center Chris Garvin, Lamar Dodd School of Art Chris Gerlach, New Media Institute Kristina Jaskyte, Institute for Nonprofit Organizations Kirk Kealey, Food Product Innovation and Commercialization Center Eileen Kennedy, College of Pharmacy William Kisaalita, College of Engineering Kevin McCully, College of Education Sergiy Minko, College of Family and Consumer Sciences Michael Myers, Small Business Development Center Jonathan Murrow, AU/UGA Medical Partnership Usha Rodrigues, School of Law Pejman Rohani, Odum School of Ecology Christine Szymanski, Complex Carbohydrates Research Center Amitabh Verma, College of Environment and Design Dee Warmath, College of Family and Consumer Sciences
  • U.S. Rep. Doug Collins was as pugnacious as ever as he delivered his opening remarks during Wednesday’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on impeachment. The Gainesville Republican repeated his critique that the Democratic-led investigation was primarily fueled by contempt for President Donald Trump. He described the probe as a rushed attempt to ram through charges without evidence that the president had done anything wrong. “This is nothing new, folks; this is sad,” said Collins, the ranking Republican on the committee. There were some points of levity — including when Collins joked about the room’s chilly temperature and uncomfortable chairs — but most of his comments were pointed and biting, both toward the Democrats on the committee and the three constitutional law experts who backed impeachment. Collins also used his opening statement to criticize the decision to invite four constitutional law experts to the hearing, three of whom were recommended by Democrats and one called by Republicans. One of them, Stanford University law professor Pamela Karlan later said she took offense at his insinuation they had not reviewed the House Intelligence Committee’s impeachment report before testifying. “Mr. Collins, I would like to say to you, sir, that I read transcripts of every one of the witnesses who appeared in the live hearing because I would not speak about these things without reviewing the facts,” she said. “So I’m insulted by the suggestion that as a law professor I don’t care about those facts.” Throughout the meeting, Collins and other Republicans forced procedural votes on requests varying from postponing the hearing to requiring House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and an anonymous whistleblower to testify. Democrats, who are in the majority, objected each time.
  • The Athens Symphony will perform the first ever public performance of a new arrangement of “O Holy Night” at their annual Christmas concerts on December 7 and 8.    The piece, arranged by Hollywood film scorer Chad Rehmann, was initially featured in the 2018 film A Christmas Arrangement. Following rave reviews, Rehmann re-arranged the score for orchestral performance and dedicated it to his wife Kari.    “After reaching out to a few regional orchestras known for their holiday concerts,” said Rehmann, “Brad Maffett (Athens Symphony’s Associate Conductor) contacted me expressing interest in performing the work. The more we corresponded, the more excited I became about the Athens Symphony premiering this work, especially given the ensemble’s commitment to family-friendly programming and its focus on a relationship with the Athens community. “   The Symphony will host Rehmann at the December 7 concert with a red-carpet welcome planned for 7:30 p.m.    A Christmas Tradition   A longstanding tradition, the Athens Symphony’s annual Christmas Concerts bring Athenians and Northeast Georgia residents together to celebrate with classic Christmas favorites, a sing-along, and even a visit from Santa.    “The Athens Symphony Christmas Concerts are known for being premier events of the holiday season in our community, bringing people from all walks of life together to celebrate the season,” said Symphony Executive Director Dr Richard Hudson. “It’s a privilege that the Symphony is able to continue its mission of providing free concerts that are open to everyone, knowing that the power of music is a unifying force.”   Complimentary tickets will be available at The Classic Center Box Office beginning Nov. 25 and are required for entry into the concerts, which will be held Saturday, December 7 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 8 at 3:00 p.m.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS Georgia has opened as a 7 1/2-point favorite over Baylor in the AllState Sugar Bowl Game, according to VegasInsider.com. The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) and No. 7 Bears (11-2) are both coming off losses in their respective conference championship games. Georgia got manhandled by No. 1-ranked LSU, falling 37-10 in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Saturday. Baylor, meanwhile, lost its rematch with No. 4 Oklahoma in overtime, falling 30-23 to the Sooners at . The Bulldogs could be without some marquee players in the Sugar Bowl. Junior tailback D'Andre Swift has been dealing with an injured shoulder that led him to a limited role against LSU. Swift, who has indicated he will declare himself eligible for the upcoming NFL draft, had just two carries and three catches, none after the first series of the third quarter. Georgia junior offensive tackle Andrew Thomas is widely projected as a Top 10 pick, but Thomas seemed to leave the door open to playing following Saturday night's loss in Atlanta. Smart said he learned last season to only bring the players to the bowl site who are 'engaged' and want to be there. 'Bottom line is, it's your job to go play in a football game, and you get a great opportunity,' Smart said on the Sunday night Sugar Bowl teleconference. 'There's a lot of teams all across the country that would be dying to play in a game like this, he said. 'We're gonna sell it that way. It's a once in lifetime opportunity to be Sugar Bowl champs. 'We're going to take the ones that want to do that and want to play well.' The Bulldogs will also be without two of their top three receivers, both sidelined by injuries. Graduate transfer Lawrence Cager underwent ankle surgery on Nov. 29 and is in the early stages of recovery. Freshman Dominick Blaylock suffered a torn ACL in the first half of the SEC Championship Game and will be aiming for the start of fall drills. Smart is also dealing with a coaching vacancy, with celebrated offensive line coach Sam Pittman taking the Arkansas head coaching job on Sunday night. SEC bowl games Dec. 27, Academy Spors & Outdoors Texas Bowl, Houston Texas A&M -5 over Oklahoma State Dec. 28, Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl, CFP Playoff Semifinal, Atlanta LSU -13 over Oklahoma Dec. 30, Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, Nashville Mississippi State vs. Louisville, no line yet Dec. 30, Capital One Orange Bowl, Miami Florida 13 1/2 over Virginia Dec. 31, Belk Bowl, Charlotte Kentucky vs. Virginia Tech, no line yet Jan. 1, Outback Bowl, Tampa Auburn 7 1/2 over Minnesota Jan. 1 VRBO Citrus Bowl, Orlando Alabama -7 over Michigan Jan. 1 All State Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Georgia -7 1/2 over Baylor Jan. 2 TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, Jacksonville Tennessee vs. Indiana, no line yet The post Georgia football favored by more than a touchdown over Baylor in Sugar Bowl appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS The Georgia football program is spinning around Kirby Smart with the possibility of coaches and players coming or going. The Bulldogs' head coach, fresh off his fourth regular season, remains calm in the center of it all. Smart, master of time management, has his to-do list in order and seems to be taking the approach the chips will fall where they may in the aftermath of an 11-2 season that has his program ranked No. 5 and headed for the Sugar Bowl to play Baylor. Smart calmly addressed Sunday reports that celebrated offensive line coach Sam Pittman could be headed for Arkansas as the Razorbacks head coach when asked by DawgNation on the Sunday night Sugar Bowl teleconference. 'You always hear rumors flying around and different things, and you don't know what to be true and what's not,' Smart said. 'Right now, we're focused on the Sugar Bowl and getting ready for it.' A source at Arkansas told DawgNation on Sunday night that Arkansas has had several candidates fall through, and that Pittman is indeed in play. Smart said he doesn't have a clear idea of which players will be traveling to New Orleans to play the No. 7-ranked Bears in the 8:45 p.m. game on Jan. 1 at the Mercedes-Benz Dome. Smart confirmed that receiver Dominick Blaylock (ACL) is out for the season. Smart also said it's 'very doubtful' that grad-transfer Lawrence Cager will be healed up from the ankle surgery he underwent on Nov. 29. The other Georgia players who were knocked out of the SEC Championship Game are expected to be back, Smart said. The Bulldogs have a handful of underclassmen, however, who could be leaving early for the NFL draft and may elect not to play in the game. 'That's obviously a fluid situation, I think we'll find out more as it comes about,' Smart said. 'Guys really haven't had time to sit back and evaluate where they are and get information. We really only had one last year, and that was Deandre Baker. '(So) I don't know where that will fall, and I'm really not concerned with that right now as much as I am finishing up final exams, and finishing up recruiting, and then getting started on Baylor.' Junior tailback D'Andre Swift is not expected to play in the Sugar Bowl, while offensive tackle Andrew Thomas has left the possibility open. Junior quarterback Jake Fromm and junior safety Richard LeCounte are other underclassmen who could be considering declaring early for the NFL draft. But, as Smart suggested, players are still in the process of getting NFL draft grades to help them make better-informed decisions. 'What I found out last year was that for a lot of kids, it was the most important game of their season and meant so much to them,and then maybe for some others it didn't,' Smart said. 'You've got to take the guys that are engaged and excited about playing, because that matters a whole lot more than how good they are.' The post Kirby Smart at center of whirlwind: Stays on point amid coaching rumors, player attrition appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Lewis Cine got his first chance to speak to the media at Georgia on Saturday night after the loss to LSU in the SEC championship game. It allowed a DawgNation correspondent to unravel the answer to a few 2019 mysteries involving Cine. It wasn't just how the Under Armour 2019 All-American has worked himself into a regular contributor this fall. Cine is one of just six Bulldog freshmen to play in every game this year. With Cine, the biggest question coming in could have been in regard to his jersey choice. Or choices. Was he No. 8? Or No. 16? Or No. 28? Cine wore that No. 28 earlier this year when he picked off the first pass of his Georgia career. ( For the record, he's No. 16. Definitely.) Did he have a certain number for road games? Home games? Was it his destiny to befuddle play-by-play announcers with the unique phonetics of his last name (Sounds like 'Scene' as in the movies) AND his revolving door of jersey numbers in 2019? Those were all good thoughts coming in, but all of that went out of the wayside as he started his first game as a Bulldog against LSU. He had to because his unique blend of size, speed, skills and smarts made him the perfect extra defender to stay on the field to try and half Heisman favorite Joe Burrow and that prolific LSU offense. Cine tied for the team-best totals in tackles against LSU. That furthered the notion that if both fans and those play-by-play TV guys don't have the phonetics of his last name down yet, then they will soon. Georgia employed seven defensive backs early in the game to try and keep those receivers hemmed in. Mark Webb Jr. was in the game as usual. But that challenge meant that both Cine and another highly-touted and successful freshman in Tyrique Stevenson also started his first career game. The platter was full by then of material to cover with Boston native by way of Texas. And then the sky bump happened. Cine made a play. Scooped up an apparent early LSU fumble and his head coach wanted to meet him for a tap about nine feet in the air. That's when Kirby Smart also looked like a man who made a lot of big plays at safety for Georgia. Except maybe one that was coming up fast on his 44th birthday. 'Kirby whenever us players make a big play he's a player's coach,' Cine said. 'He's always going to want to celebrate with us. But I didn't think he would fall like that.' It appears that Cine was a little too jacked about helping his team and putting those spiked savage shoulder pads on again. 'I think I got a little too high and came with a little too much energy,' he said. 'Then he fell like a pile of bricks. I didn't think that.' RELATED: Check out the reason why Lewis Cine will always wear No. 16 at Georgia Lewis Cine: His thoughts on his first season at Georgia Burrow was tough to deal with on Saturday. 'Joe Burrow makes it very tough to cover,' he said. 'Because he extends a lot of plays with his legs. You have got to give him credit. He's a really good player. He made a lot of plays that we didn't think he was going to make with his legs. The whole plan was to cover the guys but hen he got around us and made some plays.' He is going forward from that LSU game with his eyes on making an even bigger contribution to the defense in 2020. J.R. Reed, the brilliant three-year starting safety, will be in the NFL. Junior talent Richard LeCounte III will also have some thinking to do about that subject, too. 'I've got a lot for J.R. and a lot of respect for Rich,' Cine said. 'I watch what they do. The plays they make and I learn from that. Even mistakes they might have made, they told me Lew don't do that' and Learn from this' and I'm hoping really to fill in some big footsteps.' What else did Cine have to say? Check out his answers in his DawgNation conversation in the featured video atop this post. How does he assess his freshman year? Cine's thoughts on his progression for his sophomore year Why his number changes were part of being a team player with his special teams duty in 2019 What does he have to do to get better? What makes him feel like Georgia can return to the SEC championship game in 2020? The Day after on DawgNation: LSU 37, Georgia 10 Beloved Georgia line coach Sam Pittman emerging as a leading candidate at Arkansas Georgia accepts potential sweet ending to the season with Sugar Bowl bid What did Nolan Smith say about his first year at UGA? The news is as feared for freshman WR Dominick Blaylock Travon Walker shares his thoughts on his first season as a Bulldog LSU gets No. 1 playoff seed, Bulldogs await likely Sugar Bowl bid Bill King: Georgia couldn't keep up with a great LSU team Georgia slips in polls but remains seen as a national powerhouse Joe Burrow says the Georgia defense forced his scrambles WATCH: D'Andre Swift slowed by a lot of pain against LSU Report card: Georgia fails test against LSU The post WATCH: Talented freshmen safety Lewis Cine knows his time is coming soon appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA Georgia football got the AllState Sugar Bowl invitation everyone expected and will face Baylor at 8:45 p.m. on Jan. 1 in New Orleans. The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs (11-2) are making a repeat trip to Mercedes-Benz Superdome, where last year they came off an SEC Championship Game loss and were defeated by Texas, 28-21. Big 12 runner-up Baylor (11-2) is coming off a 30-23 overtime loss to College Football Playoff semifinalist Oklahoma on Saturday. This marks the fifth time the Bulldogs and the Bears have met, UGA holding a 4-0 series lead with all four prior meetings taking place in Athens. This marks Georgia's 10th Sugar Bowl appearance and fourth in the past 18 years. The Bulldogs have played in the Sugar Bowl more than any other postseason game. It's a rich history that includes the program's most recent national championship, a 17-10 win over Notre Dame on Jan. 1, 1981. Kirby Smart's current Bulldogs entered this season with national championship aspirations, but injuries took a toll, particularly in the receiver ranks where there was already heavy attrition. Georgia lost its top five pass catchers from the 2018 season, and the passing game took a major hit when go-to target Lawrence Cager suffered shoulder, rib and ankle injuries the second half of the season. Freshman Dominick Blaylock, another of the Bulldogs top targets, suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 37-20 SEC Championship Game loss o LSU on Saturday. Blaylock has a torn ACL. Georgia also figures to be without junior tailback D'Andre Swift, who was limited to five touches in the SEC title game on account of a shoulder injury. Swift is expected to declare himself eligible for the NFL Draft and not play in the bowl game. Bulldogs' junior All-American left tackle Andrew Thomas is also headed tor the NFL Draft, but Thomas might still decide to play in the Sugar Bowl as he has maintained his health throughout the season. DawgNation Georgia football D'Andre Swift discusses limits and pain in SEC Championship Jake Fromm makes no excuses after defeat in SEC Championship Game What's next for Georgia football: Bowl bid, players leaving, staff changes WATCH: Kirby Smart sheds light on LSU, Jake Fromm passing issues Bulldogs stock report, LSU crashes Mercedes-Benz Stadium How LSU beat Georgia in SEC title game, scoring, injuries The post Georgia football lands Sugar Bowl bid, aims for sweet ending against Baylor appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATLANTA Georgia football didn't get the SEC Championship Game win it was aiming for this season, but the Bulldogs clearly earned some respect. Georgia finished No. 5 in the final AP Top 25 and Coaches' regular-season polls. UGA is the highest-ranked two-loss team on the heels of a 37-10 loss to No. 1-ranked LSU on Saturday. It was Georgia's third straight trip to the SEC Championship Game. UGA soldiered through an injury filled season to score marquee wins over Top 15 teams Notre Dame, Auburn and Florida. The Bulldogs are expected to receive a Sugar Bowl bid. The New Year's Six Bowl played annually in New Orleans features the top ranked teams from the SEC and Big 12 that aren't a part of the College Football Playoff. Baylor (11-2) is the top-ranked team from the Big 12, No. 8 in both the AP Top 25 and the Coaches' Poll. The SEC has five of the top 10 ranked teams in the AP Top 25, with LSU No. 1, Georgia No. 5, Florida No. 7 and Alabama and Auburn tied at No. 9. AP Poll Top 25 Week 16 rankings Ranking Team Record 1 LSU 13-0 2 Ohio State 13-0 3 Clemson 13-0 4 Oklahoma 12-1 5 Georgia 11-2 6 Florida 10-2 7 Oregon 11-2 8 Baylor 11-2 Tie-9 Alabama 10-2 Tie-9. Auburn 9-3 11 Wisconsin 10-3 12 Utah 11-2 13 Penn State 10-2 14 Notre Dame 10-2 15 Memphis 12-1 16 Minnesota 10-2 17 Michigan 9-3 18 Boise State 12-1 19 Iowa 9-3 20 App State 11-1 21 Navy 9-2 22 USC 8-4 23 Cincinnati 10-3 24 Air Force 10-2 25 Oklahoma State 8-4 Coaches Poll Top 25 Week 16 rankings Ranking Team Record 1 LSU 13-0 2 Ohio State 13-0 3 Clemson 13-0 4 Oklahoma 12-1 5 Georgia 11-2 6 Oregon 11-2 7 Florida 10-2 8 Baylor 11-2 9 Alabama 10-2 10 Utah 11-2 11 Wisconsin 10-3 12 Penn State 10-2 13 Auburn 9-3 14 Notre Dame 10-2 15 Memphis 12-1 16 Minnesota 10-2 17 Michigan 9-3 18 Boise State 12-1 19 Iowa 9-3 20 App State 12-1 21 Navy 9-2 22 Cincinnati 10-3 23 USC 8-4 24 Air Force 10-2 25 Virginia 9-4 The post Georgia football slips in polls but remains among national powerhouses appeared first on DawgNation.