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College
Breaking down the 8 Georgia football transfers, from Justin Fields to Brenton Cox
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Breaking down the 8 Georgia football transfers, from Justin Fields to Brenton Cox

Breaking down the 8 Georgia football transfers, from Justin Fields to Brenton Cox

Breaking down the 8 Georgia football transfers, from Justin Fields to Brenton Cox

ATHENS Kirby Smart has built a football monster at Georgia, recruiting one class after another filled with top-flight talent.

It doesn't take a mathematician to figure out they all can't play, or a psychiatrist to predict that sitting the bench won't sit well with players talented enough to play elsewhere.

Still, the NCAA transfer portal hasn't taken the toll on Georgia that it has other programs.

RELATED: Kirby Smart explains why portal effective minimal for UGA

Smart may have gotten a jump on the competition by anticipating the blossoming issue before the NCAA relaxed transfer rules.

Smart, in his fourth year leading the Bulldogs program, explained more than a year ago why players are prone to transfer now more than ever.

"It's a me-now society, they want the self gratification, they want to know they are going to be able to play," Smart said.

"It's about the team, and you can't be just about you, even through there is a me generation and me society. I think you can sometimes, when you explain it to them that this is what's best for you,' then you can help them understand why you're trying to do what you're doing."

RELATED: How Kirby Smart tried to avoid the 2018 QB controversy

Sometimes, but not always, and so talented back-up quarterback Justin Fields took his talents to Ohio State where he will likely start and compete for the Big Ten championship this season.

ESPN analyst Chris Fowler correctly predicted at the 2019 College Football Playoff Championship game that Fields' high-profile transfer would open Pandora's Box.

"I think you could always go to whatever tribunal exists, and make whatever case you want, to get the result that you desire," Fowler told DawgNation. "But yeah, it is a Pandora's box if you open that up."

Georgia, however, lost only one other player free of disciplinary issues who figured to contribute immediately, tight end Luke Ford.

Here's a breakdown of the 8 players transferring from Georgia.

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Breaking down the 8 Georgia football transfers, from Justin Fields to Brenton Cox

Justin Fields, QB, Kennesaw, 2018 class

New school: Ohio State, eligible immediately

Where it leaves Georgia: Thin at the position, Fields in line to succeed Jake Fromm

The former 5-star and high-profile backup was the early poster child for the NCAA transfer portal, opting to leave Georgia after failing to beat out incumbent Jake Fromm.

Fields played in 12 of the Bulldogs 13 games last season, Smart at times forcing the issue of playing the true freshman even when games were still in the balance and Fromm was performing well.

Smart went to great lengths to provide the Fields Family the quarterback competition they desired, not naming Fromm a starter for the opening game and publicly maintaining the competition remained open from week to week.

RELATED: Hard to blame Kirby Smart for Justin Fields transfer

Several outsiders, including former Florida Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, suggested UGA should develop a package to make the best use of Fields until he could get a complete grasp on the Pro-Style offense.

Former Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney insisted before the season started that Fields would not be used in a package, and that he could run the same offense as the more experienced Fromm.

Fields' most significant play came in the closing minutes of the SEC Championship Game, when Smart inserted him for a fake punt the team had worked on each week. Georgia got the look it wanted from Alabama, but Fields was late calling for the snap, and the Tide adjusted to a never-before-unveiled personnel package and formation.

Fields lobbied to travel to the Sugar Bowl with the team, even after announcing he was considering a transfer and had started talks with outgoing Ohio State quarterback Duane Haskins.

Smart, still holding out hope Fields might stay, allowed the pending transfer quarterback to stay with the team.

"We've been very open and honest that we would like him to stay," Smart said at the time. "He's worked really hard. He competed his tail off throughout the year and played a team role throughout the year."

Kirby Smart good with allowing transferring Justin Fields on Sugar Bowl trip

Fields hired high-profile attorney Thomas Mars to help his bid for immediately eligibility with the Buckeyes, a request the NCAA granted.

Brenton Cox, OLB, Stockbridge, 2018 class

New school: Florida, status pending

Where it leaves Georgia: No immediate effect, loss of quality depth

Cox was considered such an impact player that he was granted his wish to wear the No. 1, a testament to his 5-star recruiting status and the faith the Georgia coaching staff had it could develop him.

RELATED: Sophomore OLB Brenton Cox enters the transfer portal

Cox was recently passed by on the depth chart, however, with incoming freshman Nolan Smith and junior college Jermaine Johnson flashing their playmaking skills through spring drills.

Cox attended Georgia's Fan Day last Saturday, signing autographs and offering no clues that he might be on the Florida roster within the next week.

But Cox had built up some baggage in his limited time in Athens, running afoul of the law in April when he was arrested prior to a spring practice on misdemeanor substance charges. Marijuana had been found in Cox's dorm room.

Soon after, Smart made Cox and a teammate run stadium steps with high-profile boosters in attendance. Cox was the sixth player arrested in a six-week span, and Smart had to put his foot down.

Cox's rules infringement was also expected to result in a one-game suspension in 2019, per UGA policy.

Cox made 20 tackles as a backup last season, his most notable playing time coming in the SEC Championship Game against Alabama after starter D'Andre Walker was sidelined by an injury.

Contain duties proved challenging for Cox, and then-Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts took full advantage, making plays outside of the pocket.

Earlier in the season, against Middle Tennessee State, Cox had the same sort of containment issues. When Walker looked to correct him, Cox returned a shove and the incident was blown up on national television.

Cox appears in need of a fresh start, and both parties figure to benefit from his departure.

J.J. Holloman, WR, Covington, 2017 class

New school: TBD

Where it leaves Georgia:Holloman was set to star, leaves position group inexperienced

Holloman was the Bulldogs' leading returning receiver when he was unexpectedly dismissed from the program by Smart on account of a domestic incident that occurred in April of 2018, according to police reports and testimony.

Holloman's ex-girlfriend filed a police report this June, more than a year after the event, stating that Holloman had hit and choked her during an early morning incident at his apartment.

Police questioned Holloman, who consented to the interview without an attorney present, and he admitted striking the woman after she had struck him during their domestic quarrel.

The woman did not wish to press charges, and the case is inactive.

RELATED: Smart releases timeline of Jeremiah Holloman dismissal

Smart dismissed Holloman shortly after his police interview came to light.

"Jeremiah Holloman no longer represents the University of Georgia football program," Smart said on June 21. "We expect every member of our team to uphold the highest standards and values of the University of Georgia and Georgia football. It is disappointing when this does not happen."

Holloman was a 4-star prospect coming out of Newton High School and was ranked the No. 125 overall player in the country. He chose Georgia over offers from LSU, Oregon, Notre Dame, Michigan and Miami.

Luke Ford, TE, Carterville, Ill., 2018 class

New school: Illinois, eligible 2020

Where it leaves Georgia:Ford would have been a major contributor, incoming grad-transfer TE Eli Wolf eases the pain.

Ford was a 4-star ranked the No. 51 overall prospect in the country and the No. 3 tight end coming out of high school, but he grew homesick during a freshman campaign that saw him play in nine games and make one catch for 4 yards.

Ford left the team during the bowl practice session to return to Illinois, but Smart and his staff coaxed him to take part in the Sugar Bowl practices with hopes it would rekindle a desire to stay with Georgia.

Ford remained intent on leaving, however, even with starting tight end Isaac Nauta sending out vibes that he would be turning pro at the end of his junior season.

Chaney was Ford's position coach and primary recruiter, but he, too, had one foot out the door, less than two weeks away from leaving to become Tennessee's offensive coordinator.

Ford's appeal for immediate eligibility, on the grounds of wanting to be closer to his ailing grandfather, was denied by the NCAA, even with Marrs aiding on the case.

Deangelo Gibbs, DB, Loganville, 2017 class

New school: Tennessee, redshirting

Where it leaves Georgia: No effect in deep defensive backs room.

A four-star prospect Gibbs was believed to be serving an indefinite suspension at the time he entered the NCAA transfer portal last spring. Gibbs did not travel to New Orleans for the Bulldogs' Sugar Bowl appearance.

"Deangelo is currently right now with the team," Smart said at the time. "He's just not with the team."

Gibbs was once a coveted five-star prospect from a celebrated high school program (Grayson) choosing Georgia over offers from Alabama, Tennessee and Auburn.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound prospect could not, however, get out of doghouse while with the Bulldogs.

Gibbs played in just six games as a freshman, but he did not travel or take part in the SEC Championship Game, the Rose Bowl or the College Football Playoff Championship Game.

Gibbs proceeded to miss the 2018 spring football session before being reinstated last fall. Gibbs played in just seven games last season, making seven tackles.

Jaden Hunter, LB, Atlanta, 2017 class

New school: Western Kentucky, status pending

Where it leaves Georgia: No effect in deep linebackers room

The 6-foot-2, 228-pound Hunter was a 4-star prospect coming out of Westlake High School, choosing Georgia over offers from Clemson, Alabama and Auburn.

The son of late Bulldogs' team captain and All-SEC pick Brice Hunter, Jaden appeared in two games last season and two games in 2017.

Jaden Hunter is a redshirt sophomore who left the team in good standing.

Hunter's mother, Brandi Hunter-Lewis, played basketball for Georgia (Brandi Decker) and was a member of two Final Four teams.

The Bulldogs have heavily recruited the linebacker position, diminishing Hunter's chances for playing time. Hunter has also dealt with a hamstring injury this spring, according to coach Kirby Smart.

"This has nothing to do with the University of Georgia or the coaching staff," Brandi Hunter-Lewis said of her son's decision. "Jaden loves Georgia and has respect for our family's legacy at the University of Georgia."

Matthew Downing, QB, Alpharetta, 2018 class

New school: TCU, eligible immediately

Where it leaves Georgia: Thin in room, two healthy scholarship QBs

Downing was a preferred walk-on at Georgia and the Bulldogs No. 3 quarterback last season. Downing's value was such that he was part of the 70-man travel squad for every game.

Lightly recruited coming out of Alpharetta high school, the 5-foot-11, 180-pounder went right to work in Athens and impressed teammates and coaches.

Downing announced his intention to leave in January, less than a month after former UGA walk-on QB Stetson Bennett announced he was returning to UGA after a year away at junior college.

The Bulldogs also signed freshman D'Wan Mathis in the 2019 class early signing period n December.

Downing is among five quarterbacks competing at TCU, while Georgia is down to two healthy scholarship quarterbacks after Mathis' offseason surgery.

Tray Bishop, S, Dawson, 2017 class

New school: Navarro (Texas) JC, eligible 2019

Where it leaves Georgia: No effect in deep defensive backs room

Bishop was a 4-star prospect coming out of Terrell County High School, the No. 20 cornerback in the nation and 153 player overall in the 2017 signing class.

Originally an Auburn commit, the U.S. Army All-American flipped to the Bulldogs after also starring as a quarterback in Georgia's smaller high school ranks.

An off-field legal incident involving a surveillance incident led to Bishop's suspension from the Bulldogs and he left he Georgia football team without appearing in a regular-season game.

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The post Breaking down the 8 Georgia football transfers, from Justin Fields to Brenton Cox appeared first on DawgNation.

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Local News

  • Drivers can look for traffic delays today in Oconee County. Crews are working on the traffic signals at the Oconee Connector’s intersection with Epps Bridge Parkway. From the Oconee County Government website… Work will be done on the traffic signal at Epps Bridge Parkway and the Oconee Connector beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, August 16. There will be lane closures during this process. Motorists may experience delays at the intersection, and deputies will be present to help with traffic control. 
  • Georgia first-team preseason All-SEC selection D’Andre Swift was back for the start of Thursday practice after creating a stir by missing part of Tuesday’s workout. There was no indication that Swift is back in the No. 1 spot at tailback, however.  Senior Brian Herrien was the first tailback running through drill work, and redshirt freshman Zamir White took the first handoff in a team period.  Swift’s injury history is well-documented, though it’s worth noting much of it was hidden throughout much of last season.  It wasn’t disclosed until after the Auburn game in November that Swift underwent double hernia surgery in January 2018, leading to his limited action in the spring before his sophomore season.  Swift, who started the first four games last season before he was overtaken by Elijah Holyfield, has since admitted he was less than 100 percent at the start of last season.  “I was trying to save myself, I would say,” Swift said, explaining the mindset he brought into the 2018 campaign. “Not trying to push it too much where I would hurt myself.” Swift is one of the more explosive and dynamic running backs in the nation, but his durability has been questions by onlookers and NFL personnel. Even at 100 percent, Swift said he was carefully maintaining his body in fall camp. “I’m always in the training room. I live in the training room, so I’m ready to go and I’m ready to get to work,” Swift said last week. “Whatever workload the coaches throw at me, I’m ready for that workload.” Swift might have some work to do to get back atop the depth chart at his position, first. Here are five observations from Thursday’s practice, the 12th of the preseason: The eyeball test: White looked every bit as explosive and physically imposing in Thursday’s workout as Kirby Smart said he was in Saturday’s practice.  White, who suffered a torn ACL in the second scrimmage of Georgia’s 2018 preseason camp, is cutting sharply and with confidence. Sophomore James Cook appears noticeably bigger than his freshman season and was running third through drills behind Herrien and Swift on Thursday. Landers holding on: Sophomore receiver Matt Landers appears to be holding on to the No. 1 spot at the outside wideout position opposite senior Tyler Simmons.  Landers has been locked in competition with Miami grad-transfer Lawrence Cager, the two splitting repetitions with the ones throughout camp. Freshman George Pickens, who wowed spectators at the scrimmage with his one-handed catch, was back running at No. 3 wide receiver behind Trey Blount and Landers. Cager is lining up on Simmons’ side. Demetris Robertson continues to be the No. 1 slot, with Kearis Jackson and Dominick Blaylock behind him. Line dance: Georgia’s offensive line has remained healthy and intact to this point of the preseason, not a given considering the amount of live snaps they’ve endured. Isaiah Wilson was the only UGA lineman to start and finish every game last season, and he continues to run first team at right tackle.  Junior Ben Cleveland was running with the first team at right guard, Trey Hill was at center, Solomon Kindley at left guard and Andrew Thomas as left tackle. Thomas, Wilson and Kindley opened the season on the Outland Trophy Watch List. Injury returns: Cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, linebacker Nate McBride and tight end Ryland Goede were back at practice Thursday.  Stevenson was back in a limited capacity, held out of drills that required explosive movement. McBride was working with the inside linebackers. Fromm stays sharp: Quarterback Jake Fromm, who struggled in Saturday’s scrimmage, continued to be on the money during Thursday’s open viewing period. Fromm is hitting receivers in stride on each throw, markedly better than the other quarterbacks during the drill work. Smart no doubt took notice after calling out his first-team offense for a “lethargic” effort in Scrimmage 1 last Saturday. 
  • The Solicitor in Hall County says her office will continue to prosecute marijuana cases: this, after announcements from police in Athens and a prosecutor in Gwinnett County that potential confusion over marijuana testing will lead them, for now, to suspend marijuana arrests and prosecutions. At issue is a new Georgia law that legalizes hemp: the field test for marijuana doesn’t distinguish between marijuana and hemp. Hall County Solicitor Stephanie Woodard (pictured above) says marijuana cases will still be prosecuted in Gainesville. The Athens-Clarke County Police Department issued the following statement earlier this week…   In light of the unanticipated consequences related to the implementation of the Georgia Hemp Farming Act, signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp on May 10, 2019, the AthensClarke County Police Department (ACCPD) has provided direction to its officers concerning the handling of marijuana cases. The Georgia Hemp Farming Act legalizes the possession of hemp, which is nearly identical to marijuana in all aspects, with the exception being a lower percentage of THC in hemp (.3% or less) compared to higher concentrations of THC found in marijuana. The new law has raised concern because tests currently used by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab, as well as the ACCPD, only detect for the presence of THC and not for THC potency. Since current tests are unable to determine THC potency, they cannot distinguish between legal hemp and illegal marijuana. Therefore, the tests are no longer viable for use in prosecution of marijuana cases. The GBI anticipates having updated testing equipment in place by early September that will test for THC potency and be capable of distinguishing between legal hemp and illegal marijuana. The GBI, ACCPD, and other Georgia law enforcement agencies continue to evaluate testing equipment and other solutions that can be used at the local level. Until such time as updated testing equipment is acquired and certified for use, ACCPD officers will discontinue making physical arrests or issuing summonses for marijuana charges. Instead, officers will seize the suspected marijuana, place it into evidence, and will write the appropriate police report. Once updated testing equipment is acquired and in place at the GBI Lab and at the ACCPD, it is our intent that all suspected marijuana evidence that has been seized by the ACCPD will be tested and officers will seek warrants where the evidence is found to contain more than .3% THC.    “The ACCPD is working closely with the GBI, our District Attorney, and the ACC Solicitor General to monitor this situation, as well as to identify and implement solutions,” said ACCPD Chief of Police Cleveland Spruill. “We hope that viable alternative testing equipment can be acquired and put in place for use by our officers relatively soon.”    In the interim, ACCPD would like to remind citizens that possession, distribution, and trafficking of marijuana remains illegal in the state of Georgia and that marijuana laws will continue to be enforced by the ACCPD. 
  • 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. 
  • Demonstrators plan a weekend rally in Athens, with a protest calling for new gun control laws set for 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon at the Arch on Broad Street in downtown Athens.  From Ga Moms Demand Action… On Saturday, August 17, 2019, volunteers with Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, will gather at UGA Arch in Georgia in response to mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, as well as to honor the 100 Americans are shot and killed every day and hundreds more who are wounded. This is more than mass shootings; in recent weeks, gun violence has devastated Baltimore, Gilroy, Canoga Park, Newport News, Brooklyn and Chicago. This is a public health crisis that demands urgent action.  WHAT: A rally to honor the lives cut short by gun violence and demand common-sense gun reform. Volunteers will demand action from their senators to pass a strong federal Red Flag bill and legislation to require background checks on all gun sales. WHO:  Deborah Gonzalez, Host of Open Records Radio Show  Ivan Ingermann, Keep the G Gun Free  Charles Campbell, Athens Alliance Coalition   Mokah-Jasmine Johnson, Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement   Emma Jones, Volunteer, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America  WHERE: UGA Arch  Broad Street Downtown  Athens, Georgia  WHEN: Saturday, August 17, 2019 03:00 pm  About Everytown for Gun Safety Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with nearly 6 million supporters and more than 350,000 donors including moms, mayors, survivors and everyday Americans who are fighting for public safety measures that can help save lives. At the core of Everytown are Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Students Demand Action and the Everytown Survivor Network. Learn more at www.everytown.org and follow us @Everytown  About Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence. Moms Demand Action campaigns for new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our families. Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country and, along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Students Demand Action and the Everytown Survivor Network, it is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than 5 million supporters and more than 350,000 donors. For more information or to get involved visit www.momsdemandaction.org. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MomsDemandAction or on Twitter at @MomsDemand  About Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Students Demand Action is a national initiative, created by and for teens and young adults, to channel the energy and passion of high school and college-aged students into the fight against gun violence. Students Demand Action volunteers work within their schools and communities to educate their peers, register voters and demand common-sense solutions to this national crisis. Together with Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Students Demand Action volunteers are part of a network of nearly 6 million supporters across the nation committed to gun violence prevention. For more information or to get involved visit www.studentsdemandaction.org.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS Georgia football coach Kirby Smart revealed that freshman middle linebacker Nakobe Dean missed scrimmage because he was 'banged up,' but 'he's going to be fine, we think.' Dean backs up starting inside linebackers Monty Rice and Tae Crowder, but his strong spring camp has brought him great fanfare. WATCH: Kirby Smart breaks down spirited' Scrimmage Two The Bulldogs have had a healthy fall camp, the successful rehabilitation of redshirt freshman tailback Zamir White receiving the lion's share of media attention. Smart updated the health status of pivotal senior defensive linemen Julian Rochester (ACL) and David Marshall (foot) following Saturday's Scrimmage Two. ' Julian is coming off the ACL repair and he's practiced every day, (and) he does some periods with us and he does other periods with a trainer where he runs and gets his mileage up, not as much contact stuff,' Smart said. 'David does about 50 percent with us and 50 percent with a trainer. 'Julian and David are both older players, fourth-year players, who are not 100 percent. So we're trying to control their volume of reps, also giving the other guys reps. But they've practiced each day.' RELATED: 6 Georgia players who could use a strong Scrimmage Two Smart classified tailback D'Andre Swift, who was late attending Tuesday's scrimmage while receiving treatment, as 'fine.' 'D'Andre's been good,' Smart said. 'D'Andre's a leader in that group, he's very bright.' Swift's durability has come into question after he played through pain in the aftermath of double groin surgery in January of 2018, and foot and toe injuries during the season. Projected starting cornerback Tyson Campbell, who was injured in Scrimmage One, has been full-go all week and was a full participant in Scrimmage Two. Smart said quarterback D'Wan Mathis, who underwent emergency brain surgery on May 23, remains sidelined in contact drills and scrimmage. Walk-on Nathan Priestly remains the third-team quarterback behind back-up Stetson Bennett. Smart didn't specify the extent of practice that reserves Nate McBride (linebacker), Tyrique Stevenson (cornerback) and Ryland Goede (tight end). McBride missed the first scrimmage but returned earlier this week and did not appear to have any limitations. Stevenson was banged up in Scrimmage One and, while dressed out in full gear, appeared limited in Thursday's practice. Goede returned after missing a week's worth with a hand wrapped. 'We had a couple of guys who couldn't go today that haven't been able to practice some but, knock on wood, no major injuries,' Smart said. 'They're going to have (Sunday) off. Monday is going to be a light, light walkthrough.' Smart said the Bulldogs will focus on getting the team full strength as the opening game at Vanderbilt (Aug. 31) approaches. 'This is kind of where we say, okay, we've got to start getting them back, we've got to get recovery,' ' Smart said. 'We've got to get fluids. So when you have 48 hours, you can almost recover to a full extent and we're hoping to get everybody's legs back. You could see it today. 'The GPS says it. A guy that was running 19 (mph) is running 17. A guy that was running 21 is running 18, 19. They're hurting a little bit but part of that is mental toughness and the grit. They've been able to handle that.' DawgNation Georgia football fall camp Mark Webb's 'rough' start has proven beneficial Way-too-early Georgia road game rankings Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof' Zamir White hitting holes kicking and trucking' The post Georgia football injury update: Kirby Smart updates Nakobe Dean, senior D-Linemen appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHEN Kirby Smart was decidedly more pleased with Georgia football's second scrimmage of fall camp than its first. 'I thought we had a much more spirited scrimmage,' Smart said after his No. 3-ranked Bulldogs ran off approximately 135 plays at Sanford Stadium amid temperatures in the 90s. RELATED: Starters look for vindication in Scrimmage Two 'I thought both Ones units played better, which means the Two units probably didn't play as well,' Smart said. 'There were some explosive plays in the scrimmage, and I was proud of the competitive toughness.' Smart enters his fourth season as Georgia's head coach aiming for a national championship, having told the college football world that the 24-5 record his program has accumulated the past two years isn't good enough. That doesn't leave much margin for error, so Smart has leaned on himself, his staff and his players to buy into a 'Do More' mantra this offseason. RELATED: Fired-up Kirby Smart calls out lethargic' starters in Scrimmage One The first scrimmage last Saturday was characterized as 'lethargic' by the head coach, sending a message that players need step up or step out of the projected starting lineup. Smart made it clear his team responded in proper fashion, third-year quarterback Jake Fromm directing a more efficient passing game that produced more big plays. RELATED: 6 Georgia players who could use a strong Scrimmage Two ' Last scrimmage it seemed like a lot of the backs, the backfield, had some big plays,' Smart said, no doubt referring to a 50-yard TD catch by Zamir White in the first scrimmage. '(Saturday), it was the wideouts as a group. (Lawrence) Cager had one, .George (Pickens) had one, Tyler (Simmons) had one, Trey (Blount) had one.,' Smart said. 'We had several guys have explosive plays. Explosive to me is over 12, 13 yards. Kearis (Jackson) had a big one. So it seemed pretty balanced on the explosive plays.' Smart said the so-called Havoc Rate was down, an indicator the offensive units did a better job protecting the ball and avoiding tackles-for-loss in Scrimmage Two. Georgia will remain in training camp mode through the middle of next week, beginning to focus on season-opening (Aug. 31) opponent Vanderbilt on Wednesday. Georgia football coach Kirby Smart DawgNation Georgia football fall camp Mark Webb's 'rough' start has proven beneficial Way-too-early Georgia road game rankings Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof' Zamir White hitting holes kicking and trucking' The post WATCH: Georgia football coach Kirby Smart breaks down more spirited' Scrimmage Two appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football coach Kirby Smart was setting a quick pace on Scrimmage Two day, his voice booming throughout Sanford Stadium via microphone and speakers. 'On the hop!' Smart commanded, leading his team into 7-on-7 drills that served as a warm-up for a more than 120-play scrimmage. The Bulldogs have some fine tuning to finish up before the opening game week arrives. Georgia, ranked No. 3 in the nation, opens the season at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday against Vanderbilt in Nashville. RELATED: 6 Georgia players who could use a strong Scrimmage Two Jake Fromm will enter his third season as the Bulldogs' starting quarterback. Fromm will need every bit of his experience to help meld an inexperienced receiving corps missing the top four pass catchers from a season ago. Fromm's struggles in Scrimmage One were well-documented. RELATED: Fired-up Kirby Smart calls out lethargic' starters in Scrimmage One Teammates said it went beyond the quarterback and throughout the entire first team offense. Senior tight end Charlie Woerner said last Saturday's 100-degree heat index contributed to the offensive struggles, suggesting players need to be mentally tougher. The heat index was 91 degree on this Saturday at the start of the scrimmage, and Fromm, for his part, was throwing darts in the warmups. Receivers Tommy Bush, Jaylen Johnson and Makiya Tongue had drops in the early part of practice. Meanwhile, Matt Landers, Demetris Robertson and Tyler Simmons continued to go first in the wide receivers group. Like the running backs, the receivers rotate, but it appears there's some semblance of a depth chart based on the consistency the players line up for drills at their positions. D'Andre Swift, who missed the start of practice on Tuesday, was dressed out for the scrimmage and appeared to be 100 percent. Smart will likely be asked about Swift's health following the Saturday practice. On defense, Azeez Ojulari appears to be holdingdown the top spot in the outside linebacker rotation and was a partnering will Walter Grant in warmups. Nolan Smith and Adam Anderson were working together behind them along with Robert Beal and Jermaine Johnson. Monty Rice and Tae Crowder have consistently been the first inside linebackers on the field through drill work, with Channing Tindall and Quay Walker with the twos. RELATED: J.R. Reed says defensive Havoc Rate out the roof' DawgNation Georgia football fall camp Mark Webb's 'rough' start has proven beneficial Way-too-early Georgia road game rankings Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof' D'Andre Swift returns, Brian Herrien first through drill work Skyrocketing Georgia ticket prices spiked by Notre Dame Zamir White hitting holes kicking and trucking' Jake Fromm working to gain chemistry with receivers The post Georgia football on the hop' for Scrimmage Two, starters look for vindication appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football Scrimmage Two gives players to get dialed in and make yet another case for playing time at Sanford Stadium, some needing to impress more than others. Coach Kirby Smart said the first scrimmage was 'lethargic' and will be looking for improvement from the first-team offense and first-team defense. For that matter, the order of a few rotations may have shifted since the first scrimmage, particularly in the running back and receiver rotations on offense. The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs are just two weeks away from opening the season with a 7:30 p.m. game in Nashville against Vanderbilt. Smart was disappointed with the pass game, in particular, not surprising since QB Jake Fromm lost his top five pass catchers from a season ago. For all the 7-on-7 the team did the summer and throwing and catching after practice, getting a pass game into sync in 11-on-11 full scrimmage action is a different matter. No doubt, that's why more than one of the five players identified as needing a good scrimmage is part of the receiving corps. 5 players who need a good Scrimmage Two for Georgia 1. WR Matt Landers The redshirt sophomore appears to be running with the ones, ahead of Miami transfer Lawrence Cager. But if there's one thing we've seen from Smart and his coaching staff in the past, it's how quickly rotations can change in the receiving corps and secondary, where multiple players are used in each game. As fluid as the depth chart is, there's still a matter of pride earning the start. Landers has the talent to start, but he needs to continue to show the consistency in the second scrimmage. 2. WR Demetris Robertson Robertson had a strong sprig and looks to be in sync with Fromm as any of the receivers, but he's being pushed by redshirt freshman Kearis Jackson and true freshman Dominick Blaylock. Robertson didn't catch a single pass last season, juggling a ball thrown behind him out of bounds in one game. An illness kept Robertson out of the G-Day Game, so Bulldogs fans are ready to see the former 5-star prospect and FWAA Freshman All-American live up to the hype. 3. DL Malik Herring Is this talented junior defensive lineman ready to live up to his potential? A former Top 100 national prospect, Herring appears to have the athleticism to develop into a standout player, but for whatever reason, it hasn't happened to this point. For the Georgia defensive line to be at its best, Herring will need to practice and play with the sort of maturity the head coach is looking for in what may be the most pivotal position group on the team. 4. RB Zamir White White looked so good in Scrimmage One that the head coach turned the page on his comeback and started talking about the areas he needed to improve. White hasn't played in a real football game in more than a year and a half, and Smart indicated his pass blocking and ball protection would be priorities. It's possible the second scrimmage could also represent a psychological hurdle, of sorts, as it was in the second scrimmage of last fall the White tore his ALC in a non-contact incident while on special teams. 5. TE Eli Wolf The Tennessee transfer was less than 100 percent for Scrimmage One, so Saturday's opportunity to shine will be a big one for Wolf. Wolf had a strong offseason in the weight room and ranks as the fastest tight end in the group, and OC James Coley has praised him for his hands and route running Tennessee might have needed Wolf to play at 250 pounds because of the issues on its offensive line. But the former Ohio high school receiving record breaker fits perfectly into the slot left open by Isaac Nauta's early departure playing in the 235-pound range. Wolf is faster than Nauta, but can he show the same sort of consistency catching the football and carrying out blocking assignments? Scrimmage Two will hold some answers. 6. QB Jake Fromm Yes, even Jake Fromm needs to have a good day for the Bulldogs working in Coley's refined Georgia offense. Fromm's Saturday afternoon was so rough last week that Kirby Smart spoke for more than 16 minutes and said more than 2800 words without saying Fromm's name one time. Teammate Charlie Woerner blamed the heat, but it's a good bet Fromm blamed himself and watching film until his eyes fell out of his head. Fromm has been razor sharp in practice all week and will be determined to show out against the Bulldogs' deep and talented secondary. DawgNation Georgia football fall camp Mark Webb's 'rough' start has proven beneficial Way-too-early Georgia road game rankings Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof' D'Andre Swift returns, Brian Herrien first through drill work Skyrocketing Georgia ticket prices spiked by Notre Dame Zamir White hitting holes kicking and trucking' Jake Fromm working to gain chemistry with receivers The post 6 Georgia football players who need strong Scrimmage Two performance appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm hasn't thrown the first pass of his junior season, but already, there's speculation on whether the third-year starter will be back for a senior campaign. Fromm's draft stock and the likelihood of several UGA underclass offensive lineman going pro has everything to do with the valid discussion. CBS sports moved a story on Friday discussing '12 QBs to keep your eyes on in 2019' The so-called 'Cream of the Crop,' per the article, are quarterbacks Tua Tagovailoa from Alabama and Oregon's Justin Herbert. RELATED: 5 Georgia players projected in first two rounds 2020 draft Fromm checks in under the category of 'Eyeing the first-round conversation' along with Stanford QB K.J. Costello. According to CBSsports.com author Ryan Wilson: 'Fromm doesn't have the athleticism or arm strength of Tagovailoa or Herbert, and he isn't a threat to run. He's a three-step-and-out thrower, accurate and timely on short routes, and shows good touch on intermediate routes. But it's also important to remember that is just 20 years old and entering Year 3 as the Bulldogs' starter he's going to continue to improve. By how much is the QB calculus that NFL teams will need to do. Fromm improved his completion percentage from 62 to 67 percent and his TD/INT from 24/7 to 30/6. He needs to be better in the face of pressure (of course, this applies to just about every quarterback on the planet) and consistently make better decisions, but Fromm has the tools to be a first-round pick.' ESPN analyst and former Alabama quarterback Jake Fromm recently predicted on SEC Network's 'Thinking Out Loud' program that the Georgia quarterback will return for his senior season and win the 2020 College Football Playoff Championship Game. 'I really like what Georgia brings back this year, (and) I think next year is their year,' McElroy said. 'So if I were to tell you the year they were going to win the national championship, I'd say 2020. 'Fromm will be a senior, they will still have one of the best offensive lines in college football and I feel like that defensive playmaker along the front four will maybe have grown into himself at that point.' DawgNation Georgia football fall camp Way-too-early Georgia road game rankings Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof' D'Andre Swift returns, Brian Herrien first through drill work Skyrocketing Georgia ticket prices spiked by Notre Dame Zamir White hitting holes kicking and trucking' Jake Fromm working to gain chemistry with receivers The post CBS NFL draft watch: Georgia QB Jake Fromm in first-round conversation' appeared first on DawgNation.