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Clemson’s second national title in three years proves Georgia can do the same, and should

Clemson’s second national title in three years proves Georgia can do the same, and should

Clemson’s second national title in three years proves Georgia can do the same, and should

Clemson’s second national title in three years proves Georgia can do the same, and should

Georgia football-Towers Take-Clemson's second championships shows Georgia it can be done-Georgia Bulldogs-Clemson Tigers-Alabama Crimson Tide

ATHENS — Dabo Swinney’s statement to ESPN in the immediate aftermath of last night’s National Championship Game said it all:

“If we can do it, anybody can do it!”

In fact, Clemson has done it three times now. Twice in the last three years and once a long while back in 1981. Interestingly, all three of the Tigers’ national titles have come with quarterbacks from Georgia under center — Trevor Lawrence of Cartersville, Deshaun Watson of Gainesville and Homer Jordan of Athens.

So, yes, Georgia can certainly win another national championship, too — and soon. They’re already posting odds for winning next year’s title out in Las Vegas, and the Bulldogs came out with the third-best odds at 12 to 1, tied with Ohio State. National champion Clemson was first at 9 to 5 and Alabama, its vanquished opponent from last night, was next at 5 to 2.

But I don’t think anybody who has watched Georgia closely these last few seasons needs Vegas odds to tell us that the Bulldogs should be in contention for the national championship the next couple of years. And 2019 has long looked like the year in which they should be poised for a big run.

In fact, I’ve long said Georgia was ahead of schedule these last two seasons under coach Kirby Smart. The run to the finals in 2017 was an unexpected and premature phenomena born from the decisions of a large group of NFL-caliber juniors to come back for their senior seasons. And 2018 always stood as a transition year for the Bulldogs, who entered it with a roster consisting of 68.2 percent freshman and sophomores.

Now that roster is laden with sophomores and juniors, many of whom had to be thrown into the fire this past season. The Bulldogs had seven first-time starters in 2018, and every one of those players will be back to man those positions this coming season.

Provided they don’t get beat out. Georgia’s 2019 recruiting class currently sits ranked No. 2 in the nation, and a dozen of those prospects already are on campus as early enrollees. The competition this spring and late-summer promises to be fast and furious, just like the last two years.

The Bulldogs’ strength should again be its offense. No team in America will have a more experienced quarterback than Georgia’s Jake Fromm, with 29 games under his belt. And he’ll be playing behind a line than returns four of its five starters and should be able to replace center Lamont Gaillard quite nicely with Trey Hill or Jamaree Salyer, among a number of the candidates.

Certainly losing leading receiver Riley Ridley, kick returner Mecole Hardman and tight end Isaac Nauta from the receiving corps will hurt. But, again, the Bulldogs have many capable replacements who have been waiting their turn. Not the least of them is controversial transfer Demetris Robertson, who might’ve disappointed in his first year from Cal but remains one of the team’s fastest players. And reinforcements such as 5-star signee Dominick Blaylock already are in the fold.

I’m among those who believe Elijah Holyfield’s departure may be more hurtful than many predict. One thousand-yard rushers are hard to come by. But in addition to the return of D’Andre Swift and James Cook comes the much-anticipated debut of former No. 1 player Zamir “Zeus” White. I remain skeptical about how effective a running back can be coming off back-to-back reconstructions of each ACL. But I’ve also seen many a back make complete recoveries without losing a step. That will be a storyline to follow closely heading into next season.

Where Georgia has to make the greatest strides is on defense. Let’s face it, that’s where the Bulldogs were let down in their last two meetings with Alabama. They were unable to protect two-score leads in the second half. Seven starters are back on that side of the ball, with a host of highly-recruited, rising sophomores poised to challenge for snaps.

Watching Clemson compete last night, it is evident that it’s in the trenches on the D-line where the Bulldogs have to show significant improvement. Whether they have the “hosses” to do so right away remains the biggest question I have for the squad that will take the field for Georgia in 2019.

The Dogs are set everywhere else. And they have the type of schedule that’s going bring both the challenge and attention that a national champion run will require. Highly-ranked teams from Notre Dame and Texas A&M come to town, along with road trips to Tennessee and Auburn and finishing at Georgia Tech under a new coach.

I don’t think Alabama’s lopsided loss signals an end to its run. As always, whoever plays in the SEC is ultimately going to have to get through the Crimson Tide, who will be reloading next year as well. But having led those guys for 119 of 120 minutes the last two seasons, Georgia knows it can compete with Nick Saban’s best teams.

Meanwhile, Clemson’s coach surely wasn’t referring to Georgia when he said what he said after that impressive 44-16 victory. But the Bulldogs should take his words to heart.

If Clemson can do it, the Georgia Bulldogs definitely can. And they should, very soon.


The post Clemson’s second national title in three years proves Georgia can do the same, and should appeared first on DawgNation.

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Local News

  • Goodwill of North Georgia and the Georgia Square Mall partner for a jobs fair that takes place today: it gets underway at 10 o’clock this morning and lasts til 1 o’clock this afternoon at the Mall on Atlanta Highway in Athens.  From Facebook… Join us Wednesday, June 26th, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. for our Summer Job Fair at the Georgia Square Mall to meet with local hiring employers.Employers in attendance:UPS Baker and Taylor – Commerce GeorgiaBenson’s Hospitality Group ResCare Home Care Work Transport Kelly Services Prologistix ( Caterpillar Bogart GA)Resources:Amerigroup Pre-register for this event by visiting the Goodwill's East Athens Career Center located at 4070 Lexington Rd Athens, GA, 30605. If Auxiliary Services are required please notify Goodwill of North Georgia before the event.The job fair will be held upstairs next to the Payless store.
  • Tadpoles can be used to measure the amount of radiocesium, a radioactive material, in aquatic environments, according to new research from University of Georgia scientists. Whether from nuclear accidents, global fallout from weapons testing, or production of nuclear energy, tadpoles could be used to determine the extent and severity of radioactive contamination. James C. Leaphart, lead investigator on the 32-day study, evaluated the rate at which the environmental pollutant radiocesium, a byproduct of nuclear production, accumulated through time in bullfrog tadpoles. Taken from an uncontaminated wetland, the tadpoles were placed in various locations in a canal on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, a former nuclear production facility. The canal received releases of radiocesium from a nearby reactor from 1954 to 1964. “Due to the rapid accumulation of radiocesium in these tadpoles, how much they accumulated and their inability to leave aquatic systems before metamorphosis, these tadpoles are excellent indicators of the bioavailability and distribution of radiocesium in the system,” said Leaphart, graduate student at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. According to the study results, published in the Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, bullfrog tadpoles reached what the researchers describe as maximum threshold, or the point at which their uptake of the contaminant stopped, between 11 and 14 days. This accumulation rate was significantly faster than rates recorded for waterfowl and fish, species previously studied for uptake of the contaminant, according to Leaphart. Rates in these species varied significantly, with a range of 17 to 175 days. James Beasley, Leaphart’s adviser and associate professor at SREL and Warnell, said how quickly a species reaches the threshold level of accumulation is vital in determining its use as a biomonitor of the contaminant. “If it takes a long time to achieve the threshold level, factors like animal movement and changes in diet can play a role in influencing the results,” he said. Tadpoles are more likely to reflect local contamination levels, according to Beasley. That’s because factors like movement and changes in food availability will not have as much of an impact on an individual’s exposure compared to species that may take several weeks or months to achieve maximum levels. “Isolation is key,” Leaphart said. “Tadpoles spend the first portion of their lives in aquatic systems—canals, wetlands and ponds—foraging on plants, algae, insect larvae and sediments where radiocesium has a tendency to bind.” Understanding radiocesium accumulation patterns in amphibians is important, the researchers said, because they have the potential to transfer contaminants within food webs as well as disperse aquatic contaminants into terrestrial ecosystems following metamorphosis. Additional authors on this research include Kaitlin C. Wilms and A. Lawrence Bryan of the University of Georgia Savannah River Ecology Laboratory.
  • The University of Georgia says rock blasting is scheduled for this afternoon: it is part of the ongoing construction of the University’s new STEM Research building. UGA says the blasting is expected around 5:30, with the stretch of East Campus Road between Cedar and East Green Streets closed while the explosions take place.   The City Council in Statham meets for another budget work session: the Council says it will be late in finalizing this year’s Statham budget, meeting next week’s July 1 start of the new fiscal year. The earliest possible budget adoption date is now July 5. The Statham Council is looking at a $1.5 million city operating budget.  Crews worked through the day Tuesday, trying to bring the Hart County 911 dispatch center back on-line: the facility in Hartwell was hit by lightning Monday. Hart County’s emergency calls were then dispatched through Elbert County.  The water line maintenance work that started earlier this week is expected to wrap up later today in Gainesville: water pressure and water color along upwards of a dozen streets in Gainesville has been impacted since the work began Monday.  OSHA levies fines against a company in Gwinnett County: Woodgrain Millworks in Lawrenceville is looking at more than $125,000 in sanctions for allegedly exposing its workers to hazardous chemicals.    The US Justice Department is now involved in the FAA's subpoena of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. The FAA called for records in its investigation of the airport's finances and possible misuse of airport money.  
  • A local 4-H camp that was closed in a public health scare is now open again. Channel 2 investigative reporter Aaron Diamant learned that campers at Rock Eagle in Putnam County tested positive for norovirus.  “We’re confident that the cleaning definitely made sure that the environment was safe for returning campers,” said Michael Hokanson with the Georgia Department of Public Health. “They did a 100% job…completely cooperative with us.” Last week, more than 50 campers caught a stomach bug that caused vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. “We’re doing a deep cleaning today with a deep disinfect. We sent all our summer camp counselors home to allow them to rest and also give our staff the best opportunity to clean the place,” State 4H Leader Arch Smith told Channel 2 Action News last week.  State health officials now confirm lab tests from some of the sickened campers came back positive for norovirus.  “It can be serious in the sense that like all gastrointestinal illnesses, if you’re not replacing the fluids that you use through vomiting, through diarrhea, you can get dehydrated and that can be a very serious situation,” Hokanson said. The agency is now urging anyone who visited Rock Eagle last week to fill out an online survey, even if they didn’t get sick, to help the state identify the source. “As long as people answer the survey questions, we’ll be able to see if there was something connected to the camp that caused it, because with norovirus it’s always hard to pinpoint a 100% certain cause, where the initial spread happened,” Hokanson said. Hokanson told Diamant that state inspectors tested the camp’s kitchens and pools Monday, and all came back clean. “As far as we’re concerned, the camp is 100% safe for people to return,' Hokanson said.
  • Clarke County Sheriff Ira Edwards has been elected and installed as the Secretary of National Sheriff’s Association: it happened during the Association’s annual conference in Kentucky.  From the Clarke Co Sheriff’s Office… We are pleased to announce Sheriff Ira Edwards, Jr. was elected and sworn in as Secretary at the National Sheriffs’ Association Annual Conference on June 18, 2019 in Louisville, Kentucky.   Chartered in 1940, the National Sheriffs' Association is a professional association dedicated to serving the Office of Sheriff and its affiliates through law enforcement education and training, and through the provision of general law enforcement informational resources. NSA represents thousands of sheriffs, deputies and other law enforcement, public safety professionals, and concerned citizens nationwide.   Through the years, NSA has provided programs for Sheriffs, their deputies, chiefs of police, and others in the field of criminal justice to perform their jobs in the best possible manner and to better serve the people of their cities, counties or jurisdictions.   Sheriff Edwards continues to make his community proud as he represents Clarke County on a local, state, and national level.

Bulldog News

  • RUTLEDGE Georgia football senior captain J.R. Reed said he comes to Camp Sunshine each year knowing what to expect. 'It's really a blast,' said Reed, the only UGA player made available to the media at the two-hour-plus event. 'It puts a smile on my face to know I'm inspiring these kids, and they inspire me.' Mo Thrash, a camp founder and organizer the past 37 years, says there's also an unpredictable element each time the Bulldogs come out to visit the young cancer-stricken patients. While Reed practically glows with happiness, Thrash's trained eye notes each player reacts differently to the young cancer-stricken patients that the camp serves. The players take part in dodge ball games and shoot baskets, in addition to performing arts and crafts with the campers. 'You never know what you'll see, because everyone is touched differently, and it's amazing to see the interaction each time the guys come out,' Thrash said during the Bulldogs' 2 1/2-hour team visit on Wednesday. 'Whether it's a little boy or a little girl, a relative, or someone they know in a group, all of these boys have been touched by cancer somewhere in their lives.' Some more direct than others. Georgia football incoming freshman tight end Ryland Goede made a personal visit at the camp on Wednesday to his young cousin, who has Down syndrome. 'That was special right there,' Thrash said. 'Then you had Otis Reese and his interactions, and he was almost in tears. You could see what it meant to him.' No doubt, the emotions can run high at Camp Sunshine. Several players noted last week how they saw a softer, more emotional side of Coach Kirby Smart as the former All-SEC safety and program leader shared how his family dealt with cancer together. RELATED: Camp Sunshine a Smart place for cancer patients to find happiness Quarterback Jake Fromm explained last week how it's a special opportunity to have the sort of influence that can lift others. ' As soon as you put on the jersey, it's a different world, it's a different power,' Fromm said. 'I'm thankful to be on this stage and get to spend some time with some awesome people and hopefully make their day.' RELATED: Georgia stars Jake Fromm, D'Andre Swift provide rays of joy Freshman running back Kenny McIntosh has yet to get is first carry for the Bulldogs, but he scored big in the campers eyes, according to Thrash. 'Look at that, they have to run him out of here,' Thrash said, noting that McIntosh was signing autographs and posing for pictures with campers who appeared to be naturally drawn to him. 'Then earlier, Kenny had his hat and he was asking the campers for their autographs, too!' RELATED: Photo gallery from Georgia football first visit to Camp Sunshine Reed said he, too, has a hard time when it's time to load back on the bus. 'I wish the trip was a lot longer than a couple hours,' Reed said. 'It's something I always look forward to. 'When you come often, you connect with the kids, and you see them grow, and they see you grow.' And Thrash takes it all in, the same Georgia football program he's known since Vince and Barbara Dooley were on the original board. It's a different scene each time, Thrash said, but always rewarding. Georgia football captain J.R. Reed The post VIDEO: Camp Sunshine hits Georgia players in wonderfully different ways appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Former Georgia football receiver Jeremiah 'J.J.' Holloman has entered his name into the NCAA transfer portal after being dismissed from the Bulldogs team last Friday. Holloman was set to be the go-to target on a Georgia team expected to compete for the SEC championship this season before a police report surfaced in which he allegedly admitted to striking an ex-girlfriend following the 2018 UGA G-Day game. The victim did not file a report of the incident that allegedly occurred on April 22, 2018, with the University of Georgia Police Department until June 2, 2019. The police report states that the victim 'did not want to pursue an investigation for this incident' and 'wouldn't want him to be subject to criminal charges.' Due to that, the police report lists the case as 'inactive.' Georgia coach Kirby Smart issued a statement after the police report surfaced in the media, first in Holloman's hometown paper, the Covington News. 'We expect every member of our team to uphold the highest standards and values of the University of Georgia and Georgia football,' Smart said. 'It is disappointing when this does not happen.' RELATED: Georgia title hopes take hit, transfers must step up The Bulldogs lost three receivers to the NFL Draft along with their top receiving tight end from the 2018 season. Holloman's dismissal leaves Georgia without its top five pass catchers from last season. Georgia will likely lean heaviest on incoming Miami graduate transfer Lawrence Cager, along with 2018 transfer Demetris Robertson and returning senior Tyler Simmons at the start of fall camp. UGA also added Tennessee graduate transfer tight end Eli Wolf. The Bulldogs also lost three players to transfers during this offseason. Backup freshman quarterback Justin Fields elected to transfer to Ohio State, freshman tight end Luke Ford chose to transfer back to his home state of Illinois, and reserve linebacker Jaden Hunter transferred to Western Kentucky. Fields was granted immediate eligibility with the Buckeyes, but Ford's request for a waiver to play immediately has been denied. Ford had high-profile attorney Tom Mars helping him make his case, leaving some surprised by the result. Mars helped paved the way for Fields' successful bid to gain immediate eligibility. Hunter played in only four games last season, which constitutes a redshirt under new NCAA rules. Former Georgia defensive back Deangelo Gibbs was suspended indefinitely when he transferred to the University of Tennessee, where he will be eligible to play this season. Former UGA reserve safety Tray Bishop, once a 4-star U.S. Army All-American recruit from Dawson, Ga, is also in the transfer portal. Bishop took part in the 2018 G-Day Game before being arrested in May of 2018 as a result of a 2017 incident. He did not appear in any games for Georgia. The post Former Georgia WR Jeremiah J.J.' Holloman enters NCAA transfer portal, his case inactive appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia basketball freshman Anthony 'Antman' Edwards has yet to play a second in a college game, but already, he's a legend in the making. RELATED: High-flying Antman' dazzles in McDonald's All-American Game Edwards, who's expected to start for Coach Tom Crean's Bulldogs this season, is being projected as the No. 1 overall pick by Bleacher Report in its 'Way-Too-Soon 2020 NBA Lottery Mock Draft.' 'He's a scoring 2-guard with secondary playmaking ability in the mold of Victor Oladipo,' writes Jonathan Wasserman, comparing the UGA freshman to the top-five NBA pick Crean developed at Indiana. 'Edwards has developed into a ball-screen weapon who can also create his own shot with drives, pull-ups and step-backs.' Edwards recently sat down with the WSB Bulldogs Game Day show and made it clear his mindset is to make it about 'team' at Georgia. 'I came to Georgia where we're a team, we were all highly recruited,' said Edwards, a consensus top-five national recruit out of Atlanta's Holy Spirit Prepatory School. 'We're in this together, no one is separate, and I love all my guys,' he said. 'We're all gelling together, getting to know each other, spending time with each other, building our chemistry and trying to get better as a team.' How's life at @UGABasketball with all the new recruits now in Athens? Here's Ant Man, Anthony Edwards! Go Dawgs! More on the Dawgs Saturdays at 10am on @WSBbulldogs on @wsbtv. pic.twitter.com/Gx2fUcZ4Ek Bulldogs Game Day (@WSBbulldogs) June 25, 2019 Some of that time together has been spent on the football field for conditioning, pushing sleds. DAWG SLEDS pic.twitter.com/SscBZ1PPCL Georgia Basketball (@UGABasketball) June 25, 2019 'We're gonna really kick the training up this offseason after this mandatory seven-day break,' Crean said after last season. 'This is not going to be business as usual.' The post WATCH: Georgia basketball's Anthony Antman' Edwards already projected No. 1 in NBA draft appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Former Georgia baseball players have made their professional debuts.
  • ATHENS It has been said that perception can overtake reality, and while in some instances that's true, it doesn't apply to SEC football. So while it's always a fun read to pick up the preseason magazines, people do so knowing the season will bear out where teams really stand, and how good players and position groups really are. That said, it's worth reviewing how Nashville-based Athlon Magazine editors Steven Lassan and Mitch Light view Georgia, from their preseason rank, to how they think the Bulldogs' position groups stack up. Georgia is the magazine's preseason No. 3 team, and Athlon is predicting the Bulldogs run the table in the regular season before losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. That seems to be the most common narrative across the country: Until the Bulldogs finish the job and beat the Crimson Tide, people won't be convinced. RELATED: Tebow says Kirby ahead of schedule, but needs to beat Bama Never mind that Georgia has led or been tied with the Tide118 minutes and 54 seconds of 120 minutes and 281 of 290 plays of the past two meetings in the CFP title game and SEC title game. Here's where Athlon has the Georgia position groups ranked among the top five, and a quick take on whether it's too high, or too low: Running backs 1. Alabama; 2. Georgia; 3. Florida; 4. Vanderbilt; 5. Auburn About right. If the UGA backfield stays healthy QB Jake Fromm and D'Andre Swift the Bulldogs will beat Alabama in the SEC Championship Game and can claim the best RB unit. Wide receivers 1. Alabama; 2. Florida; 3. Texas A&M; 4. LSU; 5. Missouri Too low. The rankings go seven deep, and Georgia is among those seven. It's understandable, but considering how transfers Lawrence Cager and Demetris Robertson project, UGA should be top 5. Offensive line 1. Georgia; 2. Alabama; 3. Missouri; 4. Auburn; 5. LSU. Spot on. Georgia has six offensive linemen returning with starting experience, including three former FWAA Freshman All-Americans. Four of the five projected starters are likely top 100 NFL Draft picks in 2020. Defensive line 1. Auburn, 2. Alabama; 3. Florida; 4. Texas A&M; 5. LSU; 6. Georgia About right. Sophomore Jordan Davis ranks is a rising star, but this is UGA's weakest group, and that's alarming considering there are five seniors in the rotation. Linebackers 1. Alabama; 2. Georgia; 3. LSU; 4. Mississippi State; 5. Florida Too high. Tae Crowder leads unsettled group. Can Monty Rice stay healthy? Sort out: Azeez Ojulari, Nolan Smith, Brenton Cox, Jermaine Johnson, Adam Anderson, Walter Grant, Nakobe Dean, Channing Tindall, Robert Beal Jr., Quay Walker and Nate McBride. Defensive backs 1. LSU, 2. Florida, 3. Alabama, 4. Georgia, 5. Auburn. Too low. Richard LeCounte and J.R. Reed are the best safety duo in the league, and Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell rank among the league's best cornerbacks. There's quality depth, as well, with Otis Reese, Divaad Wilson, and Tyrique McGhee pushing, and newcomers DJ Daniel and Tyrique Stevenson impressing. The post Georgia football position groups SEC ranking with Athlon, too high or too low appeared first on DawgNation.