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DawgNation Daily: Behind-the-scenes for Brandon Adams and his 1,000 shows

DawgNation Daily: Behind-the-scenes for Brandon Adams and his 1,000 shows

DawgNation Daily: Behind-the-scenes for Brandon Adams and his 1,000 shows

DawgNation Daily: Behind-the-scenes for Brandon Adams and his 1,000 shows

Peyton Manning had his famous "Omaha" play calls. Brandon Adams starts his days with a specific play, too.

Bacon egg and cheese. Donut shop coffee. Kiss the wife.

"DawgNation Daily" became an instant fan favorite. We thought the occasion of the showrunner's 1,000th show would be a good time to share an insider's view of the program.

Let's first explain that play call. They are the staples of every Adams morning as he makes his way out the door to Cox Media Group Studios in Sandy Springs. He broadcasts the signature show every Monday-Friday for DawgNation.com.

  • Bacon + egg + cheese: Adams has a breakfast sandwich of this variety every morning. The bacon gets a few laps around the microwave. This takes place before his morning shower.
  • Extra bacon, egg and cheese Intel: The eggs are scrambled. The bacon cooks for 65 seconds and the cheese is Sargento.
  • "Donut Shop" coffee: "BA" is usually a two-cup guy. The first one usually goes down while he is the only one who's up at his house. Sources say he puts down two cups before he leaves and a third in transit to the studio. We've got an issue here. His local Sam's Club store seems to be running out of stock of his preferred brand.
  • Kiss the wife and hug the fam: He kisses his wife, Gina, and shares the same private sweet sentiment every day on his way out the door.

The football games that provide the source material for his shows split up into four quarters. That's what the aim of this missive is for today. Adams has quarters of his day that add up to his 1,000 shows.

That's why DawgNation thought it was time to shine a little light into the first, second and third quarters of his "DawgNation Daily" program.

Adams would rather a lot of these details remain private. But there's something here that folks need to know about the man and the work that goes into his daily program.

It is not the fact he was once an elementary school teacher. He was "Mr. Adams" before he started working his way toward the first name "BA" basis he enjoys now with his audience.

DawgNation Daily: Humble roots for a flagship program

The first quarter would be the family moments before he hops on Georgia state Route 400. His show combines the elements of sports talk radio with a live on-camera show with graphics and produced segments for the DawgNation video channels.

How did this all come about? Adams knew the Georgia faithful wanted to listen to more about UGA each day than just the snippets and morsels from ESPN, SEC Network and local sports talk radio.

They wanted 450 or so like-minded individuals around their water cooler at work. Adams also believed they also wouldn't mind it if that water cooler chat took longer than five minutes, too.

He was right. On both counts.

His first show was cobbled together with a sweat ton of ambition and inspiration. "DawgNation Daily" started as a podcast before it evolved into the Facebook Live video stream in February of 2017. It now also airs on Twitter and YouTube.

All told, the average show attracts somewhere between 15,000 to 25,000 daily viewers.

The very first one was in the closet of the master bedroom in his home. He converted that closet into a studio. A trip to Wal-Mart was required to get some foam to aid the acoustics in that makeshift studio.

There was one early show which will always be a happy memory. It was not the news of a 5-star recruit. It was when his son, Charlie, was playing downstairs. Somehow the sounds of him saying "Come on, Daddy" and "Let's go" got by all that Wal-Mart do-it-yourself soundproofing.

Young Charlie Adams was just ready to go on vacation.

Adams will rise sometime between 5 and 6 a.m. every morning. He'll read the news of the day and start work on his regular DawgNation blog posts that support his show and other elements.

At that point, he'll wake his wife, Gina, up and she'll cook him breakfast, including that Adams-household famous bacon, egg, and cheese.

If anyone wants to test the strength of their marriage, try asking your spouse to do the same every day.

He aims to leave at a certain time but rarely does. But he's usually on the road by 7:30 a.m. each day. When he does, he's got his eyes on the clock. The DawgNation morning conference call every morning takes place approximately exactly one hour before he goes on the air.

The target launch time is 10 a.m. for every DawgNation Daily morning. It will vary by the time it takes to cook 10 strips of bacon in his microwave every morning.

"He feels blessed," Gina Adams said. "Blessed. He is very grateful that he gets to do this daily."


DawgNation Daily: Behind-the-scenes for Brandon Adams and his 1,000 shows

DawgNation Daily: The 999 pregames that add up to 1,000

Connor Riley has been producing "DawgNation Daily" for over a year. He sees a specific side of Adams that few do.

That's before the red lights on those two robotic cameras in the DawgNation.com studios go on.

"His entire show is planned out in his mind as far as I know as soon as he steps into the building, "Riley said. "It is just so much putting it down on paper and getting the audio and visual clips he wants."

Mailing it in? Come out with something on the top and see how it goes? Something generic? Those choices would not get a man to 1,000 shows in front of DawgNation every morning.

Adams is never the most tech-savvy guy in the room. Pretty much in any room. That's why his desk sits in one row of cubicles and he shifts to a desk in another row behind him to print out the rundown for each DawgNation Daily. Why? That's the one connected to the printer. It has become a tradition by now.

"When he walks into the studio, he's not checking his hair or making sure everything needs to be where it is," Riley said. "The second he walks in, the red light could be on and he'd be ready to go."

He will line his show up with guests. Those usually consist of an anchor telephone interview. Those usually stretch around 10 to 15 minutes, unless you're the DawgNation recruiting guy.

Adams begins with a set eight-to-nine minute monologue on the headline topic of the day. That's the one which scrawls across phones to let viewers DawgNation Daily is on the air.

He's highly analytical and reads as much on Georgia football as anyone in that media space.There's also a special way he handles every sponsor read. It always flows naturally.

"As impressive as he is about talking with Georgia the stuff he does with sponsorship is he can look at it one or two times before the show starts," Riley said. "Not even necessarily do a practice read for it and it will come out like you think he has done it a thousand times."

Its been pizza. Or lawyers. Or a trade organization. Whatever it is, he synthesizes that information like he's breaking down a brewing QB controversy in Athens.

DawgNation Daily: Once the red lights go on

Adams is a private person and a creature of habit. He'd likely rather not see a lot of these details reach the internet.

But once the lights go on, his daily show is for DawgNation as much as anything else. It is everyone's 1,000th DawgNation Daily. There might even be a few folks who have heard all 1,000 of his shows.

With this, it is their turn to tell their side of things.

Miriam Martin Corbin (Marietta, Ga.) "It is so great to hear him voice many of the feelings we in Dawg Nation have, both good and bad. His down-to-earth, self-effacing approach makes him very relatable and I feel he is more of a friend than just a broadcaster. He always tries to be upbeat, even in our darkest moments and is as excited as I am during the golden times of winning."

Steve Burnett (Roswell, Ga.) " The reason I tune in to Brandon and DawgNation Daily is it is a true daily update for hardcore Georgia Bulldogs fans. There are obviously many podcasts and news sources out there but Brandon has connected as the Pied Piper of the DawgNation community. Whether it's reporting live from on the field at the Rose Bowl, at one of the Marlow's Tavern remotes or on the podcast Brandon keeps plugged-in fans tuned in to the biggest news in Georgia football at that moment."

Bob Hayes (Ball Ground, Ga.) "I've been a Georgia football fan for more than 50 years but DawgNation has been a big part of my life ever since I started listening to it. Every morning I can't even go workout in Forsyth County at One Life Fitness because I've got to make sure I listen to my 10 o'clock program before I even go work out. As far as I'm concerned, you guys ought to have a TV show. I get so excited when I get through listening to it that I want to run outside and get out on all fours and try to hit somebody. It is that good every day. It really is."

Mark Morris (Anna Maria, Fla.) "Absolutely the best. Superb. I watch him every day. It has been very rare that I get to listen to his whole live show. But every afternoon, I will turn it on and listen to it and watch. I just love it."

Bryce Dixon (Blackshear, Ga.) " The reason I tune into DawgNation Daily and Brandon Adams is it is where all the fans go if they want that special fix for Georgia football news."

Corbin: " I plan my day around listening to his show as much as I canHis show has created friendships I would have otherwise missed out on. "

Dixon: "His favorite spots are in Jacksonville talking about those stinky Gators. Or playing in The Rose Bowl. There isn't another show I'd rather watch talking about the Dawgs. Let's watch 1,000 more!"

Hayes: "You have no idea at my age how much of a joy it is to start the day off listening to ya'll. You have no idea how much you mean to my wife and I. It just starts the day off right and makes it seem real. It makes it seem life-like. Brandon makes it seem like we are right there on the practice field each day watching the Dawgs. I tell you, Brandon is the best."

Burnett: " Brandon presents UGA football news from the fan's perspective. As he says on DawgNation Daily, he's not there to present news from the objective media.' For example, when the Dawgs land a 5-star or lose a 5-star he speaks in the mindset of a UGA fan."

Morris: "I can't even describe how much he connects me to the team. Because I live in Florida. I'm out of the physical loop and he brings me back in. I feel like I'm living right next to Sanford Stadium."

Dixon: " He just has passion talking about (UGA) and he means it."

Hayes: "Both my wife and I are addicted to DawgNation' every day," he said. "We can't stop. When I can't get it on my phone or my iPad hers comes on before mine so I've got to listen to her phone first before I get mine going. It is just amazing every day with Brandon. It really is."

Morris: "I like it when Brandon just is himself. His self-deprecating humor. He talks about his gut. The bald spot on his head. Says things like This is a bigger word here than I should use' all the time. He just personalizes it with all his content."

Corbin: " I always try to find BA' at all the games, because I do consider him a friend. It is truly a blessing to have BA's show to tune in to during this magical time for our Dawgs."


DawgNation Daily: Behind-the-scenes for Brandon Adams and his 1,000 shows

DawgNation Daily: The view of an Atlanta broadcast pro

Matt Chernoff is a savvy professional broadcaster. His work on WCNN-AM's "680 The Fan" is closing in on his 7,000th show by now.

The co-host of the well-liked "Chuck and Chernoff" show can also call Adams a friend. There was a time when they were co-workers. He's heard Adams go from weekend shifts and other duties in the Atlanta sports talk radio market to his current work for DawgNation.

"I always thought he was ahead of like the sports radio curve," Chernoff said. "In other words, his creativity was always three steps further than we all were down the road. If that makes sense. We were all doing the general sort of boring sports talk radio (such as) who won the game and he was always developing topics. He always had a creativity that I've always loved and respected which made him a great listen."

Chernoff brought up two clear things with Adams: 1) He loves talking UGA and that's in his wheelhouse; 2) When a professional radio voice loves talking about a subject, it will come off sincerely to the audience.

"Brandon is a great listen," Chernoff said. "He's a fun listen. He's a light listen. He can attack serious topics and discussions in a way that it makes for the audience incredibly easy for a listen. It doesn't sound like he is trying to complicate things. I always think Brandon does that very well."

There will never be another Larry Munson. Scott Howard is a polished play-by-play man who has found his own space in Bulldog lore. But Chernoff feels Adams is carving his own space between the ears of the DawgNation faithful.

Chernoff feels Adams wins over his audience by not trying to make it sound like he knows more about football than he does a good bacon, egg and cheese sandwich.

"You could be 18 or 88 and Brandon is going to make it interesting and relatable and enjoyable and entertaining," Chernoff said. "Talking recruiting. In the game. A coach's decision. Whatever it is. I don't think right now there's somebody in this market that's going to give it to you better than he is on all angles Georgia."

DND1,000: The CoolDown after every show

Adams enjoys his ability to connect with his audience through the thread of a love for all things Georgia.

He spends about 45 to 50 minutes of his show for his podcast, but a new wrinkle has emerged over the last 250 shows or so. It comes off the script.

That's the R.S. Andrews "Cool Down" segment where he directly engages his audience in whatever they want to talk about. Riley joins him in the interaction. Adams is so appreciative of the contributions made by Riley he even gives up some of his own air time and face time throughout his show.

"This is the time of our lives," Adams said recently to a group of more than 125 DawgNation fans who attended the recent "Dawg Days of Summer" preseason event at Brasstown Valley Resort and Spa in Young Harris last week.

He's very passionate about his show and his audience. The daily podcast will go on. No matter what happens with his show or whatever media property he works for.

There will be a daily podcast for DawgNation tomorrow. Of that, he is certain.

When he comes home, his children never know whether or not he had a great day. The last thing he will do is bring up Georgia football. That's because his day has been spent doing that all day. It could be the exact opposite of his audience.

"He comes in full of energy," Gina Adams said. "Even if he's Dawg tired. No pun intended. He's just a great Dad. He leaves work at work. I mean he usually does do some work at home but he usually separates that pretty well."

He'll likely crack his 2,000th show sometime in late August of 2023. Adams hopes Kirby Smart will have brought DawgNation at least one national championship by then. Maybe even two or three.

If all goes according to plan, the "Gator Hater Countdown" will also be knocking on the door of 2,500 days by then. The DawgNation team will never be quite sure which one of those feats might mean more to him.

Check out his 1,00th show below.

The post DawgNation Daily: Behind-the-scenes for Brandon Adams and his 1,000 shows appeared first on DawgNation.

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Local News

  • The University of Georgia announced Thursday that Maymester and Summer classes at all University System of Georgia institutions will be offered in an online format, with “limited exceptions.” The announcement from UGA President Jere W. Morehead was sent via Arch News to faculty, staff and students. According to the email, USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley said all USG institutions will open again for in-person instruction for the fall semester “assuming health conditions permit.”From UGA President Jere W. Morehead via Arch News “Thank you for your dedicated efforts to implement and participate in online instruction as we advance toward the completion of Spring Semester. I have been advised this morning by the University System of Georgia that instruction at all USG institutions will continue to be offered in a remote format, with only limited exceptions, through the summer term.   For UGA, this means that our Maymester and Summer Semester course offerings will be online. Any unit that wishes to seek an exception should contact their Dean or Vice President for appropriate review, which ultimately will require USG approval.  According to USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley, all institutions will return to normal operations for Fall Semester, assuming health conditions permit. For the immediate future, however, we are to continue our current telework and flexible work strategies to minimize the number of individuals who remain on campus to maintain operations and support remote instruction.  I realize the extraordinary demands that this pandemic places on everyone and thank you for your resilience and determination. Like you, I eagerly await the time when we can return to campus and regain some sense of normalcy. Until then, we must all do our part to maintain social distancing in order to stay safe and healthy. Together, we will persevere through these challenging times.”
  • Georgia’s fruit and vegetable farmers are bracing for what could be a very tough season---that that has nothing to do with the weather. Channel 2′s Berndt Petersen talked to one of the metro’s largest strawberry growers, who says some of the crop may die on the vine. In seven to ten days, the strawberries at commercial farms all over Georgia will be ripe, but in many cases, there won’t be enough workers to pick them. They may not look like it--but, but the first crop of strawberries at Jaemor Farms in Hall County will soon be ready. This is the point where a farmer usually worries about a freeze, maybe too much rain or low prices. 'Never in a million years did I think I’d be worrying about a virus, messing with a crop I’m so close to bringing in,' Drew Echols, with Jaemor Farms, said. Echols said it has caused serious concerns, starting with his seasonal workers from Mexico. He needs 13, but it looks like he'll only get nine. 'You've got people who had Visas for 10 years in a row. They're watching the news every day and they're scared. They don't want to come here,” Echols said. Echols said some of his biggest customers are the schools and restaurants. With the schools shut down, and restaurants either closed or reduced to carry out, demand has hit the floor. While grocery stores are busy, customers are going shopping less often. Produce is perishable. And they're not buying nearly as much. Echols said all across Georgia, a lot of fruit and vegetables may rot in the fields, partly because there aren't enough workers to pick it, and partly because consumers stuck at home aren't buying. He said some growers may not plant as much, for fear they won't be able to sell it, but Echols has reached the point of no return. “We’re treating every single day like we’ll sell the whole crop. I have to. Until I get to that point, we’re not taking the foot off the gas --let- let’s put it like that,” Echols said.
  • There were two big announcements from Governor Brian Kemp Wednesday: he’s closing all public schools for the rest of the school year, and he is issuing a statewide shelter in place order. Both measures are aimed at slowing the spread of coronavirus in Georgia. From the Clarke Co School District… Wednesday, April 1, 2020, Gov. Brian Kemp announced during a press conference that K-12 public schools will close for in-person classes for the rest of the school year. 'I want to stress that online learning will continue,' Kemp said at a press conference. 'I want to thank all of the educators and superintendents that have stayed in touch with us through this process to make the best of a tough situation. We will continue to work with them on the path forward.' Message from Dr. Xernona Thomas, Interim Superintendent I recognize how challenging the past weeks have been – the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing all of us to make adjustments every day. We are working on how to address the many issues we face due to Governor Kemp’s mandate to close school through the end of the year. Please be patient as we receive new updates and guidance from the Georgia Department of Education and local, state, and national agencies.
  • The University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government is quickly moving some popular education programs online so that state and local officials don’t fall behind during the coronavirus pandemic. Vinson faculty members offered their first online class in the Certified Public Manager program on March 19. All 31 participants that are enrolled in the current program, which began in August, participated. Students in the current CPM program have been meeting since August so it’s important for classes to continue uninterrupted, according to participant Tracy Mason. “It was good for the institute to have a plan and be able to deploy that videoconferencing program so fast,” said Mason, senior assistant director of the Judicial Council of Georgia/Administrative Office of the Courts. “I don’t feel that I would have preferred to wait until we could meet face-to-face again.” The CPM program provides professional education to managers throughout city, county and state government that helps them make fiscally and socially responsible decisions that benefit their communities. Having this kind of education will be even more important now as Georgia’s cities and counties deal with the impact from the novel coronavirus. This program, like most of the Vinson Institute’s certification programs, is offered through a series of courses that build upon each other over a period of months. It would be a setback for participants if there was a long delay between classes. The institute already had been moving some of its classroom courses online, which would increase accessibility for government officials spread throughout the state. But the virus, and subsequent statewide restrictions on gatherings in groups, made the changes more critical, said Tracy Arner, financial management program manager at the Vinson Institute. “It’s shaping, really moment by moment, how we’re delivering services,” Arner said. Vinson faculty used Blackboard Collaborative Ultra to videoconference the March 19 CPM class on budgeting. Through that platform, class participants could raise a virtual hand if they had a question, gather into small discussion groups, and “talk” back and forth with the instructor and among themselves. “The class itself went on without missing a beat,” said participant Trey Wood, Jackson County finance director. “Once everybody got comfortable and started communicating back and forth, it was easy to stay engaged.” Even though they weren’t in a room together, participant Niki Lemeska said the interaction via video kept the class on track. “It allows you to feel like you’re picking up on the vibe of what’s going on in the classroom even though you’re not seeing your classmates live,” said Lemeska, program manager with the Georgia Commission on Family Violence. Vinson already offered online learning, with standalone courses and webinars, said Laura Meadows, director of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. “What’s new is we’re now providing live online instruction for courses we have previously delivered face-to-face,” Meadows said. Another Institute of Government course, the North Atlanta Regional Management Development Program, was taught online using Zoom on March 25. Participant John “Kevin” Norred, deputy chief of the Troup County Fire Department in LaGrange, found the process unusual but fulfilling. “I really thought I would be working today with this Zoom thing going ‘wah, wah, wah’ in the background,” Norred said. “But I found myself engrossed and engaged just like in class. I just don’t have to drive home.” While many classes are being adapted for videoconferencing, the institute will continue to offer webinars and self-study online classes for government officials throughout Georgia. Many are certified by the Georgia Department of Revenue, allowing local tax officials to earn continuing education credit. Others allow local and state leaders to work toward or maintain certification. You can find available classes at https://t.uga.edu/5M0.
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Bulldog News

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  • ATHENS The best leaders and the most intelligent people are the ones who know what they don't know. Georgia football coach Kirby Smart a four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll during his playing career served up a reminder of that when he deferred on speculating about college football's future. WATCH: Breaking down Kirby's spring football briefing 'I can't speculate on what I don't know, and we don't have a large amount of information right now,' Smart said. 'It's no fault of anybody. I'm not trying to point any blame, but we don't know a lot about the future and what that holds. 'I'm not going to sit back and say well this is what I think should be done, or this is what I think is going to happen, because I don't think that does anybody any good .' Smart did, however, feel comfortable enough to talk about his team. The 2020 Bulldogs are set up for an SEC Championship and College Football Playoff run on the strength of what on paper is the best returning defense in the nation. Georgia returns nine of 11 starters from its Sugar Bowl team, and Smart said there are rising sophomores and juniors that appear on the verge of breaking through even more. Here are three takeaways from Smart's teleconference with Georgia football beat writers earlier this week: 1. Priority on players Smart, like the CEOs of many of the nation's top organizations, has placed a priority on his personnel and ensuring their well-being ahed of any of the football business. Smart was quarantined himself after returning with his family from Central America at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic's severe effects on the U.S. society. It's clear he demands his players take the social distancing directives seriously. 'Th e No. 1 thing is the well-being of our players, their families, our student-athletes, our students at the University of Georgia,' Smart said. 'We're trying every way we can to make sure that they have everything they need because so many of them have parents in harm's way. 'They're in harm's way taking care of themselves if they don't respect what they're being told.' 2. Kirby's going to Kirby Thoroughness and efficiency are two of the traits that make Smart one of the best coaches in the nation, and he didn't take long to shift into that mode. Smart was among the first to push for videoconferencing, and that helped lead to the SEC approaching two hours of online 'chalk talk' between players and their coaches per week last Friday. The new measure took effect last Monday. 'In anticipation of doing it we were trying to get ready, we were practicing ourselves,' Smart said. 'A lot of these kids are better at these technological things than the coaches are, so we had to practice . to get ready so that we hit the ground running.' 3. Confident in quarterbacks Smart didn't exactly use the word 'comfortable' when asked about Jamie Newman. But he revealed the Georgia graduate transfer quarterback had found some 'rhythm' while throwing with receivers in limited work. Quarterbacks will be the position players most affected by the football stoppage, Smart said. But then he also revealed that Newman and the other UGA signal callers were able to at least get some familiarity with the offense. 'As far as the QB and the offense for our guys, I mean, we were able to meet leading up to spring practice,' Smart said. ' . we were able to have walkthroughs leading up to spring time, which we maximized that time. Not anticipating that we wouldn't have spring, but just knowing that we had new quarterbacks and due to the offensive systems we had to make sure we spent time with that. So we spent a lot of time on that.' DawgNation Kirby Smart offseason stories Kirby Smart reveals 5 players who impressed in workouts How CO-VID 19 is affecting Georgia football recruiting Why Kirby Smart gave Scott Cochran opportunity Nick Saban wouldn't Updates on rehab progress of Dominick Blaylock, D'Wan Mathis Smart boosts Dan Lanning over $1 million, new staff salary numbers Quarterbacks affected more than any position during stoppage, per Kirby Kirby Smart's sports stoppage message: Control what you can control D'Wan Mathis family thanks Kirby Smart, Georgia The post 3 takeaways from Georgia football coach Kirby Smart beat writer teleconference appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football coach Kirby Smart covered a lot of ground in his teleconference with beat writers on Tuesday, leaving some room for speculation in key areas. Smart made sure everyone knew his top priority was taking care of the players, but he also shared some updates on transfer quarterback Jamie Newman and the rehab of receiver Dominick Blaylock and D'Wan Mathis. The Ingles on The Beat segment ran twice on Tuesday, both on Facebook live and on YouTube. Here's are the clips, including a Florida Gators fan crashing the party and getting a DawgNation lecture! Ingles on The Beat Facebook Live (Part One) Ingles on The Beat YouTube Live (Part Two) The post WATCH: Breaking down Kirby Smart's spring sports break briefing appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Kirby Smart is the first coach to tell anyone football is played in pads. But on Tuesday, the Georgia football head coach was in a giving mood. Giving, as in wanting to help the media tell the Bulldogs' fans what has been going on with the football team during this unprecedented COVID-19-related sports stoppage. So, who looked good during the offseason workouts before UGA went on spring break and the NCAA ordered a suspension of activities back on March 12? 'A lot of football is built off pads, we didn't get to do that,' Smart said. 'We did get to do offseason running, and movement and agility. There's a ton of that sophomore and junior group that's waiting to jump up and make that impact.' Smart said he does 'hate to single one guy out, but there are guys that are working really hard.' So . ? 'I thought that George (Pickens) was competing really hard and doing good things in the workouts,' Smart said. 'He really liked the competitive side of things.' Pickens is coming off a Sugar Bowl MVP performance. Pickens will be a key to the scheme new offensive coordinator Todd Monken is building. ' Clay Webb was a guy who was really competing hard,' Smart said, an indication of the battle shaping up on the interior offensive line. 'He did some good things.' Smart also mentioned returning senior offensive guard Justin Shaffer, a 6-foot-4, 330-pounder. Shaffer started after Solomon Kindley went down with an ankle injury against Notre Dame. He seemed entrenched before suffering a season-ending neck injury and missing the final eight games of the season. 'Shaffer's coming back off of injury,' Smart said. 'Not that he was an outstanding performer, but considering that he wasn't able to do anything for six to eight weeks, and now he's coming out there competing and pushing through adversity. I was really proud of the way he worked. And he tried to lead.' Fans already know there's going to be a lot of competition at running back, and Smart added fuel to the fire. ' James Cook, I mean, we had competition daily to see who was going to win individual battles, and James probably had the largest winning percentages,' Smart said. 'He and Zamir (are) really challenging each other and competing really hard. 'Those guys can continue to grow' It remains to be seen how players will stay in shape during the break. But the head coach has certainly taken note of a few, and now the Georgia DawgNation fans will, too. One takeaway: All of the players Smart mentioned were on offense. It's pretty clear the head coach is going to make sure the Georgia defense, which returns 9 of 11 starters from its Sugar Bowl team, does not get complacent. DawgNation Kirby Smart offseason stories How CO-VID 19 is affecting Georgia football recruiting Why Kirby Smart gave Scott Cochran opportunity Nick Saban wouldn't Smart boosts Dan Lanning over $1 million, new staff salary numbers Quarterbacks affected more than any position during stoppage, per Kirby Kirby Smart's sports stoppage message: Control what you can control The post Kirby Smart reveals 5 Georgia football players who impressed during offseason workouts appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Dan Lanning has become the highest paid assistant on the Georgia football staff after the Bulldogs led the nation in scoring defense and rushing defense last season. Georgia did so despite not having a defensive player selected first-team All-SEC unity, according to an Associated Press panel. RELATED: League-leading Georgia defense shut out on AP All-SEC first team Lanning, 33, had his salary elevated from $750,000 in 2019 to $1.25 million for this upcoming season, per UGA athletic director Greg McGarity. In addition to coordinating the nation's No. 3-ranked total defense, Lanning coached up FWAA Freshman of the Year Semifinalist Azeez Ojulari at outside linebacker. He also landed the nation's No. 1 recruit, outside linebacker Nolan Smith, along with the No. 1 JUCO recruit, outside linebacker Jermaine Johnson. Lanning was making just $325,000 in 2018 before he was promoted from within the staff to replace Mel Tucker after Tucker left to become the Colorado head football coach. OPINION: Dan Lanning promotion to defensive coordinator a promising hire Georgia head coach Kirby Smart maintains a large presence on the Bulldogs' defense, staying involved with coaching the secondary and working in concert with Lanning on play calls. It's clear Smart has a chemistry with the rising coaching star; the two worked together at Alabama prior to Georgia. Lanning coached the Memphis inside linebackers and was the Tigers' recruiting coordinator in 2016 and 2017 before joining the Bulldogs' staff. Prior to the Memphis job, Lanning served as a graduate assistant in 2015 on an Alabama coaching staff that featured Smart as the defensive coordinator and Tucker as the secondary coach. Defensive line coach Tray Scott also received a noteworthy raise, from $470,000 to $600,000, per salary numbers that first appeared in the Athens Banner-Herald. The raise was likely on the strength of the Bulldogs leading the nation in rushing defense as well as the performance of young players. WATCH: Dan Lanning discusses Georgia 'No-Name' Defense before Sugar Bowl Scott is one of only three assistant coaches who remain from Smart's original staff in 2017, along with running backs coach Dell McGee and inside linebackers coach Glenn Schumann. Todd Monken is the highest paid offensive assistant. Monken was hired in making $1.1 million as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, essentially replacing James Coley. McGarity told DawgNation on Tuesday night that all of the salaries (listed below) involving raises were negotiated before the coronavirus pandemic brought the sports world to a standstill and affected the global economy. Georgia Football Salaries 2020 ( 7.2 million) Dan Lanning: Defensive Coordinator / OLB Coach $1.25 million Todd Monken:, Offensive Coordinator / QB coach $1.1 million Matt Luke: Offensive Line / Assoc. Head coach $900,000 Dell McGee: RB coach / Run game coord. $650,000 Charlton Warren: secondary coach $600,000 Glenn Schumann: Asst. DC / Inside linebackers $600,000 Tray Scott: defensive line coach $600,000 Cortez Hankfton: WR coach $550,000 Scott Cochran: Special teams coordinator $550,000 Todd Hartley, TE coach $400,000 2019 staff: 6.045 million James Coley: Offensive Coordinator / QB Coach $950,000 Sam Pittman: Associate Head Coach / OL Coach $900,000 Dan Lanning: Defensive Coordinator / OLB Coach $750,000 Dell McGee: Run Game Coordinator / RB Coach $650,000 Charlton Warren: DB Coach $600,000 Cortez Hankton: Pass Game Coordinator / WR Coach $550,000 Glenn Schumann: Co-Defensive Coordinator / ILB Coach $550,000 Tray Scott: DL Coach $470,000 Scott Fountain: Special Teams Coordinator $325,000 T odd Hartley: TE Coach $300,000 2018 staff: $6.42 million Mel Tucker: Defensive coordinator / secondary $1,500,000 Jim Chaney Offensive coordinator / tight ends $950,000 James Coley Quarterbacks / Co-offensive coord. $850,000 Sam Pittman, Offensive line $825,000 Dell McGee, Running backs $550,000 Tray Scott, Defensive line $420,000 Cortez Hankton, Wide receivers $375,000 Glenn Schumann, Inside linebackers $325,000 Dan Lanning, Outside linebackers $325,000 Scott Fountain, Special teams $300,000 2017 staff: $4.56 million Mel Tucker: Defensive coordinator / secondary $900,000 (Now at Michigan State Jim Chaney: Offensive coordinator / quarterbacks $850,000 (Now at Tennessee) Sam Pittman: Offensive line $660,000 (Now at Arkansas) James Coley: Receivers $450,000 (Now at Texas A&M) Tray Scott: Defensive line $400,000 Kevin Sherrer: Linebackers $375,000 (Now with N.Y. Giants) Dell McGee: Running backs $350,000 Shane Beamer: Tight ends, $300,000 (Now at Oklahoma) Glenn Schumann: Inside linebackers $275,000 The post Rising coaching star Dan Lanning becomes Georgia football's highest paid assistant appeared first on DawgNation.