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Dylan Fairchild: Georgia offer to 4-star OL was like ‘drinking from a fire hydrant’

Dylan Fairchild: Georgia offer to 4-star OL was like ‘drinking from a fire hydrant’

Dylan Fairchild: Georgia offer to 4-star OL was like ‘drinking from a fire hydrant’

Dylan Fairchild: Georgia offer to 4-star OL was like ‘drinking from a fire hydrant’

Want to attack every day with the latest UGA football recruiting info? That's what the Intel brings. This entry gets onthe mat with Class 7A state heavyweight wrestling champion Dylan Fairchild. He picked up a big UGA offer earlier this year.

Dylan Fairchild now has over 20 offers, but he's still getting used to this recruiting stuff.

"I really didn't get recruited big-time or pretty much at all my freshman or sophomore years," he said. "So this is really all kind of new to me for my junior year."

South Carolina was his first "big" offer from the Southeastern Conference. That one was extended his way prior to his junior season. It was one of the very best days of his life so far. He all but jumped out of his size-15 shoes.

LSU and Georgia offered in early March. He believes the Bulldogs were his 20th offer at that time.

The 247Sports Composite ratings have him as the nation's No. 20 offensive guard and the No. 343 overall prospect for 2020. The pure 247 rating has him as the nation's No. 12 guard and the No. 188 overall prospect. It seems more in line with the type of player he can at the next level.

Those traits reflect his worth, but maybe not as much as these next two bullet points:

  • Georgia line coach Matt Luke evaluates Fairchild as a versatile do it all lineman. "But the plan would be to start me out at tackle there," Fairchild said. "Coach Luke sees me as a tackle."
  • Fairchild also won the Georgia High School Association's Class 7A heavyweight wrestling title earlier this year. He logged a 46-0 record with 46 pitfalls. He actually pinned an opponent in just four seconds. That came deep in the championship bracket.

His football DNA shows what he can do even more precisely below.

What does he love best about playing the game of football?

"I'll be honest here," he says. "It is just trying to get to pummel and hurt someone over and over all night long. Just ruin somebody else's night and not having any consequences. I mean really coming from a wrestling background and wrestling and football background it is just who I am."

"I quit baseball last year because it was too non-contact and too boring. I threw track last year and I told my coaches it was too boring. I have to have contact. That's my favorite sign about football and wrestling is you get to compete with someone and just try to dominate them all night last. That's just the best feeling for me. Dominating someone is just really it."

Georgia offered earlier this month. That places the Bulldogs squarely into the mix of his top schools for his eventual college decision.

"We were blown away," Fairchild said of the Georgia offer. "It was like drinking from a fire hydrant with all of their academic support and everything. We were kind of just blown away."


Dylan Fairchild: Georgia offer to 4-star OL was like ‘drinking from a fire hydrant’

Dylan Fairchild: The early things to know here

Fairchild is fun to be around. He is a strong communicator and tells the story of how his father was introduced to a baby named "Dylan Cooper" at the hospital when he was born and plugged those first two names into his own birth certificate.

He will mimic the growling snarl of the West Forsyth school mascot on cue at a photographer's request and will actually be quite good at it. Not to mention completely accommodating.


Dylan Fairchild: Georgia offer to 4-star OL was like ‘drinking from a fire hydrant’

That's probably why he can say that he wears the No. 51 jersey for his Wolverines and actually make it seem not so corny that Del Monte wouldn't can it.

"Five linemen and one heartbeat," he said. "At my school, I try to be an offensive line leader and try to lead our team. It all starts at the line of scrimmage so if you've got all five of those guys all with one heartbeat and all on the same level then everything else behind you is going to fall into place and it is going to work out."

When the interview concludes, he will say that he loves to fish. He is actually headed out to catch a fish. When he throws his line in the water, he will even snag a fish, too.

He brings up his blessings often. He has the ability to play two sports at a very elite level for a high school athlete. How much does his faith matter to him?

"For me personally it is living in God's glory," Fairchild said. "I'll always remember this verse Whether you are eating or drinking you always live in God's glory. Do things for the glory of God' and I mean God blessed me with this body. Like you said, you're just born that way."

"I've just been blessed and it would be a shame for me to throw that away."

He wakes up somedays "turned up" and ready to go. But he has other days where he doesn't crackle with energy.

"The days that I am struggling or days that I am tired it is just those moments where I remember what I am doing all for," he said. "It is just living in that glory and achieving that goal I have wanted to achieve since I was a little kid."

Coach speak: West Forsyth's David Svehla on Dylan Fairchild

David Svehla has only been the coach at West Forsyth for about five weeks. That was still enough time for him to notice a lot of positive character traits about Fairchild in his program.

"I haven't known him for a number of years like a lot of people here," Svehla said. "I don't have any preconceived notions. I'm seeing him a lot for the first time now. The thing that stands out to me is he is a good leader."

"The kids like him and they follow him. Part of that is he is really good. Part of that is because he seems to me to be all in. He's bought in when he's in the weight room. He's bought in when's running. He's bought in during our meetings. He's been a really good influence on our younger players."

"Everyone is attracted to that really good player. But sometimes that really good kid isn't a good leader. Sometimes that really good kid isn't a guy you want to follow. Sometimes the really good kid just keeps to himself. He doesn't possess those kinds of characteristics. That is just not Dylan at all."

Svehla has noticed Fairchild run. He's seen him fly around those agility ladders. He feels he would be a great defensive lineman, too.

"He has outstanding feet," Svehla said.

But the thing that has really impressed him has been the way Fairchild carries himself both on and off the field. He feels he is a guard at the college level and that he will very good one at that.

"He's just naturally aggressive," Svehla said. "I'm of the opinion that you can teach everyone to pass block but you can't teach everyone to be great at run blocking. You have to have the physicality and have to be naturally aggressive. Dylan has that."

You asked for it. We heard you. Our weekly live DawgNation "Before the Hedges" recruiting show is now up on Apple podcasts. Check it out.

The moving parts of the college decision for Dylan Fairchild

What is he looking for in a college fit? It won't be a wrestling program. He knows he will be a football player at the next level.

He shared a few core criteria:

  • "My relationship with my coach, well definitely all of the coaches, is definitely going to be big in enrolling and where I go to school."
  • "The environment and the players."
  • "Really just communication and relationship are my two biggest things. By the time I would graduate [in high school] I would have had three separate position coaches and two separate head coaches so just developing that relationship and stability and knowing that I am going to a solid place is really going to be a big thing for me."
  • "My whole family is all Dawgs fans. Well, actually split between Georgia and Georgia Tech."
  • "My perspective before the [Georgia] offer was that's just the top of the line, you know? That's D-1. When you say D-1 playing high school football in Georgia, that's the University of Georgia. It was a big fish in a little pond but as I got more comfortable with [Georgia line coach Matt Luke] and as we build our relationship that they have offered. It seems more of like a comforting feeling. I can go there and I live in the state so it is a pretty easy drive for me. I can go down there and just talk to him and just really develop that relationship instead of I mean as a kid you're like Ooh Georgia' but when you're in it and you've got the offer there's nothing really else to earn it is just really building that relationship and trying to communicate with them."

He has no timeline for his college decision. South Carolina was that first big offer and that program has done an excellent job of recruiting him.

Auburn continues to recruit him effectively. First-year line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. has made him a priority.

"Coach Bicknell at Auburn told me he's like I'm not going to tell you you're the greatest player or you're the greatest thing since sliced bread but I think that, for me, he said that he's got one guy every single year that he recruits that he's just got that right connection with and he told me that I'm that guy for him this year."

The unique way Matt Luke offered Dylan Fairchild

The way Fairchild was offered here says two things: 1) How much Georgia valued him as a potential member of the 2021 class: 2) The way new line coach Matt Luke does things on the recruiting trail.

When he visited Georgia earlier this month, he got to experience some good face time with Kirby Smart first.

"The first thing we did was talk to coach Smart," Fairchild said. "He said this is Georgia and we get the top of the line and we get to pick who and what we want. He was just kind of building the suspense."

But he didn't get the offer. Luke had told Smart he wanted to do that. In-person.

When Fairchild and Luke were riding around campus on an unofficial visit, the offer came in the back SUV.

"Coach Luke brought me into the car," Fairchild said. "He just looked at me and told me I wanted to do this face to face' and I'm the kind of guy who will do this face to face. I'm not the kind of guy who will send you a text and offer you. I wanted you here. I wanted you to see me and get a face with the name' is what he said."

He won't soon forget it.

"That was a good moment," Fairchild said. "He and I really connected in that moment."

Luke told Fairchild that he likes big and strong and athletic guys for his line.

"That's not the only thing he looks at," Fairchild said. "He likes to see athleticism and versatility and just a well-rounded football player. The main thing he pointed out to me is that I am very athletic and versatile. He told me he sees me at tackle, but I can play tackle. I can play guard. I can play center. I think that's really one of the main reasons they decided to offer because I can come in there and plug any position."

Luke even shared with him why he was an offer for his offensive line room at UGA. Fairchild did not get a scholarship offer from former line coach Sam Pittman.

"Everybody wants to get a Georgia offer," Fairchild said. "Everyone who lives in Georgia and plays football wants to play football for Georgia. But I think that's really the main thing. I think that's what coach Luke wanted to express. He said this is a different time' and things have changed' and like I said things change' and that thing has changed. I think that's one of the things that he really wanted to express to me."


Dylan Fairchild: Georgia offer to 4-star OL was like ‘drinking from a fire hydrant’

Georgia football recruiting on DawgNation

The post Dylan Fairchild: Georgia offer to 4-star OL was like drinking from a fire hydrant' appeared first on DawgNation.

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  • The U.S. Congress has passed a $2 trillion emergency relief bill that will expand unemployment insurance, provide $1,200 stimulus checks in emergency financial relief to most American adults and provide life preservers to distressed businesses impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic. The bill, touted as the largest economic stimulus package in U.S. history, was passed by the U.S. Senate and U.S. House this week and is expected to be signed by the president. William Lastrapes, the Bernard B. and Eugenia A. Ramsey Chair of Private Enterprise in the department of economics at the University of Georgia, argues Congress had to take action. What has this pandemic done to the U.S. economy? The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has inflicted two negative shocks on the U.S. economy. One is a “supply” shock – much of what the economy produces depends on face-to-face human interaction; the social distancing so necessary to slow the spread of the virus reduces our capacity to produce goods and services. The other is a “demand” shock – laid-off workers and falling output cause incomes to fall, which in turn constrains the ability of households and businesses to spend. These distinct shocks clearly reinforce each other in a downward spiral of economic activity. What is the objective of Congress’ stimulus plan? Because the current situation is a global epidemic and economic crisis, the U.S. federal government must act to stabilize the economy and provide a sense of security to the nation’s citizens. The $2 trillion stimulus package just passed by Congress aims to do this. The package is an unprecedented amount — the Recovery Act of 2009 in the midst of the financial crisis came in at just under $900 billion — and we should think of it as an insurance payment made by the government to U.S. households and businesses in light of a massive, harmful and unpredictable event, one so big and systematic that private insurance cannot cover it. But the federal government can, through its ability to tax and spread the costs over people and over time. The government’s stimulus check puts money in people’s pockets for them to spend now, when spending is needed, even though incomes are falling. It also aims to protect private credit markets to keep money flowing between borrowers and lenders. The federal injection of cash can prevent a self-fulfilling decline in the economy by coordinating a rise in overall spending. It is unlikely that even with this fiscal stimulus a recession will be avoided, but perhaps a long-lasting and deep depression can be. Can the federal government afford a $2 trillion stimulus plan? Most of the stimulus package comes in the form of “transfer payments” from one group of individuals to another. For example, the plan allocates $250 billion to boost unemployment insurance for those losing jobs, $301 billion in direct cash transfers to individuals, and $349 billion in loans to small businesses to help make payroll, rent and utility payments. Another $150 billion flows as direct aid to states, while almost half a trillion dollars will be set aside to support the Federal Reserve System’s new lending facilities, aimed at providing needed liquidity to the banking and business sectors. None of these programs entail direct spending by the government (like, say, building a road or a dam). There is no question of affordability here. The federal government must of course “pay for” these transfers, but its ability to borrow cheaply now, by issuing debt at current low interest rates, lowers any real resource constraints. (And the Federal Reserve can help by printing money, although this power held by our central bank should be used cautiously.) Additional debt allows the government to give to those in need and take from future taxpayers when the economy returns to normal. As long as the country remains productive in the long run – which it surely will – and maintains healthy fiscal institutions, those taxes will not be a burden to future generations, and the federal government will not default on the national debt. What should we do once we recover from this crisis? It is painfully clear that the federal government was caught off guard by the coronavirus despite having ample warning that an epidemic of its kind was likely to happen, sooner rather than later. We should also not have been surprised at how quickly the virus has spread across the world given the pace of globalization. Macroeconomic policy mechanisms are in place – like the Federal Reserve’s ability and willingness to provide liquidity and stabilize credit markets – to respond to a crisis by softening the economic blows. Yet the country needs to be better prepared for the next epidemic, which will surely come, to help prevent a crisis in the first place. We are now observing firsthand how shortcomings in our public health system can have drastic, and possibly, dire consequences for our economy and our well-being.
  •   Journalists face some unique challenges when they try to report accurately on a major infectious disease outbreak like the one associated with COVID-19, according to professor Glen Nowak, director of the Center for Health and Risk Communication in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia and a former director of media relations at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including during the 2009 H1N1A influenza pandemic. Below, Nowak provides his thoughts about the communication challenges facing journalists and the public when it comes to COVID-19 tests and testing. Why has COVID-19 testing been in the news? Diagnostic tests and testing are an essential part of an infectious disease outbreak response. After the first cases of new infectious disease have been identified, health care providers need to be able to quickly determine who else is infected, particularly other people who have similar symptoms, while public health officials need to quickly learn how many others have been infected, where infections and virus transmission are happening, and which people may be most likely to be infected and to have severe illness from their infections. News media are interested in providing their audiences that information as quickly as possible. In the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., testing also made the news because there were problems with the initial test that CDC provided to state labs. This caused delays in being able to identify patients with COVID-19. Much attention has been given to the importance of testing, including because some countries, such as South Korea, have been able to quickly and extensively test people to determine if they are infected with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 and as a result, slow its spread. Why will COVID-19 testing continue to be of news media and public interest? COVID-19 tests and testing will continue to be in the news for at least three reasons. One, President Trump has said that a goal going forward is for anyone who wants to be tested to be able to do so. This means many news media will continue to be doing stories about the availability of COVID-19 tests at the local and state level. The supply of COVID-19 diagnostic tests is currently well short of the number needed to achieve this goal and supplies vary considerably across the country. Two, there is disagreement about who needs to be tested and who should be tested. Hospitals and health care facilities that are dealing with large numbers of infected and potentially infected patients do not have the ability to test people with mild or no symptoms. As a result, we can expect news media stories about who can and cannot get tested. Third, the information gained from diagnostic tests increases medical, science and public health knowledge regarding where this new coronavirus is, how many infections it is causing, the types of symptoms and range of illness people who are infected experience, and the percentage of people who experienced severe illness or died from their infection. That knowledge, in turn, is used to make decisions about how to slow and prevent the spread of the virus. What are some of the communication challenges that COVID-19 tests and testing bring?  COVID-19 tests and testing bring many communication challenges. One challenge involves competing messages regarding who should be tested and how the tests should be used. While the CDC has issued and posted specific recommendations regarding who should be tested, decisions about testing are at the discretion of state and local health departments and individual clinicians. Some are testing people who do not have known exposures to the virus or who have mild symptoms, while others are limiting testing to people in risk groups or who have significant symptoms. A second challenge is that there are different types of tests and different testing methods. There is not a single COVID-19 test. Most of the COVID-19 test and testing stories have focused on diagnostic tests – that is, tests used to determine if a person is currently infected. There are many companies providing these types of tests, with the time it takes to get results ranging from as short as 45 minutes to as long as a few days. Less attention has been given to efforts involving the development and use of tests that can tell whether a person has been infected in the past with this new coronavirus. These are typically blood tests that look for antibodies that indicate if a person was infected. These tests are important because they help provide estimates of how many COVID-19 cases have gone undetected. This type of testing increases understanding of how many people had no symptoms or symptoms so mild that they were not noticed. As this information becomes available, there is a good chance it will increase significantly increase the number of confirmed cases and lower fatality estimates. It is essential to accurately convey this information without creating the impression that the increase in confirmed cases involves new infections. When it comes to COVID-19 tests and testing, what advice do you have for the news media? As more COVID diagnostic tests become available and used, it is important that journalists, news media outlets, the public and policymakers understand that different types and uses of testing will be done going forward. They also need to understand the reasons for using and not using diagnostic tests, especially as tests become more widely available. Finally, it will be helpful for journalists and policymakers to understand the difference between using tests to make medical diagnoses versus the use of testing to learn more about the extent and spread of the virus, the characteristics of the virus, and the effectiveness of measures intended to slow or prevent the spread of the virus. Doctors and medical facilities need tests that accurately and rapidly provide a diagnosis. Those tests may not be designed or able to provide the more detailed information that comes from laboratory tests and analyses. It is also likely the case that as the CDC builds a surveillance system designed to obtain and provide much greater information about this new coronavirus that effort will involve much testing of people who do not have symptoms or known exposure to the virus. Testing people who appear to be healthy will be essential for getting a better picture of how widespread this virus is and the percentage of infections with no or very mild symptoms.  
  • Due to the coronavirus crisis, the University of Georgia canceled its graduation ceremonies, which were scheduled for May 8. To try to give some of their fellow Dawgs a little pomp and circumstance, a group of enterprising UGA students have taken it upon themselves to build a virtual world, inside the Minecraft online environment, where graduating seniors can gather to celebrate commencement. As reported in The Red & Black, junior psychology major Ivan Campbell and senior biology major Nick Miller followed the lead of an elementary school in Japan, where a group of youngsters also created a virtual gathering place in the popular Minecraft online world.  “I have a lot of friends who are seniors that are really disappointed about graduation getting canceled,” Campbell told the student newspaper. “So I thought to myself ‘what is something that can make them feel better?’ Well, we could build Sanford Stadium on Minecraft to have a ceremony just like the school in Japan.” Minecraft is an open-world, multi-player online game that has sold 176 million units worldwide. On the UGA sub-Reddit r/UGA gameplayers were quick to ask the builders: “Can you build north campus now so we can act like we’re there” and “Are you gonna build memorial hall and Tate and all the stuff around the stadium?” Campbell and Miller have drawn together a group of about 30 people to help work on the construction. Campbell told The Red & Black that once the stadium is completed students can login into their own Minecraft channels and attend the ceremony.
  • Oconee County Commissioners are making plans to livestream this week’s meeting on the Oconee County Government’s YouTube Channel, looking to limit attendance in the courthouse because of coronavirus concerns.From the Oconee Co government website… The Board of Commissioners meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, 2020, will be livestreamed on the Oconee County Government YouTube Channel. Due to the current state and local emergency and in order to prevent the possible spread of Coronavirus by following established guidelines on group size and distancing, the meeting will be open to local journalists, but will have no other public access to the physical meeting space. The number of people in the room will be limited to ten and appropriate social distancing will be maintained at all times. As a result of the state of emergency, this livestream has been constructed to provide public access to BOC meetings. The public is invited to watch the meeting via livestream or to watch the recording at a later time. Click here to watch the Oconee County March 31 Board of Commissioners meeting live at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.
  • Gov. Brian P. Kemp has announced his selection of Judge Carla Wong McMillian to serve on the Supreme Court of Georgia and Judges Verda M. Colvin and John A. “Trea” Pipkin III to serve on the Georgia Court of Appeals. Carla Wong McMillian currently serves as a judge for the Court of Appeals of Georgia. Prior to that role, she served as a judge for the State Court of Fayette County, associate and then partner with Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP, and as law clerk for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. Judge McMillian earned her bachelor’s degree from Duke University and law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. She and her family live in Tyrone. Judge McMillian will become the first Asian-American female in the Southeast to be appointed to the state’s highest court. Verda M. Colvin has served as Superior Court Judge of the Macon Judicial Circuit since April 2014. Previously, she served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, Assistant District Attorney for the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office, Assistant General Counsel for Clark Atlanta University, Assistant Solicitor for the Solicitor’s Office in Athens-Clarke County, and as an associate for Ferguson, Stein, Watt, Wallas, and Gresham, P.A. Judge Colvin received her bachelor’s degree from Sweet Briar College and law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. She and her family reside in Macon. Judge Colvin will become the state’s first African-American female appointed to the Georgia Court of Appeals by a Republican governor. John A. “Trea” Pipkin III currently serves as Superior Court Judge and served as Solicitor-General in McDonough, Georgia. He is also an adjunct professor of law at Gordon State College. He previously served as Assistant District Attorney for the Flint Circuit District Attorney’s Office and as an adjunct professor of law at the Emory University School of Law. Judge Pipkin earned his associate’s degree from Reinhardt College, bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, and law degree from Georgia State University College of Law. He and his wife reside in McDonough.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS Class will soon be in session for Jamie Newman and the rest of the Georgia quarterbacks with online football chalk talks approved to start at 1 p.m. on Monday. RELATED: SEC steps toward resuming football preparations Renowned quarterback trainer Quincy Avery predicts Newman will be a star pupil for the Bulldogs just as he was during the Avery's QB Takeover training sessions this past offseason. 'Jamie is one of the hardest working, detail-oriented guys you'll find,' Avery told DawgNation. 'Whatever his position coach gives him, he'll attack it. He wants to be great.' Avery knows greatness first hand having worked with such quarterbacks as Deshaun Watson, Josh Dobbs, Dwayne Haskins, Jalen Hurts and Justin Fields. New Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken has experience with Air Raid and RPO-tinted offenses. Kirby Smart has indicated UGA will maintain a balanced Pro Style approach regardless of what elements are accented or sprinkled in. 'They will put a lot on Jamie's shoulders, because he's shown he can handle it,' Avery said, pointing to Newman's impressive production at Wake Forest last season. RELATED: Comparing Jamie Newman's production to Justin Fields last season 'Jamie will be able to read some stuff inside the numbers, and go pure progressions and develop in that way,' he said. 'Those are the things you've got to do to play on Sunday. He will be able to show all the things they need at quarterback.' The Georgia offensive playbook figures to be tapered down from last season. Three-year starting quarterback Jake Fromm was previously at the helm, making play calls at the line of scrimmage. That sort of QB autonomy required receivers making the same reads and adjustments, which didn't always happen with Fromm's less-experienced perimeter targets last season. The genius in this season's offense figures to be in the simplicity. It should enable more players to contribute quickly and facilitate sharper execution. RELATED: D'Wan Mathis continues brain surgery comeback home' in Athens That said, Avery believes Newman's experience makes him more valuable than ever compared with quarterbacks who have yet to compete at the collegiate level. 'Jamie understands how to be a Power 5 quarterback,' Avery said. 'He's been out there and done it in big-time situations. 'That's a different ball game, you can have some trust in a guy who has proven himself.' RELATED: Newman's former Wake Forest teammates weigh in on transfer The coronavirus pandemic has meant more limited preparation for all collegiate programs. Newman has stayed on top of his game this offseason by enrolling early at Georgia and going through offseason conditioning with the Bulldogs before his stints with Avery and back home working out. RELATED: Former Jamie Newman coach says Newman working to perfect his craft Once the teams are cleared to practice in groups there is no timetable at the time of this publication (March 30) Newman will be prepared to lead. 'Jamie has a presence that's clear and evident,' Avery said. 'He's always one of the most active guys around. He's very mature, so when he talks you listen. When he's there, he's doing everything you want.' DawgNation Jamie Newman stories Jamie Newman among Top 5 Heisman Trophy favorites Jamie Newman offseason training includes hometown visit How Georgia will look a lot like home to Jamie Newman ACC star says Jamie Newman will bring UGA different dynamic Future Georgia players weigh in on addition of Jamie Newman Jamie Newman much more than just a dual-threat Wake Forest players swear by Jamie Newman at NFL combine QB trainer: Jamie Newman fits new direction of Georgia offense Numbers game: How Jamie Newman compared to Jake Fromm Why Jamie Newman can adapt to any offensive system The post Head of the Class: Georgia QB Jamie Newman expected to excel quickly appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football didn't get a chance to start spring football drills in earnest, but the Bulldogs are moving up in the ranks in terms of perception. The latest example comes via the updated USA Today preseason Top 25, per Paul Myerberg last week. The Bulldogs are ranked No. 3 in the newest rankings, behind preseason No. 1 Clemson and No. 2 Ohio State. This, after checking on at No. 11 in the first USA Today 'way-too-early college football Top 25' on Jan. 14. At that time, Georgia was seen as a program with 'enough unknowns to put the Bulldogs behind Florida in the race for the SEC,' per the January article. To be fair, there was some shock value to Jake Fromm announcing he was turning pro and Cade Mays announcing his intention to transfer less than a week before the initial early rankings. It's also important to note that, while Jamie Newman was on board as a graduate transfer quarterback, Todd Monken had not yet been hired as the new OC. RELATED: Jamie Newman, Georgia football stand tall per oddsmakers Those not following the program closely couldn't have the same sort of read on Georgia football as the passionate DawgNation fans and those who keep up with the program daily. Alabama, meanwhile, dropped from No. 2 in the early USA Today rankings to No. 5 in the latest one. Could losing Scott Cochran mean that much? REPORT: Nick Saban was riding (Scott) Cochran mercilessly' The Tide, like the Bulldogs, had yet to start spring drills when the coronavirus pandemic triggered a shutdown. USA Today's most recent breakdown of the Bulldogs states: 'Georgia takes a big step forward in the post-spring rankings after cementing its quarterback position with Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman. If replacing Jake Fromm's experience and reliability may be difficult, Newman's arm and athleticism should provide a different look to an offense run by a new coordinator in Todd Monken.' The offense will be a work in progress, though it's safe to assume much will run through the quarterback position with a heavier presence of RPO action in UGA's Pro-Style scheme. Kirby Smart has said he wants to maintain a degree of balance while seeking explosive elements. That comes down to players, and Georgia will have plenty to sort out at the skill position when practices resume. Still, it seems many are overlooking the biggest reason to have the Bulldogs projected as the top-ranked team: Defense. RELATED: Why Georgia best equipped in SEC to handle break Dan Lanning proved worthy of the internal promotion to defensive coordinator last season. UGA led the nation in scoring defense and run defense, and it also ranked No. 3 in total defense and No. 8 in pass efficiency defense. Nine of the 11 defensive starters from the Sugar Bowl team return. It's not a stretch to say Georgia should have the best defense in college football presuming the season starts as scheduled. Here's the updated USA Today preseason Top 25, reflecting how teams have gone up or down since the nation's largest newspaper released its version version; 1. Clemson (1) 2. Ohio State (3) 3. Georgia (11) 4. Oregon (6) 5. Alabama (2) 6. Oklahoma (5) 7. Florida (8) 8. Penn State (7) 9. LSU (4) 10. Notre Dame (9) 11. Michigan (12) 12. Auburn (13) 13. Texas A&M (19) 14. Iowa (10) 15. Texas (14) 16. Iowa State (21) 17. Cincinnati (16) 18. Wisconsin (18) 19. Oklahoma State (NR) 20. North Carolina (25) 21. Boise State (20) 22. Southern Cal (17) 23. Cal (23) 24. Washington (24) 25. Louisville (NR) Dropped out: Memphis (15), Baylor (22) Georgia football offseason reads WATCH: Monty Rice shows proof of 'invisible progress' at Georgia Why Scott Sinclair keys positive culture shift under Kirby Smart Georgia football odds on title run and Heisman Trophy winner J.R. Reed explains why UGA won't be 'No-name' defense much longer Georgia offense has areas where much to be determined The post Georgia football jumps 8 spots in USA Today preseason rankings appeared first on DawgNation.
  • DawgNation has four staffers who cover Georgia football from every angle: Beat, live streams, photos, podcasts, recruiting, etc. The 'Cover 4' concept is: 1) Present a topic; 2) Offer a reasoned response; 3) Share a brisk statement on that opinion. 4) Pepper the page with photos for the big picture. For this edition, we discuss what we still think the Georgia startingoffensive line will look like for the first game of 2020 against Virginia. DawgNation continues with the 'Cover 4' concept. The focus is always a timely look with each of our guys manning the secondary on a pertinent topic. The Cover 4 thought for today focuses on the offensive line. Here's a quick look at the turnover at that position for the Georgia program. OUT: Line coach Sam Pittman (HC: Arkansas); LT Andrew Thomas (NFL); LG Solomon Kindley (NFL); RT Isaiah Wilson (NFL); G/T Cade Mays (Transfer to Tennessee); G/T D'Marcus Hayes (graduation) IN: Line coach Matt Luke: 5-star OT Broderick Jones; 4-star OT Tate Ratledge; 4-star C Sedrick Van Pran-Granger; 4-star OL Chad Lindberg; 3-star OT Devin Willock; 3-star OT Austin Blaske; 3-star OT Devin Willock; 3-star OG/C Cameron Kinnie That's pretty considerable, huh? We just though we'd make it a wild and crazy Sunday. The aim here was to try to predict what the starting line might look like for the eventual 2020 opener against Virginia. No degree of difficulty there, right? Especially with the cloud of no spring practice looming over that competition. The quick in-and-out game remains. The Cover 4 is designed to come out as quick as everyone is trying to maintain their social distancing these days. What will theeventual Georgia starting O-line look like against Virgina? Brandon Adams: LT: Broderick Jones; LG: Justin Shaffer; C: Trey Hill RG; Ben Cleveland; RT: Jamaree Salyer The 'why' from 'DawgNation Daily' here: 'A healthy Shaffer gets the nod at left guard because he was in line for playing time prior to his neck injury. Hill at center is the only true given, but Salyer is definitely starting somewhere. However, the critical spot is left tackle. Jones faces an uphill climb in becoming a freshman starter, but his competition is also inexperienced.' Mike Griffith: LT: Xavier Truss; LG: Justin Shaffer; C: Trey Hill RG; Ben Cleveland; RT: Jamaree Salyer The 'why' from 'On the Beat' here: 'This is the area Kirby Smart is most concerned about, and he'll say it. There will be discussion about different players lining up in different places, and injury updates . ' Connor Riley: LT: Xavier Truss; LG: Justin Shaffer; C: Trey Hill RG; Ben Cleveland; RT: Jamaree Salyer The 'why' from 'Good Day UGA' here: ' It wouldn't surprise me to see Warren Ericson slide into one of the guard spots or possibly center if Hill wanted to move to guard. I do think Salyer played well at the right tackle spot and think he's got the athletic gifts to play and do well there in college .' Jeff Sentell: LT: Jamaree Salyer; LG: Justin Shaffer; C: Trey Hill; RG: Ben Cleveland; RT: Broderick Jones The Intel here: 'There was nothing off with Sayler. Georgia just had NFL talent with a year of progression in the program lined up ahead of him. Look for Salyer to stabilize the UGA line at one of the two tackle spots. He blocked the 5-star edge guys at elite prospect camps in high school. He could do it then and can definitely do it now. No spring practice might still allow an uncommon freshman like Jones or Sedrick Van Pran-Granger the chance to earn early time. The veterans will now pivot to Luke and Todd Monken's system at the same time with all of the new guys. That is hard to do in the SEC but guys like Jones, Van Pran-Granger and Tate Ratledge can be special. If Van Pran-Granger is ready, there could be a position flex for Hill in order to put the best five guys up front. ' The post Georgia football: What might the starting offensive line look like versus Virginia? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Like many of you, I have watched repeats of various SEC football games from recent years over the past couple of weeks, what with spring sports sidelined by the pandemic. In fact, I've even having resorted sampling a couple of Wake Forest games on the ACC Network to get a look at transfer quarterback Jamie Newman. Even though it's mostly repeats and old documentaries on the SEC Network and its ESPN parent right now, I've still been struck by how spoiled today's UGA fans are when it comes to seeing the Dawgs on television. Those of us following the Bulldogs in the 1960s, '70s and even the early '80s can remember when getting to see Georgia play on TV was a big deal, something that didn't happen all that often. Nowadays, all of the Dawgs' games are televised, even the cupcakes, but, through the '90s and even into the early 2000s, that wasn't the case. Still, the last time less than half the Bulldogs' schedule was televised was 1993, when we got to see only five games. And five games seemed a lot at the time. Incredibly, during the national championship season of 1980, Herschel Walker and the Dawgs were on TV only three times: the South Carolina matchup with George Rogers, the Florida game, and the Sugar Bowl win over Notre Dame. No wonder Larry Munson's radio broadcasts were so important to us. Actually, I clearly can recall the very first time UGA was seen playing football on TV. It was New Year's Day, 1960, and Wally Butts' Bulldogs, led by QB Fran Tarkenton, were set to play Missouri in the Orange Bowl. I awoke that morning with both sides of my face ballooned out with a terrible case of the mumps, but my 7-year-old self was determined not to miss the game! Thankfully, Mom allowed it, propping me up with pillows to see Georgia take a 14-0 win. The next time the Dawgs were on TV was the following fall, when Georgia's 21-6 loss to Alabama in Birmingham became the first regular-season Georgia football game to be televised and, in fact, the first college football game ever televised by ABC Sports. The Bulldogs weren't on the tube again until Vince Dooley wound up his first season at the helm, with 7-0 win over Texas Tech in the Sun Bowl. The fact that Georgia rarely appeared on TV in those days wasn't unusual. Back then, the game of the week was literally the game of the week! I remember what a major event it was when ABC came to Athens to televise the 1965 season opener against national champion Alabama. There's no doubt that the Dawgs' flea-flicker upset win being televised to the entire nation was a big leg up for Dooley in returning the Georgia program to national relevance. I was in 8 th grade at the time, and attended the game with my Dad, so I didn't see the telecast, but 12-year-old Darrell Huckaby watched it on TV at his home. After the Dawgs won, he ran out his back door and turned down the alley toward the house where future Bulldogs player Craig Hertwig lived. 'We leaped into one another's arms, like in one of those old movies,' he recalled. Beginning in the late 1960s, and lasting until the mid-70s, Georgia usually only had two or three regular-season games on TV each year. An eye-opener for many younger fans is that the Georgia-Florida game in Jacksonville, now an automatic addition to the CBS schedule, wasn't televised at all until ABC gave it a regional slot (as opposed to national) in 1967. It would be another 20 years before the clash between the Dawgs and Gators started being televised every year. A little-remembered Dawgs TV footnote is that, in 1981-82, Georgia's games were taped for delayed replay Sunday nights on Channel 5 and Monday nights on cable's USA Network. Longtime Atlanta sportscaster (and UGA grad) Bill Hartman called those games, with folks like Lewis Grizzard, Buck Belue and longtime high school coach Butch Clifton doing the color. 'It was all about Herschel,' Hartman told me this week. 'Once he left Georgia, the production stopped.' Things started looking up in 1984, when Ted Turner's SuperStation signed an SEC football deal. That year, half a dozen Georgia games were televised, and that was about par for the course through the rest of the '80s. We gradually started seeing more games televised as CBS, ABC and Turner were joined by Fox, the nascent ESPN (which showed its first UGA game in 1984) and various regional syndicators like Jefferson-Pilot/Raycom. Local Atlanta stations even televised games occasionally. There also were a few cupcake games shown on pay-per-view. That included one game in 2004, the first season that all of Georgia's games were on TV in one way or another. An ESPN syndication package, originally called the SEC Network (later SEC TV), joined the fray in 2009, and all of Georgia's football games have been televised nationally or regionally ever since then. SEC TV was replaced in 2014 by today's 24-hour SEC Network. Looking back over 60 years of Bulldogs football on television, many high points come to mind. Asked to name their favorite Georgia game on TV, a lot of fans automatically say the 1981 Sugar Bowl against the Fighting Irish. Frankly, I think viewers who weren't fans of either school probably found that 17-10 Georgia win a bit of a snore. My longtime friend Ben Anderson conceded that it was 'not the most dramatic of games with a lot of twists and turns,' but he made the valid point that it still 'was a national title game with a one-possession final score.' The other great TV game that quickly comes to mind is the thrilling double-overtime 2018 Rose Bowl win over Oklahoma. Many believe that one is Georgia's greatest game ever and its back-and-forth nature made it great television, too. Another fan favorite is the 1971 Thanksgiving night comeback win over Georgia Tech engineered by Athens' Andy Johnson, televised nationally by ABC. A much less remembered game, treasured by Jeff Dantzler of the Bulldogs radio network as an 'underrated doozy,' is Georgia's 1982 visit to Starkvegas for a 29-22 win over Mississippi State. 'Herschel was tremendous,' recalled Dantzler, who watched the regional CBS telecast as a boy from his home in Statesboro. Another TV game that stands out in the memories of fans who came of age in the '90s is No. 12-ranked Georgia's 28-27 upset of 6 th -ranked LSU in Baton Rouge in 1998. The Dawgs' freshman quarterback, Quincy Carter, had a great night, completing 27 of 34 passes for 318 yards, catching a pass for 36 yards and rushing for 41 more. Three-way player Champ Bailey, who was in for 96 of the game's plays, caught 7 passes for 114 yards, and fellow defensive back Kirby Smart had a team-high 12 tackles. Clinging to a 1-point lead, the Dawgs' final, clock-killing drive of the fourth quarter, highlighted by a key third-down reception by Bailey, was gripping viewing. And, certainly a TV classic was the New Year's Day 2000 Outback Bowl, billed as 'the first sporting event of the millennium,' which saw Carter lead the Dawgs in an amazing comeback against the Purdue Boilermakers, who had future NFL star Drew Brees at QB. Brees set or tied six Outback Bowl records in the game, including passing for 378 yards, and, early in the second quarter, Purdue had a 25-0 lead over Jim Donnan's Dawgs. Things looked bleak. Terrence Edwards finally put the Dawgs on the scoreboard with a 74-yard scoring run, and it was all Georgia from that point on, with an 8-yard Carter-to- Randy McMichael TD pass tying the game with 1:19 remaining. After the Boilermakers missed a field goal in overtime, Georgia placekicker Hap Hines made a 21-yard kick for the win. At the time, it was the largest comeback in bowl history. Now, that's great television. When ESPN televised Georgia's visit to Tuscaloosa in 2007, I watched it on a big-screen TV with my two brothers, my daughter and one of my nieces. We wanted to hear how the Scott Howard-Eric Zeier broadcast team did in their debut without Munson, so we muted the sound on the TV and instead listened to the Bulldogs radio broadcast while watching. The last time previously where all three King brothers had watched Georgia on TV together was the 1999 game against Tech, an overtime affair that didn't turn out well. So, when this one also went to overtime, we were more than a bit nervous. Thank goodness, Matthew Stafford and Mikey Henderson were as cool as could be, though. After Bama kicked a field goal in OT, Stafford threw a perfect strike to Henderson for the one-and-done winning score. That's the last time the Dawgs have beaten the Tide to date. Another fan favorite from the 2007 season is the 42-30 win over Florida that saw most of the Georgia team celebrating the Dawgs' first score by dancing in the end zone. There was a lot more to the game, of course, with Knowshon Moreno running for 188 yards and 3 TDs, and the Dawgs defense sacking Gators QB Tim Tebow 6 times. But the 'Gator Stomp' is what fans remember most. Other fan TV favorites include the 1996 win over Auburn (Georgia was terrible in the first half, but the second half and four overtimes were great viewing); and the 2007 Auburn 'Blackout' game, with CBS' Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson dancing along to Soulja Boy in the booth. However, the most frequently mentioned choice as the greatest Bulldogs TV game is known by two words: 'Run, Lindsay.' The 1980 Jacksonville clash saw the Dawgs trailing 21-20 in the fourth quarter, facing third-and-long at their own 7-yard line. Backed up in his own end zone, quarterback Buck Belue found receiver Lindsay Scott at the 25-yard line. Urged on by Munson on the radio, Scott scored the game-winning touchdown. That game was playing on TV during Clint Ard's 21 st birthday party, and, he said, when Scott scored, 'my whole family exploded with joy. It was one of the greatest birthday presents I've ever received!' Jason Hasty, now the sports archivist at UGA's Hargrett Library, was just 5 years old at the time, but his favorite memory of watching the Dawgs on TV is looking up from playing with his toys to see his quiet church secretary mother on her feet as Munson shouted 'Run, Lindsay!' on the radio. Hasty still prefers a radio soundtrack for TV games. 'When I'm not in Sanford Stadium, the TV will be on with the sound turned down and the radio broadcast turned up,' he said. Mark Symms, meanwhile, was a UGA student watching that Florida game at the Alpha Gamma Rho house in Athens. After Scott's touchdown, Symms said, he and his drunken fraternity brothers ran out the front door and straight into Milledge Avenue, bringing traffic to a complete halt as they jumped up and down, screaming. A police officer, who had no idea what they were celebrating, got them out of the street and wrote Symms a ticket for 'rioting.' The brothers continued their celebration safely on the sidewalk for a few more minutes, when the cop suddenly returned. 'I am really in trouble,' Symms thought, but the officer grabbed the ticket and tore it up. 'He glared at me again, then winked. He had heard the news. He walks back to the car and says, Stay out of the damn streets. Go Dawgs!' As Symms put it: 'Greatest UGA TV game ever.' The post Dawgs on TV have produced some great memories for fans through the years appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia quarterback D'Wan Mathis was back in his home state of Michigan over spring break when the coronavirus pandemic began to take effect. Some of the Bulldogs' players would end up staying home when UGA suspended and then canceled face-to-face spring semester classes. But not Mathis. 'D'Wan came back on spring break and told me he loves where he is from, but that he needed to go back to Georgia,' Terence Mathis told DawgNation on Friday. 'He said, Daddy, I love you, but I'm leaving.' 'For us, we're just happy he was granted the exemption to stay near campus where they have the best doctors in the world keeping up with him.' The former Ohio State quarterback commit from metro Detroit has had a challenging rehabilitation period after an emergency brain surgery procedure last May 23 put him in the ICU unit at Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center. 'I want the public to know this, please write this: Georgia could have given up on my son,' Terence Mathis said. 'But instead, Kirby and his staff have treated D'Wan as though he was their own son. They've used every possible resource to stay behind him and keep him engaged with the team after saving his life.' RELATED: Georgia saved my son's life, medical director Ron Courson praised Indeed, Coach Kirby Smart made it clear last May that Georgia would not rush Mathis' comeback, and they planned for a complete recovery. 'We are expecting a full recovery, and the timeline is the least of our concerns,' Smart said at SEC spring meetings. Mathis' comeback has come in stages. He was cleared to run and lift last July. By the start of the 2019 season, he was participating in limited drill work. By last November, Mathis running the scout team offense and playing with such passion that coaches and doctors had to reel him in and remind him to use some restraint. Mathis was cleared to go through spring football drills, though it's important to note he's not yet been cleared for game action. There's an MRI test scheduled for May that could provided the all-important clearance for total contact (UGA doesn't tackle its quarterbacks in spring drills). More good news came on Friday, when the SEC added some provisions for coaches to instruct players. Mathis, along with fellow Georgia football quarterbacks Jamie Newman, Caron Beck and Stetson Bennett, has the benefit of chalk talks starting at 1 p.m. next Monday. RELATED: SEC moves toward resuming football preparations Terence Mathis maintains the football will take care of itself. He said the most important thing to the Mathis family is how D'Wan has been accepted into the Georgia football community. 'I'm indebted to Georgia, they have extended this incredible opportunity to D'Wan,' Terence Mathis said. 'Especially during these tough times, and you know it's bad up here in Michigan. 'It means everything to us as a family for him to now have the opportunity to be involved with the football planning while still pursuing academics. 'Coach (Todd) Monken has reached out to me and let me know that D'Wan is having positive progress.' Mathis' upside was obvious to all who watched last year's G-Day Game. The 6-foot-6, 205-pounder was 15-of-28 passing for 113 yards and provided one of the biggest highlights of the Georgia football spring game. Mathis, who ran a 10.8-second time in the 100 meters in high school, showed his speed when he caught a double-reverse pass from Matt Landers for a 39-yard touchdown. TRICK PLAY ALERT #GDay #GoDawgs Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) April 21, 2019 'D'Wan, he's explosive,' Jake Fromm said of his former understudy. 'I think he converted three or four first downs in a row with his legs. 'The guy can run the ball, he can throw it 70 yards, he's going to be a great player.' The strong performances in spring drills kept Mathis going during the dog days of last summer and into the season. But there were also frustrating times when D'Wan Maths didn't know what to do without football, unable to travel to away games. That's when Georgia came up biggest, according to his father. 'As frustrated as he got, the more they wrapped their arms around him,' Terence Mathis said. 'Those coaches could have said they were too busy trying to win the SEC East again and play for another league title. But they didn't say that. 'They believed in D'Wan, and they have stayed behind him, and the DawgNation fans have stayed behind him, too.' There is no timetable for college football to return at the time of this publication (March 28). The coronavirus has put all group activities around the world on hold. But Terence Mathis said his son will remain in Athens. 'That's what he considers his home now,' he said, 'and it's where we believe he belongs.' DawgNation D'Wan Mathis stories Mind Game: D'Wan Mathis ready to compete for starting job Mathis tipped by social media Ohio State misled him on Justin Fields D'Wan Mathis recovering after emergency brain cyst surgery Jake Fromm shares observations of D'Wan Mathis The post Georgia quarterback D'Wan Mathis continuing comeback home' in Athens, granted exemption appeared first on DawgNation.