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College
Georgia football All-American candidate Andrew Thomas locks in on his junior year
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Georgia football All-American candidate Andrew Thomas locks in on his junior year

Georgia football All-American candidate Andrew Thomas locks in on his junior year

Georgia football All-American candidate Andrew Thomas locks in on his junior year

HOOVER, Ala. Andrew Thomas is miscast a lot of times. He was the 4-star who didn't get fully healthy until late into his senior year of high school.

When he did, he was clearly one of the nation's top offensive tackles. Flash forward two years and Thomas won on the UGA plane bound for Hoover. Picked to represent the program at SEC Media Days.

Thomas did not enroll early back in 2017. Yet he still started all 15 games of his freshman season. True freshmen in the SEC give themselves a chance to do that when they enroll early, but maybe not so much otherwise.

Georgia's prized junior from Lithonia shed that label, too. He quickly claimed a starting role in fall camp and held it for all 15 games. That specific feat might not ever be matched again at UGA.

It will require a true freshman (on this roster especially) to start wire-to-wire for a team in the SEC Championship Game, plus a playoff semifinal and then reach the national title game.

Thomas is not the Bulldog most likely to drop interview sound byte gold at the same rate he levels his blocking assignments.He was at the SEC's flagship media event because of what he represents. Not just what he has to say.

"He started every game that he's been at the University of Georgia," Kirby Smart said of Thomas in Hoover on Tuesday. "He's a tremendous leader, person. Charismatic. Doesn't say a whole lot all the time. That's why it's fun to bring him to this event. I told him today as we got off the plane: Andrew, you're going to have to talk today. And I think he's excited to do that."

He spoke about what he sees that seems different about the 2019 Georgia football team.

"I think we had a shift in our leadership group," Thomas said. "A lot of our guys who were younger when coach Smart first got here are older guys now. Everybody is starting to buy into the system and everything. This is the senior class that Coach Smart first recruited. Everybody is really bought into what is going on."

Thomas plans to be more vocal. His play can no longer set just example. When he speaks, this team will listen.

"With the offensive line, I have to be more vocal when I see things that need to be addressed," he said on Tuesday.

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Georgia football All-American candidate Andrew Thomas locks in on his junior year

Andrew Thomas: Charging ahead into his junior year

The reality here is Thomas isn't quite as much into his shell as most might think. He even told a slew of reporters on Tuesday that he will open up once he gets comfortable with everyone in the room.

It is far too simplistic to say he no plays like he should have been a 5-star. The more pertinent matter here is he plays like a future first-round draft pick.

Thomas was hit by waves of questions about mock drafts, draft speculation and how he keeps his focus on the upcoming season with all those options on the mind.

The rising junior from Pace Academy in Atlanta has said, did say and will continue to say all the perfunctory things there.

Perhaps the most interesting subject that came up on Tuesday during his media tour was what Thomas is playing right now. Not where he'll play next fall.

That's the piano.

"I'm still working on it," Thomas said. "I feel like I got off from it a little bit and I am working on getting back on it."

He's working on a couple of John Legend songs in "Higher" and "All of Me" with that.

Correspondents that know his story well will know that he actually played percussion in his high school concert band in winter and spring shows.

"The keys and all from the drums are the same notes as the piano so I already understood a little bit of how that is and needs to be," he said. "While I am in college I decided to buy one just to practice it."

Thomas is working on learning the sheet music for a few of those John Legend hits right now. Not just working to be an Orlando Pace or a Tony Boselli or a Jonathan Ogden.

"I'd probably say I am a one-star piano player right now," Thomas said. "I'm learning. It is just a hobby right now when I have free time right now."

Does that translate to keeping Jake Fromm's jersey clean at all?

"I guess it is the same as far as like you have to practice it a lot," Thomas said. "It is a learned thing. Just like the offensive line. You can't just go and do it. It is the same for the piano."

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Georgia football All-American candidate Andrew Thomas locks in on his junior year

How Andrew Thomas can be better in 2019

Thomas is now six feet, six inches tall. He said he weighed in earlier this week at 332 pounds. His body has changed a lot in Scott Sinclar's program in Athens.

"Just my strength," Thomas said. "I felt like I was pretty athletic in high school but my whole strength level has increased. My power cleans and my squat. My bench. I'm just a much stronger player now than I was then and that helps on the field."

He's working on his verse of "Do More" by focusing on his pass protection. How he can be better with his hands to defuse SEC edge rushers. He also stays off-campus and also finds himself in the weight room at the complex working on his core strength and keeping his weight down even when he's not at the team facility.

It sounds weird to say it, but Thomas is now one of the more veteran guys on the team. There has already been a lot of football played since his top Georgia moment so far.

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Georgia football All-American candidate Andrew Thomas locks in on his junior year

"I would say the Rose Bowl," Thomas said. "Not when Sony [Michel] scored but when we drove down the drive before overtime and we scored on the train' play we always run. Well, not the train' play there but the toss sweep right when I went out and made a block and then after we scored. I saw the video and it was like I had so much emotion on that play. I would say that was one of my biggest moments."

He looked back on why he was able to play so early in his career. Thomas began working on being ready to go when he arrived in Athens in January of his senior year. He couldn't enroll early but he was already preparing himself to play when he got there.

"I think a big thing was my preparation before I got there," Thomas said. "With coach [Kevin] Johnson and understanding technique before I got there."

With that, he credited his Pace Academy offensive line coach. Kevin Johnson is one of the game's best teachers when it comes to line play. He made sure that both Thomas and rising sophomore Jamaree Salyer were well-schooled in the technical aspects of their positions before they arrived in Athens.

"Once I got to camp it was just working hard and understanding that," Thomas said. "If I wanted a spot, to go take it and having guys like Isaiah Wynn to teach me and help bring me up."

Thomas was assigned to room with Wynn during his freshman year. Wynn was the senior who played LT who went on to be drafted in the first round by the New England Patriots.

Thomas became a fixture at right tackle, but also served as an apprentice that year under Wynn to slide over seamlessly to left tackle in 2018.

"That transition was very fast," Thomas said. "I remember coming in just doing workouts and the next thing you know we are playing for the national championship. It was a fast adjustment and I was happy that I was ready for it."

His big goal for 2019? Just stay healthy, he said. He hurt his ankle against South Carolina and that lingered for three or four games before finally getting better as the year went along.

He started in all 13 games he played last fall but did miss the Middle Tennessee State game after that setback in Columbia.

DawgNation.com from SEC Media Days

The post Georgia football All-American candidate Andrew Thomas locks in on his junior year appeared first on DawgNation.

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Local News

  • Drivers can look for traffic delays today in Oconee County. Crews are working on the traffic signals at the Oconee Connector’s intersection with Epps Bridge Parkway. From the Oconee County Government website… Work will be done on the traffic signal at Epps Bridge Parkway and the Oconee Connector beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, August 16. There will be lane closures during this process. Motorists may experience delays at the intersection, and deputies will be present to help with traffic control. 
  • Georgia first-team preseason All-SEC selection D’Andre Swift was back for the start of Thursday practice after creating a stir by missing part of Tuesday’s workout. There was no indication that Swift is back in the No. 1 spot at tailback, however.  Senior Brian Herrien was the first tailback running through drill work, and redshirt freshman Zamir White took the first handoff in a team period.  Swift’s injury history is well-documented, though it’s worth noting much of it was hidden throughout much of last season.  It wasn’t disclosed until after the Auburn game in November that Swift underwent double hernia surgery in January 2018, leading to his limited action in the spring before his sophomore season.  Swift, who started the first four games last season before he was overtaken by Elijah Holyfield, has since admitted he was less than 100 percent at the start of last season.  “I was trying to save myself, I would say,” Swift said, explaining the mindset he brought into the 2018 campaign. “Not trying to push it too much where I would hurt myself.” Swift is one of the more explosive and dynamic running backs in the nation, but his durability has been questions by onlookers and NFL personnel. Even at 100 percent, Swift said he was carefully maintaining his body in fall camp. “I’m always in the training room. I live in the training room, so I’m ready to go and I’m ready to get to work,” Swift said last week. “Whatever workload the coaches throw at me, I’m ready for that workload.” Swift might have some work to do to get back atop the depth chart at his position, first. Here are five observations from Thursday’s practice, the 12th of the preseason: The eyeball test: White looked every bit as explosive and physically imposing in Thursday’s workout as Kirby Smart said he was in Saturday’s practice.  White, who suffered a torn ACL in the second scrimmage of Georgia’s 2018 preseason camp, is cutting sharply and with confidence. Sophomore James Cook appears noticeably bigger than his freshman season and was running third through drills behind Herrien and Swift on Thursday. Landers holding on: Sophomore receiver Matt Landers appears to be holding on to the No. 1 spot at the outside wideout position opposite senior Tyler Simmons.  Landers has been locked in competition with Miami grad-transfer Lawrence Cager, the two splitting repetitions with the ones throughout camp. Freshman George Pickens, who wowed spectators at the scrimmage with his one-handed catch, was back running at No. 3 wide receiver behind Trey Blount and Landers. Cager is lining up on Simmons’ side. Demetris Robertson continues to be the No. 1 slot, with Kearis Jackson and Dominick Blaylock behind him. Line dance: Georgia’s offensive line has remained healthy and intact to this point of the preseason, not a given considering the amount of live snaps they’ve endured. Isaiah Wilson was the only UGA lineman to start and finish every game last season, and he continues to run first team at right tackle.  Junior Ben Cleveland was running with the first team at right guard, Trey Hill was at center, Solomon Kindley at left guard and Andrew Thomas as left tackle. Thomas, Wilson and Kindley opened the season on the Outland Trophy Watch List. Injury returns: Cornerback Tyrique Stevenson, linebacker Nate McBride and tight end Ryland Goede were back at practice Thursday.  Stevenson was back in a limited capacity, held out of drills that required explosive movement. McBride was working with the inside linebackers. Fromm stays sharp: Quarterback Jake Fromm, who struggled in Saturday’s scrimmage, continued to be on the money during Thursday’s open viewing period. Fromm is hitting receivers in stride on each throw, markedly better than the other quarterbacks during the drill work. Smart no doubt took notice after calling out his first-team offense for a “lethargic” effort in Scrimmage 1 last Saturday. 
  • The Solicitor in Hall County says her office will continue to prosecute marijuana cases: this, after announcements from police in Athens and a prosecutor in Gwinnett County that potential confusion over marijuana testing will lead them, for now, to suspend marijuana arrests and prosecutions. At issue is a new Georgia law that legalizes hemp: the field test for marijuana doesn’t distinguish between marijuana and hemp. Hall County Solicitor Stephanie Woodard (pictured above) says marijuana cases will still be prosecuted in Gainesville. The Athens-Clarke County Police Department issued the following statement earlier this week…   In light of the unanticipated consequences related to the implementation of the Georgia Hemp Farming Act, signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp on May 10, 2019, the AthensClarke County Police Department (ACCPD) has provided direction to its officers concerning the handling of marijuana cases. The Georgia Hemp Farming Act legalizes the possession of hemp, which is nearly identical to marijuana in all aspects, with the exception being a lower percentage of THC in hemp (.3% or less) compared to higher concentrations of THC found in marijuana. The new law has raised concern because tests currently used by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s crime lab, as well as the ACCPD, only detect for the presence of THC and not for THC potency. Since current tests are unable to determine THC potency, they cannot distinguish between legal hemp and illegal marijuana. Therefore, the tests are no longer viable for use in prosecution of marijuana cases. The GBI anticipates having updated testing equipment in place by early September that will test for THC potency and be capable of distinguishing between legal hemp and illegal marijuana. The GBI, ACCPD, and other Georgia law enforcement agencies continue to evaluate testing equipment and other solutions that can be used at the local level. Until such time as updated testing equipment is acquired and certified for use, ACCPD officers will discontinue making physical arrests or issuing summonses for marijuana charges. Instead, officers will seize the suspected marijuana, place it into evidence, and will write the appropriate police report. Once updated testing equipment is acquired and in place at the GBI Lab and at the ACCPD, it is our intent that all suspected marijuana evidence that has been seized by the ACCPD will be tested and officers will seek warrants where the evidence is found to contain more than .3% THC.    “The ACCPD is working closely with the GBI, our District Attorney, and the ACC Solicitor General to monitor this situation, as well as to identify and implement solutions,” said ACCPD Chief of Police Cleveland Spruill. “We hope that viable alternative testing equipment can be acquired and put in place for use by our officers relatively soon.”    In the interim, ACCPD would like to remind citizens that possession, distribution, and trafficking of marijuana remains illegal in the state of Georgia and that marijuana laws will continue to be enforced by the ACCPD. 
  • Many students and families in rural Georgia who live more than 25 miles from a Peach State Tour location will be able to take a free, chartered bus provided by the University of Georgia to one of the college information events planned across the state from Aug. 19 to Sept. 5. UGA’s Office of Admissions staff teams up with their counterparts from Georgia State University and Georgia Tech each year for the Peach State Tour, when the three institutions hold information sessions in 23 cities and towns across Georgia. The free transportation provides an additional opportunity for students to attend one of these events, which are hosted within 50 miles of every Georgian. The President’s Office at UGA is providing funding for the free buses to encourage all interested students to attend a tour event and learn more about higher education opportunities in Georgia. “The University of Georgia aims to develop leaders who represent Georgia’s diverse population, including students from rural parts of our state,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “Providing free transportation to the Peach State Tour information sessions is one of the many ways we are helping these students gain access to the outstanding education offered at UGA.” Currently the university has finalized plans with 15 rural high schools to offer the free transportation to their students, and that list will continue to grow. This initiative builds on the university’s ALL Georgia Program, launched in 2018 to support enrolled students from rural communities with a network of resources and common experiences to help them succeed and graduate from the university. In its first year, the program was made available to about 4,200 students. “More than 85% of undergraduate students at UGA are from Georgia, and the university is committed to serving students and families all across our state,” said Patrick Winter, UGA’s associate vice president for admissions and enrollment management. “During our outreach efforts, we answer questions about UGA’s programs and application process, but we also provide information about the University System of Georgia and emphasize that with its 26 schools, there’s one that will be a good fit for everyone.” The Peach State Tour begins on Monday, Aug. 19 and ends on Thursday, Sept. 5, with free sessions throughout the state. It offers specific opportunities for students and their parents, as well as for high school counselors, and will answer questions about academic opportunities and the application process. Last year, nearly 6,000 students, parents and counselors attended one of the statewide Peach State Tour events. 
  • Demonstrators plan a weekend rally in Athens, with a protest calling for new gun control laws set for 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon at the Arch on Broad Street in downtown Athens.  From Ga Moms Demand Action… On Saturday, August 17, 2019, volunteers with Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, will gather at UGA Arch in Georgia in response to mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas, as well as to honor the 100 Americans are shot and killed every day and hundreds more who are wounded. This is more than mass shootings; in recent weeks, gun violence has devastated Baltimore, Gilroy, Canoga Park, Newport News, Brooklyn and Chicago. This is a public health crisis that demands urgent action.  WHAT: A rally to honor the lives cut short by gun violence and demand common-sense gun reform. Volunteers will demand action from their senators to pass a strong federal Red Flag bill and legislation to require background checks on all gun sales. WHO:  Deborah Gonzalez, Host of Open Records Radio Show  Ivan Ingermann, Keep the G Gun Free  Charles Campbell, Athens Alliance Coalition   Mokah-Jasmine Johnson, Athens Anti-Discrimination Movement   Emma Jones, Volunteer, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America  WHERE: UGA Arch  Broad Street Downtown  Athens, Georgia  WHEN: Saturday, August 17, 2019 03:00 pm  About Everytown for Gun Safety Everytown is the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with nearly 6 million supporters and more than 350,000 donors including moms, mayors, survivors and everyday Americans who are fighting for public safety measures that can help save lives. At the core of Everytown are Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Students Demand Action and the Everytown Survivor Network. Learn more at www.everytown.org and follow us @Everytown  About Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence. Moms Demand Action campaigns for new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our families. Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country and, along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Students Demand Action and the Everytown Survivor Network, it is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with more than 5 million supporters and more than 350,000 donors. For more information or to get involved visit www.momsdemandaction.org. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MomsDemandAction or on Twitter at @MomsDemand  About Students Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Students Demand Action is a national initiative, created by and for teens and young adults, to channel the energy and passion of high school and college-aged students into the fight against gun violence. Students Demand Action volunteers work within their schools and communities to educate their peers, register voters and demand common-sense solutions to this national crisis. Together with Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Students Demand Action volunteers are part of a network of nearly 6 million supporters across the nation committed to gun violence prevention. For more information or to get involved visit www.studentsdemandaction.org.

Bulldog News

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