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5 Georgia football things to watch at G-Day Game
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5 Georgia football things to watch at G-Day Game

5 Georgia football things to watch at G-Day Game

5 Georgia football things to watch at G-Day Game

Georgia football-UGA-D'Wan Mathis-Jake Fromm

ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart has made it clear there are plenty of questions to be answered this spring.

The Bulldogs’ annual G-Day Game will provide an opportunity for the viewing public to have a look for themselves and come to their own opinions.

RELATED: G-Day Game, Time, TV, Radio information

“I think we’ve got a really good football team coming back,” Smart said. “I think we’ve got an exciting team.”

Georgia brings back one of the deepest, most talented teams in the nation and is among the favorites to contend for the SEC Championship in addition to a national championship.

Here are 5 things to watch for in the G-Day Scrimmage on Saturday at Sanford Stadium

The quarterbacks

Football is a game that demands we follow the ball, and it all starts in the quarterbacks’ hands, hence their place as the most visible player on the team.

Georgia’s situation is clear-cut with Jake Fromm returning as a third-year starter and Heisman Trophy contender.

Fromm has been mentoring early enrollee D’Wan Mathis, a 6-foot-6, athlete who has run a 10.8-second time in the 100 meters and can throw a football 70 yards, by Fromm’s account.

UGA also has Stetson Bennett, a former walk-on in the program who knows the offense, went away from college for a year, and has returned as a signee intent on winning the backup job.

The offense

Like most spring scrimmages, G-Day is set up for the offense to win with no-contact jerseys on the quarterbacks, and defenders taking extra care not tackle as aggressively as they might in regular-season games.

Still, the personality of a team can show through, and many will be tuned in just to see how the offense looks under new coordinator James Coley.

The run-pass balance shouldn’t be scrutinized as much as new formations, the amount of tempo UGA players with and how different players are used.

Georgia’s not going to give away the 2019 game plan, by any means, but there could be some new base plays introduced.

The newcomers

Georgia has 14 early enrollees, most of whom will be playing in the G-Day Game.

The outside linebacker position is filled with competition after the additions of Nolan Smith and Jermaine Johnson.

Smith was the No. 1 overall recruit in the 2019 signing class, while Johnson was the No. 1 junior college recruit.

Both are explosive playmakers, to the extent that Smart made a “superman” reference to their ability to stand out.

There are other rising stars to look for, such as inside linebacker Nakobe Dean and defensive backs Tyrique Stevenson, D.J. Daniel and Lewis Cine.

The receivers

Again, Georgia is not going to reveal the game plan, but there’s a good chance Fromm will look for some of his favorite targets early in the scrimmage.

The Bulldogs lost four of their top five pass catchers from a season ago, and work is in progress to ensure there’s no drop-off.

Receiver J.J. Holloman is the leading returning receiver on the team and has made spectacular catches in earlier scrimmages as shown on released UGA highlight footage.

Fellow receivers Tyler Simmons and Demetris Robertson will factor in heavily, and Smart has been impressed with Matt Landers.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see tight ends Charlie Woerner and John FitzPatrick targeted often, as UGA looks to replace Isaac Nauta and transfer Luke Ford.

The crowd

Georgia fans could be challenged by the threat of weather, but most don’t need much of an excuse to make a trip to Athens.

One of the top college towns in the nation, The Classic City has several great places to eat and visit.

Thus, even with the possibility of rain, the Bulldogs should draw the largest spring   game crowd among the SEC schools this season.

Alabama currently has drawn the most, with 62,000 at its “A-Day Game.”

The post 5 Georgia football things to watch at G-Day Game appeared first on DawgNation.

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Local News

  • From the Athens-Clarke County Government website... The Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Department will suspend garbage, recycling, and leaf & limb collections on Monday, May 27, 2019 in recognition of the Memorial Day Holiday. If you have residential service & commercial service with us outside of downtown and your pickup day falls on Monday, May 27, 2019, your collection will be delayed by one day. For example, Monday will be serviced on Tuesday and Friday serviced on Saturday. We will resume our normal pickup schedule on Monday, June 3, 2019. Please make sure your trash and recycling roll-carts are out on the curb by 7:00 a.m. on your altered service pick up day. If you have commercial or residential service with us and are located within the Downtown District your service will be picked up on the regular schedule. Annually, the Athens-Clarke County Solid Waste Department will alter collection service for the following holidays - New Year's Day, MLK Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Chris
  • The University of Georgia Press created an endowment to fund a publishing apprenticeship program for students from UGA’s graduate history program. The Peggy Heard Galis History Ph.D. Apprenticeship will allow history Ph.D. candidates to gain insight into and experience in the scholarly publishing process. A giving campaign organized by the UGA Press funded the endowment. UGA Press Advisory Council member Charley Tarver made the lead gift and served as the fundraising chairperson, while Lucy Allen served as the fundraising co-chair and helped connect local and out-of-state contributors with the endowment. Because of Tarver and Allen’s efforts, the campaign received nationwide donations now totaling over $100,000. The endowment honors Galis for her many years of service to the press, the history department and UGA. A resident of Athens, Galis and her husband, Denny Galis, are both graduates of UGA. She is a founding member and current vice chair of the UGA Press Advisory Council. She has long been actively involved in community, cultural and educational organizations, including the Clarke County School District, the Georgia Museum of Art, the Athens Clarke Heritage Foundation, the Southern Historical Association and the Southern Foodways Alliance. “Peggy Galis is a human super-connector. We are thrilled to announce this teaching and learning program that honors her intellectual curiosity, her love of history and books, embodied in her deep commitment to UGA students and the UGA Press,” said UGA Press Director Lisa Bayer. The Peggy Heard Galis apprentices will be Ph.D. students in the UGA history department. The apprentices will receive an in-depth introduction to university-press publishing and participate in the process by which scholarly books are acquired, peer reviewed, developed, edited and approved for publication. In addition, they will learn how to communicate professionally with various parties in the industry, juggle multiple tasks at once and manage a project’s status long term. “Peggy Galis is the history graduate program’s secret weapon. She fundraises, hosts and promotes events, and asks astute questions of every speaker who darkens our door. Peggy is a PR department, development office, and Ph.D. dissertation committee rolled into one,” said Cindy Hahamovitch, B. Phinizy Spalding Distinguished Professor of History at UGA. “How perfect is it that an apprenticeship designed to teach history graduate students how publishing works will be named in Peggy’s honor?” Apprenticeships like these enhance the UGA learning environment, a primary goal of the Commit to Georgia Campaign. With over $1.2 billion raised, the campaign has already transformed UGA by way of new scholarships, learning opportunities, facilities and more.
  • Today is a mid-term day at UGA: it is the midpoint of the University of Georgia’s May session classes. This is also the last day to withdraw from the University of Georgia’s May classes. The Board of the University of Georgia Athletic Association is holding its annual spring meeting on St. Simons Island.  From Tim Hix, UGA Sports Communications... Reports by University of Georgia President Jere W. Morehead, J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity, and an update on current and future facilities projects highlighted the first day of the UGA Athletic Association Board of Directors annual spring meeting here Thursday. Also on the first-day agenda was a special presentation, led by Deputy Director for Athletics Darrice Griffin, which described in detail the key objectives in the areas of student-athlete experience, compliance, community and academic success. Also presenting were Executive Associate AD Will Lawler (Compliance) and Deputy AD Magdi El Shahawy (Academics and Student Development). In his report, McGarity called attention to a number of athletic successes in the past year, some of which remain ongoing in post-season competition. In particular: • The baseball team, under head coach Scott Stricklin, is headed toward its second straight NCAA Tournament berth. • Other teams whose seasons are still in progress include the men’s golf, and track & field squads. • Also praised by McGarity for their successes were the Gymnastics, Equestrian, Football, Women’s Tennis and Softball teams, as well as the Men’s Basketball program, whose highly-rated recruiting class has generated much excitement in advance of the 2019-20 season. Deputy Director for Operations Josh Brooks updated the Board on three facility projects including: • The UGA Equestrian complex in Bishop, Ga., which will include meeting, sports medicine and locker rooms, as well as coaches’ offices, is projected for a September 2019 completion. • Construction of the new grandstand at the Magill Tennis Complex has begun. Completion of this project is scheduled for February of 2020. • UGA is currently in the midst of the schematic and conceptual design phase of the Butts-Mehre expansion and renovation project. Retired UGA professor Bill Barstow gave a presentation on the ‘’SilverDawgs,’’ a year-old hospitality group that he helped organized and still directs. The group is comprised mostly from UGA’s chapter of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), and provides assistance to visitors at various on-campus events, including home football games, UGA commencement and other athletic contests. Barstow said the group — the idea of which was borne from a similar group that received visitors at the 2017 UGA football game at Notre Dame — had grown from its initial membership of 30 to the current total of 100 for the 2019 football season. In other first-day Board activity, Faculty Athletics Representative David Shipley presented the academic report. His remarks included the following highlights: • The men’s cross country squad compiled a 3.44 GPA for Spring semester, the highest among all Bulldog athletic teams. • The Georgia Volleyball and Men’s Basketball programs received public recognition for having Academic Progress Rates (APR) that placed them among the top 10 percent nationally for their sports. • Ninety-seven student-athletes received their degrees at Spring commencement on May 10. Day two of the annual meeting on Friday will include reports from the Student Wellness Committee, the board’s student representatives and a review of the fiscal year 2020 budget, as well as a fundraising update from Deputy AD Matt Borman.
  • The Corps of Engineers says the West Bank Day Use Park and the Sawnee Campground on Lake Lanier will remain closed through the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The Corps is still working to repair damage from flooding earlier this spring.    The Sawnee Campground at Buford Dam is scheduled to reopen next month. Lake Lanier is expected to be extra busy through the Memorial Day weekend.
  • UGA opened Legion Pool Thursday: the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department says its pools open for the summer swim season tomorrow. The pools will be open through the first weekend of August.  From the Athens-Clarke County Government website… All ACC Leisure Services pools open Saturday, May 25 for the season. Memorial Day pool hours are 1:00 – 5:30 p.m. Pools close for the season Sunday, August 3. During the aquatics season, pools are open Tuesday-Friday and Sundays, 1:00 – 5:30 p.m. Pool hours are noon – 5:30 p.m. on Saturdays. The Bishop Park pool is open to the public on weekends, only. All pools are closed on Mondays for maintenance.Pool admission is $1 per person (cash only). Individual pool passes are available for $20 and a Family Pass (for up to four) costs $40. Passes may be purchased, cash only, at any department pool.ACC Leisure Services operates five public pools including Bishop Park, 705 Sunset Drive; East Athens Community Center, 400 McKinley Drive; Lay Park, 297 Hoyt Street; Memorial Park, 293 Gran Ellen Drive; and Rocksprings Park, 291 Henderson Extension. 

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — Georgia freshman quarterback D’Wan Mathis underwent emergency surgery at Piedmont Hospital in Athens on Thursday to remove a cyst that was on his brain. Mathis, an early enrollee from Oak Park, Mich, had experienced severe sinus pain brought on by the change in climate, according to his father, Terence Mathis. The sinus issue factored into the cyst. “I want everyone to know my son is OK and will be back better than ever because of Coach (Kirby) Smart and the University of Georgia medical staff and coaching staff,” Terence Mathis told DawgNation on Thursday night. “The procedure today was a success, and I want to thank Coach Smart and Georgia for the way they treated my son and my family through all of this. Coach (James) Coley is at the hospital with my son right now, in fact.” D’Wan Mathis was in ICU on Thursday night as a precaution, Terence Mathis said. There will be a follow-up procedure, but Terence Mathis’ understanding is that it’s more routine in nature. “D’Wan’s mother, aunt and stepmom is down in Georgia at his side,” Terence Mathis said. “Please help us pray for a speedy recovery. It’s not about football right now, it’s about the DawgNation Family we have in Athens.” Mathis signed with Georgia in December after learning that Ohio State was recruiting UGA backup Justin Fields. Mathis completed 15 of his 28 attempts for 113 yards in the game. He also provided one of the biggest highlights of the spring for the Bulldogs when he caught a double-reverse pass for a 39-yard touchdown from fellow receiver Matt Landers. RELATED: D’Wan Mathis turns heads at G-Day The former 4-star prospect rated as the nation’s No. 11 pro-style prospect on the previous cycle for the 247Sports Composite ratings. That made him the nation’s No. 311 overall recruit. Mathis status for fall drills in unknown. The Bulldogs’ other scholarship quarterbacks are junior college transfer Stetson Bennett IV and All-American candidate Jake Fromm. DawgNation will update this story as more details become available. The post Georgia freshman QB D’Wan Mathis in ICU, recovering from brain cyst surgery appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ST. SIMONS ISLAND — Georgia football is way ahead of the game when it comes to bringing in money for 2019. The Bulldogs already had collected $33 million in ticket revenue as of April this year as compared to $21.4 million by the same time last year, according to the 2019 treasurer’s report. That report was given to the Georgia Athletic Association’s board of directors at the annual end-of-year retreat, which is being held this year here at the King & Prince Resort. That increase is attributed to having a seventh home game this season as well as last year’s ticket price increases, according to board treasurer Ryan Nesbit. Georgia reports $29.6 million in actual ticket contributions, which exceeded the budgeted amount of $28.5 million. Expenses will also be up slightly to $5.3 because of the extra game and an ever-expanding support base. “When you have home games with Notre Dame and Texas A&M, that helps,” UGA President Jere Morehead said. “Our athletic fundraising has been exceptional this year, so I want to commend Greg McGarity and (director of development) Matt Borman and everybody involved,” President Jere Morehead said told the board during his report to open the meeting. Georgia did not reveal its budget for the coming fiscal year, but it is expected to set another record. That has been the case in each year since the advent of the SEC Network bolstered the league’s revenue distribution program. League members received an average of $43.1 million from the SEC in the revenue distribution, which divides profits equally between the 14 members plus the conference headquarters in Birmingham. Last year, the board raised Georgia’s average football ticket price from $50 to an average of $66.42 per game, on a two-tiered system. Games against Tier 1 opponents such as SEC and Power 5 opponents cost $75 per game. Games against Tier 2 opponents are $55 per game. That does not include the required donation for the right to purchase those tickets. Georgia’s budget was more than $143 million last year. It’s expected to approach $150 million this year when it is presented to the board for approval during Friday’s meeting. The Bulldogs approved the architects for its football facility expansion but provided few details beyond it will be started as soon as possible. Morehead used a portion of his opening marks to congratulate McGarity, Georgia’s athletic director, and his administration “for a fantastic year whether it be fundraising or on the competitive field of play.” “We’re continuing to see a great deal of success and accomplishment on and off the field,” Morehead said. The board responded with applause, which is unusual for these proceedings. Seventeen out of UGA’s 21 sports competed in NCAA postseason play this year. That includes baseball, men’s golf and track and field, which are currently active in postseason play. McGarity received a $25,000 raise last year to a salary of $700,000. He has chosen to work on year-to-year contracts going forward. Fifty-six percent of 511 student-athletes recorded a GPA of 3.0 or better in spring semester, according to faculty athletics rep Craig Shipley. That’s below the athletic department’s stated goal of 65 percent but above the national average. Twenty-seven athletes recorded a perfect 4.0 GPA. Men’s cross country led all sports with a 3.44 GPA. Georgia Athletic Association’s is called to order moments before conducting its final meeting of the 2019 Academic Year in the Retreat Room at the King & Prince Resort on St. Simons Island. (Chip Towers/DawgNation)   The post Georgia football is raking in revenue at record rate for 2019 season appeared first on DawgNation.
  • MACON — As the marquee outside the Hargray Capitol Theatre boldly stated to passers by on Second Street, it was the Kirby Smart and Tom Crean Show here on Monday. The Georgia Bulldogs Club’s annual Coaches Caravan made its first stop here in Central Georgia Monday night and it was a quick one. Smart spoke for 7½ minutes and Crean for about twice that before a gathering of a couple or few hundred fans. There was no question-and-answer opportunity for the fans, which typically produces the most entertaining exchanges. No salvos were sent back Florida’s way. Before the program, the coaches did give the local press and team beat writers about 10 minutes for a Q&A backstage. After that, the coaches and an entourage of officers from UGA’s development office led by director Matt Borman adjourned for a private dinner with donors. The group will repeat the process Tuesday night in Augusta. Then that will be it for a while. There was very little in the way of hard news that came out of the session. The most pertinent was that all Bulldogs, current and incoming, are expected to meet academic eligibility requirements. That’s particularly refreshing considering Georgia had “a number of guys” who were sweating out spring semester grades, according to Smart. Other nuggets to come out of the 90-minute affair: Smart said no players other than linebacker Jaden Hunter are currently in the transfer portal. “None that I can think of,” Smart said. Smart congratulated Vince Dooley and praised the university for naming the field after him. “Who better to do it for than for a man who gave his life to the university and did a great job,” Smart said. We’re probably not going to see a lot more of outside linebacker Walter Grant at running back. “A lot of it will depend on the freshmen coming in, Kenny (McIntosh), and other guys at the position and how we feel, and outside ‘backer depth, too,” Smart said. “It was an insurance policy at best. It was kind of a research project to see what he can do.” Crean said he remains in constant contact with sophomore Nicolas Claxton as he works out for NBA scouts and he attended all his events at the NBA combine last week. He interjected that Claxton “could be a lottery pick” if he returned. Crean also said that he expects to sign another player before next season. Headlines from Coaches Caravan QB Jake Fromm will have more ‘offensive input’ in 2019 Kirby Smart expects all players, incoming and otherwise, to be eligible RB Zamir White on pace to be cleared for preseason camp Georgia fans flock to Macon landmark to hear from Kirby Smart           The post VIDEO: Kirby Smart, Tom Crean update fans on Georgia Bulldogs during ‘Coaches Caravan’ appeared first on DawgNation.
  • CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Incoming Miami grad-transfer receiver Lawrence Cager had the unique experience of getting to know both Kirby Smart and Mark Richt as head coaches the past few years. Smart has elevated Georgia football into an annual national championship contender in his three years leading the program. RELATED: Kirby Smart ‘proud’ to have worked for Mark Richt The Bulldogs played in the College Football Playoff Championship Game after he 2017 season, and narrowly missed making the CFP last season in controversial fashion. Smart coached a season under Richt at Georgia in 2005 and inherited a program on solid footing in 2016. WATCH: Mark Richt praised by rivals Saban, Spurrier, Fulmer Richt was was 145-51 over his 15 seasons at Georgia, his .740 winning percentage second only to Smart’s .762 (32-10). The differences in the disposition of Richt and Smart, Cager indicted, are like fire and ice. “Kirby was an All-SEC performer, so he can relate to you and he’s a player’s coach, he’s a guy you want to play under,” Cager said. “He gets fired up, just like coach (James) Coley.” Coley is the offensive coordinator at Georgia under Smart. But on the front end of Cager’s career, he recruited against his current boss, back when Smart was the defensive coordinator at Alabama. Cager began his career at Miami in 2015 with Coley calling the plays under then-Hurricanes’ head coach Al Golden. But then Golden was fired midway through the season, and Richt took over the Miami after being let go from Georgia following he 2015 season and returned to his alma mater to coach the Hurricanes from 2016-2018. Cager said Richt was much more reserved than what he’s seen from Smart. “With Coach Richt it was like, ‘We’re here to do this and that and handle business,’ ” Cager said. “It wasn’t like, ‘Let’s turn it up!’ Kirby will say ‘Let’s turn it up on them!’ “Coach Richt was more like, ‘Look, we are coming here, it’s Florida State, we know what we have to do, we need to line up and beat them.” Cager said the 43-year-old Smart is personable and comes across as being more invested emotionally than the 59-year-old Richt, who delivered messages in businesslike, matter-of-fact tone. Miami hired Richt to replace Golden after Cager’s freshman season. Cager said most of the players on the Miami football team had a pretty good idea Richt would be the Hurricanes next head coach. “Once Georgia let go of Coach Richt, this is his alma mater and his name kept coming up so we all thought we will hire him,” Cager said. “Once we heard it was us or Virginia, we knew for sure.” Richt changed the culture immediately, Cager said. “Golden came in here from Temple, he was more laid back,” Cager said. “Richt changed everything. We used to wear anything we wanted to practice, but then Coach Richt came in and wanted everyone uniform. It was old school, everyone would look the same, no earrings, the little stuff. “It helped a lot of people in the end. He’s a great guy. We were focused on winning championships, but his mentality was we are here to bring the swag back and it’s all about business.” Now it’s Cager who is all about business. The 6-foot-5, 218-pound receiver is expected to challenge for a starting spot immediately in the Bulldogs’ young receiving corps. DawgNation in South Florida Kenny McIntosh draws comparisons to Sony Michel, Jordan Scarlett Lawrence Cager eager for Georgia touch down ’The Blueprint,’ championship plans for South Florida star The post Fire and ice: Incoming Miami transfer compares Kirby Smart to Mark Richt appeared first on DawgNation.
  • MACON — Jake Fromm grew up and played high school ball 19 miles from the famous Hargray Capitol Theatre in downtown Macon where Kirby Smart was Monday. Fromm’s mother, Lee, works as a nurse in the Coliseum Medical Center, just a mile away across the Ocmulgee River. The Fromm’s family hunting lease is just 19 miles the other side of the hospital over in Plum Creek. So Jake Fromm is a big deal around. Then again, Fromm is pretty much a big deal everywhere these days. So Smart, here to speak at a small gathering of Georgia fans and Georgia Bulldogs Club members, dutifully acknowledged his quarterback and the many other Central Georgia players who dot the Bulldogs’ roster. “We’ve gotten a lot good players from here,” Smart said at the opening of his brief remarks before a crowd of a few hundred. “The guy who takes a snap from center and the guy who snaps it.” Fromm, obviously, is the player who takes the snaps. Trey Hill, who was Fromm’s teammate at Houston County High in Warner Robins, is the center snapping the ball to him. Hill played left tackle most of the time in high school, but did have occasion to snap to Fromm every once in a while. But now he’s the one replacement on Georgia’s heralded offensive line. He must replace graduated senior and NFL draft pick Lamont Gaillard. About that, there’s some question. About Fromm, there is none. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound junior is considered a All-America candidate and Heisman Trophy as the Bulldogs head into their fourth season under Smart, once again as a Top 5 team. Fromm does so having played in every game, starting all but one and in position to set the school’s all-time record for completion percentage. This year, Fromm will be operating under a new offensive coordinator. James Coley succeeded Jim Chaney in the role after taking over as quarterbacks coach last year. Smart thinks that is a good thing. “I think we’ve got some more quarterback guys around him with Coley working with him and he’s excited about that,” Smart said. “For him, it’s been a transition through the coordinator position where he’s kind of a sponge, he’s got more of an opinion now. He understands what we’re trying to do offensively.” Fromm has completed 64.8 percent of his passes for 5,364 yards with 54 touchdowns and 13 interceptions at this point. The thought is the Bulldogs will throw the ball more under Coley, who did that as coordinator at Miami and Florida State. Smart believes Fromm can handle whatever Coley can dish out, and will also have a say-so on what the Bulldogs do as well. “Any time you’ve got a three-year starter,he can give you input on things he likes about the offense, things he dislikes and things he thinks he can be successful,” Smart said. “That input is helpful, it’s always helpful.” The post Kirby Smart expects QB Jake Fromm to have more ‘offensive input’ in 2019 appeared first on DawgNation.