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Latest from Logan Booker

    Nobody was injured when bullets rattled through an Athens apartment early this morning. The suspect is still at large.  From The Athens-Clarke County Police:  On 04/19/2018 at just after 3:00 am, officers responded to Rivers Edge Apartments (2505 West Broad Street) in reference to an apartment being damaged by gunfire. The resident told officers she heard someone shoot several rounds through her glass back door. Officers observed damage to the door, which was a number of bullet-sized holes through the glass. When asked, the resident told officers that she did not know who would do this. No one was injured during this incident. At this time, we have no suspect information, and anyone who has information is asked to contact Detective McCauley at 706-613-3330 ext. 312. A Crimestoppers reward is available for anyone who provides credible information in this case ### 
  • The Barrow County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a tragic crime which left one juvenile dead and another locked up in the Barrow County juvenile detention center. From the Barrow County Police Department:  On April 12th, 2018 at 1336 hours, the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office responded to 454 East Midland Avenue in reference to a deceased person. While enroute, deputies were advised this call was possibly in reference to a murder at that residence. Upon arrival, deputies made contact with two individuals outside of the residence and then entered the residence to make sure the scene was safe. Upon entering the residence, it was determined there was a deceased female in one of the bedrooms and the residence was then secured awaiting the arrival of Barrow County Sheriff’s Office investigators and crime scene personnel. The Barrow County Sheriff’s Office personnel received information that the suspect had left on foot shortly before their arrival so they initiated a search for the suspect. Approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour later the suspect was apprehended. The suspect is being detained at a regional youth detention center. The suspect and the victim are both juveniles therefore the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office is not releasing any names or other information at this time.
  • Don’t be alarmed if you see smoke coming from the area of the Sandy Creek Nature Center today. It’s a controlled burn which is making future exhibits possible.  From Athens-Clarke County: A controlled burn of approximately 20 acres at Sandy Creek Nature Center will take place on Friday, April 13 beginning in late morning for 4-5 hours. Some areas will be inaccessible during this time and smoke may be present in the area as a result. On Friday, April 13 from approximately 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., the Georgia Wildland Burn Team – a group consisting of trained volunteers and members from several state and federal agencies – is tentatively planning to administer a controlled burn of approximately 20 acres at Sandy Creek Nature Center as part of the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department's Managed Forest Project at the center. The burn is coordinated with Sandy Creek Nature Center, the Georgia Forestry Commission, the Georgia Department of Transportation, the ACC Transportation and Public Works Department, the ACC Police Department, the ACC Fire Department, and the ACC Emergency Management Office.The burn is expected to last approximately four to five hours if wind and other environmental factors are favorable to a controlled burn. These factors should also help dissipate smoke, but some smoke may be present in areas near Sandy Creek Nature Center off of Commerce Road / U.S. 441. The ACC Fire Department and other staff will monitor the burn and smoke throughout the event.Due to the burn, some of Sandy Creek Nature Center's facilities and trails will have limited access or be inaccessible throughout Friday for safety purposes. For more information, follow Athens-Clarke County's main, Leisure Services, and Sandy Creek Nature Center social media accounts listed at www.accgov.com/socialmedia. The Managed Forest Project is an outdoor component of the woodland exhibit in the Sandy Creek Nature Center's Education & Visitor Center. The project will eventually result in five forest demonstration plots that will showcase the natural living forest firsthand from an early stage forest to a mature forest and the diversity of wildlife that inhabit each stage.
  • The Following is a press release from the Athens-Clarke County Police Department: On 04/10/2018 at just before 11:00 pm officers responded to Burkland Drive in reference to a drive-by shooting. The caller gave no specific address. 9- 1-1 operators were given a possible vehicle description of a white Nissan Altima with tinted windows. Officers checked the area and could not find any victims or a scene. Approximately five hours later at just before 4:30 am on 04/11/2018 officers responded to a residence off Burkland Drive that had damage to the residence from gunshots. The resident stated she heard gunshots around 10:30p11:00p, but thought it was neighbors shooting fireworks. The victim also located a bullet on her bedroom floor, damage to her dresser and a bullet hole in her bedroom wall. A Crimestoppers reward is available for any credible information in this case and anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Tim Conner at 706-613-3330 ext. 337 or timothy.conner@accgov.com. 
  • UPDATE: Felony murder warrants have been obtained for Antonio Littlejohn in this case. Littlejohn was already in custody on firearms violations. DATE: 01/29/2018  ACCPD Investigating Shooting Death of Woman On 01/29/2018, officers were dispatched to a residence on Sartian Dr., in reference to a person shot. Upon their arrival, they located a white female, Jennifer Jacobs, 22-year-old of Athens deceased in her bedroom from a gunshot wound to her chest. There were two other individuals in the residence at the time of Ms. Jacobs’ death, including her boyfriend. Detectives continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding this death investigation. 
  • ATHENS---- The 18th-ranked Georgia baseball team will face eighth-ranked Clemson Tuesday at SRP Park, the new home of the Augusta Green Jackets in North Augusta, S.C. First pitch will be at 6:30 p.m. and be available on the Bulldog Sports Network from IMG. There is no television for this contest.   Georgia’s Ike Cousins head baseball coach Scott Stricklin has the Bulldogs off to their best start in nine years. After 32 games, the Bulldogs mark of 23-9 is the best since the 2009 club roared out a 26-6 start. Georgia is ranked as high as No. 10 this week in the top 25 polls while Clemson (25-7) checks in as high as No. 3. In the latest NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), the Tigers are No. 5 while the Bulldogs are No. 8. Clemson gave up its home game to play at SRP Park, and it will be the home team. The two squads will meet again next Tuesday in Athens at Foley Field.   Georgia will start sophomore right-hander Tony Locey (6-0, 3.07 ERA) while the Tigers counter with freshman right-hander Spencer Strider (3-0, 4.12 ERA). Last Tuesday against Georgia Tech, Locey was on a pitch count and tossed two innings before giving way to the bullpen including junior Kevin Smith who picked up a win in a combined four-hit shutout. Smith struck out a career-high nine in 4.1 innings. This past weekend, the Bulldogs dropped their first SEC series of the year, going 1-2 at No. 15 Vanderbilt. Meanwhile, the Tigers won a road series over Notre Dame 2-1.   Locey is no stranger to pitching in professional ballparks. Last year, he pitched one scoreless inning of relief at SunTrust Park (home of the Atlanta Braves) in the first game open to the public as Georgia faced Missouri on April 8. The game drew a crowd of 33,025, which was the second largest in college baseball history. Then on May 9, he started at SunTrust Park against Georgia Tech and tossed four scoreless innings in front of a crowd of 23,737. He got a no decision and Georgia went on to win 8-7 to sweep the season series.   The Tigers won both on-campus meetings against the Bulldogs the past two years. Last season, they registered a 4-0 win in Athens and a 9-7 victory in Clemson. Georgia’s last win over the Tigers came when it swept the two-game set in 2015.   Georgia is batting .287 with a 3.54 ERA and a .978 fielding percentage. Clemson is hitting .248 with a 3.14 ERA and a .976 fielding percentage. The Bulldogs look to have their leading hitter, senior Keegan McGovern (.364-10-31) return for this weekend’s SEC series with No. 11 Kentucky (22-10, 5-7 SEC), according to Strickin. He left last Friday’s game at No. 15 Vanderbilt after tweaking his back. McGovern is one of four Bulldog regulars hitting at least .300 along with junior designated hitter Michael Curry (.339-6-33), junior first baseman Adam Sasser (.318-2-23) and redshirt freshman catcher Mason Meadows (.314-2-16).   Georgia returns to Foley Field Friday when it starts an SEC series against the nationally ranked Wildcats.   Pitching Matchups: UGA vs. Clemson Tues. at 6:30 pm ET: Tony Locey (6-0, 3.07 ERA), RHP, So. vs. Spencer Strider (3-0, 4.12 ERA), RHP, Fr.    Television/Radio TV: None Radio: Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG College (David Johnston & Jeff Dantzler) Stations: 960 AM-WRFC and selected affiliates (check your local listings), also via the Georgia Bulldogs app and TuneIn app.  
  • Two local school systems have been placed into elite company among Georgia’s top school districts.  Backgroundchecks.org formally released its Top School Districts in Georgia for 2018, Jefferson City Schools and Oconee County Schools being among the top five. The top five districts are: Forsyth County, Jefferson City, Decatur City, Oconee County, and Fayette County. The following contributed to the ranking: student performance (math and reading test scores), dropout rates, school funding, and area poverty rates. Data was collected from a total of 9,577 school districts. Backgroundchecks.org  is a public safety focused organization committed to increasing public safety, community involvement, and education.  For more information and the full ranking: http://backgroundchecks.org/top-school-districts-in-georgia-2018.html
  • The following is a press release from the University of Georgia Police Department:  Over the weekend the University of Georgia Police Department received several reports of burglaries that occurred in Creswell Hall over the previous evening, approximately between 2:00 p.m. and midnight. All the reported incidents involve clothing, purses, jewelry and other similar items in plain sight and easily carried being stolen from unlocked rooms. None of the reported incidents involve forced entry or damage to property in order to facilitate the act. None of the reports have included any aspect of violence or crime involving personal contact with the perpetrator and any victim. No information currently exists that indicates any threat to the safety of members of the community. Everyone is urged to lock their doors at all times to minimize the potential exposure to this type of incident. If anyone has observed activity that may be related to these or similar incidents they are urged to contact the UGA Police Department at 706-542-2200.
  • A memorial service will be held for Dr. Karen Tinsley on Monday, April 9th at 2pm in the Chapel on North Campus. A reception will follow at the Georgia Center in Mahler Hall beginning at 4pm.   Parking is available at the North Campus Deck for the Chapel and South Campus Deck for the Georgia Center. From the University of Georgia…   Karen Tinsley, a faculty member in the College of Family and Consumer Sciences, died in a bicycle-vehicle accident on Tuesday in Oconee County. Tinsley, who was recently promoted to Senior Public Service Associate in the FACS department of financial planning, housing and consumer economics, served as the director for the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing program and as director of the UGA Housing and Demographics Research Center. “We are deeply saddened by this news,” FHCE department head Sheri Worthy said. “Karen was an invaluable member of our college and was admired across the state for her tireless efforts toward improving housing conditions in Georgia. Her impact was felt by countless communities in Georgia as well as by our students, and she was a model representative of our college’s mission of improving the lives of people in our state.” Tinsley came to UGA in 2002 as a research coordinator. In 2017, she received the Housing Impact Award from the Housing Education and Research Association for her significant contributions to the field of housing through focused research, teaching and outreach initiatives. The GICH program she directed has facilitated progress toward housing stability for 71 communities in Georgia since its inception in 2004. “Karen was a dear friend and colleague,” said Steve Dempsey, Associate Vice President for the UGA Office of Public Service and Outreach. “Although she never enjoyed the attention and stayed behind the scenes, she was the champion for housing at FACS and UGA. Karen’s dedication to GICH and the HDRC was unwavering. She was the glue and the engine that made GICH such a successful program with such a diverse partnership touching communities throughout the state. She will be sorely missed by the housing community and UGA.” Tinsley received her bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and earned both her master’s and doctorate degrees in economics from UGA. Among her many accolades, Tinsley was a Service Learning Fellow and was a graduate of the Vivian H. Fisher Public Service and Outreach Leadership Academy at UGA. Tinsley, 45, was born in Augusta, Ga., but grew up in Syracuse, N.Y. She is survived by her father, Roger and his wife Janet, of Skaneateles, N.Y.; her mother, Judy McPeak and her husband Bill, of Hull, Mass.; and her sister, Susan Schumer and her husband Evan of Wellesley, Mass., and their children, Jessica and Matthew; along with partner Art Snow, who recently retired following a 31-year career with the UGA Department of Economics.
  • A Gwinnett County man is being charged in a morning bus crash on I-20 in Columbia County.  61 year old Steven Hoppenbrouwer is being charged with driving under the influence and failure to maintain lane. He was the driver of the bus  which overturned while carrying 18 passengers en route to Augusta National golf course for today’s opening round of the Masters golf tournament.  The crash occurred near mile marker 186 between the Appling-Harlem and Grovetown exits.  Seven people were taken to Augusta University Medical Center, with five in serious condition and two in fair condition, the sheriff’s office told ABC affiliate WJBF in Augusta. Seven other people were taken to Doctors Hospital, but their conditions are unknown, WJBF reported.
  • Logan Booker

    Logan Booker is the producer for Classic City Today on 98.7FM and AM 1340 WGAU from 6am-10am weekdays, and occasionally contributes on-air with Tim Bryant. Logan also covers the midday news on WGAU Monday-Friday. On occasion, he fills as a co-host of The Morning Show on 960 The Ref. 

    Logan has covered UGA sports since 2012, previously with Bulldawg Illustrated. 

    He is a graduate of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, where he earned a degree in magazine journalism in addition to a Grady Sports Media certificate. He was born and raised in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and in addition to his current home in Bethlehem, Georgia, he spends lots of time with his dog and his boat in Lincoln County, Georgia. 


    Read More

Local News

  • A firm from China says it will set up shop in Walton County, creating dozens of new payroll positions in a multi-million dollar investment. From the office of Ga Governor Nathan Deal...  Gov. Nathan Deal today announced that Top Polymer Enterprise, a Chinese manufacturer of thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), will create 70 jobs and invest $15 million in a facility in Social Circle. New jobs will include positions in manufacturing and production.   “Georgia’s manufacturing sector continues to drive statewide investment by attracting industry leaders from around the world,” said Deal. “As the No. 1 state for business, Georgia has the highly skilled workforce, logistics infrastructure and low cost of doing business necessary to provide a strong foundation for Top Polymer’s continued growth. These resources will strengthen the company’s competitive edge in the global market as Top Polymer expands both in the U.S. and abroad. We look forward to this partnership with Top Polymer as the company invests in Social Circle and creates employment opportunities for our citizens.”   The manufacturing plant in Walton County will be Top Polymer’s first facility in the U.S. The first phase of the facility will be approximately 60,000 square feet with three compounding lines.   “This is an exceptional time for Top Polymer Enterprise and we are extremely excited to be part of the Social Circle community,” said Marcus Tsong, president of Top Polymer Holding Company. “We see our Social Circle facility as being the first key step to becoming an internationally recognized manufacturer and supplier of premier TPE system.”   Top Polymer exports to more than 30 countries and regions. The company currently has two production bases in China, located in Dongguan City, Guangdong Province and Liyang City, Jiangsu Province.   Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) Project Manager Nikki Yu represented the Global Commerce Division in partnership with GDEcD Director of China Initiatives Stella Xu, GDEcD Managing Director of Chinese Investment John Ling, Georgia Power, the Georgia Department of Labor and the Development Authority of Walton County.    “Walton County and the City of Social Circle are excited to welcome Top Polymer to our community and we are looking forward to a strong partnership with them,” said Shane Short, executive director of the Development Authority of Walton County. “This partnership could not happen without the great support from the team at the Georgia Department of Economic Development.”   “We are excited that Top Polymer chose Georgia for its first U.S. facility,” said GDEcD Commissioner Pat Wilson. “This announcement is a testament to our partnership approach to economic development, and I want to congratulate everyone involved.”   About Top Polymer Top Polymer Enterprise Limited (Top Polymer Enterprise) is dedicated to developing and manufacturing thermoplastic elastomer, which are copolymers or a physical mix of polymers that consists of materials with both thermoplastic and elastomeric properties. Top Polymer is committed to meeting customers' requirements by supplying the best TPE solutions to customers, offering infinite imagination for design objectives. Hiring and employment searches are being conducted by Human Resource Dimensions (www.hrdracc.com) and Global Recruiters of Wilmington (www.grnwilmington.com).
  • Faculty and staff at the University of Georgia will soon have a few extra dollars in their paychecks: UGA president Jere Morehead says merit-based salary increases will kick in after the first of the year.  From UGA president Jere Morehead... As the FY 2019 budget development process begins, we are pleased to announce a 2.0% merit-based salary increase pool for faculty and staff, with an effective date of January 1, 2019. While FY 2019 state appropriations for the University System of Georgia did not include funding for merit-based pay adjustments, we are able to fund a merit-based salary increase pool of up to 2% using internal resources.   The FY 2019 merit-based salary increases can be provided in the range of 0 to 4.0%. In addition, UGA is directing additional funds in its FY 2019 budget to increase its minimum hiring rate from $24,000 to $24,500 on July 1, 2018.    We are pleased to share this good news and appreciate your continued service to the University of Georgia.
  • An investigation continues in Gainesville, where a man working at the Chattahoochee Golf Course was killed in what appears to have been an accident: David Silcox was 69 years old. He was mowing grass when his riding lawn mower overturned, crushing him to death. It’s the second such accident in recent weeks in northeast Georgia: E.G. Higginbotham was 76 years old. Elberton Police say he was mowing grass at the Elberton County Club when his mower overturned into a pond on March 20, pinning him in the water.  A man was killed Thursday morning while working at the Chattahoochee 
  • The Georgia Bulldogs spring football game, G-Day (4 p.m. Saturday at Sanford Stadium), will offer the first look at the 2018 Georgia Bulldogs.  Here are five Bulldogs to keep a particularly close eye on Saturday:  Elijah Holyfield, RB— Holyfield has been a name on a lot of lips this spring and not just because of his massive guns. Head coach Kirby Smart recently called Holyfield one of his “favorite competitors out there.” With D’Andre Swift (groin) expected to be limited, if he plays at all, expect Holyfield to get plenty of carries and turn a few heads.  Brenton Cox, OLB/DE— Cox, an early enrollee, is a player too talented and versatile to not play as a freshman, whether that be at defensive end or outside linebacker. Smart noted recently that Cox has been getting some work with the first team, so he should get plenty of minutes at both positions at G-Day.  Richard LeCounte, DB— LeCounte, a rising sophomore, was considered by many a shoo-in for the starting safety spot vacated by Dominick Sanders. But Smart has been critical of LeCounte this spring, calling his performance “up and down.” J.J. Holloman, WR— Although Smart has expressed concerns about many positions this spring, he’s been pretty upbeat about the receivers. He singled out Holloman and early enrollee Kearis Jackson — another player to watch — as second-team guys who are “challenging the guys in front of them.” Justin Fields, QB— There is no player whose performance will be more scrutinized and overanalyzed than Fields. He’s one of the highest-rated players the program has ever signed and plays at the most high-profile position on the field. A lot of fans have speculated he could see the field as a change of pace behind center — a la Tim Tebow in his freshman year at Florida — or even beat Jake Fromm outright. While the latter seems highly unlikely, the former is well within the realm of possibility. 

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — Coach Kirby Smart is doing his best to make sure that Georgia’s best and brightest players will all be available to play in the G-Day Game. But there is increasing evidence some key players may have to sit out Saturday’s heavily-promoted intrasquad game at Sanford Stadium. As of Thursday evening, Smart was holding out hope that offensive stars Terry Godwin and D’Andre Swift will be available. Godwin practiced in a limited capacity Thursday but looked a bit gimpy while doing so with groin and knee injuries. Swift was also going through position drills but hasn’t been participating in full-contact work the last week. “Terry’s been banged up a little bit but we expect him to be able to go and to play,” Smart said. “He’s pushing through. He’s been really tough about it. He has some groin soreness and a slight MCL knee (injury). He’s been able to go.” As for Swift, Smart said: “We’ll see how he does. He’s been able to do some things but hasn’t been able to do everything. He hasn’t been live tackling. He’s getting a lot of mental reps and things like that. He’s still kind of a game-time decision.” One player who definitely won’t play Saturday is cornerback Mark Webb. The converted receiver suffered torn cartilage)in his right knee in practice on Tuesday and underwent arthroscopic surgery on Thursday. However, he should be available to compete in preseason camp in August, or earlier. “Mark had a torn meniscus and he won’t be able to play in the spring game,” Smart said after the Bulldogs’ 14th practice. … We’re expecting a full recovery. He should be back.” Webb had been moving up the ranks in the secondary and appeared poised to contend for a starting position at cornerback. Instead, the Bulldogs are down to just 10 defensive backs overall. Georgia is also going to be without freshman early enrollee Divaad Wilson, who suffered an ACL tear the first week of spring practice, and safety Jarvis Wilson, who has a sprained foot. Sophomore William Poole may have to switch back-and-forth between the Red and Black squads on Saturday in order to preserve competitive balance. Godwin is the leading returning receiver from last year. He had 639 yards and scored six touchdowns, including one via a fairly miraculous catch at Notre Dame Stadium. Swift averaged 7.6 yards a carry and scored three touchdowns while playing behind Nick Chubb and Sony Michel as a freshman last season. He finished with 618 yards and was also the Bulldogs’ leading receiver out of the backfield with 17 catches for 153 yards and one score. The post Some key Georgia players may be missing for G-Day appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — New Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean has finally pulled the trigger on naming a second assistant basketball coach. Joe Scott, most recently an assistant coach at Holy Cross, sports 16 seasons of head coaching experience at three Division I schools. He joins Chad Dollar on the Bulldogs’ staff. “I’m excited to welcome Joe, Leah, Ben and Jack to our Georgia Basketball family and the entire UGA community,” Crean said in a statement released by the school. “Joe is known nationally as someone who excels at coaching, teaching and competing. He has tremendous respect of his peers who have gone against him and those who have worked along side him. He will bring many different elements to our program, but overall and he will help our young men get better every day.” Said Scott, also in a statement: “My family and I are extremely excited to be joining the Georgia family. The University of Georgia is a special place. This is a tremendous opportunity to help Coach Crean implement his vision and make Georgia Basketball special. I cannot wait to get started coaching our players to develop and get better every day.” Scott was tabbed one of the nation’s top-20 “Xs & Os” coaches in a survey of his peers by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman in 2013. He was head coach at Air Force for four seasons, Princeton for three campaigns and Denver for nine seasons. He also has served as an assistant coach at Monmouth, Princeton and Holy Cross. All told, Scott sports 27 years of collegiate coaching experience. Before breaking into the head coaching ranks, Scott was an assistant coach at Monmouth during the 1991-92 season and at Princeton from 1992-2000. While at Princeton, Scott helped the Tigers to five consecutive postseason appearances, with trips to the 1996, 1997 and 1998 NCAA Tournaments and the 1999 and 2000 NITs. The Tigers won three Ivy League titles from 1996-98, including perfect 14-0 records in the final two seasons. Princeton upset defending national champion UCLA in the 1996 NCAA Tournament and ranked as high as No. 7 nationally in 1998 en route to earning a No. 5 seed in the NCAA Tournament, the highest ever for an Ivy League team. The post Georgia’s Tom Crean finally settles on a second assistant coach appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia held their final actual practice of the spring at the Woodruff Practice Complex on Thursday. Under clear skies and relatively cool temperatures, the Bulldogs were working out in shorts and helmets and were scheduled to for about two hours. The next time they get together and play as a team will be during G-Day Saturday at Sanford Stadium (4 p.m., ESPN, News 95.5 and AM 750 WSB). Actually, it will as two teams. UGA on Thursday released its split rosters for the Red and Black squads for Saturday’s intrasquad game. This year, Georgia’s No. 1 offense, led by quarterback Jake Fromm, will be the Red team. The Black Squad will be led by the Bulldogs’ No. 1 defensive unit — and freshman quarterback Justin Fields, of course. Fromm’s Red squad will be protected by the first-string offensive line — which included both Solomon Kindley and Kendall Baker to play left guard. It will also feature juniors Elijah Holyfield and Brian Herrien at tailback and Terry Godwin, Riley Ridley and Mecole Hardman at wideout and Isaac Nauta and Charlie Woerner at tight end. Fields’ No. 2 offensive unit will have walkons Prather Hudson and Ian Donald-McIntyre in the backfield and will feature a receiving corps of Ahkil Crumpton, J.J. Holloman, Kearis Jackson, Matt Landers and Tyler Simmons. Of course, the Black team will be hanging its hat on a defensive team led by Tyler Clark, DaQuan Hawkins-Muckle, Jonathan Ledbetter, Julian Rochester and Malik Herring and inside linebackers Juwan Taylor, Tae Crowder and Nate McBride. D’Andre Walker, Robert Beal and Walter Grant will man the outside linebacker positions. The secondary for the Black squad has Deandre Baker and Tyrique McGhee at the corners, William Poole at star and J.R. Reed and Richard LeCounte III at the safeties. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs appeared to be going through normal drill work and play-polish in the early portions of practice on Thursday. Following are a few observations: Senior Terry Godwin was going through regular drill work with the receivers but appeared to be a bit gimpy in doing so. He had a reinforced brace on one knee and a regular sleeve on the other. Cornerback Mark Webb was not practicing after suffering a knee injury of undisclosed severity on Tuesday. Indications are it’s not a “major” injury. D’Andre Swift was going through bag drills with the running backs and did not exhibit noticeable limitations. He is dealing with a groin injury, according to coach Kirby Smart. Defensive tackle Michael Barnett (knee) was not at practice again, assuring that he’ll miss G-Day. Justin Young, who missed practices last week due to a minor knee sprain, has been able to practice and might be able to play. One area lacking depth that has not been much discussed is deep snapper for special teams. The Bulldogs technically have just one on the roster in redshirt freshman Oren Morgan of Toombs County. But senior fullback Nick Moore also snaps to the kickers. Former tailbacks Nick Chubb and Sony Michel were watching Thursday’s practice from the sideline and having a good time commenting on what they say. Asked which tailback they expected to be the leading rusher for the G-Day Game on Saturday, they simultaneously said “Prather Hudson.” Hudson is a redshirt sophomore walkon from Columbus. Recently-matriculated receiver Javon Wims was also at practice watching his position group. All of them plan to attend on Saturday, with Chubb conducting an autograph-signing at the bookstore.   The post Practice report: Jake Fromm to lead Red against Justin Field’s Black squad on G-Day appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Welcome to a feature on DawgNation, where our writers answer (or try to answer) the best questions submitted by Georgia fans. If you’d like to submit a question, please e-mail us at ugaquestionoftheday@gmail.com. Look for the Question of the Day every Monday through Friday Dear DawgNation: What is up with Nate McBride? —  James McConnell, Chickamauga What’s up with Nate McBride, you ask? Lots of things are up with the linebacker from Vidalia. First off, he’s up in class. He’s a legitimate sophomore academically, even though he’s still in his first year at UGA. He’s also up in age and experience, as well as strength and size. And while he’s up, he’s also down. Not mentally, but physically. Lee Chomskis (pronounced HOM-skiss), his coach at Vidalia High, said McBride is down to about 218 pounds after playing last season at Georgia at 225 and his senior year at Vidalia at almost 230 pounds. That said, having had a year under his belt with strength and conditioning coach Scott Sinclair, he looks a bit different physically. Not necessarily thinner, but certainly more cut. But reading between the words of your brief, one-line question, I suppose that’s not exactly what you meant by, “what’s up with McBride?” You probably are wondering, like a few folks I’ve heard from, why we aren’t hearing more about him. Why isn’t he creating more buzz and why isn’t he a starting linebacker for Georgia already? That’s what people often wonder when a former blue-chip prospect of McBride’s ilk — he was the No. 2-rated inside linebacker in the country at one point — is not starring by his second year on campus. A couple of points here: McBride is not even all the way to his second year at Georgia yet; two, we don’t fully know exactly what McBride’s role is going to be on the defense in 2018. We do know that he is competing with Monty Rice, Juwan Taylor and Jaden Hunter for the Will linebacker position manned so well last season by Roquan Smith. Though early signs point to Rice leading that competition, nothing is written in stone — or even on paper — and there is a long way to go before that’s decided. We also know that McBride has the size and skills to earn playing time at the Mike, the other inside linebacker spot in Georgia’s defense, and that the Bulldogs desperately need help at both spots in 2018. Regardless of how those competitions turn out, you’re still bound to see a lot of McBride this season, just like we did last season. In fact, while playing on several of Georgia’s special teams units McBride was one of just six true freshmen to play in all 15 of the Bulldogs’ games. The others were Jake Fromm, Andrew Thomas, D’Andre Swift, Walter Grant and Malik Herring. Rice played in 14. So you can bet that the swift-footed McBride will be on the field at least for special teams, if not also in a defensive role. He has one of the traits that coach Kirby Smart covets most — speed — as his four Class AA sprint championships as a high school senior attest. To date, I haven’t had a chance to ask Smart about McBride. But I reached out to Chomkis, who communicates with him on a regular basis, for a little insight. “He played on a team that played for the national championship,” Chomkis said. “That means there’s a lot of talent there at Georgia. He could’ve gone to Vanderbilt or Missouri and started every game, but he wanted to play for championships. I think he’s running with the 2s or 3s right now during the spring, and that’s because he’s still learning the position and having to think a lot. “But I think he’s an outstanding kid and an outstanding football player and I think he’ll play a lot for Georgia before it’s over. He has good size and great speed and that’s why they recruited him, because he can run so well. He can flat fly, and I’m not sure that there’s many that can run with him.” That pretty much sums it up. As Smart and the Bulldogs like to say this year, he “ain’t going nowhere.” Have a question for beat writer Chip Towers? E-mail us at ugaquestionoftheday@gmail.com The post ‘What’s up’ with Georgia linebacker Nate McBride? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Really, we don’t know all that much about Georgia’s Monty Rice. But you have to like what the sophomore linebacker has to say about the enormous challenge that’s before him and the Bulldogs’ entire defense in succeeding Roquan Smith and that star-studded unit of a season ago. “We can’t live off what Roquan did, or Lorenzo [Carter] did, or Dom Sanders did,” said Rice, who is poised to follow Smith at the Will inside linebacker position. “What’s Juwan Taylor gonna do? What’s Nate McBride gonna do? What’s Monty Rice gonna do? We’ve got to live off what we’re going to do. We can’t dwell on last year’s success.” Monty Rice Truer words have not been spoken this spring about Georgia’s defense. The Bulldogs lost a boatload of exceptional football talent off last season’s 13-2, No. 2-ranked team. That fact will be underscored in the NFL draft next week. Most notable among those departures is Smith. The Butkus Award-winning linebacker is expected to be an early first-round draft choice. The battle to replace him is ongoing. But the odds-on favorite to handle that considerable task is Rice, who is really kind of a mystery man. If you don’t follow recruiting closely, you might need a refresher. Rice sort of just showed up at Georgia. Rivals and 247Sports pegged him as a 3-star recruit, but his offer list said otherwise. He had upwards of 20 offers, including pretty much the whole of the SEC. Rice actually committed to LSU (over Auburn and Georgia) in mid-December 2016. It’s something he now says was an act of confused desperation. But, as an early enrollee, he’d long been pursued by Mel Tucker, first at Alabama and then as defensive coordinator at Georgia. In the end, Rice pursued that relationship and simply enrolled at UGA without signing a letter of intent, according to his high school coach. “When he announced that day that he was going to go to LSU, me and everyone else going in thought it was going to be Georgia, just because of his relationship with Coach Tucker and Coach [Kirby] Smart,” said Wade Waldrop, Rice’s coach at James Clemens High School in Madison, Ala. “They already knew him, because he had visited Alabama a number of times throughout his sophomore and junior years, so they were familiar with him. “He came out right away and said, ‘I think I made a mistake.’ I said, ‘That’s all right. You haven’t signed a thing. As long as you let Coach [Dave] Aranda and Coach O [LSU coach Ed Oregeron] know, you do what’s best for you. You’ve got to wake up in that dorm room every day.’ ” Said Rice: “I just followed my heart.” Rice’s arrival in Athens in January 2017 has been a blessing both for the Bulldogs and for Rice. As a freshman last season he played in 14 of Georgia’s 15 games and even got a start against Missouri in the season’s seventh game. He finished with 22 tackles and 2 tackles for loss. The one start came at Mike linebacker alongside Smith after Natrez Patrick was suspended and Reggie Carter was injured. But he primarily as a Will — or weakside linebacker — which happened to be the position manned by Smith. So it was difficult to get on the field much with the defense. His work came mostly at “garbage time” and on special teams. But Rice said last season’s experience was invaluable to him, if for no other reason than getting to know Smith and watching how he worked. “Roquan is not a selfish person,” Rice said. “He was helping me out when I first got here, telling me what calls I had to make, telling me what to do or whatever. So he was real helpful. So was Lorenzo and Davin [Bellamy] and all of those guys.” As for motivation, Rice doesn’t need a lot of help in that department. This is a young man who has had his sights set not only on major college football but the NFL for a long time. That’s what distinguished Rice at James Clemens High. Originally from Huntsville, Ala., he actually lived with another family in Madison while playing there. The reason for that was two-fold. One, he wanted to play high school football at the highest level possible; and, two, he needed to escape the crime and poverty that ravaged the community in which he was raised. That ended up being a move made in heaven. Not only was Rice wildly successful as a player — he recorded 137 tackles, 4 interceptions and 4 touchdowns to lead the Jets to the Class 7A quarterfinals as a senior — but also as a student. “Monty Rice is a football player,” Waldrop said. “He came to school every day — and he had a 3.2, 3.1 GPA — and he did well in school because he wanted to play football. Everything he does is to play football. A lot of people, it’s the other way around. He did what he had to do on a daily basis to be a big-time football player. You didn’t have to hold things over his head to get him to do something. He loves playing football.” It’s not all about money and fame for Rice, either. He hopes football can give him a platform to call attention to a cause that is very personal to him: excessive force used by police, particularly against victims suffering from mental illness. You can read about it yourself from the pinned tweet at the top of Rice’s Twitter account, @RiceMonty. It takes you to a Facebook page dedicated to telling the story of Horaesheo Rice, a cousin eight years Rice’s senior who was killed by police gunfire on Sept. 20, 2017. That was the Wednesday before the Bulldogs would play Mississippi State in Sanford Stadium. Rice has his cousin’s name tattooed on his right forearm as a reminder of what he’s playing for. “I know he’s looking down and smiling about what I’m doing,” Rice said Thursday night after Georgia’s 13th practice of the spring. “We used to live together, so I was real close to him. I’m not a big social media guy, but I don’t want his name to ever be forgotten. I don’t want what happened to be, ah, this is just another killer. I want it to be known what happened to my cousin.” So, yes, Rice is supremely motivated. And apparently he’s a pretty good player, too. At this point there’s still no guarantees that Rice will be the undisputed starter and/or primary player at Georgia’s all-important Will linebacker spot. Among others, he’s competing with senior Juwan Taylor and fellow sophomore Nate McBride, not to mention two freshmen who will join the team in June. But indications are that No. 32 has been making a name for himself at that spot during spring practice. “He’s pretty difficult,” sophomore tackle Andrew Thomas said of trying to block Rice. “He has one speed. He’s, like, full-going all the time and he’s going to hit you. He doesn’t care if you’re bigger than him, he’s going to strike you and try to make a play. He’s making us all better.” That this one-time 3-star prospect is in position to become a full-time starter at a marquee position in his sophomore year may come as a surprise to a lot of people. But not to those in Madison and Huntsville who have known Rice for a while. “I’m absolutely not surprised, because he’s driven,” said Waldrop, who visited with Rice shortly before spring practice began. “He has a purpose. The purpose of just trying to start is probably big for him. He’s got NFL aspirations. He knows if he does the things that Coach Smart and Coach [Glenn] Schumann and those guys tell him to do and he buys into it, he knows he’ll have a shot to one day go get money.” And perhaps draw greater attention to a cause that is dear to him. We’ll have to wait and see how it goes on the football field, but for now we have an idea of what Monty Rice is all about. The post Georgia’s Monty Rice: Linebacker with a cause appeared first on DawgNation.