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Latest from Logan Booker

    From the Hall County Sheriff’s Office:  A memorial fund benefiting the wife and children of Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon has been established at Peach State Bank Trust in Gainesville, Georgia.  The Hall County Sheriff’s Office is very grateful for the outpouring of support from members of the community, businesses, and other organizations during this time of need. 100% of all donations go directly to the family. Interested donors can make deposits in person, or at the bank’s drive-through teller line or night deposit box at the following address:  Peach State Bank & Trust 325 Washington Street Gainesville, GA 30501 Donors can also mail their donations to the following address: Peach State Bank & Trust PO Box 290 Gainesville, GA 30503-9835  Please make all checks payable to the following: Deputy Nicolas Blane Dixon Memorial Fund The 28-year old Dixon was a three-year veteran of the Department, and a father of two young boys. He was  killed in a shootout after a car chase last Sunday night near Gainesville. Four 17-year old suspects are in custody and are facing charges of felony murder. 
  • The Hall County sheriff’s deputy killed in a shootout late Sunday night has been identified as Nicolas Dixon. Dixon has been with the department for three years, Sheriff Gerald Couch told reporters at a news conference. The 28-year-old was married and had two young children, Couch said. The shooting took place at about 11 p.m. after an encounter with several suspects linked to weekend car break-ins and burglaries. Several firearms were taken in the break-ins, The suspects fled in a vehicle that wrecked. Several people jumped out and started running, prompting a foot chase.  “He was out there in the darkness while most of us slept comfortably,” Couch said of Dixon. Couch said that an arrest warrant for felony murder has been issued for Hector Garcia., who was wounded in the shooting. He is believed to be the shooter, Couch said. There is an active manhunt Monday for the remaining suspects, who authorities consider to be armed and dangerous. Gainesville police, Gwinnett County police and Georgia State Patrol troopers are joining in the search. Deputies exchanged gunfire with the suspects in the area of Jesse Jewell Parkway and Highland Avenue in Gainesville, according to the sheriff’s office. A description of the suspects was not available Monday morning. Sheriff’s investigators are working to interview persons of interest and other parties. One person was put in handcuffs around 7:30 a.m., but authorities have not identified him or said what connection, if any, he has to the deadly shooting.  The GBI has been called to investigate, which Hall County Sherrif’s Department spokesman Derreck Booth said is standard sheriff’s office procedure in the event of an officer-involved shooting. Agents are on the scene and have blocked off one block of Highland Avenue, a narrow residential street in central Gainesville. The deadly incident is the 42nd officer-involved shooting the GBI has investigated in 2019, a spokeswoman for the agency said. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also tracks officer-involved shootings that don't involve the GBI, and those numbers sometimes differ from the GBI's tally. The slain Hall County sheriff’s deputy is the fourth officer killed in the line of duty in Georgia this year.
  • Athens has become the first 911 operating system in the state of Georgia to be outfitted with Uber integrations to assist local police in the safety of its users. WGAU’s Abby Jessen spoke with Athens-Clarke County Police Department Captain Keith Kelley about the implementation.  From the Athens-Clark County Police Department: Uber has expanded its 9-1-1 information sharing program to include Athens-Clarke County. With this sharing program, when a rider or driver uses the Uber in-app emergency button to contact 911 operators, key trip details that can be used to help respond to an emergency will now be transmitted automatically to 9-1-1 dispatchers in Athens-Clarke County. The ACC 9-1-1 Center is the first in the state of Georgia to have this Uber integration.  This Uber integration relies on another ACCPD partnership established earlier in the year. In January, the Athens-Clarke County 9-1-1 Center, commonly called Central Communications, partnered with RapidSOS, an emergency communications technology company. Through RapidSOS, Central Communications has access to the NG911 Clearinghouse which receives data from the Internet of Things (smartphones, connected cars, wearables, and connected homes) and securely sends the relevant data to 9-1-1 and first responders.  “In Athens-Clarke County, it is important to get help to individuals during an emergency quickly. In some cases the caller may not be able to give accurate information about their location or may not be able to communicate at all. This technology will help 9-1-1 call takers get emergency services personnel to individuals in need by more quickly pinpointing their location,” said Captain Keith Kelley with the 9-1-1 Communications Center.  Previously, riders and drivers have been able to see their GPS location and vehicle details (make, model, color, and license plate) in the app when they press Uber’s emergency button to call 9-1-1. With this new technology, those details will be sent to 9-1-1 dispatchers electronically in Athens-Clarke County.  “We believe technology can help make the roads safer. This feature is available in more than 60 cities, and we are proud to add Athens-Clarke County, to the growing list of cities and counties using this technology,” said Krishnaja Gutta, Uber Product Safety Manager. “Every second counts in an emergency, and we want to make sure Uber users have important information to get help quickly if faced with an emergency situation.' The NG911 Clearinghouse is a centralized and secure location information server that is purpose-built for Next Generation 9-1-1.  To learn more about RapidSOS and the NG911 Clearinghouse, visit https://rapidsos.com/ng911clearinghouse/.  Visit https://www.uber.com/newsroom/emergencybutton/ to learn more about Uber’s Emergency Button.
  • There is a traffic heads up for drivers in Athens, a campus construction advisory from the University of Georgia: UGA says the southbound sidewalk and bike lane on the west side of East Campus Road will be closed from the current DEP2, Computer Services, and Museum of Natural History driveway entrance up to approximately mid-block for the temporary construction office entrance concrete pour. The sidewalk on the east side of East Campus Drive will still be accessible for pedestrians.
  • Senator Bill Cowsert and state Representatives Houston Gaines and Marcus Weidower are the scheduled speakers for tonight’s meeting of the Oconee County Republican Party. They’ll recap the legislative session that ended earlier this month in a 6:30 session at the Oconee County Chamber of Commerce headquarters in Watkinsville.  An Athens-Clarke County Commission work session is on tap for today, underway at 4 o’clock this afternoon at City Hall.  A town hall with Winterville Mayor Dodd Ferrelle is set for 7 o’clock tonight. It’ll take place at the Depot in Winterville.  Madison County Commissioners meet tonight: it’s a 6 o’clock this evening at the Madison County Government Complex in Danielsville. Jackson County Commissioners meet at 6 at the courthouse in Jefferson. 
  • A body found in an Athens river earlier this week has been positively identified.  From the ACCPD:  The Athens-Clarke County Coroner has positively identified the deceased individual located in the Middle Oconee River as 54-year-old Emory Odell Findley of Athens. Findley was reported missing on March 29, 2019. The ACCPD will continue investigating the circumstances surrounding Findley’s death. The ACCPD asks that anyone with information about this incident to contact Det. Johnson at 706-613-3330, ext. 522 or Paul.Johnson@accgov.com . 
  • A man now sits in the Oconee County Jail for multiple counts of burglarizing cars in addition to other charges.  From the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office:  Jerod Tyron Crumbley (18) of Clarkston is in the Oconee Jail charged with 25 counts of entering auto, four counts of theft by taking, and three counts of burglary.The charges stem from his banditry on the night of 3/28 that targeted multiple subdivisions along HWY 15, HWY 53, and within Watkinsville.We're still hunting the others.Crumbley was recently sentenced in Jackson County to 10 year probation for a string of car thefts and entering autos up there. The Oconee County Sheriff's Office worked on this case with the Madison County Sheriff's Office, Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Walton County and Monroe PD, DeKalb Police and the DeKalb Department of Community Supervision. We mean to do our best to take all these offenders into custody.
  • The Miracle League baseball field planned for Watkinsville to benefit Extra Special People is becoming much more of a reality with the addition of new corporate sponsors, bringing its $1.4M goal within reach.  From Extra Special People:  ATHENS, GA —Extra Special People announced several corporate partners who are bringing the Miracle League baseball field and sports complex to life. These generous donors include current ESP partners who are increasing their giving specifically for ESP’s new fully-accessible sports complex, as well as new sponsors dedicated to giving children of all abilities the chance to experience the game of baseball. St. Mary’s Hospital announced they will be the scoreboard sponsor of the Miracle League baseball field, set to be built at Harris Shoals Park in Watkinsville and opening in spring of 2020. “One of St. Mary’s core values is honoring the dignity of every person. We believe the opportunity for children with special needs to experience the joys of childhood that typical kids enjoy through physical activity, such as baseball, is a core component of our community support,” said Montez Carter, President and CEO. Golden Pantry has donated $50,000 toward the Miracle League for the concession stand, and has also agreed to provide product in perpetuity, offering a branded “mini mart” experience for players and fans at the sports complex. “One of our core values at Golden Pantry is to serve the neighborhoods where we’re located, and we couldn’t be more excited to support ESP’s Miracle League Sports Complex,” said Robert Griffith, President, Golden Pantry. “We have a unique opportunity by sponsoring the concession stand at the Miracle League field, and we’ll be turning it into a mini Golden Pantry with all of the snacks and drinks that our customers love.” Bulldog Kia, a long-time ESP supporter, is increasing their already-generous gifts in order to sponsor the Miracle League outfield with a $25,000 donation. ESP’s Miracle League complex will include construction of special facilities that meet the unique needs of players and their families. Miracle League teams play on a custom-designed, rubberized turf field that accommodates wheelchairs and other devices while helping to prevent injuries. “The highlight of our week at Bulldog Kia is always the visit from our ESP friends and their Java Joy coffee service,” said David Kernall, Owner and General Manager of Bulldog Kia, presenting sponsor of Java Joy. “We were thrilled when the opportunity to support the new Miracle League Sports Complex arose, and we’re looking forward to cheering on our favorite Joyristas as they step up to home plate in 2019.”   Brad Akins, owner of Akins Ford in Winder, and his wife, Vanessa, long-time supporters of ESP, generously donated to support construction of one of the field’s dugouts. Akins Ford Winder and The Ford Fund also recently helped ESP secure a new van for additional transportation routes. “From Java Joy to Big Hearts, we are all-in for Extra Special People,” said Akins. “Of course we were ready to invest in our community of kids with special needs to bring them a baseball field and sports complex. They deserve nothing less.” The incredible success and generosity of individuals in the community at ESP’s recent Big Hearts at Bat banquet, Giving Tuesday and holiday campaign in late 2018 garnered more than $250,000 that will go toward the rubberized surface of the field, backstop and stadium lights, enabling kids to play into the evening hours. Additionally, these generous corporate sponsors have donated significantly to the Miracle League complex, which has now reached $1.1 million of the $1.4 million goal. 3T Sports 3Tree Realty ABB Cares through Thomas Eye Center Ashford Manor Athens Ford Athens Seed Company BankSouth Foundation Cable East East Coast Grading Oconee State Bank Prudential R&R Mobility Southern Protective Group Striplings General Store The Southern Brewing Company “Individuals with disabilities experience limitations in community spaces and face barriers that prevent them from fully participating because of inaccessible design,” explained Laura Whitaker, Executive Director of ESP. “Building a Miracle League field in our community and partnering with these incredible local businesses helps fulfill our belief that every kid deserves to play sports and thrive in an accessible space that allows them to gain confidence, improve their physical health and abilities and foster meaningful relationships with their peers.” Multiple studies show children with disabilities are excluded from peer-to-peer play at far higher rates than typically-developing children. Inclusive public play spaces are shown to eliminate these negative effects for individuals with disabilities but also create positive effects for typically-developing children and adults alike. Inclusive playgrounds, parks and community spaces promote engagement and interaction with a diversity of people both in age and ability levels, create economic and social gains for communities, increase play among kids with and without disabilities and promote overall feelings of acceptance for people with disabilities. There are still opportunities for corporate partners to step up to the plate to reach ESP’s $1.4 million goal that includes not only a baseball field for kids with special needs, but also a splash pad and playground for everyone in the community to enjoy. Naming opportunities for the field, dugout, playground and more can bring ESP’s field of dreams to life in 2019. To become a giving partner, visit www.espmiracleleague.org. ### About Extra Special People Extra Special People, Inc., (ESP), a 501 (c)(3) is a nonprofit serving families and children with special needs in the eight-county area surrounding Watkinsville, Ga., since 1987. With ever-expanding after-school programs, weekend clubs, an eight-week long summer camp and family resources, ESP now reaches more than 450 children, with an ongoing dream of reaching every Northeast Georgia family that has a need and a desire to help their special child grow and thrive. Contributing to this dream was the addition of 70 acres in Jackson County in December 2014. Camp Hooray will one day continue the ESP mission by hosting overnight camps, weekend retreats, and events for children and families of all abilities
  • The University of Georgia has named its new senior vice president for academic affairs and provost.  From the University of Georgia:  S. Jack Hu, vice president for research at the University of Michigan, has been named the University of Georgia’s next senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, effective July 1.    Hu was chosen among four finalists identified through a national search to fill the institution’s chief academic officer role. Libby V. Morris, veteran administrator, scholar and director of UGA’s Institute of Higher Education, has been serving as interim provost this academic year.   “The University was fortunate to have four outstanding finalists for this most important position,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “I believe Dr. Hu possesses the unique background and experience to continue elevating our national prominence in research, innovation and graduate education while building on our superior undergraduate learning environment. I am excited to welcome him to campus this summer.”   Hu, who also serves as J. Reid and Polly Anderson Professor of Manufacturing in the College of Engineering at Michigan, oversees a robust research enterprise that spans the university’s campuses in Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint and generates annual expenditures exceeding $1.5 billion.    In addition, Hu is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and currently serves as a member of the Executive Committee of the National Academies’ Transportation Research Board.   “I am humbled and honored to join the University of Georgia as its next provost,” Hu said. “As the birthplace of public higher education in America, the University of Georgia has a tremendous reputation for its commitment to excellence in education, research and innovation, and public engagement. I look forward to working with the campus community to build upon the university’s momentum in these important areas.”   Hu is the recipient of numerous prestigious academic awards, including the William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Gold Medal from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.     His many accomplishments at Michigan include leading the development of Mcity—an initiative focused on connected and automated transportation—into a leading public-private partnership for research. He also has led the development of international collaborations in China, Israel and Germany.   “The University of Michigan has cherished Jack Hu’s outstanding contributions for more than three decades, and I congratulate the University of Georgia community on his selection as provost,” said U-M President Mark S. Schlissel. “Vice President Hu’s innovative leadership elevated University of Michigan research to new levels of excellence, through collaborations that engaged multiple disciplines in seeking solutions to major societal challenges and an unwavering commitment to integrity and public impact.”   Before becoming vice president for research, Hu served as associate dean for academic affairs and associate dean for research and graduate education in Michigan’s College of Engineering.   Mary Sue Coleman, president of the Association of American Universities, has worked closely with Hu, particularly in her previous role as president of the University of Michigan.   “Jack Hu is an excellent choice as provost for the University of Georgia,” said Coleman. “He is an outstanding, nationally recognized engineer who, as VP for Research at the University of Michigan, promoted interdisciplinary initiatives, nurtured innovation, promoted safety and championed integrity. His broad experience will inform and enhance the work of faculty and staff as UGA implements its vision for the future.”   The search process was overseen by a 24-member committee, led jointly by Dean of the Terry College of Business Benjamin C. Ayers and Dean of the College of Education Denise A. Spangler. The Parker Executive Search firm and UGA Search Group assisted with the search.   Morehead thanked the members of the committee for their leadership and service. “I want to extend my deepest appreciation to Dean Ayers, Dean Spangler, and every member of the search committee for their hard work and commitment to this process,” Morehead said. 
  • Georgia’s Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan and current Major League Baseball stars teamed up last Saturday in Athens to raise money for perhaps Athens’ most-favorite charity, Extra Special People.  ATLANTA, GA— (February 11, 2019) On Feb. 9, Georgia’s Lt. Governor, Geoff Duncan, and several other MLB players were guest judges for Extra Special People (ESP) Big Hearts at Bat. The line-up included Duncan, who played for the Florida Marlins early in his career before being elected as Georgia’s Lt. Governor. Kyle Farmer of the Cincinnati Reds, Gordon Beckham formerly with the Atlanta Braves and now with the Detroit Tigers, Brooks Brown formerly with the Colorado Rockies, and Trevor Holder of the San Diego Padres were also guest judges. “ESP is making dreams come true for kids with special needs, and I was honored to be a part of the inspirational night,” Farmer, who also played in two World Series’ for the Los Angeles Dodgers, said. “I’m excited to see kids of every ability have the chance to step up to the plate and play the sport I love.” “One of the best parts about being lieutenant governor is having the opportunity to find out about organizations like ESP and the huge impact they have on a community and the joys they bring to people’s lives,” Duncan said. In its 12th year, ESP’s Big Hearts pageant showcases kids of all abilities as they perform for thousands of guests in Athens, Ga. This year, money was raised to build a Miracle League baseball field and sports complex. Through generous donations at Big Hearts at Bat, ESP reached the $1.1 million mark of a $1.4 million campaign goal. The Miracle League sports complex will bring the magic of baseball to kids of all abilities in Northeast Georgia. Additionally, funds were raised at the pageant and silent auction to send hundreds of kids to summer camp. “Big Hearts at Bat was focused on bringing to life the dream of typical kids and those with special needs playing alongside one another, no longer benching those who have different abilities,” said Laura Whitaker, ESP Executive Director. “Our Miracle League sports complex will be for everyone—a fully-accessible baseball field, making it possible for every child to play America’s favorite pastime, as well as a playground and splash pad for everyone in the community.” ESP is committed to fostering genuine friendships and memorable moments between all citizens who want to play and aims to see the bases loaded at the newly-constructed complex by Spring of 2020. About Extra Special People Extra Special People, Inc., (ESP), a 501 (c)(3) is a nonprofit serving families and children with special needs in the 26-county area surrounding Watkinsville, Ga., since 1987. With ever-expanding after-school programs, weekend clubs, an eight-week long summer camp and family resources, ESP now reaches more than 425 children, with an ongoing dream of reaching every Northeast Georgia family that has a need and a desire to help their special child grow and thrive. Contributing to this dream was the addition of 70 acres in Jackson County in December 2014. Camp Hooray will one day continue the ESP mission by hosting overnight camps, weekend retreats and events for children and families of all abilities. About The Miracle League The Miracle League removes the barriers that keep children with mental and physical disabilities off the baseball field and lets them experience the joy of America’s favorite pastime. Miracle League teams play on a custom-designed, rubberized turf field that accommodates wheelchairs and other assistive devices while helping to prevent injuries. The first Miracle League field opened in Conyers, Ga., in April 2000. Now there are more than 300 Miracle League Organizations across the country including Puerto Rico and Canada, serving more than 250,000 children and adults. Miracle League is not only partnering with ESP for the first local field in the Athens area, but will also be a part of the expansion of Camp Hooray, an innovative, state-of-the-art camp for individuals with disabilities.
  • Logan Booker

    Logan graduated from the Grady Sports program in the University of Georgia's Grady School of Journalism. He has been with 960 The Ref in some capacity since 2016, and was named full time co-host of The Ref Morning Show in spring of 2019. Logan has covered UGA Sports for various local media outlets since 2013, and often serves as backup PA announcer for the UGA softball and volleyball teams. 

     

    During his free time, Logan enjoys hiking and woodwork, and can frequently 'not' be found on the lake without his phone but with a fishing pole. He has been involved with Extra Special People in media outreach and fundraising. 

    He and his wife Ashley share their home with their dog, Chipper. 

     

    Read More

Local News

  • Richmond County is the latest Georgia county to drop misdemeanor marijuana cases. The Solicitor in Augusta says there's no testing that measures how much THC is in confiscated samples. Investigators say it’s almost impossible to tell if a person has legal hemp or illegal marijuana. Gwinnett County’s Solicitor has made a similar pronouncement; Athens-Clarke County Police have said they will stop arresting marijuana possession suspects altogether.    Two suspects from South Carolina are arrested in Clemson, wanted in a string of burglaries and residential robberies in South Carolina and in Toccoa and Stephens County: 22 year-old Wallace Wardlaw and 30 year-old Vonnie Locklear are both from Greenville South Carolina.    A 40 year-old Gainesville man is facing child molestation charges: Oscar Flores was, at last report, being held without bond in the Hall County jail. 
  • There is an important deadline looming for University of Georgia: noon today marks the end of student football ticket registration. The Bulldogs are today ten days away from the August 31 season opener vs Vanderbilt. That game is in Nashville. The home opener is a week later, September 7 in Sanford Stadium against Murray State.  There is a Red Cross blood drive today at UGA, underway at 11 and lasting til 5 at the University of Georgia’s Memorial Hall.  The University of Georgia is hosting the first part-time job and internship fair of the fall semester: it’s at 11 o’clock at UGA’s Tate Student Center. 
  • Elbert County Sheriff Melvin Andrews says he will be a candidate for reelection in 2020. His announcement sets up a rematch, as Jamie Calloway, who lost to Andrews in the 2016 election, says he will make another run for the sheriff’s office in Elberton.      “I will be running for re-election on my 30 years of law enforcement experience and proudly on the record of the Elbert County Sheriff’s Office,” Andrews said. “Drug arrests are up, the crime rate is down and there are no unsolved murders in Elbert County in the seven years since I took office as Sheriff. I look forward to meeting the voters of Elbert County in next year’s primary and general election and asking for your support for a third term as your Sheriff.”   “Though I think it's a little early to ‘officially’ begin the campaign,” Callaway said, “due to rumors going around that I changed my mind about running I want to go ahead and post this. I still want to serve this county as your Sheriff and plan to run again in 2020. After losing by less than 200 votes last time, I am committed to gaining your confidence and your vote.
  • There is bicycle talk today in Athens: the Athens in Motion Commission, working on the development, implementation, and modification of a plan for a safe and connected network of bicycle and pedestrian facilities throughout Athens, meets at 4 o’clock at the Government Building on Dougherty Street. There is an afternoon meeting of the Athens-Clarke County Historic Preservation Commission: it’s set for 5:30 at the Government Building on Dougherty Street.    From Watkinsville to Gainesville, and in other cities across northeast Georgia: today marks the end of three days of candidate qualifying. Political hopefuls have been signing up since Monday to run in municipal elections that will be held on the first Tuesday in November, with mayoral and city council seats up for grabs in towns across the region.
  • The Covington Police Department needs your help.  Officials told Channel 2 Action News that officers found a man walking on Puckett Street in Covington on Tuesday afternoon. 'He is unable to tell us who he is, where he lives or the names of any relatives. His name is possibly Perry,' Covington police posted to their Facebook Page. Officers said they have canvassed the area and contacted all local nursing homes and have been unable to identify the man. If you recognize him, please call the Covington Police Department at 770-786-7605.

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS Tyler Clark represents the old warhorse on the Georgia football defense, a durable 6-foot-3, 300-pound lineman who just keeps coming back for more. Clark, a starter on the defensive front each of the past two seasons, has played 41 games in his career and is ready for more and better this season. 'I feel great, I'm healthier, I'm stronger and I'm faster,' said Clark, a product of Americus, Ga. 'We have everybody coming back (on the D-Line), and we're ready.' Clark and his fellow senior defensive linemen certainly have heard the talk that their unit is one of the most concerning on the team. There are no apparent first-round NFL Draft picks or senior dominators, and Clark admits he didn't make the progress last season that he should have. 'I didn't do as well as I thought, or as well as I could,' Clark said. 'I started feeling myself too much, and it got in my head. But I'm going to be back this year.' The fact Clark came out to talk to the media and own up to his lackluster junior season was telling. Apparently, all it took was letting him know the media wanted to hear from him during his autograph session at FanDay. Clark gives the impression of a team-first guy who is eager to please the fans and his coaches, to the point of playing through several painful ailments. Indeed, Clark said the training room has been a big part of his regiment and staying durable enough to answer the bell for the Bulldogs week-in and week-out. 'It's been pretty tough playing in the SEC, and when I come out of the games, of course there will be bumps and bruises,' Clark said. 'I go in the cold tub, I get the hammers, I get rolled out, stretched and massaged every Sunday.' And then Clark comes back for more, working against one of the best offensive lines in the country to sharpen his skills. 'It feels like a Saturday in Athens going against that O-Line in practice,' Clark said. 'But it's the only O-Line we'll face like that.' Clark would know, he's seen them all, and now he's ready for a strong finish his senior season. Georgia football DL Tyler Clark DawgNation Georgia football fall camp WATCH: Why Georgia has the best backfield in college football Versatile Cade Mays elevating his game, puts rough recruitment behind Solomon Kindley emerging as preseason first-team AA Georgia No. 3 in preseason AP Top 25 New DC Dan Lanning impressing early in fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof The post WATCH: Tyler Clark, Georgia's D-Line warhorse ready for more rugged action appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Could this Georgia football team have the best running game in the nation? It's a fair question to ask when one considers the powerful and deep offensive line, and the depth of great backs running behind it. UGA led the SEC in rushing last season, and it's hard to imagine any team in the league rushing for more yards in 2019. As much knowledge and passing accuracy as third-year starting quarterback Jake Fromm brings to the table, it seems like playing power football would be playing to the proven talent on the Bulldogs' roster. RELATED: Georgia QB Great explains importance of run game to pass game Whether it's dynamic D'Andre Swift, hard-charging Brian Herrien, electric James Cook, powerful Zamir White or versatile Kenny McIntosh, it seems like Georgia has the bases covered. As if the backs needed to do more, it's worth noting they are all capable pass catchers and utilized on special teams. Veteran beat writer Mike Griffith talked at length about the Bulldogs' runners, comparing them to some of the greatest backs in football that he's run across at other places, from Barry Sanders, to Shaun Alexander and Alvin Kamara. Also, more on the story of D'Wan Mathis and his emergency brain surgery, and how what Kirby Smart and the doctors at Athens Piedmont Medical Center history did was so impressive. On the Beat with Mike Griffith DawgNation Georgia football fall camp Versatile Cade Mays elevating his game, puts rough recruitment behind Solomon Kindley emerging as preseason first-team AA Georgia No. 3 in preseason AP Top 25 New DC Dan Lanning impressing early in fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof The post WATCH: Why Georgia has the best backfield in college football appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS The recruiting services said Georgia football signee Cade Mays was a 5-star prospect. Mays was once ranked the No. 1 player in the 2018 Tennessee High School signing class, and the No. 3 offensive tackle in the country. RELATED: Cade Mays has MVP quality on Georgia O-Line When Mays, the son of Vols legend Kevin Mays, was committed to Tennessee and former coach Butch Jones, the rankings were celebrated by hometown fans who watched Mays star at Knoxville's Catholic High School. Indeed, Tennessee had the highest rated class of commits when the 2017 season began, with high-profile quarterback Adrian Martinez also committed to play for Jones. But when the Vols season went sour and the fanbase turned on Jones, Mays made the decision to de-commit, and Martinez ultimately shunned the new staff and chose Nebraska. Rough reaction The Tennessee fan base is understandably as unsettled and as anxious as any, having not been to the SEC Championship Game since the year before Tennessee legend Phillip Fulmer was fired (2007). Mays de-commitment was met with a great deal of anger on social media, and there were hard feelings, and hurt feelings. 'It definitely was hard,' said Mays, who may finally get some relief from upset Tennessee fans now that his talented younger brother, Cooper, is committed to the Vols. 'I was getting all this hate, but I was doing something for me. My parents told me it doesn't really matter what the outside world thinks, my family loves me, and my God loves me.' Mays said he dealt with it as best he could. 'I just put the phone down and confided in my family,' Mays said. 'No one has ever really come up to me in person and tried to start anything.' Keyboard warriors aside, Mays quickly proved at Georgia that he was indeed every bit as good as the 247Sports Composite rankings indicated. Stepping up Georgia was battling SEC East challenger South Carolina in the second game of the season when preseason All-SEC left tackle Andrew Thomas went down with an injury. Mays remembers Kirby Smart yelling for him to get on the field, but before that, he had to switch jerseys. RELATED: Georgia Practice Report, Mays moves up for line drills 'I was actually wearing number 42 during that game, I was supposed to be the tight end, the extra big guy,' Mays recalled. 'Then I heard Coach Smart, yelling Cade, Cade, Cade.' They gave me this big jersey to put on, and I had to run out and tell the ref I was checking in with a new jersey.' Mays started against Middle Tennessee the next week and was back in the relief role in the fourth week when Thomas left the Missouri game after re-injuring his ankle. Georgia right guard Ben Cleveland also was injured against Missouri, breaking his fibula, leading to Mays starting the following week against Tennessee in Cleveland's spot. Mays played in 11 games last season before suffering a shoulder injured that sidelined him for three games, but he earned FWAA Freshman All-American honors. 2019 glue guy That versatility continues for Mays, who has added the ability to play center to his repertoire. 'I like being that useful, if anything happens, I'm the guy that can be plugged in,' Mays said. 'It has helped knowing the center spot and learning the offense and what everyone is doing. 'I think it's helped me pick my game up and elevated it to a new level.' Mays, now 6-foot-6 and 325 pounds, was working with the first team at right guard in Tuesday's practice. Among those most impressed with Mays is former Auburn lineman and ESPN analyst Cole Cubelic. RELATED: SEC expert breaks down Georgia Great Wall' O-Line 'Ilike the way he plays more than any of those other guys in that entire group,' Cubelic said this summer. 'Cade is a finisher, he has that nasty you love to see and plays the game the way it's supposed to be played. He has room to grow fundamentally, but he's fun to watch, regardless. 'You routinely see him 10 or 20 yards downfield looking for contact on each play.' Mays says that's exactly how he wants people to think about him. 'I would say the best thing somebody could say about me is that I play hard, I love the game, and I just want to finish blocks on people,' Mays said. 'I want to be looked at as dependable, and I take pride in that.' Georgia O-Lineman Cade Mays DawgNation Georgia football fall camp Solomon Kindley emerging as preseason first-team AA Georgia No. 3 in preseason AP Top 25 New DC Dan Lanning impressing early in fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof' The post WATCH: Versatile Georgia football offensive lineman Cade Mays elevating game appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS Georgia football appeared back at full speed on Tuesday, Monday's light walk-through having served its intended purpose. 'When you have 48 hours, you can almost recover to a full extent and we're hoping to get everybody's legs back,' Coach Kirby Smart said following Saturday's 135-play scrimmage. 'You could see it (Saturday). 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.' Indeed, and a heat index of a mere 91 degrees likely made Tuesday's workout feel like even more of a breeze after Smart had his Bulldogs in full equipment sweating through days of 100 plus early in fall drills. Smart's practice management skills may have been modeled after Nick Saban's at first. But now in his fourth year leading the Bulldogs, Smart has modified much to his liking, such as the hilarious Friday activity of staging a 4 x 100 race between selected players and coaches. Georgia AD Greg McGarity was tipped off and was on hand to watch it. McGarity chuckled while recalling when the players realizing the fix was in with world-class sprinter Matthew Boling running the anchor leg for the coaches. 'I was there when J.R. Reed spotted him and said, there's that 9.9 dude, this is a setup!' ' McGarity said, recalling how Reed described Boling, a UGA track athlete who has run the 100 meters in 9.98 seconds. 'It was a really neat event for the kids to be a part of.' 4100. Players vs coaches. Watch til the end. @UGATrack, thanks for the assist! #ATD #GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/TI5q2WEEz0 Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) August 19, 2019 The Bulldogs went on to have their best scrimmage of the offseason the next day, drawing praise from Smart after last Saturday's work at Sanford Stadium. Receiver rotation Redshirt sophomore Matt Landers has apparently held on to the top spot in the starting three-rotation after Scrimmage Two. Tyler Simmons and Demetris Robertson continue to hold down the top sports in the slot and the other outside receiver position. Freshman George Pickens and Miami grad transfer Lawrence Cager are running with the twos. Dominick Blaylock, who has been working with the threes (behind Kearis Jackson in the slot), got a positive call out from OC James Coley during practice. RELATED: Dominick Blaylock battles to get on 70-man bus trip Nakobe Dean injury Freshman 5-star inside linebacker Nakobe Dean was not seen at practice and is dealing with a high ankle sprain. Dean is the No. 3 ILB behind starters Tae Crowder and Monty Rice. Sophomore Quay Walker has moved up with the second team to work beside Channing Tindall with Dean sidelined. Tyrique Stevenson back Stevenson, the athletically gifted true freshman cornerback, was back at 100 percent in drill work after being somewhat limited last week. Stevenson was taking part in all of secondary coach Charlton Warren's drill work. Line Dance Sophomore Cade Mays was working with the first team offensive line at right guard during the media viewing portion of practice. Andrew Thomas continued to anchor the line at left tackle, with Solomon Kindley at left guard, Trey Hill at center, Mays and Isaiah Wilson at right tackle. The second group featured Xavier Truss at left tackle, with Justin Shaffer at left guard, Clay Webb at center, Ben Cleveland at right guard and Warren McClendon at right tackle. D-Line update Senior defensive linemen Julian Rochester and David Marshall were working through drills with their teammates at the start of practice. Smart said Rochester (ACL) and Marshall (foot) have been limited in fall camp while they rehabilitate from offseason surgeries. DawgNation Georgia football fall camp Solomon Kindley emerging as preseason first-team AA Georgia No. 3 in preseason AP Top 25 New DC Dan Lanning impressing early in fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof' The post Georgia football practice report: Everybody's legs back' after hilarious Matthew Boling prank appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS A rough Georgia fall camp is about to get even tougher for Kirby Smart and his coaches, as they sort through personnel to determine who 'makes the bus' to Vanderbilt. The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs open the season at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31, in Nashville. Georgia can suit up 70 players for the game against the Commodores. Smart indicated he's nowhere near ready to complete the list. 'We're going to have some tough decisions to make, we're not going to make them right now,' Smart said after the Bulldogs' second scrimmage of fall camp last Saturday. 'We've got two weeks to finalize those choices and decisions.' Smart indicated freshman quarterback D'Wan Mathis has yet to be cleared for contact, so preferred walk-on QB Nathan Priestly will be the third quarterback on the travel roster behind Jake Fromm and Stetson Bennett. Georgia could dress six running backs at Vanderbilt after Kenny McIntosh's impressive second scrimmage. 'We don't know how many backs travel . if they can help on special teams, they'll be out there,' Smart said. 'We've traveled as few as four, as many as seven. Prather (Hudson) makes that number vary because he's a really good special teams player. So those decisions we've got to make are going to be tough. 'Somebody like McIntosh is a key to that decision, because his value right now is going to be special teams, initially.' The Bulldogs typically brought 10 receivers on road trips last season, but Smart pointed out how accomplished many of the departing receivers were on special teams. 'When you start talking about (true freshmen) George Pickens, Dom Blaylock, those guys haven't seen the light,' Smart said. 'Their high school special teams was, I was catching the ball and running with it, I wasn't blocking anybody, I wasn't covering anybody.' 'They have to become those players and be dominant in those roles, that's something that we're still working on.' Smart pointed out the number of talented linebackers the team has added, an indication the receiving group for road games could shrink a bit depending on how special teams auditions play out. 'The last five to get on the bus,' Smart said 'are going to be dominant special teams players.' DawgNation Georgia football fall camp Solomon Kindley emerging as preseason first-team AA Georgia No. 3 in preseason AP Top 25 New DC Dan Lanning impressing early in fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Mark Webb's 'rough' start has proven beneficial Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof' The post Georgia football coach Kirby Smart: special teams determines who's getting on the bus' appeared first on DawgNation.