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Travel Headlines

    A man made it through Austin Bergstrom International Airport with a loaded gun after it was missed by a Transportation Security Administration security officer. According to KVUE, police reports say that on June 16, a man from Georgetown, Texas, went through TSA Checkpoint 1 in the airport with no problems. After he went through the checkpoint, he told police he went to look for his headphones in his carry-on bag and noticed his gun, a Ruger LCP .380,  was in one of the front pockets. It had six bullets in it. >> Read more trending news  The man alerted a Delta agent, who notified police. Austin Police Department officers ran a check on the man’s background and made sure the gun wasn’t stolen. The man’s bag was searched for other illegal items, KVUE reported. The man emphasized that he was not aware the gun was in the bag, and he apologized to police multiple times.  Because he reported the gun after noticing it was left in his bag and passed a background check, the APD did not charge him. The TSA said in a statement to KVUE that the security officer responsible has been fired. “After a thorough investigation, TSA determined that a Transportation Security Officer made an error and did not identify the firearm at the checkpoint,” the agency said. “The officer is no longer employed by TSA.”
  • Two parents in Orlando are upset after they say their children were stranded in Atlanta without their knowledge while the children were flying as unaccompanied minors on a Frontier Airlines flight from Iowa. They say no one contacted them after the plane carrying their children was diverted to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport due to weather and that Denver-based Frontier should have called them to ask if it was okay to drive the children to a hotel before they decided to make that move. >> Read more trending news Etta, age 7, and Carter, age 9, were flying July 22 from a visit to see their grandparents in Des Moines, Iowa, back home to Orlando, scheduled to arrive at 10:46 p.m.  But storms in Orlando caused a ground stop, and the flight diverted to Atlanta late at night. The children stayed at a hotel with an airline worker and shared a room with four other children. It was the children’s first flight without their parents. The incident highlights what can go wrong when children fly unaccompanied -- even on a nonstop route -- if a flight is diverted to an unfamiliar city. While the Frontier flight diverted to Atlanta, sometimes flights get diverted to an airport in a small town where the airline may not even have staff. “This was the first year I said okay, they’re old enough to fly on their own, they know their phone number, they know their address,” said Etta and Carter’s mother Jennifer Ignash. But when the flight got diverted, “it was like, okay, panic.” Frontier charges a $110 unaccompanied minor fee per child and does not allow unaccompanied minors on connecting flights. The airline said in keeping with its policy, “the children were attended to at all times by a Frontier supervisor, placed in a hotel room overnight, and provided with food. Our records show that the children were in contact with their mother before being transported to the hotel and with their father the following morning before leaving on the continued flight. We understand how an unexpected delay caused by weather can be stressful for a parent and our goal is to help passengers get to their destinations as quickly and safely as possible.” Ignash, who was waiting at the Orlando airport for her children that night, said multiple flights were diverted from Orlando, and “when that happens, it’s just a madhouse.” She got word that the children’s flight was diverted, and tried calling Frontier’s customer service line but says they couldn’t get her information about her children. Ignash says she didn’t get a call from a Frontier employee until the next morning. But an older unaccompanied minor on the flight let the children use his cell phone to call and text their parents. “Without that child, we would have had zero idea where our kids were,” Ignash said. Ignash says an employee using a personal vehicle took the children to a hotel, where six kids from the flight stayed in adjoining hotel rooms. The parents say they do not know who the employee was who drove the children or stayed with them in the hotel room. “We never gave approval for that to happen,” Etta and Carter’s father, Chad Gray, said. Alan Armstrong, an Atlanta aviation attorney Gray contacted, said he thinks there should be procedures and personnel at the airport to handle the problem. “They just make it up as they go along,” Armstrong said. Ignash said if parents decide to let their children fly as an unaccompanied minor, they should “understand what the airline’s policy and procedure is and get a direct contact.” Gray said the worst part was not knowing what was happening. “It was a bunch of circumstances that came into play all at the same time. I just don’t think Frontier is prepared to handle all those at once,” Gray said. “You like to minimize the risk that your kids have and you want to protect them. And not having any control over the process whatsoever, I think, is really, really frustrating.” WSBTV.com contributed to this report.
  • Amid gripes from frequent fliers about difficulty using their miles for free flights, airlines are making some changes and adding features in an effort to keep travelers loyal. In a ranking of major U.S. airline frequent flier programs released by U.S. News and World Report, Delta’s SkyMiles program ranked No. 2 for the second year in a row.  U.S. News  evaluated the programs based on aspects like the size of their networks and the speed at which users can get enough points or miles to earn a free flight or hotel. >> Read more trending news  Delta came in behind No. 1 ranked Alaska Airlines, and ahead of JetBlue, American and Southwest frequent flier programs in the U.S. News ranking. Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program has ranked higher in some other loyalty program rankings, based on the ease of finding reward seats. As some frequent fliers face frustration with redeeming miles for flights, Delta has added other uses for miles. Earlier this year, Delta began allowing frequent fliers to redeem their miles for Delta gift cards. But those who get the most benefits in Delta’s frequent flier program are elite medallion members who reach a certain threshold of spending and flying. The U.S. News Best Airline Rewards Programs are below. More information is at USNews.com. Alaska Airlines’ Alaska Mileage Plan program Delta Airlines Delta SkyMiles program JetBlue Airline’s TrueBlue program American Airlines’ AAdvantage program Southwest Airlines’ Rapid Rewards program United Airlines’ MileagePlus program Frontier Airlines FRONTIER Miles program Hawaiian Airlines’ HawaiianMiles program Spirit Airlines’ Free Spirit program
  • A Southwest Airlines employee was arrested and charged with voyeurism Sunday morning at Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle. >> Watch the news report here A witness told KIRO-TV that he saw Port of Seattle police officers surround the suspect and put him in handcuffs near gate B-9 about 11:30 a.m. >> Man arrested after allegedly working out nude at New Hampshire gym The suspect, Nicholas Williams, 25, who works for Southwest, was arrested on suspicion of voyeurism. He was booked in to the King County Jail and appeared before a judge Monday afternoon. Prosecutors say Williams put a camera in a bathroom at the gates that children sometimes use on their own.  Investigators say Williams admitted he had done it four or five times before. >> Read more trending news  Southwest Airlines released the following statement: 'We will work with the appropriate authorities as they investigate an accusation that involves one of our Seattle employees. We do not have additional details to provide.' Besides working for Southwest Airlines, Williams also volunteers at the Chehalis Centralia Railroad and Museum. He posted pictures on his Facebook page last Friday. The judge set his bail at $90,000. If he gets out of jail, he is not allowed to have contact with children.
  • Trekking through some of the country’s most beautiful terrain just got cheaper.  Thanks to the Department of the Interior’s Every Kid in a Park program, fourth-grade students can enter any of more than 2,000 of the nation’s national parks and other federally managed lands and waters for free for one year.  Fourth-grade students can sign up for the free pass at everykidinapark.gov.   >> Read more trending news  The first three members in a group with a visiting fourth-grader will be granted free entry as well at sites that charge per person. For those that grant payment and entry by car, any accompanying passengers in a private, non-commercial vehicle with a fourth-grader will be allowed to enter at no charge. Educators can also obtain free passes.  The Every Kid in a Park program encourages children to be active and explore nature at a time when more than 80 percent of American families live in urban areas and young people are more tethered to electronic devices than ever. According to the program, the goal of the promotion is to “inspire fourth graders nationwide to visit our federal lands and waters, whether it is a backyard city park or a national forest, seashore, or marine sanctuary. By targeting fourth graders year after year, the program works to ensure every child in the U.S. has the opportunity to visit and enjoy their federal lands and waters by the time he or she is 11 years old.” In June, the inter-agency program announced that Every Kid in a Park has been renewed for the 2018-2019 school year. Passes will be available Sept. 1. Learn more and get a pass at everykidinapark.gov. 
  • No it wasn’t the sequel to a Samuel L. Jackson movie. Someone really did try to get a snake smuggled onto a plane.  Officials said a passenger traveling to Barbados from Miami International Airport tried to get a python onto a flight, but it wasn’t brought on the plane in plain view, it was being smuggled wrapped in nylon, inside a hard drive, WSVN reported. The snake was a baby, WFOR reported. >> Read more trending news  Transportation Security Administration officials found the snake during a screening process of checked luggage, multiple news outlets are reporting. Baggage screeners found what was described an “organic mass” during a screening process, WFOR reported. “Upon the TSA officer’s discovery of the organic mass, one of our TSA bomb experts was called into the baggage screening room to investigate the innards of the hard drive and that is when he discovered the mass was a live snake,” Sari Koshetz told the Miami Herald. The snake wasn’t the only one who didn’t get on the flight. The unidentified passenger also didn’t go to Barbados, the Herald reported. The snake was taken away by U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers and the TSA said the passenger faces a fine, WFOR reported.
  • As travelers flock to northwest Florida beaches this summer, an unwelcome guest may await them. >> What parents need to know about 'dry' and 'secondary' drowning According to the Pensacola Beach Lifeguards Facebook page, purple warning flags indicating dangerous marine life have been flying along the shore this week thanks to an itch-inducing pest commonly called 'sea lice.' WEAR-TV reports that the term is a misnomer: The creatures are really thimble jellyfish larvae, not lice, and cause a rash known as 'seabathers' eruption.' >> Doctor answers 6 questions about flesh-eating bacteria 'People affected by sea lice may feel a prickling sensation on their skin while in the water, but the rash caused by the microscopic organisms typically occurs several hours after exposure,' the station reported. The rash often can be treated with hydrocortisone and antihistamine creams available at most drug stores, according to the Florida Department of Health. If you have symptoms, you may need to see a dermatologist, the department said. >> Read more trending news  Swimmers can reduce their risk of being stung by not wearing T-shirts in the water, using sunscreen, practicing good hygiene and taking off wet swimsuits immediately after getting out of the ocean, the department reported. 
  • Just one week after a billboard telling liberals to get out of Texas went viral, a new sign is offering a unifying message. >> Texas billboard urging liberals to leave state to be taken down According to KVII, Amarillo resident Roman Leal started a GoFundMe page Wednesday to put up a more welcoming sign after learning of a billboard near Vega that read, 'Liberals, please continue on I-40 until you have left our GREAT STATE OF TEXAS.' (That billboard has since been taken down.) >> See it here  >> Read more trending news  'We need a sign that represents the true, hospitable spirit of the great state of Texas,' Leal wrote in the fundraiser's description. ''Texas is for everyone – not for bigotry. Welcome, y'all!' will go up on the Lamar digital billboard at I40 and Coulter. It will be visible to travelers and commuters driving along the interstate in Amarillo, giving us a chance to put our best boot forward. Meeting the campaign goal will keep the billboard up for 4 weeks. Any contributions exceeding the goal will be used to pay for a longer duration.' >> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news  The campaign quickly met its $1,800 goal. By Monday morning, it had raised $3,075. The new billboard reportedly went up over the weekend and has already gone viral on Reddit. >> See the post here Read more here.
  • Southern Living recently polled its readers to discover their picks for the top places to visit in the South. Blackberry Farm, in Walland, Tennessee, south of Knoxville, took home the top prize. >> Florida beach named nation's best in TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards Southern Living noted, 'Blackberry Farm emanates hospitality, from its farm-to-table offerings to the porches on guest cottages.' Blackberry Farm is a luxury hotel and resort situated on a 4,200-acre estate in the Great Smoky Mountains. There is a spa, brewery and working farm on the property. The resort offers plenty of wine and dining options, musical entertainment, workshops and more.  Activities include horseback riding, archery, fly fishing, hiking and paintball. >> Read more trending news  One Facebook reviewer noted, 'Have traveled quite well in my 50+ years, but Blackberry Farm stands out as the BEST of all. They anticipate your every wish and deliver it with cordial efficiency. Understated, approachable elegance. Go there, go there, go there! It is transforming.' Southern Living honored The Barn at Blackberry Farm by awarding it the best restaurant in Tennessee, too.
  • No one likes being stuck in the middle seat, no matter where their flight may be going. With that in mind, Delta Airlines partnered up with Coca-Cola for a special treat specific to those stuck in the middle seat. The Atlanta-based companies are offering a a pop-up 'Middle Seat Lounge' at Boston Logan International on Monday for only one day. “From getting the VIP treatment with fellow middle seat travelers in the lounge to a surprise onboard, we wanted to recognize Boston middle seat customers in a unique way that will brighten their Monday,” said Julieta McCurry, Delta’s Managing Director Those with a Delta boarding pass showing a middle seat assignment can enter the lounge near Boston Logan’s gate A11, where there will be a Coke beverage station and an appearance by Celtics TV analyst and former NBA star Brian Scalabrine. Lucky Delta passengers flying out of Logan can even win a trip by posting a selfie with their seatmates. Middle seat passengers can also bring a 'three-pack' of Coke bottles to share with their seatmates. >> Read more trending news  “Coca-Cola is excited to partner with Delta to help celebrate middle seat travelers and provide them with a special beverage experience during their time at Boston-Logan International Airport and onboard,” said Lou Grill, Coca-Cola North America’s Vice President. “This unique opportunity to Share a Coke with fellow seatmates is another way to create meaningful moments and enhance our fans’ travel experience.” Delta is expanding its flights in Boston this summer, and Coca-Cola also has a large presence in the area. The two companies have been partners since 1927 through Delta’s serving of Coke products on flights. “From growing our Boston network to offering lie flat beds in Delta One on flights to San Francisco and Los Angeles to having two Delta Sky Clubs for guests to enjoy in Boston, we are investing in creating an unmatched experience for customers — one that’s right for every customer on every flight,” said Charlie Schewe, Delta’s Director of New England Sales. This isn't the first time the two companies have joined efforts to bring a special treat to their clients. Last year, the companies worked with 12 artists around the world to transform tray tables on a Boeing 767 into art. On that plane, the designs curated were all over the coach class seats for about a month. Advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy New York worked alongside Delta and Coca-Cola to create the art gallery. The tray table art was then displayed at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this story.

Local News

  • The Georgia House Rural Development Council, created by the House to find ways to boost rural Geiorgia's economic fortunes, is looking to encourage multi-county industrial partnerships. Committe co-chair State Rep. Terry England says that came out of a meeting in Elberton this week. He notes one such authority covering several counties east of Atlanta attracted a Facebook data center this year. He says this would particularly benefit smaller counties without the resources to land such an economic plum. He says those counties would share the cost of building industrial parks-and then share the revenue. The Council plans more meetings and will report recommendations back to state lawmakers by year's end. 
  • Colorado State football coach Mike Bobo released a statement after news broke of his hospitalization due to numbness in his feet. In his statement released on Twitter, Bobo said he was thankful for the support he and his family have received while he’s undergone testing is looking forward to the upcoming football season. “I am currently in the process of a multiple day treatment for a peripheral neuropathy, and continue to be encouraged by the results of the ongoing medical testing,” Bobo said in part. “While I’ve been hospitalized, I have been able to remain in close contact with our staff and watch practice film in preparation for our season opener against Hawaii.” Colorado State released a statement Monday from Bobo and Colorado State athletic director Joe Parker which announced Bobo was hospitalized after a Rams scrimmage Saturday and then admitted to a hospital to undergo further testing after consulting doctors. A former Georgia quarterback, Bobo coached at the University of Georgia under Mark Richt as the quarterbacks coach from 2001-2006 and offensive coordinator from 2007-2014. In three seasons at Colorado, Bobo holds a 21-18 record.
  • Did you miss all the rain, thunderstorms and risk of severe weather? Well, it’s all expected to return Friday, whether you missed it or not.    It’ll also set the precedent going forward for the weekend and beginning of next week, Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz said. Friday morning should be free of rain, and drivers should only have to contend with some light fog, Nitz said.  However, storms should roll into North Georgia around 2 p.m., and those should run through the evening commute, potentially causing problems for drivers. “We're looking at isolated to scattered (storm) coverage through 5 p.m.,” Nitz said. “As they come in, they could pack a punch.”     The risk of isolated severe thunderstorms is mostly north of I-20 and includes most of North Georgia and eastern Georgia, Nitz said. The storms present the possibility of 60-mph winds, small hail, downpours and frequent lightning. The worst of the storms should be over before the Braves take on the Colorado Rockies at 7:35 p.m. at SunTrust Park.  Friday’s 60 percent chance of rain increases to 70 percent Saturday, Nitz said. The rain chance remains above 60 percent through Tuesday. The cloud cover should lower temperatures into the mid-80s Saturday and beyond, but the added humidity and moisture should thicken the air, increasing how hot it feels outside, Nitz said.
  • There are now indictments for two men from Madison County, charged in a deadly shooting in Athens: David and Martin Garcia are cousins, 22 and 18 years old, from Hull. They’re accused in the June 4 death of Saheed Snow, who was shot and killed on Nellie B Avenue in Athens. Athens-Clarke County Police say it was apparently a drug-related shooting.  There are now indictments for Jonathan Herbert: the 30 year-old former Gwinnett County school teacher was arrested last month in Hall County, accused of biting a 14 year-old girl in the buttocks while she swam in Lake Lanier on the Fourth of July. Herbert is facing criminal counts that include sexual battery and public intoxication.    A Dawson County man is indicted on charges stemming from allegations that he stole money from a baseball umpire’s association and used it to pay prostitutes: Timothy Ryan is 55 years old, from Dawsonville. 
  • Athens-Clarke County Police say gunshots that were fired into a home off Linda Avenue were apparently in retaliation to earlier shootings that happened on Oak Hill Drive and Pamela Drive in Athens. A suspect in those shootings—identified now as Johntavious King—was arrested and booked into the Clarke County jail earlier this week. The search for suspects in the most recent shooting was, at last report, ongoing. There have been no injuries in any of the shootings. 

Bulldog News

  • ATHENS — My debut for the Georgia football “ask the expert” feels very appropriate in that the subject matter in running backs. Of all the positions I’ve covered in college football, this is the one where I feel most qualified based on the fact I have covered some of the best running backs in SEC football history. While a journalism student in college I covered the Detroit Lions when Barry Sanders was the running back. Every handoff brought me to the edge of my seat in the Pontiac Silverdome, and I’ve only seen a few backs since then that can do that. Some of them I’ve had the good fortune of covering. The Stephen Davis-James Bostic duo on undefeated 1993 Auburn was special, and Shaun Alexander is the most talented running back in Alabama history in my opinion. The Jamal Lewis-Travis Henry-Travis Stephens trio at Tennessee was dynamic, and later, a Vols’ backfield with two 1,000-yard rushers in Gerald Riggs Jr. and Cedric Houston was among the most underrated. Arian Foster came along later for Tennessee, and you could see his talent his true freshman yea. I moved to the Michigan State beat in 2012 where Le’Veon Bell and Jeremy Langford were waiting to impress. My return to cover the Vols saw Jalen Hurd, Alvin Kamara and John Kelly sharing the backfield. They are all NFL talents, and I believe current UT back Ty Chandler could be special, too. Now, Georgia, and the first thing I did was look at the games last year and review the recruiting tape of Zamir White and “Little” James Cook. RELATED: Georgia LB raves about running back James Cook That brings us to today’s question:   @ChipTowersDN here’s one for you both.  With all the depth at running back, what are the chances of seeing more 2 back sets this year?  Saw it a few times last year, but not much. #keepemguessing — Michael McCollum (@mgmccollum) August 17, 2018   I’ll come right out and say it: Cook has captivated me from the time I saw his highlights. Not because of what he did — most all FBS backs are run away from the competition in high school. It’s where Cook did it. You don’t see guys run away that easily on the high school football field of South Florida. But there was Cook, electrifying and dazzling against future FBS players. Usually I put the videos at the bottom of the story, but you got to watch this — look at the change of direction and acceleration from Cook: James Cook High School Highlights Now you know why Monty Rice said: “I’ve never played against a running back like Cook before, he has his own little style, and it’s very unique.” Question is: What does Jim Chaney think? My guess is Georgia’s base offense will be single back, three-wide and one tight end. When two backs are in the game, I’d guess it would be in shot gun, and sometimes one might go in motion as a receiver. That’s what I saw on video from last year’s games, and it worked well. I could see Chaney doing it most often in passing situations or in the two-minute offense. D’Andre Swift looks strong and appears to be the starting back. Elijah Holyfield has had some camp moments, but I’m always somewhat skeptical of junior and senior backs having breakout years — seems their star would have already shined. But if you go with a second back, whether it’s Cook, Holyfield, Brian Herrien or White, who do you take off the field? RELATED: Kirby Smart explains why Georgia football offense personality still unsresolved Do you subtract a Demetris Robertson or Mecole Hardman? Because it sure looks to me like Riley Ridley is emerging as a go-to guy and Terry Godwin is proven. Ideally Cook will grow to be the same size as his big brother, 6-foot, 210-pound Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings. But for now, “Little” Cook — as Monty Rice calls him — is listed at 5-10, 190. Not big enough to be a three-down back in the SEC. I’m of the Alabama football mindset of utilizing bigger, stronger backs as primary ballcarriers. If anyone can appreciate that, it’s Georgia fans who have first-hand memories of the greatest SEC back of all time, Herschel Walker. So my answer isn’t as definitive as maybe you’d like, but hopefully it provides some perspective. Oh, and for those who wonder what I think of White, I’m reserving judgement until he gets that bulky knee brace off.       The post Georgia football likely to utilize 2-back formations in shot gun most often, but when and who? appeared first on DawgNation.
  • GEORGIA’S OWN #11: RB ZAMIR WHITE ATHENS — The term “freak” probably is overused in sports. But with regard to Georgia’s Zamir White, it suits him perfectly. And that goes beyond the Adonis-like body and size/speed combination White showed up with to UGA. No, White is a bit of a medical freak. It goes back to the very beginning with him. As detailed by DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell during White’s recruitment, doctors recommended White’s mother abort her pregnancy due to severe underdevelopment around the end of the first trimester. When he was born, the first 100 days of White’s life were spent in intensive care. As a newborn, White’s tiny body endured multiple surgeries. They had to address issues such as cleft lip, cleft jaw, kidney function, cysts, and other minor and major malformations. Initially, he was given 10 days to live. From his first breath, White was having to overcome adversity. But as all the world can see he turned out considerably better than “just fine.” “I’m really just happy he’s here,” said his mother, Shanee White. “It is not all this football stuff.” Zamir White has not missed a preseason snap despite wearing a significant metal brace to protect the right knee that required ACL surgery last December. (Steven Colquitt/UGA)       With that context, it’s easy to understand why White wasn’t about to let a little ol’ torn ACL slow down his development as the next great back to sign with Georgia. And he hasn’t. To cut to the chase, White will be available to play in the Bulldogs’ season opener against Austin Peay on Sept. 1. And word is, he would’ve been ready if that game had been played on August 1 as well. That’s when Georgia opened preseason camp, and White has been “full go” since the first whistle. The only thing limiting him is a somewhat cumbersome metal brace on his right knee. He longs for the day in the not-too-distant future when he’ll be able to play without it. “He could take the knee brace off and practice, but it’s precautionary,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said after the Bulldogs’ first scrimmage of the preseason. “It’s a little rigid and it’s not comfortable for him. He’s not out there feeling like he’s his old self yet. … But he is cleared and he’s safe to practice. He just doesn’t like having that knee brace on.” That he’s already working out full speed with the Bulldogs does not make White a medical miracle. His timeline to recovery from a simple tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is not unusual in modern-day sports medicine. But White was fortunate to have been able to enlist Georgia in his treatment and recovery. White actually incurred the knee injury in a playoff game with Scotland High School on the night of Nov. 17 last fall. It came on his last carry in the fourth of quarter of game his team led by 25 points. White came out of the game knowing he’d taken a helmet blow to the knee, but didn’t realize he was seriously injured. White remained on the sideline the rest of the game and signed autographs for fans for at least a half-hour afterward in 30-degree temperatures. Then he went home and crashed inn advance of an early wake-up call for an unofficial recruiting trip to UGA. It was only after walking around Sanford Stadium and up and down the stands that White realized he might have more than a bruise. He mentioned it to Ron Courson, Georgia’s director of sports medicine, and a routine examination on the spot revealed that a ligament indeed was torn. A month later, surgery was performed by UGA doctors in Athens. As an early enrollee with the Bulldogs, White’s rehabilitation began in earnest upon his arrival on campus. White’s progress was evident in April during Georgia’s spring practices. By the end of them, he was already running full speed through position drills with the rest of the backs. He was held out of contact and any competitive scrimmage situations, but otherwise was getting in work and learning the offense. Fast forward to the summer, and a video was released by UGA of White high-kicking and hitting and moving in a Taekwondo workout in the Payne Athletic Center. It was on Aug. 2, the first official day of Georgia’s preseason camp, that Smart pronounced White “full go.” “I don’t know in this day and age you would say (White’s recovery) was quick,” Smart said. “I think he’s on schedule or a little ahead of schedule. He got injured last year in football season. It’s not a miracle he’s back going. He is pretty special when it comes to rehab, buying in, doing wrestling, doing karate. He does all these extra things like Nick (Chubb) did. That part — his effort and all the work — is incredible.” As a result, Georgia fans will get to see what all the fuss is about. And with White, there has been a lot of fuss made. That’s what happens when one is a consensus 5-star prospect and the No. 1-rated running back in high school. His numbers at his little school in Laurinburg, N.C., were ungodly — 2,086 yards and 34 TDs in 11 games as a senior and a gaudy per-carry average of 14.1 yards. White regularly draws comparisons to a couple of other great Georgia backs from small-town North Carolina, Todd Gurley of Tarboro and Tim Worley of Lumberton. Both of them wowed the masses with the Bulldogs and earned riches in the NFL. The thinking is that this young man who has come to be called “Zeus” is on a similar path. First, White will have to get through one of the most intense running back competitions in Georgia history, which is saying something. Sophomore D’Andre Swift is the heir apparent to succeed the last greats, Chubb and Sony Michel. Talented juniors Elijah Holyfield and Brian Herrien have been patiently biding their time and awaiting their opportunities. And fellow freshman signee James Cook, brother of Dalvin, has turned heads with his quickness and broken-field running. But White is thought to have all the characteristics Georgia looks for in great backs. He has the size and strength to punch the football into the A and B gaps of the defense while also possessing the speed get around the end and outrun defensive backs to paydirt. That script has yet to be written. But optimism abounds. The early chapters in the Book of Zeus certainly have been incredible, especially that first one. If White plays the way coaches and recruiting analysts expect, he’ll be another reason Georgia “Owns the East.” The post Own the East: Georgia’s Zamir White has been overcoming adversity from the start appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia football coach Kirby Smart isn’t exactly sure how his offense is going to look from play to play this season right now. Smart, however, said he’ll have a better idea following the Bulldogs’ second scrimmage of fall camp on Saturday. “ Scrimmage two is kind of a defining moment,” Smart said this week. RELATED: Kirby Smart explains why Georgia offense a work in progress Georgia is loaded with talent across the board, but particularly at the skill positions where running backs, tight ends and receivers are vying for play calls. “You want your best players on the field, so if our best players on the field are four wideouts and no tight ends, we better have some good tackles and be able to block well because we don’t have edges,” Smart said. “But if our best players are tight ends, then we’ll have three of them out there. If our best are backs, we’ll have two of backs and maybe two receivers.” The intense competition playing out in fall camp will go a long way toward determine who is on the field. Once that’s determined, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney can play Dr. Frankenstein with the playbook, the Bulldogs’ operating behind a monstrous offensive line. RELATED: Georgia football 5-star receivers getting outplayed in practice “We’ve got a set of plays, our core belief that we always have, which is balance, being powerful, being able to run the ball at our will, not somebody else breaking our will,” Smart said. “[But] as far as having it formed by any shape or form, I don’t think we’ll have that until the two-deep is set on the offensive line and how the top 10 shake out and the alignment that we’re going to be able to work with this season. I don’t think that will play out until even after scrimmage two.” RELATED: Georgia gets receivers back on the field from injury Some questions were answered in the first scrimmage, both quarterbacks proving they can manage the huddle, and running backs breaking loose on substantial runs. But Smart wants to see who can do it consistently, and the second scrimmage will go a long ways toward determine how Georgia will open the season at 3:30 p.m. on Sept. 1 against FCS Austin Peay at Sanford Stadium. Georgia football Kirby Smart 8-16-18     The post Georgia football second scrimmage ‘defining moment’ in offensive evolution appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS — Georgia football true freshman James Cook opened eyes at the Bulldogs’ open practice on Aug. 4,  and apparently he has continued to excel through fall drills. RELATED: James Cook catches Kirby Smart’s eye at open practice Georgia linebacker Monty Rice made it clear on Thursday that he has been impressed with all of the backs, and particularly Cook. “I’ve never played against a running back like Cook before, he has his own little style, and it’s very unique,” Rice said. “He’s very tough to cover …   you can’t be looking at the quarterback when you cover him, or you’ll watch them complete the pass.” Rice has had an impressive offseason himself, making a team-high 14 tackles in the G-Day game to put himself in position to win a starting job. Rice said nothing has been determined at linebacker yet, himself working at both “Mike” and “Will.” From the sounds of it, Georgia offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will have a hard time sorting through the offensive weapons. RELATED: Kirby Smart explains offensive personality still evolving Elijah Holyfield tore through the first-team defense in the first scrimmage, and Rice said the defense is eager to atone in the upcoming second scrimmage on Saturday. “I don’t want to see Brian Herrien, Holyfield or [D’Andre] Swift run for 60 yards on a play, not against us,” Rice said. RELATED: Watch Elijah Holyfield run through first-team defense They’ve all impressed, Rice indicated. “Little Cook never stops running, he’s fast, I mean, just fast,” Rice said. “Then you’ve got Holyfield   Brian, Swift, Prather [Hudson], Zamir [White], there’s a bunch of them, and they are all pretty good.” Cook, 5-foot-11 and 190 pounds, is the younger brother of NFL tailback and former Florida State star Dalvin Cook. He was one of the last freshmen in the 2018 class to arrive on campus. RELATED: Kirby Smart confirms James Cook on campus Cook and the Georgia backs could find the going tougher on Saturday. “We just have to get better on our techniques,” Rice said, “and if we get our techniques right, we can prevent those big runs.” Georgia football LB Monty Rice The post WATCH: Georgia linebacker Monty Rice raves about ‘Little (James) Cook’ appeared first on DawgNation.
  • PRACTICE OBSERVATIONS ATHENS — It was another stifling hot day on Woodruff Practice Fields on Thursday as the Georgia Bulldogs conducted their 12th practice of preseason camp in full pads. Good thing for the hard-working, and always-running receivers that they welcomed two back to their number. Senior Terry Godwin and freshman Kearis Jackson, each were dressed out and going through position drills during the 15-minute media viewing period. Godwin, the Bulldogs’ leading returning receiver from last year, has been out for most of camp with what coach Kirby Smart has described as a “not too serious” knee injury. Jackson, an early enrollee who turned some heads last spring, has been battling a hamstring injury. While Georgia’s offense got back those two targets, they were missing one other one from the tight ends group. Luke Ford, a 6-foot-6, 252-pound true freshman from Carterville, Ill., was reportedly involved in a minor motorcyle accident Thursday morning, according to ugarivals.com. Ford was not seriously hurt but did suffer some sort of foot injury, the fan site reported. UGA has yet to confirm the report. Other observations: Redshirt freshman receiver Matt Landers seems to have added significant weight to his 6-foot-5 frame, though he’s still listed on the roster at 200 pounds. Landers also seems to have moved up in the rotation. Georgia’s defensive backs were really getting after it during position drills. Defensive coordinator and secondary coach Mel Tucker was having them work on moving toward the ball carrier even though engaged in a lock-down block by the wide receiver. It made for some great individual matchups, with freshman Otis Reese facing off against fellow freshman Tyson Campbell and senior Deandre Baker locking up with J.R. Reed. Cornerback Tyrique McGhee (broken foot) was still sidelined as expected. Freshman corner Divaad Wilson, who suffered a knee injury in the spring, continued to run on the side under the guidance of team trainers. Georgia continued to mix and match on the offensive line. Kirby Smart said Wednesday the Bulldogs are simply trying to identify the best fill-ins in the case of an injured starter. The top five still appears to be LT Andrew Thomas, LG Kendall Baker, C Lamont Gaillard, RG Ben Cleveland and RT Isaiah Wilson. Speaking of Wilson, the 6-7, 340-pound redshirt freshman from Brooklyn appears to have completely remade his body. More importantly, there have been no reports of him falling out of preseason workouts due to the heat, as was often the case a year ago. The post Practice report: Key wide receivers back on the field for Bulldogs appeared first on DawgNation.