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While Penn State is dealing with Monday's program-crippling news, other schools aren't going to give the Nittany Lions any time to work things out.
Penn State players are eligible to transfer without penalty, so teams will be going after the free-agent-type players, including Georgia. From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Coach Mark Richt said at a fans' "UGA Day" Monday night, "Some colleges are going to be interested in some of their players, and we're one of those schools. It's pretty well-documented that we're under our 85[-scholarship] limit. We'll try to get in touch with some of these young men and see if they're interested."
Richt said he and the assistant coaches had already gone over Penn State's two-deep roster and will look at players that fit needs. The Bulldogs certainly aren't the only team, as the unique penalties have created open season for player-poaching.
By this point, Jarvis Jones is obviously no stranger to preseason accolades. He was named the Butkus Award Watch List just a week ago, and now Jones is on the Walter Camp Award Watch List.
The Walter Camp Watch List is headline by Tyrann Mathieu of the national championship runner up and SEC foe LSU Tigers. Other notable players include Arthur Brown of Kansas State, Tyler Bray of Tennessee and Knile Davis of Arkansas just to name a few.
It is not a requirement to be on the preseason watch list to win the award, but being on this list shows how much upside was shown in the prior season.
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Two Georgia linebackers are on the watch list for the highest honor at their position.
The game times for the first two weeks of the season are set for the Georgia Bulldogs. Their second week showdown with new SEC member Missouri will be a prime time start.
Georgia vs. Missouri on Sept. 8 will be at 7:45 ET, on ESPN2. The opener against Buffalo will be at 12:20.— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) July 16, 2012
The game against Missouri replaces one against Alabama. For the Tigers, it will be their first league game ever as a member of the Southeastern Conference.
Georgia will wrap up the month of September with home games against Florida Atlantic, Vanderbilt and Tennessee.
Defensive line recruit John Atkins is the second member of Georgia's 2012 recruiting class that won't qualify academically for the upcoming season. Atkins took the ACT last month but was recently notified by the NCAA Clearinghouse that he did not meet the requirements.
Atkins will head to prep school and enroll at Hargrave Military Academy where he hopes to get his academics in order so that he can enroll at Georgia in January. Atkins will be joined by fellow 2012 signee Leonard Floyd who also didn't qualify and will also attend Hargrave in the fall.
The other 17 players that the Bulldogs signed are on campus and preparing for the start of preseason practice in August. Due to roster attrition the Bulldogs are expected to add more than 30 players to the roster this fall.
Georgia's coordinators met with the media on Friday to discuss the Bulldogs heading into preseason practices.
Former running back Isaiah Crowell was obviously a topic of discussion. Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo wasn't interested in speaking about Crowell directly, but did discuss the state of the running backs. The Athens Banner-Herald has all the details on the media briefing.
On the running backs:
"We do have two guys that have experience in this league in Richard Samuel who was productive when he was healthy last year," Bobo said. "Obviously he needs to stay healthy so he can be productive for us. I think Ken Malcome getting a lot of confidence last year playing and having some success and hopefully can improve on his success going into this year."
Along with personnel issues, defensive coordinator Todd Grantham did address his new title of associate head coach.
"As far as the new title, obviously I'm appreciative-and the salary ($825,000 per year) too for that matter-of president Adams, Mr. McGarity and coach Richt for allowing me to continue to be a part of this program and continue to move it forward to where we feel like we can go because there's a lot of tradition here at the University of Georgia, which is one of the reasons I wanted to come here. I think that we've really just scratched the surface on what we can do. "
Another set of watch lists for the 2012 college football season has been released with the Nagurski and Outland Trophies. The Nagurski is awarded to the best defensive player in the nation, while the Outland goes to the best interior lineman.
The Georgia Bulldogs had a pair of players who were named to the Nagurski list, the two were defensive lineman John Jenkins and linebacker Jarvis Jones. In 2011 Jenkins recorded 28 total tackles, six tackles for loss, three sacks and an interception. Jones had an impressive 2011 season by recording 70 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, broke up two passes and forced a pair of fumbles.
Jenkins also was named as a nominee for the Outland Trophy.
In another reflection of the conventional wisdom that the power in the SEC has shifted to the West Division, giving Georgia a relatively easy path to the SEC Championship Game, the Bulldogs had eight players named to one of the three pre-season All-SEC teams for the 2012 season.
That puts the school in fourth place in the conference, behind -- wait for it -- Alabama (11), LSU (11) and Arkansas (10).
OLB Jarvis Jones and S Bacarri Rambo, in spite of the four-game suspension he received for failing a drug test in the off-season, were the only two Bulldogs named to the first team.
Four Georgia players -- WR/DB Malcolm Mitchell, DE Abry Jones, ILB Alec Ogletree and CB Sanders Commings -- round out the third team.
The Athens Banner-Herald's Marc Weiszer caught an interesting item in the 2012 University of Georgia football media guide - defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has received an unpublicized promotion of sorts, as he's listed as the associate head coach.
Grantham's deal was reworked in the offseason after a hugely successful run for the UGA defense in Grantham's 3-4 scheme in 2011, moving his annual salary to $825,000 on a deal that extends to 2014.
The title is of little significance in terms of duties or responsibilities, unless head coach Mark Richt were to be absent or removed from a game. However, it's worth noting that Grantham has stated before that he'd eventually like to become a head coach, and that a clause exists in his deal to waive a contract buyout if Grantham were to leave UGA for a head coaching job in the NFL or college.
For the second consecutive season Georgia has had a player quit the team only to change their mind and return a few days later. Just last week sophomore linebacker Brandon Burrows left the team and was seeking a transfer but was reinstated on Monday.
"I've just been thinking about it and praying about it a lot. It was weird because, while I was thinking about it, I got a call from Coach [Rodney] Garner and we talked about a lot of things. He was saying I owed it to myself, being fully healthy and not redshirted, to play here and prove to myself I could do it. And I really agree with him. I think I would have being doing myself an injustice if I left in such a manner. So I talked to Coach Richt about it and he's, of course, as caring and understanding as they come. I just can't put into words how thankful I am to be back and I'm elated to be a Georgia Bulldog."
Burrows redshirted his freshman season and sat out all of last season with a shoulder injury. He is reportedly healthy now and ready to see if he can compete for playing time. Georgia's roster has become a point of contention for many as they have fallen below 70 scholarship players for the upcoming season. Burrows return will help that number slightly but Georgia could have major depth concerns especially in the early going with a number of players facing suspension.
Aaron Murray, Jonathan Jenkins and Jarvis Jones earned some preseason honors on Monday.
Here's a piece of good news in the offseason about a Georgia defender: While several (several) UGA defensive players have faced issues with the law, Jarvis Jones was named to Blue Ribbon Yearbook's preseason All-America team. He joins seven other SEC players on the first team.
A native of Columbus, Jones was a unanimous first-team All-American following the 2011 season after he led the SEC in both sacks (13.5) and tackles for loss (19.5). Last season marked his first playing for the Bulldogs after he transferred from Southern Cal and then redshirted the 2010 campaign.
Despite the numerous off-field problems and subsequent suspensions, the Dawgs were picked by Blue Ribbon to win the SEC Eastern Division and return to Atlanta for the SEC Championship in December.
Sophomore linebacker Brandon Burrows will transfer and has been granted an unconditional release by Georgia according to a release by the school. Burrows cited a chance for more playing time and a desire to return to playing defensive end in a 4-3 scheme as reasoning for the move.
"The coaching change here led to a 3-4 defense," Burrows said in a news release. "I have worked with that transition but decided that I want to get back to playing defensive end. I think another program may give me the best opportunity to succeed at that."
Burrows redshirted his freshman season and sat out all of 2011 with a shoulder injury. He was currently listed as third team inside linebacker on Georgia's preseason depth chart.
Roster attrition for the Bulldogs has been a hot topic of late with the Georgia well below the 85 scholarship limit. The Bulldogs are expected to sign a large recruiting class this season to help offset the total number.
University of Georgia Athletics Director Greg McGarity is holding off on adding any games to future Bulldog football schedules until he sees the impact of the new national playoff system.
Since McGarity has taken over he has tried to assemble at least seven home games for the Bulldogs every season. That will drop to six in 2013 due to Georgia opening the season in Clemson and finishing it at Georgia Tech. The result will be a loss of about $2 million dollars from the athletics budget.
Financial concerns aside the new playoff system will have a huge impact especially if strength of schedule is factored into the selection process. However, McGarity also points out that strengthening future schedules may not be an easy task due to conference expansion.
With conferences like the Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten going to nine game conference schedules it is going to make scheduling one of those opponents all the more difficult. So while Georgia might desire to play a particular opponent several factors would have to fall in place to make it happen.
"It's educating everyone on how difficult that is," McGarity said. "Not only do you have nine conference games kicking in very soon, you've also got the dates. So many things would have to happen perfectly."
Well, it certainly didn't take Isaiah Crowell long to find a new program to call his own. Crowell, who was dismissed by the University of Georgia's football team last Friday, will take his talents to Montgomery, Alabama, as he will transfer to Alabama State University.
If you weren't aware, Crowell was dismissed from Georgia's team after being arrested on felony weapons charges.
Crowell stands accused of possessing a weapon in a school zone, and possessing an altered ID mark, both felonies. He has hired top-flight lawyer Steve Sadow, one of Georgia's finest defense attorneys, to represent him in the case, but may not need to be cleared of wrongdoing to be eligible to play for the Hornets.
Because Alabama State is a member of the Football Championship Subdivision, essentially, D-II, he will not need to sit out a year before being eligible to play, and is eligible to play in the fall for the Hornets.
To discuss this with fellow Bulldogs fans, head over to Dawg Sports and join the discussion.
Whatever happens legally to former Georgia RB Isaiah Crowell, he won't be able to say he didn't get adequate representation.
According to a report from the Athens Banner-Herald, Crowell is being represented by Steve Sadow, one of the most high-profile criminal defense lawyers in the state. Sadow has defended several Georgia football players, as well as one of the co-defendants in the Ray Lewis murder trial and the rapper T.I.
Crowell's best chance would be to challenge the constitutionality of the search that found the unlicensed weapon in his car, but if he consented to the search, that may be difficult to pull off.
As a result, Sadow may try to use his connections in the judicial system to see if the local DA's are willing to give his star defendant some leeway, as prosecutors have significant discretion in terms of what crimes they charge defendants with.
The gods of the ancient Greeks and Romans were all-powerful, but they could also be petty and immature. The dismissal of Isaiah Crowell should serve as our reminder that elite college athletes can be the same way.
Isaiah Crowell has been released from the Georgia Bulldogs football team following his arrest on weapons charges early Friday morning. It comes at a major letdown not just for the Dawgs fanbase, but particularly for a talent like Crowell, who was considered the No.1-rated running back in the country when he came to UGA in 2011.
That potential won't be reached, at least not in Athens. Georgia coach Mark Richt made the announcement of Crowell's dismissal around 5 p.m. ET. Richt had this to say:
"We have a dedicated and committed group of men who are working hard to prepare for the coming season. Our total focus will be directed toward the team and this effort."
Crowell's past is a bit troubled and well-documented. He couldn't seem to stay out of his own way in his short time at UGA. There was a suspension last season, supposedly for a failed drug test, and injuries plagued him as well.
You can read the details of the arrest from the AJC right here.
For more on the Georgia Bulldogs, visit Dawg Sports.
Word on Twitter says the records show Georgia Bulldogs running back Isaiah Crowell bonding out of jail about an hour ago (12:44 p.m. ET) since being arrested on weapons charges Thursday night in Athens, with a crew of other Bulldogs players and high school signees.
OK, NOW Isaiah Crowell is bonded out. Records show he bonded out at 12:44 p.m.— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) June 29, 2012
It is unclear if legal action was taken against the other four players in the car with Crowell, but officers said they smelled marijuana in the vehicle. That isn't odd of course, since these are youngsters fresh out of high school, but it could still lead to some ramifications down the road for the Bulldogs squad.
Four University of Georgia football players were in the car with sophomore running back Isaiah Crowell when he was arrested on weapons charges Thursday night in Athens, according to reports:
Players in car with Crowell: Josh Harvey-Clemons, Sheldon Dawson, Blake Tibbs and Quintavius Harrow. All were let go at the scene.— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) June 29, 2012
Harrow is a sophomore corner and former high school teammate of Crowell's at Columbus, Ga.'s Carver High. The other three players are all newly signed in the class of 2012, most notably Harvey-Clemons, a consensus five-star prospect and a signing day "get" for the Dawgs.
There's likely no discipline measures to be taken for the group, but the fact that officers claimed the car smelled of marijuana won't go unnoticed by Mark Richt and his staff, especially for a group that's yet to even practice with the team.
Details in the early morning arrest of Georgia running back Isaiah Crowell are slowly starting to emerge. Crowell was arrested at approximately 2:20 a.m. Friday morning at a vehicle checkpoint. Crowell's car was apparently searched after an officer detected the odor of marijuana.
Further details from police: Officer smelled marijuana coming from Crowell's car, but upon search no marijuana was found.— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) June 29, 2012
Although no drugs were found during the search it did reveal a handgun with an altered serial number under the drivers seat.
However, according to police, a handgun was found below the driver's seat, with an altered serial number. Crowell was driving the car.— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) June 29, 2012
Crowell is facing immediate suspension from the University and as a repeat violator could be facing dismissal from the team. Neither the University nor Mark Richt has issued a statement as of yet.
The University of Georgia football team has not officially reacted to the arrest of Isaiah Crowell on weapons charges, however, the school and team discipline policies, which are public, are pretty clear about the fate of the sophomore running back (courtesy of the AJC):
According to the UGA Student-Athlete handbook, a felony arrest means "immediate suspension from athletic competition." A "Comprehensive Action Plan Committee," consisting of UGA athletic administrators and the Faculty Athletics Representative, will then investigate and review the facts and forward a disciplinary recommendation to the athletic director. Recommendations include "dismissal from the team, suspension from competition, reduction in aid and/or cancellation of athletic aid."
Georgia is somewhat famous in college football for its stiff penalties on drug use and repeat violators of any rule, however, there's no clear policy in place regarding Crowell's previous two suspensions in 2011 (one rumored to be a failed drug test).
No matter what, his rocky history in such a short time on campus certainly compounds matters, and with reports indicating that officers smelled marijuana when Crowell was stopped, there's a good chance he could be considered a repeat violator of the student athlete drug policy. Senior corner Bacarri Rambo will miss four games this season after two comparatively minor brushes with marjiuana, so things don't look good for Crowell.
With Isaiah Crowell's status in jeopardy the importance of incoming freshman Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley goes up a notch or two. Ken Malcome emerged from spring practice listed as the co-starter but both Marshall and Gurley figure to play a big part in the Bulldogs' backfield picture this fall.
Marshall enrolled early but was slowed in spring by a hamstring injury. Even though he missed the spring game the extra practice time should give him a head start heading into preseason practice. Marshall is a legit home run threat and was arguably the best back in the country last season.
Gurley brings more of a power running style similar to Crowell. Gurley doesn't have the breakaway speed that Marshall possesses but provides depth should an injury occur and could help give the Bulldogs a solid one-two punch down the road.
Both players figured to get a look and a shot at playing time with Crowell in the picture. Now it is even more likely.
Details are still sketchy regarding the arrest of sophomore running back Isaiah Crowell but it seems to have came from a stop at a vehicle checkpoint that occurred around 2:20 a.m. Friday morning according to a report by Seth Emerson.
Crowell's arrest resulted from a vehicle checkpoint around 2:20 a.m. on Friday, per A-CC police. Further details coming.— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) June 29, 2012
Neither the University or head coach Mark Richt has released any comment as of yet. Crowell was reportedly arrested on two felonies and one misdemeanor which many are speculating will put his status with the program in jeopardy. Georgia for the most part has had a quiet offseason up until now. Crowell emerged from spring practice listed as the co-starter along with fellow running back Ken Malcome.
After a productive Spring, Georgia's troubled young running back has been arrested on weapons charges.
Malcolm Mitchell is expected to become a very important two way player for the Bulldogs come the fall and he is already making the transition during informal workouts this summer. Quarterback Aaron Murray indicates that Mitchell has continued to work with him in the passing game this summer.
"He's already been working with us. He just goes out there. He's always out there. Playing DB, playing receiver. If we have a ton of DBs out there, he'll just move over to receiver. If not a lot of DBs are out there, he'll play DB. He just goes back and forth pretty much. He'll be ready to go offense or defense this season."
Mitchell is expected to spend most of preseason practice at defensive back as the Bulldogs look to shore up some depth issues during the early part of the season. From the sounds of things though he is already working on going both ways.
The 2012 college football season keeps drawing closer. The Georgia Bulldogs will hope to make an impact this yer, but as always, they play in the tough SEC, where a conference title does not come easy. Though it's still the offseason, we have an early look at how at least one analyst views the Bulldogs in relation to the rest of the conference heading into the fall.
Will Harris at ESPN Insider has posted his preseason odds for the SEC and Big 12, among other conferences. Here is how he sees the favorites to win the title:
While LSU and Alabama remain the perennial frontrunners, Harris doesn't see the Bulldogs as being too far out of the hunt. UGA fans should feel plenty positive about their team's chances.
Mark Richt wasn't willing to comment on Tuesday at the Pigskin Preview in Macon, Georgia about any potential suspensions that some of his key defensive players are facing.
"We're not ready to say anything publicly," Richt said. "But I guess that's all I'll say."
Cornerback Sanders Commings has already had his two game suspension announced by the school. There has been no further word on potential suspensions for Branden Smith, Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree. Smith is expected to get a one-game ban for a marijuana charge but Rambo is facing as much a four-game stint for a alleged failed drug test.
If any or all of the suspensions hold true then Georgia will be forced to mix and match in its defensive secondary for the first part of its schedule. The Bulldogs open up the season with Buffalo and then travel to Missouri to take on the Tigers in their first conference game as a member of the SEC.
Georgia's preseason depth chart lists Malcolm Mitchell as a second team cornerback but the dynamic sophomore is expected to spend plenty of time on both sides of the ball once the fall rolls around. Bulldogs quarterback Aaron Murray talked about Mitchell during Tuesday's Pigskin Preview in Macon.
"He just goes back and forth, pretty much," Murray said. "I know he'll be ready. He knows the plays still, will still run all the routes. He knows the footwork, he knows the yardage. He'll be ready to go, offense or defense."
Mitchell spent the entire spring at cornerback preparing for the position switch as the Bulldogs look to overcome the likely suspensions of several key defensive players in the early part of its 2012 schedule.
However, Mitchell emerged as one of the team's most explosive offensive weapons last season and finished with 45 catches for 665 yards and a touchdown despite being slowed by a hamstring injury. With Sanders Commings already suspended for two games and likely suspensions for Branden Smith and Bacarri Rambo looming expect to see a lot of Mitchell on defense in the early going.
Georgia released its preseason depth chart on Tuesday at the Pigskin Preview in Macon which is an event that gathers together all of the state's football programs. Mark Richt, Aaron Murray and Shawn Williams represented the Bulldogs.
The depth chart doesn't include incoming freshman but there was at least one surprise with walk on Merritt Hall being listed as the No. 1 fullback and ahead of both Richard Samuel and Zander Ogletree. Isaiah Crowell and Ken Malcome are both listed as the No. 1 tailback with freshman Keith Marshall the backup. Incoming freshman Todd Gurley also figures to work his way into the picture.
Here is a look at Georgia's complete depth chart for the preseason:
C David Andrews
NT John Jenkins
PK Jamie Lindley
The Georgia Bulldogs have installed a very strict drug policy that results in suspensions for first-time offenders. Unfortunately, this policy may result in more negative results for the school and its football program than positive ones.
Andy Staples at Sports Illustrated reports that while the Bulldogs' ultra-strict drug policy has noble intentions, it may end up making Georgia the target of ridicule within the SEC.
Georgia's policy calls for a 10-percent of the season (one game in football) suspension for the first offense and a 30-percent of the season (four games in football) suspension for a second positive. At all but two other schools in the SEC (Kentucky and Mississippi State), a player who tests positive the first time does not miss a game.
Staples points out that this policy not only puts the program at a competitive disadvantage within their conference, as the other teams will let similar infractions slide without any sort of missed time. In addition, the policy will open the school up for further ridicule as names of offenders are released to the public and the media.
Staples' full article is well worth checking out, so give it a read if you have a moment. We will have to wait and see how this policy works out for the school.
University of Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will receive a two-year contract extension that includes a $75,000 raise and performance bonuses that will bring his annual salary to $825,000 guaranteed.
Grantham's salary ranks fifth among assistant coaches around the country and trails Alabama's Kirby Smart, LSU's John Chavis and Auburn's Brian Van Gorder among SEC assistants.
The new deal allows Grantham the ability to leave for an NFL head coaching or defensive coordinator job or a Division I head coaching job without penalty. As was the case with Mark Richt's contract, Grantham's buyout has been significantly reduced. Georgia athletics director Greg McGarity cited Grantham's tenure with the Bulldogs as the reasoning behind his decreasing buyout.
"That was reduced in light of the time hes already been here. Its kind of the same philosophy in Mark (Richts buyout) in a sense. He still has something in there because hes relatively new here. Thats part of the negotiation piece."
It took longer than was expected but Mark Richt's new deal is finally official and he will remain coach of the Bulldogs through the 2016 season.
The SEC offers a better product on the field, but the Big Ten has a better position in terms of its media rights deals. For that, Jim Delany can thank the fact that his fans apparently do not care about the quality of the product on their TV sets.
The SEC has officially released the complete week to week schedule for every team, and that includes the newest members introduced today officially in Missouri and Texas A&M. The Georgia Bulldogs face Mizzou early on the road on September 8, but will have to wait to get their first look at the Aggies.
The Bulldogs schedule includes home games this year against Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Ole Miss. Auburn, South Carolina, Florida and the aforementioned game against the Tigers show a rather difficult road schedule in 2012. Check out the complete rundown of the schedule below.
2012 Georgia Football Schedule:
Sept. 1 BUFFALO
Sept. 8 at Missouri
Sept. 15 FLORIDA ATLANTIC
Sept. 22 VANDERBILT
Sept. 29 TENNESSEE
Oct. 6 at South Carolina
Oct. 20 at Kentucky
Oct. 27 vs. Florida (Jacksonville)
Nov. 3 OLE MISS
Nov. 10 at Auburn
Nov. 17 GEORGIA SOUTHERN
Nov. 24 GEORGIA TECH
No surprise here: One of CBS' favorite games in the Southeastern Conference will be back on its 3:30 p.m. national broadcast slot on October 27:
CBS Announces 3:30 Start Time for Florida-Georgia j.mp/LxQTxo— GatorZone Football (@GatorZoneFB) June 6, 2012
Even with Florida's decline as a national title contender, the game is still a no-brainer for CBS, who, starting in third week of the season, essentially pick the best game on the SEC schedule each week.
The closest competition for the Cocktail Party (oh, whatever) would be Alabama vs. Mississippi State or Auburn vs. Texas A&M, neither of which feature the history, immediate hatred and festive beachside neutral site of Jacksonville. And honestly, have you ever seen a coordinated yet completely drunken dance number in Starkville?
For more on the Georgia Bulldogs, check out Dawg Sports. Florida Gators news and info can be found at Alligator Army, and more SEC overage is available at Team Speed Kills and SB Nation's college football page.
Georgia and Florida have decided not to take advantage of a newly instituted SEC rule that allows the designated home team in a neutral site game to host recruits.
Bulldogs athletics director Greg McGarity cited logistical concerns when explaining the decision. Georgia gets about 40,000 tickets that the annual game in Jacksonville and has sold its entire allotment for the last 20 years.
"Right now, it's such a difficult ticket for that game, and you would need in the neighborhood of 500-600 tickets for recruits that you would have to free up. Obviously, those seats would have to be good seats.
"Who do you take those recruiting tickets from? You're not going to take your top boosters and bump them,"
With the game taking place in Florida with would be advantageous for Georgia from a recruiting standpoint even if it isn't feasible in regards to tickets.
We are less than 100 days from kickoff of the 2012 football season and 14 members of Georgia's 2012 recruiting class arrived on campus on Monday and Tuesday to go through orientation and get acclimated to college life.
Out of 19 signees from last season three enrolled early including running back Keith Marshall. Two members of the class have not reported and are working through academic issues. Defensive lineman John Atkins is awaiting a qualifying score on the ACT and is hopeful to report on July 9 at the start of the second summer session of the school year. If Atkins doesn't make it then he will head to junior college to get his academics in order.
Linebacker Leonard Floyd also did not report but is clearing up a grade issue and hopes to report later this week or next.
The benefit of a defending division champion playing a schedule that's absent LSU, Alabama and Arkansas (last year's 1-3 in the SEC West) is that it's hard to find a place where Georgia might stub its toe - except for South Carolina. Gambling web site Beyond The Bets has released a way-too-early-but-who-cares-we-love-it set of betting lines for the entire 2012 conference schedule, and the Dawgs are favored in every contest save for a trip to Columbia, where they'll be four-point dogs:
Week 2: Georgia (-3) vs. Missouri
Week 4: Vanderbilt vs. Georgia (-17)
Week 5: Tennessee vs. Georgia (-12)
Week 6: Georgia vs. South Carolina (-4)
Week 8: Georgia (-17.5) vs. Kentucky
Week 9: Florida vs. Georgia (-2)
Week 10: Ole Miss vs. Georgia (-24.5)
Week 11 Georgia (-1.5) vs. Auburn
Essentially, Vegas thinks Georgia will repeat its 7-1 campaign of last season, as the Dogs will play the exact same SEC schedule except for newcomer Missouri, who replaces Mississippi State. Whether or not another 7-1 finish with a loss to the Gamecocks can get UGA to Atlanta through the backdoor - again - is yet to be seen, but Beyond The Bets has UGA winning the East at 7-1, over a 6-2 USC team. Sound familiar?
The SEC league meetings are coming to a close and despite much debate on the matters it looks like the conference is ready to proceed with a playoff recommendation and a schedule format for the new 14-team league.
As expected the SEC, along with the Big 12 will push for a playoff format that does not restrict inclusion to conference champions only. Not a big surprise and nor should it be since the conference has routinely had multiple teams in the top four for the last several seasons. Expect to hear much debate on that subject and it is one of the last major hurdles that the new playoff will have to clear.
Also after much debate it looks like the SEC will be sticking with the 6-1-1 scheduling format. While it met some opposition, particularly from LSU coach Les Miles, the conference looks like it will keep the plan which permanently ties a member to a cross division rival. That saves the annual Georgia-Auburn clash becoming a non-annual event.
How did the Pac-10
parlay lukewarm fan interest into a massive TV deal? They offered a better TV product. Mike Slive ought to consider that example.
Well, at least it's not concussion or player payment talk: The crux of the SEC Meetings in Florida this week have centered on how the conference will schedule its major sports seasons moving forward, as the addition of Texas A&M and Missouri have created some problems with the old formats, especially in football.
The proposed "6-1-1" plan (six division opponents, one permanent cross-division opponent and one rotating cross-division opponent, for a total of eight conference games a season) is meeting some resistance. The AJC is reporting that five coaches, four from schools that want to preserve their permanent cross-division opponents for historical purposes (Alabama, Tennessee, Auburn and Georgia), supported the move, while LSU's Les Miles really, really doesn't want to keep playing Florida every year.
Meanwhile, "The Steve Spurrier Plan" to count only division games in determining division champions apparently died on the table in discussions. Spurrier is ostensibly pushing for such a format because Georgia advanced to the SEC Championship in 2011 with a 7-1 SEC record, losing only to South Carolina, who finished 6-2, but both losses came from Western Division opponents Arkansas and Auburn.
"The more that was discussed, the more everybody understood that’s probably not going to happen," Richt said. "Your crossover games are going to have to count. It’s true in just about every other sport in America," including, he pointed out, the NFL and MLB.
In summary: very little has been decided, but much has been argued. Bureaucracy!
The annual SEC meetings are underway in Destin, Florida with a number of items on a packed agenda. One of the biggest things in the world of college football right now is the proposed playoff and what form it might take. SEC commissioner Mike Slive reiterated his support for a format that would place the best four teams in the country in a playoff to determine the national champion.
"I'm in favor of the best four teams in the country playing for the national championship, I've been there for so long," Slive said. "I'm comfortable there. I think it does a lot more for postseason football and potentially for a lot of other conferences."
The selection of those four teams is still the cause for major debate and it isn't surprising that the SEC is going to be against any proposal that requires the participants to be conference champs which would negate any more than one SEC team making the playoff. Mark Richt stated his opinion saying that it should be the best four teams regardless of conference standing.
"We don't think it should be that you must be a conference champion to be able to play in it,"
Instead of receiving a raise this season, Georgia coach Mark Richt will have his performance bonuses increased, according to a report from the Macon Telegraph.
Richt's $2.9 million contract is in the upper half of SEC football salaries, but the wave of money that has come into the conference over the past few years has knocked Richt down the pecking order behind Nick Saban ($4.8 million), Les Miles ($3.8 million), Gene Chizik ($3.5 million) and Will Muschamp ($3.2 million).
Richt will receive higher performance bonuses for an SEC championship, BCS appearance as well as a national title: "We want to reward excellence," Bulldogs athletic director Greg McGarity told the newspaper.
As recently as last September, Richt was in the hot seat in Athens before a late season push that brought Georgia to the SEC championship game.
University of Georgia Head Football Coach Mark Richt announced Thursday that Daryl Jones will be Director of On-Campus Recruiting for the Bulldogs.
Jones has 17 years experience as a high school coach and athletic director in the state of Georgia. He was named Georgia High School Athletic Director of the Year in 2005.
We’re extremely fortunate to have Daryl joining our staff," said Richt. "He’s a veteran high school coach and administrator who has a complete understanding of the recruiting process along with the relationships between the university and the high schools. He’ll be a great addition to our staff in the areas of high school relations and directing our on-campus recruiting efforts.
Jones' knowledge of the state's high school talent pool should prove to be a great asset for the Bulldogs' recruiting in the years to come.
The Georgia Bulldogs enter 2012 with most of their stout 2011 defense intact (minus a temporarily suspension riddled secondary), as well as Isaiah Crowell and Aaron Murray in the backfield on offense. So naturally, UGA fans greeting Mark Richt on the offseason banquet and alumni dinner circuit are just terrified about the offensive line.
The Athens Banner-Herald followed Richt through such a meeting in Savannah, where the departure of several NFL bound big men Cordy Glenn (second round, Buffalo Bills), center Ben Jones (fourth, Houston Texans) and Justin Anderson (seventh, Indianapolis Colts) was the topic at hand:
"You’d love to be two-deep, but it rarely, rarely happens that you’ve got 10 guys that you think are game-ready," Richt said in an interview before the event. "The reality is it’s usually anywhere between six and eight. We’re shooting for that."
"Their goal is to allow your skill people to make plays," Richt said. "That’s their job. Even in the spring game, we saw more plays being made by our running backs and quarterbacks than we’d seen all spring long. I don’t think there’s any doubt those guys improved. If they’ve improved enough, I’m not sure. We’ll have to wait and see."
Richt named a variety of potential replacements - Kenarious Gates, Chris Burnette, Dallas Lee, Kolton Houston, Mark Beard and David Andrews - but didn't elaborate on specific jobs won until fall practice begins in August.
The Georgia Bulldogs and the Clemson Tigers have agreed to increase the cancellation fee for their upcoming scheduled football games in 2013 and 2014 as both schools look to uphold their obligations for an intriguing non-conference home-and-home matchup.
The initial cancellation fee was set at $500,000 during the original agreement but both sides agreed to raise the fee to $3 million if either school decided to escape out of the game. Both games in 2013 and 2014 will serve as the season opener's in Athens and Clemson.
Terry Don Phillips, the athletic director for the Clemson Tigers, wrote a letter to Georgia Bulldogs athletic director Greg McGarity on April 17th amending the current proposal:
"Despite conference realignment and the expected increase in conference games required by the Atlantic Coast Conference, we are both committed to maintaining the football series between Clemson Universiy and the University of Georgia to play football in 2013 and 2014. To further solidify that commitment and protect either institution from the loss of revenue should either game within that series be cancelled without mutal consent, we have agreed to amend section 15 of the contract agreement and set the cancellation fee at $3,000,000."
There was plenty to be excited about after G-Day, but a thin offensive line and big (if temporary) holes in the secondary could still stand between the Dawgs and a second straight trip to the Dome.
Former Maryland Terrapins offensive lineman Max Garcia has made his decision on where he plans on transferring to. According to Rivals Ryan Bartow, Garcia narrowed his list to five schools and his decision is to transfer to the Florida Gators.
Breaking News: Maryland OL transfer Max Garcia just committed to Florida.— Ryan Bartow (@RyanBartow) April 21, 2012
The other four finalists were the Georgia Bulldogs, Wisconsin Badgers, USC Trojans and Mississippi Rebels. Georgia was thought to be the leader since he is from the state, or even Wisconsin since that was where he took his most recent visit.
Garcia was a starter for Maryland and was one of many players to transfer, and after he sits out the 2012 season due to transfer rules he will have two years of eligibility left for Florida.
The Georgia Bulldogs entered the 2012 offseason as the prohibitive favorites to repeat as SEC East Champions, but have been sidetracked by a rash of off-field player discipline issues that will leave them without several defensive starters for their first two games this fall.
Obviously that blight has taken center stage as Richt makes the alumni dinner rounds after spring practice. Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph has a full transcript of Richt's very, very long response to a fan's comment at the beginning of a Bulldog Club dinner in Augusta Tuesday.
Here's some of the highlights - the fan thanked Richt for his stance on player discipline, which opened the floor for a lot of this...
"Did anybody here go through college, did anybody maybe do something stupid, and not have the whole world know? I know I did. ...
"When a mistake is made, there needs to be a consequence, there needs to be a discipline, there needs to be a learning experience from it. I'm not gonna change the way I discipline. Some people may think it's soft. A lot of people think you might be losing control of your program because you have a lot of suspensions for the season. But the reality is that's how you keep control of your team, by disciplining your team.
"And I think a lot of guys think it's bulletproof. They don't think it's not gonna happen - and it does. Once they live through it, they understand how tough it is. But then again, the third thing is you've gotta love them. I love Sanders Commings. Do I love all these other guys that have had issues over the year? I sure do.
"The sad part of it is it's so public. The other part of it that's sad is it does affect myself. The coaching staff. It affects the Bulldogs nation, the University of Georgia, their teammates. But that's what a team is all about. The good and the bad. ...
You can't blame Richt for being verbose in defense of his policies and his commentary on the state of NCAA player discipline. He's as well versed on the subject as any coach in America.
Mark Richt confirmed Tuesday night what many were already expecting that incoming freshman John Theus will most certainly be in the mix at tackle once fall practice comes around. Richt said Theus will be candidate for playing time and could even start at one of the tackle positions.
Richt said coaching staff is "thrilled" to see what freshman John Theus will do at OT. He said he has a chance to play and even start.— Marc Weiszer (@marcweiszer) April 17, 2012
Kenarious Gates figures to be a starter somewhere on the offensive line but could settle in at right-tackle or at guard once Theus is on campus and becomes more acquainted. Watts Dantzler is another candidate who figures to play but may have a hard time nailing down a starting position. Xavier Ward, Hunter Long and Greg Pyke are others who could get into the mix at tackle.
During his meeting with the Augusta Bulldog Club, Mark Richt talked about Georgia's backup quarterback situation and gave Christian LeMay a pretty good endorsement.
Richt says that "if all goes to plan" Christian LeMay will "more than likely be the No. 2 quarterback." But Faton Bauta could also contend.— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) April 17, 2012
Hutson Mason is next in line to replace starter Aaron Murray but the plan is for him to take a red shirt this season so that he will have at least one year of eligibility remaining after Murray leaves. Barring a major injury to Murray, Mason won't be a factor during the 2012 season.
That leaves LeMay who played well in the G-Day gave over the weekend throwing for 154 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Faton Bauta and walk on Parker Welch are the other options the Bulldogs have at the quarterback position.
Shortly after spring practice ended, Mark Richt sat down with wide receiver turned cornerback Malcolm Mitchell to discuss the plan for his involvement on both sides of the football during the 2012 season. Richt told the Augusta Bulldog club that the plan for Mitchell was to play defense but to get some reps at offense and prepare to play both ways.
"I told him: You have got to be ready to play defensive back. But anytime they go out and throw and catch you better get reps at receiver, because we want to play you both ways,"
Georgia's secondary is facing suspensions to several key players and Mitchell will be needed to help fill the gap early in the season. The danger comes in taking one of last season's biggest offensive weapons out of the mix to use him defensively. However, the depth at receiver will be better than at cornerback until some of the suspended players do return.
For more on Malcolm Mitchell and Georgia Football check out Dawg Sports. For more college football news and notes head over to SB Nation's College Football page.
Many expected Georgia's defense to dominate the annual G-Day game that brings an end to spring practice but the Bulldogs' offense was up to the task on Saturday and the Red team survived a failed two-point conversion late to hold on for a 32-31 win.
There were standout performances and big plays on both sides of the ball. Injuries and upcoming suspensions forced the focus to many backup players who will likely see their first extensive action in a Bulldogs' uniform this season. Ray Drew had a couple of sacks in the game from the defensive end position and linebacker Ramik Wilson finished with seven tackles and an interception.
Offensively Justin Scott-Wesley looked like a factor at the wide receiver position catching three passes for 46 yards and tight end Jay Rome made a huge play late for the Black team as he hauled in a 66 yard touchdown pass.
Running back Ken Malcome drew praise from the coaches after the game for his eight carry, 32 yard two touchdown day. Isaiah Crowell alternated first half series with Malcome and finished with 10 carries and 39 yards. More importantly he wrapped up spring healthy and without controversy.
Georgia's quarterback situation looked pretty good with Aaron Murray sharp and Hutson Mason looking like a more than capable backup. Mason would likely only play this season if there was a serious injury to Murray as the reported plan is for him to redshirt. That will elevate Christian LeMay to the backup slot for this season and he didn't disappoint on Saturday throwing for 154 yards and a touchdown.
Georgia's spring practice was filled with more than enough drama with reported suspensions to Alec Ogletree and Bacarri Rambo looming. There is a long wait between now and fall practice and Bulldogs fans everywhere could live with a quiet summer.
For more on the G-Day game check out Dawg Sports. For more college football news and notes head over to SB Nation's College Football page.
With the excitement of the Georgia spring game taking over Bulldog nation and the anticipation of the 2012-13 season looming, things are on the up and up in Athens. Now, UGA head coach Mart Richt can put another feather in his cap starting in 2014 with his latest commitment.
Third commit for '14. RT @Dawgs247: WR Demarre Kitt has committed to UGA's 2014 class— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) April 14, 2012
Demarre Kitt is considered to be one of the best receivers in the class of 2014. Kitt hails from Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek High School and received offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Cincinnati, Clemson, Florida, Mississippi, Mississippi State and South Carolina. To say he was a hot commodity would be an understatement. The projected 4-star recruit stands tall at 6'1" and 195 pounds. With two years remaining in high school, Kitt completed his sophomore season with 42 catches for 651 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Kitt is the third commitment of the 2014 class, joining running back Stanley Williams and Nick Glass.
For more on the Bulldogs, head to Dawg Sports, and for more updates on Georgia's offseason, follow SB Nation Atlanta's StoryStream. Also, for all the college football you can handle, head to SB Nation's NCAA football Hub.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Chip Towers, the annual awards for the Georgia Bulldogs' spring practice have been handed out. According to Towers, the offensive MVPs were quarterbacks Aaron Murray and Hutson Mason. The offensive True Grit Award went to tight end Arthur Lynch. The MVPs on defense were outside linebacker Jarvis Jones and nose guard John Jenkins.
The other awards and their recipients were:
For more on the Bulldogs, head to Dawg Sports, and for more updates on Georgia's offseason, follow SB Nation Atlanta's StoryStream. Also, for all the college football you can handle, head to SB Nation's NCAA football Hub.
The number of finalists for the next Georgia Bulldogs mascot is down to "2 or 3" according to bulldogs breeder Sonny Seiler. The next Uga is going to be announced at Picture Day, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported.
Sonny Seiler says "2 or 3" finalists for next Uga. Plan to announce on Picture Day, unveil at season opener.— AJC UGA (@ajcuga) April 13, 2012
"We hope to present the dog physically at the first home game," Seiler said Friday. "That's what's in the works now. Can it change? Yeah, it can change, but that's all I can tell you now ..."
... "We've got two puppies that are direct line. We're not sure which one or either (will be picked). We might have a third one, but we don't have to make a decision until August."
Uga VIII died in February 2011, only a month after being diagnosed with cancer at about 17 months old. He served as the mascot for just six games.
Malcolm Mitchell (hamstring), QB Faton Bauta (knee), TB Keith Marshall (hammy) are also out. Richard Samuel (concussion) may play.— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) April 12, 2012
Steve Spurrier took an opportunity on Thursday to fire a shot in the direction of Mark Richt and the Georgia Footballprogram. Spurrier when asked about the UGA-South Carolina game being moved to October responded that he liked playing Georgia early because they usually had one or more players suspended. After practice on Thursday Mark Richt got his chance to respond and he did so in typical Mark Richt fashion.
"How about that?" he said. "I think that's funny. That sounds like Steve."
Richt hardly ever stirs up controversy with any comments so it wasn't a big surprise that he laughed off Spurrier's comments. Georgia will play South Carolina on October 6 in 2012 after primarily playing them either first or second for the last several years.
A number of Bulldogs are already facing suspensions to open the season. The team already announced that Sanders Commings is suspended for the first two games of the season and Brandan Smith, Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree are all reportedly facing suspensions but they have yet to be confirmed by the school.
For more on Georgia Football check out Dawg Sports and for more on Steve Spurrier and South Carolina Football drop by Garnet And Black Attack. For more college football news and notes head over to SB Nation's College Football hub.
With transfers and suspensions shaking up the once-solid secondary, the depth-chart battles of spring and summer have taken on added importance in Athens.
As previously rumored, the red team will feature the first-team offense and defensive backups, while the black team will consist of the first-team defensive and offensive backups.
While Keith Marshall and Richard Samuel are doubtful to play, they have been listed on each roster.
Courtesy of Dog Bytes Online, here are the rosters for this year's G-Day game:
No. Name Pos. Class Hgt. Wgt. Hometown
1 Branden Smith DB Sr. 5-11 176 Atlanta, Ga.
2 Parker Welch QB RSo. 6-3 204 Jesup, Ga.
4 Keith Marshall RB Fr. 5-11 202 Raleigh, N.C.
5 Damian Swann DB So. 5-11 177 Atlanta, Ga.
6 Michael Erdman WR RSo. 5-10 191 Merritt Island, Fla.
6 John Jenkins DL Sr. 6-3 351 Meriden, Conn.
7 Greg Bingham QB RSo. 6-4 223 Columbus, Ga.
9 Alec Ogletree ILB Jr. 6-3 236 Newnan, Ga.
9 Curtis Wyatt WR RSo. 6-1 195 Locust Grove, Ga.
10 Faton Bauta QB Fr. 6-3 222 West Palm Beach, Fla.
16 Christian Lemay QB RFr. 6-2 198 Matthews, N.C.
17 Rantavious Wooten WR Jr. 5-10 185 Belle Glade, Fla.
18 Bacarri Rambo DB Sr. 6-0 218 Donalsonville, Ga.
19 Sanders Commings DB Sr. 6-2 217 Augusta, Ga.
20 Brandon Harton RB Jr. 5-6 174 Reidsville, Ga.
23 Alex Parsons RB Jr. 5-10 194 Fayetteville, Ga.
25 Rhett McGowan WR Jr. 6-0 190 Calhoun, Ga.
26 Malcolm Mitchell DB So. 6-1 184 Valdosta, Ga.
29 Jarvis Jones OLB Jr. 6-3 241 Columbus, Ga.
29 Jamal Payette WR RFr. 6-3 183 Cleveland, Ga.
33 Kyle Karempelis RB So. 5-9 180 Roswell, Ga.
33 Chase Vasser OLB Jr. 6-3 227 Gainesville, Ga.
35 Michael Gilliard ILB Sr. 6-2 220 Valdosta, Ga.
35 Chris Young RB Jr. 6-1 230 Hinesville, Ga.
36 Shawn Williams DB Sr. 6-1 220 Damascus, Ga.
37 Devin Bowman DB RFr. 6-0 175 Rossville, Ga.
42 Dustin Royston RB Jr. 5-11 242 Royston, Ga.
45 Ben Mozingo RB Fr. 6-0 225 Alpharetta, Ga.
49 Corey Campbell RB RSo. 5-10 210 Hephzibah, Ga.
55 Ben Reynolds OL Jr. 6-2 255 Bainbridge, Ga.
59 Nathan Theus SP RFr. 6-3 254 Jacksonville, Fla.
63 Xzavier Ward OL RFr. 6-7 264 Moultrie, Ga.
66 Hunter Long OL So. 6-4 300 Memphis, Tenn.
70 Eddie McQuillen OL RFr. 6-8 264 Newnan, Ga.
74 Austin Long OL Jr. 6-5 304 Memphis, Tenn.
76 Zach DeBell OL RFr. 6-6 273 Tarpon Springs, Fla.
77 Caleb Drake OL RFr. 6-1 275 Hogansville Ga.
78 Watts Dantzler OL So. 6-7 310 Dalton, Ga.
79 Mark Beard OL So. 6-5 300 Adamsville, Ala.
81 Taylor Bradberry WR Sr. 6-3 192 Winder, Ga.
83 Cornelius Washington DL Sr. 6-4 269 Hephzibah, Ga.
84 Hugh Williams TE RSo. 6-5 254 Atlanta, Ga.
85 Geoff Rapp TE RFr. 6-3 230 Kennesaw, Ga.
87 Jay Rome TE RFr. 6-6 254 Valdosta, Ga.
89 Daniel Williams TE Fr. 6-2 220 Lawrenceville, Ga.
93 Patrick Beless SP Fr. 5-9 155 Atlanta, Ga.
93 Abry Jones DL Sr. 6-3 309 Warner Robins,Ga.
96 Mike Thornton DL RSo. 6-1 287 Stone Mountain, Ga.
97 Adam Erickson SP RSo. 5-10 168 Athens, Ga.
98 Cody Johnson SP RSo. 6-1 200 Marietta, Ga.
No. Name Pos. Class Hgt. Wgt. Hometown
1 Isaiah Crowell RB So. 5-11 215 Columbus, Ga.
3 Blake Sailors DB Jr. 5-11 186 Athens, Ga.
4 Luis Capella DB Jr. 5-10 176 Augusta, Ga.
5 Ben Shelton QB Fr. 6-1 180 Wayland, Mass.
7 Jesse Jones DB RFr. 6-0 190 Habersham, Ga.
11 Aaron Murray QB Jr. 6-1 211 Tampa, Fla.
11 Connor Norman DB RSo. 5-10 208 Duluth, Ga.
12 Austin Herod DB Jr. 5-10 191 Woodstock, Ga.
12 Tavarres King WR Sr. 6-1 192 Mount Airy, Ga.
14 Hutson Mason QB Jr. 6-3 196 Marietta, Ga.
15 Marlon Brown WR Sr. 6-5 222 Memphis, Tenn.
20 Lucas Redd DB Fr. 6-1 210 Jefferson, Ga.
22 Richard Samuel IV RB Sr. 6-2 243 Cartersville, Ga.
24 Ken Malcome RB RSo. 6-0 226 Decatur, Ga.
25 Marc Deas DB RSo. 6-1 197 Kissimmee, Fla.
27 Greg Mulkey TE RFr. 6-3 230 Fairmount, Ga.
31 Chris Conley WR So. 6-3 202 Dallas, Ga.
32 James Davis RB Fr. 5-11 215 Baronton, Ga.
37 Devin Bowman DB RFr. 6-0 175 Rossville, Ga.
39 Corey Moore DB So. 6-2 207 Griffi n, Ga.
41 Brandon Burrows ILB RSo. 6-3 240 Marietta, Ga.
43 Merritt Hall RB RFr. 5-11 216 Alpharetta, Ga.
43 Quintavious Harrow DB So. 5-11 183 Columbus, Ga.
44 T.J. Stripling OLB Jr. 6-6 222 Decatur, Ga.
44 Drew Wilson TE Jr. 6-2 206 Tignall, Ga.
45 Christian Robinson ILB Sr. 6-2 226 Norcros, Ga.
46 AJ McDonald ILB So. 6-0 240 Suwanee, Ga.
46 Alexander Ogletree RB Jr. 5-10 224 Newnan, Ga.
47 Ray Drew DL So. 6-5 263 Thomasville, Ga.
47 Taylor Maxey RB RFr. 5-10 220 Statham, Ga.
48 Kosta Vavlas ILB RSo. 6-0 219 Tarpon Springs, Fla.
51 Ramik Wilson OLB So. 6-2 224 Tampa, Fla.
52 Amarlo Herrara ILB So. 6-2 231 College Park, Ga.
56 Garrison Smith DL Jr. 6-3 294 Atlanta, Ga.
58 Sterling Bailey DL RFr. 6-3 259 Gainesville, Ga.
60 Wright Gazaway SP RFr. 6-0 240 Buford, Ga.
61 David Andrews OL So. 6-2 280 Norcross, Ga.
64 Dallas Lee OL Jr. 6-4 300 Buford, Ga.
68 Chris Burnette OL Jr. 6-2 313 LaGrange, Ga.
69 Ty Frix SP Sr. 6-0 213 Calhoun, Ga.
72 Kenarious Gates OL Jr. 6-5 328 Grantville, Ga.
75 Kolton Houston OL RSo. 6-5 291 Buford, Ga.
82 Michael Bennett WR RSo. 6-3 208 Alpharetta, Ga.
83 Jack Loonam TE RFr. 6-0 215 Lexington, S.C.
86 Justin Scott-Wesley WR RFr. 5-11 218 Camilla, Ga.
88 Ricky Lowe DL Sr. 6-7 258 Duluth, Ga.
88 Arthur Lynch TE Jr. 6-5 272 Dartmouth, Mass.
90 Ethan Jackson SP RFr. 5-11 182 Sandersville, Ga.
91 Scott Eichler SP Sr. 5-11 184 Oakwood, Ga.
92 Dexter Morant OLB RSo. 6-7 245 Manning, S.C.
95 Reuben Faloughi OLB Jr. 6-5 255 Martinez, Ga.
99 Kwame Geathers DL Jr. 6-6 350 Georgetown, S.C.
99 Jamie Lindley SP Sr. 5-11 177 Savannah, Ga.
For more on the Georgia Bulldogs, be sure to check out Dawg Sports.
Georgia will announce the rosters for this weekend's G-Day spring game Wednesday. Last season the Bulldogs opted to let the players select the teams but this season it will be the coaches who make the call.
Reports indicated on Tuesday that the teams would be split up by the depth chart which would put the first team offense taking on the first team defense and so forth. There was also the indication that some players would make appearances on both teams.
The list of players that are doubtful to play in the game seems to be growing longer by the day. Safety Shawn Williams has already been ruled out with a knee injury and both Keith Marshall and Richard Samuel are doubtful to play due to injury. Malcolm Mitchell joined the doubtful list on Tuesday after he was revealed to be nursing a hamstring injury.
Georgia G-Day game is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET and can be seen live online on ESPN3.
Add wide receiver/corner back Malcom Mitchell to the list of players whose status for the G-Day Game is up in the air. Mitchell has a hamstring injury, according to Seth Emerson.
CB-WR Malcolm Mitchell has a hamstring injury, according to WR coach Tony Ball, who wasn't sure of the severity.— Seth Emerson (@SethEmerson) April 10, 2012
As a freshman last season, Mitchell caught 45 passes for 665 yards and four touchdowns. He had a season-high seven catches for 51 yards in the Outback Bowl against Michigan State. He was named to the SEC All-Freshman Team by the league's coaches.
Mitchell is just the latest player who could be out of or limited in the G-Day Game due to injury. Safety Shawn Williams will miss the game due to a knee injury, running back Keith Marshall could miss the game with a hamstring injury and running back Richard Samuel has been suffering from concussion-like symptoms. The G-Day Game will take place on April 14.
Chip Towers at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Tuesday that Deas will in fact be returning to the school for the upcoming 2012 season and will not look for a transfer. Towers received confirmation from Georgia spokesperson Claude Felton.
The redshirt sophomore hails from Kissimmee, FL. Early assumptions when news of the transfer came out were that Deas would be seeking to move to the Florida Gators, his favorite team for most of his life. If that was indeed Deas' plan, it has been put on hold for the time being.
Deas appeared in three games as a safety in 2011, picking up three tackles. The Bulldogs will almost certainly be showing him more playing time in 2012.
For all news and information regarding the Georgia Bulldogs, please visit Dawg Sports.
Georgia Bulldogs safety/linebacker Shawn Williams is going to be out for Saturday's annual spring game with a knee injury, according to a report from the Athens Banner-Herald. Williams apparently won't need surgery on the bum knee, only time to heel.
#UGA safety Shawn Williams won't play in Saturday's G-Day game due to knee injury. School says again he won't need surgery.— Marc Weiszer (@marcweiszer) April 10, 2012
At the end of last year's spring practice, Williams earned one of team's True Grit Award for defense. Williams played in 14 games and made 13 starts while a team-best 72 tackles in the 2011 season for the Dawgs.
To read more about the Georgia Bulldogs, go to Dawg Sports. For more news, notes and analysis on the Bulldogs offseason, be sure to check out our story stream here. Also, visit the SB Nation NCAA football hub page for updates around college football.
Running back Keith Marshall is a four-star recruit from the 2012 class decided graduated high school early so that he could participate in spring practice with the Georgia. However due to a hamstring injury Marshall has been kept out of practice this past week and the injury is likely to keep him out of Georgia's spring game on Saturday April 14.
Head coach Mark Richt said that the chances of Marshall suiting up for the G-Day game are 'not very good.' Marshall is not the only Georgia running back who may not play in Saturday spring game.
Richard Samuel has been suffering from concussion like symptoms and if he is to play on Saturday Richt said that Samuel will need to be symptom free:
"Once the symptoms are gone, we do some physical exertion. If they're okay on that then we get closer to being able to get in," Richt said. "It's a process. I think Richard felt pretty good today, but I don't know if he's gonna be able to go through that process in enough time to make it for G-Day."
Georgia quarterbacks Aaron Murray and Hutson Mason were both sharp in the second scrimmage of the spring for the Bulldogs on Saturday. Murray and Mason combined to throw for three touchdowns and over 270 yards although the defense did come away with two interceptions.
Murray completed 8 of 13 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown while Mason threw for 151 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The Bulldogs offense had a tough time gaining yards on the ground forcing the offense to go to the air. Ken Malcome was the leading rusher with five carries for 29 yards and Isaiah Crowell added six for 23.
"The offensive line is still being challenged every day," Richt said. "There still wasn't a lot of room to move the football. When the ball did get moved it was moved moreso through the air. The o-line's definitely got a way to go. There's no doubt about that."
Safety Corey Moore was the standout from the scrimmage recording nine tackles and an interception. Moore will see a substantial increase in playing time thanks to the four-game suspension that Bacarri Rambo is facing.
Spring practice is usually about filling holes and settling position battles. With everyone on the LB corps back for 2012, though, the holes are virtually nonexistent, and the position battles are of the win-win variety.
Unlike its competitors, Georgia takes its drug-testing policy seriously. What's the point?
Georgia Bulldogs safety Marc Deas has also made the decision to not play for Georgia in 2012 as he has decided to transfer. The redshirt sophomore safety played in three games during the 2011 season and registered three tackles for head coach Mark Richt's defense.
What's interesting in the transfer of Deas is the fact that he was extremely adamant about his appreciation for Georgia football after he "fell in love" during his recruitment in 2009. A native of Kissimmee, Florida, he even noted that he owned a pair of Florida Gators underwear. After his recruitment, he burned them and swore his allegiance to the Bulldogs. Now, after one full season as a member of the Bulldogs, the safety has decided to take his talents elsewhere.
Rack this up as another case of Georgia just being Georgia, as transfer file out and this roster takes on a new form every day.
For more on the Georgia Bulldogs, head to Dawgs Sports, and for more on the UGA offseason, follow SB Nation's StoryStream. Finally for all the college football news you can handle, head to SB Nation's NCAA Football Hub.
The Clemson Tigers will keep their two-game football series with Georgia, after some doubt caused by the ACC's announcement of a nine-game conference schedule moving forward. A.D. Terry Phillips confirmed the series to the media on Friday:
Clemson AD Terry Don Phillips just told members of the Media that Clemson and Georgia will play football in'13 and '14— Will Vandervort (@steelerwill) March 30, 2012
The ACC announced earlier this year that, pending the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse, the league would move to a nine-game schedule. That clouded the reality of the Tigers' future non-conference series against BCS opponents like Georgia and Ole Miss, because Clemson is locked into an agreement to play in-state foe South Carolina every year.
The 2013 SEC schedule has not yet been determined, as the addition of Texas A&M and Missouri to the league caused officials to create an immediate "one time only" 2012 schedule and then revisit their entire scheduling model pending the coming season.
For more on the Georgia Bulldogs, head over to Dawg Sports. Clemson Tigers news and info can be found at Shakin The Southland, and find all your college football news and info over at SB Nation's college football page.
Georgia Bulldogs defensive end Derrick Lott will not be playing for Georgia in 2012 as he has decided to transfer to a new school. The red shirt junior defensive end missed the entire 2009 season after needing ankle surgery and only appeared in five total games through the 2010 and 2011 seasons.
In 2010 Lott played in only three games and made seven tackles. Four of those tackles were made against SEC rival Vanderbilt. Before the 2011 season, Lott injured his right leg in a scooter accident (yes, a scooter accident). He only played in two games this past season, making three tackles against Coastal Carolina. He is likely looking for a college where he can get on the field more often.
For more on the Georgia Bulldogs, head to Dawgs Sports, and for more on the UGA offseason, follow SB Nation's StoryStream. Finally for all the college football news you can handle, head to SB Nation's NCAA Football Hub.
Georgia safety Bacarri Rambo will appeal his four game suspension for a drug violation, according the Athens Banner-Herald's DogBytes Online, and there's a chance the rising senior will enter the NFL supplemental draft if the suspension isn't overturned.
Rambo was suspended for failing his second drug test as a Bulldog after unknowingly eating pot brownies while on spring break, according to his high school coach. Rambo was also suspended for the 2011 season opener against Boise State.
Rambo is slated to be suspended for four games by UGA - vs. Buffalo, at Missouri, vs. Florida Atlantic and vs. Vanderbilt. The move would hit a defense already depleted by suspension even harder, especially in the secondary. Cornerbacks Branden Smith and Sanders Commings have both been arrested in the offseason, and three players (two DBs) were dismissed from the team in January after their role in a dorm room theft.
Linebacker Alec Ogletree is also facing a suspension of two games, the reason why has not yet been made public.
Mark Richt met with the media Thursday evening following the Bulldogs' spring practice but kept quiet on any potential suspensions to defensive standouts Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree. Before the media session began, UGA and Richt issued a statement regarding team guidelines and policies.
"There is a process we follow regarding team guidelines and policies," the statement from Richt said. "I cannot make any comment until that process has run its course."
That statement didn't deter the reporters on hand who asked right away whether or not Richt could confirm the suspensions. To which Richt replied:
"I can't confirm anything," he said. "I'm just going to be waiting for us to go through our process. When there's something to report, I'll report it to everybody."
According to reports, Bacarri Rambo is appealing a four-game suspension for a failed drug test and Alec Ogletree is facing a two game ban. Reports also suggest that others may also be involved.
The Bulldogs are already facing major issues with their defensive unit with starting DB Sanders Commings having already been suspended for the first two games of the season and fellow corner Brandan Smith facing a likely one-game ban.
In an interview with DogBytesOnline, Alan Ingram, Bacarri Rambo's high school coach, said the Georgia safety's positive drug test is the result of a pot brownie he unknowingly ate during Spring Break:
"Some kids had them that were staying with him and he said he got high," Ingram said. "He thought the things had marijuana in them. He sat there a couple of hours and didn't know what to do. He said he if he turned himself in he'd get a four-game suspension for a second offense."
"He said he was tested five or six times last year and came back clean," Ingram said. "He said, ‘Coach, I'm not stupid. I came back to the University of Georgia to be an All-American two years in a row. I could have went in the NFL.'"
Ingram said his former player was a victim of circumstance, and said Rambo was appealing the suspension and considering entering the NFL's supplemental draft in the summer.
The University of Georgia will now be without four defensive players, all projected to be starters, for the start of the 2012 football season.
The Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer is reporting that safety Bacarri Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree are set to be suspended, with Rambo out for four games for his second violation of the UGA athletics drug policy, according to a source. Ogletree is set to be suspended for a violation of athletic department policies, according to the story, with no specific amount of games set.
The suspensions continue an offseason of trouble for the UGA defense. Projected starting corner Sanders Commings is suspended for the first two games of the 2012 season for a domestic dispute charge, while corner Branden Smith is awaiting his punishment for a marijuana possession arrest. Three other underclassmen were dismissed for their roles in a dormitory theft earlier in the offseason.
The growing pains of Todd Grantham's first year are over. There won't be much in the way of position-battle excitement on the line in 2012, and that's just fine with the Dawgs. (If you're looking for the news on some recent Georgia suspensions, it's over here.)
According to a report by DawgPost.com, both Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree are facing suspensions to start the season that will be for multiple games. When asked about Rambo and Ogletree's possible suspension, Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity declined to comment.
AD Greg McGarity gives UGASports.com a "no comment" when asked if Bacarri Rambo and Alec Ogletree have been suspended per reports.— Anthony Dasher (@AnthonyDasher1) March 29, 2012
The report says that both players will miss at least two games and as many as four for violation of team rules. Losing both players would hurt but it would further weaken a Georgia secondary that will be without Sanders Commings to start the season and likely Brandan Smith. Rambo sat out the season opener last season against Boise State.
The Georgia Bulldogs practiced for the first time this spring in full-pads on Saturday in what was by all accounts a very competitive practice.
So spirited that there was a reported fight between running back Isaiah Crowell and linebacker Alec Ogletree. The defense reportedly held the advantage over the offense again which is to be expected given the depth of returners on that side of the ball. Its conditions like these that linebacker Jarvis Jones says will help the offensive unit once the season begins.
"Our defense being much older than our offense right now, especially up front, our offense is grinding it out. We're making plays. They're getting a bit frustrated. That's what we want. We want to put them in situations, so they can learn and they can improve in those situations."
The offense is working in some newcomers along the offensive front and also has a new starter at tight end. Another key weapon, Malcolm Mitchell is working exclusively on defense this spring in an effort to get acclimated to the cornerback position.
The Bulldogs will continue practice on Tuesday after taking both Sunday and Monday off.
Offensive lineman Max Garcia paid a visit to the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday as he continues to evaluate his options since making the decision to transfer from the Maryland football program.
According to Bulldogs beat writer for the Athens Banner-Herald, Marc Weiszer, Bulldogs wide receiver Rantavious Wooten missed practice on Thursday with an undisclosed injury, while linebacker Ramik Wilson is back at practice.
Marc Weiszer#UGA WR Rantavious Wooten not practicing with undisclosed injury. LB Ramik Wilson is back at practice. 53 minutes ago via web · Reply · Retweet · Favorite · powered by @socialditto
It is speculated that Wooten is not injured at all and has missed practice due to a death in the family. Wilson was not injured either, but missed two straight practices due to a "a personal, private issue," according to head coach Mark Richt, and it had nothing to do with any sort of disciplinary action taken by the university or team.
Cornerback is something of a snakebit proposition at UGA these days. Sanders Commings is suspended for two games in 2012 after his arrest for a domestic dispute, while rising sophomore DBs Nick Marshall and Chris Sanders were dismissed for their involvement in a robbery, and projected starter Branden Smith is still awaiting his team punishment after being arrested for possession of marijuana.
So hey there Malcom Mitchell, wanna play some DB? Great.
"This spring, (Mitchell is) going to work almost exclusively on defense,'' coach Mark Richt said. "He may run a route once in a while, but the goal for him is to be as proficient as a cornerback as he can be and to have enough of a working knowledge so that when we start in camp, he'll have a pretty good feel for the position.''
Mitchell, a receiver in the 2011 season, is being molded to mimic the career of Brandon Boykin, who will enter the NFL Draft this April as a defensive back, despite playing significant time on offense and special teams (he racked up over 1,000 all-purpose yards in '11).
So how's it going early on?
"Terrible,'' Mitchell said with a smile Wednesday night. "I didn't know what they were saying. It sounded like a different language. They were using words I've never heard before.''
They're saying "PLZ DON'T GET ARRESTED, OK? SRSLY."
Three things to keep an eye on as the Dawgs get their spring practice under way -- and take another step toward defending their 2011 SEC East title:
1. Who's going to step up on the offensive line? Here's everything we know about the 2012 Dawgs' O-line: Dallas Lee and Chris Burnette, who started at the guard positions for most of last season, are likely to hold on to starting jobs this season. But things are so up in the air for Will Friend's unit that we're not even sure where they'll be starting -- Chris Burnette could move to center to replace Rimington Award finalist Ben Jones. Meanwhile, Lee's putative backup, Kenarious Gates, could be tapped for the all-important left tackle spot, or it could go to a true freshman (five-star recruit John Theus) for the second time in Richt's tenure. Depth, needless to say, is a concern nearly everywhere. The Dawgs have somehow soldiered through the last couple seasons without needing to dig too deep on the O-line depth chart, but if they want to make it happen again, they're going to have to start answering the big questions now.
2. Can they build some depth in the secondary? The loss of Brandon Boykin notwithstanding, a secondary consisting of Sanders Commings, Branden Smith, Shawn Williams and Bacarri Rambo seemed to leave the Dawgs in pretty good shape heading into 2012. But then the guys behind them started dropping like flies -- safety Jakar Hamilton and cornerback Jordan Love decided to transfer, and less than a month later safeties Nick Marshall and Chris Sanders were dismissed from the team. That's in addition to Commings and Smith serving suspensions for at least the first couple games of the season thanks to run-ins with the law. The situation has gotten so dicey that the coaches said breakout WR Malcolm Mitchell would spend almost all of spring at corner -- not the worst idea, considering how much playing time he saw on defense in high school, but Richt's not going to put one of his top receivers at any greater risk than he has to once the actual games start. Time to take the plastic wrap off 2011 "Dream Team" members Damian Swann, Devin Bowman and Corey Moore to see what they can do, because there's not much of a safety net otherwise.
3. Can Isaiah Crowell become a leader? The crown jewel of the '11 recruiting class got off to a fast start last season but was hobbled by injuries down the stretch (with a one-game suspension thrown in for good measure). And now his margin for error has grown thinner with a pair of blue-chip running backs, Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley, headed to Athens. Mark Richt has said a lot of positive things about Crowell's growth both as a person and a player since his tumultuous rookie season, but it's time for that growth to translate into more consistent production on the field and stronger leadership on the sideline. If it doesn't, both Marshall and Gurley will be given every opportunity to fill the void.
The Georgia Bulldogs completed their second day of spring practice on Tuesday and for the second straight day Ray Drew was working at defensive end instead of his normal outside linebacker spot. From the sounds of things, the move might not be an experiment as Drew is preparing to add weight to be better suited for playing on the defensive line.
"Since I'm going to be playing there no matter what, I would like to put on the weight so that I can hold my own whenever I'm down there. When you get down there closer to the center, you have to be a man to play in the trenches."
Drew was a heralded member of the "Dream Team" recruiting class of 2011 but didn't get that much regular playing time during his freshman season as an outside linebacker. A position switch for Drew could give the Bulldogs another dynamic option as a rusher to go along with a talented linebacker unit. The more playmakers they can get on the field the better.
Sanders Commings won't see jail time from his arrest for domestic dispute and battery following an altercation with his then-girlfriend in downtown Athens January 21. But after the Athens-Clarke County Magistrate Court ruled on his case Tuesday, his punishment from the state of Georgia, the University of Georgia and the Bulldog football team is now complete, and it's lengthy:
When we last saw Isaiah Crowell he was limping off of the Georgia Dome turf with an ankle injury as boos were coming down from the Bulldog faithful. After that day and the signings of two blue chip running back recruits many questioned whether Crowell would be with the Bulldogs by the time that spring practice opened.
Georgia Bulldogs running back Carlton Thomas has decided he wants to transfer to another school. Thomas, who is heading into this fourth season, stated that his decision was based around the fact that this is his last year of eligibility and he wants to find a place where he can have a bigger impact.
Thomas is one of seven Bulldogs running backs to carry the ball in the 2011 season. Most of the snaps went to freshman Isaiah Crowell, who had 185 carries for 850 yards, and Thomas had more carries (73) than anybody else except for junior Richard Samuel (82) and had 361 yards.
The 5-foot-7, 163-pound running back is looking for a place where he can be one of the main running backs in his final year of eligibility. However, the school that he will be transferring to has not yet been specified.
The Georgia Bulldogs begin spring football Tuesday, looking for a couple or so offensive lineman and like an entire secondary. Other than that, smooth sailing is expected, which is usually when the Athens Police Department conducts its dark work.
The Dawgs return 15 starters, including nine on Todd Grantham's top-five nationally ranked defense, but attrition has struck the defensive backfield hard. If the front seven can make up ground while the rest gets sorted out, the Dawgs will be deadly again. Brandon Boykin is gone, but Jarvis Jones and others elected to return. Even if Malcolm Mitchell ends up having to play some cornerback, this is going to be a good defense.
On offense, Georgia's without three starting offensive linemen, including possible first-round draft pick Cordy Glenn and anchor Ben Jones. The loss of Aaron Murray's favorite target, Orson Charles, will also hurt. But the offseason chatter around Isaiah Crowell suggests Georgia could get back to its power run-first tradition.
Both Grantham and Mark Richt return with fresh contracts.
Georgia will practice 15 times over the next four weeks. The G-Day Spring Game is set for April 14 at 3 p.m. ET. A special Charley Trippi Day will be held the day before, honoring Georgia's first Heisman Trophy winner and one of the best college players of all time.
Georgia has a lot of holes to fill on the offensive line and some promising young talent to fill it -- but do they have enough?
Georgia's locked up Mark Richt and Todd Grantham for the next few seasons after a successful 2011.
Branden Smith, Georgia's other likely starting cornerback, has now also been arrested.
We have a good idea who the major contributors will be at wide receiver, but a battle is brewing at the tight end position for 2012.
Heading into the 2011 season there was a lot of talk about UGA Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt being on the hot seat and how he could be fired if the Bulldogs had another bad year, but a 10-3 regular season record and an extremely close loss to the Michigan State Spartans in the Outback Bowl seems to have Richt back in safe territory.
Quarterback Aaron Murray said in a recent interview on Macon.com that hearing about his coach being on the hot seat added some pressure to the team before the 2011 season but now that the Richt's job seems safe, everything is a bit more relaxed.
"One less thing to worry about," Murray said. "Last year the whole talk was you don't get to the SEC championship game, you don't win 10 games, blah blah blah, coach Richt's gonna be fired. I know we don't talk about it too much, everybody on the team felt like hey we don't want coach Richt to leave, we love coach Richt, we love the rest of the coaches here.
"It was stressful, I think not only for us but the coaches. So I think this year everybody's a little bit more (like) relax, let's just go out there and play. I don't think anyone's on the hot seat or worrying about that."
The Bulldogs' 2011 season was a big turnaround for the team who finished the 2010 season with a 6-7 record. If the team really is more relaxed heading into the 2012 season due to their head coach's status, they could be in for another solid year in Athens.
In an interview with reporters Thursday morning, WR Malcolm Mitchell made a series of revealing comments about fellow freshman Isaiah Crowell and the burden of expectations he faced coming into Georgia as one of the most hyped recruits in the last decade:
"The person I've been most impressed with and the person and everyone who I think has been wrongly scrutinized the whole year was Isaiah. You ask these high expectations out of a kid who's 18 years old, it's such a different game than high school. Let's face it, he had instant success and people were so demanding of his savior, this idea of `Oh, the next Herschel.' That's just unfairly suited to him.
Of course, as Crowell will soon find out, all that really matters in terms of how fans perceive him is how he performs on the football field next season.
For the latest off-season news and analysis on Georgia football, head over to Dawg Sports.
If competition improves the breed, Georgia's looking at a very well-bred RB corps in 2012.
As talk swirls among SEC administrators, school president, coaches and a whole lot of fans about the future of football scheduling, the first of a series of meetings will be held this week in Nashville to discuss the future of the new 14-team SEC and the likelihood that "permanent" cross-division opponents will survive.
That's minor news for most schools - no one would miss annual "rivalries" like Mississippi State vs. Kentucky, Arkansas vs. South Carolina, Ole Miss vs. Vanderbilt and even the impressive (but history-free) LSU and Florida series. Where it's a REALLY big deal is among four schools who hold two rivalries to be sacred: Alabama vs. Tennessee, and Auburn vs. Georgia, the Deep South's oldest football rivalry.
The Chattanooga Time Free Press profiles the potential changes facing SEC football, and the battle ahead to either modify or scrap a format that could end annual games between the Tigers and Bulldogs. Says Georgia's Greg McGarity:
"At some point, does the conference make a statement preserving the historical pieces?" said McGarity, who spent 18 years in Florida's athletic department before becoming Georgia's AD in 2010. "I hope that there will be a level of concern and compassion for those two rivalry games. The Florida-LSU rivalry is not a big deal, so the worry there is that it would be a 10-4 vote."
The Dawgs bounced back part of the way in 2011. Now, with spring practice on the horizon and another class of blue-chippers headed to Athens, it's time to see whether the table has been set for another leap in 2012.
The ongoing Danny O'Brien subplot has an interesting wrinkle for Georgia: offensive lineman Maryland's Max Garcia, one of the many other now-former Terrapins fleeing the Randy Edsall regime in College Park, was considering UGA as a potential landing spot when Edsall blocked Vanderbilt as a destination for any Maryland transfers.
The thinking (if you can even call it that on Edsall's part) was that former Terps offensive coordinator and current Commodores head coach James Franklin, who coached Garcia, O'Brien and others, was illegally contacting Maryland players and encouraging them to jump ship. Vanderbilt maintained Franklin did no such thing, and after much public debate, Edsall and Maryland are allowing O'Brien, Garcia and linebacker Mario Rowson to become Commodores if they'd like.
That likely hurts Georgia's chances to get Garcia, the Norcross, Georgia native and sophomore offensive lineman (he's served primarily as a left tackle) who started 12 games last season. Garcia told the AJC he wanted to be closer to home initially. Georgia was among Garcia's finalists when he was recruited out of high school, but his final three were Maryland, Clemson and Vanderbilt. With Garcia's familiarity with Franklin and a clearance to head to Nashville, UGA's chances could be slim again.
Former Maryland Terrapins offensive lineman Max Garcia was initially linked to sign with the Georgia Bulldogs following his transfer earlier this week. However, there is now a second player in the discussion for Garcia, as the Florida Gators have stepped in and also offered Garcia a scholarship. Garcia has also received offers from Auburn and Ole Miss, plus Alabama and South Carolina are currently evaluating the offensive lineman for a potential offer.
Safe to say Garcia has plenty of suitors for his services.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt is in desperate need of offensive line personnel, and adding a potential NFL prospect to his front line would do wonders for current players like Aaron Murray and Isaiah Crowell.
Garcia won't be able to play in this 2012 season under NCAA transfer guidelines, but will have two years eligibility remaining. Garcia will finish out his last semester in College Park and will begin lining up official visits in the next couple of weeks.
For more updates on Max Garcia, check out the SB Nation DC storystream. For more on the Georgia Bulldogs, check out Dawg Sports. For college football news from around the country, go to SB Nation's college football news hub.
The Georgia Bulldogs were looking forward to their 2012 campaign with promise as a trip to the SEC Championship in their rear-view mirror and a strong recruiting class coming in inspired hope across the Bulldogs fanbase. However, that hope and optimism could be dashed with receivers running deep bombs, slants and fade routes on their depleted secondary.
Mark Richt does have a potential cornerback option on his roster, however it happens to be his leading wide receiver.
Malcolm Mitchell, the team’s leading receiver as a freshman, could end up playing some cornerback in 2012. Mitchell was considered a cornerback prospect out of Valdosta High School before ultimately committing to Georgia as a wide receiver. Per the Bulldogs beat writer Seth Emerson, it seems that Richt and Mitchell have discussed the possibility.
"You know, I don’t think he’s gonna give up playing wide receiver," Richt said. "But if we need him over there at cornerback we’ll rev him up and see what he can do."
Sanders Commings was projected to start at one of the cornerback positions but was suspended for the first two games of the season after his arrest on January 21st.
The Georgia Bulldogs will be without the services of senior cornerback Sanders Commings for the first two games of the 2012 football season, the school announced. Commings was arrested back on January 21st on charges of domestic violence and simple battery after allegedly striking his girlfriend in downtown Athens.
Commings was then investigated by the University's office of student conduct as Commings then-girlfriend is also a student at the University of Georgia. Commings suspension of two games was intended to be announced prior to his March 22nd arraignment date.
From a football perspective, the Bulldogs will be severely thin to start out the season. Commings was looking to take on a bigger role in the defense by taking Brandon Boykin's top spot at cornerback. Two underclassmen, Nick Marshall and Chris Sanders, were dismissed for a violation of team rules (thought to be stealing money and possessions from another player).
Georgia's first two games are at home versus the Buffalo Bulls, then a road test versus the Missouri Tigers in their first SEC conference game. You may have heard Mizzou recently upgraded its receiver talent.
Thomas Brown left the field as a player for the University of Georgia just five years ago, but is already beginning his college coaching career. The former UGA running back will leave his current position as a strength and conditioning assistant for the Bulldogs to become the running backs coach at Tennessee-Chattanooga, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.
Brown will officially be announced by UTC on Wednesday, according to the report. Brown joined the UGA staff last winter after ending a brief NFL career with the Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons. He rushed for 2,646 yards and 23 touchdowns from 2004 to 2007, and was drafted in the sixth round by the Falcons in 2008. He spent his time in Atlanta on the injured reserve list before being cut and landing with the Browns.
Noted college sports oddsmaker and amateur investigative reporter Danny Sheridan has posted his odds for the 2012 Heisman race, which is predictably filled with big-name returning quarterbacks at contending schools. Among those gunslingers? Why, none other than Aaron Murray!
Murray threw for 3,149 yards and 35 touchdowns last season, pushing the Bulldogs from a quagmire at 0-2 to SEC Eastern Division Champions on a ten game winning streak before losing the conference championship to LSU and the Capital One Bowl to Michigan State.
Joining Murray on Sheridan's early odds sheet are SEC neighbors Marcus Lattimore of South Carolina and Tyler Wilson of Arkansas, but the favorites entering the season will come from outside of the Mason-Dixon: USC quarterback Matt Barkley and WIsconsin running back Montee Ball are Sheridan's favorites, at 5:1.
Since Randy Edsall took over as the head coach of the Maryland Terrapins football program, the school has witnessed a mass exodus of players who appear unwilling to serve under the coach. SBNation.com's coverage notes that a total of 12 players have transferred away from Maryland to date.
One of those player departing the Terps is Georgia native Max Garcia, a 290-pound offensive tackle who hails from Georgia. Michael Carvell of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt is seriously pursuing Garcia. The Florida Gators are also reported to be expressing interest.
Carvell relayed the following comments from Garcia:I'm definitely excited about Georgia being interested in me, and my mother is really happy about it as well. I've always considered Georgia since high school. It just never really worked out the first time around. They liked me out of high school. They just wanted me to go to a summer camp, and I was never able to make it up there.
I'd definitely consider committing. Being so close to home, it would be a great opportunity for me. I'm also going to open it up to other interested schools. I want to try to find the best situation for me - as far as being close to home, with what I want to study and how much offensive line depth there is.
Garcia would have to sit out the 2012 season if he transferred to Georgia, but will have two years of eligibility following that. The Dawgs have opportunities on the offensive line in the near future, with two likely higher draft picks leaving this year.
Georgia cornerback and rising senior Sanders Commings is facing disciplinary action from the University of Georgia as well as the Clarke County court system, according to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Commings was arrested in the late evening of January 21 on charges of domestic violence and simple battery after allegedly striking his girlfriend in downtown Athens. He'll also face an investigation by the University's office of student conduct, according to the AJC. The alleged victim is also a student at the University of Georgia, and it's expected that Commings will face a judgement and a possible punishment - including expulsion - by the University before his March 22 arraignment:
According to documents obtained by the AJC through a Freedom of Information Act request, the incident is being investigated as a possible violation of UGA conduct regulation 3.3 for "physical abuse." Commings was informed via an intra-campus letter from Stevens dated Jan. 23 that he is under investigation for "physical abuse, physical intimidation, coercion, and/or other conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of another person or violates a legal protective order."
The AJC report mentions that former UGA football player Jeremy Longo was among those who gave a statement to university officials that Commings did not strike the accused victim.
Without Commings, the Bulldogs' depth in the secondary could be incredibly thin heading into the 2012 season. Commings was considered a starter for next season, and despite returning Bacari Rambo, the Bulldogs lose Brandon Boykin to the NFL Draft, as well as two underclassmen, Nick Marshall and Chris Sanders, who were dismissed for a violation of team rules (thought to be stealing money and possessions from another player). Both were expected to compete for playing time at corner.
Dismissed former Bulldogs defensive back Chris Sanders is headed to Georgia Military College for the next six months and has an eye on an eventual return to Athens. Sanders was dismissed from the team last week along with teammates Nick Marshall and Sanford Seay.
What led to Sanders' dismissal seems to be unrelated to that of Marshall and Seay and at least on the surface, it seems possible that he could find his way back to Athens once his stint at GMC is over.
"Of course Coach Richt was disappointed," Sanders said of his infraction. "He asked me what happened, and I explained to him what happened. Of course he felt bad, and I felt bad. But I was honest with him."
Mark Richt hasn't said one way or the other whether or not Sanders would be welcomed back to the program but it wouldn't be the first time that a player ended up at GMC and then returned to the Bulldogs. Former standout linebacker Odell Thurman went on to good two-year career with the Bulldogs after a stint at GMC.
The Georgia secondary took a huge hit when head coach Mark Richt dismissed three players - two defensive backs - from the 2011 signing class - but now one former Bulldog corner will have a shot a quarterback in junior college. Nick Marshall will transfer to Garden City Community College in Kansas, according to a report by Albany, Georgia's WALB TV.
The report quotes Marshall's high school coach, Wilcox County's Mark Ledford, that Marshall will get a shot to play quarterback at Garden City, a position he played in high school. The departure of Marshall and fellow DB Chris Sanders will create depth concerns for the Bulldogs, who return 10 starters on defense but lose corner and return specialist Brandon Boykin to the NFL Draft. Starting corner Sanders Commings might be facing a suspension after his arrest on domestic violence charges.
The University of Georgia and its head football coach Mark Richt are reportedly closing in on a contract extension. The school's athletic board met on Wednesday and discussed Richt's potential deal in executive session. According to university president Michael Adams the two sides are "pretty close" on the new deal and only have minor details remaining to work out.
"We needed to tell the board where we were," Adams said. "It's an important matter. We believe in our football coach and we think he's going to be here a good while."
Its a great turn of events for Richt who was under fire at the start of the season after the Bulldogs suffered through a disappointing 2010 season and started 2011 campaign with losses to Boise State and South Carolina. However, Richt helped engineer a 10 game winning streak and two straight strong recruiting efforts has the optimism returning to Athens.
The Georgia Bulldogs could possibly add a late addition to its 2012 signing class and is reportedly taking a closer look at track star Mario Alford of Georgia Military College. Alford would be listed as an athlete at Georgia and according to Rusty Mansell of 247Sports, could end up playing anywhere from wide receiver, the defensive secondary, or maybe even the offensive backfield.
Alford was recruited for his speed as he won the state title in the 100 meters as a junior with a time of 10.77 seconds. He didn't sign with any college because he ended up qualifying late and enrolled at Georgia Military where he was one of its key players this season.
For now Georgia is still only scouting Alford but may decide to extend an offer due to the loss of two defensive backs in Nick Marshall and Chris Sanders along with wide receiver Sanford Seay. There was an earlier report that at least part of the dismissed players could end up at Georgia Military College after being dismissed from Georgia. If that works out and the Bulldogs grab Alford it would set up an unintentional trade of talent between the two schools.
Three University of Georgia freshman football players have been dismissed from the football team for a "violation of team rules," according to a statement released by the university. Freshman defensive back Chris Sanders from Tucker, Georgia, is the third named player to be dismissed.
As previously reported, freshman cornerback Nick Marshall and freshman wide receiver Sanford Seay were let go from the team. Fox5 in Atlanta reported that the pair was dismissed for their role in the theft of $500 worth of money and valuables from another Georgia player. The Athens Banner-Herald is reporting that Sanders' dismissal may or may not be related to this incident, or stem from unrelated circumstances.
Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt released the following statement:
"It’s a privilege to play college football and to be a part of this team and University. Along with that privilege comes certain responsibilities. Mistakes were made and part of our job is helping them learn from mistakes. Going forward, we are committed to assisting them find opportunities where they can continue their education."
Sanders played in three games as a true freshman in the 2011 season, recording tackles against Coastal Carolina and Boise State. Of the three freshmen, Marshall saw the most time at Georgia, playing in 13 games last season, while Seay was redshirted and unlikely to see much (if any) time at receiver in 2012.
Multiple reports indicate that two of Georgia's 2011 "dream team" recruits have been or will be dismissed from the team for theft.
Georgia's 2012 football recruiting class finished National Signing Day as a fitting bookend to their wildly successful 2011 installment (don't forget that campaign to fire head coach Mark Richt and a SEC Eastern Division title sammich'd in between, no less!), with a Top 10 finish in SB Nation's final tally.
The SB Nation recruiting class ranking is an average of the four major recruiting services' rankings (Rivals, Scout, 24/7 and ESPN). Based on those numbers, the Bulldogs' class of 19 overall commitments finished 10th nationally, making them one of only two teams (No. 5 Florida State also had 19 commits) in the Top 10 with under 20 new players. The Bulldogs' final evaluation also deferred wildly from service to service (possibly because of the low total of players causing skewed averages?): Georgia was as high as No. 5 (ESPN) and as low as No. 19 (Rivals).
The best news for Bulldog fans is that the class finished third in the SEC, and second in the Eastern Division (Alabama was No. 1, and Florida was a strong No. 3, despite losing the Josh Harvey-Clemons battle to the Dawgs). Division rivals South Carolina (No. 16) and Tennessee (No. 20), rounded out the SEC East, trailing the SEC West by one team (Bama, LSU, Texas A&M, Auburn and Mississippi State all placed in the Top 25).
For a complete look at the National Signing Day ranking, click here.
Josh Harvey-Clemons is signed, sealed and presumably delivered to the University of Georgia. According to multiple reports, the letter of intent for Harvey-Clemons to play for UGA was sent university officials Thursday morning, ending a day-long issue in which the player's grandfather had refused to sign off on the Bulldogs.
According to a report by ESPN, there was confusion within the family as to Harvey-Clemons' final choice, and the grandfather, Woodrow Clemons, wanted to avoid a situation similar to the one at Alabama with Landon Collins:
"We are going to sit down as a family Sunday afternoon or Monday evening and talk it out, " the elder Clemons said. "The aunts and cousins will give him their viewpoints. And then me and my wife and Josh will sit down Tuesday evening and finalize everything, so there won't be no last-minute thing like the guy did at Alabama. There won't be an incident like that. We are going to be on the same page. However he chooses, we are going to support it."
Harvey-Clemons, an outside linebacker from Valdosta, is the rated as the second best linebacker prospect in the entire nation by Rivals.com.
The full rundown on the follow-up to Georgia's "Dream Team" -- including the big fish who's on the hook but not yet in the boat.
Update: Good news! The big fish came in.
Starting Georgia Bulldogs senior cornerback Sanders Commings was arrested over the weekend for allegedly striking a female with whom he's in some sort of a relationship. More details have come forth, with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution uncovering that this likely isn't Commings' first tangle with the law in this regard.
According to the report, police checked a box indicating the alleged victim has raised between one and five previous complaints against Commings.
Georgia has yet to reveal any disciplinary responses to Commings' arrest. Mark Richt has said he's looking into the matter.
Commings, who has played in every game but one in the past three seasons, recorded a team-best 12 pass breakups in 2011, and finished fourth on the team with 55 tackles. The Augusta, GA native is a former three-star recruit for the Bulldogs and one of ten expected returning starters on the Georgia defense for 2012.
For more on the Dawgs, visit Georgia blog Dawg Sports.
Further details have emerged surrounding the arrest of Univeristy of Georgia starting CB Sanders Commings on domestic violence charges early Saturday morning.
According to a report by Marc Weiszer from the Athens Banner-Herald, police responded shortly after 1 a.m. on Saturday morning following a sidewalk confrontation between Commings and his girlfriend.
While bystanders attempted to separate the two, Commings is alleged to have struck his girlfriend in the face.
Commings was eventually arrested shortly after 7 a.m. on Saturday morning, and is being held in jail until bond conditions have been established. He may be kept overnight if a judge is unable to decide on the conditions until Sunday morning.
The Bulldogs have yet to issue any statements regarding the arrest, and police are withholding details of potential injuries suffered by Commings girlfriend.
Commings is a senior-to-be for Georgia, and started every game last season. He tallied one interception and a team best 12 pass breakups.
Bulldogs starting CB Sanders Commings has been arrested on charges of domestic violence early Saturday morning. He is believed to have physically struck a woman he is in a relationship with.
With most of the SEC East rebuilding and Georgia Tech falling into the others receiving votes category, the Bulldogs play only one regular season game against a team rated in the top 25.
At a Friday afternoon press conference, a beaming Mark Richt announced his entire junior class is returning for another year with the Georgia Bulldogs, save tight end Orson Charles, who has a chance to be drafted in the second round. That's not a surprise, as linebacker Jarvis Jones and others have already made it known they'll stay, and there have been reports of returns for others.
But still! As Doug Gillett detailed this morning, it's not often a team as talented as Georgia gets to return so much talent that could be cashing in. Combine that with a rising recruiting class and a relatively squishy schedule, and expectations are only going to keep going up for the 2012 Dawgs.
Richt also confirmed quarterback Hutson Mason will stick around instead of transferring. Mason told the Marietta Daily Journal he plans to redshirt in 2012, setting up a chance to take over once Aaron Murray moves along.
Hutson Mason, a highly-touted QB recruit from Marietta, has decided not to transfer in an effort to get more playing time.
The 6'3 195 QB was supposed to take a redshirt year as a true freshman in 2010, but that changed when Zach Mettenberger was kicked off for a violation of team rules and Logan Gray was moved to WR.
As a sophomore, he was Aaron Murray's back-up last season, completing 18-30 passes for 254 yards and 2 TD's.
But with Murray firmly entrenched as the starter, and with possibly two years of eligibility remaining, Mason was facing the possibility of never having a chance to become a collegiate starter if he stayed at Athens.
But instead of transferring, he'll take a redshirt year next season, which would at least give him the chance to start in 2014 if Murray stays all four years at Georgia.
Mason's decision means that Christian Lemay, another highly-touted QB who red-shirted last season, will probably be in line to become Murray's backup as a redshirt freshman in 2012.
For the latest news and notes on Georgia football, head over to Dawg Sports.
Who's going, who's staying, and where that leaves the Bulldogs as they attempt to capitalize on the momentum of a breakout season.
The Falcons do not have the personnel to run a 3-4, they don't have the draft picks or cap room to make the transition, and they would annoy a good portion of their fan base by hiring away Georgia's defensive coordinator. Other than that, the move would've made perfect sense.
Georgia got a little more good news regarding the NFL Draft when safety Shawn Williams confirmed that he was returning to school for his senior season. Williams stated that he was happy that defensive coordinator Todd Grantham was staying and that he wants to be an All-American next season.
#UGA S Shawn Williams said he’s returning for senior season: "I’ll be back to be an All-American." Says he's happy Grantham plans to stay.— Marc Weiszer (@marcweiszer) January 12, 2012
Williams played in all 14 games as a junior in 2011 and finished with 72 total tackles and four interceptions. His return combined with the return of Bacarri Rambo should give the Bulldogs one of the best safety tandems in the country next season.
Georgia's defense made big strides in the second year under defensive coordinator Todd Grantham. His return for year three as well as the return of players like Rambo and Williams should have Georgia highly ranked going into next season.
Let's just face it, friends: the 2012 Georgia Bulldogs defense is going to be nasty*. With Jarvis Jones and John Jenkins already set to return to a unit that was already among the five best in the nation, let's add free safety Bacarri Rambo, according to Zach Klein:
Rambo was named to multiple All-America and All-SEC teams after leading the SEC in interceptions. He also has the sort of name that inspires people to talk about what a great name he has even though he's been around for three years now.
There are key contributors among Georgia's departing seniors, but the defense, which will be entering its third year under Todd Grantham, should be outstanding.
* Unless those Grantham-to-Falcons rumors come true. Then the state will merely consume itself in a tiny and strange civil war.
It's been reported for quite some time now that Georgia Bulldogs tight end Orson Charles will leave school early and enter the 2012 NFL Draft. Wednesday, he confirmed the news, saying he's met all of his goals as a college player.
Charles is expected to be drafted in the second or third round. He was a Mackey Award finalist in 2011.
This leaves linebacker Cornelius Washington and safety Bacarri Rambo as the only Dawgs left to make up their minds, as far as one can tell. Star defenders Jarvis Jones and John Jenkins, along with Murray, have made it clear they'll return. All this returning talent is one reason Georgia's showing up very well-ranked on preseason top 25 lists.
The All-American is currently projected as a second-rounder and one of the best TE's available in the 2012 NFL Draft.
The finishing touches have been put on the NCAA football season with the crowning of a national champion. The final word on college football rankings was given on Tuesday with the release of the final polls and standings.
The Georgia Bulldogs were one of five SEC teams to finish in the top 25 in the final AP poll, which comes to us courtesy of Sports Illustrated, but they were the only SEC team to make the list and not appear in the final top 10. After dropping a tough overtime loss in the Outback Bowl to Michigan State, the Bulldogs slipped in the final poll, although only down one slot from their previous No. 18 ranking.
SEC competitors Alabama, LSU and Arkansas placed at Nos. 1, 2 and 5 respectively. South Carolina clocked in at No. 9, up from No. 10 in the previous AP poll.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets received no AP top 25 votes in the final poll.
Unlike our last bowl meeting with Michigan State, nobody gets to come out of this one feeling good about themselves. If that's what it takes to motivate us to do better, then so be it.
The Bulldogs could return as many as 18 starters from the 2011 season as expectations begin for 2012.
Mark Richt made an indefensible decision in the overtime period against Michigan State. How much weight should we give to that mistake in evaluating Richt?
After a lackluster 2010 season, Mark Richt helped guide the Bulldogs to a 10 win season in 2011 culminating in an appearance in the SEC Championship game and a trip to the Outback Bowl. Richt was recently asked about criticisms he routinely receives from inside his own state about his program and and how he handles them.
Richt offered a well thought out answer to the question and added a nugget promising bigger and better things for the Bulldogs program in the future.
"As the leader of the program if I act like I'm fretting or if I act like I'm mad at something, it doesn't help the staff, it doesn't help the players, it doesn't help recruiting. It doesn't help anything. I know the University of Georgia is a great place to be. We've got tremendous facilities, great support from our fans, great support from our administration. We've got a bunch of coaches that know what we're doing."
Then he added this: "We're going to be knocking on the door of the greatest success that you can have in college football. If we keep knocking hard enough, one day we'll get there. That's kind of how I see it."
With a young nucleus intact, Richt appears justified in his future claims about the program and where it is going.
With the Georgia Bulldogs making a trip to new SEC member Missouri next season, senior TE Aron White, a native of Columbia, had nothing but nice things to say about his home town:
"They’re both college towns, both centered around the university," White said. "That’s one of the reasons I came here is because there are so many similarities between the two, and I felt like I was in a little Columbia when I came out here."
"If Columbia is more big-time than Athens, then Stanford is more big-time than Faurot," White said. "I love Faurot Field. I loved buying a general admission ticket and sitting on the hill. They’ve done a lot for their program over the last 10 years as far as building it up and making their facilities top-notch."
And while the rabid fan bases as well as the huge lineman of the SEC may surprise the Tigers, their wide-open Big 12 spread offense will be a culture shock as well:
"The SEC is known for its speed and its size. With that speed, I think that up front in the trenches is where they’re going to have to have the biggest adjustment, because I don’t think they’re gonna see a lot of guys that are running 4.6es that are 300 pounds," White said. "But at the same time it’s gonna be an adjustment for us because they’re gonna spread it out, they’re gonna sling it, that’s what they do."
Georgia's most notable schedule modification for the 2012 slate - dropping a road game at BCS Championship contender Alabama for 7-6 newcomer Missouri - is being met with a chorus of derision from critics who point out the Bulldogs' history of lucky breaks:
MT @TomahawkNation: By the end of 2012, UGA will have played 22 consecutive regular season SEC games without facing Arkansas, Bama or LSU— @AlligatorArmy via Twitter
Instead of potentially dropping a home game with Ole Miss, the Dawgs surrendered a road trip to Alabama to help Missouri open their SEC era in Columbia, Missouri. That move alone gives UGA the easiest of the 14 SEC schedules in 2012, according to SB Nation's college football analyst Bill C.
That's not sitting well in Columbia, South Carolina, considering the Gamecocks came up a game short in the Eastern Division standings this season despite beating Georgia in September. Aside from the seemingly beneficial Mizzou/Bama swap, the biggest change on the Dawgs' slate is a midseason meeting with those Gamecocks: Traditionally played the second Saturday of October, the UGA/USC game is moving to October 6.
The SEC officially unveiled their expansion-modified 2012 football schedule this morning, and the biggest changes for the University of Georgia might bolster their chances at repeating as SEC Eastern Division Champions.
The Bulldogs will trade SEC West opponent Alabama for another game against the SEC East in newcomer Missouri. Georgia will be the Tigers' first official conference game in Columbia September 8. The Dawgs will play their usual slate of Eastern opponents (hosting Vandy and Tennessee, at South Carolina and Kentucky, playing Florida in Jacksonville) and will retain Ole Miss as scheduled:
Sept. 8: at Missouri
Sept. 22: VANDERBILT
Sept. 29: TENNESSEE
Oct. 6: at South Carolina
Oct. 20: at Kentucky
Oct. 27: vs. Florida (Jacksonville)
Nov. 3: OLE MISS
Nov. 10: at Auburn
It's been murmured for some time now that the Georgia Bulldogs will both duck the Alabama Crimson Tide for the Missouri Tigers and get the South Carolina Gamecocks game budged to October, all of which should delight any Dawgs fan, trouble South Carolina fans and annoy just about everybody else. After winning the SEC East with one of the easiest schedules any SEC Championship Game participant has ever put together, UGA could have an even easier slate in 2012.
Nothing's official yet, as conference schedules may be delayed yet another day, but Seth Emerson of the Macon Telegraph puts it all together, and comes up with a very plausible 2012 schedule:
- Sept. 1: Buffalo
- Sept. 8: at Missouri
- Sept. 15: Florida Atlantic
- Sept. 22: Vanderbilt
- Sept. 29: Tennessee
- Oct. 6: at South Carolina
- Oct. 13: at Kentucky
- Oct. 20: Open
- Oct. 27: vs. Florida in Jacksonville
- Nov. 3: Ole Miss
- Nov. 10: at Auburn
- Nov. 17: Georgia Southern
- Nov. 24: Georgia Tech
Considering the Auburn Tigers' losses, count as Georgia's toughest opponents Mizzou, Vandy, South Carolina likely minus Alshon Jeffery, the Florida Gators with who-knows-who at offensive coordinator, and a Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets team that will be preceded by a nearly identical warmup team. Masterful.
Even if you take into account a down year for the SEC's offenses, Georgia's performance on defense in 2011 was extraordinary.
The Georgia Bulldogs won't play the Alabama Crimson Tide next year, replacing them with the newcomer Missouri Tigers, ESPN's Chris Low reports along with various other nuggets. In addition, UGA's game against the South Carolina Gamecocks -- traditionally the SEC opener for each -- will reportedly be bumped to October.
Both adjustments had been expected, and have already proven quite unpopular with South Carolina fans, who prize the game's customary slot in the SEC schedule.
South Carolina fans are understandably incensed that the Dawgs, fresh off the easiest SEC schedule in modern memory, somehow managed to twist the expansion process to produce an even easier schedule in 2012.
That would leave the Dawgs with the Mississippi Rebels as their West opponent, besides protected rival Auburn. Looks like two straight years of agreeable scheduling for the Dawgs, if all reports are accurate, as Georgia would both get to prep for South Carolina and miss playing Bama.
According to a report, Georgia will lose its 2012 match up against Alabama in favor of a match up with SEC newcomer Missouri.
Could Aaron Murray's backup be leaving Athens? The Marietta native is considering a transfer out of UGA for a shot at starting.
He may not have posted the eye-popping stats of 2010, but Murray deserves credit for keeping it together with his receiving corps in major rebuilding mode.
Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that despite denials he's planning to leave the University of Georgia early, All-SEC tight end Orson Charles will seek a draft evaluation along with his teammates.
Joining Charles in seeking a draft evaluation - which does not constitute an official declaration, and does not hinder a student athlete from returning to college - is junior safety Bacarri Rambo and yes, even redshirt sophomore quarterback Aaron Murray, who the AJC reports "isn't seriously considering" a jump to the NFL.
Rambo, a first-team Associated Press All-America selection, said he would wait until after the bowl game to decided if he would return for his senior season. Georgia's other All-America defender, linebacker Jarvis Jones, has stated emphatically he will return for the 2012 season.
Of the players filing for evaluations, Charles seems to be the most serious about a potential declaration:
"To tell you the truth, I'm blessed to have a decision in the first place," he said. "I grew up just hoping to have a decision like this. It's really going to come down to what the Lord wants me to do. I'm going to pray about it, talk to my family and definitely wait until after the Michigan State game, and take it from there."
Draft-eligible players have until January 15 to submit paperwork to officially declare for the NFL Draft, and until January 18 to withdraw.
The Dawgs could get the first chance at testing the SEC-worthiness of Columbia, Missouri and the Tigers on the 2012 SEC football schedule.
And, yep, here we go. After a spate of rumors that the Texas A&M Aggies think they have a chance at drawing Georgia Bulldogs coach Mark Richt out of Athens, athletic director Greg McGarity says it's time to discuss a contract extension for Richt:
"Mark and I, we discussed for the first time today, moving forward," McGarity said Friday morning. "We've started that discussion, and I'm sure we'll talk further. We didn't have a lot of time today since he's got a huge (recruiting) weekend.
Many had presumed a contract extension would follow UGA's SEC East title run. Richt's name has been attached to a pair of other coaching searches, A&Ms' and Penn State's, both of which have seemed quite farfetched.
Richt has two years left on his current deal. He's currently the 10th highest-paid coach in the nation, making nearly $1 million more than Mike Sherman made in College Station.
So, yeah, there are rumors that Georgia Bulldogs coach Mark Richt could leave for Texas A&M. He quite positively won't do such a thing, but that's not the point. There are College Station-centric rumors that he will, which is what we're here to talk about. UGA athletic director Greg McGarity, for one, has also talked about them:
And back it went to Texas:
No, like, seriously guys. This isn't just GEORGIA FAN DENIAL talking. Mark Richt is not going to leave for the Texas A&M job. He makes a lot of money at a top-five program in top-five recruiting grounds. His young team is very talented. He gets to play Kentucky every year. He's going to trade that for the chance to play against Alabama and LSU forever, backed by a strapped athletic department? This is dumb.
Junior tight end Orson Charles will reportedly declare for the 2012 NFL Draft, forgoing his senior year the the University of Georgia.
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