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Georgia Sports News

  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss coach Kirby Smart's quest to return the Bulldogs to the top of the SEC. On episode No. 1,093 (Dec. 13, 2019) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about Georgia's busy recruiting weekend. Georgia football podcast: UGA gears up for huge recruiting weekend Beginning of the show: Georgia coaches have been busy with in-home visits this week ahead of the final weekend for official visitors before the early signing period begins Wednesday. I'll profile some of the key names to know on today's show. 10-minute mark: I'll celebrate UGA kicker Rodrigo Blankenship for winning the Lou Groza Award as the nation's top kicker. 15-minute mark: DawgNation's recruiting insider Jeff Sentell joins the show. Some of the topics covered include UGA coaches' visit this week to Columbia, S.C. to check in on one of the country's most unpredicable recruits, 5-star defensive lineman Jordan Burch How 4-star safety Major Burns' recent de-commitment from LSU impacts the Bulldogs Some of Saturday's most important visitors including 5-star cornerback Kelee Ringo, 4-star defensive back Dontae Manning and 4-star offensive tackle Tate Ratledge UGA's recent offer to 4-star defensive lineman McKinnley Jackson 30-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including how Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin and LSU coach Ed Orgeron are seemingly doing their part to make the SEC fun again, and I'll address 4-star offensive lineman Joshua Braun's decision to commit to Florida. 35-minute mark: I share audio of a recent conversation I had with UGA wide receiver Lawrence Cager. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: UGA gears up for huge recruiting weekend appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Louisiana prospect Eric Reed Jr. will be one of many official visitors this weekend at Georgia. The list could climb up to eight official visitors for the last weekend before the early signing period comes on Wednesday. Reed is an intriguing option for a lot of reasons, including the following: Lists Auburn, Georgia, LSU and Notre Dame as his final four. Thatsaid, Reed has only has visited Auburn so far and UGA is this weekend. He was a former Ole Miss commit under new Georgia offensive line coach Matt Luke. The Calvary Baptist standout (Shreveport, La.) plans to sign at 3 p.m. on December 18 after having only taken officials to Auburn and Georgia. Rates as the nation's No. 12 safety, but played extensively at cornerback for Calvary Baptist. The 247Sports Composite ranks Reed as the nation's No. 16 safety and No. 175 overall prospect. He's a cornerback but he's physical so he can plug-and-play in a lot of roles in an SEC secondary The popular 247Sports 'Crystal Ball' feature currently lists Georgia with 75 percent of the picks from analysts and recruiting reporters from across the country Reed will be at Georgia this weekend with his mother and father on his official. It will be his first trip back since he took an unofficial for the Notre Dame game. Before he started playing varsity football, he was given No. 1 by his high school coaching staff. When a freshman gets that digit before playing on the varsity, that's usually a very good sign. He's worn that number ever since. He also plays basketball and track for Calvary Baptist and is not an early enrollee candidate That's a lot of things that cover a wide survey of what most of DawgNation might know about him, but it is time to introduce another: Manners. Reed was able to speed turn through a wide-ranging conversation about his recruiting options and makeup while peppering those 'yes sirs' in there AND also the latest 'Call of Duty' video game. Eric Reed Jr: More than just his recruiting stuff Those bulleted items above provide the standard hurry-up (with a few more details) of what can be scanned about Reed online. He was able to communicate so effectively because he feels he has a future in thinking on his feet. That's evident by his 3.0 grade-point average, but also his planned college major. 'Sports broadcasting or a sports analyst,' he said. The reason why he plays football is pretty standard among his peers. But that doesn't make it any less meaningful. 'Really it is just to one day be able to take care of my family,' Reed Jr. said. 'To be able to get all the things that I might have wanted in life. Or they might have wanted in life when I was younger.' We'll start giving you a good look at one of this weekend's official visitors by supplying a link to check out his senior tape. https://t.co/VeGbp97nim Eric Reed Jr (@EricReedJr3) December 9, 2019 Emotional. Physical. Those are the two words he initially used to describe his game. 'Another thing I would say is that I work through my hips,' Reed Jr. said. 'Always. Because I used to be stiff in the beginning because I was originally a receiver and then they switched my position. So I've been playing defense ever since.' His coaches made that switch when he was a freshman. That was to take advantage of his skills, his physicality and his foot speed. The 6-foot, 195-pound prospect was timed at a laser 4.62 seconds in the 40 back in April at an Opening regional camp. Reed shared why he chose Ole Miss in the first place. 'It was really just a family environment and I like those family environments where ever I go,' he said. 'Where ever I go I don't want to feel like I am just there at the school. I want to feel like I'm a part of something and I will be taken care of like family on and off the field. Not just on the field.' 'I want to be around good people who want to help me be a better me.' Why did he de-commit? That decision came after Luke was not retained as the head coach. 'I want to say I was already feeling a certain way before but that really just sealed it off when [Matt Luke] left and then nobody knew if they were going to keep their job or not,' Reed Jr. said. 'I didn't know what was going on and I didn't want to just get there and then something else happens and be stuck. So I just had to do what is best for me.' When Matt Luke was hired to take over as offensive line coach at Georgia, he could only marvel at that turn life took for the both of them. 'I was just like that is crazy,' Reed Jr. said. 'But I realized with that I guess that is how this business works.' How much does Luke being on staff help the Bulldogs here? 'I take my official to Georgia this weekend so we will just see where it goes from there,' he said. That will be important to his overall decision. He can't say for certain where he is at right now with his thinking on his college selection process. 'After this OV I will see where I am at,' he said. 'I don't want to jump too far ahead.' Eric Reed breaks down his current thoughts on UGA He is aware of what the Georgia program has done over the last few seasons. 'Georgia is a big program and they are in the SEC championship [game] almost every year,' he said. 'So when they offered me it was really big. That excited me. It just motivated me to go harder.' Reed was at the Notre Dame with his girlfriend back on Sept. 21. 'She liked it,' he said. 'She liked it a lot.' That visit was almost 12 weeks ago, but it still stuck in his mind. 'Really just like the fans,' he said of what he remembers from that visit. 'Just the way the game was. A lot of the fans were very active as they started coming back. A lot of the people were just there and really into it.' If he's being honest, he feels the Bulldogs didn't really become a factor in his process until after that game. 'I was at that game and I had to look harder at Georgia after the game,' he said. 'It made me look harder.' Georgia's pitch to him is one of opportunity. The staff checks on him daily and tells him how much they need him. Defensive backs coach Charlton Warren made an in-home visit on Wednesday to see him. 'They've got guys leaving and they need me to come in and make a big impact in the secondary,' he said. Reed believes the recruiting industry rates him as a safety because he doesn't get a lot of interceptions. Just tackles. 'But whenever I am in the games I don't really get targeted a lot,' he said. 'So I really can't do anything about that.' This weekend won't be too strenuous for him. He doesn't have a long list of questions. 'I'm just really going to go there to have fun,' he said. Reed checked out Auburn for the annual 'Iron Bowl' game with Alabama. That was certainly another 'whoa nellie' chapter in the history of that great rivalry game. It was a trip that he 'enjoyed it a lot' along his official visit. 'It is a hard decision thinking about Georgia and Auburn and all of these schools,' he said. 'After I take my Georgia official visit, then I will know in my head where every school is and how they all compare.' Signing December 18th @3pm.. pic.twitter.com/n8m1UFZI6F Eric Reed Jr (@EricReedJr3) December 5, 2019 What will one of those four schools be getting when he comes to campus? 'They are going to be getting somebody who doesn't cause any trouble and they are just goin to come in and work hard every day,' he said. 'Just a guy who will give it his all.' The post Eric Reed Jr: Former Ole Miss commit previews his official to UGA appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Sam Pittman was Georgia's second-highest-paid assistant coach last year, as he earned $900,000. And that salary is what new Georgia offensive line coach Matt Luke will make in his first season at Georgia, according to multiple reports. Luke was hired on Tuesday to replace Pittman, who left to become the head coach at Arkansas. At Arkansas, Pittman will be making $3,000,000 over at Arkansas and signed a five-year deal. The length of Luke's contract was not disclosed. Among current Georgia assistant coaches, only James Coley makes more than Luke, as he made $950,000 serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach this past season. Prior to taking the Georgia job, Luke made $3.1 million as the head coach of Ole Miss. During his time at the school, Luke went 15-21 while serving as the head coach. 'We are extremely excited and fortunate to have Matt join our staff,' Smart said via a statement released by the school. 'He's a proven football coach who has a wealth of experience on the offensive side of the ball, especially in the offensive line. He has a great reputation among those who have played for him and it's obvious watching his teams over many years that players love him and play hard for him.' Related: What Georgia is getting in new offensive line coach Matt Luke It is not yet known who will be coaching the offensive line for Georgia's game in the Sugar Bowl against Baylor on Jan. 1. When Mel Tucker left to take the Colorado job last offseason, he did not stay through the bowl game for Georgia. The Bulldogs have already seen some attrition due to the coaching switch, as the Bulldogs saw 4-star commit Joshua Braun back off his pledge to Georgia. On Friday, Braun announced that he would be attending Florida. Luke has over a dozen years of offensive line coaching experience, as he served in the role at Ole Miss, Duke and Tennessee. Georgia's offensive line this year was led by left tackle Andrew Thomas, who was named an All-American for his play this season. More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Georgia football podcast: Justin Fields addresses UGA's offensive woes Rodrigo Blankenship wins Lou Groza Award, named nation's top kicker Report: UGA's Kirby Smart tried to hire Mike Bobo Marcus Rosemy: Georgia's top WR recruit sees great opportunity' in Athens Two Bulldogs make SEC All-Freshman Team Georgia outside linebacker Robert Beal enters the transfer portal UGA star knew early in season what type of offense Bulldogs had 5 questions about Georgia OL coach Matt Luke with Ole Miss beat writer Neal McCready The post Salary details for Georgia football offensive line coach Matt Luke released appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Georgia football is the No. 1 topic every day on DawgNation Daily the daily podcast for Georgia Bulldogs fans. Catch up on everything happening with UGA athletics with host Brandon Adams and the DawgNation experts as they break down the latest Georgia football recruiting news and discuss coach Kirby Smart's quest to return the Bulldogs to the top of the SEC. On episode No. 1,093 (Dec. 12, 2019) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about what former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields said about UGA's offense Wednesday night. Georgia football podcast: Justin Fields addresses UGA's offensive woes Beginning of the show: Former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields was in Atlanta Wednesday as part of preparations for the College Football Awards Banquet. I'll share on today's show what Fields told reporters about the Bulldogs' offensive struggles this season. Five-minute mark: I'll share some news on UGA defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, and some audio of Lanning telling an extraordinary story as part of the recent Broyles Award banquet. I'll also discuss UGA offensive coordinator James Coley's role in the recruitment of some of the Bulldogs' top targets including 4-star wide receiver Marcus Rosemy. 10-minute mark: I discuss UGA linebacker Robert Beal's reported decision to enter the transfer portal. 15-minute mark: The Sporting News' Bill Bender joins the show. Some of the topics covered include Reaction to UGA's loss to LSU An early preview of the matchup with Baylor in the Sugar Bowl Some thoughts on how other bowl games might play out And a look at how Herschel Walker emerged as Sporting News' greatest player of the last 150 years 30-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including Florida coach Dan Mullen responding to NFL rumors, LSU coach Ed Orgeron's case to be national Coach of the Year, and two high-profile de-commitments from four-star safeties. 35-minute mark: I discuss four-star offensive lineman Josh Braun's de-commitment from UGA. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: Justin Fields addresses UGA's offensive woes appeared first on DawgNation.
  • During his time in Athens, Rodrigo Blankenship grew to become a fan favorite thanks to his off-field personality and his kicking ability. And he was recognized for that ability on Thursday night when the senior was awarded the Lou Groza Award, which is given to the top kicker in the country. . @RodTheKicker3 wins the 2019 Lou Groza Award pic.twitter.com/AqvHgE3IEJ Southeastern Conference (@SEC) December 13, 2019 As a senior, Blankenship connected on 25 of his 31 field goal attempts, while also making all 44 of his extra points. Blankenship has not missed a single extra point in his Georgia career. In addition to placekicking duties, Blankenship has also handled kickoff duties for Georgia. He finished ninth in the country in touchback percentage this year, as 60 of his 79 kickoff attempts were not returned. This is the latest in a long list of accolades for Blankenship this season, as he was named the SEC's Scholar-Athlete of the Year as well as First Team All-SEC for his position. Related: Andrew Thomas, Rodrigo Blankenship earn SEC Player of the Year honors Blankenship is the first Georgia kicker to win the award and the third SEC kicker to do so, with the last coming in 2003. Randy Bullock of Texas A&M won it in 2003, but the Aggies were still Big 12 members at that point in time. All season, Georgia coach Kirby Smart has spoken at length about what Blankenship has meant to the Georgia program. 'What Rodrigo has done, and overcome, is just a story for the ages,' Smart said after the Texas A&M game. 'To be a walk-on, to not get a scholarship, to continue to work, get a scholarship, and continue to grind, and be as consistent as he has been in some of the toughest conditions this year that could ask a kicker to kick in. He's just been tremendous. And he's really become a weapon for us. Thank goodness. He's really become a weapon for us. He's done a great job.' Thanks to his rec specs, Blankenship is one of the most recognizable kickers in the country. He has already graduated from the University of Georgia and it seems like there's a very good chance he will be kicking in the NFL next season. To this point in his Georgia career, he's made 78 of his 95 field goal attempts and has the school record for points scored. 418 Career Points 190 Consecutive PATs 220 Career Touchbacks Career-long 55-yd FG in the Rose Bowl Five-time SEC Special Teams Player of the Week in 2019 Help Rodrigo win the Lou Groza Award by voting once a day, every day until December 5. Vote Now: https://t.co/BI16NQUNnD pic.twitter.com/RalrStzcCJ Georgia Bulldogs (@UGAAthletics) November 28, 2019 Blankenship will play his final collegiate game on Jan. 1, when the Bulldogs take on the Baylor Bears in the Sugar Bowl. More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Report: UGA's Kirby Smart tried to hire Mike Bobo Marcus Rosemy: Georgia's top WR recruit sees great opportunity' in Athens Two Bulldogs make SEC All-Freshman Team Georgia outside linebacker Robert Beal enters the transfer portal UGA star knew early in season what type of offense Bulldogs had 5 questions about Georgia OL coach Matt Luke with Ole Miss beat writer Neal McCready Georgia safeties Richard LeCounte, J.R. Reed both say they're playing in Sugar Bowl Tate Ratledge: Kirby Smart and Matt Luke drop in to check on a priority O-line target Georgia football podcast: Matt Luke hire a major win for UGA The post Rodrigo Blankenship wins Lou Groza Award, named nation's top kicker appeared first on DawgNation.