Georgia Bulldogs: Claude Felton

Morant leaves UGA program

February, 4, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia’s 2010 football recruiting class has suffered further attrition now that outside linebacker Dexter Morant left the team.

UGA sports information director Claude Felton confirmed on Monday morning that Morant has “left the university due to academic considerations.”

Morant is officially the eighth member of Georgia’s 19-man 2010 signing class -- joining tailback Ken Malcome, safety Jakar Hamilton, cornerback Derek Owens, linebacker Demetre Baker, offensive lineman Brent Benedict, defensive end Jalen Fields and receiver Lonnie Outlaw -- who either failed to qualify academically, transferred or who has been dismissed outright. Meanwhile, offensive lineman Kolton Houston has yet to play in a game and linebacker Brandon Burrows made a limited college debut just last fall.

ESPN rated Morant as a three-star prospect and the nation’s No. 75 defensive end when he signed with the Bulldogs. However, he was frequently set back by injuries at Georgia and never actually appeared in a game in three seasons.

Morant quit the team minutes before his first practice in 2010, with Coach Mark Richt reporting that he “just felt like he lost the desire to play.” He returned to the team four days later.

ATHENS, Ga. -- In a family known for football standouts leaving school early, Kwame Geathers actually lasted four years at Georgia. But the redshirt junior nose guard will not be back for a fifth season.

UGA sports information director Claude Felton confirmed on Wednesday that Geathers will forgo his final season of eligibility to enter the NFL draft. ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper said last month that Geathers, who split time at nose guard over the last two seasons with John Jenkins, could go as high as the second or third round in the upcoming NFL draft.

At 6-foot-6 and 355 pounds, Geathers has size that will certainly intrigue NFL talent evaluators. He also has a genetic makeup that might indicate pro football success.

[+] EnlargeKwame Geathers
Kelly Kline/Icon SMIKwame Geathers will join a long line of Geathers family members to play in the NFL.
Brothers Robert and Clifton are active defensive linemen in the NFL -- Robert with the Cincinnati Bengals and Clifton with the Indianapolis Colts -- after leaving Georgia and South Carolina, respectively, a season early. Cousin Jeremy Geathers also left UNLV after his junior season and has played arena football and in Canada.

Additionally, father Robert Sr. played six seasons in the NFL and uncle Jumpy was in the league for 13 years as a standout defensive lineman.

That wealth of family NFL experience provided a highly sufficient sounding board for Kwame Geathers as he mulled his decision, he said.

“Having my brothers and my family members to go to and ask for advice about it, it’s given me a lot of comfort,” Geathers said during bowl practice. “I’m not worrying about it, stressing about it at all because I feel like I’ve got all the resources I need.”

This season, Geathers ranked third among Georgia’s defensive linemen with 40 tackles. He added five tackles for a loss and the only sack of his career, as well.

That lack of pass-rushing production will be one hurdle Geathers must clear in the eyes of NFL scouts as he tries to prove he can be more than a two-down player. Players with his rare size and skills are almost sure to find spots on NFL rosters, but he can improve his draft stock by proving that he can do more than occupy blockers at the point of attack.

He is the third UGA defensive underclassman to declare for the draft, joining junior linebackers Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree. Kiper ranks Jones first overall and Ogletree seventh on his newest Big Board released on Wednesday.

Notebook: Jarvis Jones for Heisman?

September, 11, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia’s administration hasn’t decided whether to mount a full-fledged campaign to promote outside linebacker Jarvis Jones for the Heisman Trophy, but if Jones keeps performing like he did in last Saturday’s win against Missouri, he might not need much help.

“It is a little early,” admitted Georgia’s longtime sports information director Claude Felton. “A lot of times your ‘campaign’ sometimes can almost be conducted by someone other than the school. ESPN GameDay, Fox or CBS studio shows -- I think those types of things have significant impact, what those people’s opinions are who are on TV every week.

“I don’t know if they’ve started it yet, but pretty soon they’re going to start where every week it’s ‘Who’s in the Heisman race?’ So I think those kinds of things can be just as significant as anything the school might do.”

And the highlights don’t lie. Jones has won multiple SEC and national weekly awards after leading Georgia to a 41-20 win against Missouri with nine tackles, two sacks, two forced fumbles, an interception and five quarterback pressures.

(Read full post)

Mizzou game the concern with Mitchell 

August, 31, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. -- Sophomore Malcolm Mitchell's absence is not likely to affect the outcome of Georgia’s game against Buffalo on Saturday -- after all, Mitchell’s Bulldogs are favored by between 37 and 38 points depending on which bookmaker you prefer -- but Georgia fans no doubt hope his sprained left ankle heals quickly.

The Bulldogs are already without suspended senior cornerback Sanders Commings, who started all 14 games last season, for the Buffalo and Missouri games. The purpose of Mitchell’s springtime shift to cornerback was in part to offset Commings’ absence and to add extra depth in the secondary.

If he’s unavailable for next week’s visit to Missouri -- Georgia associate athletic director Claude Felton said “no projections [have been made] at this point on his availability” for the visit to Mizzou -- the Bulldogs’ secondary will be on even shakier ground.


Peach State: Top Tier Recruiting Ground?
California, Florida and Texas are largely considered the "Big Three" in college football recruiting. But national recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton joins ESPN's Phil Murphy to explain why Georgia deserves to be in the top tier and has numbers to prove it.