Georgia Bulldogs: Uriah LeMay

Another week, another off-field incident. That is the way it has been this offseason in the SEC, and this past week was no different.

Texas A&M suspended cornerback Victor Davis after he was arrested and charged with shoplifting, and defensive end Gavin Stansbury, who was arrested in April, left the team for personal reasons.

At Georgia, Mark Richt dismissed yet another player a day after defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor was arrested for aggravated assault.

These incidents are just the latest in what has been a troubling offseason for the SEC. With media days behind us and fall camps about to begin, we want to know which team's offseason issues will present the greatest on-field questions for this season.

SportsNation

Which SEC team's offseason issues will present the greatest on-field questions this coming season?

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    12%
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    13%
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    42%
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    8%
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    25%

Discuss (Total votes: 14,133)

In Tuscaloosa, the media's pick to win the SEC has had its fair share of off-field incidents. Dillon Lee and Jarran Reed were both arrested for driving under the influence, Altee Tenpenny was caught with marijuana, and Kenyan Drake was arrested for disobeying a police officer. None of the players involved has been dismissed, but this is becoming both a problem and a distraction for Alabama.

Across the state, Auburn is still trying to figure out what to do with quarterback Nick Marshall. The potential Heisman Trophy contender was given a citation for possession of marijuana this month, but will he miss any time as punishment? To make matters worse, teammate Jonathon Mincy was arrested for the same thing, possession of marijuana, just two weeks prior.

The school that has been in the news the most this offseason is Georgia. Four players were arrested in March for theft by deception. Two of those four, Taylor and Tray Matthews, were later dismissed for separate incidents. A third, Uriah LeMay, opted to transfer. Back in February, safety Josh Harvey-Clemons also was dismissed from the program following multiple violations of team rules.

At Missouri, it was three strikes and you're out for star wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham. The sophomore was arrested for the second time on drug-related charges in January, and after being involved in an altercation with his girlfriend in April, he was dismissed from the team. Green-Beckham has since joined Oklahoma.

Lastly, there is Texas A&M, which has not seen any decline in off-field distractions since quarterback Johnny Manziel left. Quarterback Kenny Hill was arrested in March for public intoxication. Two months later, head coach Kevin Sumlin dismissed a pair of key defenders -- Darian Claiborne and Isaiah Golden -- after they were arrested and charged with aggravated robbery. Then the news broke this week with Stansbury’s departure and the suspension of Davis.

SEC's lunch links

June, 4, 2014
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Johnny Manziel will throw out the first pitch in tonight's Cleveland Indians game. It's a safe bet he won't go all 50 Cent on us.
Georgia coach Mark Richt announced on Tuesday that redshirt freshman receiver Uriah LeMay is transferring.

LeMay had a decent spring on the field for the Dawgs, but he would likely have been buried on the depth chart with the return of Malcolm Mitchell and Justin Scott-Wesley, who had their 2013 seasons cut short by ACL injuries. LeMay was one of four Georgia players arrested on theft charges earlier this spring. His older brother Christian, a backup quarterback for the Bulldogs, decided to transfer from Georgia in January.

[+] EnlargeUriah LeMay
Dale Zanine/USA TODAY SportsFormer four-star recruit Uriah LeMay is leaving the Bulldogs.
"Uriah made the decision in order to have a better opportunity for playing time," Richt said in a statement through the school. "He has our best wishes in achieving all his goals as a student and athlete."

LeMay was a four-star prospect coming out of high school, but with so much experienced receiving talent returning, including seniors Chris Conley, who had a tremendous spring, and Michael Bennett, it was going to be hard for him to grab a healthy amount of reps and receptions this fall. While his departure will cut into future depth, the Dawgs should be just fine this fall at the receiver spot.

They'll get some help from rising sophomore Brendan Langley, who is moving to receiver from cornerback. While Langley started four games at cornerback last season, he was benched early in the season in favor of fellow freshman Shaq Wiggins, who announced last week that he was transferring. Langley is a bit of an unknown at the receiver spot, but that's what summer workouts and fall camp are for. Langley was an ESPN 300 member and the No. 24-ranked athlete in the Class of 2013, so it's worth a try to see what he can do at receiver.

The loss of Wiggins does hurt the Bulldogs. In a secondary full of issues last season, Wiggins was at times the lone bright spot. He led the team with two interceptions and had four pass breakups. With Wiggins and Josh Harvey-Clemons (dismissed in February) both gone, Georgia's secondary will be lacking experience this fall. Senior Damian Swann is now the only corner on the team who has started more than one game.

Even if Wiggins were still around, it was going to be a battle all throughout the secondary this season. After a roller-coaster season for Georgia's secondary, no job was safe in 2014, and the coaches even moved running back J.J. Green to corner, where he excelled at the star position. Walk-ons Aaron Davis and Lucas Redd even impressed this spring, leaving as first-teamers.

With the return of redshirt freshman Reggie Wilkerson (ACL) and the arrival of 2014 signees Malkom Parrish, Shaq Jones, and Shattle Fenteng, new defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt will have plenty of bodies to work with. And he was always going to leave the competition open for everyone.
Oh, the offseason. A time for hype, excitement, and plenty of nervous coaches.

The games are months and months away, but coaches are on high alert with the temptations that usually dwindle during the regular season. Right now, Georgia and Missouri are feeling the effects of a long offseason, as both programs watched four players get arrested in the last few days.

For the Bulldogs, starting safety Tray Matthews and three reserves were arrested and charged with theft by deception Monday evening. At Missouri, four athletes, including defensive backs Aarion Penton and Shaun Rupert, were arrested Saturday night on suspicion of possession of 35 grams or less of marijuana during a traffic stop.

[+] EnlargeGary Pinkel
Denny Medley/USA TODAY SportsGary Pinkel and Missouri have no choice but to move on after four players were arrested.
Not the way you want to get spring practice going.

Matthews is clearly the biggest name on this list, but Penton was expected to compete for a starting spot at cornerback for the Tigers. Mizzou already is replacing three starters in its secondary, while the Bulldogs lost other starting safety Josh Harvey-Clemons earlier this year when he was dismissed from the team.

Penton and Rupert have been suspended indefinitely. Georgia coach Mark Richt issued a statement that said the incident "will be handled in an appropriate way."

So what is the theft and deception from the Georgia players? Well, three allegedly took their stipend checks from the school and deposited them with a mobile app and then cashed them somewhere else. That doesn't fly. You can't take money twice.

The other three players arrested and charged were defensive lineman Jonathan Taylor, outside linebacker James DeLoach and receiver Uriah LeMay. All backups, but all players who add depth to a defense looking to rebound across the board in 2014.

Now before you start the "Mark Richt has lost control" message board or Twitter banter, this is something that was completely out of his hands. A situation so ridiculous and idiotic isn't something Richt can monitor. He has to trust that his players won't make boneheaded decisions like this one that put themselves and their team in jeopardy. This is a breach of trust.

All of these players put themselves in bad situations and now have to pay the consequences. The invincibility complex is an epidemic that inflicts student-athletes all across the college landscape.

Georgia and Missouri are dealing with this complex right now, and it has to be frustrating, especially when dealing with players at key positions and spring ball just getting underway.

Losing Matthews for any amount of time would be a huge blow for the Bulldogs because there already is so much uncertainty at safety, and the secondary in general. Matthews didn't have a stellar freshman season in Athens and dealt with nagging injuries, but he's experienced and has a wealth of talent and potential. He's supposed to be a leader, but something like this doesn't help that reputation.

Penton was atop the Tigers' depth chart at one of the corner spots and filled in well for E.J. Gaines last year when Gaines was injured. Losing him for any amount of time means a more inexperienced player will get reps, which is good, but having the favorite held out of practice isn't exactly what you want when there is no proven player at the position.

Richt and Gary Pinkel have to be extremely frustrated and disappointed in their players, but they have to move forward. Future punishments will come, but all these coaches can do now is shove other players into their spots and keep things rolling.

SEC's lunch links

March, 18, 2014
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Three SEC teams begin spring practice on Tuesday, and there's a host of news and nuggets, including a bit of the off-the-field variety, in today's lunch links:

UGA redshirt review: Offense

December, 19, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia signed a massive 33-man recruiting class in February, and many of those signees -- like Leonard Floyd, Shaq Wiggins, J.J. Green and Brendan Douglas -- contributed immediately. Over the next two days, we'll review the offensive and defensive signees who redshirted.

Aulden Bynum, Fr., OL
2013 ESPN rating: Three stars, No. 47 offensive tackle
This season: Enrolled in January and worked at multiple positions along the offensive line.
Veteran's perspective: “He's not as strong as he wants to be right now, probably has to put on a little more weight. I think that he's also very good naturally just with leverage and feet space and stuff like that.” -- senior offensive guard Chris Burnette

Josh Cardiello, Fr., OL
2013 ESPN rating: Four stars, No. 21 offensive guard
This season: Enrolled in January and practiced mostly at left guard and center .
Veteran's perspective: “Cardiello is a really explosive guy, which I like. I think that's really important as an offensive lineman is to be explosive. He has good leverage, knows how to bend his knees and is also deceptively athletic and I think that's going to be good for him in the future.” -- Burnette

Jordan Davis, Fr., TE
2013 ESPN rating: Three stars, No. 15 tight end-Y
This season: Wasn't needed with seniors Arthur Lynch and Hugh Williams and sophomore Jay Rome available.
Veteran's perspective: “I think a big thing for him will just be learning the playbook, understanding the playbook, understanding how we want it done here. He's got a body like Jermaine Gresham. He's 6-foot-5-plus. He's about 240-something now, but he could put on 20 pounds easy. And he can run. I think that's one thing that'll be a very big asset of his is he'll be able to run and create space from linebackers and even probably safeties.” -- Lynch

Uriah LeMay, Fr., WR
2013 ESPN rating: Four stars, No. 48 wide receiver
This season: Stuck behind a glut of established veteran receivers.
Veteran's perspective: “Redshirt's a really important year. I know it was for me. I wasn't ready to play at all. It was important going into my redshirt freshman year that I had a lot of experience under my belt and it was a lot easier. I've seen improvement throughout his redshirt year and hopefully this spring is going to be big for him to really learn the offense and hopefully contribute next year.” -- junior receiver Michael Bennett

Brice Ramsey, Fr., QB
2013 ESPN rating: Four stars, No. 115 overall, No. 7 pocket passer
This season: Enrolled in January knowing that a redshirt was extremely likely with Aaron Murray and Hutson Mason sitting atop the depth chart.
Veteran's perspective: “A cannon. That's the first thing you see when you look at Brice: those long arms and that odd body type. He just brings his arm back and flicks his wrist and the ball just shoots off so fast that you want to get out of the way. But that's the first thing you notice with him. He's a young, fun-loving guy with a lot of God-given ability, and once he puts that together with his knowledge of the playbook, he'll be something dangerous.” -- junior receiver Chris Conley

Tramel Terry, Fr., WR?
2013 ESPN rating: Four stars, No. 89 overall, No. 9 athlete
This season: Perhaps the biggest question of bowl practice is how to qualify Terry these days. He practiced at receiver all season while returning from an ACL tear, but has been practicing at safety this week.
Veteran's perspective: “He's a guy who has to still get healthy, get strong and prepare to come in and execute at a high level and play fast. And I think he's going to be ready to do that. … When you take an injury like that, it can do some things to your confidence and I think he's gaining it back and he's building it. With the more plays that he makes, the more like the old Tramel Terry he'll be.” -- Conley

A.J. Turman, Fr., RB
2013 ESPN rating: Four stars, No. 260 overall, No. 22 running back
This season: When Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall were injured at midseason, Turman playing seemed like a possibility. But the coaches preserved his redshirt and he'll join a deep backfield in 2014.
Veteran's perspective: “Turman's the man. Just because even if he's on scout team, he's still like wanting to learn what to do and he's always full speed. He's never like, 'Ah, I'm on scout team. I'm not playing this year.' So he's always getting better from what I see. He always asks me questions like, 'What do I do on this? What do I do on that?' and he actually is really like a beast. Y'all will definitely see.” -- Gurley
ATHENS, Ga. -- As one of the most veteran members of Georgia’s football team, Rantavious Wooten has seen the dynamic shift wildly in five seasons as a member of the Bulldogs’ receiving corps.

The fifth-year senior has seen a single superstar strike fear into opposing defenses, as future first-round NFL pick A.J. Green did in Wooten’s first two seasons. He’s also seen quarterback Aaron Murray spread the passing production between a larger group of players than any quarterback has in Georgia’s 12-year history under Coach Mark Richt.

However, thanks to the wide array of receiving skillsets available and a change in position coach Tony Ball’s philosophy, where several players are learning more than just one of Georgia’s three receiving positions, Wooten believes this could become the most versatile and productive group of Bulldogs receivers in Richt’s tenure.

“It’s real good that we can sub at any position instead of being like when I first came in and it was kind of like, ‘You play this position. That’s the only position you play. So you don’t go in that spot,’ ” Wooten recalled.

“Now we have all the pieces to have a great receiving corps -- we have speed, we’ve got big guys, we’ve got quick guys, we’ve got guys that can catch over the middle, we’ve got guys that can take the short route long. So we have every part to be that versatile, plus more. And then add the fact that we can play different positions and just utilize what we have.”

Seven Georgia wide receivers -- and 11 players total, adding in tight ends Arthur Lynch and Jay Rome and running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall -- made at least 10 catches last season. Both were single-season highs for Georgia pass-catchers under Richt, and everyone except 2012 seniors Tavarres King and Marlon Brown returns from that group.

Among the returners: potential breakout star Malcolm Mitchell, who is now focusing solely on playing receiver after splitting time between cornerback and wideout last season, and Michael Bennett, who was leading the team with 24 catches for 345 yards and four touchdowns through five games last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

Then throw in the shifty Wooten, 6-foot-3 Chris Conley -- the Bulldogs’ offensive MVP of spring practice -- sure-handed Rhett McGowan and UGA track sprinter Justin Scott-Wesley, who enjoyed his first taste of collegiate football success in the Capital One Bowl win against Nebraska. And finally add 6-foot-5 junior college transfer Jonathon Rumph, redshirt freshman Blake Tibbs and talented true freshmen Tramel Terry, Reggie Davis and Uriah LeMay.

“We all can play. I don’t think we have any real superstars,” Bennett said. “Obviously Malcolm’s kind of our breakout guy, but we don’t have like an A.J. like we used to or anything like that, or like a [King]. We all know we can play, we’re all, I think, really good, so it’s kind of like when one guy subs in and one guy goes out, there’s not going to be any hiccup.”

Collectively, every role Ball could possibly want individual players to fill in his position group is covered by the talents and body types within that group.

“It’s crazy, it really is, because we’ve got completely different playing styles,” said Mitchell, Georgia’s top returning receiver after posting 40 catches for 572 yards and four touchdowns last season. “You just name myself, Michael, Conley, Wooten -- those are four different types of playing styles.”

While they are best suited for specific roles, perhaps what makes the group especially unique is that some many players will be able to handle multiple jobs, which is a departure even from last season.

For instance, Mitchell once knew how to play only one receiver position. No longer. And nearly all of his fellow wideouts know at least two of the three responsibilities between the split end, flanker and slot positions.

“I think that everyone has the confidence to run every single type of play,” Conley said. “There’s not one guy who we use deep routes, there’s not one guy who we use for short underneath routes, there’s not one guy that we use for screens. I think the fact that everyone has the confidence that ‘I can make this play and I can do something big for Georgia,’ I think that’s the most unique part about this receiver corps because anyone can be at any point on the field and everyone’s ready to run.”

With Murray back for his fourth season under center and Gurley and Marshall softening defenses for Georgia to attack with the pass, it stands to reason that Bobo will once again make use of his receiving weapons. Perhaps even more than the Bulldogs ever have under this coaching staff.

Asked whether this group’s versatility surpasses that of other receiving corps in his UGA career, Bobo recalled previous explosive groups like the one that featured Terrence Edwards, Fred Gibson and Reggie Brown in 2002. And he’s had others -- like the 2007 and 2008 offenses -- that made use of a wide array of receiving talents at wideout, tight end and out of the backfield.

This group might outrank any of them, however.

“They’re not lacking confidence. They feel they’re one of the best receiving corps in the country. Are we that? I don’t know,” Bobo said. “We don’t have the A.J. Green explosive-type player out there. I think we’ve got a bunch of very good, hard-working kids that catch the ball and are fearless and really do a good job of taking coaching from Coach Ball and have gotten better in their career.

“None of them were this guy or that guy coming out of high school. They’re guys that work and made themselves into players. … But these guys, I wouldn’t trade this group for any group that I’ve had since I’ve been here just because you’ve got so many guys that can do so much.”

Signee Johnson fails to qualify

July, 22, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Rico Johnson finally learned his fate on Monday.

The three-star receiver from Swainsboro (Ga.) High School announced on his Twitter account that he failed to meet NCAA eligibility standards and will not enroll at Georgia with his fellow 2013 signing classmates.

Johnson completed two online courses this summer in an effort to become eligible, but it was apparently not enough.

“Unfortunately NCAA didn't take my two online classes but I'm still rockin [with] DawgNation to the death of me. See [y’all] at the top!” Johnson tweeted.

Now Johnson will wait to learn whether he can enroll at a prep school this fall and potentially enroll at Georgia or another program next year or whether he must attend junior college.

Johnson was the last member of Georgia's 33-man signing class who was waiting to learn his NCAA fate.

Mark Richt’s coaching staff knew on signing day that Devondre Seymour (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett) was not going to qualify with this class. The four-star offensive lineman has since announced that he will attend Hinds Community College and attempt to enroll at Georgia in 2015.

Receiver Uriah LeMay (Matthews, N.C./Butler) and defensive back Kennar Johnson (Clermont, Fla./Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College) arrived on campus late in the summer -- after the bulk of Georgia’s other signees -- leaving Rico Johnson as the only player with an undetermined status.

He was one of Georgia’s six 2013 receiver signees, led by No. 1 junior college wideout Jonathon Rumph (Cayce, S.C./Holmes Community College) and versatile ESPN 150 selection Tramel Terry (Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek) -- both of whom enrolled in January.

Post-spring position review: WR

April, 17, 2013
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Editor’s note: Over the next two weeks, we’ll take a closer look at each of Georgia’s position groups at the end of spring practice. Today we examine the wide receivers:

Returning players/stats: Malcolm Mitchell, Jr. (nine starts, 40 catches, 572 yards, 4 TDs); Michael Bennett, Jr. (three starts, 24-345, 4 TDs); Chris Conley, Jr. (three starts, 20-342, 6 TDs); Rantavious Wooten, Sr. (15-187, 2 TDs); Rhett McGowan, Sr. (one start, 12-150, 1 TD); Justin Scott-Wesley, So. (6-135, 1 TD); Blake Tibbs, RFr. (redshirted in 2012)

Newcomers: Tramel Terry, Fr. (ESPN No. 89 overall prospect, No. 9 athlete, enrolled in January); Jonathon Rumph, Jr. (ESPN No. 7 junior college prospect, No. 1 juco wide receiver, enrolled in January); Reggie Davis, Fr. (ESPN No. 294 overall prospect, No. 45 wide receiver, expected to enroll this summer); Uriah LeMay, Fr. (No. 48 wide receiver, expected to enroll this summer); Rico Johnson, Fr. (No. 122 wide receiver, expected to enroll this summer)

(Read full post)

DawgNation signing day live blog

February, 6, 2013
2/06/13
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Welcome to DawgNation's live coverage of national signing day for the Georgia Bulldogs. We'll be with you throughout the day providing up-to-the minute updates on Georgia's Class of 2013.

Watch live coverage on ESPNU | Talk signing day in "The Pound"

Follow the live blog after the jump.

(Read full post)

Position scouting report: WRs 

January, 15, 2013
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Editor’s note: In the next several weeks, we’ll take a look at each position on Georgia’s depth chart and project how it might look in the future. Today we examine Georgia’s wide receivers:

" 2012 two-deep depth chart:
Tavarres King (Sr.), Chris Conley (So.)
Malcolm Mitchell (So.), Rhett McGowan (Jr.)

Georgia targets set record straight 

January, 14, 2013
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If you follow college football recruiting then you could not have missed how often news is reported “via Twitter.” More and more it seems that prospects are turning to Twitter to make announcements about their recruitment and those updates are breathlessly retweeted by passionate fanbases who follow these future college players.

A couple Georgia verbal commitments have found a new way to use Twitter to deal with an ugly side of the recruiting process: unfounded rumors.


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Dawgs Snapshot 2013: WR Uriah LeMay 

December, 12, 2012
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To gear up for 2013 national signing day, DawgNation's Radi Nabulsi is breaking down every commitment in the Bulldogs' 2013 recruiting class.

Vitals: Wide receiver Uriah LeMay, Matthews, N.C./Butler | 6-foot-2, 197 pounds

Committed: June 1, 2012

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Weekend rewind: Georgia 

December, 10, 2012
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ATHENS, Ga. -- The Georgia coaching staff was on the road Friday, as usual, checking in on commits and targets alike. In what had to the most fortuitous turn of events of the day, tight ends coach John Lilly and inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti just happened to be stopping by Auburn (Ala.) High School right after the nation’s No. 1 inside linebacker, Reuben Foster, decommitted from Auburn University. Both coaches met with Foster, who reopened his recruitment, citing reports that his mentor Trooper Taylor had been let go at Auburn.

Later that night, another coach would also prove lucky as defensive line coach Rodney Garner was on hand to congratulate Montravius Adams (Vienna, Ga./Dooly County) after the top-ranked defensive tackle won the chance to play for the Georgia Class A championship.

Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and running backs coach Bryan McClendon were on hand to see the Bulldogs’ top tailback target, Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross), win his semifinal game as well. Alabama’s Kirby Smart was also there, and the battle for Kamara is still neck and neck.

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Georgia commits looking elsewhere? 

November, 29, 2012
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia has the nation’s second largest recruiting class with 30 prospects verbally committed to for the Class of 2013, despite having had four decommitments in the last year. The Bulldogs are hoping to add six more targets and to sign the largest class Mark Richt has ever had. But will the 30 recruits verbally committed to Georgia stick? Recent history says no.

So who could flip? That is tough to gauge but we thought we would examine a few players that have been rumored to be looking around.

CB Shaq Wiggins (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) -- The No. 5 ranked cornerback is also Georgia’s highest rated commitment. Wiggins has been a tireless recruiter for the Bulldogs, trying to help Georgia sign as strong a class as possible. He would seem like the most solid recruit Georgia had but additions to the class have the Under Armour All-American worried.

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