Georgia Bulldogs: Georgia Bulldogs
2. So who gets the four BCS at-large bids? Either No. 14 Northern Illinois or No. 16 Fresno State is in line for an invite. The SEC, with four teams in the top 10, will get one. If No. 6 Clemson beats No. 10 South Carolina, it will get one. That would leave one for the Big Ten or the Big 12. No. 11 Michigan State can solve that by beating No. 3 Ohio State. That would leave No. 9 Baylor on the outside looking in.
3. Sentiment got to me this week when I filled out my ESPN Heisman straw poll. Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray is on my ballot, a tribute to one of the best college careers in recent memory. Murray, who tore his ACL in the Bulldogs’ rout of Kentucky, will miss his final two games at Georgia after starting the first 52 (35-17). Murray not only leaves with every major SEC career record, but he will be honored next month in New York as a finalist for the Campbell Trophy -- the Academic Heisman. Murray represents the best of the sport.
COACHES HATE a “statement loss.” So do fans, players and anyone else whose lives are built around a team’s record. (Well, OK, that’s everyone.) As former Clemson coach Danny Ford once said, “Moral victories only feel good if you don’t know how good an actual victory feels.”
Week 6 of the season was packed with moral victories, from TCU’s 20-17 near-miss in Norman to Northwestern’s closer-than-the-score, 40-30 loss to Ohio State. None of those games felt good for the losers, but they may have all signified something larger over the horizon. Sure, there’s the far-flung notion of program-building, but Saturday’s efforts might also have a much-larger-than-expected impact on the not-so-distant future, ultimately altering the BCS title march. That could either happen by way of an actual win over the next would-be BCS bowler, or simply damaging the image of the team that won on the scoreboard but could now be vulnerable for its next top-shelf opponent.
“We won and we’ll take it,” Georgia coach Mark Richt admitted after defeating Tennessee 34-31 in overtime, the Bulldogs’ second consecutive three-point, nail-biting W. “But this is the kind of win that you are likely to feel some effect from for a while down the road. The LSU game had some effect this week. Now you hope this doesn’t add on to that.”
Those words sounded a little like what was coming out of the mouths of Tennessee faithful after the heartbreaking defeat: We didn’t win, but we made them earn it! That’s the message that was being rained down upon the Vols as they left the field on Saturday night. They were still reeling from the emotional about-face of thinking receiver Pig Howard’s corner dive toward the pylon had been perhaps the game-winning score to learning that, via the replay booth, it was actually a fingertip fumble and touchback. Moments later, they lost.
As Neyland Stadium emptied, a group of orange-clad fans crowded their way into the first rows that overlook the entrance to the north end zone tunnel, where their gray-clad team was beginning to file through en route to the locker room. They shouted encouragement to the players, but were waiting on the coach.
Butch Jones doesn’t typically walk off the field. He runs. He jogs. He at the very least speed-walks. But as the Vols first-year coach turned toward the tunnel at Neyland Stadium, he was walking. Exhausted, covered in sweat, and with only a wisp of his perpetually hoarse voice remaining. The famously exuberant coach had been fearless during the game, going for it on fourth down three times in the fourth quarter, twice in his own territory and converting all three with perfect play-calling. But he looked beaten down. Moments earlier, his undermanned Vols had Georgia on the ropes. Now as he strode toward the tunnel, the scoreboard on the giant video screen behind him read “34-31 F OT.”
“They knew we were here, coach!” the fans shouted down, drawing a halfhearted thumbs up. “Brick by brick! Brick by brick!”
On paper, it will look like just another big-game loss for Tennessee, which still hasn’t defeated a top-10 team since 2006 and extended its winless streak against ranked opponents to 19. The Vols will face at least two more ranked teams (Alabama, South Carolina) and possibly a third (Missouri) this season. But the reality is that the Vols were in the game until -- actually during -- the last minute. They also hit hard, inflicting injuries to four key Georgia players and adding the likes of Keith Marshall, Michael Bennett and Justin Scott-Wesley to an already too-long list of wounded stars.
That might make this week’s game in Athens against undefeated largely unknown Missouri much more of a contest than previously expected.
“I’m not really in the celebrating mood so much,” Richt said. His finger was bleeding, having just been cut on his postgame news conference chair. During the game he’d been knocked to the turf when a play ran over the sideline. “I’m just thankful to escape here with a victory, considering what happened.”
Nearly 2,500 miles west of Neyland Stadium’s tunnel, Stanford Stadium’s walkways were also filled with dejection.
“There’s no awards for losing.”
Those were the words of Steve Sarkisian, coach of the then-No. 15 Washington Huskies, whose chances of knocking off the fifth-ranked Cardinal came down to one final fourth-down play. That’s when electrifying quarterback Keith Price scrambled ... and then scrambled again ... to fire an on-the-run pass that was so close to being a first down catch that it was ruled a catch by the on-field officials, but was overturned by the instant replay booth, which ruled that it was an incomplete pass, having squirted out and touched the turf. Washington turned the ball over on downs and lost 31-28.
“It's unfortunate the game had to come down to a judgment call like that,” Sarkisian said. “That part was unfortunate, because it was two good football teams battling and competing with one another, and I wish the game would have gotten won on the field and not in the booth upstairs with some guy that didn't get to feel the emotion and the hard-fought football game that that game was.”
Stanford coach David Shaw (who admitted he also believed it was a catch until his press box coaches convinced him otherwise) was asked to address the same concerns expressed by Richt earlier in the evening. What would be the mental and physical cost of a win like Saturday night's, especially with the Cardinal’s brutal upcoming Pac-12 schedule, starting with a trip to Utah? But instead of worrying about damage, he turned the conversation back toward toughness.
“This is what we’re built for. All we talk about is the fourth quarter. About being finishers. Every day we have a finisher at the end of the day. Every week we have a finisher at the end of the week. We train ourselves to be at our best in the fourth quarter.”
Coach Sark’s rant about the replay booth, a job that he also compared to playing a video game, is threatening to become a shared chorus. Most of the weekend’s biggest games, including Washington-Stanford and Georgia-Tennessee, hinged on replay rulings.
The contentious tone surrounding game-deciding calls, on the field and in the booth, has built throughout the season, from the bizarre finish of Wisconsin-Arizona State to the in-or-out sideline ruling at Clemson-NC State. But the decidedly testier feelings on replay that were shown throughout Week 6 were put into motion by Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads, who after Thursday night’s 31-30 loss to Texas unleashed one of the coolest postgame coaching rants of all time. It ranked alongside Tommy West’s 2009 post-firing directive on how to rebuild the Memphis football program. (“Give the next guy a fighting chance.”)
Texas running back Johnathan Gray had the football ripped away just short of the goal line, and it appeared Iowa State had possession before the whistle blew. Game over. But the officials ruled Gray down by contact. The booth upheld the call.
Keep in mind, Rhoads’ speech is not a CTRL+C of Sarkisian’s comments, which came 48 hours later: “What you saw tonight were a couple of teams playing their hearts out. You could argue both deserve to win the football game.” Then, his voice rising: “And to make a play ... on the 1-yard line ... with their backs against the wall ... clear to everybody ... and have it taken away from them! That’s hard to express. You don’t just put your arm around a guy and tell him that’s OK ... if that’s just happened to him!”
It’ll be even harder to do that if one of those calls ends up determining who does or doesn’t get to play for the BCS championship in January.
That’s nearly happened already, at least three times -- and it’s not even the second weekend of October.
Top to bottom, the Southeastern Conference is recruiting better than any conference in the country. Thirteen of 14 SEC schools are ranked in the top 40 of the recruiting rankings, including six schools ranked in the top 10. Here's a closer look at which SEC school has the top recruiting classes at each position.
Strongest class: Alabama
This is the hardest position to determine who has the strongest class. Four of the top-five quarterbacks in the final Elite 11 rankings -- Sean White (Auburn), Kyle Allen (Texas A&M), Will Grier (Florida) and Jacob Park (Georgia) -- are committed to SEC schools. Alabama, however has the top-ranked quarterback, David Cornwell (Norman, Okla./Norman North) in the ESPN 300. The Under Armour All-American is the 32nd-ranked player in the nation. At 6-foot-5, 241-pounds, Cornwell has a big-time arm and ideal size for the position.
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IT'S SUCH A cliché to say that football is a game of inches. But tell me how many clichés ain’t the truth?
Just a few days before the start of the 2013 season, HBO aired an episode of "The Newsroom" during which a preachy-yet-usually-correct anchorman (played by Jeff Daniels) opines about near-misses. How the direction of American history has been written as much by wobbly chairs and weird weather as it has by well-intentioned men and women. “So sometimes,” Daniels explained, leaned over a table, “it’s just the one thing.”
On Saturday night, Mark Richt was also leaning over a table. He had just emerged from the visitors’ locker room at Memorial Stadium, having addressed his Georgia Bulldogs after a crushing 38-35 season-opening loss to the Clemson Tigers. Richt didn’t steal any lines from Daniels’ monologue, but what he said would have fit snugly into the script.
“It’d been interesting to know what would have happened if we’d have made that short-range field goal.”
With 1:05 remaining in the third quarter, the entire Georgia sideline joined Richt to watch a 20-yard field goal that would pull the Bulldogs even at 31-31. The coach was a little more anxious than normal about the chip shot because the kicker was Patrick Beless. The walk-on redshirt sophomore’s only other live-action field goal wasn’t even a live-action field goal. It was a 23-yarder in the team’s G-Day spring scrimmage.
But Beless had been pressed into service because starting kicker Marshall Morgan was suspended by Richt after his boating under the influence arrest in late July. Throughout the rest of summer practice, Richt directly forbade all players involved with the kicking game to talk to the media, from punters to placekickers to holders to likable long-snapper Nathan Theus. Leading up to the weekend, Richt joked that everyone would know what the plan was “by halftime of the Clemson game.”
The initial speculation was that another walk-on, junior Adam Erickson, would replace Morgan. But in the end, Richt decided that keeping Erickson, the backup punter, as the regular holder of Theus' snaps would provide stability.
The Bulldogs’ opening drive ended in a punt, but their next four offensive series finished in the end zone. On all four PATs, Theus snapped it cleanly to Erickson, who placed it onto the turf perfectly for Beless, who flawlessly booted the ball through the uprights. Their first and only field goal attempt was little more than another extra point, with the line of scrimmage at the 2 and Erickson on his knees at the 10.
Before the snap, Theus, a 6-foot-3, 241-pound redshirt sophomore, sensed a space open off his right shoulder, but off his left shoulder, he felt crowded. It was 6-1, 285-pound DeShawn Williams, aka Big Nuke 99, who had his head stuck in as close to being offside without actually being called offside as is humanly possible. Big Nuke’s left shoulder was essentially resting on Theus’ left shoulder.
In the fraction of a second before the ball was snapped, all 20 men who were crammed along the line of scrimmage held completely still … except for Williams, who stomped his feet: left foot once, right foot twice.
The long-snapper’s goal is to keep his actions smooth amid chaos, applying even pressure from both hands and moving both arms back in a perfectly parallel throwing motion, then seamlessly raising upright into a crouched blocking position. But Theus gave it a little too much gas with the left arm, the arm that had been all but resting against Williams’ shoulder. The good news was that he got a quick launch into Williams, driving the now-standing tackle out of the likely path of the football. The bad news was that the ball wasn’t coming.
For Richt, who has long stuck to the practice of not having a special-teams coach, the most frustrating aspect of watching the play on Sunday morning was that the snap still looked pretty good. Erickson still nearly pulled it down. He managed to keep his knees bent and get his hands on the football. Had it been two knuckles lower, or had the 5-foot-10 holder been able to extend his arms perhaps one more inch, he might have pulled it down and gotten it set for Beless … and who knows?
Instead, the ball fell to the turf and Erickson dived to smother it. Then he was smothered by Big Nuke. When Williams jumped up to celebrate, he crashed into a Georgia player, who promptly gave him a “get the hell off me” forearm shot. It was Theus, who didn’t know that at that exact moment he was being identified by Brent Musberger on national television. That never happens for a guy like Theus, unless the situation has gone horribly wrong.
So did Georgia lose the game on that field goal try? No. As Richt explained during his postgame news conference, there were plenty of other chances to put Clemson away. The Bulldogs could have scored on the three plays leading up to the field goal attempt, all of them starting inside the Tigers' 6-yard line.
But on Saturday night, there was only one play with which Richt played “what if?” And with Georgia's and Clemson’s schedules, it’s a what-if that could have repercussions far beyond Aug. 31 and well beyond Death Valley. Georgia rolls into another top-10 matchup, hosting South Carolina. The Tigers will see the Gamecocks at regular season’s end. If the Bulldogs win, they're still in the SEC East hunt. If Clemson loses, will we point to the Georgia win as proof the Tigers shouldn't be knocked out of the BCS title game?
In other words, we could still be talking about Theus' snap when we get to Pasadena in January.
“It’s very disappointing, but that’s football,” UGA receiver Justin Scott-Wesley explained before the team boarded the bus back to Athens. “It’s a game of inches.
" Elsewhere in the cosmic tumblers department, it’s not misguided to think that the weekend’s slew of Davids slaying Goliaths could have far-reaching effects for other Goliaths as the season rolls along. When the Oregon State Beavers lose to Eastern Washington, it should send chills down the spine of the Stanford Cardinal, who narrowly escaped the Beavers one year ago and will travel to Corvallis on Oct. 26. Even a close game would hurt Stanford’s national rep, not to mention those of the USC Trojans (Nov. 1) and Oregon Ducks (Nov. 29). Same scenario applies for the schools of the Big 12 if they get “upset” by the Kansas State Wildcats, who were beaten by two-time defending FCS champ North Dakota State ...
" But the biggest shock waves will likely be coming from Storrs, Conn., where the Huskies have started jackhammering the already thin ice beneath the Louisville Cardinals’ national title hopes. The American Athletic Conference was a mess entering the season, but when Towson toppled UConn, the whole league went down another notch. The Huskies host Teddy Bridgewater on Nov. 8, a game they won at Louisville in OT last season.
" During NFL training camp, I had a conversation with former Appalachian State QB (current Carolina Panthers receiver) Armanti Edwards about being the little guys who beat the big guy and still have a chance to beat some other big guys. “I remember after we beat Michigan [in ’07] how everyone talked about them the rest of the year. I’ve talked to guys who played them later that year and they all say they were so scared to lose to Michigan because it’d be like they lost to us, too.” He mentioned Penn State and Florida, a pair of top-10 teams that fell to the Wolverines that year, as well as Notre Dame. Then he laughed. “We ended up wrecking a lot of people’s seasons, didn’t we?”
This year’s version of Edwards is Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams. Against then-No. 25 Oregon State, he was 23-of-30 for 411 yards and four TDs through the air and ran for 107 yards and two TDs on the ground. Anyone who follows FCS football already knew he had explosive capabilities, but this year he looks more in control of his talents. A big reason for that is time spent over the summer with another Washington-based QB (and current ESPN The Mag cover model), Russell Wilson.
Adams says they talked plenty about mechanics and football skills, but also about being the little guy. “We’re the same height, and people have always tried to say he’s too short. But he’s had a lot of success. Perhaps I can, too.”
So far, so good.
Georgia (No. 8 Clemson), Mississippi State (No. 13 Oklahoma State) and LSU (No. 20 TCU) are the only three SEC schools playing nationally ranked opponents to open the season.
Who in the SEC has played the most nationally ranked foes over the last three seasons? Who's won the most games against nationally ranked teams during that span, and who's won the fewest?
Let's take a look. But, first, the number to ponder in our countdown: 22.
LSU has faced 22 nationally ranked opponents over the last three seasons, which is more than anybody else in the SEC. The Tigers have compiled a 16-6 record against those ranked foes. Their 16 wins are tops in the SEC since the start of the 2010 season, and they're an impressive 11-4 in nationally ranked games during the last two seasons. Two-time defending national champion Alabama is second to LSU in the SEC with a 13-5 record against ranked teams over the last three seasons. The Crimson Tide have won 10 of their last 12 games against ranked opponents going back to their 49-7 battering of Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl to end the 2010 season. Only three SEC teams have winning records against ranked foes over the last three seasons. South Carolina is the third member of that exclusive group along with Alabama and LSU. The Gamecocks are 8-7 in games against ranked teams over the last three seasons. That's a huge turnaround from what they'd done previously against ranked foes. Prior to the 2010 season, they'd lost 14 of their last 19 games against ranked opponents. Arkansas is close to making it four SEC teams with a winning record against ranked foes over the last three seasons. The Hogs are 7-7 after going 0-2 last season. The only two SEC teams who've failed to beat a ranked team over the last three seasons are Tennessee and Vanderbilt. The Vols are 0-15 during that stretch and the Commodores 0-8. Vanderbilt's eight games against ranked opponents are the fewest of any team in the SEC over the last three seasons. Florida and Georgia have both struggled in recent years against ranked foes. The Gators are just 4-11 and the Bulldogs 4-9 over the last three seasons. In fact, Florida had lost nine straight games to ranked teams before coming back last season and going 4-2. Mississippi State has had three straight winning seasons under Dan Mullen, but is just 1-12 against ranked teams during that stretch. The Bulldogs' lone win over a ranked team during the last three seasons came against Florida in the Swamp in 2010.
The Bulldogs clinched a spot in Atlanta for the second consecutive year after routing Auburn 38-0 on Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Georgia (9-1, 7-1 SEC) jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the first half and the result never seemed in doubt. Here's a look at the high points:
It was over when: The teams went into the locker room at the half. The Bulldogs scored on each of their first four drives, all of which covered at least 64 yards. They punted only once in their first seven drives.
Game ball goes to: Running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall. The pair led Georgia to a 289-yard rushing effort. Gurley had 116 yards on 11 carries (an average of 10.5 yards a tote) along with a touchdown and Marshall added 105 yards on eight carries (13.1 yard average) with a touchdown of his own.
Key stat: 497. That's how many yards Georgia ended up with, a total that could have been higher if the game wasn't already well in hand by the third quarter. The Bulldogs averaged 7.4 yards per play and Aaron Murray threw for 208 yards on 18 of 24 attempts, including three touchdown tosses.
Key play: Murray connected with receiver Tavarres King for a 55-yard completion with 5:32 left in the second quarter to get the Bulldogs to the Auburn 6. Murray did get a little pressure up the middle as he threw, but made a perfect throw to King over the coverage. The completion set up Georgia's fourth touchdown, which made it 28-0.
What it means: As SEC East Division champions, the Bulldogs will await the SEC West champion for a Dec. 1 showdown in Atlanta. Alabama had the chance to clinch that berth on Saturday but was upset by Texas A&M and will now need a victory over Auburn to clinch the West. For the Tigers (2-8, 0-7), it was another ugly loss in what has become a nightmarish season. They are still without a conference win and it will only continue to increase the pressure on head coach Gene Chizik.
The Bulldogs nearly failed to hold up their end of the bargain that night, however, struggling throughout against four-touchdown underdog Kentucky before finally winning 29-24.
It was not the easy night most Bulldogs fans expected, but the win still gives Georgia a chance to control its destiny, which was the goal when the night began.
It was over when: Ken Malcome’s 5-yard run to the Kentucky 20 gave Georgia a first down and forced the Wildcats to use their last timeout, essentially allowing the Bulldogs to run out the remaining time on the clock.
MIDDLEBURG, Fla. -- Five-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (Lake City, Fla./Columbia) will take an unofficial visit to Florida for its game against South Carolina on Saturday. For the 6-foot-6, 295-pound No. 1-ranked offensive lineman in the country, this will be his second visit to Gainesville in the last three weeks.
Tunsil, who visited Florida for its game against LSU, said he enjoyed his trip to the Swamp.
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"The trip went well," Wiggins said. "If anything, my favorite part was the crowd."
For Wiggins, he says he didn't pay too much attention to the game itself, but focused more on the cornerback play, specifically on Florida sophomore Marcus Roberson.
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At 8,200 career rushing yards, Henry moves in to third place on the state of Florida's all-time career rushing list, trailing only Emmitt Smith and Florida running back commit Kelvin Taylor (Belle Glades, Fla./Glades Day).
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Though Turman hasn't set specific dates for the visits, the 6-foot, 198-pound athlete said those three schools are standing out.
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ATHENS, Ga. -- Perhaps no factor is more important than stability when measuring the strength of a brand -- and Georgia has that with Mark Richt helming its football program.
Entering his 12th season at Georgia, Richt is tied with Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe and Missouri’s Gary Pinkel for the seventh-longest tenure among FBS head coaches. And after surviving the dreaded hot seat last season and winning his first SEC East title since 2005, Richt signed a contract extension that could keep him in Athens through at least 2016.
The combination of football tradition -- Georgia has won at least 10 games in seven of the last 10 seasons -- social opportunities at one of America’s top party schools and a strong academic reputation make Georgia an easy sell for Richt’s coaching staff.
When and where: Nov. 19-20 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Semifinal schedule for the Legends Classic
Nov. 19: Indiana vs. Georgia (5:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU); UCLA vs. Georgetown (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Nov. 20: Third-place game (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU); championship game (10 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Initial thoughts: It may be a simple four-game showcase, but this is a high-profile and exciting way to bring college hoops to the shiny, bottle-service-in-your-luxury-box Barclays Center. I'm all-in. ... These four teams have combined for 119 NCAA tournament appearances, primarily thanks to Indiana, UCLA and Georgetown, three of the sport's most storied programs. ... This is UCLA's coming-out party, and it's going to be fascinating to see that talented squad begin to sort itself out in some of its first high-profile, klieg-light competition.
Potential matchup I'd like to see: Indiana vs. UCLA. I'd be fine with Indiana-Georgia too, but a chance to see what is likely to be two top-five teams -- not to mention two all-time bluebloods -- square off as early as Nov. 20 is absolute manna from the hoops heavens.
Five players to watch
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Georgia: The 6-foot-5 shooting guard arrived at Georgia as the putative in-state savior, and while he wasn't quite that good as a freshman, he displayed plenty of long-term potential. The Legends Classic will be our first look at him since.
Larry Drew II, UCLA: There are a lot of players who deserve consideration (IU's Yogi Ferrell, UCLA's Anderson, Georgetown's Stephen Domingo), but Drew II might be the most fascinating, given his epic flameout at UNC and his reputation for being less than team-oriented. This is a huge season for UCLA. The Bruins' talent is immense. Has Drew II matured? Can he lead a team? Does he even need to? We'll see.
Shabazz Muhammad, UCLA: A 6-foot-6 guard with a versatile array of skills, he arrives in Westwood with as much hype as any UCLA freshman in some time. But is Muhammad all he is cracked up to be? Will he work in coach Ben Howland's system? You know what they say about first impressions.
Otto Porter, Georgetown: The stretchy swingman emerged from small-town Missouri in relative anonymity last season just in time to make a major impression on an upperclassmen-led Georgetown team. This year, Porter takes the reins, and Hoyas fans are right to expect big things.
Cody Zeller, Indiana: Zeller was already a beast as a freshman, but he spent the summer expanding his game and improving his core strength. This will be the first chance to see -- against quality competition at least -- the results of that offseason regimen. It's an early glimpse at the early favorite for national player of the year.
Indiana over UCLA: I get the feeling the Bruins will be a work in progress throughout November and December, which is OK; there's a lot of talent to mesh in one offseason. Indiana has its own pieces to incorporate but will arrive in 2012-13 much more fully formed, and it'll be the better team at the Legends Classic.
Whom others are picking:
Andy Katz: Indiana over UCLA
Jason King: Indiana over UCLA
Myron Medcalf: Indiana over UCLA
Dana O'Neil: Indiana over UCLA
University of Georgia head coach Mark Richt got great news Friday with commitment No. 20 for the 2013 class. Interestingly enough, it was the second time he had received the news that Quincy Mauger (Marietta, Ga./Kell) wanted to play for him.
“When I called Coach Richt, he told me how great Georgia was,” Mauger said. “I already knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A lot of kids line up to play for them.
"I told Mark Richt that I wanted to commit, but I wanted to surprise my mom and make it official with her in person at Dawg Night. He said he was very happy but would be ecstatic when I make it official.”
Earlier on Friday, Mauger arrived with his mom and toured the academic facilities. That played a key part in his decision.
“I have done my research on academics and their engineering department,” Mauger said. “I also did my research on Coach [Todd] Grantham and he is a wonderful person with an amazing track record. I respect everything about him, the coaching staff and the Georgia tradition. It feels great to be a Dawg.”
Mauger thinks the opportunity to stay in-state will make life easier for his mother, and he is looking forward to playing with other top prospects in Georgia.
“She is going to be very happy being able to have me stay close to home, and I am very excited about teaming up with Tray Matthews (Newnan, Ga./Newnan) and Shaq Wiggins (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek) on defense,” Mauger said.
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