Georgia Bulldogs: Georgia football

ESPN 300 DE has UGA in front 

July, 2, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. -- The potential logjam at outside linebacker in Georgia's recruiting class just got a little tighter. There are no commits at the position so far, but the Bulldogs lead for Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn), are tied at the top for Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) and are among the top three that Christian Miller (Columbia, S.C./Spring Valley) is considering. In addition, a fourth ESPN 300 target just completed a weekend visit with the Bulldogs, and Keyon Brown (Wauchula, Fla./Hardee County) still has Georgia out front as well.

Paris Bostick out for season

June, 28, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. –- Just two weeks after losing one freshman in the secondary for the 2013 football season, the Georgia Bulldogs will now be without safety Paris Bostick (Tampa, Fla./Plant) as well. The 6-foot-1, 217-pound freshman will redshirt this season after undergoing surgery to repair a chronic left great toe injury sustained in high school.

A full recovery is expected, according to Ron Courson, Georgia senior associate athletic director and director of sports medicine.

Cornerback Reggie Wilkerson (Citra, Fla./North Marion) who enrolled in January and went through spring camp, will also redshirt after undergoing surgery to repair an injury to his ACL two weeks ago. He hurt his knee while participating in voluntary pass coverage drills with his teammates in Athens.
It’s Rankings Week at DawgNation. Each day this week, we’ve ranked some aspect of Georgia’s football program and the teams and players the Bulldogs will face in the 2013 season.

Today we’re ranking Georgia’s top five areas of need in the 2014 recruiting class and some of the players the Bulldogs are pursuing to fill those holes.

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Ranking Georgia's impact freshmen 

June, 27, 2013
It’s Rankings Week at DawgNation. Each day this week, we’ll rank some aspect of Georgia’s football program and the teams and players the Bulldogs will face in the 2013 season.

[+] EnlargeTray Matthews
Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports Tray Matthews could be one of the SEC's top freshmen this fall.
Today we’re ranking the top 10 freshmen we believe are most likely to make an impact this fall. On Friday, we’ll look at Georgia’s top five areas of need in the 2014 recruiting class and some of the players the Bulldogs are pursuing to fill those holes.

1. Tray Matthews: The most obvious choice on the list, Matthews enrolled in January, was a breakout performer during spring practice and put himself in position to start at free safety by the end of the spring. The big hitter with solid coverage skills is a lock to contribute and could be one of the SEC’s top freshmen this fall.

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It’s Rankings Week at DawgNation. Each day this week, we’ll rank some aspect of Georgia’s football program and the teams and players the Bulldogs will face in the 2013 season.

Today we’re ranking the top-10 defensive players the Bulldogs will face this season. On Thursday, we’ll turn to Georgia’s top-10 impact freshmen.

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Top offensive players UGA will face 

June, 25, 2013
It’s Rankings Week at DawgNation. Each day this week, we’ll rank some aspect of Georgia’s football program and the teams and players the Bulldogs will face in the 2013 season.

[+] EnlargeTajh Boyd
Streeter Lecka/Getty ImagesClemson QB Tajh Boyd will be a tough challenge for Georgia's rebuilt defense.
Today we’re ranking the top 10 offensive players the Bulldogs will see this season. On Wednesday, we’ll turn to the top 10 defensive players.

1. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson: The Heisman Trophy contender ranked seventh nationally in total offense last season (339.2 ypg) and figures to be a nightmare for Georgia’s rebuilt defense as a running and passing threat. His 36 passing touchdowns and 10 scores on the ground last season attest to the problems he will present.

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Wilkerson out for the year

June, 13, 2013
Freshman cornerback Reggie Wilkerson had an impressive spring camp after enrolling last January. The Florida native received praise from coaches and teammates about how quickly he was picking up the defensive schemes. But earlier this week he was injured during the voluntary summer workouts and now he will redshirt for the 2013 season.

“I won’t be playing next year,” Wilkerson said. “I tore my ACL and my meniscus.”

Wilkerson said a freak accident led to his injury.

“We were doing 7-on-7s and the receiver ran the wrong route,” Wilkerson said. “I ran into him, the tight end and the strong safety also. That just blew my knee out. I am the only one that got really hurt. I didn’t want anyone to know until tomorrow but people have already put it out on Twitter. I was getting ready to start but you know how it is.”

The Georgia secondary was already in the process of replacing four starters from last year, and with the news that safety Josh Harvey-Clemons will miss the season opener against Clemson, Wilkerson’s injury further depletes a thin secondary. Defensive backs coach Scott Lakatos will now have to rely on Damian Swann, Sheldon Dawson and Devin Bowman to man the cornerback spots, with true freshmen Shaq Wiggins and Brendan Langley getting looks, as well. Junior college transfer Kennar Johnson is coming to Georgia to play safety but could also help at cornerback, where he lined up last season.

Wilkerson will have ACL surgery on Friday at noon ET.
ATHENS, Ga. -- When you’re already an elite high school prospect with a long list of scholarship offers, it’s not terribly important to turn in a dominant performance at a summer camp like the ones Georgia is preparing to host.

But when you’re a player like Bulldogs running back signee Brendan Douglas, sometimes a standout effort in camp is the difference between receiving the offer you covet and having to settle for a secondary option.

Douglas (Augusta, Ga./Aquinas) used excellent showings at Georgia coach Mark Richt’s summer camp and the Dawg Night showcase last year to jump squarely onto the Bulldogs’ radar -- something Richt admits was unlikely to have happened otherwise.

“If Brendan didn’t come to our camps, I don’t think we’d have offered him a scholarship then,” Richt said. “We saw him in camp, we saw what he could do, we saw what kind of person he was. We obviously followed his career and recruited him along the way in case something was going to come available, which it did. But if he didn’t go to camp, I don’t think it would’ve happened.”

Douglas is in good company in that regard.

Richt loves to recap Michael Bennett’s camp performances against elite cornerback prospects whose inability to cover the Alpharetta (Ga.) receiver earned Bennett a scholarship offer from the Bulldogs. Former Bulldogs center Ben Jones developed a Paul Bunyan-like reputation in recruiting circles following intense and dominant blocking performances in camp. And former receiver and kick returner Mikey Henderson likewise used an impressive camp to grab a Georgia offer.

“I don’t think there’s any way we’d have taken him unless he came to camp and lit it up like he did,” Richt recalled of Henderson.

An official offer didn’t come Douglas’ way until the 11th hour leading up to national signing day, once Georgia’s coaching staff knew that top tailback option Alvin Kamara (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) would sign with Alabama, but Douglas was the next back on the Bulldogs’ board thanks to his impressive camp showings.

Richt’s staff had previously spelled out the situation to Douglas and asked him to keep Georgia in mind, even while he was committed to rival Georgia Tech. And when the spot they had reserved for Kamara came available, they made the offer and Douglas accepted.

“It was [a whirlwind],” Douglas said with a laugh. “Everybody always told me recruiting is a crazy process. I think I got the best of it with the late offer and everything. But it was good. I’m happy with where I’m at right now and happy to be going to Georgia.”

Aside from Georgia Tech, Douglas had scholarship offers from schools like Georgia Southern, The Citadel, Samford and Wofford. Typically that’s an outstanding offer list for someone from a school as small as Aquinas, but Douglas had designs on playing at the highest level of college football. He earned himself the Georgia offer with tough running and a surprisingly quick 40-yard dash time (4.5 seconds) for a player whom ESPN listed as the nation’s No. 4 fullback prospect.

“He had tremendous effort in camp,” Bulldogs offensive coordinator Mike Bobo said. “I always felt like he wanted to be at Georgia, and guys tend to do really well when they want to be there and take pride in wearing the G. Guys like that have always been successful at Georgia in my time as a player and a coach, really.”

Jones and Henderson went on to productive careers at Georgia once they accepted the Bulldogs’ offers. Bennett is in the middle of authoring an impressive résumé of his own, having ranked among the SEC’s most productive receivers last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury in October.

Now Douglas will join them as a scholarship football player at Georgia. And like them, he has an impressive showing at the Bulldogs’ summer camps to credit for the opportunity.

ESPN 150 OG names a favorite 

May, 2, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. –- When ESPN 150 running back Sony Michel committed to Georgia on Friday, live on ESPNU, Bulldogs fans were overjoyed. Those who were following another top prospect, ESPN 150 offensive guard Isaiah Wynn (St. Petersburg, Fla./Lakewood Senior), were beside themselves when he tweeted shortly after the announcement, “I guess I'm going to be blocking for Sony Michael.!! #DawgsOnTop.”

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Michel fuels momentum of UGA's class 

April, 26, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. -- The news of Sony Michel’s commitment to Georgia will not only soothe the Bulldogs coaching staff's depth chart fears, it will also serve as a salve to ease some hurt feelings among Bulldogs fans.

[+] EnlargeSony Michel
Davide De Pas/ESPN.comSony Michel will provide depth and explosiveness when he arrives at Georgia.
First and foremost, Michel is the nation’s No. 2 running back prospect and should arrive on campus when the dynamic duo of Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall start their junior years and what could be their final season on campus. A year or two of their tutelage will prove helpful for Michel, who will face less pressure to come in and take over a job. In return, Michel will help spread the load at tailback.

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Ogletree shows off NFL potential

April, 15, 2013
Alec Ogletree visits the Sport Science lab to test his skills in advance of the NFL draft.

Is Jones worthy of top-10 pick? 

April, 10, 2013

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ATHENS, Ga. -- Aaron Murray and Arthur Lynch have been teammates with 18 NFL draft picks -- with more to come in this month’s draft -- since becoming Bulldogs in 2009, and that has helped them develop a feel for who has some talent.

[+] EnlargeBrice Ramsey
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comDespite struggling in two scrimmages this spring, Brice Ramsey is showing his potential to Georgia teammates.
When Murray, Georgia’s starting quarterback, and Lynch, the first-team tight end, are not involved in a drill during practice, the longtime roommates often discuss the team’s stars in waiting.

“Especially with the young guys,” Lynch said, “because you’re definitely intrigued to see what they have to offer and what they bring to the table.”

Their latest source of entertainment is watching unflappable freshman quarterback Brice Ramsey, who enrolled at UGA in January.

“[Lynch] loves Brice. He thinks Brice has the most swag ever,” Murray said with a laugh. “Brice does have some swag, I’m not going to lie. Brice just walks around like, ‘Hey I’m the man.’ ... He’s very cool, calm, collected. He’s very chill. He’s Joe Cool out there, and Artie and I just sit back and watch him and laugh like, ‘This kid doesn’t get fazed by anything.’

“He’s just out there and playing ball and looks good. He’s a very confident kid, throws the ball well and we just sit back and laugh and watch him play. It’s very entertaining to us for some reason.”

Ramsey’s demeanor immediately intrigued Murray, who often remarks about how nervous he was when he first took the practice field as a 2009 early enrollee. Having to throw against a talented SEC defense after getting only two months to absorb a complex college playbook would tend to generate some anxiety.

Perhaps that’s why Ramsey’s coolness intrigues his veteran teammates so much.

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DawgNation on the radio

March, 12, 2013
The Georgia football team had a week of practice before heading off for spring break. On Tuesday morning DawgNation joined ESPN’s Athens affiliate 960 AM The Ref to talk about spring camp, recruiting and more. Some of the questions addressed were:
  • How will the new recruiting rules affect prospects?
  • What do recruits think about unlimited contacts from college coaches?
  • What will the role be of the compliance directors going forward?
  • Is there a better option than what has been proposed?

Listen to the show here.

DawgNation Mailbag 

March, 8, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. -- Spring practice has started for the Georgia Bulldogs, and all eyes are turning to the defense to see how that unit is going to shape up after losing so many starters from last year. Questions abound on what type of squad Georgia will field this fall and where the Bulldogs stand on the recruiting trail. We have taken some of those questions and added them to the weekly DawgNation Mailbag.

1thatguy: Who will be the surprise player of the season next year? Last year nobody at all talked about Todd Gurley before the season but he ended up being amazing. What players do you think have the potential to impress like that next year and have been under the radar?

Radi Nabulsi: That depends on what you mean by “under the radar.” Can a four-star recruit be considered a sleeper? Last fall we wrote extensively about Gurley and while few, if any, predicted he would lead all running backs in the SEC in total yards, it should not have been surprising that he started, considering how Gurley’s coaches and teammates raved about him. So let’s limit the scope to new signees, not in the ESPN 300, who could start next year. Those signees in the ESPN 300 are expected to contribute early so they would not really be a surprise.

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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.