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Aug 22

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Georgia Sports News

  • Georgia football players have put training camp behind them and are working on Vanderbilt, precisely how Kirby Smart had planned. The No. 3-ranked Bulldogs play at Vanderbilt at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 31 in Nashville, their long-term goal a national championship, but the immediate focus on the Commodores. The good news at practice on Thursday was preseason All-American and Heisman Trophy candidate D'Andre Swift back in a red practice jersey. RELATED: Kirby Smart plays off D'Andre Swift jersey color This is where Smart would roll his eyes and tell the media that way too much is being made of what color jersey Swift is wearing in practices. But this is also where many Georgia fans, aware of Swift's injury history and his importance to the teams' title hopes, want to know more. Swift was nagged by injuries last season after undergoing sports hernia surgery in January of 2018. Swift was limited in spring drills, and then things got worse at South Carolina last season when Swift suffered a foot injury. Once healthy last season, Swift was seemingly unstoppable in November, averaging more than 9 yards per carry during a stretch of wins over Florida, Kentucky and Auburn. Georgia was arguably playing the best football in the nation last November, and many are expecting big things from Swift this season. So when Swift was late coming out for practice on Aug. 13, getting extra treatment on the heels of Scrimmage One, per NFL scouts, there were concerns. Had Swift aggravated the groin injury? Was it something else? Or, was it nothing. When Swift was back at practice later in the week, showing no-ill effects or wearing any added braces or tape, all seemed well. Then came Wednesday's practice this week, when Swift was in a black practice jersey. The non-contact jersey could have been as simple as making sure Swift didn't take any necessary hits in thud drills. But then, there might also have been more to the story and still might be as it has been a very physical fall camp and Swift saw hitting action in Scrimmage One like anyone else. Either way, Smart was saying when asked about Swift's non-contact jersey on Wednesday, playing off the question by claiming he was merely trying to distract the media. Speculation at this point isn't worth much, as even if Swift is nursing a bruised shoulder or sternum there's no reason to believe he couldn't be ready to play by Aug. 31. And, if for some reason the injury proves more serious, Georgia has tremendous talent and depth in the offensive backfield. Senior tailback Brian Herrien, who has been first through the drill work of late, was actually more effective running the ball in the Sugar Bowl than Swift. RELATED: Kirby Smart explains benefit of multiple 1,00o-yard rushers Further, sophomore James Cook has had a tremendous offseason of growth, drawing consistent praise from his hard-to-please head coach. Zamir White's comeback from ACL surgery last August has been well-documented, creating a sense of guarded optimism around the program that the No. 1 back in the 2018 signing class might indeed make a significant impact. Finally, incoming freshman tailback Kenny McIntosh has proven his skills, drawing praise from Smart after a strong Scrimmage Two performance. Other reported observations included Cade Mays continuing to work with the first-team offensive line, and inside linebacker Nakobe Dean (ankle) and Jamaree Salyer (lower leg) continue to be out of practice. Georgia football fall camp Versatile Cade Mays elevating his game, puts rough recruitment behind New DC Dan Lanning impressing early in fall camp Kenny McIntosh stands out in Scrimmage Two Kirby Smart breaks down 'spirited' Scrimmage Two Georgia football injury updates, post-Scrimmage Two Could RB James Cook be biggest UGA surprise? J.R. Reed says Havoc Rate is out the roof The post Georgia football practice: D'Andre Swift jersey watch (red) in full effect appeared first on DawgNation.
  • ATHENS, Ga., Last year, Georgia was one of four teams with multiple 1,000-yard rushers. But in the past two seasons, Georgia is the only team to accomplish said feat twice. Across the past two seasons, Georgia has produced four different 1,000-yard rushers. Nick Chubb and Sony Michel did in 2017, while Elijah Holyfield and D'Andre Swift did so in 2018. Swift returns for his junior season in 2019 with lofty expectations. But throughout fall camp, his availability has been uncertain. Swift was seen in a black non-contact jersey at practice on Wednesday. Swift had offseason surgery on both his groins prior to the start of the 2018 season that slowed the start to his sophomore campaign. The dynamic running back didn't top 100 yards in a game until the Florida contest, which was Georgia's eighth game of the season All of this along with the fact that Swift had single-digit carries in 5 of his 14 games as a sophomore means that Georgia will once again be relying on a stable of running backs. Related: Georgia football coach Kirby Smart makes light of D'Andre Swift in non-contact jersey The Bulldogs have four other scholarship backs they can turn to in Brian Herrien, Zamir White, James Cook and Kenny McIntosh. Herrien is expected to take on a much bigger role this season following Holyfield's departure for the NFL. As a junior, he ran for 295 yards on 50 carries. As for White, he's been the most talked-about Georgia player this offseason, given his injury history and status as the No. 1 ranked running back in the 2018 class. Georgia coach Kirby Smart was asked about balancing everything between his running backs. And he gave a very detailed answer on the mater. 'I want success and I want success for each one of those players. If each one of those backs has success, could you end up where nobody gets 1,000 and three or four guys get close to 1,000,' Smart said. 'A defense dictates sometimes what we do offensively because we check to certain things so you can't control it. It helps [when] you have guys who are kind of the bell cows, but I'm not past playing four backs.' Under Smart, Georgia's offenses have always had balanced rushing attacks in terms of carries. The most carries a running back had in a game in either of the last two seasons was 20, as Holyfield hit that number against Florida in 2018 and Chubb did it against South Carolina in 2017. The Georgia head coach also gave a detailed answer on where things stand with Cook. The sophomore running back played sparingly as a freshman despite being the No. 41 overall player in the 2018 recruiting class. He also happens to be the younger brother of Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook. James Cook looks noticeably different this fall, as he's put on some serious muscle. And per Smart, it doesn't seem like the extra weight he's carrying has caused him to lose a step. 'Much more consistent with his ability to break tackles and make runs,' Smart said. 'First of all, he's a great player in space. Last year he was just kind of feeling his way through. He didn't understand motions and shifts and all the different things. Now, he's much more consistent and he's had an opportunity to show that. I feel like James has had a really good camp.' Smart added that the notion of having multiple 1,000-yard rushers helps in recruiting efforts. Swift and White were both 5-star running backs. In Georgia's 2020 class, the Bulldogs already have a commitment from 5-star running back Kendall Milton and are one of the finalists for the nation's No. 1 ranked running back in Zachary Evans. When Milton committed to Georgia, he stated that he was very open to the idea of sharing carries with another elite running back. The Bulldogs will likely employ that strategy this season given the wealth of options and questions about Swift's durability. More from Georgia football coach Kirby Smart More Georgia football stories from around DawgNation Kirby Smart pleased with Jermaine Johnson's jump' during fall camp 5-star LB commit Mekhail Sherman gets some long-awaited good news Long South Carolina DB Bralyn Oliver becomes first member of 2021 class Small change to UGA's football helmet Edgy Georgia football coach Kirby Smart breaks down cornerback battles Kirby Smart comments on championship or bust' mentality surrounding Georgia football Kirby Smart talks up everyday' competition for Georgia football in unsettled WR corps The post WATCH: Kirby Smart explains benefit of having multiple 1,000-yard rushers 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. 1,013 (Aug. 22, 2019) of the podcast, Georgia fans can hear a discussion about what UGA quarterback Jake Fromm said about his recent battles with Alabama during an ESPN interview. Georgia football podcast: Jake Fromm apparently ready to move on from tough games' vs. Alabama Beginning of the show: Georgia players and coach Kirby Smart are seemingly growing tired of being asked to contribute to the narrative that they are frustrated after two high-profile losses to Alabama over the the last two seasons, and using that disappointment to fuel a 'championship or bust' mentality this season. I'll share audio from Bulldogs quarterback Jake Fromm and Smart on that topic on today's show. 10-minute mark: I'll share the update Smart provided regarding the status of running back D'Andre Swift who was seen in a black non-contact jersey during the media portion of Thursday's practice. 15-minute mark: Managing editor of Athlon Sports and Vanderbilt radio broadcaster Mitch Light joins the show. Some of the topics covered include The outlook for Vanderbilt this season including an attempt to gauge Commodores fans excitement about seeing their team play UGA in the season opener A preview of Florida-Miami And an explanation of why LSU-Texas could be the SEC's biggest early season non-conference game 30-minute mark: I take a look at other SEC headlines including what appears to be a complaint from Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh about SEC 'cheating,' a Florida defensive lineman apparently out for the season and two SEC quarterbacks mentioned by ESPN as the most important players in this season's Playoff chase. 35-minute mark: I'll share audio of DawgNation's recruiting insider Jeff Sentell discussing the latest details on 5-star running back Zachary Evans. End of show: I share the Gator Hater Updater. The post Georgia football podcast: Jake Fromm apparently ready to move on from tough games' vs. Alabama appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Bralyn Oliver chose his birthday to commit to Georgia. The long defensive back prospect from South Carolina tweeted out the news of his decision with a sincere message. 100% committed!!! @CoachDanLanning @CoachCwarren @KirbySmartUGA @SC_DBGROUP @ElitePositionTr @RivalsWoody pic.twitter.com/FUxmZHuEMx Bralyn Oliver (@bralynoliver8) August 22, 2019 Oliver rates on the 247Sports Composite for 2021 as a 3-star safety. That places him as the nation's No. 27 safety and the No. 544 overall recruit. Defensive coordinator Dan Lanning had been recruiting Oliver for quite some time. This decision makes Oliver the first public commitment for the 2021 class in Athens. The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder from Belton Honea Path High School in rural South Carolina lists a 4.45 time in the 40 on his HUDL prospect page. He hails from a region not too far from Hartwell on the South Carolina-Georgia border. The post BREAKING: Long South Carolina DB Bralyn Oliver becomes first member of 2021 class appeared first on DawgNation.
  • Mekhail Sherman chose the words 'unchained' and 'grateful' to describe how he is feeling today.Green lights for a full go to play do mean that much to a player. The 5-star LB chose to tweet out the good word from his doctor that he was cleared to play this weekend. When I say God is Good, I mean he's Great. I'm finally cleared to do what I love. #10LongMonths Mekhail Sherman (@JuicedUpK9) August 22, 2019 His sister Raisa Sherman also tweeted about it. Twice. God! I lift my hands up to the sky and praise you for Mekhail's FULL RECOVERY! None of this would've been possible without YOU! Mom @SueEllen_23 was strong! @Donnie_Blue928 held us together! And I just kept praying! LETS READY FOR THAT CLICK CLACK https://t.co/LhAVbUo78E Raisa Sherman (@RoyaltyDrip) August 22, 2019 I remember when!Today I praise God for his divine healing! We got the green light to play! #dawgnation tune in to https://t.co/95FeHFWHEt to watch the game live! #GODAWGS I'm proud of you kiddo @JuicedUpK9 You pushed through! You overcame! NOW LET'S PLAY pic.twitter.com/vS8s30co75 Raisa Sherman (@RoyaltyDrip) August 22, 2019 Donnie Blue, his soon-to-be brother-in-law, was in on it. It's Showtime Donnie Blue (@Donnie_Blue928) August 22, 2019 There are a lot of folks on the train when it comes to Sherman. He would always prioritized family time with his inner circle over going on a lot of visits. The news completes a 10-month test of faith and patience on Sherman's part. The injury happened, like most do, on a fluke. But this was a few first downs farther than just that.His knee joint was leg-whipped by his own teammate. He suffered a completely torn anterior cruciate ligament and partial lateral meniscus tear. 'The knee and what it will do to you really all that has done is given me more fuel to my fire,' Sherman said after G-Day. 'You can love the game so much but the game will cheat you. It cheated me. I got leg-whipped by my own teammate. My ACL was torn. But all that it did was I had to sit back.' 'Then I had to talk to God. I had to talk to family and realize why I do this. I had to revert back to why I do this. Now, this injury will not only touch you physically but also touch you mentally. All I have been doing is going through these trials and tribulations between physical, mental and spiritual ways to get stronger. So when I get back on that field there is no turning back.' Sherman is now cleared to return to the field. It should be very fun to watch. 'My playing style is based off making the offensive coordinator's pregame night restless,' he said. To put it simply, he's a different sort of recruit. He carries a keen perspective on all things, including social issues. As an Athlete, 1 out of the 3 will suffer: Social Life, Education, Your Athletic Career. Be Wise. Mekhail Sherman (@JuicedUpK9) January 25, 2019 Why does he play the game? He shared that answer in perhaps his definitive DawgNation interview up to this point. His response to that question carried along for 700 words. His latest update with DawgNation shared his view on how he feels the 2020 recruiting class is shaping up. RELATED: 5-star OLB commit Mekhail Sherman has 2020 vision on the recruiting trail for UGA The long 10 months back for Mekhail Sherman Sherman was injured in his third game last fall. The highlight tapes out there of him are mostly spliced together from his sophomore year. Those are of 5-star quality, but they show a young man who was only 15 years old at the time back during the 2017 season. The 6-foot-3, 235-pound senior was talented enough to make the Opening finals as a rare junior in the summer of 2018. He even clocked the laser 4.5s in combine testing to reach the 'Fastest Man' competition. His best laser time was 4.53 that day. To put that in perspective, freshman OLB Nolan Smith ran a 4.55 in the 40 for his rating card that day. He had hoped to be cleared in the spring, but his physicians felt it was better to wait. That's why the nation's No. 2 OLB prospect and No. 14 overall prospect (247Sports Composite ratings) opted to keep the focus on his health for his senior season. 4 MONTHS! Thank Him Everyday! pic.twitter.com/HfxTnfFGgc Mekhail Sherman (@JuicedUpK9) February 15, 2019 With that, he was okay. Content enough to realize that he got to experience all those things as a junior. For that, he was grateful. 'No need to be sorry,' Sherman told DawgNation earlier this year. 'I experienced it [The Opening finals] once my sophomore year. It's all for the good. My senior season will make up for it.' He was very eager to get the clearance he received today. 'This time away from it only added fuel to the fire,' he said back in March. 'I'm ready to show the nation what they missed and more.' Sherman is now one of the clear anchors for the 2020 recruiting class in Athens. How Mekhail Sherman fits in at UGA Adaptability is one of the best player abilities a prospect can have. Hybrids are a beautiful thing to big boy programs. That can lead to a 4-3 or a 5-2 front. It will allow the defensive staff to match wits with a hurry-up tempo coordinator who would rather pop off reps with '00', '01' or '10' or '11' personnel packages. Kirby Smart and Dan Lanning might dream of any defense with at least six highly-adaptable players. The back end would be flush with DBs that can run and tackle but also flash ball skills with length. With five or six guys like that, they would likely not care who was the nickel or which guys looked like safeties playing corner in the base package. That same versatility would be welcomed across the second level of the front. The aim is to find linebackers who can hold strong against the run, rush the passer and drop into the flats. Can they also shadow a free receiver like the tight end? Those are all things that NFL Pro Bowlers Khalil Mack and Von Miller can also do. They just don't get the big bucks for that. Lorenzo Carter did that well for the Bulldogs, too. Sherman is big and athletic enough to play at either LB spot. He's a hybrid in the same vein Quay Walker was when he came to Georgia. Walker was a fast athletic guy. A three-down option at LB. But Sherman was a step faster than Walker before his knee injury. Sherman threw the power ball 44 feet at Nike Combine testing in July of 2018. His work that day also included a 33.8-inch vertical leap. He has also shown an ideal mindset to work with. Coachability is another of his strengths. 'I'm not looking to go anywhere to be a star,' Sherman said back in 2018. 'Being a star would be great. I feel like I could be a star anywhere I go. I feel like I need someplace that will actually clamp down on me and make my abilities grow as a DE and as an OLB to make me better. Better all the time. To keep making me better to be the best that I can be. Not shine like a star.' More than anything, it seemed like Sherman chose the school which will not allow him to fail. 'It is what type of school will make me the better person,' Sherman said. 'Not just a football player only. Because right now I am still raw. I haven't really cracked anything yet. My potential is still way up there. I still haven't reached it yet. I need somewhere that can really push me to that limit.' Check out his tweet after Georgia picked up another elite OL commit last week with Sedrick Van Pran. I'm definitely going to get better at UGA, thanks @CoachSamPittman Mekhail Sherman (@JuicedUpK9) August 18, 2019 The post 5-star LB commit Mekhail Sherman gets some long-awaited good news appeared first on DawgNation.