UPDATE: (From Dijana): Longest. Car ride. Ever. No, I'm just kidding - the 6-hour drive was rather entertaining to say the least (and I got to witness the Minion work on his fancy mailbag). Besides getting to talk to the Theus brothers today, I got a chance to interview a few of the 2013 guys as well. I'm not going to reveal who they were quite yet though, you guys will just have to wait for the videos that'll be up in the next week or so.
UPDATE: (From Dean): 2012 LT John Theus...
UPDATE: (From Fletcher) Today (Thursday) was long, but productive. And yes, a six-hour car ride to Jacksonville was involved.
We drove down to check out John Theus and Bolles play in a round robin at West Nassau High. But we weren't the only people there to watch Big John (elite left tackle prospect). Mike Bobo and Will Friend were there to see, as were coaches from Florida and a few other schools.
Bolles went undefeated, winning the two quarters they played by a combined six points (special points is important, folks). Theus looked OK, but I've seen him kill defensive linemen in the past. He's as good as it gets in the 2012 class.
I chatted with his older brother Nathan at length (expect a story in the near future) and Dijana got him on camera for a little bit too. Nathan is a good talker, and (of course) he's looking forward to getting up to Athens on June 6. He'll be rooming with David Andrews.
As for John, it looks like this will be a Georgia-Florida battle--and right now, I'd give the nod to the Bulldogs at this point...
We'll post pictures, stories and videos from our time here in northern Florida soon.
UPDATE: (From Dijana): We stopped for lunch at zaxby's... Fletcher Page apparently stopped for thanksgiving dinner...
UPDATE: (From Dean): The most expensive thing on the trip? Feeding Fletcher
Word on the street... Fletcher like to eat! NumbNumb!
UPDATE (From Dijana) Well we made the 3 hour drive down to Columbus without killing each other and visited with IC and Cootie (pretty obvious from the nice little snapshot below). I got a chance to sit down with Isaiah and talk a little bit about his not so distant future with Georgia and all the hype that's already been built around him. After spending just a half hour with him I already have high hopes for the kid - he was easy to talk to and he's gonna do just fine in Athens to say the least. Interview's right below...
Time to Man Up
UPDATE: (From Dean)... IC and Cootie
UPDATE: (From Dean)... Headed down South... to see someone(s) important... guesses?
UPDATE: (From Fletcher) Here is my story about the lingering effects Brent Benedict is dealing with in his right knee.
Overcoming the Lingering Effects
Benedict is working out and rehabbing hard. You would be hard pressed to find another guy as strong as he is in terms of upper body strength. He is still dealing with some stiffness and other effects (I discuss in detail in the story). He says he will be 100 percent for this season and is excited to get back to playing in games again.
I'm pulling for the guy because he suffered the most devastating type of knee injury I think is possible.
UPDATE: (From Dijana) Here's a quick interview I had with Austin Long from Tuesday...
Road Trip: Catching up with Austin Long
UPDATE: (Fletcher) Guess who just hit 700 followers on Twitter? That's right, the Minion here. Meanwhile, Dean has a lowly 547.
I'm sure we have some lovely parting gifts for you Dean. Thanks for playing.
UPDATE: (Fletcher): Here I am purchasing my Do-Nuts from KK...
UPDATE: (From Dean) This year's cover for the preview edition... just in from the mag folks. Comments?
UPDATE: (From Dijana) While Dean's been taking pictures and Fletcher's been taking notes, I've been doing actual work and talking to some of the guys about what they've been doing in the off-season. I got a chance to talk to offensive lineman Austin Long and get his thoughts on the workouts thus far.
Other than that, there have been some interesting car conversations - mainly about donuts, pies, and chocolate (all obvious priorities). One thing I am interested in is the nickname that Dean and Fletcher have promised to come up with for me .... we will see.
UPDATE: (From Fletcher) Just spoke to Kolton Houston and Austin Long.
Those two have been working out together with Ryan Goldin in Gwinnett County the past few weeks. Since Long's family currently resides in Tennessee, he's been staying with Houston (who went to Buford High).
Soon, Austin's brother Hunter, an offensive guard in the incoming class, will join in on the fun.
"I'll have both the Long's living me soon," Houston, who redshirted last season, said. "They're both really good guys, and Austin and I are best friends."
Since both of their sons now play for Georgia, the Long family plans to move to Athens this summer.
"I went home for a little bit," Austin, a right tackle, said, "but since everything was boxed up already there wasn't much for me to do. So, I stayed here and have just been working out and hanging out with Kolton."
Incoming freshman David Andrews has been involved in the fun, joining in for video games, trips to the pool and going to the movies.
"We call it bonding," Houston said.
UPDATE: (From Dean) Just real quick. Saw this former Bolles star working this morning...
Since Dean, Dijana and I are hitting the road this week, I thought it'd be appropriate to keep a running blog of our many travels.
Keeping things a bit of a mystery, we won't release where we're going or who we're seeing until we actually get in contact and make it to each destination.
I'll still be posting a Mail Bag this week, so ask questions and leave comments HERE.
And, if you want to leave a question for a current, former or future Bulldog, we'll be seeing plenty of those. Leave those HERE.
We'll be posting stories, Q&A's and various thoughts here in the Blog for the next few days.