I've interviewed a ton of different people since I signed up for this sports writing gig…NASCAR drivers, girls high school soccer goalies, volleyball coaches, pro golfers, rugby dudes, lacrosse people, you name it, I've bothered them...
But this past June, I sat with a small group of reporters interviewing the largest minority owner of a chicken company in the United States.
Very nice guy. Well built, mild-mannered. Great speaker. A true success story.
Inevitably the conversation turned to Georgia football. It always does. The man has been following the Bulldogs for over 30 years, although he hasn't lived in the state for decades.
The man made some good points.
He doesn't think Isaiah Crowell should be compared to Herschel Walker. He likes the way Mark Richt recruits the state. Thinks high school kids that leave home to play elsewhere in other states or regions are slipping up. Says Richt's methods of discipline have created an honorable program.
All are valid points and all could very well be right.
But the strange thing is…he keeps saying, ‘The strange thing is.'
"What's strange, people don't realize I've kept up with the high school football around here," he said.
"It's strange because when (my son) was six, he was the fastest kid in the state in Texas for six to 12 year olds," he said.
Not everything is strange to this man. Some things are funny, too.
"It's funny, I saw (Isaiah Crowell) when he was in high school."
Other times, he assures us of his honesty.
"To be honest, I thought it was going to be a cheesy show," he said of Dancing With the Stars.
"To be honest, I don't. I don't think about much at all," he said of being recognized for his accomplishments.
"I'm going to be honest; I didn't want to go to Georgia," he said of choosing his institution of higher learning.
Through this 30 minute conversation, all of the topics touched on aren't really that important in the grand scale of life. Football. College days. Current days. Future happenings.
But still, the man finds a way to work in a greater message. More than one. And I think he doesn't even realize he's doing it. He's just being himself, and he's conveying a lesson. More than one.
"I would go into meetings with my employees," he said. "I would sit down at a table. Someone would talk to me about football. Then they'd turn to my employees and talk to them about my company, never thinking I was bright enough to start my own company and stuff."
"My mother, she's on my case about don't fight, don't this or do that," he said. "She wants me to (get my degree). I say eventually I will do it. One thing I stress to (my son), and he gets it from his mom, he doesn't get it from me, he's a very, very bright guy. I stress education all the time, so I can't be a hypocrite. The thing is, I've got so much that sometimes you forget to do something that might mean a little bit more. I will do that."
"Now how is the equestrian team doing? See, people don't even know that Georgia has a very good equestrian team," he said. "I keep up with that. They were winning. What happened? Oh, well…in Talladega Nights if you're not first…OK. I watch Talladega Nights too so."
This man is not only the largest minority owner of a chicken company in the United State…he's Herschel Walker. He's personable. Funny. Honest. Humble. Genuine.
And the strange thing is...I don't find any of this strange.
And with all that said…ladies and gentlemen, you already know what it is…let's get it poppin'.
RyanJordan asks: Curious Fletch, when was the last time Georgia missed an extra point?
CaDawgFan answers: Didn't Blair miss one last season?
How does their miss/make percentage stack up to the rest of the SEC over last 5\10 years?
When I changed schools in third grade, moved up farther north in the state, I went into a little bit of a brain shock the first couple weeks of class. My new teacher kept giving us worksheets—lots of flipping worksheets.
Busy work, I tell you. It was all worthless busy work.
I get the feeling you're doing the same here. But I answered every damn question on those worksheets in third grade…and I'll answer every damn question here.
I went back through the archives here at Butts-Mehre (Google) on a page by page (web search) hunt. It took hours (still took hours). Here are the totals from the past three seasons:
1) Mississippi State: 105/106 - .990
2. Auburn: 150/152 - .986
3. Vanderbilt: 73/74 - .986
4. Georgia: 139/141 - .985
5. LSU: – 118/120 - .983
6. Ole Miss: - 140/143 - .979
7. Arkansas: - 144/149 - .966
8. South Carolina: 111/115 – .965
9. Tennessee: 108/112 - .964
10. Alabama: 146/53 - .954
11. Kentucky: 120/126 - .952
12. Florida: 186/196 - .948
A few things jump out here:
Vanderbilt can't score…but can kick.
Florida scores a ton of points.
Mississippi State hasn't missed a PAT since 2008.
Yes, the Gators did miss 10 attempts. No, none came against Georgia. I already did that worksheet, too.
While you head to the copy machine to get more busy work printed out, I'll take the next question.
HunkerDownDawgs asks…er, says…or both: Good and Bad Surprises So Far in Fall Camp: Certain veterans and new arrivals were expected to step into important roles this year even though they weren't necessarily in those roles last year (e.g. Brown, Crowell, Geathers, Jenkins, Smith, etc), while others have been "out of no where" surprises.
Yes…You've peaked my interest…
Accordingly, who has been the top three surprise players so far in Fall practice that are poised to make a bigger impact this year than anyone would have expected coming out of the Spring practice? Gilliard and Bennett come to mind; even though Bennett has been rumored to be a potential impact player coming out of Spring, given the lack of star power coming out of high school and since he has never played before, I still put him in this category.
I assume you want me to leave Marlon Brown off the list? He's had the biggest camp in terms of raising expectations, but I don't necessarily consider him a surprise candidate…after all, the dude was in the Dorado Cinco Stars Club coming out of high school. That negates Branden Smith's entry as well…So…
Williams was lost in the shuffle after losing the starting job to freshman Alec Ogletree at the tail end of last season. I know he was listed as a starter exiting spring practice, but I think he's enjoyed the most surprising camp of any player on the roster.
Same question regarding players that have surprisingly not risen to the challenge the way everyone hoped given their physical skills and opportunity for playing time. He has been sidelined so far in camp, but Washington is on the watch list for this one, as is the "hit man" Hamilton. Although it is WAY too early to be down on him, Jenkins probably makes this list too, but mainly because it was going to be next to impossible for him to live up to the hype that surrounded him since most viewed Jenkins as the single biggest reason (pun intended!) our 3-4 scheme was going to work better this year. Basically, if Jenkins was anything short of the love child produced by Chuck Norris and Bill Brasky (this is Chuck Norris and Bill Brasky we're talking about here, so this is not only possible but probable!), someone was going to be disappointed.
Of these three, Hamilton is the least surprising. Rambo has the best chance for redemption (which is kinda a reference to the Rocky version of Rambo. Maybe that was vengeance. We'll say vengeance). Malcome is kind of Rasputin. At this stage, he's been fed poisonous cookies, downed laced red wine, shot with a revolver, been stabbed 14 times, beaten with sticks, wrapped in a carpet and thrown in a river.
The dude won't die.
I stayed away from C. Washington because at this moment, I trust him to be more productive than Chase Vasser. That's just me. I'll give you Ray Drew, but surely Corn Wash remains in the two-deep, right?
I took a stab at what you might say given your previous practice updates, but I am far more interested in your first hand take on these questions. Thanks in advance.
I'll hand it to you Hunker—you're already in midseason form. Keep the questions coming and the opinions flowing. Always enjoy them.
HunkerDownDawgs remains in the Sack to ask: Do you know how to ride a scooter and if so, can you teach our players? It will be interesting to see if you can answer this without referring to fat chicks!
I like to think I could wheel a scooter like a mad man…never really got into that action though.
It's not like the players are runnin' moonshine on these rigs…they're trying to make it to their Housing Economics class before 9 a.m. Or in Drew's case, racing home to change before he got his church clothes dirty…Oops.
BIGBUSINESSBULLDAWG asks: I will really like to know how Garrison Smiths progression has gone up to this point. What is his weight up to these days? I realize I am a mail sac noob but in honor of me losing my V card I would appreciate a response.
Although my favorite Foreigner song is Hot Blooded…the theme of your question is Feels Like the First Time.
Welcome to the party. Grab a cup at the door. Kegs are in the living room. The girls say they'll be here later. They said that last week, too.
Anyway, the last time I heard from Garrison, he said his weight was just below the 300-pound mark. He stays anywhere between 295 and 299.
He and Derrick Lott were in a tight battle in spring to be the primary backup. I think both will play, but Garrison has pulled ahead due to Lott's scooter mishap.
Plus, Smith is athletic enough to play in every situation—base, nickel, run, pass—he can play it all. He should get plenty of run this year.
SuwaneeDawg03 asks: Thank you for allowing me to cross something off my Bucket List by saying 'Dirty Sanchez' in the sack.
Hey, hey…that was a two way street my friend. Thanks to you, I was able to cross something off my Bucket List: Having somebody ask if they could say ‘Dirty Sanchez' in the Sack.
You said the sack will remain on schedule for a while last week so let's hope this comes out Thursday or some of the Dawg faithful may have to, well you know, wait.
Deadlines are overrated…but I'm working to get better every day. I just take it one answer at a time. Trying to improve my technique. Staying focused on what I can control. Last week is in the past. This week is a new chance to prove I'm still the top Mailbag writer on the beat.
1. Injuries. Fletch, I can't keep up with all of the injuries in fall camp. Which ones should we actually worry about?
At the moment…Wait, let me retype that…AT THE MOMENT, I can't think of an injury that is real super serious.
I wouldn't worry about Crowell's groin (this is a great way to start a sentence)…unless it lingers deep into next week.
Same with Samuel's quad…don't start fretting over Richard until after next week.
Other than that…Lott is working back into the rotation. Long should be regaining strength. Boykin, Washington and Owens have been back all week. Love was back for the scrimmage Wednesday.
So far, other than Jakar Hamilton (who would have played himself out anyway), Georgia has gotten by with little damage in the injury department (I see you scrambling to knock on wood).
2. Last week I set you up for a good paragraph of laughs with the Chicken Smuggling Techie but you must have not seen the article. Here is the link and the mulligan has been granted.
Some presents don't need wrapping paper. You just slap a bow on the top and stick them under the tree.
This question/link needs no punch line. That bicycle came already put together.
3. Who do you see winning out the NT job? I realize Geathers leads at this time while Jenkins is learning the system, however, will Cornbread be able to overcome Geathers? Also, will these guys be in good enough shape to play most of the game?
If Kwame stays healthy, I think this is his job. And I'm not going to type ‘job to lose'…because it looks like he's not going to lose it.
Jenkins is still learning…coming from the JUCO ranks isn't easy (it helps when you're 342 pounds, but still).
But I like Jenkins' attitude. If you'll remember, this is the second time in two years that a highly regarded JUCO has entered the picture at Georgia.
Jakar Hamilton came in a year ago and proclaimed himself the ‘Hitman,' talked about giving people concussions and reinstalling the tradition of feared safeties in Athens.
Some people really liked that talk…until they saw Hamilton play.
Jenkins has taken the opposite approach this fall camp. All he's talked about is getting better, learning from guys like Ben Jones and Geathers and doing what's best for the team.
That's the way to be…there's no need to raise expectations with bold talk in fall camp. Jenkins seems to get that.
I see Geathers starting. Both playing. And no real concerns whether they're in shape or not.
4. What is your personal opinion of the most likely addition of Texas A & M among others to the SEC? Do you think this is a positive for UGA and the SEC?
I think Texas A&M most likely will end up in the SEC…and I think it's a good move for both parties. The Texas market is attractive to increase revenue…and the Aggies are currently a Top Ten program.
Here are a few scenarios to munch on (and these may or may not be legitimate. Just some food for thought):
1. Texas A&M and Virginia Tech join the SEC: This makes the most sense if you're interested in expansion into new markets while still adding competitive teams.
4. Texas A&M, Missouri, North Carolina and Duke join: This doesn't really make sense at all…but would be awesome in terms of raising the perception of the conference across the board (the backboards that is).
Me personally…I think option No. 1 is the best choice for the CONFERENCE to make. It's all about the money, and expanding farther west and north at the same time would be a major boost.
Option No. 2 is the choice when considering the FANS perspective. But, with the price of tickets, concessions and the inability to have personal items autographed at picture day, when has the fan's mood/opinion ever really mattered?
16 days and counting...
14dawgs47 says: Let me start out by saying HunkerDownDawg knows how to ask a question and would probably be a great mailbag assistant. That's my thoughts for the day.
There's room in the Sack for two. Hunker would be a good fit, but there's a few other vying for the spot. It's highly coveted, you know…
My opinion is on the ncaa, where are they going. Do you see them going from one extreme to another, (doing nothing to questioning everything). There needs to be new management rather than knee jerk reactions.
I'll drink to that. We avoid all knee jerks in and around the Sack.
Ist question, has dean stepped up his game. I mean he's always been great at evaluations, always has great content and info but here lately it seems his creativity, and style has been elevated to a new level.
Dean and I were rolling to Jacksonville in early August to meet up with John Theus. We were in the midst of a hardcore Dawg Post road trip, so the conversations and jokes and plans and ideas were flowing something lethal.
Suddenly, the familiar opening to the Eagles, New Kid in Town sprang up on the radio.
And Dean and I both got real quiet at the same time. If I was Herschel, the start of that sentence would have been, ‘The strange thing is…'
After the third verse had time to sink in…
Where you been lately? There's a new kid in town
Everybody loves him, don't they?
Now he's holding her, and you're still around
Oh, my, my There's a new kid in town.
I look over and Dean is sobbing. I'm not kidding—dude is laying it all out in front of me here. He swears there must have been some dust on I-95, but we both know the truth.
I reached over and patted him on the shoulder and said: "You can get back to where you need to be. It starts August the fourth."
And Dean wiped his eyes, looked at me and smiled.
He looked like Mike Vick strolling out of Leavenworth, ready to reclaim what was his. I knew—in that awkward moment—that he was gonna get back into the fight.
2nd question, I think we all agree McGarity has improved our situation, If you where the AD for the rest of the year what would you do or say to CMR to keep things going in the right direction.
I think I would continue doing what AD GM has said and done. He asked Richt, "What do you need to win?"
He's opened the checkbook up (within reason). He personally attended Dawg Night. He hangs around at most of the practices. He handled the Jarvis Jones situation quickly and competently.
There's really not much else a guy like me could come up with that would be better than what's actually being done.
3rd question, Last year DT and RB was a must in recruiting. Not only a must but we felt like we had to have the players that we got so much so that if we had 5 star players everywhere else and didn't get IC and JJ we would be in trouble. This year recruiting is looking really strange in available players in state and players with interest in Ga. who are the must gets by need out of this class. Look I know I'm taking up a lot of space but you have given us extra time to gather our questions.
Hey, my thoughts on taking up space: The more the merrier. So it's all good.
Here are my positions of need (and I'll list the must-gets with them):
5: WR – Don't get me started here.
4: LB – There is help on the way from the JUCO ranks (Brown, Staley, etc), but that's never a sure bet. Floyd, Harvey-Clemons and one more.
3: RB – Marshall…and one more (Gurley seems to be the best fit in this secondary role)
2: DL – Taylor, Watkins, Tomlinson, Atkins…Jenkins would be nice.
1: OL – Theus, Young, Pyke, Brown…need at least one or two more guards here.
My wishes 14-0
We'll see how it plays out.
AlltelDawg asks: Malcome, What is the real deal with this kid? I have heard like 4 different explanations of why KM wasn't practicing but one day Richt just said "He wasn't feeling good". How much of this is mental?
I think he either had a concussion (which Richt said he didn't) or he had a cold or the stomach bug.
Whichever it was cost him a couple days of practice. And that's always been the issue with Ken. He looks great physically, but he can't get a consistent run of practice time to show what he can do and/or make himself a better football player.
I remember when he signed and all he talked about was being the next big thing@ UGA. With IC getting all the spotlight and him being kinda talked of as an afterthought in the media, is this affecting him?
In a perfect world, you'd like to say all the hype over IC isn't bothering anybody on the team…but it's our human nature to get a little agitated over hearing about somebody else that can do what you do better.
Dean went through this a year ago when my Mailbag took off.
There's two ways of responding to this type of situation. You can lay down and pout (like Dean did for nearly a year). Or you can come to work every day, get better and compete for reps (like Dean is doing this fall camp).
Ken is saying all the right things about IC and the running back position. He just needs to be able to stay at practice for more than a couple days at a time.
jmandawg asks: Fletch…All we heard about last year was how aggressive our defense was going to be and the different blitz packages we would employ and it never happened. Now that we have 2 NT's have you heard anything from the coaches or players about us playing more aggressive or that Grantham is introducing more blitz packages to the defense?
Yeah, I usually hate to play the ‘This year they'll be better because they understand more and are a year older…' card. But I think that argument applies here.
Last season (in the first year of Todd Grantham's reign), there wasn't much time for installation of the defense. Grantham had spring, the summer (which doesn't really count because none of the players knew how to teach it when the coaches weren't out there) and only 29 practices in fall camp.
They didn't have the proper players all across the board (big NT). They had players out of position (Tyson, which led to weaker players at DE).
So, I think Grantham tried to teach in concepts. And I think he tried to make the defense as easy as possible at the start of the season (think of the way a team brings along a new QB). He relied on Houston to create a pass-rush and Dent to make calls and plays from the ILB position.
There's no way everybody on that defense knew exactly what to do on every single play. And that causes some hesitation. There were weaknesses on the line and at safety.
So…I think Grantham did all he could do with what he had at the time. He asked his two best players to make plays, tried to force turnovers and hoped like hell he could hang on in the SEC. And for the most part, the defense did pretty well.
Now heading into this season, take a look at the front seven as compared to last year:
2011: Geathers, Tyson, A. Jones, J. Jones, C. Robinson, A. Ogletree, C. Washington.
2010: Tyson, D. Dobbs, K. Tripp/B. Wood, J. Houston, A. Dent, C. Robinson, C. Washington.
Which looks better?
gadawgluver asks: 1) Would Dean make a good scooter tutor?
I can think of a lot of things Dean is good at…none of them even remotely involve riding a scooter. I could see him skinning his knee up by just looking at a scooter, actually.
2) Which teams would you add to the SEC?
See above…Option 2 would be the most entertaining. Option 2 makes the most sense…or cents.
3) Is Dean's statement that IC is the best since HW correct?
That's saying a lot…if I was playing the percentages, I would disagree with Dean. Let's face it…there is so much that can go wrong for that statement to be proven incorrect.
There is a lot that can go right too though.
But Garrison Hearst was pretty damn good. So was Knowshon.
I think Isaiah has a good shot…but I want to see him play in a couple games before I automatically place him ahead of three decades worth of running backs.
Also, take into account that Isaiah will only have two seasons to surpass all those other backs (if you believe in the Mayan doomsday prophecy).
Is it just me…or did I just take a Dean-like approach to that answer? All of a sudden, he's the one running around making outlandish claims and I'm here in the Mailbag coping out with half steppin' answers. (Shaking my head. Just shaking my head).
Dean may buy a boat or a motorcycle soon…he's heading for the mid-life crisis…actually, I think a scooter is more his speed.
4) Will Dean be by your side when you go into labor midweek? Who is the baby's daddy?
Dean will NOT be by my side when this baby is delivered. He was opposed to this addition to our DP family when we first sat down and discussed it…and he's not supporting it now.
And it doesn't take Maury Povich to know…that David Hale is the father of this baby. He's proud…but also absent. We shall persevere.
5) Scout is releasing their top 100 in basketball, any chance that UGA gets a top 100 commit?
6) How much better will this years defense be over last years?
I kind of touched on this earlier, but I think the front seven (as a whole) is better than a year ago. And in college football that means a great deal.
Last season, the defense gave up 22.1 points per game. That's not too shabby. The group also forced 26 turnovers, more than twice as many as in 2009.
So, for the talk about the defense getting better, it actually wasn't too bad in 2010.
With the front seven better, another year to fully grasp what the hell's going on out there and a very talented freshman group as whole coming in, I think the defensive expectations should be high.
blackbulldawg asks: Another day and another Sack
Ahh…for at least 8,500 words or so all feels right in the world.
I will do you a favor and not ask about scooters i'm sure you will get enough questions about that lol
Indeed I did. Thanks for being so thoughtful.
1. I know your name last year for Houston and Washington were the killers obviously only one person lived up to that hype what would you call this new group?
If we're sticking with just the linebackers…I'm going to tab those guys: Captain Christian Robinson & The Silent Pirates.
Christian is the unquestioned leader. The other three—Jarvis Jones, Alec Ogletree and Cornelius Washington—are all physical specimen-type guys, but none really do much talking on the field.
Plus…Jones has dreadlocks (a fashion technique invented by pirates) and Alec Ogletree has a pretty gnarly scar above his left eye (also a fashion technique invented by pirates…or cavemen. Whichever).
Don't even try to tell me Jerry Bruckheimer isn't going to be all over this one.
2.I know Samuel looks much better then a couple of seasons past but do you really think he can make some noise this season?
He's big. He's fast…and he's better than anybody else not named Crowell on the roster. He'll make noise because if he and Crowell don't…you're in for a hushed season at tailback.
I'm not going to go on the record as saying Samuel will rush for 5.5 yards a carry and manage around 750 yards this season.
But he'll get the ball. Even Marcus Lattimore can't carry the rock every time in the SEC.
3.CTG obviously has the D heading in the right direction but other than the line what part of the defense will you be watching the most this year?
I'm taken with the combo of Alec Ogletree and Christian Robinson. Near smitten even.
Robinson could be there leading and Ogletree should be out there killing. It should be fun to watch because of the way those two appear to complement each other. Leading and killing always fit nicely together.
4.It seems like 2013 will be a huge year for in-state recruiting how does that class match with 2011?
The 2013 class is going to be pretty good. To me, it's already better than the 2012 bunch…but it's going to take something pretty special to top the '11 class.
We'll see how it plays out…and go back and take a look at it next February. I can already see a Dean Legge editorial in the magazine about comparing the two classes.
5.The next time you talk to CMR can you please ask why we are always plagued with so many injuries that could be prevented with good stretching?
I'll use Mike Bobo's time tested line here…"You'll have to ask Ron about that. I don't deal with injuries."
6.Now my final question is this last year you picked Jenkins over Kwame and Bean was injure now with everyone healthy who do you pick in a triple threat match?
I'll give a couple of extra credit points to Bean because he can sing his own intro song. Dude's can belt a tune, for real.
But I'm all aboard the Kwame Geathers train right now. I think the fight would come down to Jenkins and the Behemoth. Jenkins is from Jersey, so he's probably got the experience in this arena…but if Kwame gets mad enough, I think he could clean the house and the claim the belt in this rematch.
I saw your boy Deion's HoF speech felt like I received a sermon "I saw my momma" lmao
Primetime dominates—no matter what playing field/stage he's on.
As always thanks for what you do
Thanks for playing along.
UGA53MAIN asks: Did Ray Drew's scooter have nitrous on it?
No. But I'm told he wears a cape when he rides around campus. And he has a sidecar for his scooter…that Quintavious Harrow sits in.
When will Turene be available to enter UGA assuming he comes?
He SAYS he will be ready to enroll this coming January. We shall see…
Patches33 asks: What class will the three linebackers at JUCOS Staley, Turene and Brown be joining assuming they come to UGA?
Let's see here…Turene says this January. Brown says next January. And just to be honest with you, I'm not sure about Staley. I would venture to say he'd be the final player of those three to enroll. But I'm not certain of that.
How many RBs will UGA take in 2012? Assuming they are going to take two or more who else are they likely offer?
I think they would like to take two…and I feel the duo of Marshall and Gurley would work well. Those two are buddies…and when you take two backs you need a certain dynamic…you need the can't miss 5-star guy, and then you want to add with that a maybe he'll surprise us a few years down the road 3-star kind of guy.
Marshall and Gurley fit that…and since they're already tight, there wouldn't be any animosity. Perfect fit!
How are things looking with Avery Young?
I think Georgia has done a good job recruiting him—there was a built-in advantage since Young lived in Georgia for some time and still has family in the state.
It's looking like a Florida-Georgia battle for Young…which is always exciting. Auburn and Alabama will probably get visits, but I think they're on the outside looking in.
Always a pleasure.
dynamicbigboy asks: Fletcher, any word on how much, if any, is the Boise State transfer Michael Tamburo helping with a plan for our first game? Thanks for all the good work.
Well, I thin—
SuwaneeDawg03 steps in to say: I read an interview somewhere where Tamburo said he hadn't been approached about anything from the coaches regarding Boise.
I think that's about right, Suwanee. I don't think the coaching staff has asked for any help…but I have been told by a couple of defensive players that they asked Michael for some general tips/knowledge. Nothing too crazy.
Tamburo could talk all he wants…but watching tape from the past three or four years is the biggest thing. And it's what Grantham is said to be freakishly good at.
TripleB asks: 1. If you could take one player from another SEC team and put him on the UGA squad this year, who would you select and what kind of difference to you think he would make?
Offensively, two players come to mind…South Carolina's Alshon Jeffrey (because Georgia currently lacks a proven true game changer at receiver) and Alabama's Barrett Jones (because having another beast on the OL never hurts).
Defensively, I think a guy like Alabama's Mark Barron could help (26 career starts at safety).
2. Do you think the new rules at Picture Day (with regards to bringing in outside items to be signed) will be permanent? If so, that's a big-time bummer?
The rule is a bit of a knee-jerk…I mean, it's not like the fans are going to be slipping dollar bills in a player's pocket as he signs. Or at least I don't think that would happen.
But if they put it in for this year, I don't see it changing. Sorry man.
3. I have heard Dean has a problem with whiskey and cheap hookers. Care to comment?
Dean's second year of college was just like the moment on VH1's Behind the Music when the music cranks way loud and the narrator's voice gets real…That was seven months or so Dean can't remember, but his friends say he had a great time.
We all thought Dean had exorcized his demons…but Matthew Stafford's early departure to the NFL in 2008 caused a relapse. The man does love his quarterbacks you know.
Luckily, a 2013 star—Brice Ramsey—has given Dean a reason for sobriety.
UGA4President asks: With McGarity at the helm, do you think we will ever put Clemson back on the schedule besides 2013 and 2014?
Another good thought…this "rivalry" produced some great games in the 80s and early 2000s.
I personally like the "revolving" aspect of these two teams playing one another.
With McGarity around, he seems to have a good feel for what games need to be played (when, where, in relation to what's before and after certain games). I don't think you'll see Clemson on a consistent basis, but they'll be back on the schedule eventually.
What happened to the old pieces of the scoreboard they replaced after the new upgrade?
I heard the team used the scrap metal to set up jumps for their scooters…yeah, that's the word. They ride up over Stegeman to gain speed and jump ramps set up by the Carlton Street parking deck…usually on Sundays after church.
hpdog asks: What's the real story on the C.J. Curry de-commit ? Did we sour on him ? It seems strange, if that was not the case.
I, too, found the C.J. Curry—or Scurry—news to be a surprise.
A few things in play here…the kid has been to three high schools in less than four years. I know his dad is a coach and moving around can happen quite frequently in that field. Right or wrong, that still sets a precedent for Curry to follow.
Also, there is a legitimate debate over whether C.J. will play receiver or safety on the next level. So Georgia could have said something that irked the kid or his family when it comes to position projection.
Also, C.J. has been pretty serious in the past about playing with his younger brother. Oklahoma State has offered—as have a couple of other schools—but Georgia has not. That could have played a role.
Georgia could have cooled on the kid…or State could have won him over.
All of the above is a strong possibility. I kind of get the feeling that Georgia wasn't too terribly depressed when the switcheroo went down. That's just me reading the situation…take it for what it's worth.
GearDawg asks: Fletch, You and the rest of the Dawgpost staff have been doing an awesome job with all the preseason coverage. You guys (and gal) have been hitting it out of the park.
Thanks Gear. That means a lot.
We all know about the tumultuous off season the Dawgs have been having, with all of the injuries and scooter accidents. How have our first two opponents been doing in their off seasons? Any interesting news coming out of Boise or Columbia?
Well…I think this offseason has been fairly upbeat by comparison. No arrests. There was quite a bit of attrition, but I think most of it was addition by subtraction. The Jarvis situation ended in a timely (and positive) manner. Still no serious injuries in camp. So far…so good.
I haven't been paying too much attention to Boise, but I do know they had to cut three football practices because of violations. So, if you're keeping score for fall camp, it's Georgia 29, Boise 26.
As for South Carolina, allegedly Stephen Garcia hasn't met a drink he won't sip (nothing wrong with that). But he also has now been suspended five times (there is a slight problem there).
The QB coach pees on things (not always a bad thing) at inopportune times (that's not going to work).
There has also been a little bit of drama with oversigning over there…nothing too major, but a PR hit nonetheless.
Freshman OL Brandon Shell nearly died after running wind sprints in a practice early in camp. He had to be hospitalized.
AND…South Carolina is still under NCAA inquiry. So yeah…the Gamecocks are talented, but I think they've had the more tumaltous offseason this year compared to Georgia.
Thanks. Keep up the great job.
You got it.
jca239 asks: With it known that Boise is predictably unpredictable in game planning, are we practicing for anything specific (like opening against an OKie State team, for example) or just doing our own thing? Without specifics, what do you hear?
I can't tell you exactly what the team is doing to prepare for Boise…but I can say this…some of the defensive players have been watching tape on the Broncos from as far back as the 2005 game played in Athens.
So…the players have been gearing up to see multiple formations (Boise ran out of over 180 last season alone), pre-snap motion (tight ends, fullbacks, H-backs), and yes, trick plays, too.
I can say this…I've heard the coaches think the matchup with Boise's personnel is favorable (in terms of being able to stay in the base and using OLBs to matchup with threats in the passing game).
And, I would love to see a picture of a lineman or similar size on a scooter. You holding any such blackmail images now? Want to share with the Sack Family?
I wish I could say I had a picture of Bean Anderson and Cordy Glenn riding on a scooter together and splitting a bag of spicy hot pork rinds…but I can't.
loganvilledawg asks: Any reason the Malcolm Mitchell talk went from red hot to non existent?
(thinking for something to compare this too…hmmmm….still thinking….)
OK…I think this summer, Mitchell was on the launch pad. He passed the pre-launch inspection by impressing the older guys. From there, he was waiting for us in the media to press the big red button…and launch him into the sky.
We did that and then some…he went into space…and while we haven't heard much about Mitchell in the past week or so, that doesn't mean he fell back to Earth. He's just orbiting right now…
All NASA talk aside, he had a poor first scrimmage. He missed too many assignments, according to Mark Richt.
He came back from there a couple practices later with his best day, by all accounts.
And Wednesday he had a couple of grabs in the second scrimmage. I think he's on track…and will contribute this season.
How mad does Dean get when people ask/post about the magazine on the message boards?
OK, let me see if I can pull this off in keeping with the aeronautical comparisons…
Dawg Post consists of the online content (which breaks down into recruiting (basketball and football) and team coverage (basketball, football and administrative).
There is also the magazine that Dean and I essentially put together by ourselves. We write the stories, take the photos and come up with the cover ideas.
So we build the shuttle. We wheel the shuttle to the launch pad. But we don't send the thing into space (mail it out). Fox/Scout does that.
When there is a complaint, it's hardly ever about what WE control (stories, photos, etc). It's always about the one thing we don't control (you actually receiving it).
I know it sounds strange (Herschel!), but when somebody asks on the message board about ‘Where is my magazine,' Dean has to respond with the ‘Send me an email about it.'
I know what people are thinking…Why should I have to email you to tell you something I just told you? In the time it took Dean to say that on the message board, he probably could have already taken care of it.
But actually, Dean keeps all those emails together in an attempt to make sure the problem is corrected longterm. The old paper trail as they call it. If you miss an edition of the mag and email Dean, he can look back and say, ‘Well, this has happened now three times. There is something going on.' Or he can say, ‘This hasn't ever happened with this customer.' But he needs an email to keep records.
I kind of lost touch with the NASA comparision there. Keeping those up is always a Challenger.
trooperdawg980 asks: Fletch, is there a bigger joke out there right now other than the NCAA? I know I'm beating a dead horse, but A.J. gets 4 games for what I consider a minor violation. It seemed the NCAA was zeroed in on Green and he was investigated to death and that was all they could find as hard as they tried. That had a huge effect on Georgia's season no matter what some others may say. Now you have Miami, North Carolina, Ohio State, Auburn, Tennessee, Boise, and the list goes on and on being investigated, but the NCAA seems reluctant to take action. Is it just me or are some of these institutions transgressions as bad or worse than what SMU was guilty of and received the death penalty? What is the answer? It just isn't an equal playing field for all. IMO the NCAA might just need to be blown up and started over from scratch. What we have now sure as h--- isn't working.
I agree with a lot of what you're saying. A.J.'s absence essentially killed Georgia's season last year (a couple ill-timed fumbles didn't help in those games either).
Looking back on some things, A.J.'s punishment is about par for the course. If the money exchanged is in the four-digit range--$1000 or so—four games is going to be the minimum.
I don't have a gripe with A.J. getting four…but Marcel Darius should have gotten four as well.
And yes, I think some of these schools are committing "crimes" that are just as bad, if not worse, than what was going on at SMU.
Will the death penalty be used? Probably not. Should it be used? Probably so.
The argument against the death penalty makes sense, I suppose. It tears down conferences, hurts innocent teams/players/coaches.
But at what point do you draw a line and say that reducing scholarships and missing a couple bowl games isn't enough?
When players are getting paid? When players are receiving preferential treatment in exchange for autographs or equipment? When coaches are knowingly cheating on the recruiting trail? When prostitutes become a normal Thursday night? When both the football and basketball programs are cheating?
When does a slap on the wrist—no matter how hard the arm swings down—no longer good enough?
Here's one simple thing I would like to see…
A more comprehensive rulebook…with violations spelled out and the actual punishment that goes with them. No more rulings. No more judgment. No more complaints that so-and-so Tech received this while them-and-their University got that. Uniform punishments spelled out in advance.
I know the NCAA has a tough job…there is a lot of sketchy things going on seemingly around every corner. But to me, consistency is the key. And right now, the NCAA doesn't have a consistent feel. That's frustrating…and in my opinion, is easy to correct (with communication, cooperation and organization), too.
Ken Malcombe is a major puzzle to me. I know he has already been mentioned earlier, but it seems he has a groin injury that has lasted two years. Do you feel there is an underlying problem? Is the guy just allergic to practice? Is it a case of another player who will follow the path of Ealey? The big question is do you get the feeling CMR has soured on the guy? I get the feeling from recent comments that CMR has about had enough of the KM injury situation. It's a shame because KM will never have a better chance than he has right now to make a favorable impression on the program.
A few things…Ken is a not an Ealey type. He has a good attitude, from what I'm told. He practices hard, wants to block, plays through as much pain as he can…
The problem is…he can't stay healthy. A concussion last year cost him a lot of time. There's not much he can do about that. The groin has been bothering him since last November. I don't know if he isn't stretching enough, or if he needs to take an extended period of time off to let the thing fully heal…but it is troublesome.
Seeing Ken limp up to interviews the third day of practice here in fall camp really concerned me. I was thinking, ‘Man, this dude really can't catch a break.'
I don't think Richt has soured on Ken…but let's face it…Isaiah is here now. Marshall could be here next season. And two years later, Ken could be gone without ever having done much.
These kind of stories are told from time to time. Not everybody plays. Not everybody stays healthy. But…not everybody is confined to their current circumstances. He's still got time…which is more than some can say.
rexs5413 asks: Fletch, Give us your post camp grades for all the units. + and - for each?
Since this is the last question…and Dean has stepped his game up this fall camp…I decided to bring him into the mix to help take care of this last post.
Instead of giving actual grades for each unit (because I just can't see enough of practice to fully analyze each spot and player), Dean and I are going to rank each position from 9-1 (9 being the worst pound-for-pound unit, 1 being the best).
9. WR – Fletch: Still a lot of unproven guys here. Plenty of opportunity.
8. S – Dean: Don't even have the established starters at this point. A sign of weakness.
7. CB – Dean: Top heavy…unproven depth. They have one really good corner in Boykin. Is Sanders a safety or corner?
6. OL – Fletch: If the starting unit stays intact, this line can be pretty good. If injuries strike, all bets are off.
5. RB – Dean: Isaiah Crowell. That is all.
4. LB – Fletch: Jones and ‘Tree are killers. Robinson is the captain. Some young depth too.
3. TE – Dean: Could be No. 1 really, but the depth here is undeniable.
2. DL – Fletch: Geathers/Jenkins provide plenty of girth. Jones/Tyson are solid on the edge. Smith/Lott/Thornton provide good depth.
1. QBs – Dean: They have arguably the best player in the conference; if not, the best QB.
And with that, we've wrapped this baby up and are now sending her home.
Turn the lights out boys, the party's over…We outta here baby…Thank y'all for coming.