Eye on Sports (The CBS Sports' eye, that is)

ATHENS - ABC Sports will broadcast this season's Sugar Bowl, but no national network has brought you more Georgia football games since 2001 than CBS Sports. The network has televised 24 games during the Mark Richt era. The broadcast team of Verne Lundquist, Todd Blackledge and Tracy Wolfson is widely recognized as being the best in college football today. Recently I talked with the three of them about the Georgia Bulldogs and this is what they had to say…

Dave McMahon: You've covered many Georgia games over the years, did it feel strange that you did not get to cover a game in Athens this season?

Verne Lundquist: Yes, it was strange not to go to Athens. I'm sure we'll be there at least a couple of times next year.

Todd Blackledge: It definitely felt strange not doing a game between the hedges this season, especially considering Athens is one of my two favorite places to visit.

Tracy Wolfson: Of course, I feel a bit bummed, but that's how the schedule works-- it usually rotates every year. We got our fair share of games there last year, so we can't be that upset.

DM: How has D.J. Shockley matured in the years you've covered him?

VL: Shockley had a much calmer presence on the field this year. He was less jittery and so much more in control than in previous seasons.

TB: He was definitely ready to step into the role of full-time QB this year. He looked confident and comfortable from game one and his team really rallied around him.

DM: Do you think he can play quarterback on the next level?

TB: I think D.J. can play at the next level because he is a very talented passer with a great arm to go along with his athleticism.

DM: From watching Mohamed Massaquoi this season, how good can he be?

VL: Massaquoi will be a star.

TB: If he keeps working on all aspects of his game I think Massaquoi can be as good as any WR I have ever seen at Georgia in my seven years with CBS.

DM: How good is Leonard Pope? Compare him to former Georgia tight ends in the NFL (Randy McMichael, Jermaine Wiggins and Ben Watson).

VL: Leonard Pope is a load… He's in the same league as the three you mentioned.

TB: I personally think Pope is the best TE to come out of Georgia. He just needs to continue to work on being the best blocker he can be to go along with his receiving skills.

DM: Compare this season's defense to some of the Georgia defenses over the past few seasons.

VL: This year's defense only had one All-American instead of two or three, but they were every bit as impressive.

DM: Who is the hardest hitter you have seen play at Georgia?

VL: For me it's a toss-up between Greg Blue and Thomas Davis.

TB: Thomas Davis hands down.

DM: Georgia is losing a lot of talent after this season… How do you see them next season?

VL: I thought they were a team in transition this year, so I'm not counting them out of anything next season.

TB: The program is solid. The recruiting is solid. QB is the biggest question for 2006, but I expect the Dogs to be good again.

DM: Best memory covering a Georgia game…

VL: 2002 … Georgia vs Auburn… Fourth and fifteen from the 19... David Greene to Michael Johnson

DM: Best Georgia individual performance?

VL: David Pollack vs South Carolina

TW: I have to go with my thumbs up award to David Greene with his performance coming back vs Georgia Tech in 2004.

DM: Have you ever met UGA?

VL: Never met UGA. I prefer to admire him from a distance and maintain my silence. I don't want to get caught talking to a dog.

TW: No, but I've shared the sideline with him several times.

DM: Favorite thing to do in Athens?

VL: I love walking through campus on an early Saturday morning of game day.

TB: Walking to the stadium on game day and having lunch on Thursday either at Peaches or Weaver D's.

DM: What do you like most about Athens?

TW: Everything… The atmosphere, the dog walk, UGA, and of course the quality of football between the hedges.

DM: Thank you to all of you… for your time and your answers. See you in Athens, next season.

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