The Seattle Seahawks rolled over the Denver Broncos 48-3. Defensive end Chris Clemons(UGA 2000-02) played a big part in it, recording three tackles and a sack and forcing two fumbles for the Seahawks. One of Clemons’ coaches is none other than Travis Jones (1990-94), defensive captain of the 1994 Bulldogs. They join a long list of Bulldogs who have had the opportunity to lift the Vince Lombardi trophy. Clemons is the 27th to do it as a player, 39 including players on the NFL championship teams before the Super Bowl
Cornerback Champ Bailey (1996-98) and running back Knowshon Moreno (2006-08) fell short of the goal playing for the Broncos. Moreno had five carries for 17 yards and three receptions for 20 yards before being sidelined early in the second half with a back injury. Bailey had four tackles but not pass break-ups or interceptions.
The NCAA’s Summer Bridge Program, instituted in 2000 to help incoming freshmen adjust academically, allows schools to foot the bill for athletes to take at least six hours of core courses the summer before their freshman seasons. Players can spend eight hours a week working with programs’ strength and conditioning staffs. Sumlin calls it “one of the biggest changes in college football,” citing increased graduation rates (including more players getting their degrees in less than four years) and the impact on player development.
“Back in the day, my dad dropped me off [at college], you put tape on your helmet, come out to practice and you didn’t have any idea what was going on,” said Sumlin, a former linebacker at Purdue. “Now you know your teammates, you’ve worked out for two months, so you’re in condition.”
All of that helps freshmen potentially see game action sooner. And a new rule adopted last October could accelerate the process even more. In response to coaches’ frustration over their limited access to players during the summer — not coincidentally, a period with the most headlines about players getting into legal trouble — coaches will, for the first time, be allowed to meet with their players for two hours a week. Much of that time will likely be spent on film study and playbook installation.
Of course, there are downsides to the sport’s trend toward immediate gratification. As football begins to more closely mirror basketball, a sport in which it’s assumed that big-name recruits will play right away, both players and fans are more likely to grow impatient. While football players can’t bolt to the pros after one year, a record 98 underclassmen declared for this year’s NFL draft. LSU has lost 17 such players in the past two years alone.
The 5-star running back out of Cedartown High School is already looking ahead to his future with the Bulldogs, and the coaching staff has told him they fully expect him to come in and make a statement early.
“The coaches want me to compete for the top spot – first team running back,” said Chubb.
He’s looking forward to teaming with fellow commitment Sony Michel, a teammate of his at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl earlier this month in San Antonio.
“I know he’s another really good back,” Chubb said. “I think he’s very similar to me, very explosive with great speed.”
He’s not afraid of a little competition, either.
“Competition helps everybody. The only way you get better is by competing,” Chubb said. “I hope to learn the things that he does and hopefully the same for him.” (Anthony Dasher, Rivals)
Bulldog fans have likely already begun to picture Chubb and fellow 2014 commit, Sony Michel, as the next 1-2 punch at running back; Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall—arguably, two of the best running backs in the country—have held that distinction for the past two seasons; and while both Gurley and Marshall were saddled with injuries in 2013, expectations are still high for both in Athens for next season.
According to the NFL office and the league’s post-season media guide, each participating member of the victorious team—the Seattle Seahawks—receives $92,000.
And while the Denver Broncos may have been devastated by their 43-8 loss to the Seahawks on Sunday, the $46,000 check that each Bronco picks up should help ease the pain at least a bit.
Including what came with the Super Bowl blowout, each Seahawk took in about $157,000 in the post-season, including $23,000 each for their divisional playoff win over the Saints, and $42,000 each for their conference championship triumph over the 49ers.
Alabama expects to sign six players from outside the SEC area Wednesday, and one already is on campus. Here’s a look at them:
Pos. Name Height/Weight Hometown (School)
■ QB David Cornwell 6-5/241 Norman, Okla. (Norman North High) ■ DE Da’Shawn Hand 6-4/265 Woodbridge, Va. (Woodbridge High) ■ C JC Hassenauer 6-2/292 St. Paul, Minn. (East Ridge High) ■ OT Dominick Jackson 6-7/304 San Mateo, Calif. (College of San Mateo) ■ WR Derek Kief 6-5/197 Cincinnati (LaSalle High) ■ OT Ross Pierschbacher 6-4/290 Cedar Falls, Iowa (Cedar Falls High) ■ P/K JK Scott 6-4/185 Denver (Mullen High)