UGA Recruiting Daily 19-July-2016

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UGA Recruiting Daily 19-July-2016

Zacch Pickens
Zacch Pickens
Photo: Greg Poole/Bulldawg Illustrated


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#6 Sophomore DE
T.L. Hanna High School
Anderson, SC


#6 Sophomore RB FS
Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy
Melbourne, FL


#9 Class of 2020 QB
Cartersville High School
Cartersville, GA


#99 Junior DE TE
Taylor High School
Katy, TX



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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.

221 responses on “UGA Recruiting Daily 19-July-2016


    I will be in Augusta for military world’s softball in a few weeks. Finally getting out of NY for a bit

  2. RobDawg

    Wow I wish I could have scavenged some of that turf. Would have been cool to add in my landscape and say I had some of the field here. I bet they could sell that stuff easy and if not to UGAAA coffers then for charity. I would have bought it

  3. RobDawg

    Woe unto whoever is the next Bama coach that follows Saban. Saban isn’t going to leave until he senses the truck starting to slide down the hill instead of headed up and at that point the guy coming in will be held to the high former standards. The Bamites will not be kind to that guy. This goes for any coach who follows a legit legend

  4. Greg Poole

    Phil Steele:

    Mark Richt’s new team is my No. 6 surprise team, but his old one comes in just one spot behind. Richt left behind a lot of talent and the Bulldogs have a head coach who has quite a few national titles as Alabama’s defensive coordinator. Georgia ranks in my top units in five of the eight categories. Running back was lost for the season at the start of the Tennessee game last year and his return, teamed with, running behind my No. 7-rated O-line will give the Bulldogs a strong run game. New head coach Kirby Smart has six starters back from a defense that allowed just 16.9 points per game. The Bulldogs have only four true road games this year, and three are against teams that had losing records last year. They get SEC East favorite Tennessee at home (Georgia has won its past four against the Vols in Athens). The Dawgs do draw Ole Miss on the road, but that might be the only game in which they are an underdog this year. In the past three years, Georgia has been favored in 36 of its 39 games but has a disappointing record of 28-11 in that span. Sometimes a coaching change (Richt was there 15 years) can bring a different attitude and maybe take care of business in that favorites role.

  5. Greg Poole

    DawgLink  UGA will pay to keep him under the scenario described and Georgia has much better home state recruiting.  We’ve seen what happened at Bama between Stallings and Saban.


    Lucas Rogers MMCSDAWG DawgLink Alright young buck we are counting on you to get this one done for the home team!!! ###


    Bansai buckeroo Exactly, I’d rather lead a team to an SEC title for the first time in 10 years being my benchmark rather than 4 out last 6 National Championships!

  8. Bansai buckeroo

    If he is happy here and doing well….I don’t think so. Saban would be a tough act to follow.. Talk about expectations…..sheesh

  9. Lucas Rogers

    MMCSDAWG Lucas Rogers DawgLink next few weeks. Closer than it used to be for him

  10. AlphaDawg

    MMCSDAWG Lucas Rogers DawgLink There was a rumor he would today on his Bday but I don’t see it


    Lucas Rogers DawgLink So what’s the latest word on your boy Jacoby up there in Tenn??   When’s he going to announce for us?

  12. AlphaDawg

    66DAWGnNC I think he would if he wasn’t a UGA graduate. Would that matter if UGA isn’t willing to pony up the bucks? Maybe not. Let’s say he does, if what you were saying were true and UGA does have several SEC championships and contending NCs, one would think we would have the ability to choose any coach we want in the nation. So if he did, I still think UGA would be in good shape to continue on, but with that said. He’s a UGA grad, player, and GA boy. I don’t see him doing that IF UGA wouldn’t write the check for his worth.


    Colonial Dawg Greg Poole 66DAWGnNC That’s the goal!  Reach it or we might be moving on without the offer from Alabama…

  14. Colonial Dawg

    Greg Poole 66DAWGnNC  And in 6 years or so UGA is going to be better than AL anyway!  (Man!  That felt good to say that!)

  15. converted 1981

    Greg Poole Didnt they have several players in the Spring “Guarantee Wins Both over The geyturds and gumps.  If they do that they Have to win the Natty – no?


    66DAWGnNC No stones…  I’m sure if Kirby were to leave he might wanna buy one of those Armored SUV’s like the presidential motorcade uses…   Kirby said this is his dream job and from all accounts I would have to believe him.  Provided he is given the support he needs and we don’t fall back into the post Jan Kemp / Adams type of mentality within our programs, then I would wager he stays!

  17. 66DAWGnNC

    OK; I am going to play “Devil’s Advocate” here. This is something I have been thinking about the last couple of days as the excitement toward the season builds, hypothetically, of course. Suppose Kirby has some success over the next say 6 seasons. Wins a couple SEC titles, maybe plays for the big one. Ole Satan in Tuscaloosa decides to retire for whatever reason. Does Kirby go back to Bama as HC if offered? Your thoughts? Go ahead and throw stones. I am logging off for the day lol.


    Greg Poole MMCSDAWG I sure not since they only account for less than probably 5% of the total plays in a CFB game.  It’s the high speed contact, yada, yada yada..  Like someone said yesterday, its a contact sport.

  19. Greg Poole

    MMCSDAWG Do KOs really account for that many more injuries than plays from the LOS? Maybe, but it is not readily apparent to me.


    Greg Poole That has to be one of the most ridiculous articles I’ve ever read…  Dart Board and team GPA.  Are you serious?  But he still mentions punts, why would you eliminate kick offs but keep punts?  Same coverage schemes and potential injury issues.

  21. Greg Poole

    I going to Augusta tomorrow for the Bulldog Club meeting. If you make it, yell at the old fat guy wit the BI shirt on.

  22. Greg Poole

    BTW the middle Ledbetter brother was at camp last weekend. He has attended a prep school. I saw him but did not get to watch him much.

  23. Greg Poole

    MMCSDAWG I am pretty good friends with all of the writer at Rivals – just met Murf last weekend. They are all good guys.

  24. Reddawg13

    Okay Big Led you made some mistakes, we get that. It will be part of your journey in this life. You will not be judged by those mistakes unless you do not learn from them or continue to repeat them. If you do your work in therapy, the classroom and the gym you can and will be a big time player both on the field and off the field! You now also have the experience needed to mentor other youth and help them become great men. So, what do you plan to do at this juncture? Your future and legacy is in your hands. And we are here for you Big Led!


    Greg Poole MMCSDAWG Like I’ve said before, I’ve been a member over there for a while and I have posted less than 10 comments in over 3 years, and we all know how much I like to post..###  So decent reports from our old cohort Trent, and the others, but the boards are down right repulsive!

  26. Greg Poole

    MMCSDAWG They work at it. Some people think because they pay they can do as they please.


    AlphaDawg MMCSDAWG Score Check Greg Poole I’m telling you, some of the posters are ridiculous…  He Greg Greg Poole you can tell Radi and them I really don’t know how they do it…  Maintaining any type of civility is a full time job!

  28. AlphaDawg

    MMCSDAWG Score Check AlphaDawg Greg Poole same happens over at 247 when I had an account with them. There’s only like 3 posters they trust. There used to be this thing called an opinion where people could state what “they believe” but today, you have no opinion, the majority is the factual.


    Score Check AlphaDawg Greg Poole So your the one they are chastising all the time over on those paid boards!!!  It’s ridiculous how many people on rivals and such will crucify someone if they say they have some info and it doesn’t work out exactly like the reader wants it to.

  30. DawgDaddy

    Greg Poole Thanks for the info Greg,  good stuff.  I am glad that Joseph is there for Jonathan right now.  I am really pulling for him to get it together.

  31. Reddawg13

    So Greg Pyke is going to be a bit lighter this year, more quickness on a quick big man,lol!

  32. DawgDaddy

    Bulldawg36 Keep it down there 36, I am tired of these afternoon/evening storms of late.

  33. Score Check

    AlphaDawg Greg Poole
    I sensing a pattern here.  I got some some great inside stuff, but since I’m on double-secret probation I can’t talk about it.  LOL

  34. converted 1981

    MMCSDAWG Bansai buckeroo If we need to score points to Win a game it will be the Offense that has to carry that burden and Lambert will Not be able to accomplish that.  Eason Might.  Either way he IS our Future so get him going and Let the Big Dawg Eat – up some yardage.


    Greg Poole AlphaDawg Thanks for the Scoop Boss…  I hope this young man will get his head together and accept the help he is being given.  Sounds like he has been given the opportunity to go full time into a treatment program (6 wk).  I’m pulling for him and hope he gets his addiction under control and has a long, healthy and promising football career!

  36. Greg Poole

    AlphaDawg I want everyone to read this carefully. He is suspended from the team for 6 weeks – THAT IS NOT THE GAME SUSPENSION – Joesph said he has been spending a lot of time with him and telling him he better had his butt in the gym and stay in shape. Joseph left the team because he has recently become a daddy – he is working and going to class.

    Joesph did not mention how many games he was going to be suspended for, but he said Jonathan realizes that if those other charges had not been dropped, he would be gone.

  37. converted 1981

    Greg Poole I actually got to hold that torch out in Huntington Beach, Ca.  Was there when the torch came in for the ceremony  and offered a frantic lady with a little kid a place to sit ( nobody else would let her in).  Turned out it was her husband caring the torch in.  After the ceremony we got invited up and got to hold the torch and get pictures.  Also got to hold the torch from the LA Olympics – Cool.

  38. AlphaDawg

    MMCSDAWG AlphaDawg Greg Poole I’m guessing Kirby is going to give a 2 game suspension and that’s all. I just don’t see Kirby shooting ourselves in the foot like we’ve done for so many years. The media will die down and the 2 games will be served, AJC will write on article about it and all the reporters will go on with the game topics for that week.


    AlphaDawg Greg Poole Right…  That’s just wrong!  Should have had them do that for you in the store! lol

  40. AlphaDawg

    MMCSDAWG Jesse1 AlphaDawg Greg Poole Cochran also has cemented his personality into the program. How many S&C coaches get featured on 60 minutes? How many are displayed up on the jumbo screen during games? His personality and his work ethic is why Bama will pay whatever it takes. He’s a Cajun monster that sounds like a chainsaw when he yells.

  41. Greg Poole

    Just went to the Verizon store tp replace a dead phone. My sales rep was Joseph Ledbetter. Yep Jonathan’s brother and a former player himself. I got one tidbit, but I have to get all my stuff back on my phone. Back in a few.


    Jesse1 MMCSDAWG AlphaDawg Greg Poole  Right!!  Him and kirby are BFF’s…  But I will say, I like what I’ve seen out of our current staff so far.  He was personally recommended to Kirby by Cochran.

  43. Jesse1

    MMCSDAWG Jesse1 AlphaDawg Greg Poole Mark it down. About the time Saban retires, Cochran will be fully vested in the retirement program over there, and young enough to start on another pension right here in The Empire State of the South.


    Jesse1 MMCSDAWG AlphaDawg Greg Poole Combination of both I believe… You can’t under estimate the value of the S&C program either, there’s a reason Bama rolled out the Brinks truck to keep him in Tuscaloosa!  I like the way some of our guys are looking!  Hawkins looks stronger IMO and I really like the way TT is looking as well.

  45. Jesse1

    MMCSDAWG AlphaDawg Greg Poole I like Carter, getting off the bus anyway. Lets say he looks like a player. I’ve got my eye on him early.
    Seriously though, for Bama to be that deep up front, their 3 stars have panned out better than our 4 star recruits. Naturally better? Were our former coaches that wrong in player evaluation? Or have the Bama kids received better coaching at the college level?


    RobDawg  If his mental status is 100% and he feels comfortable when he takes that first hit in a scrimmage, then I believe he can and will be just as good if not better than before!  similar to Adrian Peterson’s return from injury!  This kid is special and I believe he makes a full return!


    dsw61 I like what your saying DSW!   So how many can a UGA team with a LOT more weapons put on UNC?…

  48. dsw61

    Against Georgia Tech last year Pitt scored 31 points with Peterman; Georgia scored 13 points with Lambert. That’s with Georgia having a better RB in Sony, better TEs, and Godwin and Mitchell at receiver.

  49. DawgDaddy

    MMCSDAWG If he had had on 2 shoes he would have scored quicker, lol.  Great debut by a DGD.

  50. Jesse1

    Greg Poole Remember. Many of those “nothing to get excited about” kids were offered by Bama. Could be a change in attitude will allow that promise to be realized.

  51. AlphaDawg

    dsw61 AlphaDawg MMCSDAWG Greg Poole I will be taking the car ferry! Plan is to rent a Wrangler for the week. We’ve got a buddy of ours who dives for a place at Bolongo Bay that took us last time we visited. Hopefully we’ll go again.

  52. dsw61

    AlphaDawg MMCSDAWG Greg Poole Good decision to go to St Thomas. Make sure and take the ferry over to St Johns and do the snorkeling trail at Trunk Bay.

  53. Bansai buckeroo

    Seems to spend a lot of time traveling through Georgia…. Trying to get away from those chickens I guess..haha


    Bansai buckeroo If it’s where I’m thinking its down around Warner Robbins.  What you doing that far down BD36?


    AlphaDawg Greg Poole Hawkins is going to be a good one!  Michael Barnett should get a lot more playing time this year as well and I’m still thrilled we got M. Carter and T. Clark. Carter is an immediate impact player!


    AlphaDawg Gotta love hearing that type stuff!   After Shotty we are all a little shell shocked, so I will wait to see what happens but I absolutely love that him and Pittman have worked together and I believe that will pay dividends for us sooner rather than later!

  57. AlphaDawg

    Greg Poole There’s 4 youngens who came in 2016 class who are ready to start that rock solid foundation!

  58. AlphaDawg

    Bansai buckeroo My only concern for Eason was when he was being attacked by pass rush he just curled up. Now I’m giving the kid some slack, he was supposed to be in a high school classroom but he was on the field in front of 93k fans and a top 10 defense. He will have a lot more time during camp and scrimmages to work out those kinks. But like I said that was my ONLY worry. He can throw. He can place the ball. Knows when to check down. He’ll just have to practice on that TE/RB dump off or throw it away when he’s about to get lit up.

  59. Greg Poole

    Is it all about the defense?
    At Georgia, it’s all about the defensive line.
    Head coach Kirby Smart is coming from a program at Alabama where there were 12-15 players he could trust up front, and he has nowhere close to that. Jonathan Ledbetter can’t stay out of trouble, only one upperclassman exists on the defensive two-deep on the defensive line, and outside of sophomore Trent Thompson, there’s not much to get excited about in the trenches.
    “The biggest concern for me and our team is the defensive line,” Smart said at SEC media days. “We have to do a great job there and stay injury-free. We have to develop the guys on campus. If those guys get better, we’ll have good depth there.”
    Getting stable defensive line play and winning the battle in the trenches will keep the Bulldogs in games and give the offense—which is undergoing a makeover under first-year coordinator Jim Chaney—plenty of chances to navigate through growing pains.

  60. Bansai buckeroo

    Exactly…we put somebody else in there and there is still no guarantee of a win. We need to start working on our future starting Sept 3rd….

  61. Doc R

    Greg Poole Dean might wish to learn how to spell “Woerner”—-hope that’s correct, lol


    Bansai buckeroo There comes a time when we will have to depend on our Defense to win a few more games for us…  The UNC game might be one of those games.  We should have an advantage against them at the LOS and I would hope to see our defense make a few big plays!  Put Eason in there and start the process sooner rather than later!  If we need to score points to win this game, who gives us the best chance of scoring 35+ points?  I say Eason!

  63. Colonial Dawg

    AlphaDawg MMCSDAWG Greg Poole I’m pretty sure I mentioned that my wife has us flying to Seattle on Sept 3rd for an Alaskan cruise on Sept. 4th.  She did take the game into consideration though and we are supposed to arrive in Seattle around noon their time.  That gives me a 2 1/2 hour cushion to get into our room (hotel at the airport) even if we are a little late.  If we arrive a lot late I’m going to be ticked!

  64. AlphaDawg

    BenKellam MMCSDAWG AlphaDawg Greg Poole Sometimes it’s just best to take yourself out of the game. lol

  65. AlphaDawg

    MMCSDAWG AlphaDawg Greg Poole I’m going to bet we’re the only ones on the island that give a rats about college football. haha island people don’t get emotional over much!

  66. BenKellam

    MMCSDAWG AlphaDawg Greg Poole I watched the bama game in the monsoon in Athens under a tailgating tent with 30 of my girlfriend’s coworkers…95% of which were bama grads. I don’t remember more than about 3 minutes of that game. Thanks bourbon. lol

  67. Bansai buckeroo

    I say stick him in there. If he is going to be our starter this year, then put him in there. He is not going to learn the speed of the game by carrying a clip board. It want be the end of the world let alone the season if we lose the NC game. Even the ole Miss game. Our goal I would think is to win the east and go to the championship….get him ready….just my 2 cents


    AlphaDawg MMCSDAWG Greg Poole Now that’s a nice way to watch a game…  I was actually on a cruise last year for the Alabama game.  They had the game on in several spots on the boat, unfortunately, there were a number of Gumps on the boat as well and it became unbearable so I had to go to my room after half time…  If there is one thing I want kirby to fix it is that, I should NEVER have to go stick my head in the sand as a UGA fan,  win or lose I want to be in those big games and I want to be able to stay in the room with Gaturd, Gumps, whomever…  It’s been embarrassing the last few years, especially against Alabama and UF…  Kirby fixes that and we are on our way!

  69. AlphaDawg

    MMCSDAWG AlphaDawg Greg Poole I hear ya! So last week I was saying that I might miss the game because of a cruise, but my wife and I made a compromise! We are now going to St Thomas for a week instead of cruising and will be on the island during the game. So I’m going to be beach side at a bar watching the Dawgs play in swimming trunks. How awesome is that!!? Could be one of the coolest experiences if we win bc the sportsbar that’s next to us is right on the bay!

  70. AlphaDawg

    Greg Poole AlphaDawg most likely. I can’t see it generating more money than the SEC network, maybe half. 
    The clause in the contract that makes it non binding: “If Dabo and Fisher are not coaching in the ACC by 2019, goodbye.”


    AlphaDawg MMCSDAWG Greg Poole Morning Alpha!  Just starting to get the itch!  We start practices in less than 2 weeks!  The anticipation is starting to build!

  72. Greg Poole

    AlphaDawg SEC probably should have made the deal happen more quickly after the B1GNet showed the way. 
    The reason ACC got the network was a clause in their contract with ESPN that required the WWL to pay additional monies to the League if it did not get a Network. A deal that, I’m sure, ESPN would love to have back.
    ESPN has to be wary of this new network. That probably accounts for the reported start date of 2019. I’m betting that in the fine print there is some kind of ‘out’ for ESPN if market conditions change.


    AlphaDawg Greg Poole And Strength!  lbs is one thing, but strength and stamina are another, Pittman wants them big, but he also wants them to be stronger in the lower body and heavier with their punch (arms) .

  74. AlphaDawg

    Greg Poole AlphaDawg I believe you’re correct but with that same ideology one would think the SEC network could have been set up 10 years ago.

  75. Bansai buckeroo

    @DDaddy…we are going to have to quit calling him skinny or people are going to start looking at you funny…haha

  76. Greg Poole

    AlphaDawg Basketball will be more of a factor but that sport does not move the needle like football and the NCAA tourney has killed the regular season to some extent. 
    If ACC Network was seen as a cash cow it would have existed before now.


    converted 1981 Greg Poole They aren’t…  Everyday around here the sports talking heads wonder who is going to be the QB and how they will perform much like us.  They have no returning starter and other that the criminal Calloway, they don’t have much at WR either.

  78. AlphaDawg

    Greg Poole AlphaDawg You don’t think FSU and Clemson could carry the network? That is a lot for only two schools to be heavy college football schools. Basketball might present more of an opportunity than what it does for the SEC network

  79. Greg Poole

    AlphaDawg The are losing subscribers by the boatload as cord-cutting/trimming continues to accelerate. IMHO, only the Big Ten Network and SEC Network will survive in an à la carte environment.

  80. AlphaDawg

    CB update: 2 more yesterday evening APB / 5-9.5 / 214 0.9835
    7/18/16 1:13PM
    - Penn State Insider
    - National Analyst

  81. AlphaDawg

    Greg Poole The more “personalized” ESPN becomes the better for all of us. I believe ESPN sees that cable is changing and are working to make things more “a la cart”.

  82. AlphaDawg

    dsw61 Colleague Gordon McGuinness did a good job of making the case for why the Bulldogs should go with the true freshman Eason as their starter this season.
    The basics behind his argument are that Eason offers some upside, and we saw some impressive performances by true freshman QBs last season in the form of UCLA’s and Washington’s Perhaps more importantly, Lambert posted just average grades last season outside of an outlier performance against South Carolina that was one of the top-graded outings by a QB all season, and Ramsey has never proven himself to be a successful starting quarterback.

  83. Greg Poole

    The ACC Network is going to happen – in a year or two:
    The Atlantic Coast Conference and ESPN have agreed to a 20-year deal and rights extension through the 2035-36 academic year, sources said.
    The ACC also extended its conference grant of rights deal nine years through 2035-36, a source said.
    The conference’s grant of rights makes it untenable financially for a school to leave, guaranteeing in the 20 years of the deal that a school’s media rights, including revenue, for all home games would remain with the ACC regardless of the school’s affiliation.

  84. dsw61

    Josh Rosen…STARTED…the first game of the season last year against the Virginia Cavaliers. He completed 28 of 35 pass attempts, threw for 351 yds and three TDs. Eleven different players caught passes; the most completions to any one receiver was 6. I watched the first half of that game last night, and Rosen played a solid game.

  85. AlphaDawg

    converted 1981 AlphaDawg Greg Poole Oh they’re already pointing fingers. UT fan on my Facebook was ripping Bama for not doing anything about the guns and drugs in the car….like BRO you’ve got multiple rape cases and teammates being told to slug other teammates because they’ve “betrayed” the team.

  86. converted 1981

    AlphaDawg converted 1981 Greg Poole Weren’t their like 27 cases?  Does this settle them all?  Even if it did where is the Admin and ncaa…..  You think it would be this quiet at UGA?  I hope Not.  Their entire school should be embarrassed.  Instead they will be gloating with every win and all those that offended will be upheld as heroes.

  87. AlphaDawg

    converted 1981 Greg Poole Sadly, the victims gave in with the money offer. Or at least from my understanding were only looking for money.

  88. converted 1981

    Greg Poole Yea but where is the ncaa and the Administration for GUTville?   You would Think this would be costing some people their jobs but Noooooo.  Win and we will pay our way out of ANYTHING – regardless of how many of our Young Women are Raped and Abused!  Where is the Press Screaming for heads?  This is just plain disgusting and I have a Very good friend whose Daughter goes there.

  89. AlphaDawg

    Greg Poole whatever keeps their sleazy coach there and makes all that go away. That AD is really sticking his neck out for Jones to go 9-4. He better hope he wins the East this year

  90. converted 1981

    Greg Poole converted 1981 No doubt there he is the best SEC QB – “as of now”!

  91. AlphaDawg

    Greg Poole converted 1981 Reminds me of a Dobbs but with a much better arm. Can scramble very well.

  92. Greg Poole

    converted 1981 Treadwell and several other key pieces are gone. Well, see how they do but Kelly is good.

  93. Greg Poole

    DawgLink  I haven’t been able to reach Bob for about 2 weeks. Maybe, they are vacationing – will try today.

  94. DawgLink

    Greg what’s the latest word on Mrs. BB2?
    Hope she is getting better and stronger daily

  95. converted 1981

    Greg Poole
    sounds about right for Georgia.  However I was Not aware that (according to this writer) that Florida is so Loaded on Offense – especially at QB.  Time will tell.

  96. converted 1981

    Greg Poole OK…. I like it.  Didn’t they lose most of their O Line?  We have an excellent backfield and I believe we will be able to put plenty of pressure on the QB with the speed we have on the ends.  What does their RB depth look like?  Trent will be a Beast in the middle if we can hold each side of him we should be able to get pressure most of the day.  He will make his throws but we just have to limit those.  Also isn’t Treadwell Gone….
    Hate to do it but gotta give the geyturd fans their due here, they keep the noise and intensity up.

  97. DawgDaddy

    Greg Poole It’s like CKS said, it is about these kids learning a life lesson after they mess up, not just receive a slap on the wrist and just add to their feeling of being privileged.

  98. DawgDaddy

    Greg Poole I hope he is fully ready for UNC.  I know he will be mentally but I worry about him being physically ready after the surgery.

  99. DawgDaddy

    Greg Poole I think that is pretty much what everyone thinks.  Still hoping to see lots of skinny against UNC.

  100. Greg Poole

    I would have leaned toward Georgia in the East if the Bulldogs had an established quarterback. But, the way I see it, UGA will have no choice but to throw incoming freshman Jacob Eason off the deep end right from the start. It is not impossible for a true freshman quarterback to win in the SEC but it certainly makes things tougher and the entire offense will be adjusting to a new coordinator. Eason gets the benefit of the return of one of the top two running backs in college football with Nick Chubb. Before his injury Chubb was all but unstoppable and it is likely that UGA would have won the East last year if Chubb had not been lost for the season in the Tennessee game. Terry Godwin and Isaiah McKenzie are bigtime playmakers.On defense Georgia returns six starters but only two from the front seven. New head coach Kirby Smart has coached defense under Saban for eight years. While he has holes to fill on the front seven Smart does have the luxury of returning his entire defensive backfield. Dominick Sanders is a leader at safety but this is a defense not really loaded with star power like Florida and Tennessee. Bulldog fans are counting on Kirby Smart to make up the difference. I think Smart will be successful at Georgia but I am just not sure he has all the pieces in place in 2016. Georgia wins the East if Jacob Eason performs beyond his years, Chubb stays healthy and the team overall meshes quickly with the new staff.

  101. Greg Poole

    “I think Nick Chubb’s going to be fine,” Smart said. “But I won’t know that until the first scrimmage. Or the second scrimmage. When we get to go live and tackle and hit and he gets over that mental aspect of taking that first hit.”
    Chubb’s progress has astounded coaches and players alike, with Smart stating during the spring that the Cedartown native was ahead of schedule with his recovery.
    Having torn three ligaments and damaged cartilage, Chubb’s been able to rehab quicker than perhaps even Smart expected.
    “There’s nobody in the country who could be back as fast as he is right now,” Smart said. “And he’s sped up the progress by his effort and toughness.”