Monday, August 31, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 5 Days (#5 Zach Mettenberger)

#5 Zach Mettenberger, QB
6-5, 235, Watkinsville GA (Oconee County HS), True Freshman

Mettenberger grew up just outside of Athens, and with some close ties to the University, he made an easy decision to commit to UGA. Most recruiting services put him firmly in the 4-star category as a prospect, as his size and arm strength project very well to the collegiate level. While he didn't get as much hype as fellow member of the 2009 signing class Aaron Murray, Mettenberger is a solid SEC prospect in his own right. He's certainly what one might call more of a "project."

Depth Chart Analysis: With 2 of the 4 scholarship quarterbacks being true freshman, one might expect that one of them will get a redshirt this year. If that is the case, chances are good that player will be Mettenberger. Murray might be a little more polished and college-ready at this point in their careers. But Mettenberger will get a good shot at it eventually.

Other famous #5s in UGA history: PK Kevin Butler, S Jermaine Phillips, PK Rex Robinson, RB Garrison Hearst, SS C.J. Byrd

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 6 Days (#6 Logan Gray)

#6 Logan Gray, QB
6-2, 195, Columbia MO (Rock Bridge HS), RS Soph.

Gray was one of the top quarterback prospects in America when he committed to UGA prior to the 2007 season. After a redshirt in 2007, Gray saw action in every game in 2008, though not where many might have expected when he first arrived. He was UGA's designated short field punt returner (as well as a gunner on kickoffs), and actually returned 6 punts for 72 yards on the year. He was named Special Teams Newcomer of the Year for the season. He would play some quarterback in mop-up situations, but still hasn't thrown a pass in his UGA career.

Depth Chart Analysis: Gray's days of playing special teams are likely over, as he's now the likely #2 quarterback behind Joe Cox. There are rumors out there that he might be used in some special situations on offense, maybe something similar to the Wildcat due to his unique dual-threat skills. We've heard rumors like this before, so who knows what will actually end up happening. But keep an eye on how #6 is used this season.

Other famous #6s in UGA history: P Mike Garrett, P Cris Carpenter, RB Patrick Pass, S Sean Jones

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 7 Days (Zach Renner)

Note: Zach Renner will wear #80 in 2009.

Zach Renner, SE
5-11, 195, Monroe CT (New Canaan HS), RS Soph.

After a prolific career in high school where he played running back, wide receiver, and cornerback. Renner made an instant splash on the team last year, his first year seeing live game action. He wound up appearing in all 13 games on special teams. All he did was become the first known player in UGA history to block a punt in consecutive games - against Arizona State and Alabama. He was named Newcomer of the Year on special teams.

Depth Chart Analysis: Renner has become one of UGA's most valuable members of special teams, particularly punt block and punt coverage. He may also see some time at split end this year, as he is currently listed on the official depth chart behind Mike Moore, Israel Troupe, and Marlon Brown.

Other famous #7s in UGA history: QB Jeff Pyburn, TB Rodney Hampton, QB Matthew Stafford

Friday, August 28, 2009

AJ Green's hype video...

It's nice to see a player live up to and exceed all the hype. Since JJ's countdown is on Green today I figured a reminder of where all 8's hype came from was in order. This catch just never gets old.


Countdown to UGA-OSU: 8 Days (#8 A.J. Green)

#8 A.J. Green, FLK
6-4, 210, Summerville SC (Summerville HS), Soph.

Green had perhaps the most impressive freshman season of any WR ever to play at UGA, catching 56 balls, 8 of them for touchdowns, and almost going for 1000 yards (963.) He broke on the national scene in prime-time at Arizona State, catching 8 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown. Following that was a series of solid performances (including game-winning TD catches at Kentucky and Auburn toward the end of the year.) There isn't much that one could say about Green that would adequately describe his talent. He truly has everything you'd want in a receiver - size, speed, athleticism. He'll continue to put weight and muscle on his 6-4 frame, and odds are that he won't be spending all 4 of his college-eligible years in Athens. Enjoy him while you can.

Depth Chart Analysis: It is easy to forget that he was hobbled by a hamstring prior to last season, which he didn't shake loose of for the entire season. He's 100% healthy now and will be the go-to WR for this UGA offense. Its hard for me to imagine that there's one out there who's better.) He and Joe Cox seem to be on the same page from all the practice reports I've read, so no reason to believe he won't pick up right where he left off last year. He's set to make a run at an All-American caliber season.

Other famous #8s in UGA history: QB Buck Belue, S Tony Flack, WR Terrence Edwards, DB Paul Oliver

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 9 Days (#9 Reshad Jones)

#9 Reshad Jones, SS
6-2, 215, Atlanta GA (Booker T. Washington HS), Jr.

Jones has enjoyed an interesting career in Athens. He showed alot of promise in his redshirt freshman season, with 57 tackles despite only starting in 2 games. As a sophomore, most would argue that he took a step back, and while recording 9 tackles and an interception in the Georgia Tech loss, his inability to tackle the Yellow Jacket running backs in the 2nd half was the lasting memory most fans have taken. He's a physical freak of nature. Fast, big, strong, vicious. Unfortunately he seems to lose his mind on the field at the worst times. He flirted with the NFL Draft after his sophomore season, but after getting advice that he wouldn't be a high pick, decided to come back to school.

Depth Chart Analysis: He's been hobbled throughout fall workouts, but he's expected to be full speed for the Stillwater trip. He's the clear starter at strong safety, as he has more experience than any other safety on the roster. It is imperative that he have a better season than he did a year ago. Jones has as much potential and raw ability than anyone wearing a UGA uniform. He just needs to forget about highlight reels and get back to fundamentals. He was an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty waiting to happen last year. That has to stop as well.

Other famous #9s in UGA history: PK Allan Leavitt

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 10 Days (#10 Jordan Love)

#10 Jordan Love, CB
6-0, 185, Glen Allen VA (Deep Run HS), True Freshman

Despite only being rated a 3-star recruit by some services, Love was recruited like a 4 or 5 star player, with scholarship offers from schools like Florida, Penn State, and Tennessee. He chose the Dawgs just before his senior year began. Most recruiting services were unanimous in naming him the #1 cornerback in the state of Virginia. Like most of UGA's cornerbacks, Love can absolutely fly (4.4 speed.)

Depth Chart Analysis: Richt has already stated that all true freshman corners are going to play this season. Love may play as much as any of them, if he can get healthy. He's been either sidelined or in a green jersey for the past week with an ankle injury. Before that, he might have been a legitimate candidate to make the 2-deep at corner. Expect to see Love on the field quite a bit this season.

Other famous #10s in UGA history: QB (and NFL Hall of Famer) Fran Tarkenton, QB (and former head coach) Ray Goff, QB Larry Rakestraw, QB Eric Zeier, QB/DB Chris Welton, S Thomas Davis

Coach Mark Fox

This is interesting....

Go to

Reminds me of the Snakes on a Plane promotion with Samuel L. Jackson.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 11Days (#11 Aaron Murray)

#11 Aaron Murray, QB
6-1, 205, Tampa FL (Plant HS), True Freshman

Murray's path to Athens paralleled that of former UGA QB Matthew Stafford in many ways. Murray was largely considered one of the Top 3 QB prospects coming out of high school, committed to the Dawgs early in the process without even really considering anyone else, and then enrolled in January to participate in an extra spring practice. Another similarity between the two is raw talent. He suffered a broken leg during his senior season, but managed to return for the Florida Class 4A Championship game, where he threw for over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns, leading Plant to a 2nd state title since Murray arrived. While he might not have the gun of a Stafford (who does?), Murray's is certainly better than average. One area where Murray might actually have a leg up on Stafford is in the mobility department.

Depth Chart Analysis: Hard to say whether or not Murray will see the field this year. Rarely do less than 3 quarterbacks get playing time at some point, and Murray is currently #3 behind Logan Gray and Joe Cox. Zach Mettenberger is also right there in the mix for playing time. One part of me hopes that he doesn't have to play, but another part says it might not be a bad thing to get him a few snaps. It does appear that the days of redshirting skill players just for the sake of redshirting, may be over. If so, Murray may in fact see the field in 2009.

Other famous #11s in UGA history: QB James Ray, QB Brian Smith, QB Greg Talley, PK Bob Etter, P Spike Jones, CB/KR Ramarcus Brown

Monday, August 24, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 12 Days (#12 Tavarres King)

#12 Tavarres King, FL
6-1, 185, Mount Airy GA (Habersham Central HS), RS Freshman

After coming to UGA as the best WR prospect from the state of Georgia in the 2008 class, big things were expected out of King immediately. An injury that occurred on his longest reception in the early part of last season (a 41 yard catch and run in Tempe) kept him from really developing during his freshman season. It also ultimately led to a redshirt. His speed and athleticism would have been enormous for any offense, but especially the UGA offense that really was looking for a consistent 3rd receiver. He was one of the best WRs in Georgia high school history (his senior season was record-setting from a yardage standpoint.) Expect that to manifest itself in Athens at some point before he leaves. He’s going to take a little longer to develop than Green and perhaps even Marlon Brown and Orson Charles. But he’s got all the talent and potential that you want and need.

Depth Chart Analysis: King begins this year as the top backup to AJ Green at flanker, although he could easily end up sliding over to split end and beginning the year as the starter. The latter isn't as likely, as Mike Moore seems to have solidified the starting job at that position. If he can stay healthy this year, expect him to put up much better and more consistent numbers. He's always going to be overshadowed by Green, but King should have a terrific year. The redshirt he got last season may prove to be huge in 3 years.

Other famous #12s in UGA history: QB Zeke Bratkowski, QB John Lastinger, QB Mike Cavan, P Don Golden, QB Preston Ridlehuber, WR Arthur Marshall, QB Rick Arrington

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 13 Days (#13 Drew Butler)

#13 Drew Butler, P
6-2. 205, Duluth GA (Peachtree Ridge HS), RS Soph.

Burler is the son of legendary former UGA kicker Kevin Butler. While many may have thought that UGA was giving him preferential treatment due to his bloodlines (which would have been justified in my opinion), the fact is that Butler got overtures from other top programs before ultimately signing with the Dawgs. Mark Richt obviously thought enough of him then to extend a scholarship, despite reports that the UGA coaches tried to convince him to take an academic scholarship, and walk-on the team. Butler has a strong leg and has proven himself to be a capable punter. He's also the only punter on the roster with any experience.

Depth Chart Analysis: It looks like Butler has sewn up the starting punter job heading into Stillwater. The punting job has not been an aspect of this year's team that is talked about much, but it could be a season-breaker. The way many expect the UGA offense to operate may lend itself to winning the field position battle over anything else. Butler needs to do a solid job.

Other famous #13s in UGA history: DB Jake Scott

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 14 Days (#14 Joe Cox)

#14 Joe Cox, QB
6-1, 200, Charlotte NC (Independence HS), Sr.

Cox has waited 4 years for the opportunity he’s about to get, to be the signal-caller for the UGA program. While he’s got enormous expectations on his shoulders, most Dawg fans realize he won’t be expected to do it by himself. Anyone with knowledge of the game of football recognizes that Cox doesn’t have the physical tools that Stafford had, and in a way that is a welcome notion to some. In all likelihood, the UGA offense will now be “scaled back” to a degree to focus on what Cox may be able to do better than Stafford, which is to methodically lead the offense down the field and chew up quite a bit of clock. That could allow the UGA defense to stay off the field a little more, and perhaps show some better results than what we saw in 2009. (That is my own personal hope, at least. )The biggest concern is what will happen if and when the Dawgs have to rely on Cox to lead them from behind to a victory. Stafford was able to do that on his own in a few games last year (Auburn and Kentucky to name a couple.) It remains to be seen if Cox has that in him. We all remember his performance against Colorado almost 3 years ago. It may be time to see it all come full circle for Cox.

Depth Chart Analysis: Cox has separated himself from the other quarterbacks on the roster this past spring and during summer workouts. This isn’t a situation like what UGA saw in 2006, when Mark Richt chose a senior over 2 other younger quarterbacks that he wasn’t comfortable handing over the reigns to. Logan Gray is a very capable backup that would start for a lot of teams across the country. Cox has not only had a great offseason in preparation for this enormous task, he has also shown tremendous leadership skills this offeseason, skills that many believe this team and program sorely need.

Other famous #14s in UGA history: ROV Terry Hoage, QB David Greene, QB James Jackson, QB Mike Bobo, QB Andy Johnson, QB Kirby Moore

Friday, August 21, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 15 Days (#15 Marlon Brown)

#15 Marlon Brown, WR
6-5, 200, Memphis TN (Harding Academy), True Freshman

Brown arrived in Athens without quite as much fanfare as last season’s stud WR recruit AJ Green (although it was close), but all indications are that he might have a good chance to make a similar impact on the 2009 team’s offensive success. His talents were on full display during the Under Armour All-Star game, where he took USC commit (and probable 2009 starter) Matt Barkley’s first pass for a long touchdown, a play in which Brown did the majority of the work. He’d commit to UGA soon after (over in-state Tennessee and a few other top-flight schools), which further fueled the excitement over this young player. Brown has it all for a go-to WR: size, speed, athleticism. He’s looking at a terrific career in red and black.

Deoth Chart Analysis: Brown isn’t likely to win a starting job, but he’ll be on the field early and often in Stillwater. With AJ Green sure to get the majority of the attention from defenses, Brown could have a big freshman season himself.

Other famous #15s in UGA history: S Abb Ansley, RB Durward Pennington

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 16 Days (#16 Kris Durham)

#16 Kris Durham, SE
6-5, 210, Calhoun GA (Calhoun HS), Sr.

Durham is another one that you look up and can’t believe he’s already been in Athens for almost 4 years. He was one of Matthew Stafford’s favorite targets during Stafford's time in Athens, catching 32 balls with a touchdown over his first 3 years. Sadly for him, he suffered a torn labrum this past offseason that will require him to miss the entire 2009 season. However, he gets a medical redshirt that will allow him to return in 2010. Durham will be missed this year on a WR corps that is very talented, yet largely inexperienced.

Depth Chart Analysis: Durham will miss the 2010 season following the shoulder injury, but should stand a good shot to retain his starting position next year.

Other famous #16s in UGA history: DB/PR Kirby Smart

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 17 Days (Chad Gloer)

Note: Rantavious Wooten will wear #17 this season, while Gloer will sport the #47.

Chad Gloer, CB
5-10, 195, Fayetteville GA (Starr’s Mill HS), RS Jr.

Gloer has been one of the more valuable walk-ons on the roster during his past couple of seasons in Athens. In addition to being a valuable member of special teams, he has also managed to see some limited action on defense. He did appear in all 13 games last year, recording 10 tackles on the season. From what I've seen, he’s one of the better tackling defensive backs that UGA has on the roster (on scholarship or not.) He’s a decent coverage corner, but it has always surprised me that he’s remained at cornerback rather than being moved to safety, given the depth issues that UGA has experienced at that position in recent years and considering how well I've noticed that Gloer wraps the opponent up.

Deoth Chart Analysis: Gloer will continue to see action on special teams, and perhaps even at cornerback. UGA finds itself much deeper at the corner position than it has recently, so his chances for meaningful minutes may actually be less than they were in 2008. Make no mistake though, Gloer is a better than average walk-on and a big piece of the UGA special teams.

Famous #17s in UGA history: QB Matt Robinson, QB Charley Britt, CB Daryl Jones, QB Quincy Carter, QB Donnie Hampton, S Greg Blue

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 18 Days (#18 Bacarri Rambo)

#18 Bacarri Rambo, SS
6-0, 210, Donalsonville GA (Seminole County HS), RS Freshman

Despite settling in as a defensive player during his redshirt season, Rambo did some work as an option quarterback on the scout team dring UGA's preparation for Georgia Tech in 2008. This past spring saw him shoot up the depth chart at safety, culminating with a team-leading 5 tackles in the G-Day game. He's a big hitter and a terrific athlete that will have his day for the UGA defense before he leaves Athens.

Depth Chart Analysis: Back to the quarterback discussion, Mark Richt made a comment last year that in a pinch, he could put Rambo at QB and feel very good about it. That won't happen, but it speaks to his athleticism. He's a very valuable defender that will begin the year as Reshad Jones' backup at strong safety. However, due to injuries this month, he's been working out a good bit with the #1 defense. Rambo will be an important cog this year, as UGA's depth should be a big factor in its success.

Other famous #18s in UGA history: QB John Rauch, QB Wayne Johnson, WR/PR Damien Gary

Monday, August 17, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 19 Days (#19 Sanders Commings)

#19 Sanders Commings, DB
6-2, 215, Westside HS (Augusta GA), RS Freshman

Commings was a heck of an athlete for the Westside Patriots in high school, playing defensive back, running back and wide receiver at times, as well as being one of the top baseball players in the CSRA. He actually saw time in 3 games in 2008, but apparently did not play enough to burn a redshirt. He practiced mostly at cornerback as a freshman, but has since been moved to free safety. Commings has great size for a defensive back, but is extremely athletic and has retained quite a bit of speed since arriving at UGA.

Depth Chart Analysis: Commings was essentially filling a void at corner last year, and the coaching staff has been pegging him as a free safety all along. To be honest, I like him better at cornerback, as my personal belief is that UGA's cornerbacks have been too short for the last few seasons. But what the hell do I know. I do know he's a load at 215 pounds, and will certainly contribute this year regardless of whether he plays corner or safety.

Other famous #19s in UGA history: CB Scott Woerner, ROV John Little, QB/RB/WR Hines Ward, RB/DE Charles Grant

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 20 Days (Marquise Brown)

Note: Brown will be the offensive #10 on this year's team, sharing the number with DB Jordan Love. There is no #20 currently on the roster that I can find.

Marquise Brown, WR
5-11, 180, Lanham MD (Episcopal), Jr.

Brown transferred to UGA after beginning his college career in 2006 as a walk-on at South Carolina. After coming to Athens prior to the 2007 season, he took a redshirt while working out on the scout team. Last season he appeared in 2 games, and took big steps toward seeing playing time in this past offseason. He caught 3 passes for 62 yards in the G-Day game, and was named Most Improved Player after spring was over. Brown's father is former Washington Redskin and 2-time NFL Pro Bowler Charlie Brown.

Depth Chart Analysis: Brown has impressed on scout team and this past G-Day, so it wouldn't surprise anyone to see him get some time on the field in 2009. His bloodlines are compelling. Keep an eye open for #10 on offense.

Famous #21s in UGA history: RB Fred Barber, FB Jimmy Paulos, FB Julian Smiley, RB Thomas Brown

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 21 Days (Josh Parrish)

Note: Parrish will wear #55. He's been a late addition some depth charts I've seen this summer, and with no #21 currently on any roster that I can find, we'll review Parrish today.

#55 Josh Parrish, OL
6-4, 302, Norcross GA (Wesleyan School), Freshman

Parrish was an Georgia Class A All-State performer for the 2008 state champions at Wesleyan. He spurned an opportunity to play football at Princeton, for a chance to be a preferred walk-on at UGA. Obviously, the fact that he had a chance to play at Princeton tells you that he's a pretty bright fellow.

Depth Chart Analysis: (Rivals' Georgia site) lists Parrish as the 3rd team right tackle behind Clint Boling and another walk-on, Casey Nickels. That's probably a little misleading, as the fact remains the Dawgs have starters and backups at other positions on the offensive line that would like get shifted in the unfortunate scenario where Boling suffers an injury.

Famous #21s in UGA history: RB Frank Sinkwich (1942 Heisman Trophy Winner)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 22 Days (#22 Richard Samuel)

#22 Richard Samuel, RB
6-2, 218, Cartersville GA (Cass HS), Soph.

Samuel was one of the more heralded recruits of the 2008 signing class, even though he committed to the Dawgs prior to his senior season at Cass, choosing the Dawgs over Tennessee, Clemson and Florida. Rivals ranked him as the #2 athlete in America (5 stars.) There was some question of which side of the ball he'd play (he was an outstanding linebacker in high school), but he was too good for the offensive coaches to pass up. He had his moments at running back as a freshman, although his numbers ended up being fairly unimpressive. He also was the primary kickoff returner in the 2nd half of the season. He tore ligaments in his wrist in the Capital One Bowl, and had surgery in January. That kept him out of spring drills, but he's full speed for the fall (and then some.)

Depth Chart Analysis: Samuel has been mighty impressive in fall camp, taking advantage of Caleb King's injury issues to establish himself as the #1 tailback at this point in August. He looks like he has become more of a home run back during scrimmages, running for long touchdowns on multiple occasions. Of course, with his size, he can also be a workhorse between the package. In short, he's got all the tools that you'd want in your tailback. He's probably going to relinquish kickoff return duties, at least to start the year, but he might have worked himself into taking the load as the feature tailback for the Dawgs in Stillwater. Based on what I've heard so far, I have a feeling that this young man is going to have a large season for UGA. The Dawgs will need him to perform at that level in order to make this a special season. A 25 carry per game running back could be the difference for this offense.

Other famous #22s in UGA history: DB Dick Conn

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 23 Days (#23 Prince Miller)

#23 Prince Miller, CB
5-8, 195, Duncan SC (Byrnes HS), Sr.

Miller enters his senior season as one of the more experienced and durable players on the roster, having played in every game the Dawgs have played since his true freshman season (with 18 starts at cornerback.) In addition to having a breakout season at defensive back in 2008, he also established himself as a top option at punt returner. His 92 yard punt return touchdown against Alabama was probably Miller's top highlight of the season. He'll enter 2009 as one of the leaders of the UGA defense.

Depth Chart Analysis: Miller has received a number of accolades from his fellow teammates during summer workouts, as he has established himself as the closest thing to a shutdown corner that the Dawgs have in the secondary. What he lacks in height he makes up for with good athleticism. He'll be the starter at wide corner, and will be very much in the mix to be the #1 punt returner as well.

Other famous #23s in UGA history: RB Zippy Morocco, DB Steve Kelly

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 24 Days (#24 Washaun Ealey)

#24 Washaun Ealey, RB
5-11, 210, Stillmore GA (Emanuel County Institute), True Freshman

Ealey was one of the top running back prospects in America last year, after leaving ECI as the all-time state of Georgia leader in single season touchdowns, with 58 in 2007. Needless to say, he was one of the top overall prospects in Georgia. He committed to UGA before his senior year at ECI, choosing the Dawgs over a strong pursuit from the University of Florida (who stayed on him even after he had committed to UGA.) He's got more than adequate size for a feature tailback, but his biggest asset is blazing speed (he runs well under a 4.5 forty yard dash.)

Depth Chart Analysis: While the Dawgs have no shortage of tailbacks at their disposal, there's a good chance Ealey is going to play this year. At the very least, he's going to have a shot to earn a spot. A hyperextended elbow during the first week of fall practice set him back, but he looks to be back at 100% and ready to make a push for more playing time. Ealey is going to be an outstanding back in Athens before his time is complete.

Other famous #24s in UGA history: WR Lindsay Scott, RB Horace King, RB Kent Lawrence, RB Bob Taylor, RB Knowshon Moreno

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 25 Days (#25 Vance Cuff)

#25 Vance Cuff, CB
5-11, 175, Moultrie GA (Colquitt Co. HS), Jr.

Cuff got started right away when he arrived in Athens, playing in every game as a true freshman (mostly on special teams.) As a sophomore, Cuff only played in 9 games, but was nonetheless more productive, recording 12 tackles. He is one of the fastest players on the team, and has developed enough experience in his career to make himself a big factor in the secondary.

Depth Chart Analysis: Cuff is locked into one of the most interesting battles of fall camp, with true freshman Branden Smith, to see who will be Prince Miller's primary backup at wide corner. Cuff has an edge in the experience department, but Smith has been impressive. Regardless of who wins that battle, expect to see Cuff continue to play a good bit on special teams.

Other famous #25s in UGA history: RB Glynn Harrison, FB Bill Hartman, S Tra Battle

Monday, August 10, 2009

$$$ Vegas $$$

According to Danny Sheridan's website, the Dawgs open as a 6 point underdog vs. Oklahoma State. I retired from my gambling ways long ago, and I have always thought betting on UGA games was a bad idea. But, I like us straight up in the opener. And I would guess that this line will move down between now and September 5th. If you want to maximize your points, lock in that 6 points now... The over/under is 62.5...

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 26 Days (#26 Christian Norton)

#26 Christian Norton, CB
5-7, 160, Athens GA (Clarke Central HS), Sr.

Note: Tony Wilson would have been wearing #26 this season, but repeated injuries, and perhaps some offseason legal issues, led to him voluntarily leaving the program.

Norton walked on at UGA and immediately received a redshirt. He spent last season working out with the scout team. He was an outstanding football and track star at Clarke Central, and since arriving at UGA has been a stellar student.

Depth Chart Analysis: Norton will provide some added depth in working with the scout team, but he stands little chance to see any time at cornerback for the UGA defense. Given that he is a senior, it is possible he could get some mop-up duty this season, but even that may be unlikely.

Other famous #26s in UGA history: CB Ben Smith, RB Fred Brown

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 27 Days (#27 Dontavious Jackson)

#27 Dontavious Jackson, TB
5-10, 205, Franklin GA (Heard County HS), RS Freshman

Jackson was one of the bigger signings of the 2008 class, after choosing the Dawgs over offers and strong coinsideration from such powerhouse programs as LSU, Penn State, Alabama and Clemson. After enrolling at UGA early, big things were (and still are) expected from him. For starters, he's the ideal size for what UGA fans have come to expect from a feature tailback (see Garrison Hearst and Knowshon Moreno.) He's also super fast, and very athletic. He might very well have played as a true freshman, but a wrist injury that he suffered during his senior year of high school kept him from being game-ready. That also got him a little out of shape, further complicating things for his development as a true freshman.

Depth Chart Analysis: Jackson now finds himself down the list at tailback due to the injury problems that have put him behind the curve. However, he takes a back seat to no one on the roster as far as raw talent is concerned. He might actually be built better than anyone on the roster to shoulder the load as a #1 tailback, but he's got alot of work to do. It is difficult to say how much he'll play this year, as right now he might actually be 5th on the depth chart behind Richard Samuel, Caleb King, Carlton Thomas and even true freshman Washaun Ealey. He's a guy to watch in the future, but he needs to get 100% healthy first.

Other famous #27s in UGA history: CB Ronnie Harris, CB Chuck Carswell, WR/PR Mikey Henderson

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 28 Days (#28 Israel Troupe)

#28 Israel Troupe, WR
6-1, 210, Tifton GA (Tift County HS), RS Soph.

Troupe picked a football career at UGA over a potential pro baseball career (he was picked in the 31st round of the 2007 MLB Draft by the Colorado Rockies.) After a redshirt in his first season in Athens, he played sparingly in every game of the 2008 season, catching 4 passes for 39 yards on the year. It seems like he's been at UGA for longer than 2+ seasons, but the truth is that he is still a very young player that will have alot more time to develop as a receiver. A good spring and 5 passes caught in the G-Day game are a good sign heading into this year. Troupe is a talented athlete that will have a shot to make an impact. He's got one of the better blends of size and speed of any WR on the UGA roster. Lots of potential here.

Depth Chart Analysis: Troupe is going to be right in the middle of the rotation to start the year. With Marlon Brown and Rantavious Wooten expected to play alot (not to mention UGA's versatile tight ends having the ability to split out wide), it could get difficult for him to get in a rhythm on the field. He'll start out the year behind AJ Green and Mike Moore at flanker, but he can (and probably will) also line up on the other side of the field as needed.

Other famous #28s in UGA history: OL Herb St. John, KR Jimmy Campagna, RB Danny Ware

Friday, August 7, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 29 Days (#29 Makiri Pugh)

#29 Makiri Pugh, FS
6-0, 200, Charlotte NC (Independence HS), RS Freshman

Pugh signed with UGA prior to last season over scholarship offers from Georgia Tech, Maryland, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Clemson. He was thought of as a possibility to play as a true freshman, but a nagging ankle injury prior to the season kept him behind the curve. Once he started to get healthy, he really began to make a name for himself in practice as a physical safety. The redshirt ended up being a good thing for him, as he put on about 10-15 lbs and has himself ready to compete against what he'll see week in and out in the SEC. He had a very nice spring.

Depth Chart Analysis: Pugh has a very good shot to be the backup free safety, although that is by no means a certainty at this point. Given John Knox's exit from the program, and the fact that Bryan Evans will be starting there at a relatively new position, Pugh figures to get a good bit of playing time. He'll get a push from some other candidates (namely Nick Williams), but Pugh will get his chances this season.

Other famous #29s in UGA history: S Buck Swindle, DB Bob Kelly, DB/PR Thomas Flowers

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 30 Days (#30 Carlton Thomas)

#30 Carlton Thomas, RB
5-7, 180, Frostproof FL (Frostproof HS), RS Freshman

Yet another player that just about every Dawg fan can't wait to see in his first game action. As a recruit, he jumped on the Dawgs' radar screen out of nowhere. Thomas was an Under Armour All-American after his senior season, and some will remember put on quite a show during the practices leading up to that game. To be so small, it isn't really his straight line speed that is so impressive...he is lightning quick and shifty, and alot more powerful than you might think at 180 lbs. (He is one of the stronger players on the team "pound for pound.")

Depth Chart Analysis: It is almost a given at this point that Thomas is going to see some action at running back (8 carries for 59 yards in the G-Day game), but more than likely he is going to make his biggest impact as a kick and punt returner, which is probably his specialty going back to his Frostproof days. He hasn't nailed down either job yet, but he's getting plenty of chances so far in August. It is going to be fun to see how he is utilized in 2009. There are alot of possibilities for a player with Thomas' skill set.

Other famous #30s in UGA history: RB Bruce Kemp (1969 Sports Illustrated cover), FB Scott Williams, S (and future Texas head coach) Will Muschamp, FB Keith Henderson, PK Billy Bennett, S Kelin Johnson

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 31 Days (#31 Quintin Banks)

#31 Quintin Banks, SS
6-2, 210, Warner Robins GA (Houston County HS), RS Jr

Banks is a player that Dawg fans have been waiting anxiously on to develop. He took a redshirt in his first season in Athens, and then appeared in every game of the 2007 season in limited action (mostly special teams.) 2008 was the season that fans expected him to develop after an outstanding spring practice, but two different injuries (MCL in August and another knee injury prior to the Vanderbilt game) limited him to action in only one game all season. He's a big a hitter as the Dawgs have available in the defensive backfield, and could potentially provide the kind of toughness that alot of people feel was missing from the UGA defense in 2008.

Depth Chart Analysis: How much Banks plays depends solely on his recovery (still ongoing) from the multiple knee injuries less than a year ago. He says he's almost 100% healthy, but he's still probably locked in a battle to backup Reshad Jones this year. Losing him last year was not one of the injuries that many people mention (among the many that UGA suffered through in 2008), but it may have been as important as any. It shouldn't be lost on anyone that safety play was suspect, especially toward the end of the season. Banks could have been a big piece. Perhaps he will have that impact on the 2009 Dawgs' success.

Other famous #31s in UGA history: S Jeff Sanchez

Looking forward to this season

Can't wait to see how these things turn out this year for the Dawgs... if they go the way I think they can, 2009 could be a special year for UGA. Here are a few questions...

1. What is more important - proven superstars at the skill positions on offense or a really solid foundation on the OL with solid (yet unproven) talent at the skill positions? Obviously, AJ Green is a proven commodity at WR. But, the rest of the offensive skill position players have almost zero experience. I am looking forward to see this offense prove one of the old adages of football - the games are won and lost in the trenches. I think the Dawgs offense will be plenty good this year for a few reasons.... The offensive line is going to be huge for us this year and the talent is there at the skill positions. The young pups just have to go out and realize their potential.

2. How much leadership really took place during the off-season? And how much will it affect the way this season goes? This could be huge. All of the players said the right things and did the right things during the winter and spring and summer. Now we get to see if it was all BS or if there really was an attitude change in Athens after the disappointment of last year's 10 win season. I believe in Joe Cox as a leader and I believe in that being a key to a team's success. See Matt Ryan last year for the Falcons - the players on that team rallied around him from Day 1. Jeff Owens, Rennie Curran and co. seem to have the ability to rally the D up and get back to a "Junkyard D". A surprise leader might also emerge from a true FR on offense in Orson Charles. Every time I read a quote from him, I get jacked up. He wants to win and he wants to win NOW. If he truly believes in everything he says, Look Out - When I hear AJ Green and other players comparing him to Knowshon for his motor and energy after a few workouts, I can't wait to see this guy hit the field.

3. Which true FR will see the field and what type of impact will they have? Richt has already said that he expects all skill position freshman to see action this fall. This was expected to be the case at WR and TE and from Branden Smith in the defensive secondary. What will be interesting to see is if this will have an impact on our special teams. I think having these talented rookies come in and play on the kickoff teams could be a huge upgrade in our coverage and will help out immensely. I am curious to see what Marlon Brown will do opposite AJ.

4. Can Bogotay win the kickoff duties and can he put it into the end-zone? This was a huge problem last year and put a lot of pressure on our Defense. If Richt was able to find a leg that can force our opponents to start on the 20, I would feel a lot better about Willie and the D.

5. Will a tailback emerge and be a true #1? In a perfect world, I would love to have a horse that we can ride for 20-25 carries per game, while the backups sprinkle in another 5-10 carries. But, I don't think it will happen and I don't think it really matters. I believe that we have too much talent back there (coupled with an unbelievable OL) to struggle in the running game. Richt has almost always had a committee in the backfield and he has always had pretty good success. I do like the idea of Carlton Thomas getting some opportunities in space and on screen plays.

6. What are we going to get from the QB position? I think everyone forgets what type of recruit Joe Cox was coming out of high school. He is not some scrub that just lucked into the starting gig in Athens. Rivals had him ranked as the 7th best pro-style QB in the country when he committed to the Dawgs. Assuming he has been coached up over the last 4 years, he will be just fine as our starting QB. The question is how will the depth chart look behind Cox... Let's assume Mettenberger gets the redshirt - who will be QB2 - Murray or Gray? Regardless, I expect to see some sort of a special package for Logan installed in this year's offense and that should be exciting.

7. Pass Rush??? I think having Weston, Owens and Atkins clogging up the middle will free up the D-ends to have an impact again. As we all know, Willie's defense is dependent upon getting a pass rush from the front 4. If someone can emerge from the outside, the defense could be nasty again this year.

Those are some of my questions along with my always optimistic outlook. What do y'all think and what are your questions for this year?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mark Richt

Looking forward to the season finally kicking off. Thanks to JJ for keeping the countdown going here on C&C. After today's first fall practice, I figured it was about damn time for me to start posting again. This is the first of many as we get closer to Stillwater...

- I find it absolutely 100% laughable that the media is actually taking the time to say that Mark Richt could be on the hot seat if he has a sub-par season this year. Are you friggin kidding me?? UGA is tied atop the SEC (with LSU, and we both have a 5 game lead over the next best team - Florida) in wins since he took over in 2001. The big argument against CMR?... He has yet to win a national championship. If championships were decided on the field in football, this would be more of a valid argument. But, as we all know all too well, winning a national championship has a lot do with your luck. The 2 years that we were truly in the hunt for the national title just didn't turn out our way. Think about the combined 4 titles that LSU and Florida have won in the last few years. If they had been unlucky enough to have an undefeated Miami and Ohio State in the same season, they would not have had the chance to play for the BCS either. I think the best team to come out of the SEC over the last decade was the undefeated Auburn team with Cadillac and Ronnie Brown and that nasty D. But, SC and Oklahoma ran the table ranked #1 and #2 all year long. Luck of the draw goes a long way in winning national titles in college football. And, in CMR's 8 years at Georgia, the Dawgs have truly been in the conversation twice. If we can put ourselves in that position 1 out of every 4 years, it is only a matter of time before Richt brings the crystal trophy to Athens.

On a related side note, all the love that is thrown at Saban pisses me off. YES - he won a national championship at LSU and YES - he can scheme the hell out of a defense and YES - he has the Tide in great position to succeed now after a great 2nd season as the HC in Tuscaloosa. But, let's not forget what Richt did his 2nd season in Athens (13-1 with an SEC Championship, a Sugar Bowl victory and a #3 national ranking - more impressive than Bama in Saban's 2nd year). But, wait - Here is where it gets really good....these #'s might shock you. Saban's overall record as a head coach in college is 105-50-1. Mark Richt is 82-22. And, Richt did not have the schedules of Toledo for 1 year and Michigan St for 5 years to build that record up. All of Richt's wins and losses are in the big bad SEC in which 4 national champions have come from during Richt's tenure at UGA. So, to stay on pace with the "legendary/genius/next Bear Bryant/God", Richt needs to go 23-28-1 over his next 52 ballgames. Do you think he can pull that off? What a damn joke.

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 32 Days (Michael Gilliard)

Michael Gilliard, LB
6-2, 210, Valdosta GA (Valdosta HS), True Freshman

Note: Gilliard will wear #55, while Brandon Bogotay will wear #32.

Coming out of one of the more storied (if not the most storied) high school football programs in America, Gilliard chose the Dawgs over just about everybody you could name, including Florida, Auburn, Florida State, Tennessee, Georgia Tech and Miami. Much like Chase Vasser (the other linebacker commit from the 2009 class), Gilliard is fast and physical. He's got experience in the national spotlight, Valdosta having played Lowndes County on national television last year, so he'll fit right in at UGA.

Depth Chart Analysis: It looks like Gilliard, Vasser and the freshmen defensive backs will all play this year. Probably on special teams, but I also wouldn't be surprised to see both worked into the rotation on defense. Gilliard is probably best suited at Will Linebacker, but he could also move back to safety at some point if needed. He has plenty of speed to burn.

Famous #32s in UGA history: TB Lars Tate, FB Mack Strong, P Brian Mimbs

Monday, August 3, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 33 Days (#33 Chase Vasser)

#33 Chase Vasser, LB
6-3, 220, Gainesville GA (Chestatee HS), True Freshman

Note: Vasser will share #33 with RB Kalvin Daniels.

Considered one of the top 3 linebacker prospects in the state of Georgia (along with fellow 2009 signees Michael Gilliard and Dexter Moody), Vasser chose UGA over offers from Kentucky and Virginia Tech. He picked the Dawgs early in the process, during his junior before Signing Day during his junior year at Chestatee. He comes from a family full of long time UGA fans. Vasser's biggest asset is his tremendous speed (4.5 forty) for his size and where he plays. Vasser is also close to a scratch golfer, who is mulling the opportunity to try and walk-on to the UGA golf program.

Depth Chart Analysis: When Mark Richt recently made the comment that all skill position freshman would play this season, he also included linebackers and defensive backs in the equation. That means that unless Vasser moves to another position, he'll be playing this season, more than likely on special teams. Given the depth UGA possesses at linebacker, its probably a stretch to see him in the usual rotation on defense in 2009.

Other famous #33s in UGA history: RB Ronnie Stewart, RB Terrell Davis, LB Dannell Ellerbe

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 34 Days (Kalvin Daniels)

Kalvin Daniels, RB
5-10, 200, Eastman GA (Dodge County HS), Jr.

Note: Daniels will wear #33 for the 2009 season.

Daniels walked on at UGA in 2007 after a solid career at Dodge County, where he was one of the better athletes in school history (lettered in football, basketball, baseball and track.) He saw a good bit of time as a true freshman, including an impressive performance against Ole Miss, where he carried the ball 8 times for 44 yards in mop-up duty. He expected to see even more action in 2008, but the logjam backing up Knowshon Moreno at running back led him to see the field in only 1 game.

Depth Chart Analysis: Once again, Daniels finds himself with alot of scholarship players in between him and playing time this year. He's certainly got more talent and game experience than most walk-ons would have in any program, and there is no doubt that he gives this team alot of value in working with the scout team. It is possible he'll see carries this season, but not likely in a meaningful situation.

Famous #34s in UGA history: You really don't know? Also, CB Buzy Rosenberg wore the number back in the early 70s.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Countdown to UGA-OSU: 35 Days (#35 Rennie Curran)

#35 Rennie Curran, LB
5-11, 225, Snellville GA (Brookwood HS), Jr.

Curran was a force for the Dawgs defense from the first time he stepped on the field in a game situation, but really came on strong in the latter half of the 2007 season. He'd start 5 games that year, including the big win in Jacksonville, and a 13 tackle performance against Kentucky that got him named SEC Freshman of the Week. The preseason honors came in bulk prior to Curran's sophomore season, as he was on most everyone's All-SEC team, some preseason All-American teams, and was named a Butkus Award finalist. He didn't disappoint, leading the team in tackles and making all the postseason All-SEC teams as well. Quite honestly, there were times when you could see Curran's size being a problem, in that he was taken out of plays a little too easily. It makes you wonder if opposing offensive coordinators have figured out a way to neutralize his impact. One should never doubt a player with a heart and motor like Curran, but he has alot to prove in his junior season. He comes into the season on the preseason watch lists for the Lombardi Award and Lott Trophy. He is also one of the stronger players ever to play at UGA, among the top all-time in many of UGA's weight room records.

Depth Chart Analysis: Curran is absolutely indispensible for the UGA defense, and will start every game this year at Will Linebacker. He's been quoted on a number of occasions during the offseason that he is firmly thinking about the NFL, so it is entirely possible this year will be the last year we see Curran in a UGA uniform. He'll be looking to silence many doubters who have concerns about his height, so expect that to translate to great things for the UGA defense this fall.

Other famous #35s in UGA history: RB (the late) Joe Geri, RB Knox Culpepper (also wore #48), FB Des Williams