Georgia-Oklahoma schedule Home and Home

ATHENS———– The University of Georgia has scheduled a home-and-home football series with the University of Oklahoma for 2023 and 2031 according to an announcement by the two schools Monday.

 

The Bulldogs will travel to Norman on Sept. 9, 2023, and the Sooners will play in Athens on Sept. 13, 2031.

 

“Lincoln’s doing a great job and we look forward to building on what was a great matchup in the Rose Bowl,” said UGA head coach Kirby Smart.  “Oklahoma and Georgia are two of the biggest name brands in college football and these will be great games in Norman and Athens.”

 

“Oklahoma has a great football tradition and success over a very long period of time,” said UGA J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg

McGarity.  “It will be a great intersectional game that I¹m sure will excite the fan bases of both institutions.  In addition, playing the Sooners

certainly adds to our continuing efforts at scheduling quality opponents outside the SEC.”

 

Georgia’s previously announced home-and-home series with Power 5 non-conference opponents include two with Clemson (2029 at Clemson and 2030 in Athens, and 2032 in Athens and 2033 at Clemson);  Texas (2028 at Austin and 2029 in Athens); UCLA (2025 in Pasadena and 2026 in Athens); and Florida State (2027 in Tallahassee and 2028 in Athens).

 

Georgia and Oklahoma have only met once previously on the gridiron. The Bulldogs edged the Sooners, 54-48, in an epic College Football Playoff semi-final at the Jan. 1, 2018, Rose Bowl game in Pasadena.

Five Bulldogs Selected on NFL Draft Third Day

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Five Georgia Bulldogs were chosen Saturday on the final day of the 2019 NFL Draft, totaling seven selections tied for second in school history and fifth among all schools.

Wide receiver Riley Ridley, linebacker D’Andre Walker, offensive lineman Lamont Gaillard, tight end Isaac Nauta and wide receiver Terry Godwin were the third-day selections, joining Deandre Baker and Mecole Hardman.

The 2019 draft class ties the groups from 2012, 2006 and 2003 with seven total picks.

Hardman, Ridley and Godwin also accomplished a significant feat with their selections. Together they are the most Georgia receivers picked in a single draft class in the common draft era.

Ridley was selected by the Chicago Bears with the 126th pick in the fourth round. He emerged in 2017 with seven starts, including six catches for 82 yards in the 2018 National Championship Game. This past season, Ridley led Georgia with 44 catches for 570 yards and nine touchdowns.

The Cocunut Creek, Florida, product is the 21st Bulldog to be drafted by the Bears since 1944. He joins two former teammates in the Windy City: Roquan Smith, who was selected No. 8 overall last year and led the Bears in tackles (122) as a rookie, as well as Javon Wims, who was a seventh-round selection in 2018.

Walker was picked up by the Tennessee Titans in the fifth round (168th overall). His selection was announced by his childhood friend Christion Abercrombie, who had his collegiate career at Tennessee State halted by a severe brain injury. Abercrombie has since made an incredible recovery and made the announcement live in Nashville.

Out of Fairburn, Georgia, Walker combined for 27.5 tackles for loss in his Georgia career, ranking fifth among Bulldogs since 2005 in an elite group consisting of Jarvis Jones, Jordan Jenkins, Justin Houston and Geno Atkins. In his final season, he led Georgia in sacks (7.5), tackles for loss (11) and QB pressures (15).

Gaillard was selected by the Arizona Cardinal in the sixth round (179th overall). He is the 20th Bulldog selected by the Cardinals franchise since 1943, joining the likes of Georgia greats Charley Trippi and Garrison Hearst.

The Fayetteville, North Carolina, product entered the Classic City as a highly-touted defensive lineman signee, but soon transitioned to center due to the departure of David Andrews, now a two-time Super Bowl champion with the New England Patriots. Gaillard started all 42 games for the Bulldogs over three seasons and earned 2018 First Team All-SEC honors.

Two Bulldogs, Nauta and Godwin, were drafted in the final round to conclude the draft. Nauta was selected by the Detroit Lions in the seventh round, joining two former Bulldogs on the roster. Matthew Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 overall draft, has quarterbacked the Lions for 10 seasons with nearly 39,000 career passing yards. John Atkins plays on the Lions’ defensive line as well.

A three-time GHSA state champion at Buford High School, Nauta finished his high school career at IMG Academy before entering at UGA in the fall of 2016. In 27 starts and 42 games played, Nauta combined for 68 catches, 905 yards and eight touchdowns in his career.

The final Georgia selection was Godwin, who marked the third WR drafted for the Bulldogs. He was drafted in the seventh round by the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers have drafted Bulldogs such as 2015 NFL Man of the Year Thomas Davis and Charles Johnson.

The native of Hogansville, Georgia, became a four-year starter and finished No. 11 all-time in receptions (133) at UGA. As a junior, Godwin made 38 catches for 639 yards and six touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs to 13 wins and the 2017 SEC Championship.

Giants Select Bulldog DB Deandre Baker In First Round Of 2019 NFL Draft

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Senior defensive back Deandre Baker was selected by the New York Giants with the 30thoverall pick in the opening round of the 2019 NFL Draft late Thursday night.

 

Baker, a native of Miami, Fla., gives the Bulldogs at least one first round draft pick in four of the last five years, including four in the last four years.  This marks the second year that the Giants have picked a Georgia player after selecting linebacker Lorenzo Carter in the third round in 2018.

 

New York has now selected 11 total Bulldogs since 1944, including one other player in the first round (Rodney Hampton, 24thoverall in 1990).  Georgia has now had at least one player drafted in each of the last 27 years.

 

Representing the 35thall-time Bulldog taken in the first round of the draft, Baker won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back in 2018 and was a consensus All-American.  He started 13 games for Georgia in his final season and had 40 tackles with two interceptions.  Baker also has a team-best 10 pass break-ups.

 

For his career, Baker started 34 of 51 games and finished with 116 tackles, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and seven picks.

 

Day two of the NFL Draft will begin at 7 p.m. and feature the second and third rounds.

Webb, Ojulari, Kindley, Holloman Highlight Annual UGA Spring Awards

Players celebrate during the G-Day Game in Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, April 20, 2019. (Photo by Lauren Tolbert)

ATHENS, Ga. — University of Georgia junior defensive back Mark Webb, redshirt freshman linebacker Azeez Ojulari, junior offensive lineman Solomon Kindley and junior receiver Jeremiah Holloman have been named the recipients of the Coffee County Hustle Award highlighting the annual spring football award winners.

 

The awards are given annually at the conclusion of spring practice to recognize improvement, dedication and performance on the field.  The Coffee County Hustle Award is given each year to players showing the most desire during spring drills.

 

This year, the spring awards were presented to the honorees at the G-Day Champions Dinner at the Georgia Center on Monday.  The list of 2019 awards is as follows:

 

COFFEE COUNTY HUSTLE AWARDS: Defense – junior Mark Webb, DB, Philadelphia, Pa., redshirt freshman Azeez Ojulari, OLB, Marietta, Ga.; Offense – junior Solomon Kindley, OL, Jacksonville, Fla., junior Jeremiah Holloman, WR, Covington, Ga.

 

ACADEMICS: Freshmen GPA Award – Owen Condon (3.95), OT, Oklahoma City, Okla., Peyton Mercer (3.68), TE, Twin City, Ga.; Sophomore GPA Award – Bill Rubright (3.78), P, Atlanta, Ga., Chris Smith (3.38), DB, Atlanta, Ga.; Junior GPA Award – Prather Hudson (3.81), TB, Columbus, Ga., Andrew Thomas (3.40), OT, Lithonia, Ga.; Senior GPA Award – Rodrigo Blankenship (3.68), PK, Marietta, Ga., Charlie Woerner (3.29), TE, Tiger, Ga.

 

Most Outstanding Walk-Ons: Offense – junior Willie Erdman, WR, Merritt Island, Fla., redshirt sophomore KJ McCoy, RB, Swainsboro, Ga.; Defense – junior Jordon McKinney, DB, Dalton, Ga.; Special Teams – redshirt sophomore Brooks Buce, PK, Norcross, Ga.

 

QBs Lead Red To 22-17 Win Over Black In G-Day Game

Georgia receiver Jeremiah Holloman (9) runs the ball during the G-Day Game in Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, April 20, 2019. (Photo by Lauren Tolbert)
Players celebrate during the G-Day Game in Sanford Stadium in Athens, Ga., on Saturday, April 20, 2019. (Photo by Lauren Tolbert)

ATHENS, Ga. — Quarterbacks Jake Fromm and Stetson Bennett each threw touchdown passes to lift the Red team to a 22-17 win over the Black in Georgia’s G-Day Game on Saturday in front of 52,640 fans at Sanford Stadium and an SEC Network television audience.

 

Fromm went 14-of-29 for 116 yards and the touchdown, while Bennett was 8-of-14 for 128 yards and the score. (Bennett also took some snaps for the Black squad, going 4-of-9 for 82 yards.) For the Black, quarterback D’Wan Mathis was 15-of-28 for 113 yards and he caught a 39-yard touchdown pass off a trick play.

 

“I didn’t throw it as clean as I wanted to today and I thought the DBs played really well,” Fromm said. “I think we’d done a great job the other 14 practices of throwing the ball around and making big plays. It was the spring game and a little bland on offense, but I’m glad we got the opportunity to go out there and play today. … I’m super thankful to the fans who came out with it being Easter weekend and it being a rainy day. We appreciate the fans showing their love and getting to watch the work we’ve been putting in this spring.”

 

Tailbacks D’Andre Swift and Brian Herrien combined for 10 carries for 64 yards for the Red. KJ McCoy paced the Black with 28 yards.

 

Receiver Jeremiah Holloman had 54 yards receiving, including a 43-yard touchdown catch, for the Red. Herrien added 50 yards and a touchdown, while tight end Charlie Woerner rolled up 44 yards. Receiver Trey Blount led the Black with 69 yards.

 

Defensive back Richard LeCounte led the Black with eight tackles, followed by linebacker Nakobe Dean with five, and defensive backs Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell with four each. The Red got eight tackles from defensive back Lewis Cine, six from defensive back Christopher Smith, and five each from defensive backs Tyrique Stevenson and Latavious Brini.

 

The Red team registered six sacks — one each by Smith; linebackers Robert Beal Jr. and Quay Walker; outside linebackers Brenton Cox and Adam Anderson; and defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt. Brini added an interception for the Red. Stokes had an interception return for a touchdown, while defensive end Justin Young notched a sack for the Black.

 

Stokes staked the Black to an early lead as he picked off a Fromm pass and returned it 39 yards for a touchdown. Kicker Brooks Buce tacked on the extra point for the 7-0 advantage.

 

The Red squad responded with a 9-minute, 14-play, 64-yard drive that culminated with kicker Rodrigo Blankenship’s 23-yard field goal to make it 7-3.

 

Buce extended the Black lead to 10-3 as he converted on a 42-yard field goal.

 

Herrien helped the Red draw even as he took a 13-yard pass from Fromm into end zone. Blankenship’s PAT sent the teams into the half tied at 10-10.

 

The Red team took its first lead at 13-10 as Jake Camarda, the Bulldogs’ regular punter, kicked a 49-yard field goal.

 

The Black went back on top with some trickery as Mathis pulled away for a 39-yard scoring pass from receiver Matt Landers. Buce added the PAT to make it 17-13. Said Landers, “Going through spring with (Mathis), I just knew he was real athletic and has good speed. He played a little bit of everything in high school, so I knew he had some hands. We just came up with that play and executed it well.”

 

The Red took the lead for good as Bennett found Holloman on a 43-yard pass and catch for a touchdown. Camarda’s extra point attempt was blocked, leaving the margin at 19-17.

 

Kicker Jack Podlesny capped the scoring by drilling a 38-yard field goal for the Red.

 

The Bulldogs will open the 2019 schedule at Vanderbilt on Aug. 31. Georgia’s first home game will be Sept. 7 against Murray State.

 

Bulldogs Continue To Build Toward G-Day

ATHENS, Ga. — A break in the forecast allowed the Georgia football team to conduct its workout outside on Thursday, the Bulldogs’ 10th of 15 practices this spring. The full-pads session lasted approximately two and a half hours and included a large contingent of university faculty watching prior to an appreciation dinner in their honor at Stegeman Coliseum.

Georgia’s spring campaign will culminate with the annual G-Day game on Saturday, April 20. G-Day has been a huge draw among the Georgia fan base over the last three years. In 2016, an SEC-record 93,000 fans packed Sanford Stadium in April. The following year, the Bulldogs drew 63,133, which ranked fifth nationally for spring game attendance. Georgia hosted the second-largest crowd in the nation for last year’s spring contest, a total of 82,184.

After Tuesday’s workout, players from both the Bulldogs’ offense and defense met with the media and talked about Georgia’s progress to date and the upcoming spring game.

“(G-Day) is awesome,” quarterback Jake Fromm said. “It’s really better than a home game because you have only your fans there. It’s extremely awesome to see the fans who don’t always get the opportunity to come to a regular home game, but they’re there for G-Day and you just get to see how everyone loves being in Sanford Stadium.”

Fromm was a senior in high school for what is commonly referred to as 93K Day in 2016.

“It was incredible to see a fan base that cared so much about the football program,” Fromm said. “It was exciting, and I think a good indicator of where the program was going in the future. It definitely had an impact on me.”

Over the past two G-Days Fromm has completed a combined 33-of-61 passes for 477 yards and three touchdowns.

Defensive back Mark Webb suffered an injury just prior to last year’s G-Day contest, which makes him even more eager for this year’s contest.

“I can’t wait for G-Day, especially since I missed it last year,” Webb said. “I heard so much about it. The Dawg Walk and getting to see the fans, stuff like that doesn’t get old. It never gets old. It’s the best day. It’s really a day all about Georgia because everybody comes out and you get to put on a show for the fans who come from so far away and the families who are part of the Georgia tradition.”

Admission is free for G-Day, with kickoff slated for 2:00 on April 20. The game will be televised on the SEC Network.

Bulldogs Conduct Fourth Spring Practice Session

ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia Bulldogs held their fourth practice of the spring campaign on Tuesday afternoon, working out in full pads. Georgia will continue practice through the Bulldogs’ G-Day game on Saturday, April 20 at Sanford Stadium.

The following are quotes from head coach Kirby Smart and senior defensive lineman David Marshall in media sessions after the workout.

Head Coach Kirby Smart:

Opening Statement:

“I’ll open up with a comment first about Tyrique Stevenson and Tyler Simmons and then talk about practice a little bit. Obviously very disappointed. There’s a standard of behavior that’s expected of athletes at the University of Georgia and that’s not indicative of the behavior we want at the University of Georgia. It’s very obvious that those guys made poor choices and decisions and they will be disciplined. They will be disciplined internally and to be honest with you, both of them were cited with disorderly conduct which I think you guys know. They’ve got to find a way to make better decisions especially as young men representing this university. Those things will be handled, and they’ll be handled the right way.

“As far as practice today, I thought guys did a tremendous job practicing, really pushed hard, spirited practice. They competed really hard. We’ve got a lot of good competitions going on out there. I thought Saturday’s practice was really good, too, so we’ve had two really good competition days. Hope we can continue to stay injury free, we’ve got some bumps and bruises. We’re starting to get some guys back, LB David Marshall was able to do a little more today than he’s been doing coming off the Liz Frank injury, hope we can continue to do that. With that I’ll open it up for questions.”

On if there is a frustration with team leadership after the arrests of a freshman with a senior…

“Yeah, there’s always frustration when you have this. I don’t think it’s about a senior or a freshman. Those two guys weren’t even together. They didn’t go there together. That wasn’t the case. They ended up there, but that’s not my concern. My concern is I’ve got is the decisions that were made to put yourself in that situation. Look, our kids go downtown. We know our kids go downtown. When you go downtown, you’ve got to behave. You’ve got to act the right way. You’ve got to follow rules and be law-abiding citizens. That’s the expectation we’ve got for our players and, to be honest with you, for the most part our guys do that. But when they don’t they’re going to be punished and we’re going to try to correct it and we’re going to do it through educational ways. We’re certainly going to do that with both Tyrique and Tyler.”

On Simmons’ injuries from the incident…

“Yeah, he’s fine. He practiced today. It was something to do with his ear, but I’m not sure what it was.”

On if there were any other players involved…

“Not as far as I know. I do not think so. I think it’s over and done with. They finished it up, but I’m not 100 percent sure on that. Our communication with them is that those were the two guys involved. There were other guys there, but as far as the involvement it was those two.”

On filling the tight end position without Isaac Nauta…

“Thin. There’s not a lot of guys there. You know we moved Colby White, who we thought was a really good outside backer in fall camp, and he did a good job. He’s developed. He’s gotten a little bigger. We moved him over there to give us a little more depth. He’s done some really competitive things. He’s fighting his tail off. There’s a young man that decided to be a walk-on here, Peyton Mercer, who’s done an incredible job competing over there. Several guys. Charlie [Woerner]…[John] Fitzpatrick are ahead of the other guys. Obviously we’ve got help on the way and we want more help. But if you ask me right now it’s thin.”

On who stands out of the wide receivers…

“Well, ironically Tyler Simmons has played well. He’s really competitive, he’s fast, he gets on top of us. He’s done some good things. I think ‘D-Rob’ (Demetrius Robertson) stepped up. He’s got to continue to play more physical, but he’s made some catches. He’s made some vertical threats. Jeremiah (Holloman) is playing well. Kearis (Jackson) is coming along, probably not as fast as I’d like. Matt (Landers) has done some things and Tommy (Bush} has done some things. You know Matt’s got some bruises. Tommy’s dealing with some groin injuries. The volume we have for the number of receivers we have has been tough, and we normally balance that with tight ends but we don’t have volume there. So we’re thin. We know help’s on the way, but we’ve just got to do a good job developing enough depth that we’re comfortable with. They’ve made some plays, I definitely think that, where last year it was like big-play-bonanza out there with the wideouts while we had the young DBs. That’s balanced out more. Our DBs have gotten better, at least I hope they have, or the receivers are not as good a group right now. Actually, it was this time last year. That’s only going to happen through getting the kids here we signed and continuing to develop them.”

On CB Tyson Campbell’s development…

“Tyson’s doing a good job. He’s in a really good competition. What’s good about the corner position, we’ve got some guys coming along. DJ Daniel was, which we knew in bowl practice, he’s going to be a good player. He was covering the guys in the likes that were at the combine so we knew we had a pretty good player in DJ. Tyson’s improved. He understands the defense better. He’s bright, he’s doing some good things out there. (Eric) Stokes is doing some good things. Even Tyrique Stevenson has picked some things up. So we’ve got some good competition at that corner position.”

On David Marshall’s injury…
“We got him fixed immediately, we just didn’t know when he was coming back. David in my mind was probably not going to be able to come back most of the year last year. So I don’t really know what you’re asking. His injury is not the same injury as James Cook, though, no. It didn’t so much linger as it did. He was injured (and) then out for a while. We got him fixed. He’s taking the screws out now; he’s taking the next step to coming back now. He’s got to progress back because he gets sore each time he uses it because he hasn’t used it for so long.”

On the impact of losing Marshall last season…

“I don’t know. That’s in the year’s past. He’s a good player, I’m not going to cry over that. We need him this year. I want him to stay healthy.”

On if they work on schematic or individual defensive plays…

“There’s definitely some schematic stuff. We have a base defense that we feel good about. Within that, we have pressures and we have a lot of things we didn’t use last year for whatever reason. We may not have thought they fit the opponent. We may not have thought the fit who we had on the back end to protect it. I think we’re going to be deeper and older and wiser on the back end, which allows for a little more complexity. Last year was s tough year. It was nothing to do with Coach (Mel) Tucker. It was tough. We had some young guys in the secondary, a lot of young guys. Where now, I feel like we have a group back there that is emerging with some personality. Divaad (Wilson) has grown a little confident. That bowl game worked wonders for him. He’s playing good. Mark Webb is where he understands things. J.R. Richard…there’s good competition at safety with Otis (Reese). We just have more competition, which I think allows us to create more havoc. Some of that is scheme where you go meet with five times that are in the top 20 creating tackles for loss and you say ‘How do you do it?’ You start learning that and you try to put some things in that they do. We’re trying to that, but to be honest with you, you’re running against a big ole wall of grown men up that, and that’s tough. That’s a good offensive line.”

On what he’s seen from early enrollees DE Nolan Smith and LB Jermaine Johnson…

“I’ve seen hunger out of both of those guys. They don’t know exactly what to do yet, but man they do it hard. There’s something to be said for that. We’re going to play kids at the University of Georgia who give effort and play hard and do the right things. Those two guys, they play hard. They don’t know what they’re doing yet, and that’s our job. I’m very thankful they’re here for (these) 15 practices. I mean Nolan has flashed some plays. He made a helluva hit today and a really good play. He’s also flashed some What are you doing?’ Jermaine has been the same play. We call them ‘Super Man plays,’ where you look out there and say ‘Who is that guy? Who is that jersey number?’ But then they’re lost some too. I’m fired up to coach those two guys because I’m excited about what they’re going to do to the guys in front of them from a pushing standpoint.

On if DL Jordan Davis and other defensive linemen are stepping up with an injured line…

“What other guys? We don’t have any. Defensive line is super thin. I guess I’m whining to the masses because every coach would tell you they don’t have enough defensive linemen. Jordan is pushing hard. He’s working hard to control his weight. He’s not playing to the level he was playing mid-season to the end of the season. He’s not there right now, but he’s working hard. Jordan comes in and works cardio more than anybody we’ve got. I mean if I ran as much as Jordan my wife would be happy because I’d be skinny. Jordan’s got to fight that battle, and he knows it. We don’t have enough depth there. I thought Devonte Wyatt is a guy who’s really been competitive and done some good things. He was starting to grow up during the season, and there’s something about these guys in that second spring when they start to click and get it. Our help is on the way there. It’s just not here.”

On OL Jamaree Salyer’s performance…

“I’d say he’s three or four practices, he’s our most improved offensive lineman. It’s not center because he’s working at center as a candidate, but he’s working at right tackle and right guard. Let me tell you something, he’s played quick. The biggest jump has been that guy. We kept waiting on it because you knew you were getting a really talented player. I didn’t see the Jamaree I’ve seen this spring, I didn’t see any of that in the fall. He’s challenging some guys. He’s making guys work hard. I didn’t know if the guy could be a right tackle, but he’s gone out and played well. He’s gone to right guard and played well. He’s gone to center and blocks Jordan Davis. You start going ‘Who is that?’ ‘That’s Jamaree.’ ‘Who’s that at right guard?’ ‘That’s Jamaree.’ Jamaree has done some good things. We gave him some looks today with the ones, and we’ll continue to do that if he continues to play well.”

On DT Michael Barnett putting on weight…

“We want some quickness and twitch. When we study all these ‘havoc rates,’ a lot of it is twitchy players…quick guys. It’s a catch 22 for us because if you have quick twitchy guys and you’re playing against our guys every day in practice, our offensive line, when you move and they move you, some times the displacement is huge because when you’ve got Salyer and Andrew (Thomas) and really good offensive linemen and you start moving sideways, they just whack you and move you. We’re not built to be an extremely violent quick, twitchy defense. Mike has put on a little weight. I can’t tell you if it’s good or bad weight because he’s playing good football. He’s not playing great; he’s playing good and I’m pleased. Mike is a leader. Mike is a lunchpail guy. He’s gotten better every year. He works really hard Jordan is pushing him, though.”

On David Marshall and the inside linebacker position…

“Well, Marshall’s not able to do much. I see him a lot during walk through and I see a lost kid. LB Rian Davis, the only time I see those kids are during walk through. I’m just licking my chops to go coach them and they don’t get to practice. That’s unfortunate. They can’t put pressure on themselves to go learn it in walk through. You can only learn it through repping it. One guy who’s done some good things has been LB Nakobe Dean. He’s very intelligent, he’s very instinctive and he’s going to challenge some guys. He’s got to continue to grow and learn. LB Channing [Tindall], LB Monty [Rice], LB Quay [Walker], LB Tae [Crowder], even LB Jaden [Hunter]. They’re all doing a good job. They’re competing. But, as you know we just had two guys leave the program. I thought they were both team players and competitors but they were not elite speed-wise. We’re not going to be able to play until we get an elite speed guy in there that can run and chase things down. We’re still looking for that.”

On J.R Reed’s decision to return…

“It’s really important for us. We’ve got some continuity in secondary, he’s a great leader, he’s very communicative, he is the alpha in that secondary. He says, ‘this is what we’re doing’ and he takes over. He demands guys take notes in meetings. He is what you want. Him staying doesn’t have to do with me. He talked to his dad who is an NFL vet, played a long time. He talked to his mom. I don’t get involved in that decision. I provide information and I get feedback from people I talk to but he made that decision. I’m certainly glad he did. I think he’ll go down as one of the best leaders to come through here because he’s got a chance to be a three-year starter.

On running back Brian Herrein…

“Brian’s a fire plug out there. Brian’s hard to cover, explosive. I think you’re just seeing more of Brian because before it was sharing, sharing, sharing. He gets a chance to do a lot more and he’s worked really hard and we need him to be a good leader on the team.”

Senior David Marshall:

On how Coach Kirby Smart’s emphasis on ‘havoc play’ has impacted the defensive strategy this season…

“It really makes us go out there knowing that we need more tackles for loss, more sacks, more fumbles and more interceptions. We go out there and work every day getting better, trying to get more sacks and interceptions.”

On what he’s seen from the two-deep group of offensive linemen…

“They’re working against each other and competing against each other, getting back right. They’re just making each other is what I’ve seen out there.”

# # #

Smart Promotes James Coley To Offensive Coordinator

ATHENS———-James Coley, who served as Co-Offensive Coordinator at the University of Georgia this past season, has been promoted to Offensive Coordinator at UGA according to an announcement Friday by Bulldog head coach Kirby Smart.

Coley has been on the UGA coaching staff since Smart took over as head coach in 2016.

“James has been an critical part of our staff since we came to Georgia,” said Smart.  “He’s done an incredible job in all aspects of his responsibilities including coaching wide receivers for two years, serving as co-offensive coordinator this past season coaching the quarterbacks, and recruiting.  James has extensive coordinator experience during his entire coaching career and will transition easily into his new role.”

Coley was named Co-Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach at Georgia in 2018 after two seasons coaching the Bulldogs’ wide receivers.

He was part of a 2017 staff that led the Bulldogs to a record-tying 13 victories, first SEC championship since 2005, first appearance in the College Football Playoff, first appearance (and victory over Oklahoma) in the Rose Bowl CFP semifinal, and first appearance in the College Football Playoff Championship Game.  Georgia’s offense finished first in the SEC and 9th nationally in Rushing Offense (258.4 ypg), 3rd in the SEC in Scoring Offense (35.4 ppg), 5th in Total Offense (435.3 ypg), and 4th nationally in Red Zone Offense (0.964).

The Bulldogs followed up in 2018 with another SEC Eastern Division championship, 11-win season, and appearance in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.  This past season, the Bulldogs finished first in the SEC in total rushing offense and rushing offense per game, second in the SEC in total offense, touchdowns scored, and scoring offense.

Coley’s two seasons of coaching Bulldog receivers produced a pair of NFL draft picks:  Isaiah McKenzie (Denver) and Javon Wims (Chicago).  In 2018 he coached sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm who posted the second-best Completion Percentage in school history at 67.3, which was 12th nationally, and second-best Passing Efficiency for a QB at 171.21, which was fifth nationally.

Coley served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Miami from 2013-15.  Prior to joining the Miami staff, he held the position of offensive coordinator from 2010-12 at Florida State.

At Florida State, Coley coached three first round draft picks in quarterbacks Christian Ponder, EJ Manuel, and Jameis Winston.

The Florida State offenses under Coley were high powered averaging 31.4 points per game in 2010, 30.6 in 2011, and 39.3 in 2012.

 

While at Miami, the Hurricane offense led the nation in “explosive plays” all three years and they produced two 1,000 yards rushers in Duke Johnson (1,652 yards in 2014) and Joe Yearly (1,002 in 2015).

 

Coley coached freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya who earned Freshman All-America honors and broke the single season record for passing yards at Miami.  Wide receiver Allen Hurns, currently with the Dallas Cowboys, broke the single season receiving record with 1,162 yards in 2013.

A native of Miami, he served as an offensive assistant with the Miami Dolphins in 2005-06.  His coaching resume also included a stop at 2003 national champion Louisiana State University where he served as a graduate assistant coach.

How the Bulldogs in the NFL fared in Week 16

Patriots 24, Bills 12:

Sony Michel: Michel had 18 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown and an 11-yard kickoff return as the Patriots clinched their 10th straight AFC East title. Michel is 14th overall and fourth among rookies with 881 yards rushing, 19th overall and fourth among rookies with six rushing touchdowns, sixth among rookies with six total touchdowns, and 10th among rookies with 36 points.

David Andrews: Andrews started at center and helped New England roll up 390 total yards.

Isaiah McKenzie: McKenzie had two punt returns for 12 yards and an 8-yard catch for Buffalo.

Saints 31, Steelers 28:

Benjamin Watson: Watson had a 6-yard reception for the Saints, who clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Browns 26, Bengals 18:

Nick Chubb: Chubb had 19 carries for 112 yards and caught two passes for three yards for the Browns. Chubb’s 972 rushing yards this season are the most ever by a Browns rookie, eclipsing Trent Richardson (950 yards in 2012) and Jim Brown (942 in the 12-game 1957 schedule). Chubb stands ninth overall and second among rookies in rushing yards, eighth overall and third among rookies with eight rushing touchdowns, 15th overall and second among rookies with 10 total tackles, and sixth among rookies with 60 points.

Geno Atkins: Atkins posted two tackles for the Bengals. He is 17th in the NFL with 10 sacks. Atkins was named last week to his seventh career Pro Bowl, making him the most recognized defensive player in Bengals history.

Shawn Williams: Williams had six tackles for Cincinnati. Williams stands sixth in the NFL with four interceptions.

Cordy Glenn and Clint Boling: Glenn and Boling started at left tackle and left guard, respectively, helping the Bengals pick up 209 total yards.

Titans 25, Redskins 16:

Ben Jones: Jones started at center and helped the Titans accumulate 291 total yards.

Bears 14, 49ers 9:

Roquan Smith: Smith led the Bears with nine tackles, including a sack among his two for loss. Smith is 13th overall and third among rookies with 116 tackles and is fourth among rookies with five sacks.

Leonard Floyd: Floyd had a tackle and two quarterback hits for Chicago.

Javon Wims: Wims was a healthy scratch for the Bears.

Rams 31, Cardinals 9:

Ramik Wilson: Wilson had three tackles for the Rams.

Todd Gurley: Gurley was inactive for Los Angeles with a knee injury. Gurley leads the league with rushing touchdowns (17) and total touchdowns (21), stands second with 1,251 yards rushing, and is third with 132 points. Last week, he was chosen for his third Pro Bowl.

Colts 28, Giants 27:

Corey Moore: Moore logged 17 special teams plays for the Colts but did not have any stats.

Lorenzo Carter: Carter had two quarterback hits for the Giants. Carter is 14th among rookies with three sacks.

John Jenkins: Jenkins had five defensive plays for New York but did not have any stats.

Alec Ogletree: Ogletree was inactive for the Giants due to a concussion. Ogletree is fifth in the league with five interceptions.

Jaguars 17, Dolphins 7:

Abry Jones: Jones had two tackles for Jacksonville.

Reshad Jones: Jones picked up seven tackles, including one for loss, and a quarterback hit for the Dolphins.

Maurice Smith: Smith returned from the practice squad to log 17 special teams plays with no stats.

Packers 44, Jets 38:

Jordan Jenkins: Jenkins had one tackle for New York. Jenkins is fifth in the NFL with two fumble recoveries.

Falcons 24, Panthers 10:

Thomas Davis: Davis had six tackles for Carolina. He is fifth in the NFL with two fumble recoveries.

Vikings 27, Lions 9:

Matthew Stafford: Stafford went 18-of-32 for 116 yards for the Lions. He is 15th in the NFL with 3,511 passing yards and 18th with 19 touchdown passes.

Seahawks 38, Chiefs 31:

Chris Conley: Conley caught three passes for 54 yards for the Chiefs.

Justin Houston: Houston had three tackles, including a sack among his two for loss. He is fifth in the NFL with two fumble recoveries.

Injured Reserve:

Tyler Catalina (Redskins): Shoulder

Orson Charles (Browns): Ankle

A.J. Green (Bengals): Toe

Isaiah Wynn (Patriots): Achilles tendon

Practice Squads:

Davin Bellamy (Texans)

Reggie Davis (Cowboys)

Garrison Smith (Dolphins)

Bulldogs Primed for Sugar Bowl, Bright Future

ATHENS, Ga. – As the No. 5 University of Georgia football team conducted Thursday practice in preparation for a meeting with the No. 15 Texas Longhorns in the Sugar Bowl, the Bulldogs also reveled in the success of a 2019 signing class.

After an 11-2 regular season and a second-straight SEC Championship appearance, the Bulldogs are headed to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana in the New Year. The future is bright.

In New Orleans, senior Jonathan Ledbetter will play his last game in a Bulldog uniform before joining outside linebacker D’Andre Walker and long snapper Nick Moore at the Reese’s Senior Bowl on January 26 in Mobile, Alabama.

At the Team Gala this year, Ledbetter was named a team captain, voted on by the players, and received the Vince Dooley Defensive Player of the Year honor alongside senior cornerback Deandre Baker and the Defensive Up-Front Award with Walker.

“It’s bittersweet, but I’m excited,” Ledbetter said. “I told my teammates, I’m passing the torch to them after this one. I’ve got one last pow-wow with them, and I’m going to give them all I’ve got. And then I have to worry about me, and they support me, and the coaches support us. It’s getting older; we’re growing up.”

Sophomore inside linebacker Monty Rice will join Ledbetter as a leader of the defensive attack at the Sugar Bowl. Despite battling injury this season, Rice tallied up the second-most tackles on the year, and will continue to pace a defensive front that finished 2018 ranked 15th nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 18.5 points per game.

“It’s the next game for me,” Rice said. “I’m motivated, we’re motivated. We want to beat them just as bad as we wanted to beat Alabama or Florida or anybody else.”

In the midst of the Sugar Bowl preparation, Georgia welcomed a 2019 signing class to the mix, a group littered with young talent that will make a difference in Athens as soon as January.

“I don’t try to convince them of anything,” Rice said on hosting the potential signees. “I just tell them how it is and how it’s going to be here. I tell them, ‘If you want to come play for a good coach with other good players around you, then come here. If not, this may not be the place for you.’”

The Sugar Bowl is slated for an 8:45 p.m. ET start time at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The contest will be aired on ESPN.