DawgNation will begin publishing a weekly series that curates what we feel was some of our best work over the past week. Did you miss them on the first rep? Well, be sure to check them all out now.
Have you had a pretty good week so far? We hope so.
DawgNation did, too. That’s why we are kicking off a weekly series for the season that takes a look back at some of the most read and most well-received stories over the past week on DawgNation.com.
Did you get to see them all? Want another shot at it on a Sunday? When the rest of the world slows down just a tad?
It should become a helpful feature with the season starting up next Saturday against Oregon at Mercedes Benz Stadium.
The first pieces we’d like to spotlight are a couple of bylines from one of our two reporters on the football beat. Connor Riley felt that Tate Ratledge had an awesome first session meeting the Bulldog beat and his copy breaking down how he might help the ‘Dawgs this fall reflected that.
Here’s an excerpt from “Tate Ratledge finds joy again as he pushes to start” from earlier this week.
Riley opted to start with the mane thing to know about Ratledge.
Tate Ratledge made it clear on Tuesday afternoon. When speaking with reporters, the offensive lineman confidently announced his mullet would be here to stay for the foreseeable future.
“In high school, I wasn’t allowed to have long hair. Private school, couldn’t touch the collar,” Ratledge, of the Darlington School in Rome, Ga., said. “Then I get to college and I was like, ‘I’m going to do something with this.’ It had like a six-month awkward phase, but here it is now. I see it as I’m too far into it to cut it now.”
Ratledge also went into detail about how he broke his foot in the season opener against Clemson last fall.
“I looked at Warren McClendon, our tackle in the game, and I said, ‘Warren, my foot’s broke.’ He was like, ‘Uh, what do you mean?’ Then the next thing I know, they’re calling a play like they didn’t process it,” Ratledge said. “So, I had to get up, run a play and then the next time I got a chance I tapped my helmet and got out. That’s how that went down.”
Ratledge didn’t go into the gory details of the injury, just that he was glad the adrenaline that came from the start was helping him process the pain.
Tate Ratledge earned his first career start against Clemson in the Duke's Mayo Classic at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC.
The second piece of merit from Riley over the week was on sophomore Kamari Lassiter.
It was another introduction to a new face that will also step into a very big role at cornerback this fall.
Lassiter will likely have a starting role on the team this fall. Here’s an excerpt from that piece that covers his backstory from moving from Savannah to Tuscaloosa and then to Athens.
When the game ended on Smith’s sack of Bryce Young, Georgia had won its first national championship since 1980. Something Lassiter, and so many other Bulldogs wanted to do as natives of the Peach State.
“That was probably one of the best feelings in the world,” Lassiter said. “Just winning it, first time in a very long time for all the fans. For me personally, all my family is from Georgia so it put a smile on their faces. That’s something I’ll never forget.”
Did you stay plugged into Brandon Adams and DawgNation Daily earlier this week? Adams has a daily live streaming program and podcast that is always a must-listen for Georgia football fans.
Adams picked out some meaty topics this week with two shows sure to draw the interest of DawgNation.
A warning from Herbstreit about ‘Bama? A bad stat that is actually good for UGA?
Hey BA, tell us more, man!
DawgNation’s Mike Griffith has kept a keen eye on all things Georgia-Florida over the last week. He was able to provide the site with context and reporting pulled from an Orlando Sentinel report that delivered some eye-catching comments from Florida’s athletic administration about the future of the game.
Florida AD: Georgia administration “seems committed” to keeping the game in Jacksonville
“My counterpart at the University of Georgia (athletic director Josh Brooks) seems committed to keeping the game in Jacksonville based on our conversations,” Stricklin said in an Orlando Sentinel story this week.
“Because of the tradition and the fact that the schools benefit financially from having the game in Jacksonville, I would be surprised if it ever moved.”
Griffith also delivered a timely read on the NFL prospects for the 2022 Georgia roster by combing through some of the early draft projections. Those that feel the ‘Dawgs have taken a talent hit after setting a modern-era record with 15 selections in the 2022 NFL Draft need to check out his copy.
Closer Look: NFL Draft rankings love Jalen Carter, Nolan Smith, Kelee Ringo and Arik Gilbert
There are four Bulldogs projected (for now) to come off the board among the first 20 picks in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Tailback Kenny McIntosh is also already noted as-an-on-the-bubble-first-round selection, too.
That’s a pretty strong encore for a program that saw five NFL first-rounders go off the board after the national championship a year ago.
DawgNation was also able to share the Lawson Luckie story across our pages this week. It was a different type of recruiting piece.
Do you know the real story of why the 4-star legacy TE chose the ‘Dawgs? Why did the phrase “staying home” have a much stronger feeling behind his decision? Luckie’s choice was influenced by his nine-year-old little brother. Cannon Luckie cannot move or walk or sit up. He weighs just 70 pounds and his caregivers have diagnosed him as functionally blind.
That said, he’s the strongest member of the Luckie household. Even with two future college football players living under the same roof.
An excerpt from the story details what it was like coming back from a Christmas beach trip that was supposed to last a week. They had to bring Cannon home with a fever after basically just 18 hours.
“When we got home he looked at me and said ‘I have got to go to Georgia’ and he’s like ‘I cannot have you trying to get to the football game with Cannon,” said Hillary Luckie as she recalled what Lawson said then. “Even if it is like South Carolina. If it is a night game you are going to have to stay in a hotel. Cannon will hate that’ and he said ‘Georgia is a great school. There is absolutely no reason why that shouldn’t be my pick.’”
Now his mother doesn’t want that to be the sole reason.
“She was like be sure to still look around,” Lawson Luckie said. “She said ‘I will make it work where ever you want to go’ but then Georgia still ended up being like the place where I wanted to be.”
Georgia commit Lawson Luckie, left, poses with his youngest brother Cannon (center), his mother Hillary (right) and his middle brother Carter, at their home in Norcross in August. (Jeff Sentell/ DawgNation)
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