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Kirby Smart and Georgia have beaten Georgia Tech in each of the past two seasons.

Kirby Smart and Georgia football need to take back Waffle House from Geoff Collins and Georgia Tech

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Kirby Smart, Georgia football need to reclaim Waffle House

Waffle House is one of the many things that makes the state of Georgia great. No matter how you take your hash browns or how much syrup you put on your waffle, Waffle House is always a wonderful place, at any hour. The late chef Anthony Bourdain described it best: “Where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.”

However, I do have to say it does hurt a little bit to see Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech’s new football coach, so strongly try and tie the Waffle House brand in with his football team. He’s made it a point to have a Waffle House coffee cup with him at a press conference. He’s even had Waffle House cater inside Bobby Dodd Stadium. It’s been an impressive bit of brand synergy from Collins.

And quite frankly, Smart and Georgia need to put an end to it. The Bulldogs need to take back Waffle House from Georgia Tech. Waffle House deserves better than a program that has just two 10-win seasons since the turn of century. For all the Waffle House touting since Collins took over, Georgia Tech landed just one 4-star prospect in its 2019 class. Since Collins was hired on Dec. 13, Georgia football landed two more 5-star prospects in Nakobe Dean and George Pickens.

Yes the restaurant was founded in Atlanta. And yes, its colors are much closer to Georgia Tech’s than Georgia’s. But Waffle House still has a large presence in Athens. And as much as it’s an Atlanta staple, Waffle House is also a Georgia institution. As of 2011, there are 381 Waffle Houses in the state of Georgia. That’s by far the most in any one state in the country.

Waffle House has admitted that they’re “thrilled” with the publicity Collins has given them with Georgia Tech. Imagine how its mood if Smart shared his hash brown order or if the Georgia offensive line shared a picture of them enjoying an All-Star Special.

Waffle House should play a bigger part in the Georgia-Georgia Tech rivalry. Instead of ripping up Sanford or Bobby Dodd Stadium, what if the winner of “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” got to eat Waffle House on the field? Given that the game seems to always be a noon kickoff these days, the victory meal would serve as a late lunch. In a perfect world, the game kicks off at 10 p.m. and finishes around 1:30 a.m., which is the best time to have Waffle House.

We already know you can get a Waffle House food truck into Bobby Dodd Stadium, so it’s certainly feasible.

Some might say that Georgia has bigger rivals to worry about, such as Florida or Tennessee. Both of those programs landed top-15 classes and figure to be closer to competing with Georgia in the near future than Tech, given that the Yellow Jacket will be transitioning from the triple option in the next few seasons.

But Georgia Tech selling Waffle House and the allure of Atlanta to potential recruits is somewhat concerning, especially given how Georgia recruited the state in 2019. The state of Georgia produced 40 blue chip high school prospects — 4- or 5-star recruits — in 2019. The Bulldogs signed only five of them. Going forward, Georgia Tech will have an opportunity to exploit the state of Georgia as the Bulldogs continue to recruit nationally.

When Georgia plays the Yellow Jackets, the Bulldogs like to boast that they run this state. To keep doing so in the future, Georgia football needs to make sure that those victories over Georgia Tech are fueled by Waffle House.

Mecole Hardman has 40-yard dash record in sight

If there’s one Georgia player who is going to impress at the NFL combine this year, it’s wide receiver Mecole Hardman. The former Bulldog was one of the best athletes on the team this past season, and used his speed to shine as a wide receiver and special teams standout.

On Wednesday, Hardman spoke about his goals for the combine, which begins Feb. 26 in Indianapolis. And the standout wide receiver wasn’t shy about his capabilities.

“My goal is to run fast and whatever the time says, it says,” Hardman told the Star-Telegram’s Drew Davison. “I’ve got an idea in my head. I’m confident about it, but right now I just want to run fast. I’m very confident in my speed and my ability to run fast, so that’s definitely one of my goals is to be the fastest there. If I can accomplish that, that would be huge.

“I know John Ross ran a 4.22. That is in sight for sure. You don’t want to focus on that because it can mess you up. But your goal is definitely to be around that time for sure.”

Hardman has shown that he’s got plenty of functional speed, most famously when outraced the Alabama defense for an 80-yard touchdown in the 2018 National Championship game against Alabama.

In his final season at Georgia, Hardman finished with 34 catches for 532 yards and 7 touchdown catches. Hardman also returned 16 punts for 321 yards last season, good for an average of 20 yards per punt return.

Related: Mecole Hardman: ‘There’s no excuse for us losing the Sugar Bowl’

Hardman’s 40-time, as well as his work in the agility drills ,will go a long way in determining his draft stock. Should he test well, Hardman could very much secure himself a spot in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Matt Miller of Bleacher Report had Hardman going No. 43 overall to the Detroit Lions in his latest NFL mock draft.

This year’s NFL Draft will take go from April 25-27 and will take place in Nashville, Tenn. Other Bulldogs who figure to get drafted include cornerback Deandre Baker, wide receiver Riley Ridley, tight end Isaac Nauta and outside linebacker D’Andre Walker, just to name a few.

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