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Kirby Smart makes Georgia football better, again
With Jim Chaney leaving, Georgia didn’t just have a role to fill at offensive coordinator. It also had to find a new tight ends coach for the third consecutive season.
And a few days after promoting James Coley to offensive coordinator, which many believe was the right move, Smart made another good coaching hire by bringing in Todd Hartley as tight ends coach. He previously worked at Miami under Mark Richt where he was the tight ends coach while also helping as the special teams coordinator.
The statement thatKirby Smart gave when the Hartley hire was announced explains exactly why he’s going to be a big addition for Georgia.
“We expect Todd to be a great fit back at Georgia,” Smart said. “He worked with the team while he was in school at UGA until he graduated and then returned to our program for another year later in his career in a separate role so there is no doubting his allegiance and excitement about returning to join the Bulldogs. Todd has proven himself as an excellent position coach and as a top-notch recruiter and we look forward to his return to Athens.”
Chaney was a lot of things at Georgia, but a recruiter he was not. Hartley, if nothing else, has already shown he’s a darn good recruiter. In 2018, he served as the primary recruiter for Brevin Jordan, the nation’s No. 1 tight end. Hartley also already secured a commitment from the No. 4 tight end in the 2020 class in Dominic Mammarelli while he was still employed at Miami.
Tight end is a huge position of need for the Bulldogs. Georgia has just three scholarship tight ends going into next season, and Charlie Woerner — the only one of the three with any real experience — is set to graduate after the 2019 season. Hartley is going to have to show his recruiting chops early, say with 5-star athlete Arik Gilbert out of Marietta, to build up the tight end room after Luke Ford transferred to Illinois.
But not even 24 hours after being hired, Hartley was already out recruiting for the Bulldogs, has he visited 2019 tight end target Brett Seither on Monday night.
— Brett Seither (@_Brett18) January 15, 2019
Hartley also is a University of Georgia graduate. He can accurately sell to kids what that means when they go out and look for a job in any field. He’s also not likely to bolt from his job after just one or two seasons. And as Clemson has shown, staff continuity is very important in building a national championship program.
A lot of coaches like to preach getting better every single day. Well with Hartley now leading the Georgia tight end room, the Bulldogs got better on Monday.
What Tom Crean said before Georgia plays Kentucky
Georgia basketball has another tall task on its hands on Tuesday night, as the Bulldogs host the No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats. The game tips at 7 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN.
Below is what Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean had to say on Monday before the game:
On his relationship with Coach Cal…
“We’ve had a friendship for a long time. I have a ton of respect for him, I have long before I ever met him and I certainly have during the years of our friendship and the times of competing against him. I think he’s a great coach, I think he’s built great programs wherever he’s been all the way back to UMass. I think he deserves to be in the hall of fame like the other ones who are coaching now deserve to be in it because he’s done it at such a high level and he keeps his foot on the gas constantly. He makes sure that his players keep their foot on the gas so you’re got that kind of standard of excellence that he has you can’t help but respect him.”
On the environment you expect tomorrow night…
“I think it is going to be a big week because actually I think Florida sold out right before Kentucky. No question about it, our fans have been great. They have been building up, but we need them to be here early, to be loud, to be crazy, obnoxious, whatever it takes early on to establish themselves. Just for them to be into the game and help us through everything. If we are on a run, help us keep going. If we have to get a run going, help us get that going. Continue to read the game the way they have and just be loud. It is our first ESPN audience of the year too so I think that is great to bring a lot of attention to not only our program, their program and the SEC but it brings a lot of attention to the fan base. I think it is a great opportunity to show off what we are trying to establish here when it comes to the crowd, the atmosphere, the tickets sold. Most importantly, we need them and that has been said since day one. That has been the case since game one and that is certainly the case if we are going to have success tomorrow night.”
On the recruiting of Ashton Hagans and the challenges he presents…
“I think first and foremost he had de-committed before we got here. I know him and we certainly went to visit him but he never came to campus. When you don’t have somebody on campus I don’t put into context that we didn’t get him. We never got him up here to see what we were doing and that’s fine. He made a choice for himself and that’s good. I would venture to say there isn’t a better defensive and attack minded guard in the freshman class throughout the country. He is playing that way. His ability to create steals, he had eight against North Carolina and his ability to create havoc on the ball, off the ball, getting to the rim, it is outstanding. He is playing with a ton of confidence. I think people who knew him, or knew of him, knew he had that and all of the sudden, as he got more opportunity at Kentucky and with the transfer of Green it came out even more. He is playing at an extremely high level. It is not like you can pinpoint your game plan on one or two or three guys or the backcourt or the front court. Whenever you play John’s team, you have to be ready for the whole team. He isn’t going to put anyone out there that can’t win the game for him or impact the game on both ends. Ashton Hagans is certainly doing that.”
Make sure to come to the Marlow’s Tavern in Buford on Tuesday
It’s a critical time of year for Georgia recruiting, as the Bulldogs try and close the gap between them and the Alabama’s and Clemson’s of the world. And we know you have questions about what is next for Georgia football. And DawgNation has you covered.
Make sure to join Brandon Adams, Jeff and Sentell for the DawgNation Countdown to Signing Day at the Marlow’s Tavern in Buford (3333 Buford Dr. Buford, GA 30519).
The event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. with a live broadcast starting at 7 p.m. But you’ll want to make sure you get there are at 6 p.m. for our live Q&A. These always produce some interesting answers along with some things that won’t make it on the air.
Sentell knows all the ins and outs of Georgia’s 2019 signing class and what lies ahead in the weeks leading up to National Signing Day. Which 5-star recruits can Georgia land? Who is the next player to commit? Can Georgia put together an even better 2020 recruiting class? These are all questions you can ask and get answered by DawgNation.
So if you’re looking for way to talk Georgia football, why not come out to Marlow’s Tavern and hang out with the DawgNation team? Wear your Georgia gear and receive a free appetizer with a dinner purchase.
Below are the full details for event on Tuesday
When: Tuesday, Jan. 15
Time: 6-8 PM
Location: Marlow’s Tavern
Address: 3333 Buford Dr., Buford, GA 30519
Best Georgia football stories from around DawgNation
- WATCH: Tyrique Stevenson showed a true commitment by signing with UGA
- Georgia football podcast: Fans’ patience tested by UGA coaching rumors
- ESPN names Georgia-Notre Dame as top non-conference game in 2019
- Date for 2019 Georgia spring game announced
- Georgia defensive coordinator search continues, LSU assistant staying with Tigers
- WATCH Georgia basketball coach Tom Crean: ‘It comes down to hustle points’
- Georgia football silly season: Florida and UGA debunk Charlton Warren report
- Georgia Bulldogs interviewing ‘Godfather of DBU’ for coaching vacancy
Dawgs on Twitter
— Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) January 14, 2019
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) January 14, 2019
Class of 2020 dual-threat QB prospect from Sandalwood HS in Jacksonville. https://t.co/aSAnCIvhXq
— Jeff Sentell (@jeffsentell) January 14, 2019
— Blake Morgan (@bIakemorgan) January 14, 2019
Good Dawg of the Day
You're just so a-peel-ing 🍌 pic.twitter.com/TlrkFmh3w9
— Trenton Thunder (@TrentonThunder) January 14, 2019