Mel Tucker mentioned as possible candidate for Maryland job, should it become open
Around the Dawghouse will bring you daily updates from what people and publications are saying about Georgia, from inside and outside of Athens.
Mel Tucker at Maryland?
We are a long ways away from the coaching carousel firing up. The regular season hasn’t even started yet and plenty of situations will change between now and when hiring season comes around. But given the current situation at Maryland, with coach DJ Durkin on leave due as the school investigates the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair, it seems like that job will become open.
And according to The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman, Georgia defensive coordinator Mel Tucker could very much be a candidate for the job.
“If the Maryland job comes up, don’t be surprised if Tucker, a former Wisconsin defensive back, is a top candidate for it,” Feldman wrote.
Feldman also noted that Tucker was the runner-up for the Tennessee job a year ago, and he’s worked on staffs with Nick Saban and Jim Tressel. Should Tucker put together another great Georgia defense—and he probably is going to—there’s a very good chance Georgia is in the College Football Playoff.
And if that’s the case than Tucker could very well be running his own program next year.
Sony Michel is shining for the Pats
Some eyebrows were raised when the New England Patriots took Georgia running back Sony Michel in the first round of the NFL draft. Not because he wasn’t worthy of the pick, he was, but because the Patriots already have a crowded backfield.
Well it looks like Michel is going to force his way onto the field, as he is having a tremendous preseason per his position coach, Ivan Fears.
“I’m very happy with him,” Fears told NESN.com’s Zack Cox. “He’s a very hard-working kid. He’s very conscious of what he has to get done, and he gets after it. He’s been great.
“(He’s been) just what we expected. He was progressing well. I was really happy when we got the pads on and I got to see him run a little bit. It looks like he’s going to be what we expected him to be.”
Michel did miss some time due to injury but he’s now back at practice for the Patriots and should join the likes of David Andrews and Malcolm Mitchell as former Bulldogs who helped the New England Patriots as rookies.
Isaiah Wynn likely would’ve joined that list had he not torn his Achilles during a preseason game.
The Specs get some national media respect
As Georgia continues to add 5-star prospect after 5-prospect, it’s worth remembering that one of its best players was at one-point a walk-on. Of course we’re referring to Georgia’s dynamite kicker Rodrigo Blankenship.
Blankenship was one of the best kickers in the country last season, having nailed all of his kicks under 40-yards and going 6-of-9 on kicks longer than 40 yards. Of course he also gained a ton of notoriety because of his famous specs and the fact that he doesn’t look like one of the best players in college football, even though he is.
After being named a pre-season All-American earlier in the off-season, Blankenship was tabbed by The Ringer has named him a Preseason Letterman, or a player or coach that they are looking forward to seeing this season.
Here is what the site wrote about the junior kicker.
“Blankenship returns this year for his junior season, and he has every bit of the cult-hero vibe going for him,” Paolo Uggeti wrote. “Georgia is once again talented enough to contend for a title, and I am hoping, praying, that Blankenship gets another appearance in the limelight to prove to everyone that glasses are cool … if you also have a cannon for a leg.”
While most Georgia fans would like to see the Bulldogs win a national championship in a route, just about every Georgia fan would trust Blankenship in any situation.
Deandre Baker as a potential top 10 pick
While he might not be the biggest fan draw, Deandre Baker is the best player on Georgia’s roster in the eyes of NFL scouts.
He’s universally considered a first-round pick and according to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., Baker is one of the 10 best players in the country.
In Kiper Jr.’s preseason NFL Big Board, where he ranks the top 25 players based on NFL potential, Baker came in at No. 10.
“Passers who went after Baker last season didn’t have much luck,” Kiper Jr. wrote. “He broke up nine passes and had six interceptions. Even after losing Roquan Smith, there is still a ton of talent on the Georgia defense, and it starts with Baker, who has developed into an elite corner.”
Last season Baker had three interceptions. Quarterbacks would be wise to not test the senior cornerback as much this season.