Happy Thanksgiving! Some of you good folks out there in DawgNation folks may remember a special event held annually on this day between UGA and Georgia Tech. But for those who don’t, we’ll ring the school bell. Time for a history lesson.
From 1933 to 1993, the UGA and Georgia Tech freshman football teams, and the junior varsity squads after that would play every Thanksgiving at Grant Field. The rivalry became a national event and benefitted the Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital in Atlanta.
Because freshman were ineligible for varsity sports during a portion of the time this game was played, it featured some of the school’s best players. Frank Sinkwich, Bill Stanfill, Fran Tarkenton and Charley Trippi were among those UGA legends who suited up for the UGA freshman and junior varsity squads.
Each year the winner of “Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate” is presented with the Governor’s Cup, but that tradition didn’t start with the varsity teams. The Governor’s Cup was originally given to the winner of the Thanksgiving game between the younger squads. When the annual tradition came to an end, Georgia Tech held a 30-28-1 all-time series lead.
There are plenty of storylines surrounding this year’s game, but it’s important to remember the history of the rivalry.
Nation’s No. 1 WR announced his commitment
Kyle Davis, a 5-star receiver from Archer High School, was originally supposed to decide between UGA, Auburn and Tennessee on Oct. 23. He planned to don a pair of gloves after the game and then switched it up to stating he would wear the hat of the school he was committed out as the Tigers stormed the field. He then backed out of that date altogether. Yet Davis tweeted out his commitment to Auburn out of the blue on Wednesday.
Some who followed his recruitment believed he was a UGA lean. As his recruitment continued, however, some believed that was no longer the case. The receiver position is a priority in this year’s class and the 6-foot-1, 217-pounder was high on the board. But just how high? It hasn’t been a great month for UGA at receiver. Grant Holloway, a 3-star recruit out of Virginia, chose to run track at Florida over both sports at UGA and Davion Curtis de-committed shortly thereafter and flipped to Texas.
WDE. no interviews.? pic.twitter.com/2B7thl7zgj
— KD (@KDSZN) November 25, 2015
How does the decision affect UGA?
While Davis’ decision may have surprised some, it doesn’t appear to have caught UGA off-guard. It’s true that it hasn’t been the best couple of weeks for recruiting at the receiver spot, but there are contingencies in place. Tyler Simmons, a McEachern High School senior, felt good about his value to UGA after last weekend. Junior college receiver Derrick Willies also received an offer last week and is a target.
There are some clues provided which indicate that Davis may not have been very high on UGA’s board. If that is the case, and there are signs supporting it, then Wednesday’s announcement may not have been the end of the world.
Hitting the reset button with one of the state’s top juniors
There has been no shortage of talented running backs at UGA, but it appeared one of the Georgia’s top prospects at that spot was being ignored. Junior Trey Sermon, a 4-star back out of Sprayberry High School, said earlier this year he hadn’t heard from UGA much. After visiting last weekend, however, he had a new message.
It’s good to see Sermon visited over the weekend, but that won’t suddenly change things overnight. The nation’s No. 5 running back for 2017 has no lack of schools vying for his commitment. UGA may be too late in the race now; the junior said he hopes to narrow his list in the spring. With UGA already holding a commitment from 4-star running back Elijah Holyfield, and also targeting Texan Devwah Whaley at the position, it would not have a major need at the position for 2017. Anthony McFarland, Jr., a 5-star all-purpose back from Maryland, looks like UGA’s best shot at one of the nation’s top running backs in that class.
UGA offers 2017 dual-threat QB
It appears the Bulldogs may not be finished at the quarterback for 2017. Although UGA already has a commitment from 4-star junior quarterback Bailey Hockman, another junior passer received an offer on Wednesday.
With players like 5-star Jacob Eason, Hockman and 5-star sophomore Trevor Lawrence, UGA has its bases covered with traditional quarterbacks. The coaches seem to have an interest in recruiting a player with dual-threat abilities. Junior Faton Bauta is the only dual-threat quarterback on UGA’s roster. It appears the coaching staff would like to fill the spot he will leave behind.
Eason seems locked in with his commitment
With some speculation about the coaching staff’s future, many are concerned that Eason, the nation’s No. 2 passer, may look elsewhere. He is a major priority and a cornerstone in his class, so much so that Mark Richt flew across the country to visit him.
Recent comments from the Eason family indicate that he is sold on UGA. He also discussed with DawgNation how he will handle the immense expectations on his shoulders when he enrolls in January. That’s a pretty down-to-earth attitude. He also mentioned a gift he’d like that sure sounds like he’s already getting ready to play football in the South.
Eason may also have put a few more people at ease via Twitter yesterday. The much-anticipated quarterback doesn’t seem to be envisioning himself in any other colors but red and black.
Crazy to think that less than a year from now I'll be suited up in red and black ??
— Jacob Eason (@skinnyqb10) November 26, 2015