Welcome to your one-stop shop for all the relevant Georgia football news and takes every Monday through Friday.
The silver lining to Roquan Smith’s potential injury
On Monday, Dawg Post reported that inside linebacker Roquan Smith — Georgia’s leading tackler in 2016 — may miss spring practice with a torn pectoral muscle. If Smith does indeed miss practice, it’ll be the second year in a row he’s been limited in the spring, following wrist surgery last season that left him in a black no-contact jersey.
It is never good news when a player is injured, but as far as injury news goes, this ain’t bad. For my money, Smith was the best player on Georgia’s defense last season, and a few weeks of missed practice in the spring won’t change that. It could hurt his progression a smidgen. Any time spent recovering is time spent not improving. But I’d still expect him to be ready to go and lead the team in tackles again starting week one against Appalachian State.
Because the injury is unlikely to hurt Georgia’s bottom line in the 2017 season, it’s easy to find the silver lining. Without Smith taking snaps, the Dawgs can build even more depth in an already stacked Georgia linebacker corps. Smith and fellow starting ILB Natrez Patrick could both jump to the NFL, while second-teamer Reggie Carter graduates after this season, so the time to figure out the next men up is now.
The two players Smith’s absence could probably help the most are Juwan Taylor and Tae Crowder. Taylor, soon to be a junior, is the most likely to run with the first team in Smith’s stead. He has a similar body to Smith, so he could fit into that role quite well. Crowder has jumped around between ILB and RB during his time in Athens. With one less body in front of him during the spring, he could get enough snaps to begin asserting himself at LB.
Early enrollee Monty Rice is another guy who should benefit from Smith’s absence. With all the talent at the position, it seemed like it would be ages before he could even get work with the second team, unless he’s just amazing right off the bat. But a missing Smith may afford the coaching staff the opportunity to shake up things and try different combinations at LB. Hence, Rice could get a lot of action a lot sooner than he expected.
J.J. Frazier named SEC Player of the Week
Guard J.J. Frazier was named the SEC Player of the Week after he averaged 28.5 points per game in Georgia’s two Yante Maten-less wins last week against Alabama and LSU.
Frazier has been flat out brilliant most of his senior season, especially in these games without Maten since he really is the only guy who can consistently score buckets. On the season, Frazier is averaging 18.1 points and 4.3 assists per game. His final game in Athens — barring an NIT bid and a home game there — is on Wednesday against Auburn and deserves a rousing ovation. Despite his lack of postseason success at Georgia, Frazier was one of the most entertaining Bulldogs to watch in some years, and he deserves some recognition for it.
ICYMI: J.J. Frazier earned @SEC Player of the Week honors.
— Georgia Basketball (@UGABasketball) February 27, 2017
Trent Thompson update
Chip Towers wrote this lengthy and informative update on the Trent Thompson situation Monday. You should read the whole thing and get all the facts, but long story short: The incident appears to have been medical in nature and Chip thinks he’ll play for UGA again, maybe even the first game of 2017.
— DawgNation (@DawgNation) February 27, 2017
Georgia baseball takes on Kennesaw on Tuesday
Georgia baseball (3-4) will try to even its record Tuesday afternoon at Foley Field when Kennesaw State rolls into Athens for the first contest in an 11-game home stand. After starting the season 1-3, the Dawgs showed some improvement in a 2-1 series win against Georgia Southern in Statesboro. Georgia was 1-1 against Kennesaw last season, winning on the road and losing at home. Freshman righty Christian Ryder gets the start. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
This doesn’t have much to do with anything, but I thought it was cool and figured I’d share where I was talking Georgia baseball. From Hargrett Library, here are photos of UGA baseball playing at Herty Field in 1906.
— Hargrett Library (@hargrettlibrary) February 16, 2017
Ben Watson makes a big pledge to Devon Gales fundraiser
Since UGA announced a fundraising effort last weekend to build former Southern football player Devon Gales a new home, at least $20,ooo has been raised as of Monday, according to the Macon Telegraph.
One reason that figure is so big already is a $10,000 donation from former UGA tight end Benjamin Watson.
— Benjamin Watson (@BenjaminSWatson) February 27, 2017
As you probably noticed in the tweet, Watson is also imploring his fellow Dawgs in the NFL to donate some money for Gales. Mentioned in his tweet are former Dawgs Thomas Davis, Randy McMichael, Charles Johnson, A.J. Green, Todd Gurley, Chris Conley, Malcolm Mitchell and Geno Atkins.
- Georgia’s NCAA Tournament chances: Still alive, somehow (Seth Emerson, DawgNation)
- 6-foot-7 TE George Takacs shows considerable interest in UGA (Jeff Sentell, DawgNation)
- 5 UGA players most impacted by Trent Thompson’s absence (Brandon Adams, DawgNation)
- What Georgia’s new analyst hire could bring to its offense (Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald)
- 3 things to watch: Kennesaw State at Georgia (Evan Greenberg, Athens Banner-Herald)
- Dawgs have one of the largest groups of returning starters (Rusty Mansell, Dawgs247)
When a horse race meets a dog race.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 27, 2017