Welcome to your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes every Monday through Friday. Today we look at Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s big move in NBA free agency, an offer from Terrapin Beer to Nick Chubb, and the Georgia Bulldogs who have a lot to prove this season.
Prove it or lose it
Expectations are high for Kirby Smart and his Dawgs entering his second season. With a roster full of talented players in a weak SEC East, the Bulldogs are out to prove that their worthy of the preseason hype and ready for a run to Atlanta. But aside from the team as a whole striving to prove itself, there are plenty of individuals looking for validation, as well.
On Wednesday, ESPN asked which player on each of its top 25 teams has the most to prove this season. For the Georgia Bulldogs — ranked 13th by the outlet — that distinction, correctly, went to QB Jacob Eason, The sophomore is tasked with transforming an offense that was inconsistent in 2016 into one capable of winning the division in 2017. From Edward Aschoff:
Jacob Eason started 12 of the 13 games he played in last season. He threw for 2,430 yards, with 16 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He wasn’t perfect, but he has all the potential in the world. Still, if Georgia is going to win the SEC East, which so many people think it will, Eason has to turn the corner as a passer. The next steps for him are understanding defenses and his playbook more, along with becoming more of a leader, on and off the field.
While, for my money, Eason is unquestionably the player on this UGA team with the most to prove, he’s far from the only one. Here are five more Bulldogs with a lot to prove entering this season.
Nick Chubb — If there’s any player on this roster who shouldn’t have a thing to prove, it’s Chubb. Regardless of how he plays this year, he’ll go down as one of the best tailbacks in Georgia history with the numbers to back it up. But … his teams have nothing to show for his work unless you count Belk Bowls. And who does?
— Dan Mathews (@DanMathewsATL) July 11, 2017
That sounds like a man with something to prove to me.
Terry Godwin — With less than 800 yards and 2 touchdowns total in two seasons thus far in Athens, Godwin has not lived up to his 5-star potential. And there will never be a better time to live up to it than now. The Bulldogs are looking for someone — anyone — to step up in the receiving corps, and Godwin, the returning leading receiver, is the top candidate.
Trent Thompson — Despite the medical scare that forced Thompson to withdraw from classes during the summer, the hype surrounding his coming junior year never abated. A 3-sack performance in the final game of the season will do that for you. But considering he had just 2 in the 12 games before the Liberty Bowl, despite flashes of brilliance, Thompson hasn’t proved to be a one-man wrecking crew. Not yet, at least.
Rodrigo Blankenship — With his rec-specs and pencil-thin ‘stache, Blankenship is a cult sensation. But he hasn’t proven to be a good college kicker yet. He’ll be pushed by Wofford transfer David Marvin in the fall, but if he can get a bit more accurate from distance then he’ll be a valuable player for the Dawgs. And maybe get that scholarship.
Jim Chaney — I don’t think any Georgia fans would have been upset had Chaney split town after one year. His play-calling was abysmal at times (See: Vanderbilt, fourth-and-1). From a style standpoint, Chaney’s system is archaic compared to some of the spread systems that dominate college football. Even Alabama is incorporating some spread elements. From both substance and style standpoints, Chaney has so far disappointed. Smart can survive another season of poor play from the offense. His offensive coordinator probably can’t.
KCP signs with Lakers
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is about to get paid. The former Georgia Bulldog basketball star hit free agency this summer, and it was reported on Wednesday that he was leaving the Detroit Pistons and signing with the Los Angeles Lakers on a one-year deal worth $18 million.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has agreed to a one-year, $18 million deal with the Lakers, sources tell ESPN.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) July 12, 2017
The brews-ing tailback
One of the quirkier stories to come out of SEC Media Days from the UGA camp was Chubb saying he’s thinking of becoming a hop farmer when his playing days are over. If he’s looking to get his plans for his post-football career in order, Athens original brewery Terrapin invited him to stop by their brewery to learn more about the trade.
— Terrapin Beer Co. (@TerrapinBeerCo) July 12, 2017
No word yet on if Creature Comforts reached out to Sony Michel to see if he wants to learn about malts.
Dawgs on Twitter
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) July 12, 2017
— scott sinclair (@coach_sinclair) July 12, 2017
— Georgia Bulldogs (@UGAAthletics) July 12, 2017
- WATCH: Biggest UGA takeaways from SEC Media Days (Seth Emerson and Chip Towers, DawgNation)
- Alabama’s Calvin Ridley on his brother, Georgia’s Riley Ridley: ‘He is as good as me’ (Seth Emerson, DawgNation)
- SEC Media Days could wind up in Atlanta (Chip Towers, DawgNation)
- UGA recruiting: WR target Kearis Jackson is visiting Auburn (Jeff Sentell, DawgNation)
- Kirby Smart won’t look ahead to Notre Dame with Appalachian State up first (Jason Butt, The Telegraph)
- In a pivotal season, Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin will rely on a former UGA head strength coach to get Aggies ‘tougher’ (Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald)
- UGA has proven running backs but still something to prove in rushing game (Marc Weiszer, Athens Banner-Herald)
- All eyes on Jacob Eason (Anthony Dasher, UGA Sports)
- Burning questions for UGA after SEC Media Days (Jake Rowe, Dawgs247)
- Ten Dawgs Poised To Pounce: No. 10 Jeb Blazevich (MaconDawg, Dawg Sports)
Just a dad dog, on a work day, doing dad things. pic.twitter.com/Lr0oTahjRG
— Classic Dad Moves (@ClassicDadMoves) July 11, 2017