Welcome to your one-stop shop for Georgia football news and takes every Monday through Friday. Today, we look at Bulldogs at the British Open, a new approach to fundraising and the freshmen who could play against Appalachian State.
Which Georgia football freshmen are ready to go?
Seth Emerson of DawgNation brought back his mailbag feature on Thursday. Among questions about the pressure on coach Kirby Smart to win the SEC East, the offensive line and tweaks to UGA’s classic uniform was this one about the freshmen: Who will play when the season begins and who will play when it closes?
How many freshmen do you feel will make significant contributions in a) The App St game and b) the Georgia Tech game? (First game and by year end.)
— Denmen195 (via DawgNation forum)
Hmm, very well-constructed question. I’ll bite: Starting or playing significant snaps in the season opener: Deangelo Gibbs, J.J. Holloman, Isaiah Wilson. … By the end of the season: Gibbs, Holloman, Wilson, Andrew Thomas, Richard LeCounte, Trey Blount, D’Andre Swift, William Poole. It would be more, but there’s already so much depth on defense.
To me, Wilson is the most intriguing of the players who could play in the opener. Georgia has lacked good blocking on the exterior of the line. If Wilson can improve that just a bit, it might go a long way toward springing Nick Chubb on big runs. The former 5-star prospect establishing himself as a force early would be an important step as the line tries to transform into the bulky, run-blocking machine it looks to become under offensive line coach Sam Pittman.
Check out the mailbag for plenty more questions and answers about Georgia’s upcoming season.
Dawgs at the Open
I’ll be brief with regard to Bulldogs competing in the British Open, because by the time you read this, their results from round one will be inconsequential points. All four — Bubba Watson, Kevin Kisner, Brian Harman, and Russell Henley — will have teed of by the time this post goes live. Watson finished 2-under after the first day, while the other three remained even. Check here for a live look at the leaderboard and an update on the fates of the four Dawgs in contention at Royal Birkdale.
Georgia’s athletic department is trying to raise money wherever it can right now, and athletic director Greg McGarity isn’t being shy about it:
“I understand the argument [that regular fans are being left out], but we also understand to make things work at the university we have to generate philanthropic gifts,” McGarity said beforehand, outside the Intercontinental’s ballrooms. “We’ve got a huge drive going on for the West End project [at Sanford Stadium] and Kirby [Smart] will talk about that tonight. That’s definitely part of what we’re trying to accomplish. We need them to help and we need their friends to help.”
4-star WR target set to announce
Georgia wide receiver target Marquez Ezzard is set to announce his commitment Friday at 5 p.m. The 4-star wideout from Stockbridge, Ga., is picking between Georgia and Florida State, but all indications point to a pledge to the ‘Noles. At 247Sports, 100 percent of the 17 predictions from their recruiting reporters point to Florida State.
— Marquez Ezzard (@Solid_Quez) July 20, 2017
UGA hoops ranked eighth in SEC power rankings
It’s still summer, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to squeeze in a little college hoops. Matt Norlander of CBS Sports released a set of early SEC power rankings, and Georgia finds itself toward the back of the pack. Norlander ranked the Bulldogs eighth out of 14 teams in his early assessment. But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost this season, according to Norlander:
“With [Yante] Maten [18.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg], a top-50 lock for CBS Sports’ annual list of the country’s top 100 [and one] players, Georgia has a shot at reaching the NCAAs. Losing J.J. Frazier hurts, though.”
J.J. Frazier signs with French team
After being passed over by the NBA, former Bulldogs star J.J. Frazier will begin his professional career in France. Frazier has signed his first pro deal with JDA Dijon Basket of France’s Pro A league, according to Jason Butt of The Telegraph. Frazier is seventh in career scoring for Georgia basketball with 1,628 points.
Dawgs on Twitter
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) July 20, 2017
— Georgia Football (@FootballUGA) July 21, 2017
— Coach Kirby Smart (@KirbySmartUGA) July 20, 2017
Keep flying, wiener
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— WeRateDogs™ (@dog_rates) July 19, 2017