Ten@10: Athens artist well on way to completing Herschel Walker sculpture

Former UGA running back Herschel Walker burst on the national scene against South Carolina in 1980.

1. Stan Mullins is at it again, and he has some really big plans this time.

The local Athens artist and sculptor known best for the statue of Vince Dooley on South Campus is already at work on his next project – a statue of Herschel Walker. He’s well under way on the clay work and figures he ought to be done before the end of the October.

Stan Mullins is well on his way toward finishing his Herschel Walker sculpture in clay. STAN MULLINS

“The hope is to get Herschel down here to help me finish it himself,” said Mullins, a UGA art school grad. “He said he would. He’s such a hands-on guy and he’s totally down with it.”

Mullins said the sculpture he’s making is from a picture by Athens photographer Wingate Downs of Walker as a freshman against Auburn in 1980.

That’s not all Mullins is working on. He has also completed clay sculptures of Georgia’s other two Heisman Trophy winners, Frank Sinkwich and Charley Trippi.

Where might these works go,. you might ask? Well, Mullins has some big hopes in that regard.

In what Mullins calls his “Crowns of Glory Project,” he envisions statues of the Bulldogs’ greatest tailbacks being on the four corners of the property housing Sanford Stadium.

What would be on the fourth corner, I asked Mullins?

“The fourth would be an un-carved block of Carrara marble,” Mullins said. “As in, who’s next? That could be Nick Chubb. Who knows?”

2. Of course, to pull this off, Mullins will need some funding and lots of layers of approval from UGA and the athletic association. But the good news is, unlike the last time when he ran into political turmoil between Dooley and former president Michael Adams, Mullins has the freedom move ahead with his art work.

Mullins is now a well-established sculptor. In addition to his Dooley statue, he also did a commissioned work of Erk Russell which is now on display at Georgia Southern  University in Statesboro. And just last month he unveiled a gargantuan sculpture of three buffalo called “Ashes to Glory” for Marshall University.

Mullins said Walker is on board for the project and may even help him finish it.

Those completed projects have put Mullins in position to concentrate on his art rather than the hazards that come with commissioned works.

“I don’t want to have another situation like we had with interior politics with the sculpture of Vince Dooley,” Mullins said. “So what I’m going to do is just do the sculpture. Herschel has given me permission. So has Charley Trippi and Frank Sinkwich III. What I’m trying to do is do it so the fans can rally around it and we can help rather than hinder all the cool stuff we’ve got going on.”

You can read more about Mullins’ Crowns of Glory Project on THIS FACEBOOK PAGE. You can find out how you can help at the HERSCHEL WALKER STATUE PROJECT and see more of Mullins’ works on HIS PERSONAL FACEBOOK PAGE and

3. You can’t take away Greyson Lambert’s 0-for-7 start against Vanderbilt. But suffice it to say, his work beyond that stretch of two quarters and change has been extraordinary.

Lambert went 11-of-14 to finish the game against the Commodores. Together with his record-setting 24-of-25 effort against South Carolina, that means Lambert has completed 35 of his last 39 passes, or 89.7 percent. And if you add in the 8-for-12 performance he had in the Bulldogs’ opener against Louisiana-Monroe, Lambert is passing at an .843 rate outside that bad stretch against Vanderbilt.

About that, there was a lot of “told you so” comments coming from Lambert’s teammates in the postgame locker room late Saturday night.

“He was just being Greyson Lambert,” senior outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins said. “He played the way he practices. He didn’t let anything affect his game. He just did what he does and made plays on the fly.”

Said tight end Jay Rome: “It wasn’t unexpected at all. Not from me. I feel like he can come out there and have similar games every night. He’s an outstanding quarterback. The game plan was run to perfection. Receivers were getting open, the offensive line was giving him a good pocket and time to release the ball. When he has time, he’s going to stick the ball on us every time.”

Jay Rome is in a three-man rotation at tight end with sophomore Jeb Blazevich and freshman Jackson Harris. AJC / JOSHUA JONES

4. Speaking of Rome, it was nice to see the fifth-year senior finally show up in the box score. He had his first catch of the season against the Gamecocks. It was nice 20-yard grab in tight coverage off a flag route where he was knocked out of bounds at the South Carolina 3. It’s his only catch in three games.

Rome is healthy and has been playing all season. But he hasn’t started yet this season and his number of snaps have fallen behind not only sophomore starter Jeb Blazevich, but also true freshman Jackson Harris.

About this, Rome harbors no resentment.

“I know my role,” Rome said. “I come out every day and if I have to help those guys get ready, if the game plan is for them to get a little more time, then that’s just what it is. I’m always ready when my number’s called and I’ll go out there and do what needs to be done.”

Spurrier has a lot of questions to answer after Saturday’s 32-point loss to Georgia. AJC / BRANT SANDERLIN

5. Meanwhile, it was back to the drawing board for South Carolina and coach Steve Spurrier. The Gamecocks fell to 1-2 on the season and 0-2 in the SEC after the 52-20 loss to the Bulldogs.

“Looks like we’ve got a team that might struggle some,” Spurrier said on Sunday. “Georgia had a good game plan and they executed it well. They beat us pretty good. We had a hard time slowing them down. We thought we were going to be better on defense.”

South Carolina is now last in the SEC in points allowed (91, or 30.3 pg) and total defense (471.7 ypg). The Gamecocks play host to UCF (0-3) on Saturday in Columbia.

“We have to play a lot better than we have been playing or we’re always going to be in trouble,” Spurrier said. “UCF is a good team that hasn’t played all that well, but they’re certainly capable.We will try our best to put a decent team, a good team, out there for our fans this week.”

6. Georgia’s Loran Smith, the Bulldogs’ famous sideline reporter and radio host of “Sports Conversations” and “Two-Minute Drill,” released his latest book this week, and it’s an ode to Larry Munson.

“A Letter to Larry and Other Memories of Georgia’s Legendary Announcer Larry Munson” was published by Whitman Publishing of Atlanta. It recounts Smith’s fondest memories of Munson, for whom Smith serves as right-hand man for many years.

Also reminiscing about Munson in the book are Vince Dooley, Bill Hartman, Sonny Seiler and Herschel Walker. Munson’s sons, Michael and Jonathan, also provide tributes to their late father, and there family photographs never seen before by the public.

7 .  One play in the South Carolina game went almost unnoticed by many of the fans at Sanford Stadium. Backup quarterback Brice Ramsey came in and launched a 42-yard punt.

“I don’t know how many people noticed,” Richt said. “Even some of our coaches didn’t find out today that he actually punted. … We decided to slip him in there. He’s been a guy we’ve been working in case something ever happened to Collin. So we got into a situation in the game where we thought, you know what, let’s get him a game rep in case somewhere along the way he has to do it.”

Ramsey was known not only as an excellent punter at Camden County High School, but also as a better-than-average place-kicker. And it’s doubtful it will be the last time you see Ramsey punt for the Bulldogs. Ramsey punts regularly in practice and will be in consideration to succeed Collin Barber as Georgia’s full-time punter.

If he hangs around, of course.

8. We’ll weigh in a lot more at UGA’s Media Day and throughout the week, but Southern University’s visit to Sanford Stadium on Saturday is a historic occasion in that it represents the first time the Bulldogs have played host to a historically black college or university.

Richt was asked whether he thought HBU’s could ever be competitive again with FBS schools because so many of the best African-American athletes tend to play for Power 5 teams.

“I know when I was at University of Miami as a player we played Florida A&M and took a whipping,” Richt said. “It was quite a ballgame. Florida A&M has obviously has had a wonderful program over the years they’ve had a football program. I’ve got a lot of respect for those schools. But I haven’t thought much about that.

Mike Bobo has suffered two excruciating overtime losses in his first three games as Colorado State’s head coach. THE COLORADOAN / AUSTIN HUMPHREYS

9. It’s been tough sledding so far for former Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo at Colorado State. It’s not just that the Rams fell to 1-2 on the season after a loss to in-state rival Colorado this past weekend, it’s how they’ve suffered their two defeats. Both have come in overtime.

Richt is keeping close tabs on his longtime assistant.

“The good news is it’s brand new and they’re establishing how they’re going to go about their business,” Richt said. “I mean, if you go in there and you start getting beat by 30 or 40 points the first couple of ballgames, that’s not good. Obviously losing is not good. But when you’re being very, very competitive and playing down to the last play of the game, that’s a very positive sign for your program. You can’t always win all the overtime games, but you know you’re battling if you’re in an overtime game.”

Richt said he has not talked to Bobo since Saturday’s excruciating loss but he guesses they will soon.

“I’m sure we’ll end up hitting each other up somewhere along the way when things die down a little bit,” Richt said. “Everybody’s got a lot to do between now and the next game. But everyb once in a while there’s a quiet moment and I’ll be sure to hit him up.”

10. This & that: Speaking of Richt, he makes his debut as a narrator in a hype video recently released for Georgia’s basketball program. … ESPN has released another documentary on former Georgia and Alabama player Jonathan Taylor. … Former Bulldog Sanders Commings is still trying to overcome injuries and gain his footing in the NFL. In the meantime, he is making his mark by selling socks made of gold. No kidding.