1. One thing that is notably different about Mike Bobo since he has become a head coach at Colorado is his willingness to speak his mind. He has always been opinionated, but previously he was more inclined to share his thoughts in private with the verbalized qualifier, “that’s off the record.”
That was evident as I visited with Bobo this week in Fort Collins. One subject about which he got extremely passionate was his former boss, Georgia head coach Mark Richt.
I asked Bobo whether he thought the criticism was founded Richt receives for having not ever won a national championship at Georgia.
“Here’s what I say about that: I went to school there, I graduated from there, I’m an alumnus, I played football there, I have bled and sweat for that school and did everything I could to help it win, and there ain’t another man in the country I’d want coaching at the University of Georgia than Mark Richt,” Bobo said, his voice level rising. “His time’s gonna come. It’s gonna happen, OK, because he’s consistent, he does it the right way. He’s going to win. If he doesn’t, he doesn’t. But at the end of the day, he’s going to be able to say, ‘I’ve done everything I possibly could – time, energy, resources – into trying to make Georgia a complete program that cares about kids.’
“Our biggest job is make sure these guys grow, not just as a football player, but as a person,” Bobo continuedWhen they walk out of school, they’re ready. They’re ready to walk out there and do what it takes to be successful. He does that better than anybody. There isn’t any guy I’d rather have there than him.”
Mike Bobo says Georgia people don’t realize how competitive and focused on winning Mark Richt is. (UGA photo)
2. Bobo said one of the misconceptions about Richt is that all he is about the “boys to men” transition. Winning, he said, is way more important to Richt than people realize.
“The misconception that makes me mad is that all he cares about, building men,” Bobo said. “People talk about how I’m competitive; I’m telling you, Mark Richt is just as competitive. We’d go on these trips as a coaching staff, Coach Richt is texting me first thing in the morning saying ‘what are we playing today?’ We’re not laying by the pool reading a book. We’re competing at something, cards, whatever, competing. When we’d play racquet ball at the Butts-Mehre, it was competition every day.
“He hates to lose. He is a competitive joker. That’s the thing that makes me mad. It’s a misconception that he’s trying to raise kids and make sure everybody feels good. That’s not how he is. … It’s not about making them feel good. It’s about making demands of them not just on the field, but off the field, teaching them right and wrong and how to be a responsible person. That’s tiring and taxing. But he’s never wavered from that.”
3. Finally, I asked Bobo for his thoughts about Georgia’s quarterbacks competition. Having recruited Faton Bauta and Brice Ramsey to UGA — and Greyson Lambert, too, for that matter — he should have some insights.
Alas, he wasn’t willing to go into much depth.
“I’m excited for those guys, Faton and Brice,” Bobo said. “Every guy wants to be the starter; only one guy can be the starter. But, you know, it’s another opportunity and I know they’re both going to compete their tails off. It’s exciting for those two guys.
“As far as who gets the job, I have no idea. They’ll do whatever they need to do to help them win.”
Freshman Terry Godwin has been one of the early freshman standouts in Georgia’s preseason camp. (UGA / STEVEN COLQUITT)
4. Word is that the shoulder injury suffered by Terry “Little T” Godwin this past Sunday is not too serious. The freshman wide receiver suffered a minor sprain after getting hit on his right shoulder. He missed Tuesday morning’s practice while rehabbing the injury but is not expected to be out for an extended period.
Godwin, a five-star prospect out of Callaway High School in Hogansville, has been one of the early standouts among the incoming freshmen in preseason camp. He appeared to have worked his way into the six-man receiver rotation before Sunday’s setback.
5. Georgia added a four-star recruit Monday to its growing list of 2017 commitments. DeVonta Smith is a 6 foot-1, 163-pound receiver out of Louisiana’s Amite High School. He continues a streak of wide receiver commitments for the Bulldogs.
“I am pretty solid with my commitment but I am going to leave my recruiting open and go through the process but I am solidly committed at this time,” Smith said.
6. Josh Kendall of the State Newspaper in Columbia, S.C., has been doing a countdown of sorts on South Carolina football in which he asks a different person each their opinion on how they believe the Gamecocks will do this season. Opinion No. 23 in that countdown was former Georgia coach Jim Donnan.
Jim Donnan, telling it like it is.
In a piece that ran online on Monday, Donnan intimated that he wouldn’t be surprised to see South Carolina upset the Bulldogs on Sept. 19 in Athens.
“The one thing that people around here are not conscious enough of is Georgia is talking about getting to the Alabama game 4-0, and South Carolina has beaten Georgia four out of the last five years,” Donnan told Kendall. “They seem to have their number. I don’t think by any stretch of the imagination (Georgia beating South Carolina) is a given. I feel like South Carolina, along with having an outstanding head coach, has a really good staff and guys that know their system and know what to do, particularly on offense. And the defense is going to mesh. They have a tough schedule any way you look at it, but they have been in a lot of big ballgames as a staff and they know how to get their team ready. And more than anything, they kind of have a burr in their saddle about the fact that nobody is really talking about them.”
Donnan will be doing football analysis of Conference USA games for the American Sports Network this fall. He’ll also be providing some analysis for DawgNation.com
7. Georgia’s Lee McCoy was named to the U.S. Walker Cup Team on Monday, the United States Golf Association (USGA) announced.
The 45th match between the Americans and their amateur counterparts from Great Britain and Ireland will be held Sept. 12-13 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England. The U.S. leads the overall series 35-8-1.
Lee McCoy’s busy summer reached a crescendo with Monday’s selection to the U.S. Walker Cup team. (UGA)
“I don’t hesitate to consider this my greatest accomplishment in the game of golf,” McCoy said in a news release from the school. “I had the opportunity to play in some incredible events this summer, but this is the one I’ve had on my mind for a long time. This is the big one. I could not be more excited.”
Joining McCoy on the U.S. roster are Bryson DeChambeau, Beau Hossler, Maverick McNealy and Hunter Stewart. Team USA will be captained by John “Spider” Miller. The remaining five players will be named following the U.S. Amateur in Illinois next week.
McCoy, a senior from Clarkesville, is coming off one of the most celebrated campaigns in school history. He earned first-team All-America and All-SEC honors in leading the Bulldogs to the semifinals of the NCAA Championship, set the single-season mark for scoring average (70.08), matched the single-season record with four victories and became the first Bulldog in school history to win three straight tournaments.
He appeared in three professional events this summer – the U.S. Open, the Travelers Championship and the John Deere Classic — making the cut in the latter. McCoy also helped the U.S. win the Palmer Cup and finish second in the inaugural golf portion of the Pan Am Games.
8. Some more golf: Six Bulldogs will be in action this week in the PGA Championship: Harris English, Brian Harman, Russell Henley, Kevin Kisner, Brendon Todd and Bubba Watson. The tournament will run Thursday through Sunday at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wisc.
And current Bulldogs Sepp Straka, Zach Healy and McCoy will be playing next week in the U.S. Amateur in Illinois.
9. Georgia’s Hali Flickinger, who earned four medals at the Phillips 66 National Championships, was recognized as the recipient of the Kiphuth High Point Award on Monday as the meet came to an end.
Flickinger won the 200-meter butterfly, was second in the 200- and 400-meter freestyle races, and took third in the 200-meter backstroke. She rolled up 82 points to claim women’s high point honors. Michael Phelps claimed the men’s high point trophy with 74 points.
On Monday, former Lady Bulldogs Amanda Weir and Allison Schmitt finished 1-2 in the 50-meter freestyle. Weir stopped the clock in 54.24 and Schmitt reached the wall in 54.34.
Senior Annie Zhu placed sixth in the 200-meter backstroke with a time of 2:28.26.
UGA’s Hali Flickinger was recognized with the High Point Award at the Phillips 66 national championships. (GETTY IMAGES)
10. Former Lady Bulldog Shannon Vreeland won a gold medal as a member of the 800-meter freestyle relay and a bronze as a member of the 400-meter freestyle relay in the FINA World Championships, which concluded Sunday in Russia.
Senior Chase Kalisz earned a bronze in the 400-meter individual medley. The U.S. won a meet-best 23 medals and was awarded the FINA Cup.
For Canada, UGA senior Chantal Van Landeghem helped the mixed 400-meter freestyle relay come in third and she lowered her own Canadian record in the 50-meter freestyle to 24.52. Kalisz and Van Landeghem are planning to redshirt this season to train for the 2016 Olympics.
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