Posted: 12:12 pm Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Junkyard Mail: Fan talk on receivers, breakout freshmen, Trenton Thompson and more! 

By Bill King

Will Jonathon Rumph finally step up big-time in his senior season? (Sean Taylor / UGA)

Will Jonathon Rumph finally step up big-time in his senior season? (Sean Taylor / UGA)

Two weeks to go until Clemson arrives Between the Hedges, and excitement is building. So let’s get to some of this week’s Junkyard Mail …

Howard Terry writes: Bill, we all know what Malcolm Mitchell can do (if he can ever stay healthy) and likewise Chris Conley and Michael Bennett. But what other wide receiver are we likely to be talking about this season? Who do you see maybe coming up big?

Howard, I realize some folks have cooled on last year’s hot topic at receiver, Jonathon Rumph, since he didn’t show much last year (except against Appalachian State) or in the G-Day game, but I still think Rumph has the size and ability to make some big catches. And the junior college transfer is a senior, so he knows it’s now or never. But I also wouldn’t be surprised to see one of the lesser-known players make a move. Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Kenneth Towns, a walk-on, led all receivers in Friday night’s scrimmage with 10 catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns. And let’s not forget former defensive back Brendan Langley, who had four catches for 71 yards and a touchdown in the scrimmage.

KeeKee Brown writes: Hey Bill, it’s that time of year again where we try and pick out which freshmen are going to have a breakout season for the Dawgs. This year, everyone is excited about our new “Gurshall” in Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, but aside from them what frosh do you think will likely have breakout years?

Jeb Blazevich could wind up as one of UGA's breakout freshmen. (John Kelley / UGA)

Jeb Blazevich could wind up as one of UGA’s breakout freshmen. (John Kelley / UGA)

KeeKee, besides the obvious pick of Isaiah McKenzie, who’s expected to give Georgia a kicking return game for the first time in a few years, I’d say defensive end Lorenzo Carter, who’s attracted a lot of attention in preseason camp and has been talked up by upper classmen on the team, probably has the best shot at the early limelight among the true freshmen. But wide receiver-turned-defensive back Rico Johnson also has folks at UGA excited and snagged an interception in Friday night’s scrimmage. As Mark Richt described it, “ Rico had a beautiful interception on a ball that Brice [Ramsey] was trying to throw away and just didn’t throw it away enough. Rico leaped up and made a great catch to keep his feet in bounds.” Sounds promising. Another freshman DB, Dominick Sanders, is making some preseason noise, too. He had a pick-6 off Hutson Mason on a busted play in Friday’s scrimmage, returning the ball 54 yards. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see freshman tight end Jeb Blazevich, a highly sought prospect who chose Georgia over Alabama and Auburn, getting considerable playing time, too, since Georgia is a bit thin at tight end and Jay Rome is coming back from foot surgery. Blazevich, who also is working at H-back with Quayvon Hicks, caught five balls for 112 yards in Friday’s scrimmage.

Crashdawg writes: Mr. King, I know you don’t really cover recruiting, but I just wondered what you thought about Trenton Thompson committing to the Dawgs. For me, that’s one of the most important recruiting coups for Georgia in years. What do you think?

As I’ve said before, Crash, when Thompson signs on the dotted line, I’ll celebrate. Sure, I’m happy Georgia has a verbal commitment from the state’s top prospect, a five-star player rated as the nation’s top-ranked defensive tackle, but as we’ve seen in recent years big-name recruits sometimes change their minds. Speaking of which, I had to roll my eyes at the reports that Rico McGraw switched his commitment to Alabama because he suddenly realized the facilities there were better than in Athens. Something tells me there’s more to that decision than UGA’s lack of an indoor practice facility.

And on that subject, J. Johnson in Charlotte writes: Hey Bill, love the Blawg! Got a question for ya: I see that the topic of an indoor practice facility has new life because of [Greg] McGarity [announcing UGA plans to build one]. These are, of course, prohibitively expensive for all but the wealthiest athletic departments (money and land wise, the latter UGA’s biggest problem). But my question is, has the idea of one of those inflatable domes ever been floated (pun intended)? And would you be able to blow one of those up in short notice making this a viable second option without building anything new, going off campus or acquiring more land?

I’ll resist any hot air jokes, J., and just say that I don’t think it would be very practical to get one of those inflatable domes set up in time when bad weather blows in, or even advisable. Although UGA is going to press supporters to make donations to pay for part of the estimated $15 million cost of an indoor practice facility, I don’t think paying for one is a problem for Georgia. And while the likely location on South Milledge will require putting the team on buses, that still won’t take as long as a trip to the Falcons’ facility, which is the current fall-back procedure. While I think the hubbub over an indoor facility has been much overblown, I have no doubts UGA will have one before too long.

Ham Watson writes: Bill, I like Mike Bobo’s balanced approach to offense and the way he adds new little twists each season (no-huddle, spread, pistol). So I’m hopeful we’re going to see something interesting involving the new H-back position. But, in general, I think Georgia needs to throw to its backs more. Do you think we’ll see more screen passes to the tailbacks?

Passes out of the backfield would be a good way to utilize Sony Michel. (Steven Colquitt / UGA)

Passes out of the backfield would be a good way to utilize Sony Michel. (Steven Colquitt / UGA)

Ham, I do. Bobo already had the quarterbacks throwing more to Todd Gurley (and Keith Marshall before he got hurt) last year, and that’s likely to continue. Also, I think that might be a great way to get freshman Sony Michel some playing time. I love to see a quick player like him get the ball out in open space. And I’m also very interested in seeing what transpires with the H-back.

Lamar Westbrook writes: Hey Bill, I know Jacob Coker came from Florida State and signed with Alabama but explain this please. Is he attending classes at Alabama or is he out of college completely? If he is not going to classes at Alabama, then you have a ex-college QB still playing college ball! At Alabama you better watch them, old Satan likes to win real bad and sure goes border line in cheating! By the way, how many years can Coker play at Alabama? Thanks buddy and GO DAWGS!!

Hold up, Lamar. Nick Saban may be known for fully exploiting the space between the lines of the rule book, but he does not have a reputation for cheating. As for Coker, the rising redshirt junior graduated early from FSU this spring and enrolled early at Alabama with the ability to play immediately (since he’s a grad student). He has two seasons of eligibility remaining, which means if he does become the Tide’s starting QB as expected, the Dogs probably will see him when Bama visits Athens in 2015.

I answered this one in the comments of the last Blawg entry, but for those who missed it: HotDawg writes: Bill, is this [preseason] camp different from other camps in being less accessible to reporters? Seems to be a lot of hearsay reporting of practices. Or very limited actual viewing of practices? Not a very good feel of who’s consistently shining or not. Added to that, there is the new policy of limiting information on injuries. Which is silly, in most cases, because it is neither an advantage nor disadvantage to anyone. Of course fans want to know everything. But are we getting less information this year?

Hot, it’s the same access for reporters as usual, generally 15 minutes or so per day. But Richt has discontinued the past practice of providing the media with an injury update list every day. And, in fact, he isn’t even commenting on injuries. So, yes, we’re getting less information, but only concerning injuries.

In response to the recent Blawg on game day changes at Sanford Stadium and the new sound system, Lee Eidson writes via Facebook: Bill you are right about the awful sound system at G-Day! The music was deafening and prohibited conversation if you sat under the overhang. I’ll not comment on the choice of music for fear of being labeled as old beyond my time! But it was not a good experience.

And Lindsey Kee Portmann writes: Reading this is getting me more excited about the start of football season! Happy to hear about cellphone improvement, cooling stations, and Lee Greenwood :-) I wish they would let us keep the caps on our water bottles, as a fan who sits on the end row, my drink always gets hit then spills on the fans purse in front of me :-(

Lee, your description of the situation under the overhang at G-Day is right on the money, and since I sit under the overhang for all home games, I’m hoping there’s some adjustment in the volume. And, as I’ve said before, I’m fine with prerecorded music being used as long as it doesn’t diminish the role of the Redcoat Band. Lindsey, sorry to say I don’t think you’ll see them allowing caps to be left on bottles because of insurance liability issues (the danger of a full, capped bottle being dropped or tossed from the upper level). But you can always do what one of my brothers does: bring a cap with you and screw it on the bottle after you get to your seat!

Go Dogs!

Got something you want to discuss concerning the upcoming football season? Or a question about UGA athletics in general for the Junkyard Blawg? Email junkyardblawg@gmail.com.

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— Bill King, Junkyard Blawg

33 comments
AllMyDawgs
AllMyDawgs

Behind Amarlo and Ramik what do we have in the 2 deep for this season and looking into next year

DawginCO
DawginCO

I am thinking that we will be hearing how a bunch of guys that have been sitting out will suddenly find their way back to the field this next week.  I think the silence on injury reports is to stop the nit picking in the press and the inevitable mountain out of a molehill that happens whenever a prominent player sits a couple of practices.  I think it's a smart move.  It cuts down on the post practice BS.


I am, as my nick indicates, in Colorado.  I had given up on getting the SEC network since the channel listings didn't show it anywhere Thurs or Fri.  Then low and behold I was flipping through the channels and sure enough there it was.  Even out here in Colorado they have to have the SEC network in their channel line up.  I also get to see PAC 12 football since Colorado is part of the conference now.  I'll keep ya'll posted on whether or not the hype about how their QB play makes them a real threat to the SEC, is just fluff or for real.  I think somebody is forgetting about the Matt Barkley flop.  lol.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Wonder who will be getting a "battlefield promotion" (scholarship) this year.

Not a shortage of walk-on's filling in open positions.

Aaron Davis is a candidate. But i believe his grades are good enough that he has an academic scholarship (Hope scholly or another). If he can stay on that, it saves an athletic scholarship. Unless there is a big disparity in benefits an athletic Scholly provides. (Soon to be known as the Northwestern Unionization or big 5 conference paycheck scholarship!) Just kidding.

The unfortunate medical release of Merritt Hall frees up another scholarship. Or while he is still in school, does his scholly still count towards the 85? I'm not sure how that works. Cause they're not taking away his scholarship due to medical reasons.

Either way, does a walk-on fullback get a scholarship?

There might be a couple other candidates. We'll have to wait and see.

My guess is Coach Richt hands out two scholarships to walk-on's at some point this year.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Bill, thanks for the Blawg answer. Just In my opinion, it seems as if things are much quieter in camp this year. Maybe that's why I thought there might be less reporting or access.

Then again, if it is quieter, maybe that's a good thing. i.e. not a lot of off field distractions finally.

RED DOG 77
RED DOG 77

Bill, I'm looking forward to some new wrinkles in the offense this year, using the h-back in particular and getting SM and KM out in space.........What excites me most though is our LB corps! These guys are going to be the glue that holds the D together this year. I think coach Pruitt has  made a huge impact on the team in general............I'm feeling some momentum and chemistry brewing in Athens Georgia.........I hope my gut feeling is correct. We are certainly due !................GO DAWGS!!!!!

DawginCO
DawginCO

I think the guys to watch this season are the freshman backs, Mckenzie, Blazevich, Carter, Rico Johnson, and Langley.  I think The backs will be difference makers and while the move of Langley to WR was kind of overlooked, I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't have some big plays this year.  Johnson just sounds like a ball player.  I sure hope we can get him some snaps on offense this year.


Mckenzie is going to make a splash on STs.  He may also emerge as a receiver.  I wish our offense featured the tunnel screen that Brice Hunter used to run so effectively back in the 90s.  I could see him getting 10 yards after the catch virtually every play doing that.  Getting that young man the ball in space should be a priority.  I think Clemson is going to be surprised.

Phillipdj
Phillipdj

Thanks BK - I'll be imploring section 124 to get up and holler all season long for the 30th straight year!

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@HotDawg 


Hot do you keep your finger on the "Post comment" button 24/7 or are you simply the fastest with the moistest???


Good luck Bro!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Go dawgs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PigIron
PigIron

@DawginCO

"I am thinking that we will be hearing how a bunch of guys that have been sitting out will suddenly find their way back to the field this next week.  I think the silence on injury reports is to stop the nit picking in the press and the inevitable mountain out of a molehill that happens whenever a prominent player sits a couple of practices.  I think it's a smart move.  It cuts down on the post practice BS."

Yep... Faking injuries in Fall Camp is a master stroke of strategerey. Best of luck with that! ;-)

HotDawg
HotDawg

Glad you found it DawginCo.

What did you think so far? Honestly, I thought the start, based on the hype, was pretty boring and a very choppy production.

Gonna be same type shows CSS had plus same shows espn and espnu showed (SEC Storied, Classic football games).

Still, it's a "must have" for UGA games they choose to broadcast and other SEC information as news breaks.

I also have the pac 12 and big 10 channels in cable package. I've probably watched less than 1 minute of both. Booooring!!

If there is a compelling game on that could affect UGA in the polls, i may watch more.

Funny, I've never seen or heard of anyone that has seen the hyped up Longhorn Channel. Did they only sell that to providers in Texas?

Dawg-Gawn
Dawg-Gawn

@HotDawg 

UGA is sitting at 80 schollies at the moment... Matthews, Wiggins, Taylor, Harvey-Clemons and U. LeMay all forfeited their scholarships either due to team dismissal or in the case of Wiggins and LeMay, decided to transfer... so 5 deserving walk-on dawgs will benefit from these scholarships but for 1 year only.

Also if the other team knows a key player has a injury to a certain part of his body the other team may target that weak area to knock said player out of the game... it's dirty but it still happens and something that most reporters do not even think of because most have never played the game. So if you broadcast injuries you cold be putting your players at risk of a season ending injury.

"BELIEVE" in the G

HotDawg
HotDawg

Btw, wasn't Merritt Hall previously a walk-on who earned a scholarship?

DawginCO
DawginCO

@PigIron  Sorry Piggy, I have been saying for weeks now that the guys that were not practicing were being held out as a precaution and that most of them would not have even been pulled out of a game.  The idea is to get them to game one as healthy as possible.  You will also note that there have been very few injuries to the newcomers.  Isiah McKenzie sat out for a couple of days and I think that was one of the few freshmen that have been listed as injured.

I know, you will always take a shot at Coach Richt's coaching ability but that's ok.  You are just another troll and it's to be expected.  Your opinion is less than meaningless here. 

Ihateorange
Ihateorange

@HotDawg  I have only seen a little bit of it, partly because I refuse to watch anything that has that idiot Paul Finnebam or whatever his name is on it.

Snagglepuss
Snagglepuss

@HotDawg 


As a UGA fan living n Georgia will  "ALL Televised" UGA games be available to me in the Augusta area and will "ALL Televised" Arkansas games be available in Arkansas for Arkansas fans or will we be stuck with having to miss our favorite team on TV because another SEC game is deemed "More important"????

DawginCO
DawginCO

@HotDawg  Never actually looked for the Longhorn network.  I hardly ever watch sports channels for their "coverage" or studio production.  I want the games and the replays of games.  I'd rather watch a game, even if I know the outcome, rather than listen to a bunch of guys jabber about football on television.  I get that on radio.  lol.


I watched the 1980 Georgia -SC game and relived Herschel's "the train done run" TD.  Seeing him blow by those 3 SC guys that had the angle on him just made me smile.  The greatest college back of all time.  Hands down.

HotDawg
HotDawg

I suspect a few of those currently available scholarships will go towards more players in 2015 recruiting class.

DawginCO
DawginCO

@HotDawg  He sure was.  I think it's funny how some people seem to think that a walk on being mentioned in the depth chart at a position is unforgivable.  There are good players all over the place and if one of them comes to Georgia and can run with the guys that were recruited and can actually beat them out, how is that a bad thing?  We want the best possible player on the field, right?  Who cares if they have 5 stars or slipped through the cracks?  If a walk on can out perform a recruit then that is the guy I want.  That is called top shelf player evaluation.

PigIron
PigIron

@DawginCO

"I know, you will always take a shot at Coach Richt's coaching ability but that's ok.  You are just another troll and it's to be expected.  Your opinion is less than meaningless here."


When I poke fun at your comical nonsense, you should at least have the cojones to take it like a man, rather than attempting to pretend that I was addressing UGA's HC. Mark Richt is a nice guy. You, on the other hand, are a delusional kool-aid sipper.

HotDawg
HotDawg

I hear ya on finebaum.

HotDawg
HotDawg

I don't know about Arkansas.

But i do know all the Georgia games were televised in metro Atlanta last year, as they are most seasons nowadays. Either on CBS, ABC, multiple ESPN channels, and the old CSS. one exception was one of the cupcakes on pay per view, I believe. But that still counts as televised.

I am leaning towards the belief all the cupcakes and a couple others will be on the SEC Network.

Dawg-Gawn
Dawg-Gawn

@HotDawg 

The Fam15 class will not need the 5 scholarships until next summer... so 5 deserving walk-ons can use the schollies for this 2014 football season...

"BELIEVE" in the G

DawginCO
DawginCO

@PigIron Ok, I took it like a man and shoved it back down your useless throat.  How about that?  You have no business being here.  You aren't a Georgia fan and therefore have no reason to be here.  I am finished tolerating rude, socially unacceptable behavior.


Be a man and leave.  Fat chance of that.  Child.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Forgot about the Peachtree TV games. The lousy 12:00 timeslot. Ughh

Ihateorange
Ihateorange

@Dawg-Gawn @HotDawg  Depends on how many early enrollees we can get  Also on Merritt Hall - don't quote me on this but I "think" there is  different type of scholarship for situations like this (or they stay on athletic scholly but it doesn't count against the 85) - remember that was something people harped on Saban about, saying he pushed people off the team and said t was medical - they kept a scholly but not on team/didn't count towards 85