Betting On Beck

By: Kipp Branch news services

We’re halfway through with the 2023 Georgia football season, and Carson Beck is the big man on campus in Athens, Georgia.

He is the QB on the number one team in the country that is currently riding a 23-game winning streak. Beck’s stats at the halfway point look like this:


144-of-196 passes (73.5-percent)

1,886 yards

13 total touchdowns; 11 passing touchdowns

9.6 yards per attempt

Two comeback victories in SEC play

SEC Co-Offensive Player of the Week, October 7


His head coach has all the confidence in his abilities and offered this about his QB recently on how he can improve: “Mobility. Getting in and out of the pocket decisions, when to tuck it down and run versus stand in and throw,” Kirby Smart said. “Some designed runs probably wouldn’t hurt him around the red area and things that he can do. He’s a good athlete.” Smart is always coaching his kids up.

After all, Beck has some big shoes to fill. His predecessor as Georgia’s starting quarterback was Stetson Bennett, who led the Bulldogs to consecutive national championships and was always at his best in the biggest games.

Now, after three years spent watching mostly from the sidelines, Beck is finally getting his chance to lead the No. 1 Bulldogs and he is making the most of that opportunity.

During both the South Carolina and Auburn games I thought “UGA just had 2 national championship years. It must end somehow and I’m going to be ok with this”. I still want to see UGA go undefeated every single year. Seeing UGA win back-to-back titles and witnessing generational greatness related to UGA football fills the fulfillment tank. At least, for a while. I’ll start to get aggravated again when UGA starts going 8-4 with an unexplainable loss or two thrown in there again.

When things looked bleak at Auburn a few weeks ago Beck’s play won the UGA fan base over. He won me over.

I feel more confident now about him in pressure situations than ever before. He won in a very tough environment.

Auburn ran the ball all over the UGA defense for the entire game and UGA turned it over numerous times. For Beck to stand in there and lead those last 3 drives, that was impressive.

The national media gave most of the credit to Brock Bowers, who is the best tight end in college football history, but Carson Beck was the one delivering those passes. The man is just cool under pressure.

Carson Beck has more pass attempts than any other QB in the SEC at the halfway point of the season. Not saying this is a good or bad thing, but halfway through the season I think it is safe to say this isn’t a run-run-pass offense as the Mike Bobo critics shouted to the heavens during the summer. Kirby Smart has unleashed Carson Beck and is going to ride on his arm in 2023.

UGA is 39-1 since the loss to Florida in 2020. UGA could be 48-1 if they can run the table for the 3-peat.

The statistics, records, and accomplishments from this run will easily be used as one of the standards for modern college football dynasties.

Alabama set the standard with 6 titles in 12 years, but Kirby has built something at UGA that is special.

I remember the 43-4-1 run from 1980-83 and thought nothing would ever top that at UGA. Well, I was wrong these are unequaled times in Athens, Georgia.

Carson Beck has a chance to make his own legacy at UGA. He is off to a great start.

Carson Beck is a kid who grew up in the Jacksonville area and he will get his opportunity to make his mark in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party right in his own backyard. This young man is a baller.



Killing Time

By: Kipp Branch news services

Here is the main question in my mind and it is one that Florida does not have a great track record of.

Will Florida be patient and allow Billy Napier to build the Florida program the right way?

Florida was one of the founding members of the SEC in 1933. It took the Gators 58 years to win their first SEC Football Championship in 1991. UF has won 8 SEC Football Championships overall and none since 2008.

It has been 15 years since Florida has won anything of significance in football. In the same time frame the Gators have had 5 head football coaches. Doing the math Florida hires and fires head football coaches every three years.

Billy Napier inherited a culture problem at UF that he has been working to improve since he walked on campus.

SEC coaches privately tell reporters that Florida has consistently been one of the most undisciplined teams in the conference over the past 5 seasons.

Napier has addressed the culture issue, and a sample size of results are known. The Tennessee win at home earlier this season was a huge positive for the program.

The Kentucky and Utah games were nightmares that show that the culture Napier is developing still struggles with dealing with adversity.

Florida is still a work in progress. Look at UGA early in Kirby’s tenure with ugly losses at home against Vanderbilt and Georgia Tech, and an ugly road loss to Ole Miss. Recruiting will fix all of that.

I heard Steve Spurrier say recently that Florida needed to recruit their way out the current situation they are in. Billy Napier is tearing it up on the recruiting trail. Florida’s 2024 recruiting class is currently ranked 4th in the country.

The 2024 recruiting class has addressed the following positions to date:


Quarterback (1)

Running Back (1)

Receiver (4)

Offensive Line (4)

Defensive Line (4)

Linebacker (3)

Defensive Back (4)

Florida is recruiting on a national level with committed recruits from 8 states. UF is a national brand and Napier knows this and is using it to his advantage.

Moving forward the Gators must lock down the state of Florida better moving forward as only seven of the Gators 21 commits come from the Sunshine State.

The glaring weakness of Florida right now is on the lines of scrimmage. The SEC is an inside out conference meaning you build your team along the lines of scrimmage.

Kentucky exposed that when Florida traveled to Lexington. Napier knows his long-term success in Gainesville will depend on how he recruits and develops offensive and defensive linemen.

Florida whipped Tennessee on both fronts in that big win. Just the opposite with Kentucky. The Utah loss was a fluke in my eyes. Florida fans are loud and vocal bunch on social media after ugly losses like the one against Kentucky.

The Gator fanbase is a passionate bunch and the toxicity of social media doesn’t help on the recruiting side of things.

Florida expects SEC and National Titles. Things got off track over the past 15 years, and now Billy Napier is on track to fix it.

He is recruiting well, and that will fix a multitude of issues. Napier says winning is hard in media sessions. Winning is hard at Florida when you have a train track littered with poor coaching hires.

Now Napier is fixing the recruiting woes, and the Gator nation just needs to be patient for about two more recruiting cycles and Florida will be back among the elites of college football.

Time is a precious commodity, and patience and trust in Billy Napier will reap championship benefits for the Florida Gators. Time and patience Gator fans. Will you allow it?

80 Million Dollar Mistake?

By: Robert Craft news services

None of the given explanations made sense. Nothing would have.

Mario Cristobal blew it.

Miami lost a game they shouldn’t have, in stunningly idiotic fashion.

If quarterback Tyler Van Dyke was ordered to take a knee on a third-and-10 with a running clock at under 40 seconds, the Hurricanes would be 5-0; talking about how they escaped with an ugly 20-17 win over Georgia Tech.

Instead, the sports world is scratching their heads wondering why he handed the ball off to Don Chaney Jr.

The Yellow Jackets ran out of timeouts, and that led to the fumble that set up the Yellow Jackets’ miracle  comeback.

Chaney was closing in on his first 100-yard rushing game of his career. He was sitting on 99 yards when he carried it for the final time.

When asked directly about why he called the run play, Cristobal denied that the 100yd milestone was the reason. At the end of the game, Miami’s official stats later reflected that Chaney finished with 106 yards, but in real-time Miami’s official stats listed him at 99 yds before his final carry.

Why did Miami not take a knee and take the W?

Hurricane fans, how does this unimaginable and embarrassing loss take place?

It’s a mistake you’d think every coach would  avoid. Cristobal, though, has fallen victim to running an unnecessary play in a clock-killing situation twice now. It happened to his team at Oregon in 2018.

The Ducks led Stanford 31-28 late, and quarterback Justin Herbert could have knelt to run the clock down to 16 or fewer seconds and set up a punt near midfield.

Instead, Oregon running back CJ Verdell  ran it on second-and-2 and fumbled. The Cardinal took over with 51 seconds remaining, forced overtime and went on to beat the Ducks 38-31.

Cristobal’s explanation about Saturday’s clock management strategy on the final drive didn’t make much sense.

Why would any coach in their right mind run it on third-and-10 with 33 seconds left in the game after Georgia Tech had used its final timeout two plays earlier?

What were the final 26 seconds like for the guy in charge on the other sideline? Well, Georgia Tech coach Brent Key was stunned Miami didn’t take a knee either.

Surprise turned to elation when his team pounced on its opportunity, as Haynes King connected with Christian Leary on the game-winning 44-yard touchdown pass with only two seconds left.

Miami has not won an ACC home game under Cristobal. They’re 0-5 in league play at Hard Rock Stadium since December 2021. Cristobal is looking a lot like the 10-year 80 dollar mistake.

He blew a huge opportunity Saturday to prove Miami was past its bye-week blues and capable of handling a three-touchdown underdog.

The Hurricanes may redeem themselves by beating a Tar Heels team they’ve lost four consecutive games to, followed by a Clemson squad that has beaten them by a combined score of 178-30 in their last four meetings.

It’s not impossible. Nothing in this article says this Miami team is untalented.

Dumber things have happened. Coaches have an infinite potential of stupidity.

I’m not sure we’ll see anything dumber than what we saw this Saturday for quite some time. Where were you while Hurricane history was taking place?

Chop On!

By: Colin Lacy news services

Everything that the Braves have heard for 6 months is that “if the Braves have to rely on pitching, they’re in trouble.” What did the Bravos do? Only churn out the best record in baseball and prepare for a NL Division Series match-up against NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies that will serve as a re-match of the 2022 NLDS.

The Braves rang out a record of 104-58 and joined only the Orioles and Dodgers as the only three teams in MLB with 100 wins. A big part has been the best offense in baseball scoring the most, and the biggest run differential in MLB this year.

A big question for Atlanta has been the ace of the staff Max Fried, who has been dealing with a blister on his pitching hand.

In the downtime between the end of the regular season and the Saturday beginning of the Phillies series, the Braves had 3 days of simulated games between current players and minor-leaguers split into two teams.

In the Tuesday intersquad game, Fried threw with a band-aid on the pitching hand in question just for a little precaution. All indications after the outing from Manager Brian Snitker and Braves personnel point to Fried being a go for the NLDS roster, and potentially starting game 2 on Monday. Signs would lead Braves fans to expect the series opening nod to go to right-hander Spencer Strider.

As much as Braves fans enjoyed the down years for the Phillies (just one year over .500 from 2012-2022), it’s good to have the Braves-Phillies rivalry back to it’s best. This year in the 13 games head-to-head, the Braves hold the 8-5 lead as the two look to the best of 5 game NLDS.

With the best record in Baseball, the Braves have locked up home field advantage all the way through to the World Series.

Atlanta will host game one on Saturday at Truist Park with a 6:07 first pitch.

Game two from Atlanta will come Monday at the same time before the series shifts to Philadelphia for games 3 and (if necessary) 4 at Citizen’s Bank Park.

If the series goes the distance, the deciding game 5 will return to Cobb County in metro-Atlanta.

The Phillies come into the series with a 90-72 record in the regular season and finished 14 games back of the Braves in the NL East.

After sweeping the Marlins in a best-of-three series in the Wild Card round, the Phillies come into Atlanta behind an offense led by Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos, who each drove in over 100 runs, and Bryce Harper, who missed just shy of 40 games earlier in the year with injury.

On the mound, the Phanatics are led by the duo of Aaron Nola and Zack Weeler who both threw over 190 innings and fanned 200 hitters.

Outside of Jeff Hoffman (the only Phillies reliever with a sub-3.00 ERA), the bullpen for the Phils is familiar to Atlanta fans. Craig Kimbrel capped off 23 saves to the tune of a 3.26 ERA while fighting off some nagging injuries.

So, what’s different this postseason for the Braves, who look to get the bad taste of the 2022 NLDS that the Phillies won 3-1?

A big key is the pure health of the squad. Going into the postseason last year, off the top, they were without infielder Ozzie Albies who only played 64 games last year because of a broken right pinky and broken left foot.

Spencer Strider was trying to fend off an oblique injury that pushed him to a game 3 start. He threw 2 strong innings before the 3rd seeing him only recording 1 out.

This postseason, the Braves franchise have adopted the mantra “As One” to symbolize that the Braves “team” isn’t just the players on the field, but also coaches, staff, front office, and even the fans.

So “As One” it’s time to Chop On Braves Country!

In Need Of Highlights

By: Kenneth Harrison news services

It’s October now so the NBA season will begin later this month.

There are typically about four teams that have legitimate chances to compete for a championship. Atlanta is normally not one of those teams.

Let’s take a look at the Hawks and what we should expect for the 2023-24 season.

Star point guard Trae Young is entering his sixth season in the league. He’s a two time NBA All-Star (2020, 2022) and he averaged 26.2 points per game and 10.2 assists per game last season.

The biggest struggle the franchise is having is adding another great player to the roster.

Atlanta is typically decent enough so they do not get a high draft pick. They consistently pick in the middle of the first round so they add role players. Also, they are not a free agent destination and I am surprised by that.

A couple of decades ago the franchise also had this problem with Dominique Wilkins. Hopefully history does not repeat itself and they don’t waste a star players prime years.

Last year they finished the season 41 – 41 and beat the Miami Heat in the Play-In tournament. Then they lost to the Boston Celtics (2 – 4) in the first round of the playoffs.

Head coach Nate McMillan was fired in February and he spent three seasons with the team. Quin Snyder was hired as the head coach a few days later.

The Hawks drafted guard Kobe Bufkin (Michigan) with the 15th pick in the draft. The sophomore earned Third-Team All-Big Ten honors. He’s a 6’5 left hander and hopefully he can become a solid scoring option.

In the second round they drafted 6’6 guard/forward Seth Lundy (Penn State). He’s a four year starter and as a senior he averaged 14.2 ppg and 6.3 rpg.

They also brought in two veterans in guards Patty Mills and Wesley Matthews. They will both contribute to leading the team and sharing their knowledge with the younger players.

The team emphasized how important it is to establish good habits.

“It’s about a day in day process about creating good and sustainable habits so that when you do reach those goals, you can continue to surpass them, because you’re leaning on the process of your work, rather than just ‘we’re doing anything we can to just achieve this specific goal,’” general manager Landry Fields said. “So that sort of paradigm of that mindset is really what we’re hopping on right now.”

Spacing the floor is also crucial to their success this season.

“I mentioned spacing a lot last year and spacing allows you to move the ball, it allows you to attack and even though you think it’s subtle, if you’re spaced properly sometimes that can be as simple as like you’re not in someone’s way when they get to go lay the ball in,” Snyder said. “So again, you’re doing something for someone else.”

Another goal entering the season is establishing an unselfish mindset.

“This season is about hard work,” Snyder said. “I would like for that to be characteristic of our system, us being a selfless team is huge and you can point to that in so many different areas, whether it’s taking the charge, making the extra pass, running back on defense, celebrating your teammates successes, all those different things.”

The season will begin at Charlotte on October 25 and is followed with a home game against the Knicks two days later.

I think they will finish the season slightly above .500 with an early playoff exit.

College Football Super Bowl On The Way?

By: Kipp Branch news services

Could Clemson be moving to the SEC soon?

Rumors are swirling again regarding expansion. The SEC currently sits at 16 teams with Oklahoma and Texas joining in 2024. Think of Big 10/SEC as the NFC/AFC.

We’re quickly headed for an NFL-like model for college football because the powers that be desperately want media deals like the NFL has.

The short term will be chaotic, but it’ll eventually settle into a pro formatted league with regional divisions that prints money like the US Government.

But everything between now and then will be uncomfortable for the avid college football fan. It’s regionalized divisions within a national league.  It’s how every professional sports organization is laid out.

Eventually you will see a new alignment that is consisted of the Big 10 and the SEC. You could see 24 teams in each conference breaking away from the NCAA governing body which has become useless by the way.

You could call it something like the National College Football League. You could appoint a league commissioner just like the NFL and negotiate major TV deals for each the league. All teams that are not members of the NCFL could stay as members of the toothless NCAA and still compete at football.

If Clemson bolts to the SEC, what is to stop Florida State, Miami, and North Carolina from following? You keep hearing things from people like what about Georgia Tech, Virginia, and Virginia Tech? Do you want the Big 10 to come down and gain a footprint in the South?

The answer is who cares. In the NFL you have the AFC South and the NFC South. You the AFC North and The NFC North. You see it really doesn’t matter if you land in one of the two major conferences.

What about recruiting? The top-rated recruits will go to a league that has the best TV contract, which will end up fueling NIL money into the pockets of those highly rated prospects.

This will create parity like we see in the NFL. In the NFL anyone can get beat on any given Sunday. An NFL type model in college will create anyone can get beat on any given Saturday.

What if the SEC expanded by four more teams in 2025 with Clemson, FSU, North Carolina, and Miami to put the number at 20?

The SEC could create four divisions with five teams. If a new body was formed with the Big Ten, then there would be no more cupcakes as you would only play teams from each conference.

Twelve game schedules, then two rounds of playoffs in each conference. You then have a championship Saturday with two huge conference championship games then a huge National Championship game on Saturday before the Super Bowl.

A 20-team breakout in a newly expanded SEC could look like this:

SEC Atlantic: Clemson, FSU, UNC, Miami, South Carolina

SEC East: Auburn, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Vanderbilt

SEC Central: Alabama, Ole Miss, LSU, Mississippi State, Tennessee

SEC West: Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M

You would have 9 conference games annually. Each team would play everyone in their division annually. You would have one permanent opponent from the rest of conference and rotate the rest so you can play home and home with the entire conference in a 4–5-year window.

You would play 3 rotating Big 10 opponents based on a computer model that matches teams with similar records from the previous season. No more cupcakes.

The team with best overall record wins their division and makes the SEC playoffs. If there is a two-way tie in division then head-to-head tiebreaker is in effect. Further tiebreaker scenarios would be determined by league.

This model would require Notre Dame to join the Big Ten.

Put on your seat beat folks this is where college football is heading. If not two conferences, then four with similar type formats.

Rest in Peace NCAA. Can you envision a college football draft down the road with a draft order for the top high school football prospects with slotted NIL money for each pick? You talk about parity folks.

Unpaid Workers

By: Robert Craft news services

Much of the discourse at Wednesday’s legislative hearing on NIL centered around pay-for-play and NIL collectives.

With two sitting athletic directors as witnesses and a former Heisman Trophy winner as a third, the narrative of what the NCAA wants to see fixed in college sports was clear.

More guidelines. A different framework. Ability to crack down on inducements.

The nearly two-hour hearing before the House Committee on Small Business on Wednesday won’t inch Congress any closer to delivering the NCAA its long-sought federal bill.

Remember this hearing for another reason: It highlighted what lawmakers of the NCAA’s efforts to lobby Congress. The NCAA is confronting the brink of a revolutionary transformation- ushered in by the NIL era two years ago.

The NCAA is a powerless organization with no ability to build consensus among power conferences. It feels each team has been busy all summer poaching each other’s schools to construct super conferences, funded by billions of TV dollars, while side stepping what’s permitted to line the pockets of athletes and coaches.

Here’s the reality: The winds of change are fiercely blowing in one direction: toward a long-overdue revenue-sharing model. The NCAA has exerted all of its’ efforts toward leaning on Congress to save it.

Its wish list includes a preemption of state NIL laws, at least partial antitrust protection, and a formal designation that athletes are not employees.

Congress wants clear, concise messaging on what solutions college stakeholders seek. Right now, there is no clear messaging. As a result, Congress isn’t eager to solve the NCAA’s problems.

Here’s why no clear messaging to congress is a critical issue in the NIL space. Evolving NCAA guidance still maintains the need for established distance between schools and collectives.

Most Power 5 schools are ignoring that guidance. Lack of regulation matters because 95% of collective dollars go to male athletes.

On another note, discussion centered on the need for more transparency, uniformity on NIL contracts, and a collective agent registry.

The NCAA’s NIL subcommittee this summer was green-lighted to develop those elements, along with an NIL database. Votes on those policy changes will occur next month and in January.

Overall, for all their efforts lobbying Congress, which has intensified in recent months, the NCAA’s ball hasn’t moved. It’s mired on the wrong side of the field, facing fourth-and-long and needing a Hail Mary with no quarterback.

With the NCAA ceding all opportunities to get in front of developments, the action will occur in the courtrooms, continuing as soon as tomorrow.

Like it or not, a new model is coming. The NCAA chooses to play the role of bystander, futilely pleading for a Congressional helping hand.

Fans, keep your eyes on “ Johnson vs. NCAA and House vs. NCAA, these two are working their way through the courts.

Also, the National Labor Relations Board’s Los Angeles office has filed its unfair labor practice complaint against USC, the Pac-12 Conference and the NCAA (a hearing is scheduled for Nov. 7).

These machinations are viewed as a slow march toward student-athletes being designated as employees. That probable scenario will dramatically reshape college athletics.

Busy Bee

By: Colin Lacy news services

In the off-season, it was well thought that rising senior Will Nelson would be the heir apparent to take over as QB1 for the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets.

After excelling as a two-year starter at safety for the Jackets, Nelson was tasked with learning and leading a completely revamped offense for SEB that made the move back to the split-back veer.

While that would be more than enough for many 16–17-year-olds, it’s far from all Nelson was focused on.

He had just completed his junior season for Southeast Bulloch Baseball, while also being an active member of numerous clubs and activities including Beta Club, National Honors Society and Future Business Leaders of America among others.

Was that enough for Nelson? Nope!

Last spring and into the summer, Nelson applied, interviewed, and was named one of two representatives for 4A on the 2023-24 GHSA Student-Athlete Advisory Council.

The GHSA Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) is a 20-person panel made up of student-athletes from all over the state of Georgia that are selected by a group of judges after a rigorous interview process.

Two representatives from each classification along with four at-large members make up the council each year. The SAAC is tasked with creating the connection between student-athletes, the GHSA Office, officials, and everyone that has a hand in high school sports to help promote sportsmanship and leadership.

“We’re just trying to influence a positive attitude and atmosphere around high school sports,” said Nelson. “We also want to push respect referee, and associates that help us, and spend their time to help us play our game and keep us safe during the game.”

The selection process begins with a full application process and must meet the minimum requirements that the applicant must be involved in at-least one club or school organization in addition to playing at-least one sport at the school.  After the application, comes the interview process where judges from all across the state that will be making the final decision.

This year, 116 applications were sent in from all corners of the peach state to select the 20-person council with Nelson and Sanaaya Thompson from Rutland High School getting the nod for the 4A classification.

“It defiantly means a lot to me to be able to represent not only SEB, but all of 4A,” said Nelson. “It can be a lot of pressure, but it’s an honor for sure.”

The GHSA SAAC will be voting on a couple yearly awards including the Student Section of the Year, as well as participating in a leadership conference in the winter.

All the off the field accomplishments and responsibilities haven’t taken away from his performance on the field leading Southeast Bulloch to a good start midway through the year.

He is the second leading rusher for the Jackets, behind senior running back Kyon Taylor and scored the first 3 rushing touchdowns of the season.

Multiple coaches around the SEB program have called Nelson a “Gamer Winner”. The confidence he brings on and off the field is incredibly impressive and is just the type of leader you would want for your program.

There are many words that can describe or label Will Nelson. Quarterback. Leader.  Student-Athlete. SAAC member. Son. Friend.

And somehow, he finds time to juggle all of them, and do it well.  Free time? Who needs it!


Captain Of The Bucs

By: Jason Bishop news services

The McIntosh County Academy Buccaneers are a trendy pick to win the Single A Division II GHSA State Title. That is in no small part due to Bucs standout, Neo West.

West starts on defense at safety and also starts at QB for Bradley Warren’s Bucs.

Neo West is a local homegrown talent, born and raised in McIntosh County…living in Townsend.

The season started with plans to move West out of the QB role and into the running back position. Coach Bradley Warren instead elected to keep West as their biggest threat on offense at QB.

Neo West is a weapon, a dual threat QB that has a high football IQ. West is just plain smarter than most he plays against. “When I play QB I try to make the smartest play possible and control the offense.”

West went on to say, “I am most comfortable in a Wing-T offense. I like sharing the ball and making big plays happen.” He has made his fair share of big plays, playing both ways since he was a freshman and was a starter at safety and QB as a sophomore.

When asked about what he has learned from his head coach, Bradley Warren, I got this profound answer; “Coach Warren has taught me a lot but one of the biggest things is that I need to be the one to step up. On the football field I need to be the one to step and make a big play when my team needs it. And in life I need to be the one step up and do what needs to be done.”

Neo West has high aspirations on the football field as his goal for this season is to make All-State at safety. Eventually Neo wants to move onto college and major in business. West hopes that college football will be part of that equation.

To this point West has received some interest from Florida A&M, Florida Atlantic, and Middle Tennessee State. Most likely as the season wears on more interest will follow.

West also is only a Junior, so he has a whole other year to play for the Bucs after this season.

Neo started playing football at 7 years old. He played both RB and QB on offense and played safety on defense.

I asked Neo what drives him…”My mom is the biggest influence in my life. She has had such a huge positive impact on who I am. She always told me that just because I might be smaller than some other people playing football that none of them could match the size of my heart and to play with heart.” West’s measurables are 5’11 150 pounds. He is tough, hard nosed kid that plays bigger than he is.

Neo is also close with his sister, Judea West. “She is 22 and in college at Middle Macon. We actually call each other twins because we are so much alike. We are always there for each other.”

Neo West is a phenomenal young man that has big things ahead of him.


Brock Bowers is a Unicorn

By: Joe Delaney news services

Brock Bowers is a GOAT.

Yeah everyone knows what a GOAT is. Most people say Tom Brady is the GOAT of Pro Football. Pretty hard to argue with that. There is always spirited conversation between this guy and that guy being the best and that’s what makes it fun.

My GOAT is Ali. In his prime he was simply above everybody and the great thing was HE TOLD YOU SO! “I’m the greatest!” “I’m so petty and you ugly Joe Frazier.”

It was wonderful and the man backed up everything he said. In a time of great division in our country, Muhammed Ali said “I aint got no fight with no Viet Cong.” It cost him several years of his prime to do what he thought was right. He didn’t just say it, he lived it. Yeah, he was my GOAT. Pretty rarified air up that high on the mountaintop.

GOATs also generally have certain standards that they have to live up to. That means championships and carrying teams on their backs when needed. That makes me think of 2 GOATS,  Michael Jordan in basketball and Herschel in college football.

Michael won championship after championship and sometimes carried the team when he had to. He also made clutch shots when needed. Ask Craig Ehlo and the 1989 Cleveland Cavaliers.

Herschel on the other hand had a much shorter career but burst on the scene like an Atomic Bomb. Whether it was stomping on Bill Bate’s chest in the opening game of the 1980 season or routinely running away from 180-190 lb DBs.

Herschel made the 1980 Georgia Bulldogs. They absolutely don’t win the national championship without him. “MY GOD A FRESHMAN” were the words of the GOAT of all college football announcers, Larry Munson.

So how in the heck could we think some tight end of all people could be a GOAT? Because he is. Brock Bowers is simply the best tight end to ever play college football.

Sure, there is a crowded room with the likes of Tony Gonzalez, Kyle Pitts, Keith Jackson, and others. But Brock just has something different. He has been tabbed as “generational” by pundits and he is one of the reasons the Dawgs are back-to-back National Champions and going for “3 in 23”.

Has he had to carry a team, no. Would the team win without him, probably. But the guy comes to work every day, does his job, and outworks everyone. Kirby calls him a “machine.”

Bowers is out of Napa, California. His game highlights tape included videos of him running up and down the California hills. The Georgia staff was impressed. They offered, and Brock thought he’d look great in Red and Black. The rest is history.

The 6’4” 240lb tight end made a mark the first week he was on campus. Especially when he began running away from DBs in practice on one of the best defenses ever in college football.

By the season opener it was apparent that he was special. That chiseled frame moved along at a 4.5 40 clip. He was one of the fastest dawgs right out of the gate.

Brock’s 2021 season was amazing. He racked up 56 receptions for 882 yards for a 15.8 avg. and 13 TDs.

Add to that, 4 carries for 56 yards and another touchdown.

In 2022, he was just as good if not better. As a focal point of the offense, he was often double teamed and bracketed by DBs and LBs.

It didn’t matter. Sixty-three catches for 942 yards. A 15.0 avg and 7 TDS. Nine carries for 109 yards and 3 TDS. And let’s not forget that the man blocks like a maniac.  He won the John Mackey award as the best TE in the nation along with first team everything! The pro scouts are drooling.

Barring injury, 2023 will be a repeat and then most likely it’s on to the NFL where many have him listed as the number two overall player in college football behind only last year’s Heisman winner Caleb Williams.

Enjoy this year Georgia fans and make sure you appreciate what you have in number 19. Throw in his ‘team first’ attitude and first guy in and last guy out of the football facility at Georgia and it’s easy to spell his name. Brock Bowers is the GOAT.