Joe Delaney

It’s A Gimme

By: Joe Delaney news services

Glynn Academy Golf has long been a perennial power in the state.

And while it’s been over a decade since the Glynn Academy Boys Golf team has won a state championship, it couldn’t have been soon enough for Mike Zito and the Senior laden 2023 Red Terror outfit.

Meanwhile over on the ladies’ side, the very young Lady Terrors of Kip Hall waltzed through the AAAAAA tournament again to become back-to-back state champs for 2023.

With the old adage of age before beauty, let’s take a look at the boy’s side today.

The Glynn boys have won multiple state championships in Golf. The lineage goes back decades with great teams and great individuals.

However, as talented as Glynn has been, 2011 was the last time they had hoisted the trophy as the best team in the region and state.

I got to sit down and talk with coach Mike Zito about this year’s outfit and how the 2023 Glynn outfit was different.

Mike has headed the Red Terrors for the past decade and he has had teams as talented as this one. He will tell you that. Some very good players have come through the old school down on the south side of Brunswick. But the recurring theme of our conversation was that this team “jelled” at the right time.

He spoke of how it wasn’t easy with this group. They had ups and downs throughout the early part of the season. Some of it being injuries. Try a broken leg to one of your best players! And some of it was just young men being young men!

Through it all, Zito said these guys never lost sight of the team and the prize. And about a month before the state tournament, they jelled. They became a senior led team, which wanted it.

The result was 5 shot win for the Terrors and Red Terror Williamson Mosher taking home the individual title with an outstanding -3 (141). It was Coach Zito’s first title and a week later he was still smiling ear to ear.

“These guys were a close-knit bunch and jelled at the right time.” He said. In the weeks leading up to the tournament it was all business. The maturity and realization that it was the last shot time hit home for the boys and they responded. Let’s take a look at the 2023 State Champs and how they fared in the tournament.

I guess we should start with Williamson Mosher, who led the Terrors and won the individual trophy. His 141 over two days in subpar weather carried the Terrors. Zito noted his overall game and focus. “When he’s on, he’s just tough to beat.” And he was on!

The leading junior on the team, Hank Holcomb, finished tied for fourth at 147. Coach Zito mentioned that he was the team’s most consistent ball striker and had that “confidence in his game.” He will be back to lead the 2024 outfit.

Seniors Shep Davenport and Ellis Long rounded out scoring with a 151 and 158, respectively. Zito said Davenport had “all the shots and was uber competitive.”

While Long was “long off the tee with a great short game and demeanor.

Senior Grady Sanders, who was 3 months removed from breaking his leg in a car accident, shot a 159. Before his accident, Grady was maybe the team’s best player. It was a testament to the team concept that he fought his way back and contributed.

Seniors Michael Cook and Walker Larkin provided the depth needed and were integral members of the team.

Drew Harrison and Hayden Couturier were the young guns, having recently picked up the game and Zito spoke of how they all had steadily improved during the year, were consummate team players, and their best golf being in front of them.

Back for another shot next year are Juniors Chris Reddini and Jake Dancy, whom Coach Zito said worked hard and their time is coming.

He’s looking for them and Hank Holcomb to step up and fill some big shoes next year. I can’t express how proud Coach Zito was of these young guys and who they were and what they had accomplished.

He mentioned that ALL of the seniors would be heading to the University of Georgia next year with the exception of Ellis Long, who will head to Harvard.

Next year’s Terrors will be talented and young. But with Tim Hall churning out players from the Junior Varsity and the returning core, Zito is excited about the future.

But today, lets enjoy what these guys and this team accomplished.


And next issue we get to look at the burgeoning dynasty that is Glynn Academy Girls Golf.

Farewell, George

By: Joe Delaney news services

It’s been an incredible time of ups and downs recently.

This world has lost some fine people; Vince Dooley, Charley Trippi, Mike Leach, Devin Willock, and Chandler LeCroy all in just the last 3 months. Just a crazy time.

But to me, this one hurt worse than anything. We recently lost the great George Rose.

Not only was he one of the top athletes to come out of South Georgia EVER, but he was one of the nicest and most genuine people you would ever want to meet.

Throughout our latter time together whenever we saw each other it was……….” Hey Coach!!!!!”  “Hey Joe!! How’s Kim doing?” The guy was just solid gold.

When I learned of his passing it brought tears to my eyes. He was my coach but through everything he was my friend.

If you know anything about Glynn Academy Red Terror football, then you know who George Rose was. I’m not going to list everything here that he accomplished as a player at Glynn, Auburn and the NFL. It would take up the whole column and more.

Just a few superlatives were, he was a team captain at Glynn, and Auburn. He was the 34th overall pick in the NFL draft and played for Minnesota, New Orleans and San Francisco. He gave up ONE pass completion in his senior year at Auburn as a defensive back, ONE! He was that damn good and just purely fast as hell.

After the pros he came back to Glynn County and coached the Red Terrors during my senior year. I played QB that year for the first time and the truth be told I was pretty good and terrible. George got handed a mediocre bunch of Jimmys and Joes with a few good players sprinkled in that year.

But we worked hard and had a lot of fun. I remember one day at the end of practice we were doing extra passing drills and were all needling coach about playing DB and got him to go over and cover a couple of guys.

We were all laughing and having a good time and I went over to the receivers’ line and got lined up with George and he started laughing. I said come on Coach I’m gonna burn you! Well, I looked over at Coach Hudson, who was throwing and nodded my head. Coach Hudson goes “HUT ONE” and I take off……. huh wait a second……. I take one step and all of a sudden, I’m looking at the sky on my back. I don’t think they called it bump and run back then but I guess I’d call it bump and dump because I didn’t run anywhere!

Next thing I know George is looking down at me laughing, Coach Hudson is about to fall out laughing and next thing you know I’m laughing with everyone else.

I’d love to say we won all the close games and had a great year, but we didn’t. But what we did do was get better. Our last game of the year was against Brunswick High and they were the sub region champs and everyone from Murray Poole to my 12-year-old little brother said they were going to beat the snot out of us. And probably badly.

Well, between George, Marvin Hurst, Herman Hudson and the other coaches, they got us ready.

We beat the Pirates 26-21 at old Lanier Field in front of a standing room only crowd, coming from behind in the fourth quarter. We were the city champs.

After the game I went over to George and hugged him and told him thanks for everything he had done for us that year. He looked me straight in the eyes, smiled and said “Joe you played your best game tonight.” I’ll never forget that……. It brought tears to my eyes then……….and it brings tears to my eyes now.

God bless you coach, War Damn Eagle! Rest easy.




By: Joe Delaney news services

SOMETIMES it just all comes together…… For the 2022 Georgia Bulldogs that was the case.

They started the 2022 season ranked third in most polls.  While the Dawgs consistently played winning football throughout the year, they set the stage for a great season beginning on September 3 with a 49-3 pasting of the Oregon Ducks at the Benz in Atlanta.

There’s an old saying “Ducks on the Pond”. Well, the Georgia offense and defense just sat on the bank and picked em off one by one. The country then knew that the Dawgs weren’t back……. they had never left.

With all the talent that had gone off to the NFL, the Dawgs had simply reloaded and Dan Lanning and the Ducks got in the way and got blasted.

From there, it was like Amtrack blowing through Nahunta…… Saturdays throughout the fall the Dawgs would show up. The warning lights would go off, the gates would go down and that Red and Black bullet train would blow through at 60 mph running over anything in its path.

Then, whoosh they were gone. The gates went back up the warning lights went off and all that was left for South Carolina, Auburn, Florida, Tennessee, Tech and the others was a big L……. Only once in the season did the train even slow down.  That was in Missouri and all it taught those Dawgs was to keep going and going FAST.

By the end of the regular season the entire country knew who was number ONE and the Dawgs did too.

It showed again in the SEC championship game when Georgia rolled LSU to the tune of 50-30. BUT……. that great Georgia defense gave up 500 yards passing in the game.

Forget that most of those yards were gotten after the game had been decided. Could the train get derailed in the playoffs?

Well, the one team that could match up talent wise with the Bulldogs got to take their shot on December 31st in the Peach Bowl at the Benz.

Ohio State had talent and a great future NFL quarterback in C. J. Stroud. Combine that with great overall team speed and a chip on their shoulder from getting their butts handed to them by hated rival Michigan and the Buckeyes came in and played flawlessly.

They almost derailed the Athens Express. After Stetson Bennett led the Dawgs back out of a 14-point hole in the fourth quarter, the Dawgs held a slim one-point lead 42-41 scoring with under a minute to play.

From there, the Buckeyes and Mr. Stroud went to work. With a combination of passing and Stroud’s scrambling, the Nuts drove down the field and lined up for a game winning field goal with seconds left. Looked like the train was about to run outta track.

BUT SOMETIMES things just go your way and a duck hooked 50-yard field goal attempt later the Dawgs were headed to Cali and another shot at the Natty.

Everyone knows what happened next. The Dawgs ran all over TCU like they were a Frog on the train track. It was ugly, fast and ruthless. The largest blowout in the CFP ever, 65-7 and it wasn’t that close. The starters were eating chicken wings on the sideline in the fourth quarter.

So back to Athens with another Natty in hand. Time for curtain calls and happy endings…….

BUT SOMETIMES……. This life doesn’t go the way we feel it should. At 2:45 am on Sunday January 15th, mere hours after thousands of Dawgs rejoiced in the streets of Athens with the team, coaches, and staff, 2 players and 2 support staff were involved in a terrible accident in Athens.

It claimed the life of Chandler LeCroy a recruiting staffer and OL Devin Willock. It left Victoria Bowles in serious condition and our own Warren McClendon with less than serious injuries.

The joy throughout the Bulldog Nation quickly turned to sorrow with everyone associated with the program stunned by the turn of events. It was just horrible.

Dawgs everywhere will relish and savor this run with Kirby and the Dawgs but there will always be an asterisk placed on the championship parade of 2023.

Two wonderful young people taken too soon. A stark reminder of what is really important to us all.

SOMETIMES……. It just doesn’t seem fair.  Rest in Peace Devin and Chandler.

Resurrected Terrors

By: Joe Delaney news services

The Glynn Academy Red Terrors went through a 6-5 season in Coach Rocky Hidalgo’s 9th season as the head man at the school.

It was another winning season for Coach Rock and the Terrors, who have made the state playoffs every year during his tenure. However, it was not what the Red Terrors wanted in the form of a region title and deep run in the playoffs.

In my conversation with Coach Rock, it was apparent how very proud of this team he was. Especially how they fought like hell in the first-round loss on the road 18-13 to the second seeded Northside Eagles.

The Brunswick Pirates were bounced out by a fourth seed and the Effingham Rebels were hammered by the three seed from 1-6A. The Red Terrors acquitted themselves well on the road against the Eagles.

They had real chances and only a missed field goal kept them from potentially taking control of the game late in the fourth quarter.

Coach Hidalgo said the game showcased how far this edition of the Terrors had come and how it bodes well for the 2023 season.

While the Terrors will say goodbye to a small core group of seniors led by Tyler Devlin, Hank Noonan and others, they will return a large group of seasoned sophomores and juniors led by the electric Greg Peacock. They all played major roles in the teams’ 2022 success.

Let’s take a quick look back at the 2022 season.

8/19  Glynn at Statesboro. The Red Terrors squeak out an exciting 43-42 win on the road against the Blue Devils to start the season.

8/25  McIntosh Co Academy at Glynn. The Red Terrors make it two in a row, pulling away with a win over the tough Buccaneers; 22-13 at Glynn County Stadium.

9/2  Glynn at Camden County. The Red Terrors take their first loss of the season with an away loss at Chris Gilman Stadium to the 7A Wildcats.

9/8  Creekside (FL) at Glynn. In a pouring monsoon the Red Terrors lose a heartbreaker 21-20 to fall to 2-2.

9/23 Brunswick High at Glynn. The powerful Pirates drop the Terrors to 2-3 on the season with a dominating 55-21 win.

9/28 Effingham County at Glynn. The Terrors fail to bounce back and drop a fourth straight game. The Rebels take it by a 31-14 score. The second loss in the region puts the Terrors in jeopardy of missing the playoffs for the first time under Coach Hidalgo.

10/7  Glynn at South Effingham. The Terrors taste victory again with a 13-9 victory over South Effingham

10/14  Grovetown at Glynn. The Terrors turn it around and level their record at 4-4 with a 46-13 pounding of the Warriors between the bricks.

10/21  Evans at Glynn. In a pivotal region game, the Red Terrors come from behind to take a thrilling 25-22 win over the visiting Knights. Its Senior Night and the Terror Nation shows its appreciation with a great crowd.

11/4  Glynn at Lakeside Evans.  The Terrors win their fourth in a row as the Panthers are declawed 42-20. The Terrors finish out the regular season at 6-4 and head into the playoffs again.

11/11  Glynn at Northside. The Terrors go on the road and put up a great fight against the second seeded Eagles. They have real chances to win the game going tooth and nail with Northside.

In the end a missed field goal and an interception hurt the Terrors and they lose late 18-13. It’s another tough loss that the Terrors couldn’t quite pull out. The Terrors end the year at 6-5.

As I mentioned above, when I talked to Coach Rock you could see how proud he was of this outfit and how they came back and played hard after being 2-4.

They could have folded up and headed home but didn’t. He was very proud of what they had accomplished. They were winners!

Rocky Hidalgo is one of Glynn’s winningest coaches ever. He has region championships and a state championship appearance under his belt.

He has averaged over 8 wins per season in his nine years with the Red Terrors. So, when he says he is looking forward to this sophomore and junior dominated team coming up big next year. I’m all in. Let’s do it Rock!

Georgia Bulldog Legend

By: Joe Delaney news services

Georgia Bulldog fans everywhere were saddened to hear of the passing of the great Charley Trippi this week.

It’s easy to think that yeah, the old dude was pretty good from what we’ve all heard……… Well, think again. Charley Trippi was GREAT. His passing this week at the age of 100 marked the end of a great era in Georgia football.

As a youth on St. Simons MANY years ago, I read about the exploits of Charley as I looked at the history books.

This was mainly to read about our own Lamar “Racehorse” Davis. It was difficult to read anything about the Dawgs of that era and not hear mention of Charley.

My interest in Racehorse came from him coaching me in youth football on St. Simons, alongside the Glynn Academy great Lee Owens.

Racehorse’s son, the late Lamar “Pic” Davis, and I grew up together on St. Simons and we ran around with our own little group of hoodlums. It was a wonderful time to be a kid with about 6000 people on St. Simons.  It was kind of like Mayberry with a beach.

So, Charley was great? As the Georgia Florida game looms upon us consider this. In the 1942 game, the Bulldogs won 75-0 over the Gators. Charley threw a TD pass. He also ran for two more touchdowns and returned an interception for a fourth score. Seen anyone doing that lately? Charley was the man!

In the 1943 Rose Bowl, Charley, Racehorse, 1942 Heisman winner Frank Sinkwich and the Dawgs ran all over the UCLA Bruins in route to a 9-0 win.

Trippi was named the game MVP. The game really wasn’t that close as the Dawgs rolled up 379 yards of offense to the Bruins 157. The Bulldogs hammered out 22 first downs to 4 for UCLA in front of 93,000 fans. The Bulldogs would wait another 75 years to play in the Rose Bowl again.

In 1943 and 1944 Trippi was in the military and returned halfway through the 1945 season. Still, he was named All-SEC and led Georgia to a 20-6 Oil Bowl victory over Tulsa, in which he threw a 54-yard TD and returned a punt 69 yards for another TD. But the best was yet to come.

1946 was Charley’s senior season and the guy went CRAZY. He led Georgia to an undefeated season.

In the season finale against Georgia Tech, he accumulated 544 yards of offense and scored 3 TDs in the 35-7 rout of the Bees.

The Dawgs finished out the season with a 20-10 win over North Carolina. Charley was named the Maxwell Award winner as the best collegiate player in the country and came in second in the Heisman voting to Glenn Davis of Army.

That spring in Athens, Charley played shortstop and outfield for the Diamond Dawgs and hit .475 with 11 home runs in 30 games.

He chose to play football over baseball even with the New York Yankees and other MLB teams lobbying for his services.

The 6’0 186lb Trippi went on to have a stellar career with the Chicago Cardinals of the NFL. Being the number one overall pick, he signed an unbelievable, at the time, $100000 contract with a $25000 signing bonus. The Cardinals got their moneys’ worth.

Charley is in the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

His #62 was retired by the Dawgs. In a fitting tribute, Bear Bryant said “Charley Trippi was the greatest college football I ever saw”. Yes, Charley was THE MAN.

Trippi had a long and wonderful life. He passed away this week in his beloved Athens. Rest in Peace Charley. DAMN GOOD DAWG.

Little Chubby and Malaki

By: Joe Delaney news services

Kinda sounds like a TV or Movie Duo, doesn’t it? Fighting criminals or being superheroes. Well not yet anyway!

But with 6 games in the bag and the season almost half over, the Georgia Bulldogs have come into focus as a definite threat to repeat as National Champs.

Sure, they looked half asleep in the Kent State game and who can blame them.

Then came a trip to Columbia MO. and a wakeup call that said you better be ready every week in the SEC.

But back home in the friendly confines of Sanford Stadium, the Dawgs woke up and hammered the dog crap outta the Auburn Tigers 42-10.

So, as we move forward in the season there are 2 freshmen dawgs that have really stood out. One for the entire year and one who is going to be very difficult to keep off the field moving forward.

Malaki Starks has been a rising star since the first day he walked off the practice field in Athens.  Kirby knew it, Muschamp knew it and anybody close to the program knew it. He is that good.

His amazing interception against the Oregon Ducks and Bo Nix in the opener only let everyone else know how good this guy was. Eight tackles in his first game against the Ducks didn’t hurt either.

Now 6 games into the season the 6’1” 205lb DB from Jefferson, Ga has 25 tackles and 2 interceptions. The second interception, he returned 42 yards against South Carolina.

The 19-year-old freshman was the ESPN #12 ranked overall player in the class of 2022 and looks every bit the part. A rare combination of length, size and speed coupled with superior athleticism put him on the field early.

Look for this guy to be a leader for the Dawgs D for the foreseeable future. He and Kelee Ringo have first round NFL written all over them.

Branson Robinson has taken a little longer to get on the field for the dawgs. Kenny Mcintosh, Kendall Milton and Daijun Edwards have all been ahead of Branson. All three of those guys are also All SEC caliber backs. There is only one ball, so his carries have been limited.  At least until the Auburn game.

He led the Dawgs in rushing against the Tigers and did it in VERY impressive fashion. He ran for 98 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. That’s an 8.2 yard average. And it earned him SEC Freshman of the Week honors.

But more importantly was HOW he did it. The 5’10” 220lb brick with 4.4 speed showed great vision, speed and above all power. He really is Nick 2.0. Wanna know how hard he runs? Ask J.D. Rhym from Auburn. I think his teeth are probably still chattering from his effort to tackle Branson in the fourth quarter.

Branson broke that and 4 or 5 other tackles in the fourth quarter alone. His style mimics that of Nick Chubb and he is just as strong. Robinson bench presses 415lbs, Squats 630lbs and dead lifts 715lbs. He’s coming Dawg fans. It’s just a matter of time.

So, mark my words, Little Chubby might be the best Georgia running back RIGHT NOW.

And GEEZ……… I never even got to Oscar Delp, Bear Alexander, etc etc.

The future is bright in Athens…….GO DAWGS!

Three Amigos

By: Joe Delaney news services

Man, fall is in the air! Football is all over the place. Whether it’s our local high schools, college, or the pros.

But, let’s give it up for the Atlanta Braves. The World Series Wonders are fighting for the NL East title with the Metropolitans and win or lose will be back into playoffs.

The kicker on this is that the Braves have been built the same way Kirby has built the Dawgs. And that’s for the long haul.

The Braves have a guy running the show who has been pulling all the right strings since he came to Atlanta. Alex Anthopoulos came to the Braves in 2017 and was promoted to president of baseball operations in February of 2020.

He is the mastermind behind what is happening to the Braves. Anthopoulos was the guy who reworked the Braves lineup late last season to bring in Adam Duvall, Joc Peterson and Eddie Rosario. I don’t think the Bravos win it all without those moves.

Duvall was steady as a rock. Joc Peterson had half of Truist Park wearing pearl necklaces and ole Eddie was the NLCS MVP. Yeah, Anthopoulos pulled all the right strings last year.

But what about that deal for the long haul? What have you done for us lately, Alex? Well, he has worked on the Braves from the ground up and man this dude doesn’t play around.

The Braves have three of the top overall prospects in the majors now on their roster.

How good are they? Two of them will probably finish 1 and 2 in the rookie of the year voting and the third is a consensus top 10.

We’re talking about Spencer Strider, Michael Harris II, and Vaughn Grissom.  These guys all have greatness written all over them.

Spencer Strider has struck out 200 batters in 132 innings. He carries an 11-5 record as of today. He consistently hits 97-100 on the gun. One of his teammates was asked how he ranked Strider and his reply was “just under deGrom”. Jacob deGrom is a future Hall of Famer.

Spencer Strider is 23 years old. Get used to seeing ladies with black fake moustaches at Truist Park! The guy is becoming his own little cult!

Vaughn Grissom is 21 years old and was brought up by the Braves when Ozzie Albies went down with a fractured foot over the summer.

He skipped AAA ball and came up from AA. With the Braves, he has played sterling defense and is batting .302 with 5 HR and 16 RBI in 34 games. Now with Ozzie out again with a fractured pinky, Grissom will finish out the season at 2B. This guy has a chance to be a great one.

Last but not least of these three amigos is Michael Harris II. He is the odds-on favorite for NL Rookie of the Year.

The amazing thing about that is he only came up to the Braves at the end of May. Harris has solidified center field for the Braves and should be there for the foreseeable future.

He is currently hitting .305 with 18 HR and 59 RBI and 17 SB. He is 21 years old.

Anthopoulos knows his stuff and just signed the rookie Harris to an 8 year 72 million contract.

So, this is how Alex Anthopoulos is building the Braves for the future. And what a future it’s going be. These guys are loaded and now have a lineup that is as good as any in baseball. I think ole Alex is gonna keep it that way. GO BRAVES!


Eagles Shuck Huskers

By: Joe Delaney news services

WOW………. Almost a million and half is how much The University of Nebraska paid Georgia Southern University to come be a sacrificial lamb of a football team in Memorial Stadium in Lincoln Nebraska.

Well, I don’t know if they have Eagles in Nebraska but I can tell you the Cornhuskers don’t want to see the birds from Statesboro again, ANY time soon.

Georgia Southern football took a giant step forward by handing the Cornhuskers a shocking home loss 45-42 earlier in the month.

How shocking? After the game Cornhusker Coach Scott Frost said “we can’t let this divide us” ………. The next morning, he was no longer the coach.  And the school paid him 15 million to leave!

While this Nebraska team might not be feared in college football the way they were in the past. They were prohibitive three touchdown favorites.

I guess everyone wants to know how many yards the Southern option attack rolled up right?  Uhhhhhhh, those days are long gone sports fans. Behind the revamped offense of Clay Helton and the play of QB Kyle Vantrease the Eagles rolled up SIX HUNRED and FORTY TWO yards against the BIG 10 school.

Vantrease, who I wrote about in the season preview was spectacular. He was 37 of 56 for 409 yards and scored the winning touchdown on an 8-yard run with 36 seconds left.

Southern had a great all-around effort on offense with Gerald Green running for 132 yards on only 10 carries and 2 scores and Jalen White added another 85 yards and 2 TDs.

Derwin Burgess led the potent Eagle receiving corp with 12 catches for 119 yards. While the Eagle defense had to fight the bigger Cornhuskers all day and gave up a lot of yards and points, they held at the end and forced a 52-yard field goal attempt that went wide left. The party was on in Statesboro and the visitor’s locker room at Memorial Stadium.

Kudos have to go out to the job Clay Helton has done in a very short period of time at Georgia Southern. That’s a BIG 10 school that the Eagles just took down ON THE ROAD.

First is not the fact that they beat Nebraska……. The deal is they were just better. Nebraska had no answer for the Eagles offense. GSU, actually led most of the game in Lincoln.

It seems that the Eagles have gotten themselves a very good head coach. Clay Helton has coached at the highest level of college football.  Many wondered how he would adjust to the smaller school, smaller budgets and small-town atmosphere of Statesboro, as opposed to the glam of Los Angeles.

Well to see him on the sidelines at the end of the game Saturday you woulda thought that this guy is all in. I did.

It’s a long season and there will be ups and downs for this Eagle team for sure. They face a tough schedule ahead. In my preview of the Eagles last month, I said that after last year’s debacle the Eagle nation needed to have some patience with this squad. I think that still holds true………. but WOW! Just WOW!

High Tide

By: Joe Delaney news services

Why the heck would anyone rank these guys the preseason #1? Let’s see….

They have the consensus #1 collegiate football coach of all time.

They have the returning Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback.

They have the #1 pro prospect on defense who had SEVENTEEN and ONE HALF sacks last year.

They have 4 of the top transfers in the nation in Jahmyr Gibbs [Georgia Tech], Jermaine Burton [Georgia], Eli Ricks [LSU], and Tyler Steen [Vanderbilt].

They have 4 starters back on the O-line and the TE

They have 8 starters back on defense plus the punter and PK.

They have had a “rebuilding” year according to Saban and went 13-2 and lost in the Natty to a once in a lifetime Georgia team.

That’s a lot of ‘they haves’ and I can’t think of any ‘they don’t haves’!

They are the consensus #1 for now and should be next January. Boys and girls this team is built to run the table!

Offensively the Tide will be loaded with the only questions being the tackle spots.

Look for Tyler Steen, the Vandy transfer, to step in at left tackle. He will be a key protecting Bryce Youngs blind spot.

J C Latham has the experience and size, 6’6 325, to excel at right tackle. TE Cameron Latu is back to give defenses fits and the wide receivers will be good. Look for Jermaine Burton to have a big year. And Ja’Corey Brooks won’t be far behind.

At running back, Trey Sanders has waited his turn and will be another load for defenses both running the ball and out of the backfield. This offense averaged 488 years and 40pts per game last year. It will be better with the maturity in the O-line protecting Bryce Young and opening holes for Sanders.

Defensively the Tide has experience and speed! They return 4 of the front 7, including “the man” Will Anderson.  You could write a whole column just on Will.  The 6’4 245 LB is probably the best collegiate player for 2022.  With 4.5 speed and a head hunter’s mentality, Anderson will wreak havoc this year.

Look for DC Pete Golding to find ways to turn Anderson and sophomore phenom Dallas Turner loose. D J Dale anchors a solid defensive line and Henry To’oTo’o is an all-SEC type backer.

This defense ranked 7th overall in the country in total yards given up last year.  They will be better.

The DBs should be bolstered by Eli Ricks and will be solid with Kool-Aid McKinstry, Jordan Battle, and Demarcco Hellams all back.

PK is in good hands with returning SR Will Reichard and punter James Burnip is back also.

One more item for the Tide will be Jahmyr Gibbs returning punts and kickoffs.  He should be outstanding and have a big year.

Schedule wise, the Tide opens with an 11-3 Utah State team and then travels to Texas and former OC Steve Sarkasian.

Those games will show what’s coming to an SEC slate that includes the usual culprits.

There are a couple of tough ones with a revamped LSU, a rising Arkansas, and A&M at home. The only trip up game that I can see, would be at Tennessee.  I Would love to see that one.

Oct 15 at Neyland stadium. A hundred thousand orangenecks! The pomp, the pageantry and SEC football at its best! If the Vols can stay up for 4 quarters, they might make it a game.

Both Bill O’Brien and Pete Golding return as coordinators, which is rare for Bama. That’s a real plus for a team that has just about everything going its way.

Nick Saban said last year was a “rebuilding” year and caught some flack for that. Guess what? Nick don’t lie………I look for the Elephants to stomp everything in their path this coming year.

Maybe Georgia can play with them, maybe Ohio State.  But probably not, I look for the Tide to HAVE IT ALL in 2022.

Ascending Eagles

By: Joe Delaney news services

So many question marks as the Georgia Southern Eagles begin the 2022 season.

With a new coach, a new staff and a revamped offense and defense, these guys may take some time to learn their true identity.

Take into account a very tough schedule that is not going to be conducive to a learning curve and the word in Statesboro may be PATIENCE in 2022.

This team will look like the 21 outfit in uniforms only as Clay Helton will bring a more balanced attack to the Eagles. Coming from the west coast and USC [yeah, THAT USC], Helton will look to mix it up with offensive coordinator Bryan Ellis calling the shots.

It looks like the Eagles will turn to a transfer with experience and RPO ability in Kyle Vantrease at QB. He brings a wealth of experience after transferring from Buffalo. A 6th year graduate transfer, Vantrease started 26 games and threw for 4400 yards and 23 touchdowns with a 61% passing percentage and also rushed for 13 touchdowns. Keeping him healthy will be crucial to success.

The Eagles are well stocked at running back with Gerald Green and Jalen White leading the way. Between the two, they rushed for 9 touchdowns last year. There is depth also at RB.

Receivers are untested and will need to step up to take the strain off teams loading the box on them. One answer to this will be returning tight end Beau Johnson. The 6’ 1” 225lb returning starter should get a lot of looks from Vantrease.

Southern does return 4 of 5 on the o-line and as I type this, they are probably working on pass protection! This should be a good group led by tackle Brian Miller. If they can make the transition from an option attack to a balanced offense, this could be a much more explosive offense moving forward. And that is Clay Helton’s plan.

Kicking and punting should be in capable hands with Alex Raynor back for PATs and FGs and Anthony Beck back at punter. Beck is a good one, averaging 45yds per punt. He punted 64 times last year. Helton and company will hope to reduce that number this year

Defensively, the Eagles have got a lot of work to do. They gave up 31.4 points and 289.5 yards thru the air last year and return only 4 starters off that outfit.

Look for them to improve on this as much of the secondary returns and will be led by safety Anthony Wilson.  He led the team in tackles.

Other returners include stud Justin Ellis at DE, Dillon Springer at DE and Justin Birdsong at DB. Most of the new starters have seen a lot of action and this will be a veteran defense with 7 seniors and 4 juniors. They just have got to step up.  New defensive coordinator Will Harris has a lot to work with.

The schedule is not going to do the Eagles any favors. A September date with the Nebraska Cornhuskers followed by a trip to UAB, then Ball State and at Coastal Carolina………. that’s gonna be tough.

Throw in Georgia State, Louisiana, Marshall, and App State and a break-even scenario starts looking plausible.

Georgia Southern is a great school with a great football tradition. It is moving in the right direction with Clay Helton. It just may take a little while to get there.

Look for the Eagles to be competitive and definitely improve on the 3-9 debacle of last year. If the defense can come on and Vantrease has a great year, the Eagles could surprise a lot of people.

Look for the Eagles to take a big step back to respectability this year and start laying a foundation for the future.