Justin Fields

The Heisman Race

By: Kenneth Harrison

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Normally this time of year means the college football regular season is almost over.

Due to the pandemic, the season was delayed for several conferences like the Big Ten and Pac 12. I’m going to take a look at the top five Heisman Trophy candidates.

Kyle Trask/ Florida: I feel like he should be the hands down favorite at this point. It’s hard to believe this guy was sitting on the bench behind Feleipe Franks.

Earlier in the season I said he’s this year’s Joe Burrow. I don’t think anybody can match Burrow’s video game like stats from 2019 but I’m talking about the drastic improvement he made. Also, both of them were not expected to play at that level going into their final season.

They have had the LSU game postponed due to several players on the team having COVID. I hope that game can get played in December so Trask can play the maximum amount of games.

He led the Gators to a win over No. 5 Georgia that they desperately needed. The defense is not very good, so they basically have to outscore their opponents. Trask is basically good for at least four passing TD’s every game.

Trevor Lawrence/ Clemson: He’s the clear consensus as the best quarterback and number one pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.

Unfortunately, he had COVID and had to miss two games.

One of them was at No. 4 Notre Dame and that could have been his Heisman moment.

The Tigers like to run the ball with All-American running back Travis Etienne so that takes away from Lawrence’s stats.

If he plays well against Notre Dame in the ACC Championship that could catapult him to the top of the Heisman list.

Travis Etienne/ Clemson: I know this has become a quarterback award but he really deserves consideration.

He’s a true dual threat running back and his number are very good.

Mac Jones/ Alabama: He has the Crimson Tide undefeated (6-0) and he’s playing very well. Jones has thrown for 2,196 yards (8th), 16 TD’s (tied-13th), 2 interceptions with a 95.6 QBR (2nd).

He’s on the best team and I think Bama will finish undefeated. His stats are impressive because Alabama is another team that likes to run the ball. Najee Harris has over 700 yards rushing.

The LSU game has been postponed due to a Coronavirus outbreak in the program. We don’t know if that game will actually get played but that would be an easy win for Bama.

The only challenge should be against Florida in the SEC Championship.

Justin Fields/ Ohio State: The Buckeyes have only played three games because the Big Ten started the season late and the Maryland game was canceled.

Fields only has 7 games to make a case as the best player.

College Football Trade Deadline

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

An all too frequent headline in college football today is player x from named institution has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal.

Listed Below are the rules according to the NCAA pulled from their website:

Transfer Process:

Academic year in residence: Under the basic transfer regulations, you must spend an academic year in residence at the school to which you are transferring.

If you transfer from a four-year college to an NCAA school, you must complete one academic year in residence at the new school before you can play for or receive travel expenses from the new school, unless you qualify for a transfer exception or waiver.

To satisfy an academic year in residence, you must be enrolled in and successfully complete a full-time program of studies for two-full semesters or three-full quarters. Summer school terms and part-time enrollment do not count toward fulfilling an academic year in residence.

Exception: If you meet a legislated exception, it means a specific regulation will not apply to you.

The school to which you are transferring determines whether you are eligible and has the authority to apply exceptions.

One-time transfer exception: If you transfer from a four-year school, you may be immediately eligible to compete at your new school if you meet ALL the following conditions:

You are academically and athletically eligible at your previous four-year school.

You receive a transfer-release agreement from your previous four-year school.

Waiver: An action that sets aside an NCAA rule because a specific, extraordinary circumstance prevents you from meeting the rule. An NCAA school may file a waiver on your behalf; you cannot file a waiver for yourself. The school does not administer the waiver, the conference office or NCAA does.

After you digest the rules it seems simple right? That’s where the lawyers come in and that’s where the NCAA has lost total control of the entire process.


What extraordinary circumstance allowed Justin Fields to be ruled immediately eligible at Ohio State?

Did the NCAA deem Fields was mentally scarred because of his botched fake punt attempt at UGA last fall with the SEC Title game hanging in the balance?

Yes, we all know OSU’s quarterback from last year now plays for the Washington Redskins.

Why wasn’t Jacob Eason granted immediate eligibility at Washington after he left UGA last season?

Former UGA TE Luke Ford was denied immediate eligibility at Illinois because he wanted to be closer to a sick relative. Are you kidding me NCAA?

Former Auburn QB Malik Willis transferred to Liberty University. He was waiting for a ruling on his eligibility from the NCAA.

Liberty learned this week that Willis’s appeal had been denied. Really NCAA? Was Liberty a threat to make the College Football Playoff this fall, or are you still mad at Hugh Freeze for breaking the rules at Ole Miss?

GT head coach Geoff Collins blasted NCAA’s decision not to grant former Florida defensive end Antonneous Clayton immediate eligibility at Tech saying that the NCAA does not have the best interest of the student athlete in mind.

Well coach the NCAA seems to have Ohio State’s best interests in mind and apparently not the best interests of student athletes who want to attend GT, Washington, Illinois, or Liberty.

The NCAA created this mess, and now it is time for them to clean it up, or have they allowed free agency to settle in for college football?

Maybe it’s a coin flip by the NCAA to determine eligibility and Ohio State adopted the tails never fails policy to get Fields cleared to play. You just never know.

Maybe put Jake Fromm in charge of the portal after he is done at UGA. He created a lot of this mess by winning the UGA QB job, or mandate NCAA member institutions to not post depth charts until 24 hours before the first scheduled game each season.

Fix this mess NCAA, your exceptions are not consistent. Where you stand on a college football depth chart is not an extraordinary circumstance.

At this rate college football will have an October 15th trading deadline in the next 10-15 years.

Jason Bishop Show With Kipp Branch February 16

Jason Bishop Show With Kipp Branch February 16


The New Trick Dawgs

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

I know many of you Dawg lifers like me are wondering if last year was a fluke.

Let me ease your mind and tell you all that UGA, under Kirby Smart, will be in position to compete for National Championships for years to come.

Georgia just hauled in the best recruiting class in the nation during the last cycle and has five 5-star recruits committed for the next cycle so the talent pool is as deep as it has ever been in Athens, Georgia with top talent at every position on the two-deep roster.

At QB, Jake Fromm is the starter after that fantastic freshman season last fall that came a blown coverage away from a Natty. Fromm will be a starting NFL QB one day and then you have a once in a generation talent in Justin Fields that UGA will have to figure out ways to get in the game in special packages that will make opposing defensive coordinators binge eat at night trying to keep their jobs.

UGA is running back U. Sony and Chubb are gone but Swift, White and Cook to the rescue. Oh yeah, Georgia still has Holyfield too. This is a nasty sick positional group.

Now that UGA has a head coach that knows how to recruit offensive lineman, the run game looks unstoppable. D’Andre Swift may be in Heisman discussions in October. Wow, I left out Brian Herrien.

Where’s the beef? That used to be the question, but not anymore. Sam Pittman may the best offensive line coach in the business. Andrew Thomas moves to LT, Kendall Baker, Lamont Galliard, Ben Cleveland, and stud recruits coming in like Jamaree Salyer, and Cade Mays make this group a team strength. UGA has recruited this position well and has quality SEC depth in place now.

Terry Godwin leads a talented WR group. Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley and if transfer Demetris Robinson can get a favorable hardship ruling from the NCAA then this unit will be the best UGA has had in a long time.

Isaac Nauta looks to play a huge role at TE this season. Watch out for newcomer Kearis Jackson.

The Dawgs are going to need more production in the passing game this fall. Yeah, I know that sounds like I’m looking for something to be critical about but better balance makes this offense almost unstoppable.

On defense, UGA lost 6 out of its top 7 tacklers in 2017. Am I worried? No, I am not because talent is ready to step in.

On the defensive line, look for Tyler Clark to have a big season. Notre Dame Transfer Jay Hayes will provide depth. Jonathan Ledbetter will clog the middle. Oh yeah, I almost forgot Julien Rochester.

UGA lost some awesome linebackers from last season. Get ready to hear the name Monty Rice who will step in and be the next all conference LB for UGA. Natrez Patrick has all-American potential on the inside if he can get his head straight. Walter Grant, D’Andre Walker, and newcomers Brenton Cox and Adam Anderson make for a deep and talented unit but very young.

Georgia could be special at DB. Deandre Baker is the best corner in the country. J. R. Reed could make many All-America teams. Richard LeCounte is a potential superstar at safety, William Poole, Tyrique McGee and some talented others provide depth. Watch out for incoming freshman Tyson Campbell at CB.

Mecole Hardman could end of being the best kick returner in the SEC. Rod Blankenship will be the best FG kicker in the conference. Punter will sort itself out in fall camp.

Road games at LSU, South Carolina and Missouri will be tough. Auburn at home in November will not be easy. Florida and Tennessee are still a year or two away.

Georgia wins the East with an 11-1 record and plays Alabama for the SEC title and playoff berth. This team could go 12-0, but will slip up against someone in the rugged SEC.

Enjoy this ride Dawg fans. You have suffered long enough. In Kirby we trust. Georgia begins the season ranked #4 in the first coach’s poll just released.

Dawgs’ New Tricks

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Gone are Sony Michel, Nick Chubb and Roquan Smith, Georgia’s best three players. All three will find themselves in the NFL very soon.

Despite losing those key pieces from last year’s run at a National Title, there are some familiar faces returning to the Georgia Bulldogs that were put on display during the annual Spring Game in Athens, G-Day.

Georgia fans will get to watch Jake Fromm return at QB, D’Andre Swift come back as the featured tail back in the 2018 season. UGA faithful will also get to see newcomers like Justin Fields, the number one QB in the country at the high school ranks last season.

Coach Kirby Smart took his team through the dog walk leading into Sanford Stadium to begin one of the most anticipated seasons in Georgia Football history and it all starts with G-Day.

A crowd of over 80,000 showed up to watch the Bulldogs spring scrimmage. In the game the Black team defeated Red team 21-13.

The Black team opened the scoring with a Deandre Baker pick-6 of Jake Fromm. A good sign from UGA’s secondary as most are predicting it will be the weak link for the Bulldogs in 2018.

Justin Fields was put in display for the fan base to see and he did not disappoint. Fields went 18-33 for 207 yards and a TD. He also did throw an interception.

Jake Fromm also put up decent numbers, going 19-38 for 200 yards and a TD. Fromm did end up throwing two interceptions.

Former Pierce County QB Stetson Bennett also out together an eight-play drive that covered 64 yards and ended with 3 points.

Georgia LB, Monty Smith had a great day. Smith ended up with 14 tackles and a sack. Smith will have big shoes to fill as most expect him to replace Roquan Smith at LB.

Overall, the Georgia defense had 4 interceptions. Baker, Richard LeCounte, William Poole and KJ Smith each intercepted a pass. The secondary will need to continue to be that opportunistic when the season starts on September 1.

The Bulldogs will open against Austin Peay at Sanford Stadium. Georgia will have to go to South Carolina on September 8th, host Tennessee on November 29th, go to LSU on October 13th, travel to Jacksonville to take on the Gators on October 27th, host Auburn on November 10th and then close the regular season out with in state rival, Georgia Tech coming to Athens.

The Bulldogs will also be looking for some help at WR. Coach Smart noted the wide receiver corps had a ton of drops in the Spring Game. Terry Godwin and Calvin Ridley look to step up for Georgia in those roles.

Georgia will still be tough to beat in the SEC East and I look for this team to at least make a return trip the SEC Title Game.


The Game July 8

The Game July 8

Smart Recruiting

By: Christian Goeckel

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

As our access to recruiting information continues to grow, so does our tendency to overreact. A lot of dawg fans are worried about the lack of action in Georgia’s 2018 class.

With only seven commits thus far, only one of which is in the top 300, the worry is building. Well Georgia fans, take a deep breath and relax. You know who else has started off slow? Alabama and the perennial number one ranked recruiting class.

Top recruits typically like to wait until their season at least kicks off, so the lack of movement isn’t anything to be concerned by.

The signing of the nation’s number one back, Zamir White, was a huge get for Kirby Smart and the Dawgs and should do a ton to quell the tide of negativity.

White is just the start of what should be another great class for Georgia. Today we take a look at the top 5 dream prospects for this year’s class.

Justin Fields (Dual #1) / Matt Corral (Pro #1): Georgia hasn’t had consistent quarterback play since the final days of Aaron Murray. Kirby Smart is doing his best to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

With the signings of Jacob Eason and Jake Fromm in back-to-back years, Georgia is set at the position for the next four years, but becoming complacent in recruiting during those years can be devastating.

With the signing or either Fields or Corral, Georgia’s QB depth chart would become elite. Fields represents the higher rated prospect with his versatility and maturity. While Corral is more of what UGA traditionally sees as their style of quarterback. Either one would put Georgia in a great spot heading into the future.

Projection: Fields – Fla St 50%, UF 30%, UGA 20%

Corral- UGA 90%, UF 10%

Jamaree Salyer (OG #1) : The offensive line was a huge problem for Georgia in 2016. Lack of depth and experience cost Georgia greatly.

The dawgs did a great job of addressing the problems in the 2017 class with signings like Isaiah Wilson and Andrew Thomas. Salyer would be another top notch offensive lineman to add to a unit that could become UGA’s strength with Coach Sam Pittman at the helm.

Projection: UGA 80%, Clemson 20%

Tyreke Johnson (S #2) : The “No Fly Zone” between the hedges is well in effect. Senior Dominick Sanders is a ball hawk with 12 career interceptions. Incoming freshmen Richard LeCounte and DeAngelo Gibbs should be able to fill the void Sander will leave after this year, but the SEC is all about depth.

Tyreke Johnson is just the guy to add to what could be a truly dominant secondary. He is big at 6’1 190 and would be a great fit at the strong safety spot, stepping up to the line or dropping back into coverage. His range is what makes him a must have safety.

Projection: UGA 70%, Fla St 20%, UF 10%

Kearis Jackson (WR #21) : It’s no secret that Georgia’s passing game has struggled these past few years and a good amount of the blame falls on the quarterback position. However, not all the blame can be placed on the guys under center. They need someone to throw to after all.

There hasn’t been a real go to wide out in Athens since Chris Conley. Kearis Jackson wants to be that dude. A hard UGA lean, Jackson has a build like Anquan Boldin and the ability to match. He can play the X,Y, or Z spot from day one.

Projection: UGA 100%, others need not apply.

James Cook (RB #3) : Can you say thunder and lightning? If Cook and Zamir White were both to commit to Georgia, the dawgs would have a future backfield comparable to the current Michel/Chubb combo.

A firm Florida State commit, Cook shocked everyone last week when he backed out of his commitment to the Noles. Georgia has emerged as the favorite. Need a player comparison for his style of play?

Look no further than his older brother, Dalvin Cook. Yeah, the guy who torched college football for three years and was the first round pick of the Vikings. If Georgia was able to complete the flip it would signal the arrival of Kirby Smart as the nation’s best recruiter not named Nick Saban.

Projection: UGA 60%, Fla State 20%, Bama 20%