Category Archives: Georgia Bulldogs
Georgia Football: Why are we pretending to be surprised by Chris Conley’s performance at the NFL Combine?
Georgia’s offense reached new highs over the past four seasons. Over that same time period, no player accounted for more receiving yards than Chris Conley. So why the hell are we pretending to be stunned by his athleticism?
He ran a 4.35 at the combine—that’s damn fast. He jumped a million inches on the broad jump. He set a combine record on the vertical. Perhaps from a testing standpoint, he surpassed what was expected. But are we really floored that the most productive receiver in one of the most prolific offenses in the country is athletic?
The guy stood out in run-heavy offense. That’s hard to do. He did it against the nation’s best competition. That’s even harder to do. He did it in surprisingly sexy ways. Again, harder still to do.
Consider the following about Chris Conley:
- He averaged 16.6 yards per catch over the course of his four year career. For reference (not for comparison), A.J. Green averaged 15.8 yards per catch as a Bulldog.
- He caught a touchdown pass once every 5.85 receptions. Green scored once every 7.22 receptions.
- As a senior, Conley averaged 18.3 yards per reception while catching 36 passes. Only one other Bulldog in the last 20 years (Tavarres King in 2011) posted a YPC figure in excess of 18 while also hauling in 35 or more passes. Of note: Over that time frame 31 Bulldogs hauled in 35 or more receptions in a single season and failed to surpass 18 yards per catch.
- More than 76% of Conley’s 117 career receptions resulted in a first down or a touchdown. That’s just stupid. He was above the team average by such a measure each and every season.
- Last year, 77.8% of Conley’s receptions moved the chains or put points on the board. For the rest of the team, that number was 67.4%.
- Each of Chris Conley’s final 15 collegiate receptions resulted in a first down or a touchdown.
- Conley was an animal on late downs. He hauled in 29 career passes on third or fourth down. All but two resulted in a first down or score. Those 27 chain-moving or point-scoring receptions resulted in an average gain of 18.11 yards. The average amount of yardage needed: 6.04.
What part of these facts implies that Conley is anything other than a gamer?
Further, think about what you know about Chris Conley. He commits to mastering everything he does. He graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA. He recorded a 3.0 or higher in each academic term at Georgia and collected a cumulative GPA of 3.32. He won Georgia’s Sportsmanship and Ethics Award. He sat on the NCAA’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. His Star Wars fan film has nearly 500,000 views on YouTube and is almost Hollywood-ready.
Why would a guy who clearly has athleticism (see numbers above), an impeccable work ethic and a history of performing his best in the biggest moments not do well at the Combine?
Read more of my thoughts on Conley here.
That’s all I got/
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By now, you’ve probably heard about Georgia’s 2016 opener, the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff game here in the beautiful A-T-L. Longtime readers/podcast subscribers will recall that I have split loyalties, as I hold a degree from North Carolina as well as Georgia. I knew the day would again come where the two schools would play (as they haven’t in 45 years), but September 3, 2016 is just too soon for me.
As this is a predominately Georgia site (duh) I will try my best to preview the Heels from a Bulldog perspective.
1) A little historical tie between the two programs: Sanford Stadium and Kenan Stadium share the same architect, T.C. Atwood. Kenan was opened in 1927, two years before Sanford. The base structures and footprints of the stadia are the same, both even located centrally on campus. Obviously, Sanford is the larger and more notable stadium now, but the ‘Between the Hedges’ touch of Sanford was modeled after UNC’s Kenan.
2) You have to go back to 1971 to find the last time the Heels and the Dawgs squared off, as they did so in the Gator Bowl. The head coaches for that game? Brothers Bill and Vince Dooley. Georgia holds a 16-12-2 all-time advantage in the series.
3) 18 months is WAY too much time to know what this matchup will look like personnel-wise, but a little primer on what UNC brings to the table:
– A hurry-up-no-huddle offense that will score points in the blink of an eye, but will as rapidly produce a lot of three-and-outs. Carolina was in the top 10 in plays per game in 2014, which underscores…
– …Just how bad the defense was this past year. You would think a bad defense would limit the number of plays an offense could run, but the Heels gave up points so fast that they still ran 77 plays a game. Remarkable, really.
– In an effort to fix the D, Carolina hired former Auburn coach Gene Chizik as the new defensive coordinator. Chizik plans to shift the Heels back to a 4-3 base.
4) Nick Chubb should still be in a Georgia uniform. As should Lorenzo Carter. Never a bad thing.
5) It goes without saying, but I’ll say it: the tailgate I put together is going to be the stuff of legend. Come one, come all, get me heavily sedated for this thing.
6) The Labor Day slate for 2016 is RIDICULOUS. In addition to this game, which seems to be set on the 4pm timeslot based on the past few years, you have: Clemson at Auburn, Alabama/USC (the real one) in JerryWorld, LSU/Wisconsin from Lambeau Field, UCLA at Texas A&M, and Notre Dame at Texas. Hopefully UNC boosts its profile in 2016 and makes this one matter, nationally, as much as those. I don’t like the odds of that.
If this were the 2015 opener, one would have to think its a 15-20 point Georgia win, even with the Dawgs breaking in a new quarterback. North Carolina has not yet shown under Larry Fedora that it is the type of program that should remotely compete with the SEC’s upper echelon. A good season under a revamped Chizik defense could make this matchup a LOT more intriguing as we count down to 2016.
Georgia Football: Brice Ramsey Stepping Up, Reggie Carter Doin’ Thangs and Other Spring Expectations
I’m looking early at Spring Practice.
Today I highlighted five players with the most to gain this spring, they are (by my estimation):
- Brice Ramsey: Owning QB1 is a thing. Right now we don’t know if Ramsey is going to be Matt Saracen closing his eyes and heaving a pass or Matt Saracen insisting “my eyes weren’t closed, coach.” Let’s see who this dude is.
- Keith Marshall: The former star has three options: a. Ball out as a part of the offense over the next two years. b. Ball so hard pro scouts wanna find him after this season. 3. Fade away. There’s not a lot of middle ground. Let’s see if this guy can get it back from a health and confidence standpoint. The athletic gifts are still there.
- Reggie Carter: Don’t forget, this guy almost beat out Ramik Wilson heading into the 2013 season and injuries may have been a factor in that falling through. Just imagine, if Carter wins that starting spot Wilson never becomes the too-early darling of mock drafts (he was mocked as a first-rounder this time last year) and wouldn’t have fallen from grace with a somewhat average 2014 campaign.
- Aaron Davis: Walk-on to Shutdown. 30 for 30. What if I told you…
- Anybody at Center: Seriously. I don’t care if it’s Justin Scott-Wesley. Let’s just nail down this position heading into the summer and move ahead.
Read more here.
That’s all I got/
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Marquez Callaway – ☆☆☆☆
#55 Overall; #3 ATH; #7 in GA
Warner Robins (Warner Robins, GA) ATH
Check out his highlights HERE.
Marquez Callaway is an elite athlete in the class of 2016. I said back in the fall that Callaway would without a doubt be ranked in the top-100 once 2015 rolled around, and sure enough, that’s where he sits on Rivals, 247 Sports, and ESPN. He has the skills to play wide receiver or defensive back for pretty much any school, but I really see him playing receiver at the next level. Marquez can go up and get the ball as well as any receiver I’ve seen in this 2016 class. He also possesses tremendous speed (sub 4.5), and great vision when he has the ball in his hands. He is certainly a player to keep an eye on throughout the next year, and one I fully expect the Dawgs to make a main priority.
Monday night, I had a chance to catch up with Marquez and get the inside scoop on where things stand with his recruitment. First off, let me say that I left my conversation with Marquez very impressed. He has a good head on his shoulder, and you can tell immediately that he is a very polite, very humble young man. Whichever school lands him will not only be getting a great talent, but also a tremendous individual.
Johnny Sanders: I know you don’t have a firm leader yet, but could you tell me what teams you have at the top of your list?
Marquez Callaway: Georgia, Tennessee, Florida State, Notre Dame, South Carolina, and Auburn
JS: Where is Georgia telling you that they’d like you to play?
Callaway: They want me to play safety for them, but they told me that if I wanted to play receiver, I can play receiver.
JS: Do you have a feeling of what position you would like to play?
Callaway: Yeah, I want to play receiver.
JS: You mentioned Auburn as one of your top schools. What would you say stands out about the Tigers?
Callaway: I have a good friend, Jeff Whitaker, that went to Auburn and played, and he told me lots of things about the school, and now that I’ve looked at the school, I see that everything he told me was right. So, I know if he says it’s a great school, it’s a great school.
JS: What would you say stands out about Georgia?
Callaway: The location. It’s not too far from home, and all the coaches seem like they have great personalities. I really like the people there.
JS: What are going to be the biggest factors for you when you make your decision?
Callaway: I think that it’s going to come down to if we’re all on the same page. Like, if they respect what I want, and I’m going to respect wherever I go. So, it’s going to come down to whether or not they’re going to respect me for me.
JS: What coaches are recruiting you right now for Georgia?
Callaway: Coach Lilly and Coach Richt both talk to me.
JS: I guess you’ve seen the news now about Coach McClendon becoming the receivers coach and Coach Brown coming in to coach the running backs. Have you gotten a chance to meet Coach McClendon or talk to him?
Callaway: No, I haven’t met him yet. But I plan on it.
JS: What about Georgia do you like outside of football?
Callaway: This past year, I had a couple of good friends that graduated from my high school, and they’re attending UGA now. They tell me how fun it is outside of football and how they all have a good time.
JS: Do you have any friends on the football team at Georgia or anyone that’s coming in?
Callaway: I don’t know anyone on the team, but I have a good friend, Rashad [Roundtree] who’s going there next year.
JS: What school do your parents like best so far?
Callaway: To be honest, I think my mom likes Auburn and Georgia, but I don’t know about my dad. He just goes along with her.
JS: With the major need that UGA has for wide receivers and defensive backs, will that affect you at all knowing that there’s a good chance you can come in and play early?
Callaway: That’s going to be my main question I’m going to ask them, so I can find out if they’re really going to play me.
JS: You mentioned that you want to play receiver, and obviously the big talent that is going to attract guys to Georgia for the next couple of years is quarterback, Jacob Eason. Is he factoring into your decision at all, and do you ever talk to him?
Callaway: I met him one time at a camp we were at together, the Under Armour All-American camp, and I didn’t really talk to him. I just saw him, and he saw me, but he probably didn’t really notice anything about me, and I didn’t notice anything about him, so we just kept the distance.
JS: Have you been in contact with him at all?
Callaway: Oh, no. I don’t think he knows me.
JS: What did you think after watching his film?
Callaway: I wish he could throw to me.
JS: Some quick hits: Who has the nicest facilities?
JS: The best game environment?
Callaway: Probably Florida when they played LSU.
JS: The best college town?
Callaway: Probably Auburn.
JS: When are you planning on getting down to Athens next?
Callaway: I’m not quite sure. I’m going to try to make it to some junior days, but we’re still in basketball season. We made it to the state playoffs. So we have some basketball games on some of the junior days. I do plan on being at Georgia in the summer for Dawg Night.
JS: Do you have a date set that you want to commit? Or do you know when you at least want to narrow down your list?
Callaway: I’m probably going to drag it out to signing day. I haven’t visited all the colleges I want to, but after I visit all the ones I want to, I’ll probably narrow my list down.
JS: Where would you say Georgia’s chances are compared to other schools?
Callaway: Georgia is on my mind. The Dawgs are on my mind
***Rankings from 247 Sports Composite
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Jonathan Follow @johnnysanders