Herschel and Boss bark about Kirby Smart's National Signing Day Press Conference, the Dawgs opening the 2021 season against Clemson in Charlotte, and an update on D'Wan Mathis.
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Georgia and Clemson Future Games
Welcome to the blog, the dogs podcast. I'm Herschel Gurley, here with my co host as always boss, dog boss, Howard people.
Welcome back, everyone. Hope you enjoyed last week's podcast. Today we're gonna talk on topics of the day we're gonna hit on Kirby's national Signing Day press conference, the big news of opening day 2021 gonna be against Clemson Tigers, touch on our conference schedule a little bit going forward for the next 10 to 12 years. And also DWANE Mathis is finally cleared for contact.
Yeah, a lot to talk about today. So let's start off with Kirby's press conference. I know we spoke last time about the recruiting class itself. But when the head ball coach speaks, I feel like it's good to address what he said just because he functions as the CEO of the football program. So when he speaks to the fans, it's kind of like the CEO speaking to the shareholder. So I figured we'd parse that a little bit, some of the things that while there were multiple things that I found interesting about his chat with the media, which was about 20 minutes, I mean, not a lot, not a long time, but I felt like it was enough for him to say some things. I thought it was interesting, and smart, just from a leadership perspective that he kind of out the jump started by thanking everybody involved with the program, not just coaches, but staff members. And I don't mean like strength staff, but all staff members, he made a point to talk about the academic support staff, made a point to talk about the fans made a point to talk about the environment at Notre Dame being a gigantic recruiting tool, and that it seemed to help close the deal with a lot of guys. So I thought that was really interesting. I mean, did you notice that? What were your thoughts on that
I was really happy with the way he appreciated everyone involved with the program, which you don't get that from a lot of coaches, you definitely don't get that at some of the bigger schools, he really seems to get it for lack of a better term, the environment at the Notre Dame game, you know, put this under the lights and then display in the new LED lights. And I mean, it was just a huge atmosphere. I mean, you were there, you could speak to that firsthand, just how different of an atmosphere was versus other other Games in Athens. And I mean, he definitely spoke to the fans and being a big part for this recruiting class. But I mean, also thinking the everyday people, even nutrition staff, the waitstaff, the strengthing, conditioning staff, everything like that, that's a big part of your program, those people get thanked later down the line, but not something as a big as a number one recruiting class.
Yeah, I think it's valuable, because he essentially knows that the product is composed of more than just the football players and the football staff. That's who everybody sees. But there's a lot going on behind closed doors to make sure you know, the kids are getting to class, making sure the school works done on time, making sure they're eating the right things, just a lot of things that go into the program, which you would expect, and I think everybody knows it, but I just thought it was good that he that he mentioned those folks, to your point about the Notre Dame game. I mean, I thought it was electric. I was not at the Auburn game, the blackout game, but I had heard some folks talk that were there that night that there were some similarities. I mean, it was very loud. The LED lights was a whole different animal. I mean, I thought it just, it seemed. And I know the season didn't turn this way. But being there, it seemed pivotal. From a brand perspective. It just felt like a really big deal to be there. And I've been the same for many, many times. And it always feels like a big deal, because it's 93,000 people and you're between the hedges and big time college football, but it felt like it was the biggest show on the biggest stage. And I could see why kids latched on to that and why it was important from a recruiting perspective. It just makes you excited about things going forward, and you hope there are some some more big time night tilts like that in the future. Another thing that I thought was interesting that he spoke about was he was very intent. I thought when getting across the point about the type of kid that's recruited. And one of the things that he said was we want people who are interested in the University of Georgia and the success of the University of Georgia. What were your thoughts on that?
I like the way that he said I'm paraphrasing here not quoting the older he gets the wiser he gets. He wants people who want to be here. He wants people who want to represent the G he wants people who want to represent the red and black And at the end of the day, you can be the most talented kid in the locker room, you can be the most talented kid in the world. But if you don't want to be there, you're not gonna work as hard in the weight room, you're not gonna work as hard in the classroom, you're not gonna perform as well on the field, and you're not gonna help the football team win, it's not gonna happen. And this is also paraphrasing as well. But I think he said something about, he's not going to chase those types of players anymore, because it takes up too much time for kids that are maybe not quite as talented, maybe just a little bit of a step down. And from that perspective, they're going to help the school that much more, because they're going to come to the program, they're going to work just as hard if not harder, because they want to be there. And on top of that, they're going to be the ones who are going to perform better than that, you know, five star recruit would on the field. So I think that recruiting, the type of player is just as important as recruiting the most talented and I think that that's what he meant by that. And I think that he's finally starting to, you know, as he said, the older he gets, the wiser he gets. And I think that, you know, he's starting to kind of push those players to the side, as far as he's recruiting.
Yeah, I tend to agree with with most of that, I think that he has seen probably firsthand the last few years that the stars, beside the name on the recruiting portals is maybe not as important as the interest that the individual has in contributing to the University of Georgia and to escalating the Bulldog brand and to winning as a bulldog. And I think essentially, what he was saying was, look, we'll take a three star kid who really wants to be here, over a five star kid who is coming here, because he feels like it's the best bet just for him, seem to be a very team focused and program focused message. And if you're a fan of the program, you just got to love that. I feel like because we've talked about this a lot in the past, but football teams are our living breathing organisms, and you got guys that it's difficult, you know, especially for these kids now where they're going to school, you have to put in time in the weight room, you have to eat well, some of these kids aren't playing as much as maybe they want to play. For some of the kids who are playing the media pressure is higher than it's ever been the visibility is higher than it's ever been because we live in a social media world, a world where, you know, you're always on display, essentially. And I don't think that is something for the week. I don't think it's something for folks who don't have an appetite for it. I think he just wants to make sure that there are folks there that are committed, he essentially said without saying it, commit to the G right. He didn't come out and say that, but he he was in a roundabout way saying we want kids committed to the G. And if we don't feel like they are then they can keep it moving. And whether that be Cade Mays or Justin fields, or Brenton Cox, or whoever it may be, I think he said some first hand experience with kids, they have invested a lot of valuable resources on the front end, that are no longer with the program. And he's sitting there going well, is this a worthwhile investment? Again, harkening back to his role as the CEO, he seemed to be looking at that balance sheet and going, Hey, man, we spend a lot of money on these assets, and we didn't get any ROI on it. So we got to figure out new way to spend the assets. He's also
looking at it from a philosophical life standpoint, I do want to take a little snippet of the quote that he said, in a way, you know, commit to the G, take the guys that want to be there, play with the guys that want to be there. Number one, you'll enjoy your job day to day your staff will enjoy it more and so will your other players. I mean, isn't that what at the end of the day, I mean, you want to be successful, you want to enjoy your life, you want to be happy at the end of the day. I mean, both of us can attest to we've had jobs that we've absolutely despised. And I mean, if you don't enjoy your day to day work, what you're doing, you don't enjoy the people you're around. It just makes your life that much more miserable. Do what makes you happy, be around the kids that make you happy. You're going to work your ass off, but you're going to also enjoy the grind so to speak.
Yeah, I think just another example of him, speaking truth to things that the fan base should be excited about and exhibiting things that should show the fan base that he is pointing the program in the right direction and maybe more importantly, is always searching for new ways to point the program in the right direction. I think if if Bulldogs fans can take comfort in anything, it's that Kirby is never going to stop looking for the best possible answer for the program. And I think to that point and to the advancement and growth of the program, look no further than the announcement this week that George is going to open the 2021 season in Charlotte against Clemson big time matchup can be the first Saturday of the year. What were your thoughts? When you saw that? I know for both of us, it kind of came out of nowhere.
Well, my first thought was, that's awesome. I can't wait to go. Honestly, I can't wait to go down to Charlotte and go see the game. My second thought, honestly was, I really hope that this becomes an annual thing. I would love to see Clemson on the schedule regularly. An interesting stat i saw i think over the next 12 years, Georgia will play Clemson, I think now six times through 2033.
But we will only play Alabama twice, will only play Texas a&m twice. And there was another West team that not Texas a&m, there was a three West teams that we will only play twice, or LSU LSU. We will only play LSU twice and their conference opponents but we'll play Clemson six times. I'm all for playing Clemson more obviously, from a competition standpoint, I'm all for them playing, you know, more competitive teams more competitive schedules. I think Kirby is looking down the road down the road, the playoff probably will expand and you're going to want more competitive schedules. But he's getting ahead of that scheduling these now 2021 the dogs are gonna look a lot different Clemson's gonna look a lot different. And Georgia is paying a hefty amount of money. So it's Clemson but Georgia is paying $700,000 more to plate to pay this game. They're looking for a big return on it, which I think they're gonna get. It's probably going to be a night game. There's a game days probably gonna be there. It's gonna be the biggest game on the opening weekend of college football that year. I can't wait. I'm looking forward to it even though it is two years away.
Yeah, I thought it was great move. I mean, anytime you can get a big time power five opponent on the schedule. I think it's good, whether it's Clemson or whether it's somebody else, I think it's better to have a power five opponent and a non power five opponent, especially in the playoff era. But I think when you have the opportunity to put a premium program like Clemson on the schedule, it's great not only for the brand, it's great for recruiting, it's great for visibility. I thought it was very interesting in his comments about the scheduling Greg McGarity mentioned, he was specifically asked about the $1.8 million spend to buy out San Jose State. And he essentially didn't blink and said, we wouldn't have done it. If we didn't feel like we would break even. And really, we know we're going to make all that money back and more based off the scheduling. So that part of it that piece of it really doesn't bother me at all. I know some folks have talked about while it was a seven game home slate, that was one of the seven games so you're going to lose a game between the hedges going to be in Charlotte, and I get that but I mean, it was essentially going to be an exhibition game. Versus now you got to go to Charlotte which in but about a three hour drive of 85. from Athens to go to the game Bank of America Bank of America's beautiful Stadium, fantastic playing surface sits right in the middle of the city, I have actually watched a game from the sidelines there I saw the Redskins play the Panthers there from the sidelines, I used to work for the Redskins as a graduate assistant a number of years back and went back to a game. They're not in a working capacity. But with an old colleague of mine. And we we stood on the sideline and watch the game and the playing surface there was phenomenal. That's something to look forward to. And the other piece of it is that the juice around it's just going to be big, it's going to be the opening game of the season. People are going to be talking about it all year, I'm with you. I would be shocked if game day to be in there that day. clemson and Georgia are both going to be debut and new quarterbacks just going to be a hot start to that 2021 season and a marquee matchup for them to build off of
Yeah, it's gonna be it's gonna be huge, there's really no way to look at it other than it's gonna be a huge Opening Day weekend. And I hope that it's like I said earlier, I hope it's something that's gonna continue. I mean, I know the outer conference schedule, the way it looks, it's pretty set going forward through 2033. But I'm hoping that this will renew the Clemson Georgia rivalry. This was long before I was a fan, but I know the history, you know, of Clemson, Georgia, back in the 80s. And you know, before that, and I hope that with us playing six times in the next 12 years, that can be something that going forward after 2033 that the schools will be more likely to schedule it. I know a lot of people really want to drop Georgia Tech for another power five school because Georgia Tech has been down for the past 20 years. I don't know if Georgia Tech's ever going to be to the I don't think they're ever going to be the class of Clemson, but they may one day feel the competitive team. Again, I don't think that dropping Georgia Tech is necessarily the answer. I think continuing to schedule bigger schools like we had been going forward is the way to go. I mean, just look, you know, we got series with Oklahoma coming up series with Texas coming up play Oregon in 2022. And in Atlanta school, you know, continue to schedule the way that Georgia scheduling is the way to go. I mean, realistically, when UCLA was scheduled 10 years ago, no one expected UCLA to be down like they are I mean UCLA doesn't really while it's an attractive travel to go back and see game in the Rose Bowl. It's not really a attractive opponent at this point in time. So you really don't know what the ebbs and flows of college football are gonna look like, you know, 10 years from now, Oklahoma could be down Texas could be dead. You just don't know when we scheduled these opponents. So hopefully Georgia Tech will eventually come back up, even though I hate the nerds, hopefully they'll come back up. And that'll be a quality opponent on the schedule as well.
Yeah, I think the folks that talk about trying to take Georgia Tech off the schedule are being extremely short sighted. And I'll tell you why. I think and I know we've kind of moved away from this a little bit with the direction of the playoff and all those things. And I do think some changes good and changes needed. But I think with historic rivalries like that they should be kept in place if they can be kept in place, regardless of the competitive integrity. You know, I think one of the tragedies of Texas a&m move into the SEC was the fact that a&m and Texas don't play anymore. I think one of the tragedies of Missouri moving to the SEC was that Missouri and Kansas don't play more. I think when there are rivalries, especially rivalries that have been robberies for so long, they have their own nickname. I mean, to not have clean old fashioned hate be a game anymore. I just think that's bad for college football, the fact that there's no longer a border war between Missouri and Kansas, I think it's bad for college football. I think those type of things are good. I think they're good for the fan basis. So I don't want that to go away. Plus, I have no problem beating they're behind every year. So that doesn't bother me one bit. I don't want to see them go away. I think again, I think that short sighted I think the remedy to that is like they aren't doing I think you just you schedule more power five opponents. I just want to go through the list real quick because it is a staggering list. All right. So 2020 they opened Atlanta against Virginia. 2021 they opened in Charlotte against Clemson 2022 they opened in Atlanta again against Oregon. 2023 they play in Norman against Oklahoma. 2024 they're back in Atlanta against Clemson 2025 they're at the Rose Bowl against UCLA. 2026 UCLA comes between the hedges 2027. in Tallahassee versus the Knowles 2028 Florida State comes between the hedges and the dogs go to Austin to play Texas. 2029 hokum horns comes between the hedges 2030 dogs play Clemson between the hedges and Ohio State between the hedges 2031. They get the Sooners Boomer center comes between the hedges then they go to Columbus to plan the horseshoe against Ohio State 2030 to Clemson between the hedges and then 2033 that headed Death Valley to play Clemson. I mean, that is a incredible string of power five opponents over the next 13 years. I mean, just jacked up if you're somebody like ourselves, who loves taking road trips love seeing big time opponents. So I mean, I am fired up about that schedule.
And you really have to think about it. It's an unprecedented schedule, take up the quality for for a moment, you know, cuz UCLA is down Florida stays down right now, we don't know what they're gonna look like in 2025 2027. We don't know what they're gonna look like. But just the names UCLA, Florida State, Texas, Oklahoma, Clemson, Ohio State, the schools that are on that schedule right now, Oregon. The schools that Georgia is scheduling over the next 12 seasons is unrivaled. You look at other schools, like Florida has Cal on their schedule, stuff like that, Alabama, I couldn't even tell you Alabama's out of conference schedule. But I mean, you look who they've had previously, they've had Duke, just the amount of names that are on there. Now, granted, some of them are down. hopefully there'll be backup by the time Georgia plays them. And hopefully, let's be realistic. Hopefully, Georgia continues on the path that they're on and continues to stay up. I mean, those fan bases are hoping that for us, they want us stay up so hopefully they have the chance to knock us off. So it's just great for college football to see and especially especially great for the Georgia brand to see them scheduling these games and be so wanted for these marquee matchups that are probably going to be early season matchups, Primetime games, a bunch of these are going to be in primetime. A bunch of these are going to have game day there and it's just going to grow the brand war, more recruits, more money coming into the program more money for facilities. It's great for the premier if you're a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs right now, you have to be happy with the trajectory of the program.
Yeah, absolutely. And I don't think it can be understated the effect. The playoff in the playoff environment has on this too. Right strategically. I mean, I think the the long term plan is obviously to go Hey, look, we scheduled as best as we could scheduled so when you guys are evaluating resumes in a room know that Georgia did what they could do to put themselves in a position to be in the dance come the end of January. And that's that's the best goal here right? Everybody wants to hold the trophy up. In college football we still value that trophy even though you know people like Rob Manfred in Major League Baseball just say it's a piece of metal. But it's important brother I'd love to have some hardware back the butts mirror build and so let's let's talk about the players real quick. Just want to pivot to the dawn math. This news. I kind of want to clarify it a little bit how it was reported, at least in a couple of the stories that I read is that he has been cleared for Contact now Anthony Dasher had an article on UGA sports comm and Anthony Dasher does fantastic work. But the announcement stemmed from a dinner that Kirby smart was speaking at for donors in Charlotte. And essentially what he told the group was, he's been cleared, he'll be able to practice. And he went on to say Coach monken had been watching tape of him before he got injured, and he's excited about him and thinks he's going to be in the middle of that competition, and that he's a really talented young man. Now, nowhere in there, did he actually say he's been cleared for contact. So he's been cleared for practice, which I think everybody took to mean, he's been cleared for contact. But until we actually hear that, and or see that, I'm still gonna hold out judgment on that. But if Kirby's talking about it at least leads me to believe that the progress has been normal. And I think the expectation all along, at least from the different sources, has been that he was going to be cleared in April or May, full cleared. Because I mean, he was practicing last fall. And it's not context, he's a quarterback. So that's the piece of it. I just want to be clear on that. I don't want to I don't want to misrepresent and say, Hey, he's been clear for contacting me mixing it up and banging heads during the day. I mean, we don't actually know that yet. I guess it's your interpretation of clear to practice but either way exciting for the kid because it seems like he's progressing. And I will say on one math is if you remember the G day game, he was pretty exciting. So I think he's kind of been the Forgotten man a little bit just because nobody really knew or knows what the health status is and when he was actually going to be available. But I don't think he's a name just to sweep under the rug. I do think there's something to be excited about there. And just from a health perspective, it's just phenomenal that a year after what he went through, he could be back in the mix and and rock and roll with his teammates. So we're happy for dawn and jacked up man.
Yeah, first thing I will admit that I was wrong I think it was on our second episode I said I didn't think that he'd ever be able to practice fully or definitely never play for ga and that I thought that you know he ended up being a medical redshirt so never been more happy to be wrong if that you know in fact is he can come back and fully practice and be part of the team he's a great kid he's got loads of talent and just with that type of health issue I just didn't ever think it was gonna happen so based off of the everything that we've read so far it looks like that come spring he's gonna be able to you know be full go and even if he's full go with practice you know, like you said practices noncontact ga typically unless somebody gets a little excited is noncontact for quarterbacks so he probably will get to play in G day which is really exciting as well. I think talent wise that if he is with appropriate with the way he's been able to practice and all the talent that he has, he really could compete for the number two spot this year. I think with that that's with it being said that it's pretty much a foregone conclusion that Jamie Newman's going to win the number one spot if that is you know, the given then I think that one's got a good shot at number two battle with Carson back and sets and Bennett just because of his athletic gifts like I said I'm really just happy to the kid on the right track for recovery for healthy because that was really scary last year when it came down to you know with the with the brain cyst and that you know, with the surgery and football was the farthest thing from anyone's mind at that point about whether or not you know it was really more or less whether or not he was going to survive so great news hopefully see him back on the field and we just wish him luck and hope see him in the plane
soon. Yeah, absolutely. The health cases is the most encouraging just because you're happy that the kid is healthy. I mean obviously wonderful that the uj staff spotted the issue got him in quick and he got the everything taken care of and the rehab is going well and he's doing well and feeling well. Just from the football side if you just look at it from a physicality perspective I mean what he's six six right and lanky and big time arm I mean, he made a couple throws in the GA game last year. We're like, Whoa, wasn't me just a lot of zip a lot of pop. Busted that big run last year. I mean, I think the athletic gifts they're tantalizing. The other thing that gets discounted I think he's he just got to spend the whole year in the quarterback room with Jake from learning, learning the chalk talk, getting to watch film with him getting to pick his brain, I don't think those things can get discounted. I also think just from a leadership perspective, his attitude was phenomenal. Every time I heard him get interviewed or somebody talked to him about the experience and how things were he just seems to be a very mentally strong young man. And I think at the quarterback position, that's always something that you want. So I mean, we're pumped up for one and can't wait to see him hope he's full go for G day can get a look at him. And then if he is I mean, you got to think you're gonna see significant playing time from four quarterbacks that day. You're going to see Jamie Newman, you're going to see Stetson better You're gonna see Carson Beck and you're gonna see Juan Mathis. So lot to watch come April 18. So
fun things to look forward to spring practice starts in two and a half weeks and then g days and month after that. So definitely a lot to look forward to at this point not it's not all gonna be about the quarterbacks though. They're harsh, you know, got to think about that line there with all those changes. So
well, you know, I will say, speaking to that, I saw something I don't know if it was yesterday today on Twitter, that pro football focus released their their list of returning offensive linemen in the sec and Georgia had three the top 10. So not a bad deal when you have when you have three guys declared for the draft, one guy leave via transfer, and you still got three of the top 10 in the sec. So again, I've said this ad nauseum and I'll repeat it, the offensive line does not worry me. I mean, the way that they have recruited over the last two to three years, I think we will just be bruising people and jacked up to see what Matt Luke's gonna do with them from a from an agility perspective and from a mobility perspective. So man I worried about a lot they're gonna take him beat some people up this year. I'm pumped up to see that completely off topic though.
What surprised me most about that list with Kentucky I think they had five people on that list of the Top 10 graded people on the pff list. Hey, man, surprised me.
When bounds good for the numbers baby. He was a thumbtack. What have you seen the high school videos of him? Oh, no, this is like a tangent. But if you are just a fan of football in general, and you want to go look at min bounds, high school tapes that they've got on YouTube, like the highlight videos. It's insane. The stuff that that kid could do. I mean, it's just insane. So it'll be it'll be interesting to see where he falls in the NFL draft and kind of where he ends up because boy, what an athlete he'll be I mean, just gonna be a fun fun kid to watch.
He's a more athletic hands work. He has that type of skill set. But he reminded he reminds me of a more athletic contour,
I could absolutely see that. Well, you got anything else you want to talk about today? Or does that about cover everything for right now?
Everything else I got is a long topic. So I think we'll save that for next week.
All right. Well, that sounds good. I will close just saying I saw Jake posted on his Instagram today about the combine. So that's something we can look to next week. And it's the compound going to be in primetime this year. Do I see that?
I think it's gonna be aired in primetime. I don't know if it's actually going to take place in primetime, but they usually air it live. So I would assume so. But I haven't actually checked up on it. Yeah,
I thought that was interesting. It's just crazy how big football is, you know that people will turn into watch guys do a glorified exercise routine. You know, it's just not just not a lot of football to it. But anyways, I mean, I guess they do. This is a little tangent, a little soapbox moment for me. But the combine is the dumbest thing on the planet to me. I mean, you got these kids that have three to four years of tape actually playing football. And these guys go, man, he sure had a great combine. And then somebody like Mitch trubisky gets drafted second in the NFL draft and you just go, What are you guys doing over there? Like your job is to evaluate football players. And we're going to talk about an exercise routine that he did for whether or not we're gonna spend millions of dollars on it just it seems to be the dumbest evaluator of talent on the planet. And I will slowly step down off my soapbox now.
Let's watch people run around in spandex for four days. And let's let's evaluate them based off that but the film doesn't matter.
Yeah, it just seems silly to me. Well, anyways, well,
we just spent three episodes on that. So
yeah, we'll leave that alone. But anyways, as always, thank you all for joining us. We're happy to have y'all with us. Happy to bark about the dogs. Talk about college football with you. If you get an opportunity go follow us on social media blog, the dogs it's a wg on blog and dogs. Also get in tune with us on any kind of platform that you listen to your podcasts on. rate the podcast, subscribe to it. Leave us a review anything you can do. We'd love to hear the feedback comment at us on Instagram coming at us on Twitter. We just want to hear from you. We will we will look forward to seeing you next week and go dog second.