Sticking on the defensive side of the ball for a moment, with schools like Auburn and so many others picking up the pace offensively, it's clear that a leaner, more mobile and better conditioned defensive unit is a goal of the new coaches. You should feel better about missing spring players Jay Rome, Malcolm Mitchell, and Keith Marshall should be working out 100% during the summer, though with Mitchell it seems that is always a temporary thing.
And while on the subject of workouts, Pro Day is today. Aaron Murray is expected to throw, with former special teams ace Blake Sailors hoping he can impress as a pass catcher. In addition to departing seniors Murray, Sailors, and Chris Burnette, Corey Campbell, Kenarious Gates, Brandon Harton, Dallas Lee, Arthur Lynch, Rhett McGowan, Garrison Smith, T.J. Stripling, Rantavious Wooten and Curtis Wyatt, not so recently eligibility expired Dawgs DB/WR Branden Smith and LB Marcus Washington will be out there, as will RB coach Bryan McClendon's brother and former Georgia St DB Brent McClendon.
And before we get away from Mark Richt's domain, those of you up around Greenville, SC can hear he and basketball coach Mark Fox tonight at the TD Convention Center. Check the link for other visits around the state throughout this month and next, as well as trips to Houston, TX and Orlando, FL. And since I mention Coach Fox, he'll have a homecoming of sorts next season thanks to spending this coming New Year's Eve in Manhattan . No, not that Manhattan. The one in Kansas, where we will play his former coaching stop Kansas St in an increasingly difficult out of conference schedule next year. The Wildcats, led by former Illinois coach Bruce Weber and likely to be an NCAA Tournament caliber team, return the favor in Athens December 22nd of 2015.
Getting on the field, soccer has their final spring exhibition tomorrow when they face Georgia State at 7:30 in Conyers. And if you want to catch a little softball action inside the perimeter, Georgia looks to beat Tech for the second time this year.
Other action and awards news includes baseball lost to Tech last night, and the rubber match for the season series with the Yellow Jackets comes on May 13 at Turner Field in the 12th annual Spring Baseball Classic For Kids that benefits Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Georgiadogs has a nice freshman baseball feature video, and Marietta's Walton High catcher Aaron Rzucidlo committed to the Diamond Dawgs. Tennis players Kate Fuller and Nathan Pasha were honored for their community service. Pasha will be hoping he can help lead the top seeded men's tennis team to an SEC Tournament title (which starts today) to tack on to the regular season crown. Both the men and women received early byes in their respective SEC Tournaments, so neither team plays until Friday.
Junior Garrett Scantling and freshman Kendell Williams were named SEC Field Athletes of the Week. Equestrian starts the national championships tomorrow, and U.S. Equestrian Foundation is now run by a Dawg in member of the 1980 national championship team and UGA Law School grad Chris Welton. Also competing for a national title this weekend will be the Gym Dogs, and it was announced Monday that former Gym Dog Courtney Kupets will be inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame.