Good morning, Dawg fans! Dawg Bites comes bearing good news on this Monday. There will be live American collegiate football on your television in ten days. It is true that we won’t be watching our Georgia Bulldogs for at least a little more than a month, but it is also true that on Thursday, September. 3rd the South Alabama Jaguars will be traveling to the snake pit that is M.M. Roberts Stadium to take on the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles in Hattiesburg. It is not the start we envisioned, but the return of college football in any form will be an encouraging development. After all the things that the last six months have brought, turning on a college football game will feel something like sitting back in a comfortable recliner after running a long marathon. Here’s the rest of the lean week one slate, but the schedule will get meatier and meatier as September rolls along.
Until then, we watch and we wait. The biggest news to watch in college football at the moment is how things will shakeout if and or when schools shutter in-person classes. So far UNC and NC State are the only Power 5 schools playing football in 2020 to have cancelled classes. Both schools are still practicing and preparing for the season, and if we’re being honest, a campus with no students is undoubtedly the safest scenario for the players. For now, UNC and NC State are college football’s first functioning bubbles.
Notre Dame has suspended classes for the time being after a surge of Covid-19 cases to begin the semester. There has been some speculation that the Irish might cancel their football season if there are not students on campus, but for now we can only wait and see what happens.
Meanwhile in Athens, fall camp is continuing for the Bulldogs. Dan Lanning met with reporters over Zoom on Friday, and he continues to love his “no name” defense. Lanning clarified that he doesn’t give his unit that label because it lacks stars, but because he has a lot of unselfish players who are “a bunch of dogs.” Two players Lanning highlighted for breakout years in his interview were Nolan Smith and Travon Walker. I don’t know about y’all, but there’s few players I’m more excited to watch than Walker. Walker has likely been haunting Bo Nix’s dreams for the last 9 months, but I keep going back to the fact that the 290 pounder moves well enough to have been a consistent contributor on Georgia’s kickoff coverage team last year. The sky is the limit for Walker and Smith, as well as a slew of other rising sophomores on the Bulldog defense.
Another Bulldog poised for a breakout year is Zamir White. The former #1 running back recruit in the nation went through two ACL surgeries in two seasons before finally seeing the field in 2019. With both D’Andre Swift and Brian Herrien out for the Sugar Bowl, White finally got the spotlight. Zamir’s 92 yards on the ground helped pace the Bulldogs to a win over the Bears, and White showed flashes of why he was one of the nation’s most sought after prospects coming out of high-school.. Remember that it was a little over two years after his knee injury before Nick Chubb found his top end speed again. Now two years removed from his last ACL repair, Zamir is fully healthy and could be ready to shoulder the responsibility that comes with toting the rock at RBU. White recently sat down with the UGA video team to talk about all of the struggles he has overcome both before college and in Athens.
We close today’s Dawg Bites with an actual positive thing to have come out of the Coronavirus pandemic.
I appreciate all the support I’ve received this week. Thanks to precautionary COVID-19 testing, I learned about a heart condition that I’ve had since birth. I’ve already had the necessary procedure and am on the road to recovery. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers. Go Frogs!— Max Duggan (@MaxDuggan_10) August 23, 2020
We’ll be keeping Max in our thoughts and prayers, and we hope that better screening and generalized healthcare for college athletes becomes a permanent result of Covid-19.
There’s sure to be more news to come out of Athens this week, and all of us at Dawg Sports will be here to cover it.
Y’all have a great week, and as always... Go Dawgs!