We’re not even half way through with this week, and it’s been one for the ages already. Winning a national title on Monday night will do that for you.
While fans are still basking in the glow of the victory, it’s business as usual around Butts Mehre. And that means the planning for next season has begun, with our competition all getting head starts.
Along with walk-on WR Jaylen Johnson, a super senior season for DB Ameer Speed will come somewhere other than Athens. The Jacksonville native played mostly special teams but got in plenty of work on D as well, although Smart and his defensive staff will have a bevy of alternatives to turn to in what should be a young but talented defensive backfield.
One player who sounds like he will be back is starting QB Stetson Bennett IV. We can presume that means JT Daniels, maybe Carson Beck, among others, will soon be joining Speed and Johnson in the transfer portal. What that means for Caleb Williams, or Brock Vandagriff, among others who may or may not be in that QB room with the Mailman remains to be seen.
With the season just recently ending, but the spring semester getting underway both in Athens and elsewhere, expect a flurry of announcements, from transfers out to NFL departures and anything else, in the coming days to help sift through who will and won’t be returning to defend the national title next season.
And while football season just ended, the season is well underway or just beginning for several other athletes around Athens.
You may have heard, that “just like football” *clap clap clapclapclap*, the Lady Dawgs came from behind to beat Alabama over the weekend. That win pushed them back to 2-2 in SEC play, and 13-3 on the year. They’ll look to win on the road at Missouri on Monday after a little time off, in a 7 p.m. tip off that will be televised on SEC Network.
The men will be in Starkville tonight, for a 7 p.m. tip off against Mississippi St that will also be on SEC Network. An SEC win, just one this year, would be nice for the 5-10 team that has had an injury riddled and otherwise bad start to the season.
College golf gets going before the month ends, with the men heading to California and the Southwestern Invitational on January 24, and the women hosting the Lady Bulldog Invitational in Athens on the 29th and 30th.
Tennis has already started, with the men having plenty of success down in Miami last weekend, and they’ll look to continue the good form in Florida heading down to face Central Florida on the 17th. The women’s season doesn’t get going until a trip to face North Carolina on the 22nd in Chapel Hill.
Swimming and Diving also get their spring season started on the 22nd, hosting Tennessee in Athens. Their January 8th meet with Alabama had to be postponed due to COVID.
Unlike football, the Gymdawgs couldn’t get the W against the Wolverines in their season opener with Michigan. They’ll look to bounce back on the road at Kentucky on Friday, in a meet that will be televised on SEC Network.
And as always, Goooooooooooooooo Dawgs!