Chat with David Ching
Welcome to DawgNation! On Wednesday, reporter David Ching stops by to chat about the state of Georgia football.
Ching joined ESPN.com in 2011 after six years covering Georgia for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer and Athens Banner-Herald. He lives in Athens, Ga.
Send your questions now and join Ching Wednesday at noon ET!
David Ching (12:01 PM)
Hi everybody. Miss me? Let's chat.
dalton nahunta ga [via mobile]
HOW DID THE VISITS GO WITH FOSTER,ADAMS,BELLAMY AND KAMARA GO AND WILL ANY OF THE SIGN WITH US ON SIGNIN DAY OR BEFORE
David Ching (12:05 PM)
It sounds like they went pretty well with all of them. Didn't I just see that Foster plans to announce his plans on Monday? Not sure he's picking Georgia, but that's one to watch. Adams is announcing next Wednesday morning at 9:30.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who was the Last Georgia Bulldog that Played in the Super Bowl?
David Ching (12:06 PM)
Didn't Danny Ware play in last year's Super Bowl? Pretty sure he did.
How are we looking on Alvin Kamara?
David Ching (12:07 PM)
I don't think they're terribly confident, which is why they offered former Vandy commit Johnathan Ford out of Alabama over the weekend. Would help to add two RBs in this class after Ken Malcome's departure.
How good are our chances of landing all of these recruits: Montravius Adams, Reuben Foster, Laremy Tunsil, and Alvin Kamara?
David Ching (12:10 PM)
The chances aren't zero, but I highly doubt they get all four. Probably best with Tunsil and then Foster, but we'll see.
Do you see Christian LeMay eventually developing into the Dawgs' quarterback for the future? Or do you see another QB on the roster or a future recruit taking that role after Murray leaves and, presumably, a year of Hutson Mason?
David Ching (12:12 PM)
Maybe. He looked pretty rusty when he got a shot this past season. I expect Mason to play in 2014 and then for it to be a really interesting competition in 2015 between Brice Ramsey, Faton Bauta, LeMay and whoever else might be on the roster by then.
Bennett Burch (Statesboro, GA)
Who will be hosting Matthew Thomas this weekend? And are there any other commits like Shaq or somebody that might come try to help recruit him while he's in town? Didnt they play together in the UA game?
David Ching (12:13 PM)
I'm not sure on that one. But yeah, they played together in that game. I saw those guys down there. Wouldn't be a surprise to have other commits come into town this weekend, even if Wiggins does not. I think that's pretty common.
Bennett Burch (Statesboro, GA)
What do you predict the record will be last year? im feeling pretty confident with AM Gurshal, the o-line, and all the talent at reciever we will have this summer. im thinking if the D plays up to the potential of its talent tlevel we could be back in the natty hunt, im thinking 11-1 or 10-2 regular season. with a lose to either florida or clemson or both.
David Ching (12:17 PM)
I figure 10 wins would be a solid goal. Maybe 8-4 as a worst-case scenario. Schedule's awfully tough to start out.
Will Bishop (Americus GA)
Who should we expect to be the leader of the defense coming up in 2013?
David Ching (12:18 PM)
I'm not sure who it will be. I'd think Garrison Smith, Amarlo Herrera, Damian Swann and Jordan Jenkins have to lead in their own ways because they've played the most.
Is there any chance uga could land Bellamy,foster, and Thomas to solidify a crazy LB class?
David Ching (12:20 PM)
I think they'll land Bellamy. Foster's tougher to say. Maybe. Let's see how the weekend goes with Thomas. I think most of the recruiting experts still expect him to stay in Florida, but I'm sure the folks at Georgia would love to change that when he comes up here this weekend.
Brandon (Athens, GA)
Hey David! With UGA and Bama going at it for several top recruits, any idea how many players Bama can sign this class? I think they are currently at 22 commitments and are in contention for several more prospects. Fingers crossed we end up w/ Tunsil and Kamara.
David Ching (12:24 PM)
I don't think you can ever set a number with Alabama. If they land players they like better than players they already have commits from, grayshirting is always an option over there. I think Tunsil is a strong possibility for Georgia. Not sure about Kamara.
Pope (Norcross, GA)
Why does UGA seem to miss out on so many 5 star recuits in their own state? This year's ESPN top 100 is littered with kids from GA that aren't giving UGA the time of day.
David Ching (12:26 PM)
Look at how many of those kids are not actually from Georgia. Plus, Atlanta is a mishmash of people from all over the place. That's where much of the talent is, but it's not some united UGA front there. Kids grow up liking teams from all over the place. I don't know why people just assume Georgia should be able to close the border of the state when there are dozens of great programs within a few hours of metro Atlanta.
David, what do you think UGA's chances are of landing both Laremy Tunisil and Davin Bellamy? Tunisil's "confusion" worries me but the prospect of getting the Bellamy commit seems to get better by the day.
David Ching (12:28 PM)
I think you're on the mark Jason. I think Tunsil has been leaning toward Georgia for a while, but he's got so many good options. Normal for a kid to struggle with the decision. My guess is that he and Bellamy and Tunsil will sign with UGA. Not that I'd bet on it. Just my guess...
David, Your prediction on non-commits to come in on signing day?
David Ching (12:29 PM)
I'll say UGA gets Tunsil, Bellamy and Toby Johnson. I don't think it's out of the question that they get Foster or Adams, either, but that looks less certain to me. I think Kamara will pick Alabama.
For all the talk of rebuilding on the defense, I think UGA has an exciting group of young and unproven guys. In particular, I'm really excited about Josh Dawson's future - what kind of player do you think he'll end up being?
David Ching (12:31 PM)
Yeah, I think he's going to be a good player too. I was impressed by what I saw of him last season. I'll be interested to see whether he ends up at OLB or DE. I'd think he could do a little of both, which we all know that Grantham loves.
With all the holes to fill on Def...which un-signed or committed recruit have the Dawgs keyed in on?
David Ching (12:33 PM)
The majority of the guys they're still pursuing are on the defensive side of the ball. Montravius Adams and Toby Johnson are both listed as DTs, but would play DE at Georgia if they signed. Matthew Thomas is the top OLB. Reuben Foster is the No. 1 ILB, but he might play OLB if he signs with Georgia.
Any new trends we can expect to see on offense next year? More two tight end sets? More Gurshall on the field at the same time with Marshall split out? More no huddle with Murray calling more plays?
David Ching (12:35 PM)
I'd imagine you'll definitely see more of the no-huddle. I've really enjoyed watching San Fran run this diamond formation. Not that I expect Georgia to use it necessarily. It just seems like it might be an interesting way to see Gurley and Marshall on the field at the same time. Bobo got really creative with formations in the bowl game and I wouldn't be surprised to see more of that kind of stuff next season since so many guys return.
Any truth to the stories that dawgs also used deer antler spray?
David Ching (12:36 PM)
I'm actually looking into that some today.
Caleb (Lakeland Fl.)
Do we stand a chance of getting Jonathan Ford, or will he go to OL Miss?
David Ching (12:37 PM)
Ford tweeted today that he's considering Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn and Florida State.
Should we read anything into D Bellamy decommitting from FSU last night?
David Ching (12:38 PM)
That he's not going to Florida State...Just kidding. I think Georgia is probably in the driver's seat with Bellamy.
What do you make of Tunsil's comments that he's confused? Bad sign or just to be expected after a visit to another school?
David Ching (12:40 PM)
I'd be confused if I were him, as well. You've got people calling you every day filling your head full of all kinds of things. Every campus you visit, they treat you like a king and tell you you're the answer to their problems. He has a ton of great options, but my prediction is that he still winds up signing with Georgia. Wouldn't shock me if he doesn't.
Read where tyren (sp) is now considering UGA in place of Bama due to all the RBs they have.
David Ching (12:41 PM)
I don't think that's true. I think he believes he has a good chance to be the No. 2 RB at Alabama next year.
Why the confusion for Tunsil?
David Ching (12:41 PM)
Like I just mentioned, no shortage of appealing options.
What's your thoughts on Foster and Tunsil ending with the Dawgs?
David Ching (12:42 PM)
Tunsil probably, Foster maybe.
David, Do you think the Dawgs have a legitimate shot to make it back to the SECCG & possibly the NC with all the talent returning on offense and the younger, hungrier defense with something to prove?
David Ching (12:44 PM)
I don't feel terribly confident saying yes to that. Not with the young defense facing Clemson, South Carolina and LSU in three of the first four games. I think they'll be very good again, but they might take a step back in 2013 to take another step forward. WAAAAYYYY too early to have a strong feeling one way or another right now, though.
Why does everyone think Clemson leads for Adams I was listening to the Bill Shank show yesterday and Chad Simmons seems to think Clemson has fell back.
David Ching (12:45 PM)
I think people have that impression just because of how positively he has always discussed Clemson and how comfortable he felt there. It's kind of hard for the recruiting experts to read the tea leaves sometimes when the kids don't seem to know exactly what they want to do themselves.
Garrett Hendricks (Athens, GA)
Out of the guys we are looking at and are signing next week (Adams, Foster, Kamara, Tunsil) who do you think UGA would benefit the most from getting?
David Ching (12:46 PM)
Tunsil. Left tackle is one of those premium positions. Plus the OL talent pool for 2014 is not going to blow anybody away. That makes getting Tunsil in this class even more important.
Who is the KEY defensive recruit the Dawgs need on signing day?
David Ching (12:47 PM)
I'll go with Foster. Not so much that they need him as that I think he has the potential to make the biggest impact in college.
Caleb (Lakeland Fl.)
How many spots do we still have open for this year, do you see us taking 34 or more in 2013?
David Ching (12:49 PM)
I think they could sign everyone they're still pursuing, which is six or seven more guys. I think the number will probably land around three to five final signees, which would put the total around 32-34.
Given the current list of verbal commitments, even with backcounters, how would there be room for Foster, Kamara, Tunsil, and Adams?
David Ching (12:51 PM)
They only had 69 players on the 2012 team that initially received scholarships and only brought in 17 players last year. You can fiddle with the math to count early enrollees backwards and be fine as long as you're under the 85-player limit, which they would be.
Not much mentioned about the recent NFL Pro Bowl - saw Houston, A.J., Geno, Jennings, Champ and Walsh playing. Did I miss any DGDs? How does UGA stack up with other schools, Pro Bowl-wise?
David Ching (12:52 PM)
You know, I didn't look that up, but surely six players (yeah, you got them all) is up there, if not the No. 1 most-represented school.
Where does Tramel end up playing? Seems like WR is the obivous choice. He and Mitchell would be a speedy combo.
David Ching (12:52 PM)
Richt has already said they're starting him out at WR. Now whether we see him this fall, I don't think anyone knows yet.
David, assuming we don't get Kamara, what do our chances look like with Jonathan Ford?
David Ching (12:53 PM)
Seems like the recruiting guys think he's leaning toward Auburn, but he just tweeted a little while ago that he's down to Auburn, FSU, UGA and Tennessee.
David, I know the schedule next season is one of the toughest I've seen, from any program, in quite a while but do you feel that our offense will be able to put up enough points on anyone and that should help while the defense find their balance?
David Ching (12:55 PM)
Yeah, I do think that. Might still lose a game or three because the schedule's so tough, but I think the offense will be good enough that they should be in every game.
Is Toby Johnson not a lock? How critical of a target is he to UGA with Jenkins and Geathers gone?
David Ching (12:56 PM)
I think they have to like their chances with that one. But I don't think he's going to replace those guys at the nose. I think he looks like a DE at Georgia.
Will Georgia's young "D" be able to slow down Boyd and Clemson's "O" ?
David Ching (12:57 PM)
They might be able to slow them down. Probably won't stop them. I'd imagine the scoreboard operator is going to have a busy day.
David (Washington, DC)
David, what's the latest on Grantham? Has UGA received any indication or notice that he's being interviewed elsewhere? I know he has a clause in his contract about other teams having to contact UGA first, but come on...
David Ching (12:58 PM)
I don't think he's going anywhere.
Bernie (Lawrenceville, GA)
Have mat drills started? And do you expect many changes to the offensive line in the off season?
David Ching (1:01 PM)
I think they start on Monday. Either that or they started two days ago. But I think it's next Monday. And yeah, I think there might be some tinkering with the OL, particularly if they land Tunsil. I think he's going to play as a freshman wherever he goes. And I think we'll see more of a rotation next year than we did for most of 2012.
David (Washington, DC)
David, most of these questions are related to who can we get on signing day. The bigger questions is who may we lose on signing day this year? Seems like a trend that we lose one or two that we expect to sign.
David Ching (1:02 PM)
That's true. I don't think they're going to lose one. I thought they were going to lose Shaq Wiggins a couple of weeks ago, but it looks like they got that ironed out. And they've already got more than a third of the class on campus. I guess you never know, but I don't think they'll have any defections in this one. I'm not hearing anything on that front anyway.
If Georgia does not win the first two games, is it time to panic? And this could actually happen.
David Ching (1:03 PM)
It absolutely could. I wouldn't say it was time to panic. It's possible that the two best teams they'll play all year will be the first two teams they play (although LSU and Florida might disagree). I guess that's kind of like the 2011 season and that one turned out OK in the end.
What commit do you think georgia could recieve that would shock a lot of people on signing day?
David Ching (1:04 PM)
The one that would probably shock the most people would be Matthew Thomas. I don't think that one's out of the realm of possibilities, but I think most recruiting guys view it as more of a longshot than some of the other guys Georgia is pursuing.
Is is possible for the Dawgs to beat Clemson, USC, LSU and Florida next year. . .all of them?
David Ching (1:06 PM)
I'd be interested to see an oddsmaker give us odds on Georgia beating all four of those teams. I'd think it would be like 5-to-1 against them winning all four. It's certainly possible, but that's an awfully tall order. I think going 2-2 in that stretch would allow them to go 9-3 or 10-2 next year, which would be a good year considering how much they lose on defense.
Jacob (Atlanta )
Do u honestly believe kamara when he says he isn't worried about playing time at Alabama or do u think he is just trying to keep us guessing. Cuz he could come in a play year 1 at uga
David Ching (1:08 PM)
Yeah, I do believe him when he says that. You have to be confident in your abilities if you're ever going to amount to anything as an athlete. Clearly he would have less competition at Georgia, but I think he just likes Alabama.
David, thanks for taking time to chat with us! I know SEC games can usually go either way and are the toughest around, but do you think the young defense could possibly be in a great position knowing that South Carolina does not have the threats it once had and LSU lost a ton to the draft? I'm thinking Clemson is the toughest game out of the first four.
David Ching (1:09 PM)
I agree. And it's not like LSU's offense was that phenomenal anyway. Also playing AT Clemson as opposed to playing the other two at home. I think that's the toughest matchup for the defense since it's right out of the gate and they've got some really good skill guys.
Any shot of a dawg going to New York next december? If so, who?
David Ching (1:11 PM)
If I had to pick a guy, I might go out to left field and pick Gurley ahead of Murray. Kid's a beast. But if Georgia has a BCS-caliber season, I'd imagine Murray gets a lot of Heisman buzz since he's about to rewrite the SEC passing record book.
Caleb (Lakeland Fl.)
with all the kids we have coming in this class is there any one spot that we are still going to be thin or weak in?
David Ching (1:12 PM)
I look at the tailback depth chart and think they still need another player after Malcome left. You've got Gurley and Marshall and then Turman and Harton. If Gurley and Marshall stay healthy, you're fine. But getting Kamara or Ford would be awfully good insurance.
Huge Bama fan. But will say that I have tons of respect for the Georgia program. Just wanted your take on this deer antler scenario. I read where both the Tide and the Dogs are mentioned in the report. Any way the teams can be facing some sanctions for this?
David Ching (1:14 PM)
As far as I know, nobody has failed a drug test. I don't know what possible sanction anyone could face if they aren't found to have taken a banned substance. But after I get finished with the chat, I'm going to look into this whole thing some more. I spoke to a player earlier and he didn't know anything about this stuff.
shane (soddy daisy)
Who do you think will have the best chance to take over for the 2 open safety spots?
David Ching (1:16 PM)
We'll have to see what the JUCO guys do when they come in this summer. Right now you've got Josh Harvey-Clemons, Corey Moore, Connor Norman, Marc Deas and freshmen Tray Matthews and Quincy Mauger on campus. I like Harvey-Clemons a lot if he stays at safety. But I'd guess that position battle goes well into the preseason and probably the regular season.
How is Michael Bennett progressing? I'm hearing good news.
David Ching (1:17 PM)
Spoke to him during bowl practice and he said he was ahead of schedule. As of a couple of weeks ago, the timetable was for him to do some light non-competitive stuff in the spring and be full go by preseason practice.
Speaking of Ford, is UGA in line for his last OV?
David Ching (1:18 PM)
Georgia IS in line for his last visit, but he hasn't announced a decision on that yet to my knowledge. Probably UGA or FSU.
What 3 recruits do you think will make an immediate impact on next years team?
David Ching (1:21 PM)
Jonathon Rumph, John Atkins and Chris Mayes are probably the safest choices. I think Rumph will make plays at WR right away. And they have to have Atkins and Mayes be ready to go because of the DL losses. Those JUCO safeties are worth mentioning too.I think Tunsil, Adams, Kamara, Foster and Johnson would probably all play in 2013 if they were to sign with Georgia, so they bear watching.
Caleb (Lakeland Fl.)
Any chance we get Ford in on an o.v. this weekend?
David Ching (1:21 PM)
Yep. There's a chance. Probably FSU or UGA, I'm told.
Scratches (D'ham, NC)
Just read that the "deer-antler dealer" claims to have sold "bands" to UGA players. I have no idea what these things are, could you shed a little light on that for us? Is it a chemical or like the magnetic bracelets golfers use? And are these banned?
David Ching (1:24 PM)
I'm looking into that. I think the guy claims that this spray stuff contains an anabolic element, which is why it has been banned by the various leagues. I still need to read up on it more to see what all kinds of products this guy sells. I know he said Ray Lewis used essentially a steroid spray, but I want to read more before I say anything with much confidence.
David, do you belive we have the toughest schedule in the SEC and possibly the toughest of all college football teams this year?
David Ching (1:26 PM)
Yeah, it'll probably be the toughest in the SEC and among the toughest in the country. But they probably deserve a little bump in difficulty after the last couple of years.
allan (austin texas)
If the Dawgs land all of the big fish left on the board, will this class be rated number 1 for 2013?
David Ching (1:27 PM)
If they got every single one of them? Yeah, it would probably be the best in the country. Heck it would probably be the best class Georgia has ever signed. They will probably not get all of them, but getting half of the kids they're still pursuing would also be pretty close to a home run. It's going to be a solid class either way.
allan (austin texas)
Is the Ford kid as good as Kamara?
David Ching (1:27 PM)
He's not rated as highly, but he looks pretty good to me on tape.
David, I get so frustrated with comments about how South Carolina has a legitimate beef with the SEC schedule. Is the quick answer for the last 2 years to USC: 2011 Do not lose 16-13 to Auburn at home when UGA beat them 45-14, or 2012 Do not loose like 44-11 to Florida who we beat 17-9? USC had the tie breaker by beating us they just lost, and they never played Alabama just like us. Your take?
David Ching (1:30 PM)
It takes a loser mentality to complain about someone else's schedule when all you have to do is win to control your own destiny. I assume they don't gripe about their 2010 schedule strength in the only year they ever won the East. It's cyclical. Teams play tough schedules some years and easier schedules in others. Georgia definitely does not have to apologize to them for anything. Auburn was awful in 2011 and they lost to them at home.
David Ching (1:31 PM)
All right everybody. That was fun. I'll see what I can come up with on this deer antler stuff and hopefully will have more of substance to say about it on our message board later if you want to stop by. Thanks.