Chat with Radi Nabulsi
Welcome to DawgNation! On Wednesday, reporter Radi Nabulsi stops by to chat about the state of Georgia football.
Nabulsi joined ESPN.com in 2011 after covering the University of Georgia for Rivals.com for the last four years and for the UGA Athletic Association since 1993. Nabulsi is a graduate of the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and lives in Athens, Ga.
Send your questions now and join Nabulsi Wednesday at noon ET!
Radi Nabulsi (11:52 AM)
Hope everyone is having a great Wednesday. Let's dive in a little early.
After having surgery is it really realistically Johnson will be ready for the season and not be redshirted?
Radi Nabulsi (11:55 AM)
Toby Johnson, the defensive tackle that signed with Georgia yesterday, says he will be ready for the season. While I am sure he knows his recovery far better than I do, I can't imagine that he will be ready. All the damage to his knee occurred in November so there is a lot of time between the repair and the start of the season, but at 305 pounds, I just don't see the need to rush it.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who is the Best Georgia Bulldog that is Currently Playing in the NFL?
Radi Nabulsi (11:58 AM)
You trying to get me in trouble with my friends? That is not cool. But to be fair I have to give the nod to the man with the ring that started for the Ravens, Dannell Ellerbe.
Has or will UGA make any adjustments to the staff to have a special teams specialist for our kickers? Lets be real, its an issue.
Radi Nabulsi (11:59 AM)
No, they are at the limit for coaches as it stands. Unless somebody leaves then they cannot hire an additional coach. There are some ways around this that I have heard of, like a graduate assistant or the like, but top specialists don't want those starter jobs.
Dawgfan177 (Anywhere, GA)
Do walk on guys count towards the 85 limit? Do guys like Norman, Valvas, Welch, Hall, Harton, and McGowan figure into the 85? I think several of them were on scholarship last year. Since numbers are tighter, will they have spots?
Radi Nabulsi (12:04 PM)
Great question. The answer is yes if they are given a scholarship. By my count I think UGA is at 90 scholarships if they renew the one year scholarships for Kosta Vavlas, Brandon Harton, Connor Norman, Blake Sailors, Merritt Hall and Rhett McGowan -- not to mention the other players that received scholarships last year. All scholarships are a one year deal and it is not unusual for a guy to get a scholarship one year and not have it the next depending on the numbers available. Like Taylor Bradberry from last year.
Who will be our Nose Guard this year?
Radi Nabulsi (12:06 PM)
I am going to guess Chris Mayes. That is actually one of the top story lines from spring practice (a series of about which David and I will produce a few videos).
Who is likely the next commit for UGA in 2014?
Radi Nabulsi (12:08 PM)
I am not sure. There are a few guys that have Georgia in their top group but I don't know that any are on the edge to commit right now. Of course just saying that could make one guy pull the trigger this afternoon (just to make me look stupid).
With the Dawgs getting T. Johnson last night, how many extra scholarships could go towards next year's class? I know it was projected that Georgia could sign up to around 35 in 2013 but wasn't sure if there was ever a specific number. Thanks for your time!
Radi Nabulsi (12:10 PM)
The Class of 2014 should be small. If Georgia is at its full capacity and then the 13 seniors graduate, then you are looking at maybe 17 to 18 with the usual attrition.
What kids do you think are Georgia leans after last weekends Junior Day
Radi Nabulsi (12:13 PM)
They made impressions on D'Andre Walker, Trenton Thompson, Dante Sawyer and Arden Key. In answer to the earlier question, Thompson would be my guess for the next commit of 2014 simply based on our conversation before he got his offer. Sawyer may not be a lean per se, but the coaches helped their cause there.
With the depth that has been built up with the 2013 signing class, do you see UGA repeating as SEC Champs and contending again for a National Title? Obviously the Offense is capable, but is Grantham ready on the Defensive side?
Radi Nabulsi (12:15 PM)
I predicted that they would not win the east a while back, but that was before South Carolina and Florida lost all of players that they did. So I would give Georgia an even chance right now.
Brian (Augusta, GA)
Do you think Kolton Houston will ever see the field at Georgia?
Radi Nabulsi (12:16 PM)
I do. It might be his senior year but I am optimistic as is Kolton. It is a ridiculous situation.
Kipp just ran an article recently naming the likely top targets for the 2014 class (L. Carter, R. Mitchell, D. Watson, N. Chubb, and E. Shaw). Which of these do you think UGA has the best chance with?
Radi Nabulsi (12:18 PM)
Elisha Shaw, Deshaun Watson and Nick Chubb.
Can the Dawgs pull Watson from Clemson.
Radi Nabulsi (12:19 PM)
Hope that last answer works for your question too. I think Georgia eventually pulls even with Clemson and maybe ahead.
Curtis (Orlando, Fl)
Which 5 incoming freshman fo you see making the biggest impacts from their position and why
Radi Nabulsi (12:24 PM)
I'll sat Tramel Terry since he is a freakish athlete, Shaq Wiggins since the Bulldogs need a shutdown corner, Tray Matthews since the safety depth is razor thin and he is very talented, Brandon Kublanow since he is the nastiest offensive lineman I have ever met and Johnny O'Neal because, well, just go watch his highlight tape. Be warned, it is not for the squeamish.
Who's your top 5 prospects for Georgia next year?
Radi Nabulsi (12:29 PM)
Tough call there. I'll say for now, and I emphasize that this means Wednesday at 12:30 or so, maybe Elisha Shaw, Raekwon McMillan, DeShaun Watson, Sony Michel, and maybe Demarre Kitt or Cameron Sims. Ask me again this afternoon and I will likely change my answer to include a premier offensive tackle like Orlando Brown, Andy Bauer or Alex Bars.
Would you comment on why the local newspaper (AJC) does not "support" the dags? It is readily apparent Radi, so answering with an opinion is not that risky for you.
Radi Nabulsi (12:33 PM)
I don't often read the AJC so I not at all qualified to answer the question. But I would ask this, is it their job to support the program. I mean they are a business that gathers news and presents it to folks that want to pay for it. If the news is unflattering, then should they withhold that news? Doing so would make the other news they report suspect.
Kevin (Sandy Springs)
Hey Radi. Has UGA offered Chris Williams the DT out of Sandy Creek and what are your impressions of his skill set?
Radi Nabulsi (12:36 PM)
Not yet. Chris was offered by Vanderbilt this morning. He is talented with a few more moves then most guys his age. He is a bit short but he gets great leverage - think Kelsey Griffin. I think if Georgia were to miss on Trenton Thompson and Elisha Shaw they would look at Williams.
As Kamara chose to go to Bama this month, I realize that it opens up doors to a few 2014 RB's. However in the interim, is AJ Turman physically ready to be a contributor this fall at the RB position?
Radi Nabulsi (12:39 PM)
Yes. Kid is a truck masquerading as a running back. An he better be since after Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall, there is not really anyone who can take the pounding that South Carolina, Florida and LSU are going to bestow. Brandon Harton is too small. Heck, Bobo and company shied away from using Marshall in the most physical games. So Turman will get his chance early.
Matt Dawson (Lake Zurich)
I havent heard a solid opinion about the coming defenseive back class. do you see potential? btw i go by maddawg
Radi Nabulsi (12:44 PM)
Shaq Fluker is a talent. No doubt. He hits like a ton of bricks and makes a lot of interceptions. Shaq Wiggins, Tray Matthews, Brendan Langley and Reggie Wilkerson are all among the best DBs in the nation. So as far as potential, it is a great class. But he question is, when will they be ready? How many freshmen are you willing to put out there on an island? Paris Bostick and Quincey Mauger look to be underrated and could both be the next Shawn Williams, but it took Williams a while to develop too. Also, Kennar Johnson played cornerback all last year, but he 6-3 juco transfer is moving to safety. He sounds like the swing guy that Sanders Commings was. So year there are a lot of questions and very few answers.
Crimson (Calhoun )
Is there a tackle in the 2014 class who couls be on the level of say a Laremey Tunsil or John Theus?
Radi Nabulsi (12:48 PM)
I do not know yet. I am still learning who all the 2014 offensive tackles are and we are finding new ones every day. I will say my first guess would be Orlando Brown Jr. That guy is a beast. Andy Bauer and Mason Cole also look to be in that elite company. Still looking into Alex Bars since I know little about him - other than he could not talk to me last night because he had a lot of physics homework.
Yetti (Marrietta )
Do you think Michel and Chubb both sign with UGA? That would be a fantastic tandem. Also if not both so we get one and then say someone like Autrey or Hurd?
Radi Nabulsi (12:51 PM)
I think Georgia leads for both. I think they get Michel (which would be huge for the program) and then we will have to see what Chubb thinks of that. Myles Autry will be tough to pull away from Ohio State, his dream school. But don't forget Adam Choice.
Thomas (Athens )
will the freshman fullback we just signed see significant playing time?
Radi Nabulsi (12:54 PM)
Brendan Douglas told me he was recruited as a running back. So who knows. I mean there is not a lot of depth at tailback. There is the dynamic duo and then Turman, so after those guys get their carries, how many does Douglas get? Or does he beat out Turman? He is fast and a big hitter as well so it is not fair to pencil him in fourth.
Lutz (Auburn )
Hey Radi do you think Corey Moore will improve this offseason and take one of the safety spots? He is super physical. WOuld be nice to hae him in if he know where to be and what to do
Radi Nabulsi (12:56 PM)
I hope so for his sake. I am supposed to be objective but I like Corey a lot. Great family. He is one of the most competitive guys I have ever met. He had a good spring last year but then disappeared. Maybe he can grab one of those spots this spring and hang on. The precedent is there.
Plymouth (UMASS )
Radi was Kamara a bettter looking back than say Keith Marshall coming out of high school?
Radi Nabulsi (12:59 PM)
No, but they played against different talent. In my completely unqualified opinion, I think Kamara is more instinctual, playing by feel and just sensing a gap and using his quick acceleration to pop through. Marshall is more cerebral - he sees where the gap is going to be and heads for it with that track speed of his. If he is right, like he was at Tennessee, then you get those 50+ yard runs.
Dawgfan177 (Anywhere, GA)
I think Lorenzo Carter will go to BAMA. Do you think they have built a pipeline at Norcross?
Radi Nabulsi (1:01 PM)
Kirby Smart does spend a lot of time there. But each guy makes his own decision.
Miles (Bridgeport )
Deshawn Watsons high school numbers are ridiculus. Is he is good as they represeesnt and what are Georgias chances with him
Radi Nabulsi (1:03 PM)
Yes, he is that good. Watson was the first guy to cause Buford to lose at home in the regular season in almost a decade or something like that. I think Georgia can sway him away from Clemson but it will be a fight. And Ohio State might be the last and standing.
Radi...Thanks for all your hard work...My question is...Do you see or can you feel a difference between some of our leaders on the team now vs. some of the ones in the past? It just seems like we have more players (Marshall, Gurley, Mitchell, Swann, Drew) that are focused on TEAM, staying out of trouble, working hard,....things that can be the difference when your trying to win a championship.
Radi Nabulsi (1:07 PM)
There was a definite change in the leadership over the last two years. Ben Jones and Jarvis Jones and some of those guys just stopped putting up with a lot of the whiners and complainers. Also remember that Richt kicked a lot of players off the team. Some of those that felt the rules did not apply to them were dismissed. Murray, Robinson, Lynch - they called out guys who were loafing. Now the question is with the influx of new players, can they keep it up?
Creepy Old Guy at Taco Stand (5 Guys Burgers and Fries)
Isn't Trenton Thompson a '15 prospect?
Radi Nabulsi (1:08 PM)
You are right Creepy Old Guy. I forgot in the span of 6 minutes.
Bama (Tuscaloosa )
Radi what do you know? You seem to avoid alot of questions
Radi Nabulsi (1:10 PM)
Very little. But there are hundreds of them here to answer. This could take all day. As for my answers, if I couch them in terms of opinion instead of fact, well that is because unlike some anonymous posters, my opinions are not fact.
Truth4 (Clayton )
Is Adam Choice a good a back as say Chubb or Michel. and what do you think happens with Stanley Williams
Radi Nabulsi (1:12 PM)
He is not on that level. I don't see Williams playing for Georgia. He is still looking at a lot of other schools. He is talented and runs with a balance I have not seen since Knowshon Moreno, but I think he may have pulled the trigger too early.
Jackson (Athens )
2013 DB class was awesome. WOuld you say in two to three years we have the best secondary in USa?
Radi Nabulsi (1:14 PM)
Well I would want to see who every one else signed but I think they will be special. Do you remember when Florida started a couple freshmen cornerbacks and those guys got burned a lot but as sophomores and juniors the Gators secondary was the best in the SEC? Georgia is following that same formula it appears.
Do you thing Georgia will beat Auburn and Ole Miss? is sure hope so so those recruits realize what a mistake they made.
Radi Nabulsi (1:16 PM)
They don't play Ole Miss this year but I think they do beat Auburn. Gus has some work to do down there on the Plains but the Tigers are going to be back.
Jem (Dalton )
How many RB will Georgia Take in the 2014 class. And who?
Radi Nabulsi (1:20 PM)
Two. Sony Michel and either Nick Chubb or Adam Choice. Of course the coaches offered Elijah Hood yesterday and Joe Mixon last Friday so they are still looking at backs. So far they have offered 10 tailbacks. Maybe they want three with the idea that Douglas moves to fullback and Gurley or Marshall might leave early. The coaches can't talk to us about recruiting so a lot of their positional numbers are just guesses.
Yetti (Marrietta )
Hey Radi will Harvey Clemons stat at safety? and what is his weight looking like
Radi Nabulsi (1:21 PM)
I think so for now, but even Todd Grantham said he was not sure.
where will the berry twins end up?
Radi Nabulsi (1:21 PM)
Who are your oscar picks
Radi Nabulsi (1:22 PM)
I told you no Oscar questions. Where is my "nuke the user" button on this chat?
Dang Radi, that receiver rotation of ours is deep and crowded. Am I good enough to crack it or am I just gonna be a mop-up duty kind of guy? Also who is our biggest Nose Tackle? And who do you think will be the starter at that position next year?
Radi Nabulsi (1:24 PM)
I thin the real Jonathan Rumph will fit in just fine. At 6-5, with his strong leaping ability, he will be a red-zone force. Murray will love throwing the fade to that guy.
will keith marshall carry the ball more or less this year? i feel like he is easyly a 1000 yard back with the o line we have prior to gurney
Radi Nabulsi (1:25 PM)
More. Looking at the schedule I see some games where he can at least get closer to the same number of carries as Gurley.
Josh Harvey Clemons, Tray Mathews, Damian Swann, Sheldon Dawson, Jordan Jenkins, Jonnie Oneal, Davin Bellamy, Garrison Smith Ray Drew and Jonathon Taylor what do you think?
Radi Nabulsi (1:28 PM)
Add Amarlo Herrera on the inside and replace Bellamy with Josh Dawson and I think you have as good a projection as anyone can make before spring camp.
DeAndre (Bankhead )
Whats up wit the linebackers who do you see starting?
Radi Nabulsi (1:31 PM)
It is going to be fun to watch the linebackers fight for the spot opposite Amarlo Herrera. The first guy has to be Ramik Wilson but can he hold off Reggie Carter, Ryne Rankin, Johnny O'Neal, Tim Kimbrough and Shaun McGee? That is as talented a group as I have ever seen.
Is it possible for a walk-on to come in and start?
Radi Nabulsi (1:33 PM)
Maybe as a specialist back in the day but I just don's see it anymore. Hall started at fullback and McGowan returns (or catches) punts but aside from that and special teams, I don't think that happens very often.
So you are saying (in regards to Johnathon Rumph above) that Murray wont have to rely on a back shoulder fade that will get batted down on the 5 yard line, in order to win an SEC Championship?
Radi Nabulsi (1:35 PM)
Rumph actually hurdled a player, Moreno-style, at 6-foot-5. I think that drag rout along the back of the endzone is an option going forward.
Richard (Auburn )
WIll this be the year we beat South Carolina. I hate them more than any team in the country. Why can we not beat them with all the talent we recruit. We have to pull it off this year right? and will we beat LSU?
Radi Nabulsi (1:39 PM)
To be fair, South Carolina has recruited well too. The Gamecocks have the best defender in the nation and had the best running back as well. Add to that a brutal secondary and the toughest quarterback in living memory and they did field a good squad. Their recruitment fell off this year and I think that hurts them going forward. So I will predict a Georgia win this year.
Radi Nabulsi (1:40 PM)
Okay, I ran about 40 minutes long. I have got to run but David will be back next week and you can always drop by The Pound and ask your questions there. Thanks so much for all the questions (except for you Murphy).