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 (12:09 PM)
Hi everybody. Sorry I'm a couple of minutes late. Let's get started.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What College Football Freshmen do you think will be absolutely Great for Georgia?
David Ching (12:13 PM)
Tray Matthews is going to be pretty good I think. There are a handful of others I think will be interesting. They're probably going to play some freshmen at ILB, CB and RB. So keep an eye on some of the signees at those positions, too.
How much, if any, do our coaches play up things like the way Coach Richt and our staff help out transfers. The situation in Oklahoma State with the coach blocking his freshman quarterback from transferring to 37 schools is crazy, but it seems like the OSU route is much more common than the way UGA handles things like this. The proof is in the pudding, and I hope that the mama's and the daddy's are aware of which schools will look out for the kids and which schools will hang them out to dry. I can't help but think of something like the Jamar Chaney situation when a transfer comes up. I know it's a different situation, but still...
Do you have any updated info on Dashaun Watson?
David Ching (12:16 PM)
Having some technical difficulties getting you guys' questions to post. Hang on with me.
David Ching (12:19 PM)
I don't know if I'm advertising that I'll let you transfer without blocking while I'm recruiting you. But I'd imagine he's happy that the stories are out there that explain his stance on that. It's unfortunate that player welfare is not taken into account more than it is by most coaching staffs. There's a balance you have to strike there to be sure, but it looks awfully bad from a PR perspective when a coach can just take off whenever he wants, but players can be blocked from leaving like they can.
David Ching (12:20 PM)
On Watson, I don't know if there's anything particularly new to report. People are going to pursue him heavily until they can't pursue him heavily anymore. Looks to be still Clemson as of now.
frdallas (Vidalia, GA)
I was wondering what the coaches' assessment of late acquisition RB Brendan Douglas, and the role he may play this upcoming year. Particularly regarding his physical and mental readiness, his particular skillset, and whether or not they intend to keep him as a RB or use him as a FB. --Thanks
David Ching (12:22 PM)
I actually just wrote a story about Douglas and A.J. Turman earlier this week. Mike Bobo said they're both probably going to play this year. I don't think physical or mental readiness will be a problem with him at all. He's going to be a tailback for now, but I wouldn't be shocked to see him shift to tailback as he ages, particularly if he packs on some size.
What is the latest on Matt Thomas? How can FSU be okay with AND get away with not releasing a kid from their scholarship and controlling a kid that doesn't want to be there? Bad public relations hit if you ask me.
David Ching (12:23 PM)
I think the ball is in his court right now. FSU does not seem interested in budging so he'll have to decide whether he wants to give FSU a chance or not. Our recruiting pro Kipp Adams seems to think he's going to stick with the Noles. And I agree, it's a bad PR situation for them, but I'd probably do the same thing if I were in their position. Make him accountable for his decision.
What do you think our chances are of getting out of September unscathed? I have faith, but that's a tough schedule for a much less experienced defense and I'd be lying if i said I wasn't worried.
David Ching (12:25 PM)
Well the chances aren't zero, but that's a tall order. I don't expect them to be 4-0 after the LSU game. If they are, they very well may play for a national title. I was working on a season preview kind of thing that runs next Monday on the main college football page. Stat from that story: Georgia is 2-4 against BCS-conference teams in the first two games dating back to 2009.
I have a two part question. #1 with the losses on defense what do you see as the weakest part of the defense and why? #2 with the tough opening games for UGA what is your predition going into October?
David Ching (12:28 PM)
I don't necessarily view anything as a weakness yet. From an experience standpoint, every level of the defense is about the same. But I'm most curious about how the defensive front will fare. If they can play tough and get some pressure on the QB, that will help all the other groups. On No. 2, I think 3-1 would be a reasonable goal and would be a great way for them to start the season. If they're going to lose one, you'd probably want it to be Clemson, I guess.
Who's our best incoming freshman linebacker?
David Ching (12:30 PM)
Well I haven't seen them all play, so I can't say that with any certainty. ESPN's recruiting folks ranked Johnny O'Neal the highest. I will say that I think Reggie Carter had a great spring and he would have certainly been ranked higher as a prospect if he hadn't torn his ACL in high school and been still recovering from that during his senior year. I think that kid's going to be a really good player. Todd Grantham mentioned Tim Kimbrough as a player he's looking forward to seeing in August at a thing last week. And I think the fans are going to like Ryne Rankin. So honestly, I think they'll all make an impact, but I'm not sure who's the best just yet.
Sean (San Diego)
We seem unusually deep at the DL positions this year. Not much starting experience other than Smith. Do you see the depth possibly overcoming some of the mistakes a young DL front? Do you think the Defense will surprise this year?
David Ching (12:32 PM)
That's a good question Sean. I think their hope is exactly that. You've got a couple of guys on that group who have played some aside from Smith -- Drew actually played a good bit down the stretch last year and Mike Thornton has played some. But I don't know that they feel like they've figured out who's going to do what yet. That will be one of the groups to keep an eye on in August. I think if Chris Mayes and Jonathan Taylor keep coming on to where they can be a factor, you've already got a pretty decent nucleus of players in that bunch.
Jonathan Rumph showed out in the G-day game. Heard rumors about some work ethic problems. Any truth to it? Will he be a big contributor this year?
David Ching (12:34 PM)
I would say it was fairly apparent that the coaches weren't particularly happy with him before G-Day. Now whether it was work ethic or him just not picking things up as quickly as they wanted, I'm not 100 percent sure. He definitely has the talent and the physical traits to contribute this year. I think it's up to him whether he actually does that.
John Bell (Athens)
Hi David, I'm concerned about the Gators this year. Although we won the past two meetings (and Murray played poorly in both), we had a LOT of fortunate breaks in those games and barely won them both. I'm afraid if those breaks go UF's way, we lose badly...your thoughts?
David Ching (12:36 PM)
Georgia was definitely fortunate to win those two games. If Jarvis Jones has a legacy in Athens, it definitely has to center around how he hand-delivered two wins in that series. I would say Florida looks like it's in pretty shaky shape this season, though. Their offensive line is a mess and they don't have any proven skill players on offense. The talent level is apparently pretty good, but it looks like a pretty good matchup for Georgia to me.
Can the offense play to the level they did last year or do they roll in comfortable and complacient? Will Aaron finally put together a complete season and not have the brain farts(3 picks in first half of Cocktail Party)
David Ching (12:38 PM)
Playing to that level isn't a given. I think that's why Mike Bobo was trumpeting that complacency stuff throughout the spring. Let's face it, setting another school scoring record and putting up the kind of numbers they put up last year is setting the bar pretty high. But they've got almost everybody back so it's not entirely out of the question. I think Murray is going to be really, really good this year and that's going to put them around those numbers, but I don't know if it's reasonable to expect them to exceed them.
Last year, SC absolutely dominated the game beginning to end. With a returning Clowney and Spurrier at the helm. What are some adjustments the Dawgs must make to win the game?
David Ching (12:40 PM)
I think they got away from the run too early in that game. They also let Connor Shaw run circles around them on the first two or three drives before finally settling down. That's where I'd start. I'm sure if I went back and re-watched the game, I'd have another couple of thoughts, but those are two that immediately come to mind. SC lost some pretty good players off last year's D, too, so that should be an interesting game.
Zack (Athens )
David, Georgia will be going to Clemson university around 100 days from now to play in one of the most anticipated games of the football season. I hoped to get a prediction from you and keys to the game.
David Ching (12:42 PM)
I've said Georgia 42-38 on here before. I'll stick with that. I was just talking about containing Connor Shaw when they play SC. That's obviously also a big deal against Tajh Boyd, as he's a more talented runner and thrower. I think turnovers will be a big deal in that game and also punching the ball in the end zone. Whoever is more efficient in the red zone is probably going to win that game IMO.
How is Marshall Morgan progressing and how much is the bar raising for him this season? He may likely be a key component to some wins this season. I have heard he has been working out a lot and improving on his game this summer. He is an exciting player to me being an athletic kicker that is making tackles out there and only a freshman.
David Ching (12:44 PM)
I got a question about Marshall over email this morning and was going to address him here today at some point. It sounded to me like he had a pretty good spring, although we see pretty much no kicking work. I think he's absolutely one of the key factors in this season. Georgia didn't have many situations last year where it was relying on him to make a big kick -- Tennessee just before halftime was a huge one, though -- but you figure that will chance soon. He had an OK freshman year, but they're depending on him to be more consistent and I'll bet he delivers. If he doesn't, they're going to have to look at other options, I guess.
Whats the word on Nick Glass is he gonna be a dawg? What's the word on Chubb? I would hate to loose Nick Glass, I could see him and Tray Matthews playing lights out together
David Ching (12:46 PM)
There have been rumors about Glass looking around since he committed, but he just tweeted in the last day or two that he's firmly committed to Georgia. I don't know how reliable that is, but that's what he said. Last I heard, Chubb was going to take two or three visits, but it still sounded like Georgia was in great shape with him. Should be announcing his decision soon, but I don't recall exactly when off the top of my head.
who do you think will be playing the other CB spot? Sheldon Dawson or will it be a freshman or JUCO?
David Ching (12:47 PM)
My money's still on Sheldon Dawson. He was having a pretty good spring before he hurt his hamstring. But I don't think he's won the job yet. Reggie Wilkerson was there this spring and handled himself well and then you've got Brendan Langley and Shaq Wiggins arriving in a couple of weeks. So that decision is probably TBA, but Dawson's gonna be in the mix somewhere even if he doesn't start.
David Ching (12:51 PM)
I'm not sure where it will rank in the schedule strength category, but it will have to be up there. It lightens up a good bit after the first month, but that September slate has to be one of the toughest in the nation. South Carolina and LSU look like the two biggest games to me. As far as upsets, at Vandy has been a tough one for Georgia over the last five years or so. Also I think Missouri's going to be a lot better in its second year in the SEC.
Looking at the schedule for next year, I can't help but think we have the toughest schedule in the nation. You're looking at LSU, Florida, SC, Clemson clearly as very challenging games. But also playing GT, Vandy, Auburn, and Tennessee away can provide for upset possibility. What games will be the most challenging, and who is a sleeper team that possess upset capability?
David Ching (12:51 PM)
Whoops...shoulda posted that last one first...
Seems like we had an abnormal amount of knee injurys in the WR corps last year, do you think it might be something we are or are not doing in the conditioning program? Bennett, Brown, and Mitchell all had knee injurys
David Ching (12:51 PM)
No, I don't think there's anything to that. Football's a tough game.
Sean (San Diego)
Any word on Bennett's recovery? Dude was on fire last season before the injury.
David Ching (12:52 PM)
Yeah, he's almost all the way back to full speed. Should be ready to roll when they open preseason practice.
JCody (Wilmington, NC)
David, what kind of player can Tramel Terry be when healthy and do you expect him to be a factor this year?
David Ching (12:53 PM)
I think that kid's going to be a star. The only question is whether it's this year or not. I don't think anyone knows the answer to that with any certainty, but the last couple of times I've talked to a coach, they seem to think he'll be ready for preseason camp.
Have we tabbed someone to handle kick offs and punts, I love Mitchell but he has no business returning, his decision making is not what it should be
David Ching (12:55 PM)
There are some signees that they're going to add to the mix this preseason who can handle those jobs, but I think Mitchell might still be your guy until somebody else proves he is a superior option.
Is there a clear #2 dependable pass rusher to go along with Jordan Jenkins?
David Ching (1:00 PM)
I don't think there's a clear one, no. James DeLoach is a guy who generated some buzz in the spring. He might emerge there. Leonard Floyd was a good pass rusher at Hargrave, but you never know how quickly he'll make the transition. I really don't know who that's going to be yet. Will definitely be one of the storylines to watch in August.
Sean (San Diego)
David, we've talked about Murray's progress as a QB in the forum. Do you see him still having to look to the sideline to call audibles this season? IMO this type of maturity in his game is lacking and I feel Bobo is partly responsible. David Greene was great at reading the D at the line of scrimmage. I just feel this is one of the biggest parts of Murray's game that is lacking.
David Ching (1:01 PM)
I don't agree with that at all. Murray's a pretty cerebral player in my view.
How do you think we will fare against the run this year? Last season we didn't do much to stop the it the majority of the season. The most glaring example was in the SEC Championship game. Have the coaches made any comments about how they're going to fix those issues, especially with a more inexperienced defense?
David Ching (1:03 PM)
Without a doubt, that was a big issue, especially in that game. They think playing more players on the D-line will help. I'm not 100 percent convinced that's not happy talk at this point. It's a logical point, though. If they can develop five to eight linemen and not miss a beat when one of them replaces another, I think it could make a difference as a game progresses. I don't know that they were convinced that they had that many game-ready players at the end of the spring, but there's good potential in that bunch.
David Ching (1:04 PM)
So how will they fare? I expect them to be OK, but I'm not sure that they'll dominate. Maybe they will, but we haven't seen these guys enough to have much of a feel yet.
I think inexperience is overrated BAMA lost a lot of guys from their defense and won it all. From what you have seen and heard do we have the talent or not to be a championship defense?
David Ching (1:06 PM)
I think there's a ton of talent on this defense, which is why they handled themselves better than we might have expected in the spring. There are five or six ESPN 150 players in the starting lineup and then others who will certainly contribute. The question is not whether the talent is there, it's how quickly that bunch comes together with the schedule being so tough early.
Sean (San Diego)
I guess I should have worded my question differently. Do you think Murray will have more opportunities to call audibles. Instead of looking to the sideline. I know he is a film junky (love that about him).
David Ching (1:08 PM)
Yeah, I think he'll have a lot of freedom to change protections and get them into a better play. I think he did that already, though. That will be the case maybe even more this year.
David Ching (1:08 PM)
All right everybody, thanks for joining me today. It's been a lot of fun. Y'all catch me again in two weeks here at noon.