UGA junior linebacker Roquan Smith will enter the 2018 NFL Draft, Smith and head coach Kirby Smart announced Monday via a statement.
“I think back to growing up in Macon County and all the family and community people of my hometown that provided so many opportunities,” Smith said. “The teachers who educated me, the coaches who taught me how to play the games, and those who taught me how to play football all contributed to where I am today. And I can’t believe how fortunate I have been to be part of the Georgia Bulldog family these past three years. I owe so much to the Athletic Association, our academic staff, student services, and the University faculty and administration for the environment in which I’ve been able to grow.
“I’m so grateful for my teammates who have always supported me every step of the way. And no thanks are enough for the coaches and staff who have provided the leadership, inspiration, and tireless hours in helping me develop as a player but also as a man. What we accomplished this year is only the beginning of what’s to come for this program. I’m proud to be a part of the foundation that Coach Smart is building on and his leadership and direction are going to bring many more great times and memories to the Bulldog Nation.
“As you know this is somewhat of a crossroads for me. I’ve had discussions with coaches and family and a lot of thought and prayer. The decision to leave is not easy but I know it is the right one. Georgia will always be my school and my home and I sincerely wish all the best to the coaches, staff, and players as they continue to reach higher goals in the years to come.”
In three seasons at the University of Georgia, Roquan Smith amassed 252 total tackles (146 solo, 106 assisted), 20.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and three fumble recoveries.
“Words cannot describe how much Roquan has meant to our program,” Kirby Smart said. “The accolades he has received are a testimony to his ability as a player. But he has also demonstrated on and off the field the qualities of a great leader who has commanded the respect of all his teammates as well as our coaching and support staffs. As the head coach, it’s been a privilege to see him develop as a student-athlete and inspirational leader who has made immeasurable contributions to our team and to the program we are building. While we will miss him, we wish him all the best and know that great success awaits him at the next level.”
After his stellar 2017 season, Smith earned unanimous All-American honors. He also became the first Bulldog to win the Butkus Award, which is given to the nation’s most outstanding linebacker.
Smith was also a finalist for the Nagurski Trophy and Bednarik Award, which are given to the country’s most dominant defensive player.
Good luck to Roquan in the NFL and Go Dawgs!
UGA junior defensive tackle Trenton Thompson will enter the 2018 NFL Draft. Thompson posted his announcement to his Instragram account on Friday.
After long discussion with my family and coaches I have decided to enter the 2018 NFL Draft. I would like to thank my family, teammates, Coach Smart and the rest of the staff for all of their support the last 3 years. Coming to Athens was the best decision of my life and the memories and friendships I’ve made will last a lifetime. Playing in the NFL has been a lifelong dream of mine and I’m excited to see what the future holds. Even though I’m moving on to the next chapter, Georgia will always be home! I certainly want to thank the greatest fans in the country for their passion and support! Thank you Jolly Nation and Go Dawgs!!
A post shared by Trent (@78_flow) on
Thompson was a huge part of Georgia’s interior defensive line this season, a defense that led the Dawgs to an SEC Championship, Playoff Semifinal win in the Rose Bowl, and National Championship appearance.
In three seasons at UGA, Trenton Thompson had 127 total tackles (57 solo, 70 assisted) and 5.5 sacks.
Good luck to Trenton in the NFL and Go Dawgs!
It was reported by the Seattle Times shortly after UGA lost in the National Championship that true sophomore quarterback Jacob Eason was transferring to Washington.
While most fans and media suspected Eason would transfer, there has been no official word from UGA or Eason himself until today.
Jacob Eason announced via his Twitter account on Friday that he is leaving UGA.
Thank you UGA for an incredible two years. The memories and relationships I have made will truly last a lifetime. I will miss suiting up in red and black, but Athens will always be a place I can call home. -Skinnyqb pic.twitter.com/2vyMVa0UE0
— Jacob Eason (@skinnyqb10) January 12, 2018
Jacob Eason started all 13 games for the Georgia Bulldogs as a freshman. This season, he started game one against Appalachian State before leaving the game with a knee injury.
True freshman Jake Fromm entered and didn’t surrender the starting position the remainder of the season. Fromm will likely be the starter in 2018 and the Bulldogs just signed Justin Fields, a five-star dual-threat quarterback.
In 14 games at UGA, Eason completed 208 of 377 passes for 2,458 yards, 16 touchdowns, and eight interceptions.
Jacob Eason is a Damn Good Dawg. He handled the 2017 season with a on of class. We wish him luck at Washington or wherever he lands next!
April 21 is two weeks after The Masters golf tournament (April 5-8, 2018) and three weeks after Easter (Sunday, April 1, 2018). Although uga.edu lists the game for noon ET, the official kickoff time will likely be announced at a later date by the SC Network.
The Georgia Bulldogs, and all of Dawg Nation, are still recovering from the 26-23 overtime loss to Alabama in the National Championship game. The Bulldogs finished the season 13-2 with an SEC Championship and Rose Bowl Game champions.
Georgia kicks off the 2018 season on Saturday, Sept. 1 against the Austin Peay Governors at Sanford Stadium in Athens.
ATLANTA, Ga. — A second-half surge, capped by a 41-yard touchdown in overtime, lifted the Alabama Crimson Tide over the Georgia Bulldogs 26-23 in the National Championship Game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Monday night.
After 20 points from the Tide offense in the second half, a wide 36-yard field goal attempt from Alabama kicker Andy Pappanastos in the final seconds of regulation sent the game into Georgia’s second-straight overtime contest of the College Football Playoff.
In overtime, redshirt sophomore kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, who was 3-for-3 in field goals on the game, drilled a 51-yard field goal for the 23-20 Georgia lead. Junior Jonathan Ledbetter and senior Davin Bellamy picked up the sack of the Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for a loss of 16 yards, but on the next play, the freshman hauled a 41-yard pass to a sprinting DeVonta Smith in the end zone to seal the Tide’s national championship.
“I think [Alabama] had a lot of momentum,” Georgia head coach Kirby Smart said. “I think they had a lot of juice, I think a lot of their guys believed in him. I think our guys were resilient, even with the momentum change. We kept fighting back, made some big, key stops, but even with the stops, couldn’t stop them in the end when we had to, and that’s what you have to do against good teams.”
Georgia recorded 13 wins in the second year of the Smart tenure, which ties the school record for most wins in a season. Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm led the Bulldog offense in the pocket, finishing 16-for-32 for 232 yards with one touchdown. He connected with sophomore Riley Ridley a career-high six times tonight for 82 yards, while senior Sony Michel totaled a team-leading 98 yards on 14 carries.
Junior linebacker Roquan Smith highlighted the Georgia defense with a career-high 13 tackles. In the first half, Georgia blanked Alabama, marking the fourth team this season held scoreless by the Bulldog defense in the first half (Florida, Tennessee, Appalachian State). The Georgia defense allowed only 94 total Alabama yards on 24 plays in the opening frame, forcing four Alabama punts on four offensive possessions after a missed field goal.
As the first quarter wound down, Michel converted two key third-down plays to extend the Georgia drive. On 3rd-and-20, Michel maneuvered the edge of the field, sprinting 26 yards down the sideline for the first down, placing Georgia on the Alabama 26-yard line. Blankenship capped the 14-play, 55-yard drive at the beginning of the second quarter with a 41-yard field goal, and Georgia claimed the 3-0 lead.
Another Alabama three-and-out returned the ball to the Georgia offense, and Fromm directed a 13-play, 70-yard scoring drive. The freshman from Warner Robins, Ga. used four different Georgia receivers in freshman D’Andre Swift, Ridley, sophomore Mecole Hardman and senior Javon Wims for a combined 54 receiving yards, completing 4-of-7 passes. A 27-yard field goal from Blankenship provided the 6-0 Bulldog edge.
With 1:19 remaining in the half, the Georgia defense forced Alabama to punt, setting up a Fromm-directed 9-play, 69-yard drive. Michel took the direct snap with seven seconds left and handed the ball to Hardman, who rushed into the end zone for the 1-yard touchdown, the second of his career. The Bulldogs closed the half with a 13-0 advantage.
In the third quarter, Alabama struck first, completing a 7-play, 56-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Tagovailoa to Henry Ruggs III, but Georgia responded on the following possession. At the 6:52 mark in the third quarter, Fromm tossed a career-high 80-yard dime to Hardman downfield, who shook off an Alabama defender to reach the end zone for the 20-7 Georgia edge.
Alabama pieced together a pair of field goals from Pappanastos to cut into the Georgia lead. On 4th-and-4, Tagovailoa found wide receiver Calvin Ridley in the middle of the end zone, followed by a Pappanastos kick, to knot the game at 20, and eventually send the game into overtime.
“This team’s not going anywhere,” Smart said. “The inches are everywhere. The inches that it takes to be a champion, they’re everywhere. They’re in everything. They’re all over the place, and we’ve got to get more inches.”
On Monday, January 8, 2018 the Georgia Bulldogs will face the Alabama Crimson Tide for the National Championship at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
Georgia defeated #2 Oklahoma 54-48 in double-overtime at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California on January 1. Alabama defeated #1 Clemson 24-6 at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana in the final semifinal game. Here are facts leading up to this all-SEC National Championship:
• This is the first time a No. 3 seed (Georgia) has made it to the National Championship in the 4 year history of the College Football Playoff.
• This will also be the first 3-seed vs 4-seed matchup for the National Championship in the Playoff era.
• The last all-SEC National Championship was 2011 when Alabama defeated LSU 21-0 in New Orleans.
• Georgia is trying to win a National Championship in their home state. The last team to win a National Championship in their home state was the 2008 Florida Gators, beating Oklahoma 24-14 in Miami.
• Again, Jake Fromm is trying to become the 2nd true freshman QB to win a National Championship after Jamelle Holieway did for Oklahoma in 1985.
• It’s been 113 pass attempts since an Alabama quarterback threw an interception (Hurts 95, Tagovailoa 18: 10/21/17 against Tennessee when Daniel Bituli returned Tagovailoa’s pass 97 yards for a Vols touchdown).
• #34 Damien Harris needs 17 yards to reach 1,000 for the season, which would mark the 3rd straight season an Alabama running back has done so.
• Jake Fromm needs two touchdown passes to set the school record for a freshman. Aaron Murray threw for 24 TD’s in 2010.
• Jake Fromm can be the first Georgia QB to throw a touchdown pass in each game of the season this century. Eric Zeier is the only UGA QB to accomplish this (1994).
• Nick Saban is trying to win his 6th National Championship to tie legendary coach Bear Bryant.
• Kirby Smart will try to become the first former assistant coach to beat Nick Saban, who is 11-0 against his former assistants.
• With an Alabama win, every Nick Saban recruiting class will have won at least one National Championship since his first class at LSU in 2000. Even his final class at LSU, in 2004, won the 2007 National Championship as seniors under Les Miles.
• With one Dominick Sanders interception, he will set the school record at UGA for interceptions with 17, passing Jake Scott and Bacarri Rambo.
• Sony Michel can tie Garrison Hearst (1992) for rushing touchdowns in a season if he matches his three-touchdown performance at the Rose Bowl. Michel has 16 touchdowns. 19 total will tie the SEC record or 20 will break it.
Prediction: Georgia’s magical season culminates with their first National Championship since 1980. Georgia 24, Alabama 21.
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