THE TEN AT 10
1. Don’t be surprised if Tramel Terry ends up moving back to offense by August. Right now nobody’s saying that’s going to happen. But Terry’s recent comments about his progress on the defensive side of the ball hinted that it’s not going great and he didn’t seem very happy.
The redshirt freshman athlete from Goose Creek was moved from receiver to defensive back during bowl practices in December and has been working at safety throughout Georgia’s spring practices.
“It’s more new to me as far as the concepts of what we’re trying to do out there,” Terry said this past week. “Each day it’s getting better and better. I’m just trying to get all the little terms and get them out on the field instead of thinking so much. Other than that I’m fine. I’ve just got to work hard in the summer time and get my feet right and come back.”
Not exactly brimming with confidence and certainly not much like what we’ve been hearing from J.J. Green. The sophomore and former running back also made the move to defense and appears headed toward a starting position either at the Star position or safety. He’s worked at both with the No. 1 defense this spring.
Terry’s work has primarily come with the second- and third-string units.
“I didn’t come here to be a second-team guy or third-team guy, you know what I’m saying?” said Terry, who was named Mr. Football in South Carolina when he left Goose Creek High. “I came here to play, and that’s my goal this year. I’ve just got to put in the work and learn, and I’m willing to do that.”
2. Terry’s move to defense came at the behest of former Georgia defensive coordinator Todd Grantham.
“Every practice Coach Grantham would come up to me and say this is where you’re money’s at, this is where you can make it,” Terry recalled. “I looked at the DBs and I’m like, ‘I’m a defensive guy,’ like my body size and all that. I just trusted them. They put me on the defense for the bowl game and I was out there making plays. It was more relaxed. … They were just kind of putting me out there and telling me what to do. Now it’s more like learning. Sometimes I’m hesitant on what I’m doing I’ve just got to keep learning from the coaches and make sure I know everything and I’ll be fine.”
Terry scoffed at the prospect of possibly being utilized on both sides of the ball or as a kick returner, as was once discussed.
“I feel like my hands are full right now,” Terry said. “We’ve got plenty of guys who are capable of doing it. I guess they just want me to be on the field at safety and focus on that. … I’ve just got to become a defensive player.”
3. At the moment, Chris Haack doesn’t have any plans to attend this year’s Masters. But he’s got some close friends in Augusta with badges and says he can be there in a flash on Sunday if one of his guys is in contention.
There are decent odds that one might. The Georgia Bulldogs have four golf alums in this year’s field, five if one counts Patrick Reed, and UGA doesn’t (more on that below).
Harris English, Russell Henley, Chris Kirk and Bubba Watson will all be teeing it up at Augusta National this week. All four have notched PGA Tour victories in the last six months and Watson, of course, is the 2012 Masters champion.
“If there is a Georgia Bulldog in the hunt, I’ll find a way to get down there,” said Haack, whose current UGA golf team is ranked No. 5. “I hope all four of them are. They’re all playing pretty good right now.”
Henley won the Honda Classic last month and is coming off a tie for seventh this past weekend in Houston. Watson won the Northern Trust Open in February. Kirk and English both won last year and have been consistently good this year. They’re sixth and fourth, respectively, in the latest FedEx Cup standings.
4. Reed, who played at Georgia from 2008-09, is playing better than any of them and is considered one of the favorites among the 24 Masters rookies in the field this year. The Augusta native comes in with a No. 2 FedEx ranking and has already won twice in 2014.
But the Bulldogs don’t claim Reed as one of their own. He was dismissed from the program for multiple team rules violations and transferred to Augusta State.
“It just wasn’t a very good fit and we decided to part ways and find him somewhere else to go,” Haack said this week. “But there was no doubt he was a super talent.”
No doubt. Now known as Georgia Regents University of Augusta, Reed led the Jaguars to back-to-back national championships in 2010-11, the second of which came head-to-head over the Bulldogs. Reed beat English 2-and-1 in the final match of match-play to claim that title.
It was a defeat that still stings for UGA. If you’re rooting for a little Bulldog-flavored drama at the Masters this week, hope for a playoff between Reed and English for the green jacket.
5. A quick note on the current Georgia men’s golf team: The No. 5-ranked Bulldogs played this past Saturday won the Met Intercollegiate on Saturday for its third victory of the season. Led by medalist Lee McCoy, the Bulldogs shot 16-over 580 to host Yale along with Army, Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn and Princeton by a total of 33 strokes over 36 holes at Century Country Club and Old Oaks Country Club.
The Bulldogs earlier won the Dick’s Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup in September and the Linger Longer Invitational in their last outing in March.
The Met was one of two events UGA added late to its schedule in advance of the April 25-27 SEC Championships on St. Simons Island. The other late addition is the College Match Play Championship at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course on April 19. The Bulldogs will join Georgia, Georgia Tech, Auburn and Florida State competing in the match-play competitions, which is structured similar to those at the NCAA Championship. The teams’ No. 5 players will face off, followed by the No. 4 players and so on, with each individual match counting one point toward the team score.
The semifinal matches will feature the team ranked highest among the four in that week’s Golfstat rankings against the team ranked lowest. The other semifinal would pit the team ranked second-highest against the team ranked third-highest. Current rankings would pit No. 4 Georgia Tech against No. 26 Auburn and No. 5 Georgia against No. 12 Florida State, but the semifinal match-ups are subject to change.
6. Really sad what happened to last week to Jack Bauerle. Of course, he was indefinitely suspended from his duties as Georgia’s swimming and diving coach after the Bulldogs’ received a Notice of Allegations from the NCAA.
UGA – and Bauerle specifically – is accused of “breach of conduct” and providing an “extra benefit” to a student-athlete. Georgia has 90 days to respond to the allegations and then the two parties have 60 days to arrange a hearing. So you’re looking at a process of at least five months.
But the fact that Bauerle is already suspended from his duties (he can’t even access his office at the Gabrielson Natatorium) does not bode well for the 35-year coach surviving this ordeal. Never minding the NCAA matter, it’s against UGA Athletic Association policy for a coach to have direct contact with an instructor over a student-athlete’s academic status. Apparently they have phone records and other electronic evidence proving took place.
Bauerle aims to fight and has retained outside counsel. Maybe he’ll beat it. In any case, he remains one of the most successful Georgia – and well-liked — coaches in history and will after this is over. Even if there was a momentary lapse of reason, there are dozens who will stand ready to support and defend him.
7. You might have to enter into the chicken-and-egg argument, but from a timing standpoint it appears Georgia’s move to extend the contract of men’s basketball coach Mark Fox paid immediate dividends.
The Bulldogs this past weekend landed two commitments for the 2014 recruiting class. Fred Iduwe, a 6-foot-11, 220-pound center who is originally from Nigeria and plays at St. John’s Northwest Military Academy near Milwaukee, UGA over North Dakota and Wisconsin-Green Bay. Yante Maten is a 6-8, 230-pound power forward from Bloomfield Hills, Mich., who carries a 3-and picked the Bulldogs over Michigan State and Indiana.
Both prospects fulfill Georgia’s need to add some front-line depth. The Bulldogs lose only 6-9 forward/center Donte Williams off this year’s team, which finished 20-11 overall and finished second in the SEC (12-6).
8. Don’t look now, but coach Scott Stricklin’s Diamond Dogs are within three wins of matching last season’s victory total with 23 games to go. Georgia won two of three on the road at Missouri this past weekend to notched its second straight SEC series. The Bulldogs (18-13-1, 5-6-1 SEC) travel to Clemson (20-10) on Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. before having Tennessee in for three at Foley Field starting on Thursday.
9. Georgia coach Mark Richt continues to be involved with the All Pro Dad organization along with his good friend Tony Dungy. Dungy, the former Super Bowl coach, will make an appearance Wednesday at the H.H. Gregg in Alpharetta. There, tickets will go on sale for the “All Pro Dad LIVE” event that will take place later this summer at Greater Atlanta Christian in Norcross. Dungy, Richt and other celebrity fathers will be among the featured speakers who will address Atlanta-area fathers about becoming passionate about their role in the family and providing resources to “rightly train up” their children and give them a hopeful future. For tickets and more information, visit AllProDadLIVE.com.
10. This & that: I’m in Augusta covering this little invitational tournament down here this week. But the ever-capable Tim Tucker is manning the store back in Athens and will be providing coverage of this week’s practices and Saturday’s 1 p.m. G-Day Game at Sanford Stadium. … Of course, admission to the G-Day is free and the gates will open at 11 a.m. But that’s not the only thing going on in Athens this weekend. In addition to the baseball team’s three-game series against Tennessee, the women’s tennis team has matches against Alabama on Friday and Auburn on Sunday and the track team will be hosting the annual Spec Towns Invitational. Parking will be at a premium so get to town early on Saturday.