THE TEN AT 10:
1. Terry Godwin wasn’t selected in the first couple of rounds of Major League Baseball first-year player draft last night, to the relief of Georgia football fans. And he might not be selected when rounds 3 through 10 commence this afternoon. But there’s a pretty good chance Georgia’s 5-star wide receiver might go sometime on Wednesday when rounds 11 through 40 are selected. And if the money’s right, Godwin could choose professional baseball over football.
That’s according to Godwin’s father, Terry Godwin Sr.
“Well, you know, it depends,” the elder Godwin told me last week. “If they offer him a good bit of money, I think he’s going to play pro baseball. But I don’t know. He loves football, too. He’s kind of mixed up right now.”
Of course, the key in all that is the exact definition of “a good bit of money.” Mr. Godwin wouldn’t say what that might be for them. But it’s likely more than what Godwin could be offered if he lasts until Wednesday’s rounds.
According to draft expert Jim Callis of MLB.com (he’s a Georgia grad, you know, and an old classmate of mine), there’s a penalty if a team pays a prospect that is selected after the 10th round a bonus more than $100,000. They can end up forfeiting draft picks and paying luxury taxes and all this kind of stuff.
But it does happen sometimes. Vanderbilt catcher Spencer Navin got $300,000 in 2013 from the Dodgers after being chosen in the 11th round. And the Dodgers had to do all kind of tap-dancing with their draft pool after that.
As the AJC’s Michael Carvell pointed out Monday, scouts are intrigued about Godwin’s exceptional athleticism and baseball skills and could take a chance on him. “It only takes one team,” as one scout said, and Godwin worked out for the Braves and the Reds. So look out if Godwin is picked today.
2. A more likely scenario is that you’ll see Godwin play both sports at Georgia. “Little T,” as they call him back in La Grange, said he has been given assurances by football coach Mark Richt and baseball coach Scott Stricklin that he will be allowed to play both sports with the Bulldogs.
“As long he keeps up his grades,” Richt qualifies.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are making plans for Godwin on the football field. Georgia offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer talked excitedly last week about getting the chance to utilize the lightning-quick receiver in the Bulldogs’ new offense. Schottenheimer, you’ll recall, was drawing up plays for a player with the St. Louis Rams Godwin has been compared to in Tavon Austin.
“You talk to these kids and they all think they’re Tavon,” Schottenheimer said with a laugh. “Yeah, there are things we can envision (Godwin) doing like that, and we’ve expressed that to him. We moved Tavon to a lot of spots; he played a lot of different roles. That will be a big challenge for Terry and these other guys, learning the playbook and having the flexibility to move them around and put them in different spots.”
Austin averaged 35.5 receptions, 22.5 rushes, 34 punt returns and 10 kickoff returns in two seasons with the Rams and Schottenheimer.
3. Speaking of Schottenheimer, we finally got to hear from him this past week. The Bulldogs’ new offensive coordinator hadn’t been available to answer reporters’ questions since Jan. 9 at his introductory press conference.
As you’d guess, Schotty was asked a lot about the Bulldogs’ quarterback situation, which only got more interesting later in the day when Greyson Lambert announced that he’d be transferring to UGA from Virginia, where he is a rising junior. More on that later.
But Schottenheimer also weighed in on Georgia’s running back situation. He talked about how surprised and impressed he was to learn about the Bulldogs’ depth of riches at the position. Of course, most people rarely get past Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Keith Marshall when discussing tailbacks. But with the addition of freshman Tae Crowder from Harris County this summer, the Bulldogs have six tailbacks on scholarship heading into the fall camp. Brendan Douglas and A.J. Turman round out the position.
“They’ve been putting out great backs here for a long time,” Schottenheimer said. “It’s surprising just when you look at the numbers. You look at Sony, you look at Todd (Gurley) going to where I come from. Again, you need multiple backs. Obviously Coach (Mark) Richt, Coach (Bryan) McClendon and now Thomas (Brown), they all get that. … It’s amazing. It speaks to the evaluation process and how well they’ve done at that for a long time here.”
4. As for Crowder, he’s the tailback about which folks know the least. He’s a big kid — 6-3, 220 pounds — and comes to Georgia from Harris County. There he rushed for 1,665 yards and 27 touchdowns his senior season.
Schottenheimer wouldn’t say, but obviously the odds are that Crowder will be redshirted this season.
“Tae’s a big back,” Schottenheimer said. “You forget how big he is for an incoming freshman. What you see on film is a guy who runs with power, runs with speed, finishes in well in the end zone. We’re excited about all that. But he’s got a big transition to go through just figuring out where the dining hall is. We’ll get him up to speed on the playbook.”
5. Josh Cardiello, the redshirt sophomore offensive guard who transferred to Chattanooga this past week, told me in no uncertain terms that he was not forced out or encouraged to leave by UGA. But the Bulldogs are presently tight on scholarships and probably appreciate the breathing room his exit allowed.
In fact, by our estimations, Georgia is at 86 scholarship players on full scholarship, one beyond the NCAA maximum. That’s counting a few players that aren’t on campus yet, and whether they will be or not is uncertain at this point.
One member of the Bulldogs’ 30-man signing class has enrolled in junior college (linebacker Gary McCrae) and two others have yet to show up: defensive back Kirby Choates of East Point and defensive tackle DaQuan Hawkins of Atlanta. Westlake coach Bryan Love told the AJC this past weekend that Hawkins graduated from Westlake High School last week. Hawkins is waiting on his SAT scores and hopes to enroll at UGA later this summer.
Choates is also said to be on track to meet entrance requirements by the time the second short session of summer begins in July. But that remains to be seen as well.
6. Also included in the 86 count is quarterback Lambert. A 6-foot-5, 230-pound redshirt sophomore at Virginia, Lambert announced last Wednesday his intentions to transfer to Georgia. He told me he will graduate on July 11 and be on UGA’s campus by the 13th.
Several of the UGA Blog’s devoted readers pointed out to me last week that Lambert’s girlfriend, Adeline Kenerly, not only attends Georgia but is, in fact, Miss University of Georgia in 2014. That, they were telling me, was a big reason for Lambert’s decision to transfer.
Dutifully, I checked this out.
It’s not entirely true. Yes, she was crowned Miss UGA last year and, yes, she is a majorette in the Redcoat Band. But she is no longer Lambert’s girlfriend.
“Was a long time ago,” Lambert told me in a text. “No influence in decision whatsoever.”
7. “Not so fast, my friend.”
That phrase, coined by ESPN’s Lee Corso, can apply to Georgia’s Lee McCoy. A star golfer with the Bulldogs, the junior from Clarksville reportedly was going make his pro debut when he plays in the U.S. Open June 18 at Chambers Bay in Washington. McCoy qualified for the American championship when he shot 13-under-par over 36 holes at Hawks Ridge in Ball Ground on Monday.
But it turns out that AJC reporter Phillip Suitts may have misunderstood what McCoy was telling him when he said, “My professional tournament debut is going to be at our nation’s championship and that’s priceless. You couldn’t script it any better.”
The U.S. Open indeed will be McCoy’s first professional event. But McCoy told me in no uncertain terms that he plans to remain an amateur. He is scheduled to compete for the U.S. team in the Palmer Cup in Illinois this week and is holding out hope to be invited onto the Walker Cup team, which will compete in September. At the moment, McCoy’s schedule includes plans to compete in the Pan Am Games July 16-19 in Toronto and the Western Amateur Aug. 3-8 and the U.S. Amateur Aug. 17- 23.
But McCoy, who was named an All-American this past season, has admittedly struggled with the decision whether or not to turn pro. It’s understandably a tough one considering he has so many money-making opportunities right out of the box. McCoy has received a sponsor’s exemption for the PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship June 25-28 in Connecticut and he’s trying to get into the Greenbrier Classic July 2-5 in West Virginia.
We’ll just have to stay tuned on this one.
8. Meanwhile, with McCoy in and Brian Harman qualifying on Monday in Memphis, the Bulldogs will have seven alums playing in this year’s U.S. Open. And that number could go up.
Kevin Kisner withdrew from his sectional in Ohio to rest his ailing back. After placing eighth in the Memorial on Sunday, Kisner moved to No. 57 in the World Golf Rankings. If he stays in the top 60 after this week’s FedEx St. Jude Classic – which he’s skipping — he also will be invited to the U.S. Open.
Erik Compton, Russell Henley, Chris Kirk, Brendon Todd and Bubba Watson all were exempt for this year’s competition.
9. Georgia track and field associate head coach Petros Kyprianou was the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) 2015 South Region Outdoor Women’s Assistant Coach of Year.
It his second straight year to receive that honor, and he was also the men’s assistant coach of the year this year. Kyprianou, a native of Limassol, Cyprus, coaches the multis, jumps and pole vault at Georgial. He guided five team members to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, including collegiate triple jump leader and American junior record holder Keturah Orji, who is a true freshman.
10. This & that: Here’s a nice story on Al.com updating the journey of former Bulldog Tim Worley … Georgia’s held it’s annual women’s football clinic this past weekend and there’s a video documentary on georgiadogs.com.