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Midseason Thots

We are going to take a slightly different approach this week because I draw a line in the sand at watching Charleston Southern film. As Omar Little (RIP) once said in The Wire, "A man gotta have a code". Instead, I'm going to discuss a few of my favorite players on this year's team.

Before I share my unsolicited opinions about the Dawgs, allow me to plug our friend Brittany’s side hustle @Champsandsweats. Best merch in the game. Brittany and my boss at Sunsets Inc, Ben, are also the co-CEOs of the Dawg House, where you can cash me on many Saturdays during the season.

  • AD Mitchell- If you have ever watched a sporting event with me, you might notice I have an annoying habit of announcing to the room if a player has Type 1 Diabetes. Probably won’t stop doing this anytime soon. So when I first heard that 3-star prospect AD Mitchell had T1D (Jeff Sentell of Dawg Nation was the first to break the news), I became an immediate fan. The T1D world is a fraternity in and of itself. Can’t explain it. IYKYK. World Series Champion Adam Duvall is another member of this distinguished club.

But I digress. If you watch AD’s high school highlight tape, he played multiple positions and was a jack of all trades rather than a specialist. Now he's on his way to becoming a star for the Dawgs. Pretty good for a true freshmen that was ranked as the 386th overall player in the. 2021 recruiting class. As the honorable Dixon Pope pointed out in the 40 WHAM group chat this past week, AD Mitchell and yours truly are forever linked (AD+AD).

  • Dan Jackson and Latavious Brini: Opposing fans love to talk about how Kirby Smart can't develop talent, because some of the highest ranked recruits in his tenure were not drafted in the 1st round. It's an insane argument, IMHO. Case in point- let's talk about Dan Jackson, a Gainesville, GA native who was so far under the radar as a prospect that he did not receive a ranking from 247 Sports in the 2019 recruiting class. My only knowledge of Dan Jackson was from this year's spring game, when he got absolutely blasted after trying to tackle Darnell Washington.

In hindsight, this should not have been viewed as a negative. Anyone with the nuts to try to tackle a 280 pound person in the open field should be commended. Credit to Brooks Austin for being the first to say that Dan was a great football player and would play a meaningful role in 2021. I rolled my eyes when I saw that update. Didn’t buy it. And when I noticed that Dan was on the field in our DIME package against Clemson, I looked at our friends Brittany, Rishi, and Kritesh and announced that we were fucked. WE HAVE A WHITE DEFENSIVE BACK PLAYING MEANINGFUL MINUTES AGAINST A TOP 5 OPPONENT......AND HE ALSO HAPPENS TO BE A WALK-ON. Something along those lines. Well, allow me to retract my previous derogatory statements, Dan. Not only does he block punts and score TDs on special teams, I think he has proven to be a pretty damn good defensive back. My apologies for profiling.

Speaking of talent development, Latavious Brini was ranked as the 508th overall player in the 247 Sports Composite recruiting rankings in 2017. Brini began to make an impact at the end of the 2020 season. In his 5th season at UGA, he has finally cracked the starting lineup at the STAR position. CKS signed three defensive backs (Brini, Eric Stokes, and Ameer Speed) in the 2017 recruiting class that were all rated as mid tier 3-star recruits. All three will likely end up playing in the NFL. Stokes is already there of course, and Speed was the starter at corner to begin this season, before getting hurt. ELITE talent development, IMO.

There is only one thing that Kirby Smart should say when talking about the Rolodex of former 3 stars that he has helped developed into NFL players:

  • Brock Bowers- When I first heard about Brock Bowers (or Brock Bowser according to our friend Kyle), I couldn't help but notice that he is from Wine Country. I watched his highlight tape, and he looked dominant. Could see the wheels right away. I was wondering if the inferior competition in Napa, CA was playing a role (after all, that region isn't exactly known for producing elite football players). But the more I watched, I had a feeling his performances were not just a function of inferior competition. Before the season, our friend Rishi texted me and asked who I thought the unheralded difference makers would be. I mentioned Bowers as one, but never imagined he'd become UGA's leading receiver and the best tight end in the country in his first season.

  • Stetson Bennett IV- I will be the first in line to kiss the ring if Stet the Jet leads us to the promised land. I have been his biggest critic at times, but he continues to prove me wrong. Don’t get it twisted, I am his biggest fan and I want him to succeed. But I have been overly critical. Our friend Brennan shared the following from PFF, which was telling. My internal biases be damned, SB IV can ball. He may not pass the eye test, but he's getting it done on the field. I salute you, BDS.

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Lewis Cine was a pretty highly rated recruit, but lays the WOOD with no regard for human life, and I respect the hell out of him for that. Kid leaves it all on the field every game.

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Hardest hitting safety in da league!!

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