Daily Archives: June 26, 2016

A case of mistaken identity?

I gotta tell you, this is one of the weirder Georgia recruiting stories I’ve seen lately.  The Dawgs just got a commitment out of Matt Landers, a lanky receiver out of Florida.  That’s not the weird part.  This is.

Landers is the son of the former UGA basketball player Tony Cole. Cole had some very bright moments on the hardwood during his three seasons in Athens.

“He said when he was there playing basketball he had a fun time going to school on that campus,” Landers said. “He said I will love it there.”

Landers has thought about wearing No. 1 or No. 21 at UGA. That would be his father’s old number from the hardwood.

“I’ve thought about that,” Landers said. “That would be cool.”

Please tell me there was more than one Georgia basketball player named Tony Cole.  Because if not, that means Landers is the son of this Tony Cole and I’m hardpressed to remember any bright moments on the hardwood for him.  (I also can’t imagine that Tony Cole telling his son he’d love it at Georgia.)

Then again, I don’t remember that Tony Cole being around for more than one season.  Anybody know the answer to this?

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Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting

Is Jay Jacobs the new Mike Hamilton?

Boy, this is incoherent.

Posting one of the worst all-around years in the major men’s sports — football, basketball and baseball — didn’t do much in terms of shaking the confidence of athletics director Jay Jacobs. Less than a month after saying “Auburn athletics is strong” in wake of a historically bad year for those three sports, Jacobs isn’t dwelling on the past.

Who could blame him?

Football went 7-6, narrowly avoiding its second losing season in four years with a win against Memphis in the Birmingham Bowl, including a 2-6 record in SEC play. All of that came just two seasons after winning the SEC title and coming within 13 seconds of a national championship.

Despite that, Jacobs extended head coach Gus Malzahn’s contract through the 2020 season, confident that Malzahn is the right man for the job moving forward.

All in, baby.

Much like with Malzahn, Jacobs expressed confidence that things will turn around for the football team this fall, noting that the keys will be a revamped defense led by new coordinator Kevin Steele — the third coach to hold that title at Auburn in as many years — and the play at quarterback, which will fall to either incumbents Jeremy Johnson or Sean White, or junior college transfer John Franklin III.

“Gus feels good about the couple options we have,” Jacobs said. “Absolutely we have to do better but I can tell you this: We’re not sparing any resources to give each of those coaches — those three and the other 12 — an opportunity to be successful. Whatever it is they need, certainly within reason, but having been in this business and played, I know what’s within reason.”

Absolutely.  Because Auburn has always been the face of responsible athletics spending. Besides, Gus is just one second chance away from turning everything around, right?

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Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

The professional amateur

Just a reminder, kids:  if you want to be a paid athlete and also play college football, make sure you excel in two sports.  Just listen to the head coach.

Kelly said earlier this month that he and Hunter had talked about Hunter keeping his options open in both sports but feels his future is brightest in football.

“Here’s what I told him, ‘Sixth-round draft picks in football this year — sixth round — had a $100,000 signing bonus,’ ” Kelly said back on June 14. “ ’So if you were a 23rd-round pick in baseball, would you get $100,000? And I think you’re way better than a sixth-round pick in football. So how about you play really well this year for everybody.’ ”

Hunter does have a fifth-year option in football for 2017, because he was a medical redshirt as a freshman in 2013.

“He graduates at mid-year,” Kelly said. “Whether he comes back for another year or not, we’ll see how that goes. But if he has a really, really good year this year, then he can take stock as to what the best decision is for him.

“I think he’s a guy who could do quite well for himself. You saw what kind of bonuses second-and third-round (NFL) picks can get. It’s a whole lot more than $100,000. So I think he’s got a lot of options in front of him.”

After all, that’s what amateurism is all about.

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Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA