Chat with David Ching
Welcome to DawgNation! On Wednesday, reporter David Ching stops by to chat about the state of Georgia football.
Ching joined ESPN.com in 2011 after six years covering Georgia for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer and Athens Banner-Herald. He lives in Athens, Ga.
Send your questions now and join Ching Wednesday at noon ET!
David Ching (12:08 PM)
Hi everybody. Sorry I'm running a couple of minutes late. Had to finish a short story on fullback Zander Ogletree leaving Georgia's football team. Let's get started.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who will be the Starting Quarterback for Georgia in 2013?
David Ching (12:09 PM)
I think Aaron Murray has that job locked down this season. But he's a senior and it will be a pretty competitive battle for that job at this time next year I'm betting.
How big of a playmaker can AJ Turman be in the future? I hear this kid has some real talent.
David Ching (12:12 PM)
Yeah, he looks good to me. Maybe a little more explosive Ken Malcome? The question is how much of an opportunity does he really get? Gurley and Marshall aren't going anywhere for at least two more seasons. But they desperately needed Turman's signature once Malcome and Richard Samuel both left after last season and I think Turman will get a chance to contribute right away.
Richard (Auburn )
WHo do you see starting along the defensive line when the season starts and as it finishes?
David Ching (12:15 PM)
That's a fun question. I'm not really sure. I'll go with Garrison Smith, Jonathan Taylor and Ray Drew on opening day, but I'm not particularly confident in that guess. A bunch of different guys can nudge their way in there and it wouldn't surprise me in the least: Sterling Bailey, Toby Johnson (if he's healthy?), Chris Mayes, John Atkins are the first ones to mind. I expect to see Mayes and Atkins start at least once this year, but let's see how spring ball goes first.
Who are your picks to grab the linebacker and safety positions by fall?
David Ching (12:17 PM)
I could probably answer this one better after the pre-spring teleconference with Richt, Bobo and Grantham that they're holding today at 2. I was probably guessing that Josh Harvey-Clemons was going to grab a safety spot the last time we chatted. But that was only speculation since Grantham hasn't officially said where he expects him to play. Outside linebacker is a distinct possibility. I'd also like to hear what he's thinking with Ramik Wilson.
David Ching (12:18 PM)
So I guess for now, I'll go with Herrera and Wilson at ILB, Jenkins and Harvey-Clemons at OLB and Matthews and Fluker at S. We'll see what Grantham says later today, though, and my opinion might change again.
With all the talk of recruits committing before they should have and then later decomitting, how solid is Nick Glass?
David Ching (12:20 PM)
I can't speak to that with any certainty. My feeling when kids commit that early is that about half of them usually waver and/or decommit and the other half just want to get the process over with. I've heard recruiting guys say Glass has wavered already, but I don't deal with recruits nearly as much as my co-workers Kipp Adams and Radi Nabulsi.
Hey David, do you think UGA could the best TE combo in the country, next season?
David Ching (12:22 PM)
Sure, maybe. Throw Ty Smith in there too. Even though he got himself in a little trouble last week, I still think he's going to catch some balls this season. But Lynch and Rome seemed to come on in the second half of last season -- in part because of attrition at WR. I still think they're going to maintain their roles as pass catchers much like in the Alabama game where Rome caught the first TD and Lynch was targeted two or three times on the game's final drive.
Do you think Xander was going to start at fullback this year if he was able to come back healthy? Or do you think Hall or Hicks were going to start anyway?
David Ching (12:24 PM)
He did a nice job when he was in there last year. So maybe. I don't think his leaving the team is the end of the world. He only started playing because of an injury to Hall, plus Hicks is a huge kid and Brendan Douglas will be on the roster this summer. I guess I'd go with Hall for now as the probable starter.
Doug (Silver Creek, GA)
David, there have been a flurry of recent scholarship offers. Do you see this as a shift in Richt's philosophy of being slower and more selective with his offers?
David Ching (12:26 PM)
Nah. Now is around the time when offers for the next year traditionally start going out isn't it? Spring evaluation period and summer camps are key times for building the upcoming class. I'll be intrigued to see how they handle building the upcoming class because it's going to be completely different from the one they just signed. There might only be room for around 15 players. Maybe even less.
Since Zander Ogletree left the team, who do you see starting at fullback now, Merritt Hall or Quayvon Hicks? Thanks!
David Ching (12:28 PM)
Hall was doing a good job when he got hurt last year so I'm sticking with him. I thought Quayvon would play more than he did last year because I just figured a 270-pound kid would hold some appeal at fullback. But there was no need to rush him along before he was ready. Maybe the last year -- plus Ogletree's departure -- will help him play a bigger role this season.
Jeremy S (Viracon)
You think if the Dawgs can stay out of the police blotter this spring that we have the chance at an undefeated season? I mean last season was close to being a Dawg national title.
David Ching (12:42 PM)
I guess there's a chance. I wouldn't bank on that with as much talent as they have to replace on defense and with Clemson, South Carolina and LSU all waiting in the first month of the season. But if they make it through September unscathed, I'd say the chances of what you're talking about increase exponentially.
Juice (Greensboro, GA)
Any word on Bobo's contract?
David Ching (12:53 PM)
Not yet. I'd imagine that will be handled fairly soon.
David Ching (1:02 PM)
OK everybody. Slow week, which is to be expected here in the dead period between signing day and spring practice. Y'all have a good rest of the week. We'll catch you again in two weeks.