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 (12:02 PM)
Hi there everybody. Might not be a lot to discuss today since Georgia's off this week for spring break. But hit me with whatever you've got and let's chat for a bit.
start of the 2013 football season who do you believe is the better team alabama or georgia
David Ching (12:04 PM)
Probably Alabama. I mean they've won two straight national titles. But both teams have some holes to fill. Alabama lost the bulk from that dominant O-line. Georgia lost seven starters on defense. I expect both of them to be teams that improve as the season progresses, but Alabama deserves the benefit of the doubt for now.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who will be the Starting Defense for Georgia in College Football in 2013?
David Ching (12:07 PM)
Well, it's definitely subject to change a lot between now and Aug. 31, but I'll throw out a guess:DE: Garrison Smith and Ray DrewNG: Chris Mayes or Jonathan TaylorOLB: Jordan Jenkins and James DeLoachILB: Amarlo Herrera and Ramik WilsonCB: Damian Swann and Sheldon DawsonS: Josh Harvey-Clemons and Tray Matthews
How are the dogs looking?
David Ching (12:08 PM)
It's hard to say with any confidence since they haven't put on pads yet. G-Day is going to be interesting this year because of all the new faces we'll see on defense. I think they look like they'll be pretty good, though, once everybody figures out their roles.
How does Gurley and Murray look so far?
David Ching (12:09 PM)
The thing I noticed about both of them is that they look like they lost some weight. I didn't ask either of them whether that was the case, but Richt mentioned something about Gurley being a little trimmer and quicker one day last week. Those two guys are the least of Georgia's problems. They're both going to have great seasons.
How do you see the defence doing in 2013?
David Ching (12:13 PM)
We'll find out pretty quick. They're getting thrown to the wolves by starting at Clemson, which was top 10 in total offense and scoring offense last year. I honestly think they'll be pretty good by the end of the year, but if they start slowly, that very well might keep UGA from getting back to Atlanta. I tend to think September could be a bit tough. Maybe the offense can score enough to give them a little breathing room.
Do you look for Malcolm Mitchell to have a good year this year, and do you think he has a chance at the next leve.?
David Ching (12:18 PM)
Absolutely on both points. Now that he's focusing on one position, I think he'll be their No. 1 receiver and have an All-SEC caliber season. And I think he'll have a chance to be an early entry pick in the NFL draft next year if he chooses to go that route. He's so explosive with the ball in his hands that I think NFL teams will like Malcolm even though he doesn't have prototypical size.
How is Clemson's D going to look next year? Are they returning a lot of starters? In our matchup with them who would you give the edge to Offensively, Defensively, and on Special Teams?
David Ching (12:26 PM)
Clemson wasn't that good on defense last year. Granted it was their first year with Brent Venables as DC, so you have to give some benefit of the doubt on that. But they lost five starters on that side, so it's not like them and Georgia are too far apart on D. I'll give Georgia the edge there. I think both offenses are going to be awesome, but Clemson's at home so I'll give them a tiny edge there. And I'll be honest, no idea what to expect on special teams. At this point, I'm expecting a shootout and I'll take Georgia winning. Long way till then, though.
Do you think Rumph stays two years?
David Ching (12:28 PM)
Let's see him on the field first. A friend of mine in the recruiting biz said he's a candidate to be a one-year guy, but it's to the point with JUCO guys that I almost never expect them to be the superstars they're expected to be in Year 1. He looks really good to me, though.
With Gurley and Marshall both being such impact players, I think it would be beneficial to have both of them on the field at the same time. Could you envision any opportunities that Rict would have to do that, possibly by moving one of them to a receiver position?
David Ching (12:31 PM)
I've thought about that kind of thing a lot. There are a lot of pluses and minuses to doing something like that. Obviously having two playmakers of that caliber on the field at the same time would be good. But there's also some risk. Plus I think they like being able to spell one with the other, so if they're both on the field at the same time, nobody's getting some rest.
David Ching (12:32 PM)
All that said, they messed around with some Wildcat stuff in the bowl if you'll recall. That could be really interesting if you've got them both in the game and trying something like that. And I do think there's a chance Bobo will eventually take a look at some packages with both of them playing at the same time in small doses. That's my guess anyway.
So with DeLoach having a great spring, has the decision on JHC being a safety been made or is it still up in the air?
David Ching (12:38 PM)
I wouldn't say he's having a great spring yet. They've only practiced like twice and haven't even put on pads yet. He looks good, though. That said, Harvey-Clemons is playing strong safety predominantly and will shift to some OLB when the matchup is right.
Just how good of an athlete is JHC? Obviously, he is talented but will he be a game-changer at the safety position? Do you think that will be where the majority of his snaps are next year. Apparently is he having trouble adding weight so it doesn't look like he will be at LB very much. Thoughts?
David Ching (12:40 PM)
He's a great athlete. Yes, I think he has the ability to be a gamechanger. Looks to me like he'll mostly play DB -- safety when they're in base and he'll shift down to the nickelback (star) role he played last year when they're in nickel. And I've never counted the snaps, but it feels like they play as much nickel as they play base.
David Ching (12:41 PM)
Oh, and he told me last week he's up to 218 pounds and he wants to play at around 225-230 by the fall. I think he'd have to get up around 230 to play much OLB, but I'm not sure how much of that was truly in the cards anyway.
Outside of the season that Malcolm Mitchell will have, what do you expect out of the rest of the receivers, and who could have a breakout season?
David Ching (12:43 PM)
Well Rumph is the first guy that comes to mind despite what I said earlier. But there are several guys that might work there. We'll see more of Christian Conley, so he's one option. Who knows whether Michael Bennett will be back to being the player he was last year yet, but he's another. And then a couple of guys like Justin Scott-Wesley and Blake Tibbs might be worth watching. They're not very proven beyond Mitchell-Bennett-Conley, but I think the receivers are going to be pretty good collectively.
Do you think the Dawgs will have gelled enough on D by the time Carolina comes to Athens? Any concerns considering how early in the season this game is and how young the Dawgs' D is?
David Ching (12:55 PM)
I think that should be a huge concern. My feeling is that the winner of that game is going to win the East. South Carolina has some issues of its own, though. Is it Shaw or Thompson at QB? And who on the roster can possibly simulate what Lattimore brought to the lineup? That doesn't look like a scary offense to me. Plus they lost a bunch of LBs and DBs. Clowney is probably the best player in college football, but there's a lot of unproven talent around him, too. I really don't know what to expect from that game at this point.
David Ching (12:58 PM)
OK everybody. Thanks to those who submitted questions. We should have a lot more to discuss next time I'm on in two weeks with G-Day being just a couple of days away. I'll catch you guys then. Have a great rest of the week.