Chat with Radi Nabulsi
Welcome to DawgNation! On Wednesday, reporter Radi Nabulsi stops by to chat about the state of Georgia football.
Nabulsi joined ESPN.com in 2011 after covering the University of Georgia for Rivals.com for the last four years and for the UGA Athletic Association since 1993. Nabulsi is a graduate of the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and lives in Athens, Ga.
Send your questions now and join Nabulsi Wednesday at noon ET!
Radi Nabulsi (11:59 AM)
Let's get started folks...
Radi, The rankings come out tomorrow, right?
Radi Nabulsi (12:00 PM)
Yes. Be sure to check out the ESPN 150 tomorrow and see where all of the Georgia targets are rated, PLUS what chance the Bulldogs have with each. Will be a good read.
I nominate Brandon Burrow for best twitter feed. Any challengers?
Radi Nabulsi (12:00 PM)
I'll take Watts Dantzler.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who will be the First Georgia Bulldog to be Selected in the 2013 NFL Draft?
Radi Nabulsi (12:01 PM)
Alec Ogletree. Predicted that last December after the SEC Championship game. Did you see what he did when he stopped by the Sports Science Lab? Great video.
Do you think Sony is going to choose soon and what do you think are UGA's chances of landing him?
Radi Nabulsi (12:02 PM)
Yes I think Sony Michel will decide next Friday and I think Georgia is the team to beat. Will be interesting to see where he is ranked tomorrow.
Joel (Myrtle Beach)
Is T Terry more likely to redshirt this year or do you expect him to find time?
Radi Nabulsi (12:04 PM)
He tweeted yesterday that he was running well and is one big step closer to returning. Richt sounded very optimistic about having him for the fall. Personally I think he should redshirt but Terry knows what he is feeling. I just worry that he is so ambitious he will push himself too hard.
Radi Got a random question for you. How do you see the Braves finishing this year?
Radi Nabulsi (12:06 PM)
161-1 (Hat tip Watts Dantzler)
Do you think UGA will land top in state prospects this year? Or at least more successful than last year?
Radi Nabulsi (12:10 PM)
Depends on how you define the success of getting Tray Matthews, Shaq Wiggins, Johnny O'Neal, Brandon Kublanow and Brice Ramsey. I mean if UGA lands Lorenzo Carter, Elisha Shaw, Deshaun Watson, Malkom Parrish and a few others then that could be considered a better in-state haul but we are talking subjectivity here. I will say this: I think UGA is on the edge of pulling in an amazing class, albiet a small one. Right on the edge - could go either way.
How do you see the UGA Clemson matchup and what is your prediction?
Radi Nabulsi (12:12 PM)
Right now I see that as Georgia toughest game of the first four since they are facing one of the best offenses in the nation and the defense will be untested. Could be a long day for Georgia in Death Valley. Until I see something better in fall camp, I predict Clemson will win.
How do you see the D. Watson battle playing out?
Radi Nabulsi (12:16 PM)
I saw UGA make a huge move for him in the early part of the year but that push may not be enough to convince him to flip. He is tough to read so it is hard to tell just where the Bulldogs and the Buckeyes (don't sleep on Ohio State) truly stand with Watson. So I guess I will stick with my original impression that he eventually decommits from Clemson and goes to UGA, but that is a gut feeling and not backed up by a ton of evidence (on the record at least).
Travis (Americus, GA)
Radi, Who's the prospect that is being overlooked right now that you see the Dawgs going after at some point? Juwon Young from Albany perhaps?
Radi Nabulsi (12:18 PM)
I think Young is a beast but I don't see them going after him yet. I think position-wise they are looking for a wide receiver since they don't seem to be having a ton of luck with the guys offered. Maybe they go after Emmanuel Beal who visited recently and is a hot target right now.
scott (south beach)
Caldwell Pope going pro- good idea or bad idea (seeing he is looking at some where between 20-30 of the first round)?
Radi Nabulsi (12:20 PM)
I might be in the minority here but I think it is a good thing. If he had stayed, could he have reasonably expected to move up enough to make the risks of having a bad year or injury worth it? How much more would his game have really developed? I just don't think he was going to go any higher if he stayed so he might as well go now.
Radi, where do you see Jarvis Jones going in the draft?
Radi Nabulsi (12:21 PM)
I think maybe in the 12th to 19th range.
Any reason to not believe that Shaq Fluker will be a major contributor this coming fall? With all the Tray Matthews talk (well deserved btw) Fluker seems to be the forgotten man.
Radi Nabulsi (12:23 PM)
Not be me. I have done a number of radio interviews and I always mention him. I think he plays safety with Josh Harvey-Clemons at the nickel back position. Matthews will man the other safety spot. Georgia is in nickel about 70% of the time we were told recently.
allan (austin texas)
What is your gut feeling about the current status of the UGA basketball program? Is Mark Fox a bad fit because he is not from the area?
Radi Nabulsi (12:28 PM)
Good question. I don't see Georgia basketball improving any time soon because there is no excitement around the program. Top recruits don't see Athens as a viable destination, despite the number of payers that have gone on to the NBA. But here is the thing, I don't think Fox can do much about that. I mean if he won more games then yeah, the buzz would pick up. But for that he needs more players...and the cycle continues. I don't see the program dropping any further since Fox is talented and can win with underwhelming talent -- but then there is not a lot further the program can drop. I am all for giving a coach time- I hate the "fire-ready-aim" mentality of a lot of fans- but I think for Georgia to really change the culture, it needs to change more than the front of the Coliseum.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Who is the Dawgs top OLB prospect now that Allen-Williams has committed to South Carolina?
Radi Nabulsi (12:29 PM)
Lorenzo Carter is my guess, the same as it was before Bryson Allen-Williams committed.
Who will be the biggest impact player on D?
Radi Nabulsi (12:30 PM)
Tough question. But I will go with Jordan Jenkins.
Aside from Sony Michel, who would you predict will be the highest rated recruit that UGA lands in this upcoming class?
Radi Nabulsi (12:34 PM)
Just a guess but I will go with Deshaiun Watson, Dante Sawyer, Jeb Blazevich and Kentavius Street. Not sure about Elisha Shaw and Lorenzo Carter but I expect them to be highly rated as well.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Do you think Fox will be able to overcome the loss of Caldwell-Pope and save his job by making the tournament next season?
Radi Nabulsi (12:35 PM)
I say the outlook is doubtful. How is that for a Magic 8 Ball sound alike?
allan (austin texas)
Does Coach Fox need to hire assistant coaches who have a connection to the local area? Thanks.
Radi Nabulsi (12:36 PM)
He has some. Phillip Pearson is the tight man for the job.
How good is Clemson going to be on Defense next year?
Radi Nabulsi (12:41 PM)
Let's just say I trust Brent Venables and we have seen what happens in year two after a guy installs his scheme. Plus Travis Blanks is out there somewhere...
Jeff (Tampa, FL)
True or False, Jay Rome will be a Firs Team All-SEC TE in 2013?
Radi Nabulsi (12:41 PM)
False. But maybe Second Team
I know its going to be a small class, and it seems like we are locked in some pretty intense recruiting battles with some of our top targets (Watson, Blazevich, Street, Carter, etc.). What do you think our best and worst case scenarios are (realistically speaking) in terms of overall class ranking? And which of those battles are most crucial for us to win?
Radi Nabulsi (12:46 PM)
Georgia could sign Watson, Elisha Shaw, Lorenzo Carter, Sony Michel, Dante Sawyer, Nick Chubb, Jeb Blazevch, Milan Richard, Raekwon McMillan, Kentavius Street and the list goes on. Or they could miss on most of them. That is why I said the Bulldogs are on the edge. They could plummet or they could have an amazing class that would be ranked in the top three. What they need to do is get one top player who can recruit. Who is this year's Shaq Wiggins? It is not Michel. Or Chubb. Carter could do is and Shaw would go a long way. But right now Nick Glass needs some help recruiting his fellow targets.
Sean (Dunk City)
Radi, I have noticed Ohio State has invaded GA recruiting. Is there a buzz among recruits about tOSU in the state. A good friend of mine is a Buckeye, all I hear from him is how Urban is all over GA recruits.
Radi Nabulsi (12:48 PM)
The buzz that Ohio State has in Georgia could drown out the sounds of the crickets at night. They are the "It" school right now. That is the type of buzz that you cannot buy- and exactly what I was saying Mark Fox needs for his basketball program.
Chris (Villa Rica, Ga)
Who desides first Richards or Blazevich? If UGA isnt liking their position with any WR's could we possibly take both?
Radi Nabulsi (12:50 PM)
I think Blazevich decides first and I am sure that John Lilly will try to convince Richt to take both but with the numbers being tight, that may be a hard sell. The bigger issue is that they likely want to go to different schools.
joe (chattanooga, tn)
is there a true freshman that can have the same surprise star power like gurley did last year. gurley was an afterthought by many fans in recruiting but lit it up when he got on campus. do you see any freshman pulling the same surprise?
Radi Nabulsi (12:54 PM)
Keep an eye on Reggie Carter and Johnny O'Neal. Those are two inside linebackers that I talk about all the time so they don't feel like a surprise to me, but they may fit the criteria of your question. Also, I think it is time that a return guy makes a name as a freshman. Let's see what Brendan Langley, J.J. Green, Rico Johnson or Reggie Davis can do on kick return. Maybe one of those guys can make a huge splash on special teams.
Radi Nabulsi (12:55 PM)
BTW Cody in Wilmington, I am still thinking... give me a minute.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
Which Bulldog will have a breakout year and become a star in the league?
Radi Nabulsi (12:56 PM)
What do you see the UGA defense having to do/ prepare for to stop Clemson's offense enough to win that game?
Radi Nabulsi (12:59 PM)
Not miss assignments. I know that sounds like boring coach speak but every year is seems it takes the defense a few games to stop blowing coverages and gaps. This year with seven new starters I expect that to happen more than usual. Tajh Boyd will exploit that.
Keenan (Atlanta, GA)
Which defense will give the Bulldogs high powered offense the most difficulty, South Carolina or Florida?
Radi Nabulsi (1:00 PM)
Both programs lost a ton of players from last year's teams but I think the Gators will be the tougher test.
What do you think of Boyd and his friends sneaking into UGA's scrimage?
Radi Nabulsi (1:03 PM)
I thought that was a brilliant move. Not sure what they could actually learn but it is fun trip to get to know your opponents and maybe get into their head a little bit. I think some Georgia guys have popped in on their opponents games in the past.
Radi who do you think will be the number 1 overall prospect in the rankings tomorrow?
Radi Nabulsi (1:04 PM)
I do not know where everyone will fall in the rankings but I do know who is No. 1 So I can't answer that (unless you all promise not to tell my bosses).
Quent (Birmingham )
So after Sony commit is basically a first commit get da spot for the next RB spot
Radi Nabulsi (1:05 PM)
I think so. Could be a race.... Get it? Running backs and race? Is this thing on?
Chris (Villa Rica, Ga)
We know about Clemsons offense against UGA unproven Defense, what about UGA's offense agains Clemsons Defense? Could UGA win a shootout, or better yet can UGA controll the game with a prolonged ground attack?
Radi Nabulsi (1:13 PM)
That is my point if you will. I expect a shootout and in that case you would think that Georgia should win with the numbers Murray and Co. put up last year. But the game is at Clemson and the Tigers might try to keep Georgia off the field as well -- although I truly expect them to strike fast off of UGA miscues. If Georgia tries to pound the ball, that could work, but if Clemson scores quickly on a busted coverage, holding the ball all night may not matter too much. So I guess it comes down to this: both teams can score but which defense can be disciplined enough to limit the damage? Right now I give the edge to Clemson. After fall camp I may be of a different mind. Lot of time between now and then.
Radi, what back would you compare Sony Michel to? Also, Hood looks like he would be another nice get if they decide to go him instead of Chubb. Any chance that happens?
Radi Nabulsi (1:16 PM)
How about Greg Bryant with a more explosive upside? It is a tough question. As for Hood, I think one spot at Georgia is Chubb's for now. He did move his decision back so that might give someone else time to claim the scholarship.
Radi Nabulsi (1:17 PM)
OK Folks. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a great rest of the day and we will see you next week.