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 (12:01 PM)
Thanks for joining me folks. Let's get started.
Will Bishop (Americus GA)
How many spots do you think UGA has left in this class? or I guess the better question is How many can UGA take in this class?
Radi Nabulsi (12:04 PM)
By my calculations and a lot of questions to who I believe are the right people I have come away with the working concept that there are six spots left. That is unless there are transfers or players kicked off the team, six is your number.
I hear that Christian Miller made another visit to Athens with Dad. Do you think we are closer to a commit from him
Radi Nabulsi (12:07 PM)
I did before he got here. When I spoke to him after the last visit I thought he was on the verge and that Dawg Night would see him edge closer. But if you read our report today on him -- this is where I tell you to read our blockbuster Inside the Dawg House feature -- you will see his dad warmed up to UGA but Christian just has Georgia in his top five. But I still think he picks Georgia.
After Gilliard who is the next chip to fall. Is Miller really considering us? How close is Malone?
Radi Nabulsi (12:09 PM)
Kenderius Webster, the cornerback from Stockbridge, Ga., told us he wants to have a decision by the end of the month. So that is a two weeks window and he is down to Ole Miss and UGA with Georgia on top.
Ben (Jacksonville, FL)
Do you think it's more likely that UGA has a let down season and looses all 4 of its big games, rather then UGA winning the east and the SEC championship ?
Radi Nabulsi (12:12 PM)
I can't see them losing all four of their big games but I can see them not winning the East. I expect Georgia to beat South Carolina but I am unsure of how the Florida game will play out. I think the East will be won on that day in Jacksonville.
Mari NYC [via mobile]
I dont know if i missed it but did georgia have thier sec media time yet
Radi Nabulsi (12:13 PM)
No, Georgia will have its time Thursday from 9:30- 12:30 I believe.
Who win in a steel cage match between Jadeveon Clowney and Abdullah the Butcher?
Radi Nabulsi (12:16 PM)
Abdullah would destroy Clowney. He would cheat, but still, thew carnage would be terrible. In reality though I think there is a reason people tell their kids to eat their vegetables or Jadeveon will get them.
Leverett (Raleigh, NC)
Hey, hope you are doing well and avoiding this heat. Who are Georgia's targets at Linebacker (OLB and ILB)? Who do you think we have a shot at landing? Thanks.
Radi Nabulsi (12:20 PM)
It is going to be 92 degrees at my house here in Athens but I will take it if it just stops raining. As for Georgia targets, there is one inside linebacker the Bulldogs want to add and that is Raekwon McMillan. He just told us last night that the season will have a large effect on his decision. At outside linebacker, Georgia wants 2-3 from Lorenzo Carter, Keyon Brown, Rashaan Evans, Davonte Lambert and Christian Miller. I think they get Miller and Brown and save a spot for Carter.
Do you see Murray having a cleaner season without the catastrophic single game performances like SC and UF?
Radi Nabulsi (12:21 PM)
I do. I think he really turned the corner in that second half against Florida.
Am I going to committ to the G this weekend?
Radi Nabulsi (12:22 PM)
I think someone named Lamont commits to Georgia this weekend. If you read the story I had with 5-star defensive lineman Lamont Gaillard's coach last week you would see that he has all but committed already.
Jerome (Dublin, GA)
What are the chances UGA lands lamont gallard after his upcoming visit?
Radi Nabulsi (12:23 PM)
I expect that to happen. Would be stunned if it didn't.
gehrigrules (Johns Creek)
Would you please tell Trenton Thompson how to commit to UGA! Who is the better recruiter Bobo or McClendon?
Radi Nabulsi (12:26 PM)
That was funny wasn't it? But then, if you are new to the process, you may be wondering if there is paperwork or something you have to do to commit. Mike Bobo is his recruiter as Thompson in in Albany, Ga., and Bobo is trying to lock down the 229 area code. Thompson said that Bobo is by far his favorite coach. I am sure Bobo will explain the nebulous process of committing to Thompson.
Dre (Stankonia, GA)
With limited space, realistically; what non-comments do you think end up landing in Athens?
Radi Nabulsi (12:28 PM)
Lamont Gaillard, Keyon Brown, Kenderius Webster, Christian Miller and Elisha Shaw. The sixth spot I am not sure about. Kipp Adams predicted Raekwon McMillan so I will go with that too,
You and Kipp seem to be more optimistic on the prospects of Raekwon choosing. Aside from Nick Glass speculating that Raekwon will choose UGA, is there any other reason for hope?
Radi Nabulsi (12:31 PM)
Yes. McMillan always brings up Georgia to me when we talk and he knows that he is wanted there. I do not see him at Alabama unless Reuben Foster doesn't suit up for the Tide. Ohio State is a possibility but that is a long way away from his home. I think Georgia really has a chance now.
What's rationale behind a 4:30 start against the Chickens? That has night game written all over it.
Radi Nabulsi (12:33 PM)
The decision to play the South Carolina vs. Georgia game at 4:30 p.m. ET is so far beyond my pay grade I can't even see it thanks to the curvature of the Earth.
David (Columbus, GA)
Between McMillan and Carter, who does Georgia have a better shot at?
Radi Nabulsi (12:34 PM)
Tough call. I keep flipping back and forth. So I will say even. Carter's decision could strongly affect McMillan's though. Read our Inside the Dawg House article to see why.
Scared of Clowney? You bet! Wouldn't you be too?
Radi Nabulsi (12:37 PM)
The last football player that scared me was Odell Thurman.
Are we filled up at the safety spot now? Or are we still trying to get some other recruits at that postion? Who is Kendall Gant? Haven't heard much about him. I know he is tall, but is he fast? Thanks.
Radi Nabulsi (12:40 PM)
I think Georgia is done now that Gant has committed and Cortez McDowell has picked Tennessee. Maybe they take C.J. Hampton, the ESPN 300 safety committed to Ole Miss who visited for Dawg Night. Gant is a top safety prospect. Look at his offer list. As they say, you can't coach that 6-3 frame and that speed. But he really needs to bulk up and with the safety depth of last year's class, he can do so. Gant will play free safety.
Any chance that Georgia can still get David Sharpe? You think Malone is the only guy on offense they're still seriously going after?
Radi Nabulsi (12:42 PM)
I don't see Georgia getting Sharpe and after Shakenneth Williams committed, I think Georgia is going to stop there at wide receiver. There are only a few spots left and those are reserved for the defensive needs.
Radi what is the deal with the athletes who think what they do off the field is no big deal, and we should just shut it, when we see time and time again how it can affect on field performance. Am I offbase in thinking that? What do you think proper expectations are for athletes behavior off the field?
Radi Nabulsi (12:50 PM)
Athletes are not going to like this but that is a load of garbage. Off-field shenanigans often affect on-field performance. They kill morale and create division. I expect athletes to follow the same behavior rules that politicians have to follow. True we don't vote for athletes but we examine their lives an watch them non-stop. Is is fair? No. Is life fair? No. They work hard to achieve something that few people will ever know: the chance to get paid to play a kid's game. Maybe the pay is in the form of a scholarship or maybe it is a multi-million dollar contract. But with that comes the idea that they represent their college or their city. And therefore they are answerable to those they represent. Especially when it costs the teams on the field. if they don't like being held to a higher standard, then they need not sign the contract or letter of intent and they can go about their lives in anonymity.
Short version of the question. Since when did kids entering college at 18 become kids instead of adults who are allowed to vote?
Radi Nabulsi (12:51 PM)
Shorter answer: A lot of those kids have kids of their own when they show up. Some leave married or get married right after.
Is it a failed recruiting class if georgia doesn't end up with lamont, mcmillian, and carter
Radi Nabulsi (12:51 PM)
Is the recruitment of D. Watson unofficially over?
Radi Nabulsi (12:51 PM)
For all intents and purposes, yes.
I think 1 more spot will open up. I just feel like one of those QBs there will transfer. If not this yr within the next 2 yrs then.
Radi Nabulsi (12:54 PM)
If that happens, then scratch my previous answer. No, that may happen but I think if one of the quarterbacks does leave Georgia would use that spot for say a wide receiver. Or maybe a kicker or something. Depends on when he does it. By the way, I saw Faton Bauta learning how to hold for extra points and field goals the other day.
Any news on UGA and RB Kawon Bryant?
Radi Nabulsi (12:56 PM)
The North Oconee star running back made multiple trips to Georgia in June and was there for Dawg Night too I am told ( I didn't see him) but Georgia has not offered yet and I think they will offer Eric Swinney of Sandy Creek High School before they offer Bryant.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
When does Georgia Play there first Non Conference Game in College Football in 2013?
Radi Nabulsi (12:57 PM)
August 31 against Clemson.
Why every time someone talk about who playing opposite of Jenkins Chase Vesser name rarely come up.
Radi Nabulsi (12:59 PM)
Because he was injured. But when camp starts in two weeks (wow, it is just two weeks from tomorrow) then you should hear a lot more about Vasser.
Will the dawgs still pursue josh malone?
Radi Nabulsi (1:00 PM)
I think they stay on him but it really looks like they may be done at receiver. They will continue to recruit in case they have a spot open up or someone decommits.
In my opinion these last 6 spots are gonna determine how high we finish in the rankings and how does this class effects next yr class
Radi Nabulsi (1:01 PM)
The last 6 spots are all ESPN 300 guys if I am not mistaken with three possible five-star recruits so I agree.
Leverett (Raleigh, NC)
Is Georgia finished recruiting for the offensive line of this year's class? Do you think they are happy with their offensive line verbal commits they already have signed? Do you think they are going to shift their focus on trying to land Mitch Hyatt for 2015's class?
Radi Nabulsi (1:03 PM)
Yes I think thy are done. They would love to have David Sharpe but I don;t see it happening. They can focus all they want on Mitch Hyatt, the nation's No. 4 prospect for 2015, but his uncle, who is handling his recruitment, went to Clemson and I am pretty sure Hyatt ends up there.
Can you expound a bit on why you think UGA will not pursue Josh Malone any longer?
Radi Nabulsi (1:05 PM)
They have decent depth at wide receiver right now and they just don;e have enough spots. Had he committed earlier he would have a spot but they can't turn down other targets just on the off chance another target might pick them later.
Hines Ward (Forest Park)
How Do you rank our Rb in this class
Radi Nabulsi (1:07 PM)
As the next Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley. Both Sony Michel and Nick Chubb are special backs. It will be tough to reproduce what Gurley and Marshall did but the potential is there. And that is really all a coach can ask for.
Who would you rank as our number 1 player in the class of 2014
Radi Nabulsi (1:08 PM)
Sony Michel at this point. Ask again after there are some more commits.
Radi Nabulsi (1:13 PM)
Rashaan Evans, Josh Malone, David Sharpe, C.J. Hampton, Davonte Lambert, DJ Smith, Abu Lamin, Javon Harrison, Travis Rudolph and maybe Jermaine Abron. I can also see them trying to flip Wesley Green and Bryson Allen-Williams.
Lets say they don't get Carter and Raekwon and Shaw (the 3 they have the tough recruiting battle for) who their focus shift to or might it be too late by then
Radi Nabulsi (1:14 PM)
Sorry- posted answer before I posted question.
I hope the Sonic stays together.. Catchy name for the two Rb's.
Radi Nabulsi (1:15 PM)
So do I since I am taking credit for that nickname...
Any news on Rico Johnson?
Radi Nabulsi (1:15 PM)
I have not heard anything.
How confident you are the WR out of Florida stays commited
Radi Nabulsi (1:20 PM)
Gilbert Johnson seems pretty solid. Did you see recently where his friend Devonaire Clarington said UGA was No. 1 for him too? Clarington is a top tight end for next year, No. 40 in the ESPN Junior 300.
Any truth to the claims that 2015 OL Mitch Hyatt was getting beat regularly at Dawg Night?
Radi Nabulsi (1:22 PM)
I doubt it. The media was asked to leave before the 1-on-1 sessions started. I have seen Hyatt beat Robert Nkemdiche so I would be surprised if anybody at Dawg Night bested him. When I discovered Hyatt, he was at a picture day. He wasn't hitting anyone. But his physical presence made me run him down and talk to him. Kid is a monster.
As far as necessity for a successful defense which is the most desired position? An elite ILB like McMillan could develop into or an elite pass rusher like Carter seems capable of developing into.
Radi Nabulsi (1:26 PM)
Look at the NFL draft. Defensive ends go much higher. Pass rush specialist get paid, whether they are on the line or the edge. In Georgia's defense, Justin Houston, Jarvis Jones and Jordan Jenkins are the real threat. Guys in the middle make all the tackles because runners are funneled their way. Mike Gilliard led the team in tackles multiple times. As did Rennie Curran and even Christian Robinson. But I think you would take Jones and Jenkins over even a middle monster like Amarlo Herrera.
Radi Nabulsi (1:28 PM)
Okay folks. We went long and I still didn't get to all of the questions. Be sure to check in next week when David Ching drops by the chat. Thanks for the fun time.