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 2 p.m. ET!
Radi Nabulsi (1:58 PM)
Glad you joined me today. Let's get started.
wilk (Greensboro, NC)
Clemson players wear a kind of bubble shell on the outside of their helmets during practice. Why doesn't Georgia do this? Isn't Chris Mayes out with a concussion?
Radi Nabulsi (2:03 PM)
Not sure. I know that there is a company (Guardian) that is using my images from the Rising Seniors practices as part of their literature. I think they donated all of those caps to the program and the items worked well. They are ugly, but very helpful. I bet that Guardian or someone who makes a similar product would be happy to trade a set of caps for the publicity that UGA or another top team would generate by using them.
Crane Perry (New York City)
Radi, in terms of recruiting. Is it a must for Georgia to get two of three big in state players left on our board? Those three being Elisha Shaw, Lorenzo Carter and Raekwon McMillan. It just seems frustrating that Clemson has come in and nabbed some big time talent and we can be sure, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn and Florida will get a piece of the pie as well.
Radi Nabulsi (2:11 PM)
Don't forget that Clemson was recently completely shut out in Georgia. They did not get a single player in 2012 from the Peach State. So it is not like the Tigers have been a huge threat. But Alabama and Auburn have really taken some top talents. The real question to me is this: if you lose a top in-state talent to a rival, who did you get in his place? Losing Alvin Kamara was tough for UGA last year, but they got Sony Michel this year. If they miss on Elisha Shaw, well they have Lamont Gaillard in the fold. If Georgia gets players that are just as good or better from around the country, it won't matter if they miss on some at home. But this year there are not two better players could replace Carter and McMillan on Georgia's wish list so missing on those two would hurt. Both are five star talents, a ranking that is tough to achieve at ESPN.
Players aside, what are the positions of greatest need for the remaining 4 spots?
Radi Nabulsi (2:12 PM)
Outside linebacker. After that I would want another wide receiver if I had to choose.
Gun to head....predict UGA's season record.
Radi Nabulsi (2:13 PM)
Can you explain to me why UGA fans insist Richt is losing in-state talent? There are two starting (probably) SEC QBs that were kicked off the team that were at UGA and were in-state (Marshall and Mettenberger). It isn't mathematically possible to sign every player in the state....
Radi Nabulsi (2:17 PM)
It is the fan's fascination with the rankings and the result of not focusing on who they are getting. Would anyone truly want to replace Todd Gurley with Mike Davis at South Carolina? The state produces almost 200 D1 prospects every year. Some folks expect UGA to sign the top 25 of those every year. That will not happen. There are way too many variables. Texas doesn't own its own state, nor do the Florida schools or Southern Cal. There is just too much competition.
Jarrett (Atlanta Ga)
So which team do you see being tougher for UGA with their skill set?? Clemson in Death Vally or SC at home?
Radi Nabulsi (2:18 PM)
Stephen D. (Atlanta)
Who do you have winning at Clemson in the openner and why?
Radi Nabulsi (2:19 PM)
Clemson. I still have not seen enough consistency from Georgia's secondary to change my opinion that they will be too young and raw to stop Clemson.
Lorenzo (Norcross, GA)
Where you think ima be playin ball at?
Radi Nabulsi (2:19 PM)
You know that you already told me but swore me to secrecy.
Who do you think is going to start in replace of Josh-Harvey Clemons against Clemson and South Carolina?
Radi Nabulsi (2:21 PM)
Harvey-Clemons will be back for the South Carolina game. As for now I expect Shaq Fluker to start in his spot against Clemson. Corey Moore was making a push but he has suffered an injury.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
When will be the Coldest College Football Game that Georgia will play in 2013?
Radi Nabulsi (2:23 PM)
The game against Georgia Tech. That is always cold hate. Has nothing to do with the temperature. They two fan bases just have zero in common and you can feel the waves of hatred flowing across the stadium.
What is Georgia's biggest weakness
Radi Nabulsi (2:23 PM)
Ray Drew is now a JR. Will he ever live up to his recruiting hype?
Radi Nabulsi (2:26 PM)
I think he will this year. If not, you can consider him a bust. There will never be a better chance to grab a starting spot than this year. The defense is rebuilding and there is a new defensive line coach so no more playing favorites (well, unless Chris Wilson has some new ones but at least this year all of the players have a clean slate).
Casey Kimbrell (Blackshear, Ga)
How's the FB position shaping up for the Dawgs? Likeliness we see Quayvon Hicks starting the opener?
Radi Nabulsi (2:28 PM)
Merrit Hall is pushing Quayvon Hicks but I don't think he will catch him. Hicks is a physical freak and when his 260 pounds hits the hole, people move out of the way. I expect him to start against Clemson barring injury.
Radi Who do you see being 3rd on the depth chart at RB?
Radi Nabulsi (2:32 PM)
J.J. Green. He gives Georgia a new look back there, similar to what Brandon Harton does. There is just something about Green -- you can't bring him down as easily as you think you can. Folks look at his size and think he is an easy tackle but the defensive players will tell you that it is tough to get a good hit or a hand on him. Plus he was there in the spring and that gives him a huge leg up on the others.
James McKinney (Gallatin, TN)
what will be the keys for the Offensive line to block Clowney and keeping him from throwing Murray around like a rag doll? I am ready for the streak to end!
Radi Nabulsi (2:35 PM)
Since tranquilizer darts and brass knuckles are illegal, I would do what Alabama did to Jarvis Jones and run right at him with two offensive linemen. That opens it up for another of South Carolina's talented defensive linemen to make a play but it is the chance I would take. On pass plays I would sacrifice a receiver for a blocking back to help out.
Predictions on who we land for the 2014 assuming we have 4-5 spots left at the moment. Would Keyon Brown, Josh Malone, Elisha Shaw, and Lorenzo Carter be accurate? I also think we have a very good shot at Rashaan Evans, but he is from Auburn so not that much faith there
Radi Nabulsi (2:38 PM)
I like that foursome. I think Raekwon McMillan is still an option. I think he is truly torn about playing in-state. Carter will need some work but Georgia has a plan for him. Should be very interesting. I do think Brown picks UGA on September 28 and Shaw does so at the Army All-American game.
Lee (buford, ga)
Both lines of scrimmage have interesting battles going on for starting positions. Who do you see as the starters at these spots for the Clemson game?
Radi Nabulsi (2:41 PM)
Right to left on the offensive line: John Theus, Chris Burnette, David Andrews, Dallas Lee and Kenarious Gates. On the defensive line: Garrison Smith, Mike Thornton and Ray Drew. Or Sterling Bailey. Still can't call that race but maybe we will know more after the scrimmage tonight.
Radi,Do you eventually see John Taylor taking over the starting nose position this season? All the coaches talk about how athletic he is, but wouldn't that athleticism plus his size make him great on the interior? Garrison Smith said last week he believes Taylor will be the best D lineman in UGA history. Just wanted to know your thoughts on him.Thanks
Radi Nabulsi (2:46 PM)
He has worked at the position but I think he has to get a lot meaner if he is going to live up to Smith's expectations. Last year I was told by some of Georgia's offensive linemen that Taylor was "too soft." If you had to cast a movie starring an intimidating defensive lineman, you would cast Taylor in the lead role. He is built like a tank and can move. But does he have the nastiness to play the nose? I am not sure of that yet. He is a nice guy but in the trenches, that can sometimes be a bad thing.
With high expectations for the dawgs this season do you think georgia has a high chances of being champions of the sec and possibly running for a national championship. And during September the dawgs have a pretty rough schedule, how do you see Georgia's overall recording turning out?
Radi Nabulsi (2:51 PM)
With the gun to my head analogy earlier I said 11-1, but to be more consistent, I don't expect anyone (besides Alabama) to go through the regular conference schedule undefeated. It is just too hard. Bama couldn't do it last year either. So I have to expect Georgia to drop one conference game. Plus I have them losing to Clemson so the more likely scenario is 10-2. Georgia will beat South Carolina so I guess the most likely loss would be to Florida or LSU. I think LSU is rebuilding too much so Florida seems to be the biggest danger.
What is future of 2015 OL recruiting?. How many do we take?..UGA is done with 2014 correct?
Radi Nabulsi (2:56 PM)
I think Georgia will take at least 3 offensive linemen in 2015. Edoga Chuma, Tyler Carr, Drew Richmond and Mitch Hyatt are at the top of the list. They are done for 2014 to the best of my knowledge.
Aside from the young secondary, what would you see as our biggest obstacle to overcome, particulary for the first game at Clemson, and for the first month of the season, in general? -- Dawgs on top
Radi Nabulsi (2:58 PM)
My guesses would be who will play opposite Jordan Jenkins and who handles the kicking duties.
Don't disagree necessarily about our D having a hard time stopping Clemson...but do you see their D stopping our O?
Radi Nabulsi (3:03 PM)
I can't see past Travis Blanks. I know there are 10 other players on Clemson's defense but that guy is a monster. And for all the folks that pointed out the same thing, I do expect Georgia to score a lot of points, but it is a home game for Clemson and they need only score 1 more point. A missed PAT could determine the game. Georgia is likely to be without Marshall Morgan. And it is not like I am 100 percent convinced Georgia is going to lose. I was asked who I thought would win. I just haven't seen enough from the defense yet to change my opinion so far.
Keenan (Atlanta, GA)
With the commitment of top 2015 signal caller Ricky Town, Alabama has landed 3 straight 5-Star QBs. How do you compare/like the trigger pullers Mark Richt has currently, not including Murray, or on the way to Athens, relative to the Tide?
Radi Nabulsi (3:06 PM)
Alabama wanted Bryce Ramsey and Jacob Park so if you are a Georgia fan you have to think that the Bulldogs are doing well going toe-to-toe with Alabama for quarterbacks. Let's see who Georgia lands in 2015 to get a true comparison. And while folks may disparage Mike Bobo (unfairly in my opinion), top quarterbacks from around the county want to play for him. I am willing to bet that remains true in 2015 as well.
Does Tramel Terry redshirt in your opinion
Radi Nabulsi (3:08 PM)
Yes. I thought he would last year but he looked so good during the summer. Now he says he is not ready (tendinitis)and honestly he is not needed. Why waste a year?
with rico johnson not enrolling, did another scholarship open up?
Radi Nabulsi (3:09 PM)
No. I don't think they expected him to make it. Still only 21 spots for 2014 in my calculations.
Jonathan bass (Georgia )
With so many guys out with injuries on defense.... How will we determine who to play against Clemson
Radi Nabulsi (3:11 PM)
Rock, paper, scissors. Or some variation. Seriously though my take is that a lot of those guys will be back in plenty of time to win their spot back if they were in contention in the first place. If there are still 18-19 guys injured 10 days from now, that would be a good time to panic.
Radi, just a quick b-ball question if you don't mind... any word on Tadric Jackson?
Radi Nabulsi (3:13 PM)
He picked Georgia Tech as expected.
How much have the defensive injuries set us back in preparation? This isn?t the easiest playbook to grasp, and they?re losing time with every thumb fracture.
Radi Nabulsi (3:16 PM)
Some of those guys with hand injuries are already back. I would worry more about the secondary guys being hurt. That is a more mentally demanding area if you ask me. Seeing Shaq Wiggins and Tray Matthews in green has to be driving Scott Lakatos nuts.
Paul Holmes (Macon Dawg in the City)
Who do you predict to be a surprise starter on the offensive line. From everything I have read and heard, Watts Dantzler has impressed the d-line and coaches.
Radi Nabulsi (3:16 PM)
Dantzler has been on a mission this year. But don't rule out Kolton Houston.
J.J. Green is not small, though he is short.
Radi Nabulsi (3:17 PM)
Is there a realistic scenario where UGA makes another push for Dante Sawyer or Kentavious Street?
Radi Nabulsi (3:17 PM)
I don't think so.
I know you don't like to do percentages, but what do you see as the percentage we could land Carter... And a percentage for McMillian... Just as a guess
Radi Nabulsi (3:18 PM)
33% for Carter and 50% for McMillan.
I Know our secondary is young and inexperienced but, Georgia has recruited top tier talent there. I think they may be able to slow Clemson down just enough that Murray and company may be able to out score them! Your thoughts on that scenerio??
Radi Nabulsi (3:20 PM)
True, but one mistake could mean seven points. I think Georgia will score a lot and if they control the clock and run the ball then Boyd will have his work cut out for him. But until we can name the starting five members of the secondary and the other outside linebacker, I will stick with my prediction.
Tony (Richmond, CA)
How big is the Clemson for Aaron Murray's confidence in the big games, which has been his Achilles Heel during his time at Georgia? If the Bulldogs win, and Murray plays well, will that elevate your expectations for what Georgia can accomplish this seasob?
Radi Nabulsi (3:24 PM)
I think he is fine. He doesn't need a confidence booster. Even if they do lose to Clemson, he will be good to go against South Carolina. To me the Clemson game will have little bearing on the season since the Bulldogs will still control their fate win or lose. If Murray beats South Carolina and LSU in September, he should be ecstatic. And I fully expect him to do so. I think the "big game" issue is overblown.
Do you think if Herrera have a good yr he leaves early for the draft
Radi Nabulsi (3:24 PM)
So if FL beats us (lord help) and we beat USC, you thinking FL wins the east and goes to SEC Championship? If not, what 2 teams beat FL?
Radi Nabulsi (3:26 PM)
Florida plays at LSU and at South Carolina. Those should be great games.
Shane (Anderson, SC)
Do we honestly have a weakness on Offense this season?
Radi Nabulsi (3:27 PM)
I think tight end depth may be an issue if Georgia gets a player hurt (like Jay Rome is now) bu that may be about it.
Radi Nabulsi (3:28 PM)
Thanks folks. I have to go. Sorry I didn't get to all the questions but we will see you next week. Hit me up on Twitter as well: @radinabulsi.