There may not be a Bulldog more excited about Saturday's SEC Championship against Alabama than freshman linebacker Jordan Jenkins.
"I've been ready for this before I even left high school," beamed Jenkins, as he was surrounded by reporters following Monday's workout at the team's Woodruff Practice Facility.
No, Jenkins doesn't have some un-named hostility toward the Crimson Tide. It's actually the opposite.
"Oh no, it's just because Alabama was my No. 1 for pretty much my whole recruitment," Jenkins said. "I'm just psyched. I know pretty much the whole recruiting class at Alabama. Me and (Alabama freshman) Geno Smith were playing X-Box together Wednesday and Thursday night, talking about the game."
Jenkins said both are looking forward to seeing other on the field.
"He just said he sees I'm getting playing time, and I said 'Yeah, I'll see you, too,'" Jenkins said. "We were just congratulating each other, but secretly trying to hide that we're ready to get after each other's $%&@ in the game."
Jenkins also still holds fond memories for Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, his recruiter at Alabama and the coach he told he would be going to Georgia after all.
"It was a hard call because he was that cool kind of guy you were friends with," Jenkins said. "I still try to stay in touch with him every now than."
Commings defends defense's "swagger"
Bacarra Rambo raised a few eyebrows Saturday night on ESPN when he said the Bulldogs had more talent than the Crimson Tide, especially on defense.
"I feel like we are more talented. We have better players at each position, across the board, especially on defense. It's gonna be a great challenge, I know it's gonna be a great battle," Rambo said. "It's gonna come down to who has the best defense. It's gonna come down to who make more turnovers. It's gonna be a battle of the defenses.
Monday, teammate and fellow defensive back Sanders Commings was asked to give his take and didn't disagree.
"There's no reason we shouldn't be the top defense," he said. "Everybody who plays on our defense thinks we are."
Commings disagreed with the notion that he and Rambo were giving Alabama "bulletin board material" with their claims.
"No, it's definitely good to play with confidence. Confidence is just another word for swagger. When we step on the field, our swag is turned all the way up," Coming said. "We feel we can shut anybody down and shut anybody out. In order to play, you've got to have confidence; you've got to have swagger."
Murray makes himself off-limits to media
Quarterback Aaron Murray has always been a regular staple of Georgia's weekly Tuesday press conferences, but that won't be the case this week, Bulldog sports information Claude Felton confirmed in an email to beat writers.
According to the email, Felton said that Murray asked head coach Mark Richt to be relieved from any media obligations in order to focus all his attention on the Crimson Tide.
"I don't think it has anything to do with the media. Just him, personally, I don't think he's trying to send a message. I just think he's dedicated to this week, and being prepared. He wasn't at the house yesterday. He was here studying film all day. He's just a great competitor, one of my great friends, and I know this one means so much to him," roommate Christian Robinson said. "He works his tail off every day, and people really don't see that sometimes. He just wants to be completely ready and not have big distractions. Sometimes talking to me takes a little time away, but at the same time, he's just trying to get prepared. And I don't think it's bigger than that. This is the biggest game of our career."
Murray also skipped out on post-game interviews following Georgia's 42-10 win over Georgia Tech, according to Richt because he wanted to meet with his family before it left town.
Bobo a finalist for Broyles Award
Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo was tabbed one of five finalist for the Broyles Award, which is given annually to the country's top assistant coach.
Other finalists named Monday include Florida's Dan Quinn, Notre Dame's Bob Diaco, Stanford's Derek Mason and Kliff Kingsbury of Texas A&M.
Rambo honored by SEC
Rambo has been named the SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Week following the Bulldogs' 42-10 rout of Georgia Tech, according to a league announcement on Monday.
He shared the award with South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Rambo has also been named the National Defensive Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards.
Rambo, a 6-0, 210-pound native of Donalsonville, tied NFL Hall of Famer Jake Scott's mark for career interceptions with his 16th against the Yellow Jackets, which is tied for seventh all-time in SEC history. He also added eight tackles, two forced fumbles and a 49-yard fumble recovery return.
His first forced fumble came on the Georgia 1-yard line as Georgia Tech had driven 83 yards down the field and was attempting to tie the game at 7-all. Rambo ran 49 yards with the ball to the 50-yard line and set up the Bulldogs' second touchdown.
SEC on the lookout for counterfeit tickets
The SEC is on the lookout for counterfeit tickets for Saturday's championship game.
Tickets for the game between Alabama and Georgia are sold out, although many have been available through secondary markets. Monday took steps to warn for fans to watch out.
Fans with counterfeit tickets will be denied entrance into the Georgia Dome.
The SEC and the Georgia Dome will be offering a "Ticket Validation Window" at the main box office of the Georgia Dome beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, December 1. The authenticity of the ticket can be confirmed by a box office representative on site.
When purchasing tickets on the secondary market, fans are advised to look for the authentic SEC holographic foil on several locations of the tickets. Two strips of the foil are located at the top of the ticket. The championship game logo in the middle of the ticket also contains the foil. Within the foil, the SEC circle logo and the words "Southeastern Conference" should be visible to the human eye when rotating the ticket back and forth.
"We advise fans to be attentive to the appearance and texture of the tickets they are purchasing," said David Knight, Director of Championship Ticket Operations said in a statement. "It's important to pay close attention to the details of the ticket, especially the holographic foil."
The ticket validation window is the only way to completely and accurately ensure the authenticity of a ticket.
This and that
The only new casualty on Georgia's post-practice injury report was backup defensive lineman Mike Thornton who sat out with a sprained ankle he suffered Saturday against Georgia Tech.
The Bulldogs practiced for 60-minutes Monday in preparation for Saturday's SEC title game. "It's a blessing for our program that we have that opportunity to be practicing this week," Richt said. "There are only two teams in our league practicing to get ready for the championship game, so we look at it as a privilege to be out here. Everyone is in good spirits, and I thought the energy and tempo tonight were good. We need to do all the right things this week to be ready for the opportunity and for the challenge that we have on Saturday."
Captains for Saturday will be Jarvis Jones, Chris Burnette, Rambo and John Jenkins.
Richt said on Monday night's call-in show that backup Hutson Mason would replace Murray in the event of an injury.