First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Georgia head swimming coach Jack Bauerle AND former Bulldogs quarterback Matthew Stafford.
But aside from their birthday, the two share another connection. Matthew's father, John, was a graduate assistant coach for the Georgia swimming team in the 1970s when Bauerle was a student-athlete. Bauerle is getting his teams ready for next week's SEC Championships in Knoxville, while Stafford, the Detroit Lions' quarterback, recently was chosen as the Comeback Player of the Year by The Associated Press and the Quarterback of the Year by the NFL Alumni Foundation. Limited to just three games due to injuries in 2010, Stafford started all 16 games in 2011 and led the Lions to a playoff berth. He was 421-of-663 for 5,038 yards and 41 touchdowns in the regular season, then went 28-of-43 for 380 yards and three touchdowns in the playoffs. Stafford became just the fourth quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 5,000 yards and just the seventh to throw more than 40 touchdowns in a season. He beat out Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers and New England's Tom Brady for the NFL Alumni Foundation Quarterback of the Year honor.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO TWO 'DAMN GOOD DAWGS!'
*There are five members from the Bulldog track and field teams who are currently ranked in the top 10 nationally in their respective events, including senior Torrin Lawrence who is sixth in the 400m (46.89) and ninth in the 200m (21.18). However, it is senior Aaron LaGarde who not only has the lowest national ranking of the crew at 10th nationally in the triple jump (51 feet, 7 3/4 inches), but who also is the only Bulldog to lead the SEC in his or her event. Also of note, freshman pole vaulter Morgann Leleux is the top-ranked freshman in the country with a 13 feet, 8 1/2 inch clearance to her name.
*Senior Cory Holman set a new school record in the heptathlon last weekend at the Razorback Invitational after piling up 5,809 points. He is No. 4 nationally and in the SEC (10th in the world) with his latest score, which bodes well for a remarkable heptathlon competition at the SEC Indoor Championships in Lexington, Ky., on Feb. 24-26.
- There were four former Bulldogs on NFL Pro Bowl rosters over the weekend: Cincinnati's Geno Atkins (DL) and A.J. Green (WR), Oakland's Richard Seymour (DL) and Denver's Champ Bailey (CB), who all suited up for the AFC during its 59-41 win over the NFC. During Sunday's Pro Bowl, Green had two catches for 42 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown, as Atkins, Seymour and Bailey combined for six tackles. A lesser known fact is that two of the four, Atkins and Bailey, also enjoyed successful careers for Georgia's track and field team. Bailey soared 25 feet, 10 3/4 inches in the long jump at the 1998 SEC Indoor Championships and remains the school's record holder in the event. Atkins finished seventh at the 2009 SEC Outdoor Championships in the shot put to score for the Bulldogs and later launched a career-best mark of 58 feet, 1/4 inch that same season.
- Four ex-Bulldogs -- Bubba Watson, Harris English, Chris Kirk and Brendon Todd -- made the cut at the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego last week. The third round on Saturday was tabbed as "College Day" and golfers were encouraged to wear their school colors -- and the ex-Bulldogs did so. Also, since Watson, English, Kirk and Todd made the cut, Farmers Insurance will be donating $2,000 ($500 per golfer) to the Georgia golf program as part of a pre-tournament pledge.
- UGA swimming & diving coach Jack Bauerle finished the 2011-12 campaign with 194 wins as the men's coach, meaning he will have a shot at No. 200 next season. Bauerle has 277 wins as the women's coach for a total of 471 overall. He is the winningest women's head coach in NCAA history, the winningest head coach for both women and men in SEC history, and the fourth-winningest head coach for both women and men in NCAA history.
- With its win at Alabama last Saturday, the Georgia women's swimming and diving team notched its 26th straight win against SEC competition dating back to 2006-07 season. The Lady Bulldogs have won 46 of 47 against the league since the 2002-03 campaign. The Lady Bulldogs' seniors finished with a career record of 35-2, with both of their losses coming at Texas.
- AMA, Mitchell dot SEC women's basketball stats: In statistics for SEC games only, Anne Marie Armstrong is the league's most-ranked player and Meredith Mitchell is the fifth-most prominent name listed. Armstrong is included in a whopping 10 of 13 categories kept - No. 5 in assists; No. 6 in scoring; No. 7 in assist-to-TOs, blocks and minutes played; No. 8 in defensive rebounds; No. 9 in rebounding and three-point percentage; No. 11 in free throw percentage; and No. 15 in steals.
Mitchell is ranked seven times - No. 2 in minutes played, No. 5 in defensive rebounds, No. 7 in rebounding, No. 8 in steals, No. 14 in assists, No. 15 in offensive rebounds and No. 27 in scoring.
SEC-Only Individual leaders
Rk. Player, School # Cat.
1. Anne Marie Armstrong, Georgia 10
2. Lasondra Barrett, LSU 8
A'dia Mathies, Kentucky 8
Valencia McFarland, Ole Miss 8
5. Meredith Mitchell, Georgia 7
Glory Johnson, Tennessee 7
7. Jennifer George, Florida 6
Diamber Johnson, Miss. State 6
Courtney Jones, LSU 6
- And finally, the drama was all put to rest early this morning when Valdosta native Josh Harvey-Clemons faxed in his paperwork to officially join the football team's 2012 signing class. The highly-touted LB was rumored to have committed yesterday morning, but the paperwork never arrived on Signing Day.
That's all for now here on "Between The Hedges." Have a great Thursday, everybody!