While going for some aww-appeal, Carver running back Isaiah Crowell made a five-week-old bulldog puppy in a Georgia sweater the South’s most talked-about canine. And its owner is hoping the University of Georgia will make the dog its mascot, Uga IX.
Crowell held the puppy up Wednesday as he announced he would sign with Georgia over Alabama during a live broadcast on ESPNU. It settled one of the nation’s biggest recruiting wars but ignited a debate over where the dog came from and whether it was an NCAA-rules-violating gift.
The star running back was vague when asked where the dog came from, saying it belonged to a friend, and insisted he didn’t even know its name.
The dog’s name is Magical Munson Woods, and Wednesday’s high-profile college signing was only the latest dip into Georgia football lore for the pup, which is part of the Uga lineage, and its owner, Mike Woods, who is best known to fans for painting of a bulldog atop his bald head at football games.
“I couldn’t have been more honored for (Crowell) to hold up one of my puppies,” Woods said. “It’s a great thing to be a Bulldog, and for him to hold up one of my puppies was absolutely great, especially with the puppy being part of the Uga line. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
According to Woods, someone claiming to be a friend of Crowell’s called him at his Colbert, Ga., home at about 10:30 on Tuesday night, the eve of national signing day, asking to borrow a dog for the ceremony.
“To be honest, I just trusted them with my dog,” Woods said. “He said it was one of his friends and said (Crowell) wanted to hold one up, and I said yes.”
The dog was returned safely the following evening, Woods said.
The pup’s great uncle was Uga VI, and Ugas I-V are its great grandfathers. Woods said he will offer the dog to Georgia as the successor to Uga VIII, which died Friday.
“I’m going to offer him to Georgia for Uga IX,” Woods said. “I’ll be glad to give him to Georgia. He’s got the background to do it, and I’ve got the papers to prove it.”
According to Woods, Magical Munson Woods was the only male in a seven-puppy litter and should grow to weigh 65 to 75 pounds.