Friday, February 27, 2009

Kicking it with Georgia's Jeff Owens

This is a story I did with Chris Low from ESPN on this past Wednesday.

Georgia's Jeff Owens was like any other Bulldog a year ago. He couldn't wait for the season to begin. Jeff Owens is hoping to bounce back from a torn ACL. The Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 in the country, and Owens was one of the anchors of the defense from his tackle position. He was primed for a big senior season.
But in the first quarter of the opener against Georgia Southern, his season was over. He tore the ACL in his right knee while running to make a play. He jumped over a player, landed awkwardly on his right knee -- and just like that -- was done for the season. Because Owens hadn't previously redshirted, he was eligible to return to Georgia for the 2009 season and elected to do so rather than test the NFL waters. Projected as a high NFL draft pick before his injury, Owens will team with Geno Atkins to give Georgia the best tackle tandem in the SEC. Owens is still working his way back to full health, but said he's getting close. Here's my conversation with the 6-foot-3, 298-pound senior, who had started in 15 straight games before his injury and will be an integral part of the Georgia defense in 2009:

What percentage are you right now coming off that knee injury?
Jeff Owens:
I'd have to say I'm about 75 or 80 percent, around that area. I'm doing close to everything. I'm running now, and that's a big plus. I'm getting my strength back, and everything is coming along well.

How difficult was last season, especially watching the defense struggle at times?
It was rough; your senior year and you get hurt and you know you could have helped your teammates out there. But you've got to bounce back and weather the storm. Injuries always happen. They happen every year, and it unfortunately happened to me. It wasn't just me, either. We had a lot of guys get hurt last year.

When was it the hardest for you?
When they'd get ready to go on the road and I couldn't travel with the team. I'd just have to sit back at home and watch. That hurt me more than you will know. I think it was the lowest point in my life so far. I knew I just had to have the courage to get back out there and work hard. There's nothing fun about rehabbing an ACL tear.

With you and Geno in the middle, what are you guys capable of on the defensive line next season?
I see big things. We've got a lot of potential up front. We're back, and we're going to be 100 percent healthy. We've also got Kade Weston. He's going to be healthy, and don't forget about DeAngelo Tyson. He played a lot last year as a true freshman. We have a lot of talent, and I think there's going to be a lot of competition. Guys are going to compete, and we're going to get better week in and week out.

What's critical for this defense in 2009?
It's still early, but one of the things I'll be looking for is that we just can't give up the big plays like we did last year. We gave up like 38 big plays last year, and that's too many. If you're going to be a great defense, you've got to minimize the big plays.

What are your individual goals, and what areas have you concentrated on?
Just getting healthy and getting back 100 percent mainly. But I want to be better with hand placement and working on my technique and fundamentals and trying to be more of a student of the game.

Was there something in the water with all the injuries Georgia suffered last year?
After one guy went down, it just kept going like it was a cycle. It was like, 'Who's going to be next?' It was like the movie, "Friday the 13th." Who's he going after next?

Will you be stronger as a team because you battled through all those injuries last year?
JO: We know what we have to do. It takes all of us to be successful, all 11 on defense. It can't just be one unit. We all have to be great if we're going to have the kind of success we want.

You recently started a blog -- Jeff Owens: The Real Deal -- that's heavy on Georgia football. You even interview some of your teammates. How did that get started?
I just wanted to let everybody know the truth about Georgia football. Everybody wants to know the insides and outsides, and you always hear rumors about this guy or that guy. I figured I'd let everybody know the truth.

What kind of response have you gotten?
JO: It's been good. I got 1,000 hits in one day. It's important to me to let people know what it means to wear the "G" and the stuff we go through as student-athletes in our daily lives.

What gave you the idea?
I saw one of my friends had one, and that gave me the initial idea. One day after football, I plan on being a sports talk show host like Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN, so this is good training.

With Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno both gone, there won't be the kind of lofty expectations for the Bulldogs next season as there were a year ago. How will that impact the team?
I like being the underdog. When you're the underdog, you're gunning for teams. When you're that team, everybody's gunning for you

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Q and A with Trinton Sturdivant...

1. When is your Birthday? 01/18/1989

2. What High school did you go to? Anson High School (North Carolina)

3. What is your major? Finance

4. What is your favorite restaurant to eat in Athens? Peking’s Chinese Restaurant

5. What are you favorite colors? Krimson and Kream, of course!

6. Do you plan on staying in Georgia after college? I’ll most likely stay in Georgia unless I get the privilege to get drafted into the National Football League.

7. What's your favorite vacation spot? Los Angeles, California.

8. Who are some of your best friends on the team? Mostly the O-line and D-line.

9. Who inspires you the most? My Family (my mom, sister, and brother)

10. What is your favorite song (hip hop/R&B/Soul/Country/Gospel/Jazz)? “I Told the Storm” by Kirk Franklin

11. If you could change one thing about yourself physically, what would it be? I want to have abs! Lol.

12. What is your favorite movie? Roots

13. What do you like to do for fun? I like to chill with my family.

14. What's your favorite meal to eat? I love citrus fish or just baked fish with seasoning, Green Giant corn, corn bread, black-eyed peas, green beans, and some cabbage.

15. What size shoe do you wear? 13

16. Why did you choose UGA? It was the closest team to my home that had a chance at the National Championship.

17. What's your proudest moment at UGA? It has to be “The Celebration” in Jacksonville, Florida.

18. What cell-phone service do you have? Sprint

19. What's your fondest childhood memory? My greatest memory is having my mom at all of my football games at all school levels.

20. What other city could you see yourself living? Anywhere in Florida!

21. What is your favorite Dessert? Cheesecake

22. If you could dream up your dream mate what would she look like? A beautiful lady that is around 5’2 or 5 ’3 and around 130 lbs; light skin with silky hair with a degree! Lol.

23. What is your greatest fear? Snakes

24. What is your greatest accomplishment in life? Becoming a freshman All-American.

25. Where are the top 3 spring break places you would love to visit? Miami, Florida; Kenya, Africa; Paris, France

26. Who is your favorite male actor? Female actress? Will Smith and Jennifer Hudson

27. If there were one woman you could marry, who would it be? Jada Pickett (Yo-Skee!)

28. What's your favorite reality show? I Love New York

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My top five All-Time UGA Players.......

Someone asked me the other day who were my top five all-time favorite players from UGA. I had never thought about it until then, but my all time favorite player has to be Hershel Walker. I believe that he is one of the greatest players to ever play college football. I did not know much about Hershel Walker until I came to UGA, but everyone was always talking about Hershel Walker. I watched his highlights for the first time during my official visit to UGA. I was amazed to see how he ran over people. I had never seen a running back like that before. He was also the second player in school history to win the Heisman Trophy.

My second favorite UGA player of all-time greatest is Knowshown Moreno. I’m not being biased just because I played three years with him, but he is the best running back I have ever played with. In 2005 when he came to the UGA camp, he was the best back at the camp. I did not know he would make an impact like the way he did, but he was a beast the first day he put pads on! In 2006 fall camp, I gave him a solid hit to welcome him to college football. But he took it all in stride. In the past three years, I've seen him do some amazing things. During every Thursday practice, he would practice in a weight vest and run around like he had nothing on. I've seen him do 360’s on the basketball court and I've seen him run over defensive lineman. Knowshown is a freak of nature. He can make a 2 yard run look amazing. The things he does on the field are awesome he will probably go down as one the greatest athletes to play at UGA.

My third all-time favorite Bulldog is David Pollack- another freak of nature. I consider him to be the best defensive end to play college football. He was a three time All-American. He played the game with so much emotion and passion. His motor would never stop and he always played 100% on every snap. When I first wore the “G” I wanted to mimic David Pollack. I wanted to study him and become a great player like him.

My fourth all-time favorite Bulldogs is Champ Bailey. He is the only player in UGA history to play over a 100 snaps in one game. He wasn't just a corner back at Georgia but he also was a slot receiver, and a kick-off and punt returner. I really did not see a lot of Bailey’s games in college but I watch him a lot in the NFL.

My fifth all-time favorite Bulldog was a very hard choice. I did not know who to choose because there have been so many great players to come through this program. So, I decided to limit myself to the players that I’ve played with. To me, the fifth greatest player is Greg Blue. I got the opportunity to play with Greg Blue my freshman year. I saw him run through people. In practice, the coach would not let him tackle because they feared he would hurt someone. I remember my first time seeing him hit somebody in a game. It was in 2005 against Boise State. When he stopped the guy in his tracks, the crowd screamed his name “Blueee!” Another one of his greatest hits was against Vandy. He caught the guy in mid air and power-bombed him to the ground. Greg Blue was never afraid of contact. He said that is what separates you from all of the other players.
It was hard to come up with just five players because UGA has had hundreds of athletes who could have made this list. By choosing the five that I did, I by no means want to take anything away from any of the other athletes who have worn the “G”. For those of you who follow my blog, please feel free to comment on who your favorite Bulldog of all-time is and why…and don’t feel like you have to limit it to football. We’re all a part of Bulldog Nation!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

BULLDOG BARD: Football player 'sacks stereotypes,' will study at Oxford

Watch out, Shakespeare - there's a 300-pound defensive lineman headed your way.

Georgia defensive tackle Ricardo Crawford is headed to Oxford, England, this summer to study Shakespeare and English lit at its source, and he's sacking stereotypes at the same time.

"It was kind of a spur of the moment thing," said Crawford, a redshirt sophomore. "I was like, 'Me? Study abroad?' When they asked me I was really, really shocked."

Crawford has a GPA of 2.97, and the cutoff for eligibility for Oxford is 3.0. But he came highly recommended.

"Ricardo has embraced the whole college experience and refuses to be defined or limited by his role as an athlete," said Ted White, Director of the Rankin Smith Academic Center for Student-Athletes. "He'll be a terrific ambassador for the University."

When Crawford departs for his two-week stint in England on June 13, the native of Fair Bluff, N.C will be leaving the country for the first time in his life, but he'll be prepared. Despite being officially listed as a housing major, Crawford said he's studied Shakespeare in the past, and get this - he writes his own poetry, too.

"I have a notebook of about 40 to 50 poems," Crawford said. "I've been writing since sophomore year of high school ... They're about everything. About friends, family, death, sadness, some evil, love. It's more family, love, about past girlfriends, future wives, and being lonely, stuff like that. It's a mixture of everything."

Crawford said he's shown the book of poetry to a few Georgia football players, including receiver Kris Durham, a former roommate.

"He's got a notebook just full of them," Durham said. "He's got some talent. I don't know if that's what he's going to pursue, but he's not too bad ... He's come a long way since we got here."

Though Crawford said succeeding in school (he's on schedule to graduate in December and plans to pursue a Master's degree) and going abroad were two of his life goals, he's still got at least one more to get accomplished.

"I told my best friend, when I die, I want you to do this one thing," he said. "I'm going to put in my will to give my poems to you, and I want you to publish all of my poems for the people to know who Ricardo was and what Ricardo thought."

Who knows what Ricardo will be thinking the first time he sets foot on English soil, or the first time an Oxford professor catches a glimpse of his 6-foot-1, 300-pound frame. But if it's anything like the reaction around Georgia's campus or in the Crawford home, it will be all positive.

Said Crawford: "I really wish my grandmother was here so I could tell her, but I'm pretty sure she's looking down on me, and she's smiling from ear to ear."

By. Tyler Estep

Monday, February 23, 2009

Q and A with Clint Boling...

1. When is your Birthday? May 9, 1989
2. What High school did you go to? Chattahoochee High School
3.What is your major? Pre-Business
4. What is your favorite restaurant to eat in Athens? Rafferty’s
5. What is you favorite color? Blue
6. Do you plan on staying in Georgia after college? I don’t know what my plans after college are but I would like to stay around the Atlanta area.

7. What's your favorite vacation spot? Cancun, Mexico: I went there for Spring Break my senior year and had an awesome time.
8. Who are some of your best friends on the team? I hang out with a lot of guys on the team like Tanner Strickland, Logan Gray, Drew Butler, Ben Jones, Kevin Perez and some other people too.
9.Who inspires you the most? My parents have always been there for me and I look up to them the most.
10. What is your favorite song (hip hop/R&B/Soul/Country/Gospel/Jazz)? I don’t have a favorite song but I really like Dave Matthews Band. I like their music a lot.
11. If you could change one thing about yourself physically, what would it be? I wish I could gain weight. It is hard for me to do that and I need to gain more weight to play OL.
12. What is your favorite movie? Old School with Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn.
13. What do you like to do for fun? I enjoy hanging out with my friends and having a good time. I like doing things like playing golf and playing video games and things like that.
14. What's your favorite meal to eat? Some steaks that my dad grilled up with some baked potatoes and apple pie.
15. What size shoe do you wear? 16
16. Why did you choose UGA? Growing up in GA, I have always been a UGA fan and when Coach Richt offered me a scholarship I had to commit on the spot because this is where I always wanted to be.
17. What's your proudest moment at UGA? My freshman year when we beat Florida and rushed the field was the most fun I have ever had in a football game.
18. What cell-phone service do you have? Verizon
19. What's your fondest childhood memory? Playing basketball with all of my friends growing up. I played basketball with the same guys from 5th grade all the way through high school and we had a ton of fun.
20. What other city could you see yourself living? I really don’t know. I don’t see myself moving too far away from the Atlanta area when I am done with school.
21. What is your favorite Dessert? My mom’s apple pie.
22. If you could dream up your dream mate who would she look like? Jennifer Aniston or Eva Longoria
23. What is your greatst fear? I hate snakes.
24. What is your greatest accomplishment in life? At this point in my life, it would be getting a scholarship to play football at UGA and soon it will be graduating from UGA.
25. Where are the top 3 spring break places you would love to visit? Cancun, Mexico; Miami, FL and Panama City, FL
26. Who is your favorite male actor? Female actress? Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston
27. If there were one woman you could marry, who would it be? Eva Longoria
28. Whats your favorite reality show? Rob and Big

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Q and A with Tony Wilson

Q and A
1. When is your Birthday? October 11, 1987
2. What High school did you attend? Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, FL. Home of The Vince Carter Athletic Center. GO BUCS!!!!!! Buc Pride Never Dies
3. What is your major? Housing and Consumer Economics
4. What is your favorite restaurant to eat in Athens? I like Peaches and Red Lobster
5. What is you favorite color? My favorite colors are Red and Black.
6. Do you plan on staying in Georgia after college? I can’t predict the future, but I’m looking for a good job opportunity. I’ll be where ever the good Lord destines me to be.
7. What's your favorite vacation spot? I really haven’t had a chance to take a vacation anywhere. I was always tied up with some type of sporting activity as a child.
8. Who are some of your best friends on the team? I don’t really have any best friends but Jeff Owens, Kade Weston, Josh Davis, Bryan Evans, and Prince Miller are a few guys who I hang out with the most.
9. Who inspires you the most? I never had a father figure so I think I would have to say that I’m most inspired by the couple of godfathers God sent my way in Terry Anthony, Evans Smith, LaShawn Troutman, and Anthony Gaines to name a few. My son also inspires me to be successful so that he will have a better life than I had.
10. What is your favorite song (hip hop/R&B/Soul/Country/Gospel/Jazz)? Marvin Sapp “Never Would Have Made It!”
Nothing, God made me this way for a reason and I’m content with myself.
12. What is your favorite movie? “Remember The Titans!”
13. What do you like to do for fun? Well, I’m a laid back guy who would rather just lie around the house and play the video game.
14. What's your favorite meal to eat? Dirty rice, fried okra, fried chicken, potato salad and some good ol’ fashion sweet tea.
15. What size shoe do you wear? It varies from a 10.5-12.
16. Why did you choose UGA? UGA was something new and I had a really close relationship with my recruiter, Kirby Smart. He sold the program and not once did he lie to me about anything. Coach Richt was the guy I was looking for in a coach. He looks after his players like they’re his own sons. Coach Eason was a guy I heard about from multiple people that had played for him and I just wanted to play for him too.
17. What's your proudest moment at UGA? Just getting the opportunity most kids dream about as youngsters-the opportunity to play for the University of Georgia.
18. What cell-phone service do you have? AT&T and Sprint.
19. What's your fondest childhood memory? I ran in the AAU Junior Olympics every year I participated in Track and Field.
20. What other city could you see yourself living? I really can’t say at the present moment. Stuff like that is irrelevant to me right now.
21. What is your favorite Dessert?Strawberry Cheesecake
22. If you could dream up your dream mate what would she look like? She would be Halle Berry with a mix of Beyonce’ and Gabrielle Union.
23. What is your greatest fear? Failure! Fear of failing my family, son and most importantly myself.
24. What is your greatest accomplishment in life? Fatherhood. Men, there’s nothing better than seeing your own seed born. It’s the best yet.
25. Where are the top 3 spring break places you would love to visit? California, Amelia Island, and Panama City.
26. Who is your favorite male actor? Female actress? Denzell Washington and Will Smith are my favs and Gabrielle Union!
27. If there were one woman you could marry, who would it be? Hold it, I don’t see myself getting married anytime soon so I can’t say.
28. What's your favorite reality show? I don’t really watch Reality TV.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Athletic trainers

People do not realize what all goes on behind the scenes in order to create and sustain a successful athletic program. There are many essential parts that keep a great program running. Athletic trainers fall into that group. Athletic trainers do not get the recognition they deserve. I believe they have one of the hardest jobs in the program. I credit them for all the work and effort they put in to help keep us healthy. All of the extra time that they put in helps keeps the program running smoothly. Since my injury I have gained a brand new appreciation for our athletic trainers. I have been rehabbing everyday trying to get my knee back to 100%without our athletic trainers, I'm not sure if I would have made the strides that I have made. You never see them in the media and you don't ever hear about them, but I call them the work horses of the program. With the number of major and minor injuries athletes sustain each year, no program would be able to keep a team if it were not for the athletic trainers. Although I have had the most contact with athletic trainers this year with my knee injury, I have also counted on them other times since I've been at UGA. When I dislocated my shoulder last spring, two student-trainers were by my side the entire time I was in the hospital. Also when I tore my ACL this past season, they were there giving my parents comfort and letting them know that I was going to be well taken care of. My parents appreciated that and so do I.

Here is an idea of our athletic trainers' daily schedule:

4:00 am: Wake up in order to set up for MATT drills.

8:00 to 2:15 pm: Time for classes to be taken.

2:30 to 6:30 pm: Training Room6:30pm- until:

Go home, eat dinner, study, and go to bed so that they can then do it all over again.

Athletic trainers, we don't tell you enough, but we truly appreciate all that you do for us and for the University.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Q and A with Marcus Washington (The family man.....)

You might ask why I chose to write a Q and A with Marcus Washington, several reason why I chose Marcus to be on my blog. First he is a member of the 2005 recruiting class, second he is my friend and third he is a leader and a positive role model to his family. What Marcus might not know till he reads this blog is that I look up to Marcus. What people might not know about Marcus is that he is the only married player on the team and has two beautiful children (Marcus Jr. 4 years old and Samira 4 months old). Marcus has more on his plate than any 22 year old I know. He plays collegiate football, a college student and also work a part time job to support his family. When I talk to Marcus his whole focus is his family and how he can be a better provider. Marcus was my roommate back in 2006 before he got married to his lovely wife Selicia, we got real close during that time and became real good friends.

Q. What is your greatest accomplishment in life?

A: Providing for my family and ensuring that my wife and kids don’t need for anything.
Q. How do you balance school, football and work and still spend time with your family?

A: It’s hard but I manage. Whenever I am not involved with school, work, or football I try to spend as much time as possible with them. Especially my son because he looks up to me and says that he wants to be just like me when he grows up and I have to do whatever it takes to be a positive role model for him.
Q. How hard is it to raise a family while in school?

A: It’s pretty hard but it has to be done. It makes you grow up and realize what things are important in life. The well-being of my family is my number one priority. My schooling and football are stepping stools to propel me into an even better position to provide for my family. We are making it by with what little income we have now and it does cause us stress sometimes, but my desire is for that day when we become financially stable enough to own our own home. You know, “The American Dream”!
Q. Who has been the most influential person in your life?

A: My mother. Annette Washington. She instilled a lot of values in me that I still practice today. Honesty, kindness, respect, hard work and the list goes on. She has always worked hard to make sure that I and my siblings have had the necessary things for us to have an enjoyable child hood. I never had any name brand clothes or shoes growing up like all of my friends, but I had clothes and shoes and I was grateful for that. My father has also been an influential character in my life. I have watched him work, work, work, and work more ever since I was a child. He has always been the primary money maker in the home and my mother was the perfect emotional compliment, helping to mold me into the individual I am today.

Q. What advice would you give a teammate that wants to get married while in college?

A: Make sure that is what you both want to do, don’t rush into anything, don’t take the decision making process lightly, expect to be nervous cause it is a huge decision, be prepared to compromise and try new things. If you can’t compromise the marriage will not be enjoyable because you will not always agree with your spouse

Q. What are your pet peeves?

A: I am a pretty laid back guy and there isn’t much that gets under my skin, but I don’t like when people talk about other people behind their backs. If you have a problem with someone just confront them in a respectable manner and let them know.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

A: Besides snakes. Failure, and Failing in life; Failing to be a good man, husband, and provider for my family.
Q. What did you want to be when you were growing up?

A: A professional football player. I wanted to play with one of my best friends; we always said we would be on the same team, the Atlanta Falcons, after we got done with Georgia of course.
Q. What made you choose to attend UGA?

A: It was my childhood dream, and now it is a dream come true.

Q. What is your favorite restaurant to eat in Athens?

A: Sonny’s BBQ pit. The best Barbeque in town!!!! DELICIOUS!!

Q. What's your proudest moment at UGA?

A: Athletically; getting my first career start against Alabama while I was hurt and still managing to get 8 tackles and a sack.

In Life; growing from a boy to a man
Q. Favorite saying or motto?

A: Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”

Boys in the Hood: “Any fool with a penis can make a baby, but only a man can raise a family”

Q. What do you like to do for fun?

A: Play video games, play basketball, spend time with the family

Q. What do you plan on telling your daughter when she starts dating?

A: I would like to meet him and see what his intentions are.

Q. Explain a normal day at the home of the Washington’s?

A: I usually get up go to school, go to workouts/practice, work, come home for dinner watch a little TV before bedtime if time permits. My son, Marcus Jr., likes to play video games with me and I try to do that from time to time when I am not playing myself. The rest of my time is spent with my wife and my newborn baby girl Samira.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Q and A with Joe Cox.....

1. When is your Birthday? November 27, 1986

2. What High school did you go to? THE Independence High School, in Charlotte, NC

3. What is your major? Psychology

4. What is your favorite restaurant to eat in Athens? Mama Sid’s Pizza

5. What is you favorite color? Green

6. Do you plan on staying in Georgia after college? Yes. I plan on going to graduate school and being a Graduate Assistant after I graduate in December.

7. What's your favorite vacation spot? Charleston, SC

8. Who are some of your best friends on the team? Mohamed Massaquoi, Antavious Coates, CJ Byrd, Mike Moore, Kevin Perez, Tavarres King, Ian Smith, and of course Jeff Owens; but really this list is just a few. I could name pretty much anyone on the team.

9. Who inspires you the most? My father has always been an inspiration to me in every aspect of life.

10. What is your favorite song (hip hop/R&B/Soul/Country/Gospel/Jazz)? My favorite song of all-time is “Lights Off” by Lil Wayne. It was on his early album, Tha Block Is Hot.

11. If you could change one thing about yourself physically, what would it be? My height. I’m listed as 6’1” and that’s really pushing it!

12. What is your favorite movie? I have two…Anchorman and Old School

13. What do you like to do for fun? I love fishing.

14. What's your favorite meal to eat? Buffalo wings.

15. What size shoe do you wear? 11

16. Why did you choose UGA? Everything about UGA was incredible to me. The coaches, players, town, and overall atmosphere blew me away.

17. What's your proudest moment at UGA? My proudest moment was being part of the 2005 SEC Championship team. Even though I redshirted that year, it was something I was proud to be a part of.

18. What cell-phone service do you have? Alltel

19. What's your fondest childhood memory? Fishing with my friend from back home all over Charlotte is one of my best memories. We went wherever we could go without getting kicked out.

20. What other city could you see yourself living? Charleston, SC

21. What is your favorite Dessert? Mint chocolate chip ice cream

22. If you could dream up your dream mate what would she look like? Halle Berry

23. What is your greatest fear? I hate heights.

24. What is your greatest accomplishment in life? Knowing that I am going to get a degree from the University of Georgia this fall is my greatest accomplishment so far. That degree will open many doors.

25. Where are the top 3 spring break places you would love to visit? Charleston, SC, Miami, FL, and Panama City, FL

26. Who are your favorite male actor, and Female actress? Will Ferrell and Gabrielle Union.

27. If there is one woman you could marry, who would it be? Halle Berry

28. What's your favorite reality show? I hate reality TV.

29. What's your favorite thing about football? My favorite thing is the team aspect involved with the sport.

30. What does wearing the “G” means to you? The “G” represents a lot of things to me. It is a reward to wear it and it reflects a lot of hard work throughout my life to get here. It also represents the history of an incredible football program that is respected around the nation. It is our job as Bulldogs to carry on the legacy of Georgia football and we are all proud of wearing that G. It means everything to me and it is something I will cherish forever.

Monday, February 9, 2009


As sad as it is, we live in a world where negative stereotypes still
contribute to the opinions that dominate our minds. Being a young
black man, I've never been ignorant to the fact that there are stereotypes out there about me. However, I don’t feel it’s my job to educate everyone about how stereotyping is wrong. Rather, I see it as my duty to overcome all the negative stereotypes that people may assign to me.

Being student-athletes at UGA, we are often generalized. It is commonly assumed that all athletes are lazy and are really bad students. We are sometimes classified as dumb jocks even before people get to actually know us. Being a dumb jock isn’t the only stereotype that we must overcome. We must also overcome the myth that we are not here to get an education. Student-athletes may have different plans and courses that they would like their lives to take, but the overwhelming majority want to graduate with a degree from the University of Georgia. Here is a fact that most people don’t know: For the Fall 2008 semester, the University of Georgia’s football team had over 50 players with a 3.0 GPA or higher!

Instead of lowering our own expectations, most of us choose to rise above the criticism and try to be regular students on campus. Some people complain that student-athletes have too many perks. I often hear how unfair it is that we have the Rankin Smith Academic Center. But most of those people do not realize that the NCAA holds student-athletes to a higher standard than the average student. Most students have the option to drop classes whenever they please, student-athletes do not have that luxury. We must always remain in enough hours to be classified as full-time students. Also, in order to remain eligible, we must maintain a certain GPA and we have to meet a certain percentage in our progress toward graduation. This means that we can’t just take classes we’re interested in. We have to declare our major in our sophomore year and work toward that major the entire time we are student-athletes. How many people talk about the number of times they changed their major in college? Student-athletes can’t do that and stay eligible for competition. I’m not complaining. I just don’t think people who negatively stereotype us, really understand the life of a student-athlete.

During the season, this is an average football player’s day:

7:00 to 8:00am: Breakfast
8:00 to 9:30am: Study hall
9:00 to 2:00pm: Classes
2:30 to 4:00pm: Meetings
4:00 to 6:00pm: Practice

After 6:00, if we are not doing well in our classes we may have to meet with a tutor; however, even if we do not have any other scheduled activities, there is plenty left to be done. We still have to eat, do homework, and get ready for the next day. There is not a lot of free time, but that’s the price that each of us pays for the honor to say we are student-athletes at the University of Georgia.

What people might not know is that athletes are competing in the
classroom every day. We are also busy speaking at schools and visiting hospitals, as well as performing other acts of community service. A lot of people judge all athletes by what they see in the media. Of course there are some athletes that do bad things, but it is definitely not the majority. I figured this was a topic that needed to be discussed. Comments?

Romans 8:31

Friday, February 6, 2009

What does it mean to wear the G…..?

I ask myself this question every once in a while- what does it means to wear the G. It is a privilege to suit up on Saturdays and run out of the tunnel at Sanford Stadium amid yells from over 92,000 citizens of Bulldawg Nation. Every time I step on the field, I can feel the all the emotion coursing through my body. This is what all of those years of playing in the backyard and all of those hours of practice are for. For sixty minutes on Saturday afternoons in the Fall, Sanford Stadium is a field of dreams. Countless boys, young and old, have dreamt of wearing the oval “G” and representing what being a Bulldawg is all about. I and my teammates get that opportunity every time we put on the “G”.

The first time I heard the phrase “playing for the G”, I was in freshman orientation for the signing class of 2005. We sat in a room for seven hours going over what would be expected of us as freshmen student-athletes. Chester Adams, one of the upper classmen, spoke about wearing the “G”. At first I did not understand what it meant; I did not know that I was not just playing for myself but for all the men that have ever worn the “G”. I tell the guys everyday that what we do here reflects on the whole program. Georgia football is bigger than any one player on the team. I asked some of my teams this same question, “what does it mean to wear the ‘G’?” Rod Battle said “playing for the ‘G’ is like competing for the United States in the Olympics. It’s my home state, a place where I’ll be forever connected to. Plus I have all the extended family members I have grown to love here”.

Since I am not from Georgia wearing the “G” has a different meaning to me. Playing for Georgia has changed my life in so many different ways; I have grown spiritually, mentally and physically. I have grown spiritually by finding Christ as my Lord and Savor, our team Chaplin, Thomas Settles, has been like a big brother to me. I have grown mentally at Georgia because of the high priority on educational excellence. I have grown physically at Georgia by getting bigger, faster, and stronger. When I step on the field next season I will play every game like it is my last. This is what it means to me to wear the “G”.

Everybody that has played football at the University of Georgia has a special memory about wearing the “G”. I can remember my first time running onto the field as a Georgia Bulldog. It was in 2005 against Boise State; I did not know what to expect. My heart felt like it was beating five hundred miles per second; on the first play from scrimmage Tony Taylor caught an interception and the crowd went crazy. I also remember my first time getting into that game. I was so nervous I could not even concentrate on the play call. By the end of the game, however, I made three tackles in my first collegiate game.

I look back from 2005 and see where I am today. I was only a pup then and I did not know that with great privilege comes great responsibility. Now that I’m a full grown Bulldog, I know that wearing the “G” on Saturdays speaks volumes. I not only wear it for myself but for all the legends that have come before me, like the Hines Wards’, Thomas Davis’, Greg Blues’ and the countless other men who have carried on our great tradition. I wear the “G” in honor of the history that has been made in Athens and the history that has yet to be created. It is an honor and I am very thankful to have an opportunity to play for the University of Georgia.