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Friday, December 19, 2008

So Long, Seniors

Congrats to the following Georgia players who graduated today: Benjamin Boyd, CJ Byrd, Dannell Ellerbe, Demiko Goodman, KennethHarris, Corvey Irvin, Wes Jobs, Mohamed Massaquoi, Brian Mimbs andBrannan Southerland are the 10 Bulldogs graduating Friday, while formerGeorgia players Thad Parker and Darrius Swain will also receiver theirdegrees.

And congrats, too, to any readers who picked up their diplomas today as well. Don't forget the economy sucks and you should probably consider grad school. (Just kidding... sort of.)

ADDENDUM: Some thoughts from Mark Richt on his graduates...

"You can take Dannell Ellerbe. Dannell was a guy that we know had some issues early on in his career and was really on the fence of sticking around or not sticking around. I told him back then, I said, 'Dannell, this is not going to define you. People are going to remember you as to how you finish, much more so than to this point. But you've got to make a decision right now. If you decide to turn things around and do it the way you ought to do it, take advantage of the fact that you are a very intelligent young man, you're a very capable guy, you can become a great success story.' So here he is a few years later, a graduate, I think he's a certain draft pick, plus he's on the cover of the media guide, the cover of Sports Illustrated. He really did a fantastic job.

"Even right now, we're still recruiting. We'll have unofficial visits kind of pour in and out of here. You're looking at that guy and you're knowing that just like that, he's going to be graduating.
I remember old CJ Byrd, being at his house. We actually tracked in some oil on their white carpet. I was literally down on my hands and knees with his mom and his dad trying to scrub out that stain. It was just a carpet stain, so we thought we'd pour water on it and it would come out real quick. But there was oil in it, so we had to get into some detergent that could get the oil base out of there. By the time we got done, it looked pretty good, but you're wondering if you'll get the guy after you trashed his carpet. And then he comes and he ends up being such a great kid, graduates in three-and-a-half years. And you get to laugh with the parents about those good old days and how quickly it goes. There's many stories like that.

"Darius (Swain), he had issues, too. But he fought back and he wants to have a positive start to his life. I've got a lot of credit for him because, at the end, he had to do it on his own. It wasn't like anybody was babysitting him at that point, but he understood the value of his degree. I think sometimes in the beginning, it's hard to see the value of a degree, but you go out in the world a little bit, and they come rolling back. They understand the value. Sometimes you're just trying to chase the dream of the NFL, and then when it's over you go back and be a normal person."

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