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Monday, July 27, 2009

Get to Know: Brandon Bogotay

For the past few weeks, we've been chatting with some of Georgia's incoming freshmen to find out a bit about what they're like away from the football field. In our latest installment, I talk to kicker Brandon Bogotay, who transferred from Grossmont College in San Diego with the hopes of handling Georgia's kickoff duties in 2009... and maybe more.

(NOTE: This interview took place before Bogotay arrived at Georgia earlier this month.)

David Hale: Most of the kickers I know have a genuine empathy for their NFL brethren. Is your favorite player a kicker, too?

Brandon Bogotay: Usually I look more toward personalities than what position they play. I live in San Diego so I'm a big fan of LaDanian Tomlinson, just because I think he's a team leader on and off the field. He's a humble character and a hard worker and he supports his teammates.

DH: But you do sympathize with what kickers go through, right?

BB: Most definitely. You're on the field for just a little bit of time, but that little bit of time can be a game-changing moment. Every kick, every point matters in the game.

DH: Are you the typical Southern California guy who spends all his free time at the beach surfing?

BB: I do enjoy the beach. I grew up surfing. I love the beach and relaxing, but you can only sit on the beach for so long.

DH: Coming all the way from San Diego, Athens has to seem like another world for you. Are you concerned about the change in culture?

BB: I'm sure it's going to be a big change coming from San Diego, but I'm just excited to be in a college town and just see how everybody vibes off each other. When I was there (in the spring), people were a lot nicer to each other than they are out here in San Diego. I'm excited.

DH: Well, I lived in San Diego for a few years, and I think you'll probably be fine in Athens. One thing I do miss though is the food. You really can't get great fish tacos out here.

BB: Yeah, I was asking one of the players if they've ever had carne asada and they had no idea what it was. I was like, ‘Oh man.'

DH: That's true, but if you want some pulled pork or some meatloaf and mashed potatoes, you're in the right place.

BB: That's what I hear. I hear the barbecue is amazing.

DH: So what do you think you'll miss the most about San Diego?

BB: Probably just my friends and family. I've got a good group of core friends and most of my family is here, but I'm ready to step out and experience some new things.

DH: Well, since you mentioned it, how did your friends and family react to your decision to come to Georgia? That's a long way for them to travel.

BB: Everyone around that we all know, everybody's rocking the Georgia gear now. You see Georgia flags all over San Diego, which is cool. My mom retired in the airlines, so she has flight benefits and they're going to try to fly out to as many games as they can.

DH: As a Southern California guy, you undoubtedly run into a celebrity or two every now and then. Have you ever met anyone famous that you were particularly impressed by?

BB: I've met a couple of Chargers because one of my buddies works at a car dealership and gets to talk to a bunch of those guys, and they're just great guys.

DH: Well, among the celebrities you haven't met, who would you most like to spend some time with?

BB: No. 1 celebrity? I'd have to say Tiger Woods. He's super competitive, he always comes out on top, but he's also humble, and he's one of the hardest working players on the tour. I know he works out with the Chargers every now and then, and I've heard he puts up like 360-something on the bench. The guy's got everything going for him.

DH: Yeah, and he's usually at his best when he's playing out there at Torrey Pines, too.

BB: Yeah, he's unbelievable.

DH: Blair Walsh is a big political buff and a pretty staunch Republican. Not to get too personal, but do you have any strong feelings on that stuff and have you talked about it at all with Blair?

BB: I haven't talked politics with Blair. We're still trying to get to know each other a little bit. It's hard to talk politics with people you don't really know because everybody's got their strong opinions and beliefs. I kind of stick in the middle. I don't like to give myself a label. I like to vote for policies rather than a label.

DH: So away from the football field, what do you like to do for fun?

BB: I used to ride dirt bikes but I stopped that so I don't get hurt. Golf is great, I love golfing, playing basketball and soccer.

DH: Last question: You're going to be the last guy to arrive on campus since you're transferring in a little late. Are you concerned about being the only guy in the locker room who doesn't know everyone else already? What do you think it'll be like?

BB: It's one of the things I'm not really sure. I've never been in this situation, but I'm just looking forward to getting there, meeting the guys and getting things rolling.


Anonymous said...

Cali-N-Titos which is right next to ButtsMehre beside the Kangaroo has good fish tacos and other authentic foods. I recommend the fried plantains and empanadas.

Anonymous said...

David, what are your thoughts on the fish tacos at Taqueria del Sol. Also, Bogotay can get carne asada in Georgia, but will probably have to make a trip to Atlanta for it. For example, at Taqueria el Vecino on Lavista.

David Hale said...

I haven't been to Taqueria del Sol, although it's four blocks from my house so that is a big oversight on my part.

Cali-N-Titos is pretty good, but I haven't had the fish tacos. I'll have to give them a try.

After my trip out to San Diego a few weeks ago, I ate so much Mexican that I think I haven't been able to convince myself to get it again since. I'm sure that'll change soon.