Tight end Orson Charles of Tampa, one of the nation’s top unsigned seniors, was scheduled to pick March 6, 2009, between Georgia, Tennessee and Southern Cal at 4:30 p.m. EST. Here are 10 reasons we here at the AJC thought O.C. just might pick UGA. (And we turned out to be right on.)
10. Be Like Herschel (Just Sign Earlier) — The most famous Georgia Bulldog also waited until after signing day. Herschel Walker, the 1982 Heisman Trophy winner, signed his college papers in April. APRIL.
9. You Can’t Spell “Superior College Football” without “SEC” — The Southeastern Conference is considered by many to be the country’s best for college football, and home to the last three BCS champions. Georgia began last season ranked No. 1 in the nation.
8. TE + UGA = NFL — Georgia has an established reputation for sending tight ends to the NFL (see: former standouts such as Benjamin Watson, Leonard Pope and Randy McMichael).
7. Bringing It All Back Home — If O.C. wants to play at least one game per year in front of home state folks, then the Bulldogs have at least one game per year in Florida. The Bulldogs haven’t fared too well against the Gators recently in the series, but the game is held in Jacksonville.
6. Real Men Say It With Chest-Bumps — If O.C. likes the energy of those famous shirt-ripping assistants at Tennessee, then he also likes the enthusiasm of Georgia assistant coach John Lilly. Charles said the two “chest-bumped” at UGA prospect camp last summer. Lilly is in charge of the team’s tight ends.
5. There’s Nothing A Little Instant Legend Status Can’t Fix (Except Florida’s BCS Trophy) — O.C. is already a legend among Georgia supporters without ever playing a single down of college football. He accidentially bumped into and shattered Florida’s 2006 BCS championship trophy while touring campus last April.
4. A Certain Little Black Book — O.C. has been reading Proverbs this week to help him gain wisdom in his decision. Mark Richt is known in the college ranks for his spirituality.
3. If The No. 7 Fits, You Must Commit — O.C. said it’s all about the football, and not the football jerseys. Nevertheless, if it’s the No. 7 jersey he wants, Georgia is reserving the hallowed threads of Matthew Stafford. Not many people can say that they are wearing the digit formerly occupied by the possible No. 1 pick of the 2009 NFL Draft.
2. Athens Is Ready When You Are — Georgia is a much closer drive than Tennessee or California. But why drive when flying is quicker? Orlando to Atlanta each way is $59 on AirTran. To Orson’s family, we say “Go. There’s nothing stopping you.”
1. It Takes Two To Make A Thing Go Right — Quarterback Aaron Murray is a proven commodity with O.C. The two teamed together to lead Plant High to Florida’s Class AAAA championship in December. One year together, one championship. Can it get any better than that? Murray the golden-boy QB will surely be looking for his favorite target in college, too.