Orson Charles, star of UGA’s longest recruiting battle since Herschel Walker, is serious about football. Charles is so serious about football that he surrendered his final spring break as a high schooler in order to attend Georgia’s spring football practices.
That says a lot. Some of Georgia’s current football players would pick the sand over the grass turf every day in the spring, given a preference.
Charles is the celebrated tight end recruit from Tampa’s Plant High. While many of his classmates chose to go as far away from school as possible to a beach, Charles opted to go as far away as possible from school to another school. He has been observing some of Georgia’s practices this week. Charles said he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Georgia is where I want to be on my spring break,” Charles said. “I don’t want to be at home. I feel like I am at home right now in Athens. It’s tough watching the practices, though. I wish I could put the helmet and pads on and get out there. But it feels great to be here this week. Hey, I’ve got my whole life to take another spring break.”
Orson, don’t you want to have some fun before you enter the demands of college football? Come on. At least for another couple of months? You know, playing ball is a full-time job at the next level. Summer practice surely won’t be a day at the beach. “No. No, no. I’m ready to win. I want to learn all I can to help my team win. I’m ready for Georgia to beat Florida again. In order to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. We’ve got a tough schedule coming up, and we (the other Georgia recruits) need to be doing our part to get ready for the season, too.”
Charles picked Georgia over Southern Cal and Tennessee a month after signing day. His football future at Georgia is unknown. He’s unproven, but has the potential to contribute early at tight end. If anything, however, Charles has quickly proven he is a leader. He has been contacting fellow Georgia recruits, including wide receiver Marlon Brown and cornerback Branden Smith, about showing up at Saturday’s G-Day game.
“I talked to [Mark Richt], and we want everybody in the ‘09 class to be tight,” Charles said. “This class is not going to be about individuals. It’s about the team. We want to come together, chill on the sidelines, and support the team on Saturday.”
And Orson is serious about that. So serious he gave up spring break.