Quarterback Drew Little never thought about transferring when he was suspended from Georgia State’s spring practices after violating undisclosed team rules.
In his first interview with the AJC since Bill Curry announced during the offseason that Little couldn’t participate in spring practices and would be suspended for the first four games of the season, he said he felt that leaving school would be the same as quitting, and he wasn’t raised to be a quitter.
Instead, Little attended study halls and conditioning drills, determined to make it back into Curry’s good graces and reclaim his starting position.
“I felt like I let some people down, let my teammates down, let my coaches down,” Little, a redshirt sophomore, said. “But all that’s over with now, I’m starting over and we are preparing for ODU.”
The hardest part of the past months wasn’t all the extra studying or conditioning. The hardest part was sitting and watching while his teammates practiced.
“… I love this game so much,” he said. “For them to tell me I’m not going to go on and not play, really hit me. It flipped a switch.”
He became determined to show his teammates that they could count on him again, just as they did last year when he passed for 2,102 yards and 18 touchdowns. There were no speeches.
“I didn’t try to do it by talking,” he said. “While they are practicing, I’m doing up-downs. While they are going out having fun, I’m going to study hall.”
His work paid off. He made a B-plus in the Maymester and the dean’s list in the summer semester. He also went through every conditioning drill demanded of him, punishment so severe that Curry said he’s never had a player endure more.
Little impressed Curry so much his suspension was reduced to such that he backed up new starter Bo Schlechter in the season-opening win against Clark Atlanta. Little didn’t play though, by design. He can play this week against the Monarchs.
“It was hard sitting there watching the game because you want to be in, but Bo’s a great friend of mine and a tremendous player,” he said. “I was proud of his performance.”
Little his impressed his teammates as well.
“He’s come along way since that suspension,” tight end Emmanuel Ogbuehi said. ” From my point of view, I can tell he’s really focused. He’s honing on on everything the coaches have asked him to do. He’s ready to come back and win. He’s doing all the right things. I think he’s ready.”
Yes, Little has learned his lesson. He knows what it means to be accountable. He’s looking forward to what’s next.
“Things are on the rise, just trying to keep it that way now,” he said.