Georgia State’s game against South Carolina State will be special for handful of the Palmetto State natives on the Panthers’ roster.
It will be especially meaningful for wide receiver Jordan Giles, who grew up in Columbia, about 45 minutes north of Orangeburg where South Carolina State is located.
Giles should have 35 friends and family in attendance, including one favorite uncle, Spike Aldridge, who played at South Carolina State and was drafted in the 10th round by the Minnesota Vikings.
This will be the first time that Aldridge has gotten to see Giles play in college.
“He always motivated me, always gave me advice on and of the field,” Giles said. “It’s pretty exciting.”
Offensive tackle Ramell Davis grew up in St. Matthews, about 20 minutes from Orangeburg. He should have more than 20 friends and family at the game, including a few of his high school coaches from Calhoun County.
He said the game will be exciting because many of his high school friends didn’t expect he would play college football. He didn’t play organized tackle football until 2005, after moving to South Carolina from Brooklyn, N.Y. Now, he’s a starter. He said his high school coaches convinced him to forget about scoring touchdowns, which was hard because he took advantage of his height by playing wide receiver in two-hand touch leagues in New York.
“I started off kind of rocky at the beginning in my high school,” he said. “My coach sat me down and said put the effort and get stronger in the weight room you’ll be able to go and play.”
– Doug Roberson, AJC. Follow me on twitter @ajcgsu