The No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs are just a few days away from playing their most important game of the season against the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide. Most of the focus has been on Georgia’s top-ranked defense going head-to-head with Alabama quarterback and potential Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young.
At the same time, it has been a week of reflection and appreciation for Georgia finishing a perfect regular season. Even though Georgia has not had much success lately against Alabama, losing the last six matchups including a National Championship and an SEC Championship, there seems to be a different feeling heading into this year’s battle.
“The connection with the team and the guys in the locker room, it’s an unbreakable feeling about the guys,” said defensive lineman Travon Walker on Tuesday. “Everybody has that bond and knows each other’s ‘why’. Why we are doing it. Therefore, with us knowing why each other is doing it, we can hold each other accountable to that ‘why.'”
‘Connection’ is a term almost every player, especially on defense, has used in an interview at some point this year. It sounds cliche but when you give up less than a touchdown per game, as Georgia has, it is apparent why everyone has played on the same page.
It starts from the top-down, with even star defensive lineman Jordan Davis showing gratitude for the position he has been put in both on and off the field representing UGA. Davis on Monday said that he “didn’t belong here.” When asked about it, Davis put his journey in perspective.
“Life carries different paths and I would never expect my path to take me here,” said Davis. “Every time I think about it, I’m grateful for it. It brings me almost to tears.”
Perhaps it is because Davis was just a three-star recruit from Charlotte, N.C., who has turned into a fan favorite in Athens while projecting as a first-round 2022 NFL Draft pick. However, it is not just him.
Senior linebacker Quay Walker is having his best season in almost every statistical category while starting in every game. Earlier this season, Walker and head coach Kirby Smart opened up about his struggles and adversity when he first came to Georgia. A 12-0 season and a matchup with Alabama is exactly what Walker was looking for when he committed to UGA.
“This is pretty much the reason that I came here, to do this for my state,” said Walker. “I take full pride in being from Georgia. This is everything, pretty much why I came here, to do what I’m doing now. Just gotta keep that going.”
And of course, the story of the year has been Stetson Bennett. Bennett has come a long way from a walk-on in 2017 and to the starting quarterback of the team he grew up rooting for. Last year, Bennett struggled against Alabama, throwing three interceptions. This year, what would a win over the Crimson Tide mean to him?
“It would mean we won an SEC Championship for the University of Georgia, that’d be pretty cool.”
For Jordan Davis’ Monday Presser: