SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Thousands watched as the Georgia Bulldogs took down the Baylor Bears in the Sugar Bowl, but one local high school student watched knowing that the next time the Dawgs took the field, he would be part of the team.
"Nervous, it didn't feel real."
That’s how Islands High senior offensive lineman Chris Brown described signing day, where he inked his letter to head to Georgia as a preferred walk-on for the football team.
“So it didn’t matter who came calling, you were going to be a Bulldog?”
“Yeah, that’s what pretty much happened, Brown said. "As soon as they called and gave me my walk-on offer, I knew I wanted them.”
Brown becomes part of a class that was ranked fourth in the country at the end of the early signing period. Quite an accomplishment when you consider he didn’t even play football all four years of high school.
He tries to get in workouts both before and after school. Former Islands Head Coach Rob Zoller said it’s that worth ethic that made the difference.
“He comes in with the energy to get better every day and that’s what set him apart from the rest of our linemen.”
Brown said it’s been a challenging road.
“It was definitely hard. A lot of running, a lot of staying after practice until 8:00 at night doing more running and just training all year and not skipping practice.”
His official visit to Georgia really sealed the deal.
“Just walking on the field and seeing everyone practice, everyone knew each other, the fans were screaming for people’s names and it just seemed like a family there,” Brown added.
A family he will now be a part of.
Zoller said Brown isn’t a typical big guy in the trenches. At six-foot-five and over 300 pounds, he can move.
“Heavy hands, he’s got great feet. He’s got a lot of areas he can obviously work on, but you know, since he started the game, he’s just progressed. With the heavy hands and quick feet, he’s more of an athlete playing a lineman position, rather than just a big o-lineman.”
Now that he’s signed the paperwork and made it official, his nerves have been replaced with another emotion.
“Excitement. I’m excited I’ll be a Georgia Bulldog next year.”
He said that he heads to Athens two weeks after his high school graduation.