TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — "I'm proud of where I'm from. You ask these guys where they're from, and everybody takes pride in where they're from," said Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart when asked about growing up in South Georgia. "I take a lot of pride in being from south Georgia, where we play good football and I grew up around a lot of good football players."
Georgia head football coach Kirby Smart grew up in Bainbridge understanding one thing in life. Football in the south is king. And from Decatur County to Moultrie and up to Homerville that rings true. Four South Georgia football products will represent the Bulldogs in Monday’s title game.
One of which is Clinch County’s Trezmen Marshall. A man among boys during his time under Jim Dickerson. But as current Panthers head coach Don Tison will tell you it’s the fight Trezmen put in off the field that set him up for success.
“He’s a survivor. He knows how to live. He knows how to succeed. He knows that he needs to put himself around the right people," Tison told ABC 27. "And like a lot of things in life, it’s who you surround yourself with.”
Joining Trezmen are former Colquitt County standout Daijun Edwards, who’s tallied up 210 rushing yards on 49 carries with two touchdown’s this season.
And the number one overall rated punter from the 2020 class, Cairo’s Noah Jones. Who will represent the Syrupmakers in the big game. The former All-American will live out a childhood dream on the sidelines of his dream school.
But of course we can’t forget about Alabama. The Crimson Tide are home to St. John Paul II alum Terrion Arnold. Who has earned high praise from Nick Saban himself in his first season. His high school coach Ed Hill says playing for national championships is exactly why the five-star recruit made Tuscaloosa his home away from home.
“I think for Terrion it’s just humbling. He’s always been a humble kid. I get an opportunity to talk to him quite often. But he’s excited and in his mind I think he knows he made the right choice," said Hill. "And it’s time to go out and get a ring now.”
Both Tison and Hill echoed one similar message when asked what sort of last minute advice they’d give to their former players.
“Enjoy every minute of it. And soak it up because this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
“The game of football will leave you at one point, or you will leave it. We never know when that day is going to be so embrace it. Embrace everyday you get to play this game.”