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Friday, September 25, 2009

From the Mailbag: Orson Talks to the Twitters

Last week, I got some Twitter questions for Rennie Curran, and he was kind enough to answer them.

This week's guest is freshman tight end Orson Charles, and you guys came up with another round of great questions. So let's get to them...

@genxdawg writes: Pleased w/ Charles blocking efforts so far. Has he been surprised by what it takes to be a good blocker in the SEC?

Similarly, @MIkeInValdosta writes: Orson, has SEC trench warfare been as you expected?

Always a confident guy, Orson said things aren't much different than he expected.

“It’s the SEC," he said. "I’ve been watching the SEC for a long time. I knew how to play, and Coach Richt was telling us how one mistake can ruin the whole game, so I just bring my ‘A’ game for every play.”

While word of Charles' exploits on the field were pretty widespread by the time he chose Georgia, his real legend began when word spread that he broke Florida's 2006 national championship trophy. That led @sanford222view to ask: Orson, what really happened with the whole crystal trophy thing in Gainesville? Was UF still a possibility for him then? DGD!

As it turns out, Florida was not only still a possibility for Charles, it was nearly a necessity. Here's the story from his side:

“I was on one of my recruiting visits, and it was like lunch time so they brought us up to the top deck where the box is you can look down and see the stadium. They had the Heisman trophy out and the National Championship trophy out.

"That was my first time seeing it. There was a little gap in between, so I wanted to take pictures. The Heisman was on the left, and the National was on the right. When I scooped down to take the picture of the name plaque, I bumped the table. I bumped it, and it hit the floor and just shattered.

"It was quiet for like five minutes. Everybody was staring, standing there looking at the pieces on the floor. Nobody could believe it. They were like, you want to be a Gator? It was like one of those commercials – ‘Want to get away?’.” I was like, I’ll go ahead and commit because they were saying it was like $35,000. I knew for sure I did not have that money. So I was like, I’ll go ahead and commit and hopefully bring y’all one back, but I’m not going to pay that much.”

Thankfully for Dawgs fans, the Gators didn't hold him to it.

@rbaile28 writes: Is it weird to see people walking around with your jersey number on already?

Orson: “I wouldn’t really recognize that this year. I’ll pay more attention to that next year. Really, it’s not my jersey. I know everybody bought No. 7 last year because of Stafford. I haven’t proven myself yet. I might claim that next year after I get one year under my belt.”

@godawgs921 writes: orson how many more td catches this season?

I asked Orson a more general question about changing his expectations due to the success he's had so far. His answer, essentially, was that he was always aiming high.

“They were pretty high to begin with, and I’m not going to lower myself any because of the playing time I’m getting in a game. You set your bar high, and if you don’t get it, for me, I still have three more years, and I’m going to get it.”

And finally, @jeffostenson writes: now that you've seen great successes as a bulldog, how glad are you that you made your final decision to come to athens?

This was a good question, and it actually tied in with one I wanted to ask, as it turned out.

Last week, I had Rennie talk about his final play against South Carolina, and I liked the idea of having a player walk me through a highlight from their perspective. So I asked Orson to tell me everything about his touchdown catch against Arkansas last week, and in doing so, he managed to answer Jeff's question, too.

Here's Orson's take...

“They called it the first time and I kind of came short, and once he called it again, I knew what I had to do, I knew the coverage and I knew they were going to respect A.J. So a linebacker tried to cover me so I had to come up and break a high. Right when I saw the ball, a lot of people don’t talk to themselves, but when I saw that ball in the air, I said, ‘Orson, do not drop it. Orson, do not drop it.’ Then I caught it and I scored, and the first thing I thought was, thank you, God.”

“A lot of people wondered when I kneeled down and scored that touchdown what I was saying, and I was just saying ‘Thank you God for putting me on this team.’ I really don’t call anything upon myself because if it wasn’t for God I wouldn’t be here, and my mom and my mentor and my coaches have drilled that into me.”

Of course, I didn't want Jeff's question to go officially unanswered, so I posed that, too.

“I thank God every night for leading me to Georgia," Charles said. "I don’t regret anything I do, I’m very happy I’m here, and I’m very happy with my new teammates and the class that came in with me that we’re making an impact.”

Big thanks to Orson -- who actually stayed very late after practice for this -- for answering all our questions. Remember, you can follow me on Twitter, too, by CLICKING HERE and we'll have another player interview next week.


JRL said...

I really like Charles. He seems like one of those rare kids that UGA needs more of.

Silver Dawg said...

Sir Charles de Orson,

Your commication skills are first-rate, bud. Please put down your rules of communication on paper, bind it and offer it for sale.

But, please, please, don't charge Martinez. Just give him a copy.

Please, sir. I thank you in advance.

Anonymous said...

"Thank you God for putting me on this team." Nice.

Alan Meincke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
genxdawg said...

I loved this answer:

“It’s the SEC," he said. "I’ve been watching the SEC for a long time. I knew how to play, and Coach Richt was telling us how one mistake can ruin the whole game, so I just bring my ‘A’ game for every play.”

Sounds like Orson is learning to be even more of a student of the game and it seems to be something he takes very seriously. Seems to show he feels a responsibility to his teammates. I hope everyone else share his sentiments. Thanks, David.

BigMuddyDawg said...

A great piece, David. Thank you.