ORLANDO, Fla. - The pain center David Andrews felt following Georgia's loss to Alabama was too much for the Bulldog sophomore to bear.
So, once returning from Atlanta, there was only one thing he wanted to do - get away.
"After the SEC Championship, I was sick to my stomach. I left campus during the week and went up to the mountains. I was sick," Andrews said. "But the Gala, I think was good for the team. It gave us a time to get together, have a little celebration. I won some awards there and it allowed me to step back for a moment, understand this team has done. It was a great year, a great learning experience. Things can only go up from here."
Andrews' story is one of the more intriguing regarding the Bulldogs' offensive line.
A sophomore, Andrews inherited the starting center position from good friend and mentor Ben Jones, currently a starting guard with the Houston Texas.
While some questioned whether Andrews was "big enough" or "strong enough" to fill Jones' shoes, Andrews never had much doubt.
"He (Jones) just said go play and earn yourself a name," Andrews said. "He just talked to me about the little things."
"It's the weight room in the summer. I've always thought that actions speak louder than words and that means going to every workout, pushing it in the workouts as hard as you can and make sure you spend the summer going over the little stuff," Andrews said. "It's a little things like watching him my freshman year. Maybe not stuff he said but what he did. I learned a lot just by doing that. Ben was always there for me."
He still is.
Although Jones' days are now busy helping the Texans toward a possible AFC crown, Andrews said the two still stay in touch on a regular basis.
"We talk a lot. We talked every week. It might not have been football, I might have asked what was going on with his football," Andrews said. "He's been in my shoes but I haven't been in his so I found it pretty cool how they do things at that level."
But conversations don't focus solely on football.
"We talk about anything, girls, life, whatever. When he came home recently I hung out with him, stayed with him at his old roommate's house and hung out. He texted me after the Alabama game, but I don't think I responded. I think he's coming back this spring, and get some work in with him then."
Although Andrews admit there were some growing pains associated with his first year as the Bulldogs' starting center, he wouldn't change the experience for anything.
There were even a couple of highlights.
"That would probably be being named a (weekly) captain by the coaches. I didn't expect that and I got it twice. It was a good honor as was getting to be part of an SEC East Championship team," Andrews said. "It was last year as well, but this year by playing every snap it meant a little bit more. Being five yards away - it's been a whirlwind of a year, a great year."
Still, knowing the Bulldogs came so close to having a chance at college football's ultimate prize still leaves a bit of sting, although Andrews knows the team can take a lot of pride in putting up the fight that it did.
"I had people text me, best game they seen in a while. Some may think Alabama played a bad game, but anybody who watched that game can see that was a dogfight," Andrews said. "Both teams went at it for 60 minutes, it was a war and we just came up short."
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