Oct. 19, 2011
As a Bulldog football player from 1981-84, Knox Culpepper worked his way into the Georgia record books with the top spots for total tackles in a single game, total tackles in one season and tackle assists in one season. A team captain and All-SEC member in 1984, Culpepper ranks second in career tackle assists with 258.
Torrey Evans played for Georgia from 1989-92. Evans earned Defensive Most Valuable Player of the 1991 Independence Bowl versus Arkansas after accumulating four tackles, one interception and a fumble recovery. With over 150 career total tackles, Evans was named to the Academic All-SEC team in 1990 and 1992.
The Southeastern Conference's leading tackler in 1995 with 128, Whit Marshall was a Georgia letterwinner from 1992-95. Captain and Peach Bowl Defensive MVP in 1995 against Virginia, Marshall was a member of the inaugural SEC Football Good Works Team.
Although Culpepper, Evans and Marshall didn't all play on a team together, they have a bond that goes beyond statistical numbers. All three players attended The Lovett School in Atlanta, played football for Georgia and played at the linebacker position.
"Being the oldest, you are aware," Culpepper said of recognizing the connection. "Being older than the other two, you obviously have pride in the two other guys playing University of Georgia linebacker from Lovett. It's a small AA school with 130-150 classmates, so to have folks play at the University from Lovett is a big deal."
With Culpepper being 10 years older than the youngest Marshall, the three getting to know each other came at different points in their lives. Marshall and Evans are two school grades apart, so the two have known each other a while.
"Whit and I know each other pretty well because we played on the same team (at Lovett and Georgia)," Evans said. "Whit's older brother was in my class, and we were pretty good friends, so I have known the Marshall family for a long time. I still see them a little bit."
Marshall and Evans may not have known Culpepper personally, but the two knew of him as a good football player at Lovett and Georgia. The three got to know each other better after their playing days at various functions.
Before committing to the Bulldogs, the trio all had desires to attend UGA. Culpepper's father, also named Knox, played for Georgia in the 1950s, and the timing of Culpepper's attendance fell the year after winning the 1980 national championship and Herschel Walker's career.
"Growing up as a kid, it was basically my life's ambition to follow in my dad's footsteps," Culpepper said. "To have an opportunity to play for Coach Dooley and then to come to Georgia after the 1980 national championship, I was pretty much on cloud nine the whole time I was there. It was a helluva time to be a Bulldog. It was a lot of fun. We had incredible crowds and a good run there for a while. Good memories to say the least."
Evans and Marshall also had Georgia as a place they wanted to play. For Evans, the offer from Georgia came the night before signing day when he was going to sign with another team. Evans then had the chance to host and talk to Marshall during his recruitment, even though Marshall knew that when his offer came his choice would be automatic as he had been a Bulldog fan his whole life.
Once at Georgia, Marshall had to get used to numerous changes. Outside of getting used to a student-athlete's lifestyle, Marshall had to learn the linebacker position, as he was a defensive back at Lovett. Marshall fortunately had a familiar face in Evans by his side.
"It was nice to have somebody that I knew before college to watch, learn, ask questions and those things," Marshall said. "It was nice to have somebody that was older than me that I knew well and was willing to help."
Today Culpepper and Marshall reside in the Atlanta area while Evans lives in Charleston, W. Va. All three work in a similar field of real estate and construction and have started a family. All still huge Georgia fans, each try to go to as many games as they can. Recently the three had a mini reunion with a tour of Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall.
"If you are an athlete and don't consider the University of Georgia with the current facilities--wow," Culpepper said. "We all met and were given a tour of Butts-Mehre with the new practice facility, locker rooms and training room, and I have never seen facilities like that."
As they look back on experiences and memories from their days at Georgia, the trio remembers the relationships they have formed and the friends that they made. Culpepper, Evans and Marshall's relationship with each other through Lovett, Georgia and the linebacker position is unique and will be something special to carry with them as their lives move on.