Georgia Players Take Time to Give Back

Oct. 21, 2011

ATHENS -- Lining up against its opponents on the football field, the University of Georgia football team shows its tough, competitive nature. However, put the football players in a room with a newborn baby, and that tough exterior melts away to show a softer side. This was the case when the Bulldog players took time out of their busy schedule to visit St. Mary's Hospital in Athens on Thursday afternoon.

"We heard about it after practice, and I was like I have to find time to do this," said outside linebacker Reuben Faloughi. "We get caught up in 'we are football players, we are tough,' school and practice, but it is the little things like this that have made my experience at UGA. You just get something you can't normally get out of this. You can't get this playing football. You can't get this making an A on a test. Seeing people smile and making someone's day, what more can you ask for?"

Visiting families at the hospital's Family Birth Center, the players congratulated parents on their new bundles of joy while welcoming the newborns with smiles and laughter. Players took time for pictures with the families and nursing staff and gave out autographed posters.

"They get so excited to see us, but we are just as excited to see them," said redshirt sophomore Kosta Vavlas. "We just thank God for giving us this opportunity to get out here. It's just a good feeling inside anytime you can come and visit these kids--just have to take advantage of it."

"I think they really enjoy it," said Georgia head coach Mark Richt. "A certain percentage of the guys are freshmen, and this may be one of their first community service projects as a Georgia Bulldog. I think they realize that there are a lot of people interested in them and a lot of younger kids and older people that look up to them. They just enjoy being with them."

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