It all happened so quickly, Brendan Douglas needed some help.
Committing to Georgia just days before National Signing Day on Wednesday, Douglas wanted to wear something fit for the occasion. Luckily for him, a friend had the perfect red tie — with dogs on it, of course.
So the Aquinas football player was all prepared to make his college decision official, ready to sign with the Bulldogs.
“It’s definitely a dream that I had,” Douglas said. “To play at an SEC school, it’s a pretty big honor. But this is just the start. I’m just starting right now. I’m going to try to work hard and see what I can do and stay humble. All this attention, it’s cool and stuff, but when it comes down to it, it’s who works the hardest, and that’s what I’m going to try to do.”
The Irish senior, who rushed for more than 1,400 yards and starred everywhere he was placed on the football field, said Georgia coach Mark Richt told him he will be a tailback. But Douglas added there’s a possibility he could play some special teams.
Originally, Douglas was committed to Georgia Tech, but after Georgia made a late offer, Douglas decided to change. He said it was probably the toughest decision he’s ever made.
“In the end, it’s where you’re going to be most happy at,” Douglas said. “I just made the decision I would be more happy there.”
Aquinas coach Matt LeZotte was proud the way Douglas handled the tough situation. He said Douglas’ ability to decide and stand by his choice shows his growth into a man.
As for on the football field, LeZotte expects only positives for a player who helped turn around the Irish football program; as a junior, Douglas helped Aquinas win its first ever state playoff game. The Irish ultimately advanced to the state quarterfinals.
This season, Aquinas went 8-3 and advanced to the state playoffs again.
“After our last game, he walked out and said, ‘Coach LeZotte, thanks for everything.’ I started laughing. I was like, ‘No, thank you for everything,’ ” LeZotte said. “I was fortunate enough, my first four years as head coach, I had him in the backfield and him to hold the team together.
“He’s truly one of a kind. I’ve never played with anybody that’s like that. And I’m not sure if I’ll ever coach a guy that’s like that again.”