ATLANTA - D.J. Shockley waited five years for bowl game glory.
He'd accomplished so much in his lone season as the Bulldog starter. He beat rival Georgia Tech. He led Georgia to a Southeastern Conference East Division title. He quarterbacked the Dogs past Louisiana State in the SEC Championship game.
All that was left was the Sugar Bowl.
One minute into the second quarter of Monday's game at the Georgia Dome, it appeared Shockley's sweetness would be confined to the regular season.
He'd misfired on his first four passes. His team trailed 28-0. The partisan Georgia crowd was whining instead of barking.
Then it became Shockley time.
The senior completed 11 of his final 14 passes of the half, rallying the Bulldogs to 21 points. Halftime didn't stunt his momentum, as he finished with 348 yards total offense, 277 yards through the air, and three touchdowns.
He eluded sacks to make big completions. He scrambled for first downs.
He threw touchdown strikes.
His team still lost, 38-35, but he still received the adoration of Bulldog fans.
Shockley finishes the 2005 season with more than 2,500 yards passing and 24 touchdowns to five interceptions. He'll likely be picked in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft.
He also has a degree in speech communications.
Reach Adam Van Brimmer at (404) 589-8424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.