Georgia tight end Aron White can only go so far in appreciating the NFL talent surrounding his former teammates now playing professionally. To Denver, to be exact.
White said he excited to see former teammate Matthew Stafford succeeding as Detroit‚Äôs quarterback, even if the Lions going 5-0 means Stafford tossing some passes to former Georgia Tech standout Calvin Johnson.
But on Tuesday, the day the Denver Broncos said former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow will be the team‚Äôs starter against the Miami Dolphins, White said he finds it difficult to pull for the quarterback despite his ties to former Georgia players with the Broncos.
When asked by a reporter about Stafford, White said the former Georgia quarterback has converted a few current Georgia athletes into Lions fans.
‚ÄúWe always want to support all of our old teammates,‚Äù White said. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve got guys all over the league, too. But we‚Äôre definitely pulling for Stafford to do well, and beyond that, Detroit is a young program, it‚Äôs got a lot of young stars, and it‚Äôs drafted very well through the last couple of years.‚Äù
Well, what about when you consider that Stafford‚Äôs main receiving threat is a former Georgia Tech star receiver?
White‚Äôs OK with that, too.
‚ÄúYou know, Calvin Johnson is a beast,‚Äù White said. ‚ÄúWhile he was here my freshman year, of course I didn‚Äôt want him to do well against us. But once he left and got into the league, I treated him like any other wide receiver. He‚Äôs definitely a guy I look up to for the way he plays the game, for his ability and everything like that. I don‚Äôt blame Stafford for throwing to him because I probably could go out there and throw it and he‚Äôs going to catch it.‚Äù
But when it comes to former Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno taking handoffs from Tebow, it‚Äôs just too much to take.
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs different,‚Äù White said. ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt wish any ill will towards him, but I can‚Äôt say I‚Äôm a Tebow fan or anything like that. I don‚Äôt want him to go out there and get hurt. I don‚Äôt want him to go out there and do poorly. But it didn‚Äôt make me sad that Kyle Orton was playing over him or anything like that.‚Äù
Don‚Äôt most of the college allegiances go out the window when guys get drafted into the NFL?
‚ÄúFor the most part,‚Äù White said. ‚ÄúBut (Tebow) is just, different. I can never be happy that that guy is balling.‚Äù
So, Georgia fans, has there ever been a more polarizing football player on the Bulldogs’ schedule? Or is Tebow what former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton is to Alabama fans ‚Äî fodder for another 50 years’ worth of animosity?