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’s 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’s 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.
“We always want to support all of our old teammates,” White said. “We’ve got guys all over the league, too. But we’re definitely pulling for Stafford to do well, and beyond that, Detroit is a young program, it’s got a lot of young stars, and it’s drafted very well through the last couple of years.”
Well, what about when you consider that Stafford’s main receiving threat is a former Georgia Tech star receiver?
White’s OK with that, too.
“You know, Calvin Johnson is a beast,” White said. “While he was here my freshman year, of course I didn’t 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’s definitely a guy I look up to for the way he plays the game, for his ability and everything like that. I don’t blame Stafford for throwing to him because I probably could go out there and throw it and he’s going to catch it.”
But when it comes to former Georgia running back Knowshon Moreno taking handoffs from Tebow, it’s just too much to take.
“That’s different,” White said. “I don’t wish any ill will towards him, but I can’t say I’m a Tebow fan or anything like that. I don’t want him to go out there and get hurt. I don’t want him to go out there and do poorly. But it didn’t make me sad that Kyle Orton was playing over him or anything like that.”
Don’t most of the college allegiances go out the window when guys get drafted into the NFL?
“For the most part,” White said. “But (Tebow) is just, different. I can never be happy that that guy is balling.”
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 — fodder for another 50 years’ worth of animosity?