New Georgia offensive line coach Will Friend just met with reporters on his first day on the job in his new position.
“I’ve been signing papers all day,” he said.
–Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo called the UAB offensive line coach to tell him he was interested in him for the job. “I told him I would be in Athens whenever he needed me,” Friend said. He met with Coach Richt last week and got the job last Friday. UGA announced the hire yesterday.
–On Neil Callaway’s influence. “Coach Callaway had a huge influence. I played for him and GA’d for him two stints. I was there with him for three years at Alabama and then was here for two years and been with him the last four. He’s by far probably the biggest influence.”
–On his style: “I’m the same every day. It’s consistency and the work ethic and the way I approach things will be the same every day. I’m honest with them, I’m honest with the guys on the staff. That’s the only way you can build any kind of respect.”
–He will meet with the returning offensive linemen today. He spoke to the six offensive line signees by phone yesterday and said he basically told them `You guys don’t know me and I don’t know you yet, but we both picked Georgia.’ I love the University of Georgia and they do too because they made the decision to come here. We can build our relationship off that and go from there.”
–On the returning players. “I know a little bit about the guys who’ve been here. …Just because when I left here coach Bobo and I have stayed in constant contact and you kind of watch people play and see game tape.”
–On impressions of the current offensive line: “I think it can be a very good group. I haven’t had a chance to go watch them and see them. Just watching the tape, there are guys that have experience and have been good players for Georgia. I think there’s a chance to have a very good group.”
–Friend said he spoke to former Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels before he came over to interview last week.
–Searels also held the title of running game coordinator. Friend won’t.
“My job is going to be to train the offensive line,” he said. “That’s the No. 1 thing–to train them and teach them to block.”
–Friend is a Mississippi native, but his first child, 6-year old Katie, was born in Athens when he was a graduate assistant here.
“I told her when we got the job `You’re getting to go back home,’” he said.
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