'GEORGIA WAY' NOT QUITE SO EALEY
I don't know Washaun Ealey. Never met the kid, so anyone reading this blog should well understand that my opinion shared here is made up entirely of reading articles and watching television, all information received second-hand. I don't know Washaun, so I won't use this forum to bash a kid whose personal situation I know nothing about. What I will say is that the ending of the UGA/Washaun Ealey relationship is a very sad one. This kid had so much potential, seemingly on his way to stardom when he hit the scene in 2009. Initially he looked to be heading for a redshirt, but then provided a spark about a third of the way through the season. He took over the starting job and starting garnering comparisons to his predecessor because of their shared #24 (though he switched to #3 in 2010) and the similar endings to their first names - Washaun and Knowshon. Unfortunately, their similarities seemed to end there. Knowshon grew up in Jersey, unfamiliar with the history and pride ingrained in the UGA football program. Hell, he knew Herschel Walker only as a ghost in football's past. I can't imagine Washaun, growing up in Stillmore, Ga, didn't grow up hearing the legends of Walker, Tate, Hampton, Hearst, Edwards, etc. But, in spite of his knowledge of UGA's proud history and all the reverence associated with becoming a Bulldog Legend, Ealey still couldn't grasp what just came natural to Knowshon. Heart. It takes a lot more than God-given talent to succeed in this game, but somehow, Ealey has completely missed this fact.
I am sad for Washaun. Sad that he won't live up to expectations. Sad he won't get a UGA diploma. Sad that he will likely not realize his NFL dreams. But, in addition to being sad, I can't help but feel anger as well. I'm angry because Ealey had a choice. Ealey chose to not listen to coaches. He chose to drive without a license. He chose to get fat and out of shape. He chose to not care. The thing that's made me most angry since I heard this news is that Ealey chose to squander his opportunity when much more deserving people had no choice. DGDs like Trinton Sturdivant. Former Dawg greats like David Pollack and Robert Edwards whose NFL careers were cut WAY too short. Ealey's immaturity and disrespect really tick me off when I think about the heart, desire and work ethic shown by Trinton Sturdivant, only to have his knees fail him again.
I wish Ealey well in his future endeavors, but I can't say he will be remembered fondly by this Dawg fan. I don't know Ealey, and I think I'd like to keep it that way.