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garner spreading table for players

by carter strickland

the atlanta journal-constitution

published on: 11/22/07 athens rodney garner typically has a family of six to feed.

thursday that will turn into 60. and if that is not daunting enough, about 35 of those will be football players.

"my mom, she has been getting ready for this for about three weeks," said the georgia defensive line coach.

she is the main cook for the annual thanksgiving feasts hosted by the garners. the players are the reason they have the spread.

"it was something we started doing when i was at auburn," garner said. "we always used to play the auburn-alabama games that weekend, and the one thing i always hated doing was eating in the dining hall for thanksgiving. i thought it was the worst thing in the world."

so when garner started coaching, he made it a tradition that those players who couldn't go home for thanksgiving could find a spot in his home.

"everybody chips in," garner said.

his wife, his mother, his aunt, relatives, all of them cook. and they cook everything: "turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, black-eyed peas, greens, dressing, every cake you can think of, and every pie you can think of," garner said.

even chitlins will be served. garner bought 10 pounds, mainly for offensive lineman chester adams, only to find out adams is not coming.

"we had to pay $50 to clean them, so he owes me," garner joked.

undoubtedly, someone will take up the slack for adams.

"we got some eaters now," garner said. "the biggest thing is they have a good time and they enjoy the fellowship."

the feast will come after a morning practice today. at the end of the day, the leftovers, and believe it or not there are usually plenty, are donated to a homeless shelter.

heisman hype

before getting to georgia's ballots for the heisman trophy, asher allen has one disclaimer: "we're biased."

no kidding. that much was extremely obvious when taking an informal survey of who the georgia players would vote for if given a heisman vote.

"i know i am not going with [florida's tim] tebow because he didn't have too much of a good game against us," said linebacker rennie curran. "that knocks him out."

that was the consensus of all the players. some couldn't even bring themselves to name tebow.

"if he would have stayed healthy i would say [oregon's] dennis dixon," said quarterback matthew stafford. "he was playing good. i feel bad for him."

anybody else? stafford was asked. what about a certain quarterback playing to the south?

"no one else," he said with a smile. "nope, i can't think of anybody."

stafford did relent somewhat.

"he is player," he said of tebow. "he is doing a great job. he is getting in the end zone quite a bit. i am happy for him."

most of the votes went to knowshon moreno. moreno said he would vote for arkansas' darren mcfadden.

injury update

fullback brannan southerland was in a walking boot wednesday but was expected to play in the game against georgia tech.

"it is precautionary," richt said.

richt did not go into specifics about the injury. southerland has not missed a game due to injury in his career at georgia. redshirt freshman shaun chapas has been the backup at the fullback position. chapas has played a extensively in several games as of late.

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