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Tony Dungy on Orson Charles..


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When Orson Charles was making up his mind what college he wanted to attend, former NFL coach Tony Dungy's opinion was one he wanted to hear.

Charles and Dungy's son Eric are close friends and were teammates at Plant High, along with freshman quarterback Aaron Murray.

Dungy said that Charles came to his home to discuss his impending decision.

Although Dungy said he did not tell Charles what school to attend, he did offer some advice that he believes ultimately helped the player make up his mind.

"He was narrowing things down and he knew that I had been in professional football, he was good friends with my son, so he just said 'Hey, as I'm making my decision and I'd like to talk to you about some things,'" Dungy said. "He asked if any schools would be a help in terms of being a professional player, and I said 'Hey, the schools you're talking about, they all have good coaches and they're going to give you the exposure that you need.

"So I told him he didn't really need to worry about that. I told him that he needed to be comfortable. That's the only way I tried to encourage him."

Charles chose the Bulldogs over Southern Cal and Tennessee.

Dungy said Charles did actually struggle with his decision.

"The choice that you make really determines a lot with what's going to happen in your life so you want them to understand that. You want them to be comfortable," Dungy said. "It was fun for me to watch Orson, to watch Aaron go through the decision-making process and know that they did get good counsel from their parents, their high school coach and from a lot of other people around them."

Dungy said that Georgia could not be getting a better pair of young men to represent the program.

"They're super young men, they're gentlemen, they're very driven and probably more than anything else they're very good teammates," Dungy said. "I expect both of them will have great careers."

Dungy joked that he didn't learn of Charles' decision to come to Georgia until his press conference at the school two weeks ago.

"I found out like everybody else," Dungy laughed. "I don't even think he told Aaron before the fact."

Dungy said he last spoke to Charles at a track meet Tuesday night and that the future Bulldog sent him to Athens a favor in mind.

"He gave me some specific instructions to pick up some things from Coach (Mark) Richt," Dungy smiled. "I can't divulge it but I have a specific assignment here so I'm going to try and get it done."

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