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Good Artlcle. The Herald sits down with DJ on his release from The Atlanta Falcons

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ALBANY — The flashes went off, one after another, sandwiched between hugs and laughs and enough smiles to light up Atlanta.

This was all about meeting D.J. Yeah, that’s right, just D.J. There was no need to say his full name — D.J. Shockley. Not now, not here.

Just about everyone in Georgia remembers Shockley, the way he darted and threw darts for the University of Georgia, the way he led the Bulldogs to their first SEC title in 20 years. He was literally Mark Richt’s first recruit, the original Richt Dog.

He came flying out of North Clayton High right into the hearts of Georgia fans, a real home grown peach, a keeper, a kid who was impossible not to like.

Maybe that’s why there were so many smiles to go along with those flashes Saturday night at the Albany Civic Center, where Shockley (make that, D.J.) showed up to help the Panthers promote their playoff game against the Louisiana Swashbucklers.

He signed autographs and even posed for pictures before the game, then strolled out to the field to flip the coin to start the game. The guy even wore a white T-shirt to help support the Panthers’ white-out promotion.

Just like at Georgia, it seemed D.J. could do no wrong.

“I like this,’’ he said as he looked at a long line of fans that snaked its way toward him. “I’ve done this kind of thing before and I like it, because it gives fans a chance to see me up close, see what you look like out of the helmet. People get to see you, and meet you. It gives them a chance to see I’m a real person, to see my personality. They can see you’re a nice guy.”

And more.

“People always remember that first impression, it’s always a lasting impression,’’ Shockley said. “I remember when I was a kid and I would be around a celebrity, and how I felt.’’

Shockley was part of the promotion that was set up by the Panthers in conjunction with the U.S. Air Force Reserves.

“Any time you get a chance to support the Air Force Reserves, it’s a good thing to do,’’ he said.

It was a hit-and-run stopover for Shockley, a man who will be quick on his feet during the next couple of weeks. His career with the Atlanta Falcons ended again this week when the Falcons released him for the third time.

But remember, this is a man who made his living as a scrambler. He looks at this situation just like he did when a play broke down and he had to make something from nothing — it’s all positive for D.J.

“I look at it as an opportunity,’’ said Shockley, who feels he will try to hook up with another NFL team before training camps begin at the end of July. “I’m going to be real busy. It’s a busy period. You have a couple of weeks to find out what’s going on. It’s a trying time.’’

But one that could open a door.

Shockley was always the third quarterback with the Falcons, and even though he doesn’t know where he might land, he’s looking forward to touching down.

“Whoever it comes down to, I’ll be sure that they want me,’’ he said. “It’s like in real life when you are in a relationship. You want somebody who wants you.’’

He’s 27 now, just about the age when NFL quarterbacks — starters or otherwise — start to enter the best years of their careers.

“I’m still young,’’ he said. “I’ve got a lot of years ahead of me. It’s all in front of me. God puts different obstacles in front of you in different circumstances. You just have to look at it with a positive attitude.’’

Then he stopped talking for a minute, and looked back at the line. Three women were waiting for him, waiting to say hello, to get his autograph and to stand next him for a photo that will surely end up in a special place.

All three smiled, all but gushing. “Hello D.J,’’ the first woman said.

That’s right, just D.J.

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ummm...david greene led the dawgs to an sec title 3 years earlier,so it hadnt been 20 years...sry but-1

That didn't slip by me either but DJ did play quite a bit and recieved a ring and then did it on his own again later although Joe T had to play the UF game. If we had won that game we would have probably played for the national championship.

Edited by Bulldog1950
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Shockley is a class act. I hope he gets an opportunity to be the primary back up somewhere.

I do too, Why I hated that Jets games when Pestinko was here so bad, because he had the chance to take the game over and the job, but that dang play that blew out his knee. If he would have stayed healthy he would have been tried over Redmen and been given a chance at least. I hope he gets picked up by somebody, may be the Eagles, they might be losing a backup Qb soon. :P

But seriously I hope hes gets another chance somewhere. ;)

Edited by nativefalcon
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