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November 18, 2011
Five-star offensive tackle John Theus has certainly received his share of honors during what's been a celebrated career at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla.
But few - if any - can compare to the one the future Georgia Bulldog got to experience Friday when he was presented with the jersey he'll wear during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 7 (NBC) in San Antonio, Texas.
"It's definitely one of the top memories for me. The Army game is a very distinguished game and I'm very humbled to be selected," Theus said. "You're talking about the best players in the country, but I like competition and I thank the Lord for giving me the ability and the opportunity to play in this game. It definitely ranks near the top of experiences for me so far."
Getting the chance to test his skills against some of the top high school seniors from across the country is something else that appeals to the 6-foot-6, 292-pounder.
"I'm really excited. When you go to camps, you play against some good players, but it's not like college ball when you play against good players week in and week out," Theus said. "I'm very excited to match up against the best guys in the country and see how I do. It's going to be some fun competition, but I'm also looking forward to the camaraderie, have a good time and see what everybody's about."
It's already been a busy year for Theus, who committed to head coach Mark Richt and the Bulldogs back in July.
Theus has been a familiar face at Georgia games all fall, attending every home game thus far, with the lone exception of this Saturday's contest against Kentucky.
The reason? The Bolles School has a road playoff game Friday night at South Sumter in the Regional Semifinals of the 4A state playoffs.
"I'd like to go, but that's a road playoff game, the game's at 12 in Athens, so that would be a lot of driving with little sleep, so I'll just stay home," Theus said. "But I'll be rooting, screaming at home on the couch in the living room with my dad."
Theus was in Athens last weekend for the Bulldogs' 45-7 win over Auburn, which put Georgia in position to win the SEC East with a victory Saturday over the Wildcats.
After the game, Theus, along with a number of Georgia's other recruits, were in the locker room for postgame and got to share in the celebration with his future teammates.
"It was awesome. Those guys really enjoyed that game," Theus said. "They dominated on every side of the ball, and it was awesome to see the hard work pay off and hopefully that's the type of reward we'll get once we get there. " Theus claims he predicted that Georgia (8-2, 5-1) would run the table after losing to Boise State and South Carolina in its first two games.
He was especially happy for Richt, whose tenure at Georgia appeared to be on shaky ground before the team's current eight-game winning streak.
"Yeah, I said when they went 0-2 that there was a chance they'd win out and they've definitely upped their game and executed," Theus said. "It's a great feeling for me to know that Coach Richt is staying there. I know it's great for him to feel secure in a place that he loves. The players love Coach Richt. Everybody there is ecstatic that they've had the season they've had."
Theus said he's trying to do his part to ensure other top recruits join him in Athens next fall.
"It's getting to the point in time where people have to start making decisions so I've been trying to stay in touch with some, especially some of the bigger recruits," Theus said. "I enjoy talking with them and hopefully I can get some to come to Georgia with me."
"Keith Marshall, I can tell him that I'll be there opening holes for him, and Jordan Jenkins I tell him we can make each other better," Theus said. "Those are true statements, so I don't think it's just a pitch to try and get them to come. You just be honest with them, and don't say anything negative about anybody. You just keep in touch and tell them what we could do, because I think it could be four special years."