If flipping through the University of Georgia’s 2014 football media guide seems like an odd and unnecessary thing to be doing four years later, it’s hard to argue.
The guide is 212 pages long. And behind its cover – which features linebacker Ramik Wilson, running back Todd Gurley, kicker Marshall Morgan, as well as wide receivers Chris Conley and Michael Bennett – there’s various nuggets of information ranging from the upcoming season’s outlook to every televised Bulldogs game dating back to 1959.
Want to know how to pronounce a player’s last name? It’s there. Want to know how many were named AP All-SEC under then-Georgia head coach Mark Richt? That’s there, too. Want to know the last time the program had zero penalties and zero turnovers in a game? You got it.
But there’s also the roster.
And it lists five names that should be familiar to the New England Patriots.
The handful can now all call themselves just that.
On page 34 is center David Andrews, at the time a senior captain who was named offensive MVP at the conclusion of spring practice and had started 27 games over the previous two seasons. And to the right of Andrews there is nose tackle John Atkins, a redshirt freshman from Hargrave Military Academy who enrolled in January 2013 and earned the athletic director’s honor roll distinction in his spring semester.
Then on page 42 is cornerback-turned-wideout Malcolm Mitchell, a redshirt junior coming off a torn ACL whose career-high six tackles came against Missouri in 2012 and nine receptions came against Kentucky that same season.
And on page 58 are a pair of the school’s 20 signings. A pair that would go on to be roommates and captains of their own by the point they were first-round draft picks: 5-foot-11, 205-pound running back Sony Michel by way of American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., and 6-foot-2, 269-pound offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn out of Lakewood High School in St. Petersburg.
The senior, redshirt junior, redshirt freshman and pair of true freshmen are all back together for the time being. Only a 16-hour drive northeast of Athens.
And Georgia, now with former Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart at the helm, is presently tied with Iowa as the most-represented school in Foxborough entering 2018 as a result.
Andrews went on to finish his Georgia career with 50 starts and joined the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in May 2015. The pivot has since become a 41-game starter and team captain once again.
Mitchell caught 89 passes for 1,113 yards and eight touchdowns over his final two campaigns as the Bulldogs’ flanker on the way to checking in as a Patriots fourth-round pick in 2016 – and snared 32 for 401 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie before spending all of 2017 on injured reserve.
Wynn proceeded to become a second-team All-American and first-team All-SEC selection in 2017, getting the nod in a total of 40 contests between left tackle and left guard before landing at No. 23 overall this April.
Michel wound up rushing for 3,638 yards – third-most in Bulldogs history – with 33 touchdowns on the ground and six more via the air en route to being selected eight spots after Wynn in Round 1.
And Atkins, who accrued 26 starts, 81 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss, joined fellow 2017 Bulldogs in Wynn and Michel as an undrafted free-agent signing shortly thereafter.
Funny how things can turn out.
That four-year-old media guide is far from current now. Though in a sense, it also kind of is.