NEW ORLEANS — Georgia senior tight end Charlie Woerner understands the desire to win a national championship having spent the past four years chasing that goal.
But it’s hard for Woener to accept anyone viewing the Bulldogs’ season as a disappointment after all the work the team put in to getting Georgia (11-2) a No. 5 ranking and Sugar Bowl slot to play No. 7 Baylor on Wednesday night.
Some might see it as a compliment of sorts that Woerner and his fellow outgoing seniors have had so much success that anything less than a CFP bid is a disappointment.
But not Woerner.
“I don’t like to think of it like that, because I know how hard this team has worked, and especially coming from the senior class, going 8-5 my freshman year to now,” Woerner said. “I don’t want people, my teammates and fans, to be unappreciative of where we’re at.
“There’s not many teams that can do what we did this year. Go 11-2, (4-1 versus Top 25); to do that is extremely hard, you don’t see that very often,” he said. “I just want people to be appreciative of what these guys have done on this team. I’m proud of these guys, this team, and how hard they’ve worked, and I feel honored to play with these guys.”
Woerner and his fellow seniors can tie the program record for wins by a class (44) with a win over the Bears on Wednesday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
“Yeah we didn’t go to the national championship or the Final Four,” Woerner said. “But to see what we’ve accomplished in four years, and especially this year, has been cool to see.”
Woerner said he’s proud of how the team bonded together after the 20-17 overtime loss to South Carolina, the Bulldogs’ backs firmly to the wall in must-win situations each time out the second half of the season.
“After South Carolina, we kind of bonded together and hunkered down and played really good football,” Woerner said. “That was a tough stretch through November, and this team has done well handling the pressure.”
No doubt, Georgia beat Florida 24-17, shut out Missouri 27-0, won at Auburn 21-14 and closed with wins over Texas A&M 19-13 and Georgia Tech 52-7.
Woerner said Jake Fromm, one of his closest friends, has also handled things well throughout the ups and downs.
“Jake’s handled it fine, (and) he knows there is more than just football, and he knows he’s done his best to put this team in the right positions,” Woerner said. “He’s done all he can do, and that goes for the rest of the team, because there’s pressure on everyone on the team to perform at the highest level and to make it all the way.
“I’m super proud of how this team handled this year.”