ATHENS — Brendan Douglas doesn’t have any memory of what exactly Erk Russell said to him, or what he might have said back when they met a couple times. Douglas was too young. But he’s heard plenty of things Russell was at least purported to say, thanks to his father.
“He quotes him all the time,” Douglas said.
Pat Douglas, who is Brendan’s father, was the first scholarship player for Russell at Georgia Southern, after Russell left his job as Georgia’s defensive coordinator. That started a long connection between the Douglas family and GSU – one which Brendan broke by going to Georgia.
Brendan Douglas is a junior tailback at Georgia, due to see plenty of action Saturday night against the school and program he knows well. In fact Brendan might be one of the few in his family pulling for the Bulldogs.
His brother John is a graduate assistant at Georgia Southern, where he used to play. The two brothers usually text regularly during the football season, but not this week, at risk of either divulging inside information.
“He’s usually interested in football and stuff, what’s going on. And I usually let him in,” Brendan Douglas said. “But the past couple weeks I haven’t told him anything.”
There’s more: Douglas has another brother (Dennis) who’s a student at Georgia Southern, and a sister who graduated from there. And while Brendan went to high school in Augusta, the family went to plenty of football games at GSU.
“When I was a kid, we used to go almost every Saturday,” Douglas said.
But those were games coached by Paul Johnson, now at Georgia Tech, where he offered Douglas a scholarship three years ago. Douglas accepted but then de-committed when offered a spot by Georgia a few days before signing day.
Georgia plays Johnson and Georgia Tech next week.
“We know coach Johnson pretty well, the Douglas family does,” Douglas said. “It’s fine. It’s all business. It’s just football. It didn’t end up working out for us at the end. But it’s the past now.”