ATHENS — Georgia tight end Jeb Blazevich grew up 45 minutes from Florida quarterback Will Grier. They knew each other from the recruiting circuit, and their families know each other.
So Blazevich wasn’t squealing with delight at Monday’s news that Grier was suspended for a year for taking a substance banned by the NCAA. It was more a shake of the head at the circumstances.
Grier said he tested positive after taking an over-the-counter supplement that “had something in it.” He did not check with Florida’s medical staff first.
Blazevich made sure to point out that he doesn’t know the story behind Grier’s suspension. But he said there’s a way to avoid taking the wrong thing, at least at Georgia.
“It’s a common-sense rule. Anything near the line we always ask,” Blazevich said.
Georgia’s medical and training staff does “very well” informing players what they can and can’t put in their bodies, said senior receiver Malcolm Mitchell.
“We know what’s right and we know what’s wrong,” Mitchell said. “And that’s all that they can do, is give us that information. What we choose to do next is our own choice.”
For instance, Georgia also has protein shakes available for players on the first-floor training table. If players want to buy their own shake it has to be cleared with the training staff and/or talk to strength and conditioning coordinator Mark Hocke, Blazevich said.
When it comes to aches and pains, Georgia’s training staff also has medication available. So it’s not that necessary to buy over-the-counter medicine, though Blazevich said: “No one’s gonna freak out if you go and buy a body of Advil.”
Ron Courson, Georgia’s head athletic trainer, operates as a go-to man for players when they’re unsure of taking something.
“If I were to start taking proteins or any type of that stuff, all you have to do is call Ron, and he’ll tell you what you can and cannot take,” Mitchell said.
Not that he’ll start doing that.
“I’m not a fan of just taking stuff because you feel bad,” Mitchell said. “Our body naturally takes care of itself, in some areas. It just takes a little time. Medicine just speeds up the process.”
As for supplements, especially ones aimed at building muscle strength, Blazevich sounded skeptical on them in general.
“Just in my personal opinion, it’s kind of pointless,” Blazevich said. “If anything it’s a shortcut. Yeah, they definitely help. But I know a lot of guys, like in high school, they’d be taking creatine and all that really does is pump up your muscles with water and as soon as you stop taking it it goes back down. So it’s almost like a shortcut.
“Really all you need is chocolate milk. I’ve always been a firm believer in that.”