ATHENS – The workers at the Ben & Jerry’s in Athens had seven very big customers on Sunday: Georgia quarterback Greyson Lambert and six of his offensive linemen.
Lambert was treating them – the five starters and top reserve Hunter Long – as thanks for not being sacked in Saturday’s season opener. It was the continuation of a tradition that began with Aaron Murray and his offensive line, though it was interrupted last year.
“Murray used to do it. Hutson (Mason) was cheap so he didn’t do it,” senior tackle John Theus said, adding with a smile: “Make sure you all put that in your story. I want Hutson to see that.”
This time the linemen got treated even though they did give up a sack. But it was when Brice Ramsey was in the game for his one series.
“Well, Greyson’s the one paying for it,” Theus said.
Those in attendance included Theus, fellow senior tackle Kolton Houston, guards Greg Pyke and Isaiah Wynn, center Brandon Kublanow and Long, who is also Lambert’s roommate.
“He gave us all choice to get whatever we wanted, so I had a milkshake,” Wynn said. “It was pretty good.”
Lambert tends to get along with his line: He lived with four of them at Virginia until he left. Then when he came to Athens he moved in with Long, into the apartment spot vacated by David Andrews.
“I told Greyson: Listen you don’t have to give us anything, we’re gonna block for you, you don’t have to do that,” Theus said. “But it’s something fun. It’s some camaraderie.”
It’s a nice gesture by Lambert, who has known the linemen for less than two months. While Ramsey has been on campus for almost three years, and Faton Bauta for almost four, Lambert only arrived on July 13, after transferring from Virginia.
But Lambert still managed to gain the quick respect of his teammates.
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“Greyson’s a south Georgia boy, so I think he fits right in,” said Theus, who’s from Jacksonville, Fla. “He knows what it’s like. But he came in and he busted his butt. So if you do that you’re gonna have the respect of the team. He did that. We all respected and we all gelled with him.”
So is it already becoming Lambert’s team? It might be too soon to say that, given that he’s only been the starter for a week, and his hold on the job still isn’t firm.
“He’s definitely taking control up there. He’s doing a great job,” junior tailback Keith Marshall said. “But we’re still working the same way we were working.”
NextAt second glance: More observations from Georgia’s opener