Johnathan Abram started four games at Georgia as a freshman. One of his last acts in his one year at UGA was to walk by reporters on the night that Mark Richt was fired and say: “Keep Pruitt.”
Georgia didn’t keep Jeremy Pruitt, Abram went off to junior college and then Mississippi State, and when he returns to Sanford Stadium on Saturday, he might be welcomed by some former teammates, such as Terry Godwin.
But perhaps not everybody. And Abram is not hiding that this game means a little something extra.
In an interview this week with the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger, Abram was upfront about that.
“It will be a great feeling,” said Abram, who has 11 tackles and a half-sack this year. “To get a chance to go between the hedges but on the opposite side … I mean, I just look forward to going in with my team and, honestly, just beating the brakes off of them.”
Abram spoke on Monday morning with Godwin, the Georgia receiver who was in the same signing class as Abram. By Godwin’s account later that day, it was a pleasant conversation and they remain good friends. That could be the case with some other former Abram teammates still at Georgia.
But Georgia senior linebacker Lorenzo Carter was less eager to talk about it after practice on Wednesday. He was asked if he still stays in touch with Abram and if it will be odd to see him in a different jersey.
“No. And no,” Carter said.
There were a couple moments of awkward silence as reporters waited to see if Carter would elaborate.
“That’s it,” Carter said.
Carter did have good things to say about Mississippi State defensive coordinator Todd Grantham, who recruited Carter when Grantham coached at Georgia. Grantham left about a month before National Signing Day 2014, which was when Carter committed to Georgia.
“I like coach Grantham,” Carter said. “He’s an electric guy. A lot of energy. He values pass-rushing. I’m sure they’re going to bring that.”
Would Carter have signed with Georgia if Grantham had remained?
“Oh definitely,” Carter said. “He did a good job here.”