ATHENS – There’s an old saying that pretty much everybody on Earth can identify with: “We plan; God laughs.” But sometimes things just work out. And for that the Theus family is extremely thankful this week.
Not only will John and Nathan Theus be together on the field for UGA’s Senior Night this Saturday before the Georgia Southern game, but their little brother Jeremiah will be present as well. And that’s an incredible stroke of good fortune for all involved.
Jeremiah Theus is a freshman offensive lineman for the Eagles. As fate would have it, he’s sidelined with a shoulder injury. So Jeremiah plans to be on the field with his parents Paul and Lori Theus when John and Nathan are honored in pregame ceremonies Saturday. Jeremiah will watch the game from the Georgia Southern sideline.
“It’s crazy,” said Nathan, a senior long snapper. “It’s a good closing for this chapter of our life, playing in Sanford Stadium, and it’s awesome to have my brother there. I think John and I are both most proud of Jeremiah and what he’s doing.”
The Theus’s could not have known that their little brother would be playing for Georgia Southern five years after Nathan signed with the Bulldogs. And then Nathan was redshirted as a freshman, which meant that he’s graduating the same year as his next-younger brother, John. Then a 5-star prospect as an offensive linemen, John Theus inked with Georgia a year after his older brother.
As a result, the whole group will be together between the hedges as one family unit on Saturday.
“We’ll have the whole family there,” said John, a four-year starter for the Bulldogs. “So it’s going to mean a lot. It will definitely mean a lot to my parents. I imagine looking back on it, it will mean more to me than it even does now.”
It will be just the second time this season the whole Theus clan has been together for a weekend. Jeremiah was able to join the family in Jacksonville for the Georgia-Florida game last month.
“We may even grab him and let him be in the family picture pregame, Georgia coach Mark Richt said. “That may be a first, to have a player from the other team in our ceremony. I know this game is big for the Theus family for a lot of reasons.”
John, and even Nathan to a lesser degree, were relatively high-profile recruits. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Jeremiah was a 2-star prospect coming out The Bolles School. Cincinnati was the highest profile school of his of his dozen or so offers, mostly from FCS programs.
Jeremiah chose Georgia Southern last summer, just as the storied program was making its move up the FBS level ball. He was expected to be a significant contributor for the Eagles (7-2) this season but injured his shoulder after playing in just one game and required surgery.
If not for that, Jeremiah would have been playing against the Bulldogs. They’re team he has watched play dozens of times the last five years.
“He hasn’t even really started playing yet,” Nathan said. “We’re just so proud of him and the hard work he put in to get where he is. I think as older brothers looking back, Jeremiah is our biggest prized possession. It’s good to see him at Georgia Southern and being successful. That’s a great program there and a winning program.”
Jeremiah has been Nathan and John’s biggest supporter. Conversely, it has been more difficult for them to get to their little brother’s games the last several years because of their obligations at UGA.
John and Nathan are proud of their little brother and want the best for him. But they aren’t taking Saturday’s competition lightly. They know the Eagles aren’t a team to be trifled with. They had Georgia Tech on the ropes just a year ago.
John joked that they have pressed their little brother for intel.
“He hasn’t cracked,” John said with a laugh. “No, we respect him. It’s not like we’re going to reach out to him to give us their game plan. I’m not going to put him in that position. He’s remained loyal to Southern.”