Editor's note: During the countdown to national signing day on Feb. 1, DawgNation will talk with a former Georgia football player each day about his memories of the recruiting process.
Today's former Bulldog is David Weeks. A nationally coveted recruit from Marist High School, Weeks was a huge get for the Bulldogs in 1990. Weeks played center, guard and tackle for Georgia from 1991 to 1995 in a career in which he blocked for two future Super Bowl MVPs: Terrell Davis and Hines Ward. Weeks is now a successful businessman with six restaurants in the Athens area. His passion is being a youth sports coach, and, especially, coaching his three young sons.
Here are the highlights from DawgNation writer Radi Nabulsi's conversation with Weeks:
RN: Looking back, what was the recruiting process like for you?
DW: Back in those days they didn't have as many rules in place. My parents had to put in a second phone line in the house so I could be on the phone from 6:30 at night to 9:30 at night with all these different coaches. They could call as many times as they wanted to. They could also make as much contact as they wanted to. I remember from around December 5th of my senior year up until the blackout period in the first week of February, we had a college coach in our living room every single night, with the exception of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. I was playing basketball at the time, and I remember just trying to keep my eyes open on the couch. I didn't want to be rude.
RN: What happened on some of your official visits that either helped a school recruit you or hurt a school recruiting you?
DW: I went to Notre Dame on my first official visit with Eric Zeier. We were the two guys from Georgia. Notre Dame was considered a national power then. And the pressure, they laid it on thick. I was with the offensive line coach with three other linemen from across the country. There was a guy from Texas, one from Ohio and a guy from California. We are at the 50-yard line and it is snowing, they are playing the fight song, the stadium announcer is calling out our names and our numbers. The offensive line coach turns to us and says, "If I can get all four of you recruits to come to Notre Dame, the four of you will be bigger than the Four Horsemen." I thought, no way four knucklehead offensive linemen would be bigger than the Four Horsemen of Notre Dame.
RN: How far along in the process did you commit to Georgia?
DW: I will never forget. A bunch of us in that class were at Georgia Tech that last week in January. Chad Chosewood is in line behind me for breakfast one morning. There is a long line of recruits and I ask him where he is thinking about going. He says, "I can tell you one thing, I sure as hell ain't going here." And I say, "Yeah, neither am I." He told me he thought he was going to Georgia and I said, "I am leaning that way, too." There were a bunch of other guys committed to Georgia -- at Tech on their official visit -- and we all got together and talked about it. So the majority of us that were at Tech on an official visit decided to commit to Georgia.
RN: What sorts of negative recruiting did you hear?
DW: People knew it was going to come down to Florida State and Georgia for me. Even back then people were saying, "David, if you go to Florida State, Bobby Bowden will not be your coach by the time you graduate." He retired in 2009. So in 1990 they were saying that about Bobby Bowden. And of course Notre Dame, after I committed to Georgia, the offensive line coach Joe Moore let me have it. He told me, "David, you will never be a success in life. You had the opportunity for a national network after you are done. You'll have connections all over the country and you want to stay down there and be a redneck at the University of Georgia?" And he called me five straight nights just blasting me. So, yes, people would go negative.
RN: What was the most interesting thing that happened in your recruitment that was never made public?
DW: Even starting my junior year when I was being recruited, they would have girls sending you all of these post cards wanting you to come to their school and things like that. The Garnet and Gold Girls, the Alabama Belles, they had all these names for them -- that was very persuasive to a 17-year-old kid.