An unlikely friendship with my favorite Dawg

It all started with an 8-year-old kid asking for an autograph. Now, I’m going to his wedding in Spain next summer


When I was 8 years old, I found a special gift at the bottom of my stocking on Christmas morning. It was a ticket to attend the Autozone Liberty Bowl in Memphis with my family. I grew up a Georgia fan, and the Bulldogs were playing Central Florida.

Little did I know this trip would start a unique friendship with a Georgia player that remains strong today, eight years later.

When my family and I arrived, the first thing I noticed was Georgia’s team also was staying at the famous Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis.  To me, this was the coolest thing in the world. I spent most of the trip trying to get as many autographs as I possibly could.

My family and I  did some sightseeing around Memphis. The Elvis Museum and countless awesome restaurants made for a great trip. Blues City Cafe on Beale Street is where I met Georgia players Ty Frix and Christian Robinson.

I approached them to ask for their autographs after they had finished their meals. Ty was shocked because he was a long snapper, a position on the team that doesn’t get a lot of recognition. Ty told us where their room was in the hotel and told me to come stop by and meet some of the other players.

That night, when we returned to the hotel I went to their room.  Ty and Christian were there waiting for me with a smile.

As an 8-year-old kid, having two Georgia football players wanting to hang out and being so nice meant the absolute world to me.  

The next spring, my dad and I were planning on going to Athens the G-Day game.  Ty invited us  to Athens early Saturday morning before the game and eat breakfast with the team.

I had never been so excited for anything in my 8-year-old life and couldn’t wait to go. I ate with Ty and Christian and got to meet and get autographs from every player I could find. I also had a surprise for Ty that day — a brand new Ty Frix No. 69 jersey that I was proudly showing off for him. That jersey, with his signature on the back of it, still hangs on the wall of my room today.

There were many great times shared with Ty as a player but it didn’t stop when he was finished on the gridiron. Over the past eight years, we have stayed in touch by texting and seeing each other at football games or if he’s in Macon. I saw Ty at many of the away games the past two years because his brother, Trent, was the long snapper last year.

I hope to see him this Saturday in Atlanta for the SEC Championship when our Dawgs take on the top-ranked and defending national champions Alabama Crimson Tide.

I was also fortunate to meet Ty’s fiance and will fly to Spain over summer break for their wedding.  

Eight years later Ty and I are still friends. Who would’ve thought that awn 8-year-old d kid asking a football player for an autograph would’ve started a friendship that lasted for years.