JUCO Product Beard Commits to Dawgs

JUCO Product Beard Commits to Dawgs

ATHENS – Mark Beard is excited about coming to Georgia. His mother might be more excited.

For the last two years Beard has been playing football in Kansas - so far from his home that his mother was only able to travel to watch him play once.

She wont have to travel so far any more.

"She was excited when I told her," Beard said after leaving from his official visit to Georgia. "She is going to be able to come to many more games now."

The Coffeyville Junior College transfer will provide the Bulldogs with immediate help for an offensive line that loses three players going into 2012.

"I am excited about it," he said over the phone after leaving Georgia. "I like everything I saw at Georgia – especially the people there."

Beard, who grew up in Adamsville, Alabama (near Birmingham), was no heavily recruited coming out of high school. He only had offers from Arkansas State, South Alabama, Georgia Southern and Troy – the school he wound up signing with out of high school. But his time in Kansas while in junior college paid off in the form of scholarship offers from Mississippi State, Arkansas and Georgia. He was also named an all-conference performer while at Coffeyville.

His prior relationship to Georgia offensive line coach Will Friend helped the Bulldogs seal the deal with Beard.

"I've know him for a long time," Beard said. "Still, I never thought we would wind up together like this."

The Bulldogs don't make a habit of signing junior college transfers, but Beard was glad to take them up on the offer.

"Growing up in Birmingham, Georgia was just one of those schools everyone wanted to look at," Beard said. "I always had interest in Georgia."

Beard will enroll at Georgia in January. He said he feels strong about his decision to come to play for Georgia and coach Mark Richt.

"I really like Coach Richt. He is a really nice person," Beard said.

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