The Most Interesting Man in Athens

ATHENS - Georgia's long snapper has his hands in many pots.

Sanford Stadium has a totally different look and feel from 3,000 feet above the ground.

Georgia long-snapper Ty Frix has seen the Stadium—and most of Georgia—from this altitude while flying a small, private plane.

The rising senior from Calhoun earned his pilot's license two years ago and flies as often as he can.

"It's something I've always wanted to do," Frix said. "Actually I had kind of looked into going into one of the service academies coming out of high school, maybe over at Colorado to the Air Force Academy or up to the Naval Academy. I've always wanted to fly jets, but I'm a little color blind. It's not enough to keep me from flying small planes and getting my private pilot's license, but it was enough to keep me from flying multi-million dollar jets owned by the government."

Frix first thought about taking lessons in eighth grade and toyed with the idea again in high school. But he never could find the time. Now he takes solo flights to South Carolina and Macon and Augusta. He works on turns and stalls and landings.

"A couple times (last) summer when I was trying to get up with him and work out he'd have to say, ‘I have to reschedule because I'm taking flight lessons,'" said former punter Drew Butler. "I said: ‘That is good with me. You'll be flying me around one day.' It's really awesome. I don't know anybody that can fly, so hopefully Ty will be a lifelong friend of mine and it will work out on day the road."

Now with his pilot's license, Frix is adding to a list of achievements and accomplishments that might make him the most interesting player on the Georgia roster.

He's majoring in biomedical engineering with plans to go to medical school. He started the last 27 games for the Bulldogs, earning a scholarship in the spring of 2010.

And just for good measure, Frix' father, Mitch, played at Georgia—also as a long-snapper—back in the early 80s. Adding to the legacy, Mitch snapped for Kevin Butler, Drew's father. So the story grows.

"Oh yeah he's a pretty interesting guy," former kicker Blair Walsh said. "You wouldn't think so being from Calhoun and being a pretty simple guy. But he's actually got a lot going on. He's a very driven kid. He's got his hand in a bunch of stuff."

Obviously, Frix is known first for his play on the field in Sanford. In a role that sometimes goes unnoticed until something goes wrong, Frix has performed consistently and effectively while handling all snapping duties.

"Ty has always worked really hard," said linebacker Christian Robinson, who is Frix' roommate. "I know earning his scholarship made him really happy. He deserves it and he's earned it."

In middle school, Mitch Frix began honing his son's ability to snap a football. He also instilled a strict work ethic in dealing with studies.

"My dad started getting me up pretty early before school every morning," Frix said. "I found out I could get more done in the hour-and-a-half before I left for school than I could with all that time at night."

Frix after Georgia's win at Tennessee in 2011 (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)

Frix laid the foundation for his academic success at an early age. Those study habits are paying off in the present day. He's been named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll two straight years.

"I don't even think I can pronounce his major," Butler said. "He's always studying. He makes extremely good grades. He does extremely well at his job on the football field. All that hard work translates on both the football field and the classroom. With the kind of work he puts in, he definitely gets results."

So what's the key to juggling football practice with workouts and homework and the hobbies? Frix answer is, "time management."

"It was crazy living with him," Walsh said. "He was never there. He was either studying, eating or sleeping. He's got a pretty packed life. We used to make fun of him for it, but I wish I was as driven as him in the classroom and stuff."

Frix shrugs when asked if he is, in fact, the most interesting player in Athens.

"I highly doubt that," he said. "Oh gosh. My roommate, Christian Robinson, is very interesting. You should check him out. He's done it all. I feel really blessed. This has all been a great opportunity and I love it."

Regardless, teammates say he could be the most interesting player on the team. And he also has the chance to be the most successful, too.

"We all know fully that Ty will be successful at what he does," Walsh said. "He'll be a doctor or flying planes. Whatever Ty does, he's going to be great because he works harder than anybody I've ever known. I think that's why it's translated to him playing and getting his scholarship. He's earned everything he's gotten."

Ty Frix during Georgia's win over New Mexico State (Dean Legge/Dawg Post)

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