ATHENS – Thomas Brown's selection in the NFL Draft on Sunday afternoon was only the second biggest event of his weekend.
Brown, who left Georgia as the school's No. 5 all-time leading rusher (2,646 yards on 529 carries), married his high school girlfriend, Jessica Brown, in a service at West Mitchell C.M.E. in downtown Atlanta on Friday. When he was drafted in the sixth round Sunday by the Atlanta Falcons, his honeymoon was immediately put on hold.
"The first step is coming in and getting acquainted with the team and earning my spot," Brown said.
Brown was one of four Georgia players selected in the draft Sunday, going one round after defensive end Marcus Howard and one round before offensive lineman Chester Adams and place-kicker Brandon Coutu.
This is the first year since 2000 that no Bulldog was selected in the first four rounds of the draft. The four selections are tied for the fewest number Georgia has had in a draft since that year, when only two were picked. Four Bulldogs also were taken in 2007 and 2004. Brown will compete with running backs Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood for playing time with the Falcons, who play just 20 miles from where he starred at Tucker High School.
"Having the opportunity to play professional football with the Falcons is like a dream come true," Brown said.