Fullback Brendan Douglas remembers as a kid meeting legendary coach Erk Russell. His connection? Douglas’ father, Pat, played for Russell with the Eagles.
Defensive tackle James DeLoach’s mother works at the university in Statesboro in purchasing.
The younger brother of Georgia offensive tackle John Theus and long snapper Nathan Theus is a freshman offensive lineman for Georgia Southern.
Jeremiah Theus, out with a shoulder injury, isn’t spilling the beans on the Eagles’ gameplan ahead of Saturday's game between the teams.
“He hasn’t cracked,” John Theus said. “We respect them. It’s not like I’m reaching out to him to give me their game plan or anything. I’m not going to put him in that position. …He’s remained loyal to Southern.”
Douglas isn’t sharing secrets either with his older brother.
John Douglas is a defensive graduate assistant for Georgia Southern after starting at defensive end for the program after transferring from Auburn.
“We usually text a lot during weeks in the football season to see how we’re doing,” Brendan said. “This week I guess I can’t really talk to him. We’ve talked, but just little conversations here or there.”
Not the usual football talk that they have.
“The past couple of weeks I haven’t told him anything,” Douglas said.
Their father Pat also coached for Georgia Southern for three years including the 1985 I-AA national championship, the program’s first.
Another of Brendan’s brothers, Dennis, is a student at Georgia Southern.
Brendan, from Augusta, remembers going to games regularly at Georgia Southern growing up.
He says his father “is always saying quotes and I’m like, ‘Where is that from?’ He’s like `Erk Russell.’ I figured.”
Several Georgia players this week have mentioned having friends or former high school teammates that play at Georgia Southern.
“I guess it’s more personal,” said DeLoach “A lot of my friends go to Georgia Southern.”
DeLoach is from Millen, some 30 miles away from Statesboro.
“Statesboro,” DeLoach said, “That’s where we went in Millen to have fun.”