Golston Ready to Make His Mark

ATHENS -- Rodney Garner believes that Kedric Golston is motivated by the ghosts in Georgia's defensive line meeting room.

In the past 10 years, some of the best players in the school's history have occupied that room, which sits on the first floor of the No. 3 Bulldogs' practice facility in the Butts-Mehre Building. Players like Richard Seymour, Marcus Stroud and Johnathan Sullivan, all of whom were picked in the top 13 of the NFL Draft.

"I'd hope they have a sense of pride about the room," Georgia's defensive line coach said. "The room has produced some pretty good players and they're the next in line. I think that may have been the driving force behind Kedric this summer."

That's not so, said Kedric Golston, a junior defensive tackle.

"They were great players and I look up to them, but I think of the guys here right now," he said. "I don't want to let anybody down. I want to be accountable to the guys in that room now."

Golston enters the season as one of Georgia's starting nose tackle with plenty of talent, but little production to show for it.

Despite suffering a broken leg in a car accident in September 2001, he became the first true freshman nose tackle since Travis Stroud (1994) to start the first game of the year. The leg injury, for which he had steel rods put in his leg, continued to bother him, though, and he only started two more games that year, finishing with 34 tackles.

Last year, he had the rods removed and appeared to be on his way to a breakout season. He started the first six games of the season but then suffered a broken shoulder blade during practice and missed the rest of the year.

"Kedric has definitely come back this fall camp like a man on the mission," Rodney Garner said.

However, a helmet to his right shoulder last week in practice has slowed his development again. Golston missed Monday night's practice and has now missed three days due to injured nerves. He doesn't believe the injury is serious. In fact, he said, he feels better about his body than he has since signing with the Bulldogs out of Sandy Creek High School.

"This is the first season I've had where I've been able to work out all summer," he said. "I'm just more confident now."

Golston worked out so hard that he dropped from 300 pounds to 286, which is too light for Garner.

" I wish he was 10 or 15 pounds heavier, but I really like his attitude, his work ethic," Garner said. "I know for us to achieve our goals, we need Kedric Golston, and we need him performing at a high level."

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